Friday afternoon on 4/22 I was listening to 96.5 one of the two local Alternative stations in the area. Eddie Vedder had just gotten through 60 seconds of an accoustic version of ‘Black’ when a bunch of odd sound effects, including snippets from the Twilight Zone, rudely interrupted him (I mean, who interrupts Perl Jam?!). By the time these were done, Inifinity had switched their format to something they call ‘Jack’, which up until now to me simply referred to the cheese. Which is what this format is. A bunch of Tom Petty plus Sherryl Crow (ouch).
To top it off, they gave no warning at all to the DJ’s like Andy Savage. This is the second time that Andy has been screwed over in the Seattle market. Bill Reed and others from 107.7 The End were on the this new station for the last year, and it was pretty good. The End must have seen their play coming because a year ago they switch their format too from rap metal (Lincoln Park and Limp Bisket) to more new alternative sources like local boys Modest Mouse and the Kaiser Chiefs. Then they branded it "Back to the Music".
It was actually a pretty smart business strategy: they had turned into a bunch of drones not playing their core music type. DJ’s that helped build The End get frustrated and cast aside, create their own format at a new station. If The End hadn’t switched right away to recapture their core base, they would have lost them and 96.5 would have taken off like a rocket. Instead, a big company like Infinity probably didn’t see the numbers adding up and didn’t bother to tell the DJ’s. On Friday morning, Andy was doing an interview with Jack Nicholas and you can tell he knew nothing of what was coming.
I’ll be taking 96.5 off my speed dial now. Jack is for cheese.