WHFS is Back From the Dead and is Rock Radio dying?

When WHFS changed to a Spanish language format last month, a lot of music fans were justifiably bummed out, but according to RAIN, WHFS will live on through AOL of all things as an Internet only radio station. The online stream "will continue the HFS tradition of new music, and will also feature archived programming from the station’s long history, as well as recorded performances from the live concert series staged by the station, HFStival." The Internet is changing the radio game and I think even XM and Sirius should be nervous. It’s about time something revitalized rock and roll radio. To further illustrate that point, RAIN points to a Washington Post article that highlights the fact that the audience for regular terrestrial rock radio has declined by 19% since 1999 yet ironically enough rock’s share of overall album sales has actually grown during the past five years from 15.1 % to 19.8% of total album sales. What are these rock fans listening to if not the radio you ask? Well it looks like satellite and Internet radio plus the iPod phenomena are siphoning away their audience and it’s hard not to see why. With such an abundance of choices now available to the rock and roll loving audience, why settle for the same cookie cutter crap on the FM dial? While the terrestrial broadcasters will no doubt fight back and while they will always have a place, they will increasingly be squeezed out in place of things like XM and Sirius, Live 365 and podcasts. We are living in a time of rock and roll radio plenty and if it’s got Clear Channel worried then this is definitely good thing.


  1. We all miss the festival. HFS is simply not alive. The loss of whfs as rock radio is proof that rock is dead. Rock will only return with the hfstival

  2. HFS was better than DC 101, which was more cookie-cutter-ish, but HFS had a touch of that too. Now there is no competition on the rock dial, and we are stuck with DC 101’s “mostly dead” rock. Is it any wonder people would rather turn to their IPod / satellite radio / MP3 list/ CD collection / cassette tapes / records / 8-tracks? But hey, it’s not about the music. Music-related industries have proven that over and over, including entirely too many of the artists themselves. It’s about the money. I, on the other hand, agree with Sting: “Music is its own reward.”

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