May 03, 2009
"Quality Rock"

In case you've ever wondered what "classic rock" will be called when the format is updated to include stuff recorded after Ronald Reagan left office, here's your answer: Quality rock.

KDBN/93.3 FM, which had aired the classic-rock "Bone" format for more than seven years, underwent a format change Monday to "93.3 FM Quality Rock." The new format sounds like a mash-up of adult-album alternative and classic-alternative formats, with familiar tracks by acts such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Train, Counting Crows and Eric Clapton, and occasional sprinklings of less-familiar artists such as Gomez and nonwarhorse songs by the likes of Everclear, Barenaked Ladies and Beck.

The format flip followed a weekend stunt during which 93.3 played nothing but music by the Dave Matthews Band from Friday evening till 5 a.m. Monday. Dallas-Fort Worth radio fans with medium-range memories might recall that before "The Bone" launched in January 2002, the station played similar material first as "The Zone" and then as "Merge Radio."

But Jeff Catlin, the operations manager for KDBN and other Cumulus Media Dallas-Fort Worth stations, says there is a key difference between "Quality Radio" and the earlier 93.3 formats.

"The two main differences between FM 93.3 and any other station on the frequency in the past (Zone, Merge especially) is that we will be playing familiar songs and artists," Catlin said via e-mail. "All the way from classic hits and classic alternative, through the '80s and '90s up through currents from the likes of U2, Coldplay and Radiohead." The new format even dug into the '70s, with Van Morrison's 1970 hit Domino.

Not exactly a radical change, and I'm sure after a little shaking out the playlist will shrink down to the usual 500 songs or so. As I've noted before, that may sound like a lot, but it really isn't. Go ahead and create a 500 song playlist on your iPod, then listen to only that on shuffle and see how long it takes you to get tired of it. Look at it this way: At 45 minutes of music per hour for a commercial radio station, and 4 minutes per song, it would take two days to go through their entire catalog.

Anyway. I imagine the main difference will likely be the retirement of some 70s-era warhorses, to be replaced by a selection of approved songs and artists from the 90s. In commercial radio, this counts as innovation. Link via Mike McGuff, who notes that this may be coming our way to the Cumulus-owned 103.7, formerly known as Jack FM.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 03, 2009 to Music

Won't replace Jack, there's a Jack in Dallas as well.

Still, I miss Jack when they did not have DJ's. That's what made them really special and my favorite radio station. Every time I hear one of the JACK DJs I really want to just turn the radio off. The Pre-recorded Donna McKinzie and Johnny Bravo sound bites were better because you know what they said would be in some way news worthy (for radio).

Posted by: trowaman on May 3, 2009 1:34 PM

For a moment I was excited that you were reporting on a new Houston station-Wrong. Dallas and even Austin have more variety than Houston. I can not wait until digital radio kicks in on am radio. I have heard within the next 3 to 5 years and when that happens there will be many more choices.

Posted by: cb on May 4, 2009 11:44 AM

So far, I love the new station. Plays different songs than 102.9/103.7. Even heard a new U2 song - Magnificant - that I have not heard on any other radio station in the DFW area!

Posted by: myintx on May 21, 2009 4:31 PM
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