Posted In: West Virginia
Posted this to the comment section of the story, but I guess this is just as good. The recent format change of WRQY in Wheeling (Rocky 96.5) to Classic Rock from its former “Sports Rock” format is getting a ton of people upset about it. Calls to the station and posts to their Facebook page shows that a massive majority of those are hating the change. Not because of the sports part being taken out, but rather the change in the rock they were playing. The format has already been covered by two or three stations, and there was no local option for a modern rock or alternative station unless someone was able to pick up WXDX out of Pittsburgh. Rocky ended this drought with them focusing more on new rock releases (basically being WXDX for Wheeling). But the format change had halted all of that.
Worst thing is, there seems to be no answer from the station about the reason, or answers about anything. They have gone completely silent. Calls to the station were answered by someone who said her pay grade wasn’t good enough for her to know the reason. Ratings are usually a reason, but if that was the case, why not just say that? The silence is deafening, and it’s frustrating a ton of people who loved the station, which was sandwiched between WVKF at 95.7 and WKWK on 97.3. The difficulty in getting the station to come through was an issue, and many wanted them to switch to a stronger frequency. Instead, the music was the problem in their eyes. Not to mention that they switched morning shows to one that not only has had very low ratings in the markets that they are syndicated in, but one of their hosts had been arrested for two counts of domestic battery. It’s like their Facebook page has been completely abandoned. Or they have not been wanting to face any of their former listeners who are outraged.
However, this is because of not enough pressure. There have been letters written to the local Wheeling newspaper that I am not sure if they are being published or not. There seems to be no one that is really looking at the outrage. And this might be important to know why certain formats are not in the market. No Alt Rock (after there was an option that has since been taken away), and no Hip Hop format, either. I have had a suspicion that there could be people that are attempting to keep these formats off the area’s airwaves for a while now, and if this is a case of this, then things need to be said so others can counter that attempt. No one can fight back if they don’t know a fight is in progress. This is because this type of music is more popular with the younger demographic, something that the area sees an exodus of year after year. This is not to say that older people would not enjoy that music, but there has been suspicions that a certain type of older demographic has such a stranglehold on the area in all aspects (politics, economics, and possibly what we see and hear on our airwaves in the area now).
Hopefully this signal boosts the effort to get an answer. There’s too much silence (they USED to be extremely vocal about the Pittsburgh Penguins on there, but now they aren’t even talking about that on Facebook, either). Someone needs to say something.
The chances of getting a format change reversed are somewhere between slim and none. I doubt a “massive majority” cares. Anyone can spout off on social media. In a week most will have forgottenYou are more optimistic it would change than I am.
Rocky is being used as the first station for a new Westwood One music format, “Classic Rock X.” So they won’t be flipping anytime soon.They are owned by Forever Media (not sure where they stand on being owned by Westwood One, as they listed nothing about it on their site). But on their radio app (which seems to just stop playing randomly if you lock your phone for an extended period of time), all of their “Rocky” stations are indeed “classic rock”. I was fearful that this was a sign of things to come.The problem is that I do believe there is a spot for them or iHeart to bring another station like that or WXDX to the area. Not sure what is stopping them, as it’s a demanded format, assuming that those on Rocky won’t be listening (one of the higher ups is “Johnny O”, a pretty well known radio personality in the state, and not in the best of ways). I would write an email to iHeart if I knew the contact info, but I don’t know how well that will work. At least it would be better than no one, right?Doubt that no one cares, though. People spouting off on social media is usually the most accessible way to get a message out these days with how instantaneous it is. I think people have called the station and wrote e-mails, though. So there has been more than just some people on social media.
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