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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Rock’

Can Country Music Make a Comeback on New York Radio?

Artists like Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift (left), and Carrie Underwood have made country music stronger than ever. The Country explosion is part of today’s reality TV. Blake Shelton is a judge on NBC’s The Voice, and the multi-platinum selling Keith Urban just signed on for season 12 of American Idol. Country music is one of the most popular radio formats with more than 2,000 stations playing that music across the “country.” It accounts for approximately 20 percent of all commercial music formats nationwide. Despite its popularity, the genre hasn’t cracked the New York market for years.

Each time an FM station flips format or purchases a New York City dial position, the new opportunity for Country is overlooked.

In our examination of the lack of Country in the nation’s top market, FishbowlNY gets the thoughts of former New York City Country DJs, a veteran radio programmer, and a current program director at a Country station on the outskirts of Manhattan.

First, some background.

New York, which has been in the radio biz for more than 90 years, has had just a smattering of full-time Country stations. WHN made the flip in 1973. Prior to that, only WJRZ in neighboring Hackensack, New Jersey, and Mineola-based WTHE, gave listeners the Nashville twang.

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Friends, Colleagues ‘Nominate’ Veteran Newsman Mitch Lebe for New York’s Broadcasting Hall of Fame

As we examined last week, staffers are finding their way since the break up two years ago from Bloomberg LP.

One of those is Mitch Lebe, now a fill-in news anchor primarily on 77 WABC.

Lebe is a radio lifer, in the business for more than 50 years.

Last year, this reporter began a campaign to get Mitch inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

While waiting for a decision, FishbowlNY reached out to some friends and colleagues that know him best. Needlessly to say, there was a consensus. 

Mitch began his radio career at WINS in 1958 billed as “The Teenage Disc Jockey.”

There were several stations over the years, but his greatness was solidified with stints at WYNY/66 WNBC, WCBS-AM, and WBBR (Bloomberg).

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