About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Jack Off
Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I’ve done a lot of great things with this blog, but my greatest accomplishment may have happened in the past two weeks. For loyal readers who caught the June edition of my Happy Face / Frowny Face column, originally posted on June 29th, you saw my joyful mention of the return of K-Rock. In that mention I refereed to their previous format of Free FM as “quite possibly the second worst idea in the history of radio,” adding “only Jack FM was, and still is, dumber.” Later in the post I concluded “if only we could get Jack FM to switch back to being CBS FM, give Cousin Brucie back his job, and bring back the Doo Wop Shop, then we’d really be in business!” Well, one week later, on Friday, July 6th, that dream became a reality. So I sit here today, patting myself on the back for a job well done. Oh sure, awful ratings and extreme disinterest played a big part in the death of Jack FM, but I’d like to think my blog post had a little something, or even a lot something, to do with it, too. That’s right everyone, I just did the world a huge favor, I killed Jack FM!

OK, so maybe I didn’t kill it all on my own, but when I read that Jack FM was such a tremendous failure that WCBS had decided to go back to their oldies format I was overjoyed. As someone who’s on radio twice a week nothing could have made me happier than to hear the robo-DJ format had failed in the biggest market in America (New York). Jack FM was the iPod of radio stations with no on-air personalities and no defined playlist. You could hear 3 Doors Down followed by Carol King followed by R. Kelly. It was the station nobody, especially radio personalities looking for employment, wanted.

To put how awful the idea of Jack FM was in perspective let me tell you about this thing we have at WVOF called The Prophet System. At WVOF we have shows run by community members, folks like myself and DJ Halo, as well as student run programs, since the station is a part of Fairfield University. Last year they installed something called The Prophet System for when people miss their shows, or when a time slot isn’t filled. Turning on The Prophet System gives listeners a steady stream of music that I joke is “a mix of smooth jazz, death metal, and college rock,” with assorted station promos and PSAs mixed in for good measure. The one thing everyone at the station agrees on is that it’s always better to have a human on air than The Prophet System. So in our perfect world we’d never have a robo-DJ, yet the idiots at WCBS actually thought it would work as a format. I really wish I could have been there when the guy who came up with that idea received his pink slip.

I have a second, much more personal, reason I was looking forward to Jack FM failing. Back in my younger days when I was just a child living at home I grew up on the oldies on CBS FM. Although I can’t remember a ton of things from my youth (which is a fact that drives my mother insane at times) one aspect of it I can remember distinctly is listening to old Top 40 countdowns, followed by Don K. Reed’s Doo Wop Shop, during weekend family dinners at home. We’d eat while listening to classic oldies and oftentimes follow it up with my father breaking out some classic records from his own collection. Thinking back on it, those dinners probably helped shape the deep appreciation for, and extremely varied taste in, music that I have today. The switching of formats to Jack FM was, on a personal level, WCBS killing some of the fondest memories of my youth.

Thirteen months was all it took for Jack FM to tank so badly WCBS switched their format back to the oldies station we all knew and loved, and with both CBS FM and K-Rock back my extended car rides and traffic jams are going to be a lot easier to survive. So with all the power I clearly wield here with this blog, a power that I plan on only using for good (of course!), my only question now is what stupid idea do I look to take down next? Quick, someone get me my cape! Wait a minute, someone make me a cape! Damnit, I need a cape!

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