Another Radio Station Lost to a Conglomerate

I saw in the news that one of the stations I used to listen to when I was younger, WCCC, is no more.  WCCC had been one of the main rock stations in Connecticut for decades and when other stations, such as 104.1 (only temporarily) and 105.9 changed formats, WCCC continued.

They played an “active rock” format when I was living in Connecticut, which for them was a combination of classic rock, alternative, and metal. Given that this was also during the time that “active rock” was often dominated by trash like Limp Bizkit, WCCC was never my favorite station but could be relied on to play some decent music. As a locally owned station, they were one of the few to resist being taken over by a major conglomerate and actually had local DJs in an era when many stations were going to a completely syndicated lineup or abandoning any kind of DJ altogether.

The news reports that WCCC had been losing listeners in recent years – probably as radio declined as a music medium. They had already switched to a more classic rock oriented format to try to attract more older viewers, but apparently this was not enough to prevent a sale.

The new WCCC has been switched to a corporate contemporary Christian station. This is bad for a number of reasons. First, the station now just broadcasts a feed from some off-site studio. There won’t really be any local programming or local personalities on the station. Thus, there won’t be anything unique about the new station.

Second, there’s already a religious station in the area. It seems unlikely that there’s room for multiple religious FM stations but only a couple rock stations and maybe one or two for jazz, classical, folk, etc.

Third, the contemporary Christian format is terrible. Contemporary Christian music is typically seen as a bland facsimile of modern rock where anything remotely interesting, artistic, or even just vaguely controversial has been removed. This doesn’t mean that there is no good religious music; just look at composers such as Bach and Palestrina. Contemporary Christian music, however is a particular style that is widely disliked. Even devout performers tend to run away from the contemporary Christian label. My own view on the genre I think is similar to that of an old South Park episode where the characters form a Christian rock band. The music is so bland that it seems almost like a cynical ploy to squeeze money out of a naive audience that cares more about promoting certain values than on supporting quality music. Thus, music given the “Christian” label tends not to be good enough to have a chance at being popular with the general listening audience. Good music, even with religious themes or religious performers, shouldn’t need to be categorized as “Christian” music.

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