If you tuned in this week to Clear Channel Radio’s 106.7 “The Beat” hoping to hear dance hits from Madonna or Katy Perry, you may have been taken aback by screaming guitars and wailing vocals of late 70s and 80s rockers AC/DC and Billy Squier. Indeed, “The Beat” is now Classic Rocker “The D”.
The radio station has been nothing if not a chameleon in recent years after auspicious beginnings. Known best for its “W-4” moniker, WWWW was a high-ratings rocker in the 70s and 80s including with a jock by the name of Howard Stern. The station successfully kicked out country for nearly two decades after that before becoming “Alice” in 1999 (rock); “The Drive” in 2002 (rock); “The Fox” in 2006 (country) and Rythmic Adult Contemporary “The Beat” in 2009.
So, what’s next for “The D”? According to radio industry news website “All Access” this week, the station is looking to fill the on-air studio with “well-known Detroit personalities.” Station senior management is indicating that, “some will be based here but all will have a connection with the Motor City.” With Clear Channel the inaugurator of voice tracking one has to wonder how many personalities will actually be live and local.
And despite the radio giant’s ongoing financial trials and tribulations, wouldn’t it be wonderful to once again hear one-time Detroit rock radio royalty return to their rightful roosts behind the mics – Lynne Woodison, Arthur Penhallow, Tom Ryan and Tom Force among them? And, fueled by a recipe for success mixing innovative promotion and great talent, who wouldn’t venture to the nether regions of the radio dial to partake of such delicious auditory fare? Here’s hoping Clear Channel thinks clearly on this one and does the right thing.