I wish the phrase FREE FM didn’t immediately make me think of a plea, like “Free Martha” or “Free Nelson Mandela,” rather than its intended meaning, whatever that may be…


…Down Sunset to See the Reunited Raspberries at the House of Blues
OVERNIGHT SENSATION: I should be home in bed, surrounded by cats and semi-used-but-still-usable tissues, answering IMs on my laptop while Judge Alex, Judge Judy, Judge Hackett, Judge Mathis, Judge Joe Brown and Divorce Court flicker in the background. But not being in the office on a Tuesday is excusable only in the case of death (one’s own), so here I am, sharing my hacking cough and sunny disposition with my coworkers. I can’t hear anything in my left ear, but I’m not sure if that’s a function of an ear infection (it certainly hurts enough) or two straight nights of ROCK. I challenge anybody else to say they went to see Coheed & Cambria AND The Raspberries on consecutive evenings (although I’m sure Halloran would’ve been up for both, had I been able to convince him to leave San Diego). The two bands have more in common than one would think: great pop songs, “signature” hair on the lead singers, and a prodigious display of double-neck guitar wizardry. And at both, friends were raving about the Morningwood/Gang of Four shows that had been in town the night before. Music is fun! Except when it isn’t, like today… So what can we make of Infinity’s launch of the FREE FM format? Like everybody, I read the press release, which left me as confused as, well, most of my friends employed by the company! I interpreted the news that Live105 will be replacing Howard Stern with a local, music-driven, “freewheeling” (Sean Demery’s word) show, Morning Music Co-Op, as a vote of confidence for Sean and Aaron Axelsen, who’ve made Live105 one of the most compelling and innovative stations in the format. WXTM’s morning host Rover, whom PD Kim Monroe hired three years ago when he was “on the beach” in Seattle, and nurtured into a major talent, is being sent up to the “big leagues” in Chicago, where he will be the morning show host on seven Infinity stations (including WAQZ, WMFS and WZNE). That’s a testimony to Kim’s talent developing talent, although I’m sure it will be bittersweet not to have Rover “in house.” The word from WHFS is that the station’s hybrid mix of talk and music is the model for WXRK and WYSP, with our friends in Baltimore vowing to keep music on the air, and an HFStival is still on the calendar for next spring. (Can you imagine the HFStival for an all-talk station? Sports Junkies headlining the Main Stage with a special set from Ed Norris on the side stage! Buy tickets now!)… I wish the phrase FREE FM didn’t immediately make me think of a plea, like “Free Martha” or Free Nelson Mandela,” rather than its intended meaning, whatever that may be… While we’re waiting for the shit to hit the fan, the other shoe to drop, or Godot, we were excited to learn that X-96 is now the #2 station in Salt Lake City! The #1 station in the market is the Mormon news/talk station, which makes us wonder if, as the #1 non-Mormon station, that would make X-96 #1 non-ethnic or ethnic? Regardless, they’re happy… We are looking forward to hearing the new PoMo station in Las Vegas, Area 108, when we’re there this weekend for the Vegoose Festival (can’t possibly pass up any chance to see Spoon and Arcade Fire). The owners of KEDJ Phoenix launched the station this past Friday, after research proved there was a “hole” in the market for a true PoMo station (which isn’t a slight against KXTE, btw). Angela Perelli will be “Acting PD” at Area 108 while a search is conducted for a permanent PD. Dave Beasing is the station’s consultant. More info to follow… Our friend Jake Weber has announced his resignation from KCXX to return to the Midwest to be closer to family. We helped Jake mark the end of his tenure with an on-air call from 30 Seconds to MarsJared Leto, since “Attack” has developed into a hit for the station, so Jared was eager to acknowledge Jake’s support. We adore Jake and wish him well. We’re hearing that many “big name” programmers are interested in the pending vacancy at KCXX. No, I’m not among them… This week Jaime Cooley is marking her 10-year anniversary at KNRK! Congratulations to her!… One of our best-est friends, Lisa Cristiano, has emerged from her music biz sabbatical to join Danny Buch at RED, quickly making her mark, as Matisyahu’s “King Without a Crown” scored huge PoMo adds this week at KROQ, Live105, WWCD, KFMA, KMBY and CD101. By next week, the novelty of having Lisa back in their lives will wear off and radio will treat her as crappily as they treat the rest of us. Welcome back, Lisa! I’m a huge, huge, huge Matisyahu fan, so it’s really cool that radio is discovering this unique and brilliant talent…. Speaking of brilliant, there is no better single out right now than Living Things’ “Bom Bom Bom” on Jive. It’s got vibe and “swagger” for days, plus a T. Rex-y riff that makes this a “must” for all stations “red” and “blue.” Lorraine Caruso had a stellar week at radio, landing WGVX, WBRU, WEDG, WARQ, WHTG, KRZQ, WKZQ, KQRX, WSFM and more to her growing list of believers. By the way, when this song is a massive hit, credit is due WHFS’ Tim Virgin for being the first to “hear” this song’s potential… Congratulations to Ron, John, Risa and Stu on their banner week on Coheed & Cambria’s “The Suffering,” including Live105, 91X, WRZX, WEDG, WSFM, KFTE and WRZK. Ron has footage of the audience from the recent San Francisco and L.A. Coheed shows that proved, unequivocally, that there’s enormous overlap with the band’s fans and PoMo’s target demo, rather than a younger, emo-loving crowd that many programmers fear would alienate their beer-swigging listeners. Good thing Ron didn’t film the crowd at the San Diego show because the presence of me, Halloran and Sherri skewed the median age to those who listen to the “Music of Your Life” Oldies format. Marco Collins, however, remains younger than springtime… Can I go home now?