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Rumors of WHFS’ ultimate demise were greatly exaggerated. On Friday, WHFS debuted on Live 105.7, where it will air Monday-Friday at 7 p.m.-5 a.m. and all weekend. Think of it as a radio timeshare.
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YOURS IS NO DISGRACE: I will never forget where I was when I heard the news about WHFS flipping to Spanish. Shanna Fischer and I were having breakfast at the Four Seasons, discussing our mutual affection for Alan Galbraith, as is our wont. My phone rang (how rude of me to not have it on vibrate) and, noticing it was from Jeremy at Beggars, I answered, as is also my wont. When he told me the news, my face went even paler (if that’s possible), and I yelled “no fucking way” probably a bit too loud for my environment (you can’t take me anywhere). I immediately called Pat Ferrise on his cell (“it’s true, Glaubie” was his response). Once I assured Shanna that nobody in my immediate family had died (was I overreacting?), she called her office at Wind-up for further information and we cobbled together a timeline of events. I’ve been involved with WHFS in some capacity since 1984, have attended nearly every HFStival, and have witnessed time and again the station’s meaningful role in an artist’s career, so this was a shock. By lunchtime, Ted Volk and I had decided that the Live 105.7 signal in Baltimore, also Infinity-owned, would be a perfect home for WHFS, since WHFS regularly beat Live 105.7 in the ratings. So I guess we were half-right. Rumors of WHFS’ ultimate demise were greatly exaggerated. On Friday, WHFS debuted on Live 105.7, where it will air Monday-Friday at 7 p.m.-5 a.m. and all weekend. Think of it as a radio timeshare. Lisa Worden and Libby will be moving to the Infinity offices in Baltimore. Pat is working on www.whfs.com, which is streaming WHFS music 24/7 on AOL. Perhaps WHFS will move into more dayparts in the days and weeks ahead, and I wouldn’t rule out the return of the HFStival!

So far this week, my state of mind is only slightly better than how Paul Giamatti must’ve been feeling at 5:35 this morning. For some reason, the Killers’ lyric “I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier” keeps repeating in my brain (I need sleep) as I search my Buddy List for someone who can talk to me without risk of being fired. As always happens towards the end of January, PoMo stations respond to their newly learned Fall ratings by tightening up or adding more ROCK—awesome for our friends at Hollywood, Columbia, Jive, Epic, Universal, Virgin, etc., but definitely challenging for those at Merge, Matador, Touch & Go and others. Somehow the format manages to persevere, despite the obvious disconnect between what ratings would suggest and listener feedback. If Phil Manning can add Arcade Fire this week at KNDD, I can remain dedicated to the ideal that “redefining the mainstream,” even if it’s one add at a time, is a worthy pursuit. It’s the radio promotion equivalent of tilting at windmills, pushing a boulder up a hill, or, perhaps, shooting oneself in the foot. I’m eternally grateful that I have Kris Metzdorf by my side, equally willing to raise the roof, fight the good fight, pick up the pieces, or, most importantly, keep my shot foot out of my mouth…

Rob Goldklang IM’d me that he’s been working Muse’s “Hysteria” for 27 weeks and got seven adds today! Jeremy Goldstein pulled in four Interpol adds on “Evil,” KPNT and WAVF among them, while research for “Slow Hand” is just NOW kicking in. Our friends at Sanctuary have one of the most reactive songs at the format with Tegan & Sara’s “Walking with a Ghost”—it’s getting Evanescence-like immediate phones, but most programmers can’t wrap their heads around the notion of their audience responding to female vocals on the air. I can only hope (somewhat half-heartedly) that programmers won’t overthink the Billy Idol single Sanctuary is leading with this week. “Scream” is unmistakably Billy Idol from the first note. This is a perfect song for your 25-34 demo, you know, the beer-buying segment of your audience that you care about so deeply…

I have a few minutes before I need to leave to meet Mark Czarra for dinner, so I will use it to my “bandwagonesque” (thank you Teenage Fanclub) advantage: Howie and Christine are launching The Bravery’s “An Honest Mistake” at PoMo this week. The song is an unmitigated SMASH (ask Live105 and WFNX), the band is completely genius and the Island gang is unparalleled at breaking this kind of artist. 99X, KROQ, Live105, KNRK and WFNX were among the early supporters, and I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Paul Driscoll’s very early enthusiasm for the Bravery.  Speaking of KROQ (as we now do in a secret language down a dark alley), we were excited to see that they added Kings of Leon’s “The Bucket” this week. As loathe as I am to admit any affection for southern rock, this song grabbed me the first (second and third) time Garett Michaels blared it in my Cadillac… The unstoppable Columbia team are Most Added with Long-View’s “When You Sleep,” as this UK band finds a home at KRBZ, KPNT, KFMA, KQXR, WDYL, WFNX, WEQX, WPBZ, KJEE and more. This song is a keeper… The progress of the Chemical Brothers’ single “Galvanize” will NOT be measured in the “most added” or “greatest gainer” columns, but rather in immediate phones and passionate believers (KZON, KRZQ, KJEE). Those programmers who question whether or not Q-Tip’s vocals “fit” on their PoMo station should check out the iPods of their audience… If KKND, WNFZ and WPLA can add Mars Volta “early” (for them, certainly), you have NO EXCUSE. Not even  you, Seth

SONG TO HEAR: Arcade Fire’s “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)”… PEOPLE TO WATCH: John Lynch, Mike Glickenhaus, Jenni Sperandeo (newly employed at Shout Factory!), Mark Czarra, Lynn Barstow (we heart), Erika Schultz, Jacqueline Saturn and Max Tolkoff.

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