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Philadelphia Rock Station Goes Off the Air, Few Care

94WYSP Logo
One of Philadelphia's major FM stations for the past 30 years went off the air on Sep. 2

As Philadelphia’s 94 WYSP has gone by the wayside to make room on the FM dial for sports talk station WIP, there seemed to be little reaction from the listening population as the city has lost its second prominent rock station since 2004.

Looking through tweets about the station changing formats, very few people seem to be overly upset about the shift. Part of this trend suggests that radio stations in Philadelphia may not be as viable as they once were. However, there is also the possibility that the people who loved hearing the same 8 songs (or what the station liked to call “the rock you grew up with”) on a daily basis, as well as the insights of scholar Danny Bonaduce, finally realized that it was not worth complaining over.  Still, there are multiple “Save 94 WYSP” Facebook groups, yet none have more than 350 members.  It is clear that some people are upset, but  not enough to change the minds at CBS Radio.

This minimal response is even more interesting given the large-scale outcry against Clear Channel’s decision to replace alternative rock station Y 100 (WPLY), more than seven years ago.  When the station unexpectedly became the home of one of the city’s hip-hop stations that had already occupied an FM frequency, devoted listeners to the alternative rock station took to the internet to voice outrage with the decision and formed an effort to put the station back on the air. That effort eventually turned into an online station, which was then added as a part of WXPN’s lineup.

Despite these stark differences, no definitive answer remains as to why the two responses were so different. What is even more peculiar is that the two stations undoubtedly shared listeners prior to their demise. It is clear that there is a far lesser interest in radio in the city. Let’s hope those WYSP fanatics kept their Aerosmith cassettes in good condition for their own sake because their station is not coming back.