The Rock Is Back is the new slogan for WYSP (94.1), which at 5 p.m. Thursday is expected to announce that it will dump its guy-oriented talk format in favor of a mix of rock and talk.
Gone will be the Barsky Show, Scotty & Alex, and Matt & Huggy, plus late-night fare including Loveline and John & Jeff. Paul Barsky himself is expected to remain under contract at the station, as will Vinnie the Crumb, who does work on the CBS station’s Eagles broadcasts. Barsky sidekick Kim Douglas was let go.
Opie & Anthony, the New York-based syndicated morning talk show, will remain, as will Kidd Chris, on afternoons. (Chris’ producer, Brad Maybe, and sidekick Monkeyboy, were let go.)
Opie & Anthony are in Philadelphia for live shows Thursday and Friday, leading up to their concert appearance Saturday at the Tweeter Center.
WYSP, once a dominant force in Philadelphia, has seen a steep ratings decline since morning host Howard Stern left for satellite radio in December 2005. In the July Arbitron ratings, WYSP was ranked ninth among its bread-and-butter audience of men ages 18 to 34. It had toyed with a number of images recently, including Free FM and 94 YSP Talks.
The station seemed committed to a talk format as recently as June, when it let go longtime programmer Gil Edwards. Station sources said Edwards had lobbied for a return to rock but was rebuffed by management.
Apparently what people in the Delaware Valley want is to listen to the same lame rock songs over and over and over and over. Haven’t these geniuses heard of CDs, iPods, etc.? The only thing keeping WYSP afloat at all was the talk. I seriously doubt WYSP will be anywhere but down and out in the next 2 years.
They also decimate Kidd Chris’ show in the process of all this upheaval, letting go a quality producer in Brad Maybe and a quality radio personality in Monkeyboy. So the way to improve the ratings for a show is to let go two vital cogs, essentially ensuring that the show does not run smoothly…how any of this makes sense I’ll never know. The Kidd Show website and forum are both down. Sign up for the email list there to catch any updates about the future of the show.
FRESH 94.1 2 years and counting…