wbcn“There’s no better way to reach large numbers of male listeners than through exclusive sports programming” said Dan Mason, the president and CEO of CBS Radio in a statement released this morning.

And with that cheerful tone, the corporate machine is axing 104.1 WBCN: The Rock of Boston, leaving most of New England without a dedicated modern rock and roll radio station.

On August 13, Mix 98.5, one of those “80s, 90s and today” top 40 stations will move to the 104.1 frequency. CBS Radio will launch 98.5 The Sports Hub in the other slot. WBCN will continue to operate as a web-only broadcaster. In Hartford, a very similar radio station with the same frequency, 104.1 “Radio 104” WMRQ was shut down in much the same way by owner Clear Channel several years ago.

According to the company website, CBS will try to change the call letters of 98.5 to WBZ-FM, named after its historic AM news and talk station.

This is a money decision for CBS.

“Advertisers will have an array of opportunities to brand themselves on the website using text, audio, and video, along with the capability to target consumers down to a specific zip code,” the company said about its new sports station.

Morning show personalities Toucher and Rich will run mornings on the new sports station.

Blast learned the news today while editor John Guilfoil was giving a video game themed broadcast on the morning show of the independent 101.7 WFNX, the only remaining rock station in Boston. However, WFNX and WBCN have decidedly different music and decidedly different listeners. While there is much crossover, WFNX is known for its indie rock while WBCN blasts the harder stuff. WBCN gained its fame in the 1960s, when it was at the forefront of the growth of progressive rock.

The move marks the end of an era in Boston and is utterly devastating to Boston’s suffering local rock music scene, which has been on the downturn for almost a decade.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

18 Responses

  1. Jack

    Work at FNX (my name is an alias) behind-the-scenes as an ad salesperson.

    Just got out of a meeting.

    Our format is also being changed!

    As of Friday, July 17 at 12 noon, we’ll become “Latino Superestereo 101-7”, Boston’s first ever Spanish FM station, programming contemporary Latin pop to target young Hispanics under the age of 35.

    Our colleagues at WAAF must be sitting pretty, for their two major competitors will have abandoned the format within weeks of each other.

    I’l be statying to sell spots on “Latino Superestereo”. The FNX airstaff is out, but will get to say goodbye on the air over the enxt 72 hours and will remain until the switch.

    • Joe R

      Their morning show is a bunch of hacks. Nice 4 to 1 rating ratio to T&R, guys.

  2. Addicted to Addiction

    F-ing bogus. Toucher and Rich make my morning, every morning. WBCN was my go-to throughout the day as well. Grew up in CT – also mourned the loss of WMRQ. Must everything that’s awesome go the way of the shitter??

  3. Paradiddle

    No! BCN and FNX were two of my favorite channels to listen to. Now it’s all autotuned, synthesized pop and top 40 left to listen to for my demographic? I have to listen to pop or hip hop or latin music? i’m sorry, i’m all for diverse musical styles, but this seems to be in fact doing the opposite.

  4. Shawn Dube

    This is fucking bull-shit. I loved everything about WBCN. I felt more connected to the DJ’s than with any other station. Thank God Toucher and Rich are keeping their show.

  5. Ken

    All I can say is this is kind of sad, I’m old enough to remember when BCN became the only station on the dial for my generation, truly legendary. However what made BCN legendary has been gone for years because of the corporate BS that is killing it off for good now. This really shows what what they know about what people want to hear, nothing at all. But then I suppose they don’t care what people want to hear because it’s all about advertising revenue $$$$$ As far as sports radio on FM is concerned, I think it’s a waste of radio spectrum. I’m a sports fan, but sports radio currently all over tha AM dial is Moron Radio by Morons for Morons, so I suppose it will be finacialy succesful and bore the rest of us to tears. RIP BCN

  6. Todd Badolato

    What a bunch of f@g’s!!! Sports talk is as stupid as George W. Bush and whatever FNX is turning into is just as homo. That’s fantastic, now crappy WAAF has a monopoly on rock (or at least what they call rock) in Boston.

    P.S. – WAAF has shitty radio personalities.

  7. Julie

    First they took away my KROCK in NYC… Now they’re taking away my BCN.
    I’m calling for a BOYCOTT of all CBS Radio.

  8. Joe R

    The DJs on FNX and AAF sound like every hacky DJ I’ve ever heard on any radio station. This sucks. I’m really starting to get bummed knowing WBCN will never be my drive-home music again.

  9. Airman in Afghanistan

    I just today learned that WBCN was shut down. I am very upset about this. I am currently serving overseas in Afghanistan. I am from Boston. Every time I go home on leave the first thing I do is tune my radio to 104.1. The fact that I can’t do that anymore is disheartening to say the least.

    As for CBS: Thanks for killing that small bit of joy I get after a deployment, and fuck you!

  10. Dindtha

    Excellent summation.While most of us who foollw the team on a regular basis are not surprised to be at 3-2 and favored to win all but one (VCU) of our remaining OOC games, I do fear rebounding or better yet lack of rebounding could soon spell trouble big trouble. Unless, as you say, we employ even if on a part time basis zone coverage techniques. Our comeuppance could come next week when we take on the Bobcats of Quinnipiac. It’ll be our second trip into Connecticut in 48 hours and we’ll be up against a well-rested (8 days off) rebounding machine. The Bobcats happen to own a 11.5 rebounding edge on their opponents this year and have pulled down an average of 11.6 offensive boards/game. In fact, they have yet to be outrebounded. Their opponents included the likes of UConn and George Mason. They start 3 seniors, 1 junior and 1 sophomore. None stand taller than 6’7. Perhaps we had better be prepared to take notes. Oh yeah, the last time we traveled up to the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden (CT), we walked away 6-point losers. Quinnipiac out-rebounded us that day 60-34.

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