•Classic rock stations reborn. In New York, CBS Radio resurrected WNEW, a legendary FM rock station from 1967 to 1999, on its 102.7 channel, where modern bands such as Vampire Weekend mix with archival interviews (John Lennon, David Bowie). In L.A., the network added "ROQ of the '80s," which focuses on new wave bands (Devo, Blondie) as a throwback alternative to its KROQ 106.7 FM station.
Rock music is just a portion of the playlist on Clear Channel's experimental station eRockster, which began broadcasting online (at erockster.com) in April and as an HD channel in three cities (L.A., Philadelphia and Washington). "You'll hear a song from the Beatles, followed by Hot Chip, and that's followed by Charles Mingus," says Eric Szmanda, producer and one of the station's hosts. "All the songs from the soundtrack of our lives."
Szmanda, who plays Greg Sanders on CBS' CSI, came up with the online station's concept along with Evan Harrison, head of Clear Channel's online music and radio unit. They met more than a decade ago at record label BMG.
"Eric had a really fresh idea about how (to) approach a radio station that really doesn't stick to a format but is rather focused on good music," Harrison says. Szmanda says eRockster is basically "the first nationally branded HD station, as far as I know. … I find it exciting to be part of this new technology."