Nine’s lives run out

Nine FM, we hardly knew ye.

After a four-year run, the suburban simulcast of WDEK-FM, WKIE-FM, and WRZA-FM will dump its Adult Hits format on Monday and switch to a simulcast of WCPT-AM (820). The move will increase the reach of the Progressive Talk outlet, which has languished on the AM dial due to its signal and the frequency’s inability to broadcast at night (which has been a problem of previous occupants WAIT and WSCR.)

In an rather odd move, the triplecast is contuning with Dance Factory, a brokered program that runs evenings from 9 p.m. (8 p.m. Saturdays) until 5 a.m., assumingly until its contract runs out.

When the AM side signs off at sunset, the FM side continues to air the format until 9 p.m. when Dance Factory takes over.

For my thoughts on Nine FM, here’s a Think Tank I wrote about the station on September 1, 2007. Yours truly’s stance hasn’t changed at all regarding this mess of the station, though I was surprised the plug wasn’t pulled sooner. The format was so 2005, it became passe on January 1, 2006, if not sooner.

The next thing you knew, the staff – both on-air and off – exited: Sky Daniels, Johnny Mars, Matt DuBiel, Joey Fortman, and a few others. When this station started becoming a turd, they were wise and fled for the exits.

Then came the decisions that made the station jump the shark: The high-school football games, the paid programs (Sunday morning trucking shows? On a Adult Hits music station?), voicetracking, and cutting off your format to air the younger-skewing Dance Factory every night. With all of these changes, it was the audience – what little it had – that also fled for the exits.

What began as “Give corporate radio the finger” slowly became what it was supposed to be against. The clowns running the dump were nothing but backstabbing sellouts who couldn’t even run a Dairy Queen in Bourbonnais let alone a radio station. You guys can come up with all the dumb ass slogans you want (We play anything, It’s mostly upbeat music, etc.), but this is a fact: catchy phrases doesn’t make a successful radio station. No wonder the station never broke an one share in the rating books.

Nine-FM was waiting for the axe to swing for the last three years and it finally came. Nine-FM won’t be missed. Good riddance.

How this for a catchy slogan? This weekend, they should change their slogan to “Thanks for Nothing”. That’s how the very few listeners left feel about Nine FM. On Monday, it will be “We Play Nothing.” Because Nine-FM was nothing.