Jack-FM and the iPod-ification of Radio

Love it or hate it, feel-good Star 100.7 FM is almost certainly the most popular FM radio station south of Orange County, California. This is a mega-market, with something like 2-million people of radio-listening age, many of whom spend significant chunks of their day trapped in cars during long commutes on clogged SoCal freeways. Star, to its credit, has had a good chunk of this audience nailed, with a high-personality approach to things, keynoted by the “Jeff & Jerr Radio Show” weekday mornings, which dominates that market with its easy-going approach to all things SoCal (a morning zoo it ain’t).
But as of yesterday Star 100.7 no longer exists. As strange as it might seem, despite being the dominant station in this radio mega-market, the station’s management just flipped the switch on a format change to what is called Jack-FM. It is, as a Deep Radio Voice says in incessant and irritatingly arch taped promos, a station that “Plays what we want”. They promise less chat and more music, with a mix of 1980s, 1990s, and current music.
I’m familiar with the format, having run into it in Vancouver almost a year ago, but as you might imagine, many San Diego listeners are surprised and pissed. Who’s Jack, they want to know. While that might not matter in most places, in SoCal it does as Star was an unusual radio station that encouraged an only-in-SoCal personal relationship to the station, to the point that callers and hosts tossed cheery “Hi Star!” and “Bye Star!” greetings at each other on-air. While that wouldn’t work in markets less ironic than discomfitingly unironic southern California, here it worked like magic, with people literally treating the station like a member of an extended family.
And it was a sound strategy. Because musical formats are mutable and divisible — I can play the same songs as you at the same time as you do, so there is little competitive edge, no matter how creative your musical program director. But radio personalities are, in economic terms, rivalrous: The presence of Personality X on my station means that, in the absence of AM-style syndication, they can’t be on yours at the same time. So, if you get people hooked on personalities it means that while those on-air folks gain power, your station gains listeners with an emotional attachment.
So, why would a dominant station with dominant personalities change formats? Blame the iPod. Many are calling the Jack-FM format the iPod-ification of radio, with more than a dozen stations in Canada and the U.S. having gone this way in recent years. They have embraced a studiedly eclectic mix of music that verges on being hostless, like listening to an uber-iPod on permanent shuffle.
Call it a response to people listening to iPods and the like (and, to a lesser degree, podcasting) rather than listening to radio. Also call it a response to satellite radio. But will it work? I’m not so sure. Some people only want music from their radio, and those people will be thrilled, but they are also fickle. They are demonstrably looking for music, and they will flip from station to station hunting for a “better” song — you aren’t going to keep them, whether you’re Jack, Jules, or Jim-FM.
But short of dicing the radio market into infinitesimally small demographic slices no wider than individuals, radio will alway frustrate compared to personally programmed music stored on a portable player. It just ain’t the same thing, and the Jack format, while admittedly better than the over-narrow playlist that makes up most of traditional radio, is still machine music with low switching costs.
Radio guy Chris Wilcox gets it right over on SD Radio:

“You know what I find funny about all these stations across the country that are switching formats to become stations named Jack and Dave and Fred, is that they all seem to assume that the way to win over listeners that they’re afraid of losing to other mediums like the I-Pod is to be an I-Pod themselves. I heard a sweeper yesterday on ‘Jack 100.7′ say “If we weren’t a radio station…we’d probably be an I-Pod”.
Well how ’bout them apples…so what? These stations are missing the point. First of all, on an I-Pod you have songs that YOU specifically loaded in. As a listener, why should it excite me if a radio station’s new slogan is “Now, we play what we want”? Great, good luck with that. If I wanted to hear “Hey Mickey” by Toni Basil in the same half hour as “Start Me Up” by the Stones (which I can’t in my wildest dreams imagine that I ever would…yet I did yesterday on Jack) I’d have that in my I-Pod and already be listening to it.
These radio stations, and radio stations in general, need to understand that you can’t ‘out I-Pod’ an I-Pod. If someone’s not listening to the radio because they’re listening to their I-Pod, you’ve already lost that battle. The real issue is that as a radio station, you’ve got to provide some sort of content that people CAN’T already get from their I-Pod…like compelling content of some sort from their airstaff or even some sort of compelling content musically…but not just putting the last 30 years of music in the system, hitting ‘random’ and then shutting the mic off…anybody can do that and if they’re so inclined, already ARE doing that on their own…but with the songs THEY want to hear.
This, by the way, isn’t specifically a knock on [Star 100.7], it’s a knock on many stations that seem to think this Jack thing, and others like it, is awesome. While I’ve never been a huge fan of [Star], I’ve always respected what I saw from a distance as a great amount of freedom and support their airstaff seemed to be given in order to entertain. Whether I’m a fan of the station or not, I hate to see that go away…not only at [Star], but all over the dial. Until some station figures out that the true road to success is to have Duncan and Mel on 24 hours a day…I guess we’ll all just keep searching for the right formula.”

Related posts:

  1. Radio, Radio — Declining Listenership
  2. “Blood on the Streets”: Jack Grubman and the Telecom Meltdown
  3. NPR: Doomed by Success?
  4. iPod = Walkman, sayeth Rollins
  5. iPod Shows Apple is Intent on Repeating Past Mistakes

Comments

  1. HM says:

    Right on. Up here in Orange County the Jack format took over the classic rock station, 103. As dull as it was to hear all the old the Eagles and Stones tunes for the nth time, everytime I’ve surfed over to Jack-FM, the tunes have sucked. Maybe that’s why music directors kept them off the air…. I’ll stick with KCRW.

  2. Carey says:

    I think your right; there is a very good point in the idea of providing something that an IPod can’t, and I would argue that selling music like Napster with a “subscription model” will not work for a similar reason.
    We should all be aware that people are already ready to pay for radio, just look at Sirius. For whatever it is worth to have Howard Stern live in your car, at least it is something I could not get listening to my IPod. Admittedly conventional radio is free today, and so is downloading to music to your IPod to a “certain degree”. But, most people are eventually going to be will to pay for this service in one form or another, and if I am paying, at least give me something that has some redeeming value. Either give me only music and let me keep it, or give me Howard baby!

  3. bill says:

    The thing is… I have 4287 songs on my Ipod and I’m tired of hearing them. It’s not enough. What satellite radio provides over their 65+ music channels is an outlet for the great music that’s being made now and was made in the past.
    A combination satellite radio/ipod type device is the holy grail for whoever gets their first.

  4. Mark says:

    Same thing happened in Philadelphia last month. Mix 95.7 became BEN 95.7. I assumed it was homage to Benjamin Franklin? Who’s this JACK in SoCal?
    And, this was just a week after Y100.3 (the area’s only “modern rock” station went R&B on us). XM here I come!

  5. Buddy says:

    I’m one of the crushed former STAR listeners. My wife and I, as well as tens of thousands like us, were just crushed at the sudden “pulling of the plug” on a station we thought of as “our” station. Like you say, STAR really was part of our extended family. The STAR “culture” that GM/PD Tracy Johnson developed in his listeners is so valuable, that this sudden switching to JACK is like coming home and finding all the locks changed, and some Scary Jack living in your house. A local newspaper interview with Tracy has him quoting that feedback to the station is 3 to 2 AGAINST the new format (and that’s probably conservative in my view). Why throw away 60% + of your listeners? Undoubtedly, STAR has been killed, and this draconion mistake will cost Tracy his job in the end…

  6. Jim Kerr says:

    I think using an iPod metaphor in any radio imaging is a big mistake. Chris Wilcox is right: You’re not going to out iPod the iPod. But just because one Jack station make an imaging mistake doesn’t make the format itself unsound or any less of a joy for those who are tired of traditional tightly-formatted radio stations.
    Jack really isn’t a response to the iPod. As Chris said, you can’t out-iPod an iPod. It’s not really a response to satellite radio either. One station or one cluster can never compete with the breadth of 100+ music channels. Jack was the result of a bright couple of guys realizing that combining two fundamental desires of the audience (lots of variety and lots of hits) into one station would be pretty compelling radio. For the most part, the results have pretty much confirmed their instincts.
    Generally the people that will complain about Jack are the ones that have already tuned out radio. Frankly, I don’t know if any sustainable format would satisfy them. Thankfully, over 9 out of 10 people still listen to the radio every week, so if radio can continue to do unexpected things that the people like (like a new format like Jack), those people will stick around.
    As to San Diego, specifically, I am at a complete loss as to why the blew up Star. I thought for sure that a station with pitiable ratings like KBZT or XTRA would be the one going Jack.

  7. Mike, San Diego says:

    Majority of these “flipped stations” belong to Clear Chanel Communications which owns more than 2,500 radio an TV stations in US and Canada. Personally I think it is a wrong way to go.

  8. cf says:

    I have been a loyal star listener since jeff and jer came aboard. I, too was shocked to find jack on my radio. I have already stopped listening. I don’t want to listen to music in the morning. I want to listen to jeff and jer. If they come back, as the website says, then I’ll go back. But, what’s with the Jack Morning Show?? I don’t think so.

  9. Dustin says:

    I agree with the above gentlemen. Star worked hard to create a family, to connect with it’s listeners. They attempted to be more than an amorphous voice broadcasting over the airwaves in some obscure room with microphones – they were San Diegan’s through and through. Tracy has come up with some great ideas over the years (or at least he’s received credit for great ideas), but building this transition up as being some sort of ingenious activity (like the fugitive or Jingle Ball) was probably the worst move possible. By being secretive with both his DJ’s and his extended Star family and by making such an abrupt change under the guise of originality and then following it up with little to no explanation on their website, Johnson has bet “all in” with only a pair of three’s in his hand. If this where a game of chess, then Johnson’s sudden and abrupt format change cost him his queen and 3/5ths of his ponds. Hopefully for Johnson, San Diegans won’t say “hit the road Jack.”

  10. Jim Letourneau says:

    I hear your pain in the Jack*ss – Calgary was assmilated early into the Jack fold. It’s kinda scary (but not unexpected). Maybe they’ll program some Beach Boys into the mix for you guys.
    A good reminder to check out some listener supported radio – http://www.ckua.org/

  11. Elsie says:

    I for one love Vancouver’s Jack.fm format – partly for the eclectic playlist. However Vancouver has managed to get the Larry & Willy show on their team, and this makes it the best station I’ve ever listened to. Personalities will always be a huge part of the listening experience for me. Sorry about the Star losers in San Diego who have alienated a huge part of their listening audience – but it’s working for me here.

  12. Dave says:

    I am another crushed listener of the late San Diego’s STAR 100.7 radio station. I have been an avid listener to the Morning Jeff & Jerr Show Gram ever since I moved here from the San Francisco Bay Area in April 1997. The Jeff & Jerr team are “salt of the earth” people who have fully utilized their talents to bring good karma into our community. They have always been there for US! Just think about it…. Becky’s House, The Human Flag, the breaking & entering Christmas thing they do every year with Little Tommy to name a few. Let’s be honest here. You ain’t gonna find that kind of public service from Jack!!
    Although Jeff & Jerr, Randy, Laura and Tommy don’t really know me, I have been their silent listener for a long time. For that reason, I will always consider them to be my extended family. I have never had the pleasure of listening to such heartfelt radio programming prior to Jeff & Jerr’s Showgram. I am not very optimistic that I will ever hear it again as long as “marketing geniuses” in radio programming decide that we really want to listen to Jack and the personal touch he brings into our lives.

  13. Doug says:

    I am bummed about the change. I recently moved out of state and missed the show so much I signed up and pay a monthly fee to be able to listen to the station via the web. I download the Jeff and Jerr showgram in MP3 format each week and listen to the show on the way to work. I am surprised and a hurt that Tracy would ruin such a great station. I am sorry to see that he has sold out and is willing to sacrifice all of us loyal listeners for the almighty buck. I hope that this change ends his career and leads to a rebirth of STAR. If I wanted to listen to my IPOD in the car, I would…I listened to STAR for the DJ’s and their wonderful personalities.

  14. lisa says:

    Bring back my morning buddies, does anyone know where they are?

  15. Don says:

    My family and I are disappointed and outraged at the disgusting act that Tracy Johnson has commited, and especially the way he commited it. We can’t wait for our morning friends Jeff and Jer, Laura, Randy and Little Tommy to be back next Monday (IF that’s true) And hopefully they will take 100′s of calls from us, their loyal listeners. Let’s not be silent! Let our voices be heard and let’s make a difference! STAR was an intricate part of San Diego. JACK is NOT San Diego at all! Telling your listeners “yeah, we’re gonna play some more commercials now, we work to make money you know, so deal with it” just doesn’t fly here. No Jack, we will not deal with it.

  16. Vicki says:

    I need to wake up in the morning and I can’t to the current music on “Jack fm” at 4:00 am! Please make it better!

  17. Sandy says:

    I’ve never been an avid/frequent listener of Jeff and Jer, or Greg and Jen on Star 100.7 in the afternoons, but I must admit I really miss their format. I am one of those typical “dial switchers” that Jack supposedly caters to, and I must say their music mix disgusts me. It’s some good music mixed in with crap, and frankly, I don’t have the patience to listen to that. My occasional listening experience with Star is, to my surprise, greatly missed. Like many former (occasional or frequent) Star listeners, I tried switching to My 94.1 (even received a marketing call to listen to them today), but it just isn’t the same. Duncan and Mel are as boring as hell (not to mention fake!), and they just seem like a poor copy of Star. It’s true that the “San Diego family” feel is missing on the radio, and that unique touch will never be equalled on Jack. Whoever made this business decision should be fired, as they obviously didn’t consider the economic concept of DEMAND. Guess they do know Jack, Jack Sh*t .

  18. mike arnold says:

    i am not a loyal star listener. i am a typical channel changer always searching for a good song. every once in a while, though, my fingers cramp up and i will listen to one station for a while. star always seemed to have an upbeat, happy vibe about it. i think the jack format would have been great for alot of other stations (my 94.1, the planet, etc.), but it seemed like star had a good thing going with there listeners. not a day went by that i didn’t see a “hi star” sticker on someones car. i feel for the loyal listeners, but they must understand radio is a business, not a “family member”.

  19. Gerry says:

    Jack-Smack this is the stupidist thing I’ve ever heard of. I am not an avid music person but I love to be encouraged and entertained while driving the hour to work. What is going to happen to Becky’s house and other caring support they have contributed to. What has happened to the morning group? You can always have music, this is another lame idea of someone who was more interested in the money than the people. Gerry

  20. Spence says:

    I, for one, was THRILLED when the radio personalities were yanked off the air. I thought, “finally, a decent radio station that will actually play MUSIC – imagine that – MUSIC on the radio – during my morning commute.” Not some idiots talking about what they watched on tv last night, or what their plans are for the weekend, as if I cared. And no stupid contests hunting for some fugitive.
    Now I’m TERRIBLY DISAPPOINTED to hear that the idiot radio personalities are coming back. Well, it was a nice couple weeks of music during my morning commute – now it’s back to channel surfing on the freeway.

  21. Jack says:

    I don’t like the new Jack station. I was a big STAR fan (it was the only station I regularly listen to), I am very disappointed with the loss of my afternoon drive home “family”. I won’t listen to Jack so I guess I’m stuck with 94FM.

  22. Mary K. says:

    I think the “mike arnolds” of the world miss the point completely (loyal listeners must understand radio is a business, not a “family member”). You can’t compare a radio station to a “family member”; that’s not the point. The point is that the family feel (emphasis on feel) was an innovation not experienced elsewhere.
    As for being a business decision, as was suggested, Star was at the top of the radio charts. Innovation in business is important, that’s true, but when you already have an innovation within a marketplace (in this case, this “family feeling”) you possess something of a monopoly over other stations. Destroying this monopoly is the most moronic of business decisions.

  23. Don says:

    Have you read through the Jack web blog? What a farce! Whom are they trying to fool? 85% of posts telling us how great Jack is. C’mon. Just reading through the posts here (not to mention other web sites) paints a whole different picture. Why are they deceiving their (former) loyal listeners?

  24. Deanna says:

    Amen. I’m a South (Orange) County listener, and because of my location I get *some* of the LA stations and *some* of the San Diego stations. Now, I get JACK. :( First Arrow 93.1 died, which I can perhaps understand from a business perspective, but the loss of Uncle Joe Benson on the airwaves really, really hurts. And now I tune in STAR this morning to hear something *other* than my MP3 list, only to find … yet more JACK.
    I’m not a huge fan of DJ morning shows; generally, I want music. But I am a fan of DJs that are invested in *sharing* the experience of the music with their listeners. Uncle Joe brought that to Arrow in LA — sure, superficially he was just a guy spinning discs, but his relationship with the listener went deeper than that. To listen to Uncle Joe was to learn a little something about the artists, their craft, and their results. The station managers at STAR (less so the on-air personalities) had a similar relationship with their music, able to put their finger on the pulse of new offerings that were worth listening to.
    I’m also a fan of genre-based radio. When I want my MP3s on shuffle, that’s what I listen to. But sometimes I’m in the mood for classic rock or AC or 80s and want more than the tracks on my hard drive, which I’ve already heard a billion and one times. A radio station will always have more music buying power than I will, so their playlist will always be bigger than mine. Arrow, and Star, and all the other stations being consumed by this corporate monstrosity, were like my iPod on genre sort, only better. Someone somewhere along the line missed that.
    I will mourn the loss of two great stations. For now, I console myself with San Diego 103.7 (thank God there’s still a classic rock station left within reach of my Bose) and my growing MP3 collection … and surprisingly a lot more classical radio than I used to listen to. At least I can count on most of them staying true to format.

  25. Jule says:

    One minute I’m listening to Star 100.7 and the next I turn on the radio and who is JACK? After thinking there was a glitch in the radio I soon find out they changed the format. I’ve been listening to Jeff n Jer for over 15 years and followed them from station to station. I love listening to Jeff and Tommy with their big hearts and personally just would tolerate Jerry and his mighty than tho attitude. What’s going to happen to Becky’s house and Jingle Ball that I’ve supported for the last 7 years. You’re right it was like a family and they made you feel good and they brought out the best in their listeners. Remember the human flag, the fires how we all rallied together. Star 100.7 brought out the best of people in the worst of situations. Now what I listen to someone telling me if you have a comment keep it to yourself? What’s up with this we’ll do what we want attitude. I have a great idea how about Jerry becomes Jack and Jeff and Tommy move to another station and we’ll follow them there! I find myself just turning the radio off and listening to CD’s now. So much for the advertising dollar on the new Jack radio station. What good does it do if nobody’s listening.

  26. Jessi says:

    I was shocked when “Jack” took over and i have to say that I hate the new Jack radio station.
    I used to listen everyday to Jeff and Jer and now i took 100.7 off of my saved stations…great move!!!!

  27. 11th Listener says:

    Jack is a terrible name for a station and we want Jeff and Jer and the whole “family” back. We have followed them through the “other” stations. WHERE ARE YOU STAR. WE ARE LOST.

  28. Doreen says:

    I guess the “big wigs” at “Star” never heard of the old saying,”If it ain’t broke,don’t fix it”To bad.You have lost a very long time listener and follower of Jeff and Jerr for more years than I care to remember!!!!It will be interesting to see if Jeff and Jerr can “explain”
    to their “11 listeners” what the heck has happened!Guess I will listen to CD’s and turn off the “Jack”radio.It stinks!!!!!

  29. Rochele says:

    WHOEVER THOUGHT JACK*SS FM COULD REPLACE STAR 100.7 IS OUT OF THEIR MIND!!! I have lived in San Diego for 40 years and have followed Jeff & Jer to every station they moved to, NOT THIS TIME! The announcer is dull, boring, and completely annoying! The music SUCKS ASS!!I can hear the morning show struggling to convince us that the change is a good thing, please, they can’t even convince themselves! What’s going to happen to Jingle Ball and Becky’s House??? Shame on you Tracey Johnson for selling OUT AND for letting Jen Sewell go!!

  30. suzanne says:

    I love Jen. You all have ruined my afternoons. I hope she goes somewhere else in San Diego so I can tune her in. I am taking my radio and tuning out “Jack.” I don’t care for his attitude and I don’t want to expose my children to it on our rides to and from school and activities. “Jack” is certainly not what I want in the car with my family. I’m sorry to find the people I’ve grown to care about treated this way. I won’t be back until Jack leaves town.

  31. native says:

    I wish Jeff, Jer, Tommy, Laura and Randi the very best. You have been an integral part of the san diego community. Unfortunately I can’t stand the music on the new Jack station. So take care until we meet again.

  32. Allison says:

    I am a betrayed STAR listener as well! This new JACK garbage is horrid! I used to love switching on in the mornings on my way to drop the kid at school then to work. When I heard JACK for the first time, I thought that my husband had accidently reprogrammed my radio but then I quickly realized that this was not the case. I was mortified and had a truly bitter taste in my mouth. I posted my feelings on their website only to find that my negative comments were never posted. NOTHING of mine was posted. It seems that they are “padding” their blog to look like everyone just loves this crap but I suspect that moe people hate it than love it. At work I listen to internet radio as I get no regular reception in my office. That is a iPod like format but with it I can skip a song if I don’t like it and it plays songs based on my likes. JACK just plays “what they want” and it is such a jumble of genres that it just annoys rather than entertains. The internet radio is all well and good at the office, but at the end of the day I enjoy getting in my car and actually listening to real people. Greg and Jen in the afternoons always gave me that personal, human, connection that I don’t get from internet radio and I miss it. I have been forced to listen to other SD stations like My 94.1 which I always liked before but it was my #2 station. I feel so betrayed by STAR that I will not listen to it out of principle even if they happen to be playing a song that I like. I loved Jeff and Jer but I am too disgusted to stay with them as long as they are with JACK. It is unfortunate that corporate greed had to rear it’s ugly head and destroy a truly good thing like STAR!

  33. claud says:

    if jack thinks it’s being eclectic and fresh by playing washed-out ’80s hits followed by forgettable ’90s tripe, then success has been acheived. *high fives ya!*

  34. Lorraine says:

    I am so glad to find out that so many other people HATE the new Jack FM format. I wish there was a “Bring back Hi-Star format.”

  35. Sarah says:

    I thought I was totally losing it for actually crying about this! I am crying right now as I read this blog. I wrote 3 negative remarks to the JACK website and they won’t be posted. ALSO, It is obvious that Jeff and Jer aren’t themselves anymore, seems like they are trying to be more edgy and it doesn’t come out right. I am boycotting the sponsers, anyone with me? Let the station know.

  36. D/Ann says:

    I also wrote a remark to the JACK website with a negative comment and noticed that there was no response to it.I am sure if the ones that were sent with such responses were addressed they would far out number positive ones.To bad they were so greedy to make such a bad choice of changing what so many San Diego listeners loved.Yes to Sarah,I am boycotting all “Jack” sponsers.
    D/Ann

  37. We recently experienced the JACK invasion in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, too. Although I am not upset about the washed up 80′s hits station it replaced, I am disappointed that the station is simply a ‘Hits’ format that plays a mix of classic rock and ‘hits’ from the 80′s. There are other musical genres which are totally forgotten with this station but what truly worries me, with so much nostalgia on the airwaves, where will the next crop of ‘hits’ 10-15 years from now come from? I hear nothing considered new music, with the exception for an alternative station and the hip-hop that is passed off as top 40. That is the damage that JACK is doing to radio.

  38. Michael Northrop says:

    Jack has arrived in Salt Lake. The good news: it’s the best thing on Salt Lake radio. The bad news: it’s the best thing on Salt Lake radio. “Don and Mike” was on the AM here for a short while – that was great radio but way too good to last. Now there’s Jack, oh well – I guess it’s what radio has come to.

  39. Things I Learned This Week (and Last Week)

    Those Germans don’t pull punches–especially when it comes to Scientology. Gotta give Tom Cruise credit….at least he didn’t pull an Ashton and walk out on the interview. The Baxter is coming…from the folks who brought us ‘Wet Hot American Summer’.

  40. Michele Lippincott says:

    Coming home from work I was quite amazed to find your radio station. I love that you play a wide arrange of music that I know and love.. Keep up the great job!

  41. Craig Wright says:

    JACK FM is contagious and just landed up here in Seattle and it sucks. I don’t know about the rest of you but I listen to a radio station for the music I’m in the mood for. If I want to listen to something different “I” will change the radio station. I don’t want my radio stations doing for me….. We lost a good radio station (96.5 K-ROCK) here in Seattle. I gave “Jack” a chance and I say again….”It sucks”.

  42. Balto Kid says:

    It’s awful. Here in Baltimore, the local Oldies Station (WQSR-FM) which had an intense following due to their exceptional on-air staff just flipped yesterday. All the people are gone and have been replaced by the Jack Robot Machine. The morning show, “Rouse And Company”, had been aired for 17 years and was immensely popular. Now, it’s all gone, and people here are horrified. A local newspaper has been running an online poll this morning, and it’s scary how close the sentiments there echo what I have been reading here. So far, opposition to the Jack flip is over 70% here in Baltimore.

  43. Brandon Knoll says:

    Detroit became a victim of the JACK(OFF) format on April 1, 2005. Formerly known as “Detroit’s Hit Music 931 DRQ”, I tuned in to hear ABBA and Donna Summer instead of Luda and Jay-Z. At first we thought it was an April Fool’s Day joke…now the only joke is “93.1 Doug FM”. I got an idea…why not give the frequency to Canada and give the call letters CRAP? It doesn’t matter because Detroit has a history of having good stations and turning them in to crap…my favorites are when 98.7 Detroit’s Wheels (rock) went jazz in ’96 and when Z Rock 102.7 went adult Rythym and Bullshit and 105 dot 1 the edge (alternative rock) went a/c within three months of each other. I’m now waiting for the WRIF to go rap… GIVE ME SOMETHING TO LISTEN TO ON THE RADIO!

  44. Gary says:

    We in Baltimore are wondering what ever became of your protest against this switch. What happened to your popular on-air personalities who were let go?

  45. Heidi says:

    I happened upon Jack the other day and haven’t turned it off in my car since – finally someone’s made a station for those of us who don’t want to be put in a demographic box listening to the same crap over and over again.
    I, for one, don’t miss the obnoxious twit “DJ’s” blabbing about themselves and their opinions all day. Please, family members my arse! They’re just trying to out-blab each other until they get a deal hosting another craphole reality show.
    I love the Jack format, and find it interesting that the R&B station, the “alternative” station, AND the boring “adult” rock station (STAR) have all been doing “shuffle” and “whatever” weekends since Jack FM showed up.

  46. Louryn says:

    Jack needs to go. I am still baffled as to why they thought that replacing STAR would be a good idea? I will not listen out of principle as well during hours that Jeff and Jer are not on. Sometimes when I am flipping stations, I happen across Jack and the songs they play are crap. And the abrupt switching between types of music is simply chaotic – like I need that when I am already stressed by being on the road. I am hoping that if people don’t listen, Jack will go away. It moved from my #1 preset to the last one. I guess that this was a good move if they wanted more people to switch over to channel 93.3…I don’t like san diego radio much at all anymore.

  47. JCarol says:

    Everyone has their own opinion regarding the new format and just for the record here is mine. My comfort zone has been turned upside down and according to Jeff and Jer’s guest this morning, I feel disoriented and at a loss for where to go after Jeff and Jer. Now I switch between oldies and country western on the way home. My finger is always on the dial looking for something, something, something.

  48. david says:

    A month of jackfm and it feels like we are getting the dumb version of cheesy FM96.5 music. Take comfort though. There’s still 93.3, 94.1,96.5,103.7,104.3 One just needs to diligently jump between stations from time to time (or until he/she gets XM radio)
    Jackfm is probably going to stay, so we’re tuning away.

  49. Steve says:

    Jack is “JACKED UP!!!!!!!!!!!” We lost Andy Savage here in Seattle to this new station Called “shit” to most Seattle people. Now action is being taken. To shut down this BUTT station and get Andy Savage back! The Website is: http://www.bringbackandysavage.com/ Check it out!! A whole lot of people in Seattle are enraged, calling The Jack Station and are giving NEGATIVE feedback,calls,emails,etc. Cause WE WANT ANDY SAVAGE BACK!! You dont kill a legend to some butt station. HELLLL NO! Take some action. Seattle is. We need shut this down before theres Jack up and down the radio. Theres 3 JACK FM Stations in Northern Seattle Now, yes 3!1 Seattle 96.5, 2 Victoria area 103.1, and Vancouver at 96.9.All probably where good stations, now just shit. Take action and STOP THIS NOW!!

  50. Steve says:

    Seattle is taking action cause we lost a legend to the area cause of this “Jacked Up” Crap. ANDY SAVAGE show. You dont put a stupid jack over Andy. We are enraged now!! Calling the station with naegative,email,calls,feedback. I am not gonna get Jack shoved down my throat. Are you??!! Take Action!! Stop this BUTT Station!
    We have 3 stations of jack here,yes 3! 1 Seattle 96.5, 2 Victoria area 103.1, 3 Vancouver 96.9. The site is:
    http://www.bringbackandysavage.com/
    Check it out!!

  51. NancyDancehall says:

    What a joke! Jack has been here in Denver for the better part of a year now, with the promo, “Locally Owned and Operated.” Now I’m just finding out in this blog that Jack “gets around”. Luckily, Jack didn’t replace any beloved radio stations (that I know of). Now I’m going to have to check on another “local” station, The Mountain. Does anyone know if Jack is affiliated with Fox? Jack seems to make a lot of off-hand references to The Simpsons, and other Fox programs.

  52. Tricia says:

    San Diego JACK sucks-I agree with all of you! I think it’s crap how they did the big FUGITIVE promotion to build their listener base and then promised a “big suprise”. Suprise is right! Imagine mine the next morning when I turned on Star and heard Jack instead.
    I used to love Jeff and Jer but listen no longer. I also loved Greg and Jen, but based on how they fired Jen, and their big “surprise” gimmick, I don’t listen anymore. Besides that, the few times I have surfed by the station, the music has been crap.
    I’ve switched over to KSON. I enjoy country music but miss my Star music-at least I can enjoy the DJ’s on KSON-I don’t like the DJ’s on any other San Diego radio station.
    I think STAR and TARCY JOHNSON made a BIG MISTAKE and if they think this will catch on, they are making another one.

  53. Mike says:

    I’m a disgrunteld JACK victim too. Honestly, about 1/10 songs are something I would put on my Ipod. The rest is bad classic rock and bad 80′s that force me to switch the station. Very rarely do I hear anything that inclines me to turn back. In Detroit it replaced the only true top 40 station. The only quasi-top 40 left is the ghetto version. I just have issues with JACK. Its at the point now that I have XM and have removed JACK from my presets when I listen to terrestrial radio. It seems like JACK doesn’t have the balls to announce the change in any market, either and just unexpectedly sacks the incumbant staff. ABC/Disney/Clear Channel are supposed to be a happy, honest, family oriented folks who know marketing. What the hell happened with JACK?

  54. Grace says:

    I don’t like Jack FM because they pull the rug under WCBS-FM 101.1 New York Oldies Station.

  55. Sarah says:

    I’m with Grace… I want CBS-FM back.
    (Some Baltimore people are trying to protest JAckfm somehow here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wewantqsr/messages and I think they’re going to try to make it a nation-wide thing. Join and protest Jackfm!)

  56. Roy says:

    Here in Bakersfield, the new Jack-style station is called Pirate Radio. It’s interesting, for now. In addition to reminding me of a MP3 playlist, it’s more like how I listen to the radio: If I don’t like a song, I cruise the dial looking for something I like.

  57. Sandee says:

    38 year old who is peeved that classic oldies in NY are gone and so is CBS FM for that reason I will not be tuning into JACK. Hope it fails miserably.
    Thank You

  58. Shannon says:

    I live in San Franicsco and used to tune into Jeff and Jer every morning and listen then again in the afternnon to Jen. What a sad, boring radio station Jack FM is – It’s terrible!! San Diego needs to bring back STAR!!

  59. Barbara says:

    Really pissed off that CBS FM here in NYC is gone!
    And no more Beatles for Breakfast with the legend Harry Harrison, and no more legend Cousin Brucie.
    First JACK said they were playing 80′s and 90′s. But I guess they felt the heat of bad feedback and now “claim” they are now playing Beatles and Elvis and 50′s. I don’t care. “IF” they are now playing those, um THEN WHY DID YOU CHANGE IN THE FIRST PLACE AND WHY DID YOU FIRE THE DJ’s???
    Yeah right, 85% of of the blogs say they LOVE JACK???
    HEY JACK, as the old saying goes, “Denile isn’t just a river in EGYPT!!”
    At least Q104 (104.3 FM) in NYC still has their DJs and plays Breakfast with the Beatles. And their new on-air slogan is “We play what YOU want”.
    Hit The Road JACK – the people will have the final word.

  60. Richard says:

    Just became aware of this site and thread. Wrote an article about the demise of WCBS-FM here in NYC a week or so ago. The article, “Another Forgotten Generation” can be found on The Op Ed Page http://theopedpage.blogspot.com and also at the Bring Back The Music page at http://bringbackthemusic.blogspot.com , where you can also voice your opinions.
    Thanks.
    Richard

  61. MIKE SLACHETKA says:

    They just turned on a Jack FM here in Chicago. I like the concept of a wide mix of music from the 70′s through today; but, in Chicago’s case, there was already a station doing that for the past year…called “Nine FM”. Honestly, I don’t like JACK-FM too much because of its lack on on-air talent. Nine FM has talent! The other big thing I don’t like about our version of JACK is that Joel Hollander and Infinity Broadcasting killed a world famous oldies station; WJMK; and yanked their larger than life personalities to put on this crap. This is the biggest single mistake that Infinity has made in the Chicago market!!

  62. jeff dole says:

    get over it Jack is a good station if you don’t liek it change the channel that simple

  63. John says:

    What happen to the oldies channel.

  64. Buddy says:

    Vindication!
    I am one of the many listeners who e-mailed you (mine on 4/9) after STAR went to JACK to vent our frustration and mourn. It was immediately apparent tons of San Diegans felt the same way based on the barrage of messages you received.
    Well, I’ve been following the Arbitron ratings since then to see if the following prediction we all made were going to come true: When Tracy Johnson said Jack was a logical transition for STAR listeners, he couldn’t have been more wrong.
    Since then we’ve been watching KFMB-FM’s ratings free fall, and my94.1′s (a competing station with a format similar to the old STAR’s) climb proportionately. Loss of listenership translates into loss of revenue.
    At the time of the switch, I did some research and found that Jeff and Jer’s contract was up this fall, and really thought they’d leave as the “Jack” culture (cold, mechanical) is totally opposite of the culture they have on their show, and that they had in STAR. Plus, if the ratings are free falling, how can Tracy afford them?
    Well, today’s headline (Wednesday 7/20) on sdradio.net was fabulous news – Jeff and Jer are bailing out of Jack, and going to 94.1. Reading it, I felt relief and vindication for all of us former STAR listeners (it really felt like “our” station). Even though my94.1 is not STAR, and I still cringe every time I hear a certain female radio personality’s cackle, it is 1000 percent warmer than icy-cold Jack.
    My second prediction was that when Tracy “blew up” STAR, it would eventually cost him his job. With the listenership loss, and now losing Jeff and Jer, it’s not looking good for him…
    That would be the ultimate vindication.

  65. Gin says:

    I just stumbled upon this website and I’m glad to see there’s a place for pissed-off Star 100.7 listeners! Jack is awful!!! I admit I tune in but ONLY to listen to Jeff & Jerr. As soon as they get to their next station I’ll be there with them and that will be the last of Jack for me!! STUPID, STUPID move station owners!!!!!!!!
    P.S. I saw an article in last week’s UT announcing what station J&J were going to but I can’t remember which one. Does anybody know??

  66. casey says:

    I moved away from San Diego about 2 years ago — first to Charleston, then to Tampa. Throughout the move I was extremely disappointed to not find ANY station with the talent, listenership, and heart of STAR 100.7. I miss Jeff, Jer, Laura, Randy, & Tommy on my drive to work, I miss Anita at work (especially her lunch-time workout), and I miss Greg & Jen on my way home. The only thing close is another 100.7 station here in Tampa, but it’s STILL not STAR. One day my sister-in-law called with HORRIBLE NEWS of the new JACK format. I felt sick! I used to check the website everyday and read about all things STAR and San Diego — but now I can’t even imagine what it must be like for everyone there. I can’t imagine traveling 3000 miles for a visit, to not have my favorite radio station blaring in the rental car. Just like the closing of the Bazaar de Mundo in Old Town & moving Casa de Pico to La Mesa?!? What’s up with San Diego!?!? Is it going through a mid-life melt-down or something??? I sure hope 94.1 has a downloadable feature, because once Jeff & Jer are there, so am I! Good luck to all “11” former STAR listeners out there — I hope your efforts to abolish JACK work and I hope in the end you will get the LAST LAUGH!

  67. Debbie says:

    I’m up in Seattle where Jack took over from a station that has changed formats about 3 times in the past two years. The previous format was alternative and it was ok. There is a competing station to that format that has been around longer. Some of the DJs of the other alternative station moved over to what is now Jack. The weird thing is, while I really liked those radio personalities on the original station, when they moved to Jack they were just plain mean. It really isn’t fun to me to listen to the zing some guy who is cheating on his long-term girlfriend or make up stupid stunts like who can still create some carpentry project as they continue to drink themselves into a stupor. I really would prefer to hear music in the morning and there are VERY few stations that do this anymore. The morning radio show format is SO old. Maybe it only appeals to high school kids anymore… I appreciate the mix in music that Jack plays. I like music from all eras and it’s nice to be able to hear them all in one place. Sometimes they even throw in a song you completely don’t expect. Just my 2 cents.

  68. dave winger says:

    Jack kicks ass, who wants to listen to dumbass djs that laugh about shit that’s not funny! We want music.

  69. Ron says:

    I like the JACK format in Seattle also, I too prefer to hear music in the morning and am sick and tired of all the Howard Stern SHOCK JOCK wanna be’s. Howard Stern is a joke and anyone who imitates him is an idiot.

  70. Sue says:

    I have been a very long term listener of WCBS-FM and wow…just wow.
    We now will never hear oldies in our area again.
    This format will not last. I laughingly think of another “oh yeah give the public THIS new cutting edge in broadcasting” thing called Blink 102.7.
    Yep.
    Remember Blink?
    It didn’t last long. It went over like a fart in a crowded elevator and I predict that JackFM will do the same.
    I do not predict that JackFM will last long. Nobody can wake up to this format — and nobody wants drive time with this format. Everybody wants banter, shadow traffic checks, time checks and temperature checks; JackFM offers none of these.
    I also am not a fan of their funny little digs that they like to get in — their references to what kind of format the station had before JackFM made their grand entrance on June 3, 2005. Not funny at all.
    What is the big deal that this is an “ipod shuffle”? If I want an ipod shuffle? I’ll go listen to my ipod.

  71. Kat says:

    I ordered XM Satellite Radio (which came wired with my new car) the DAY I heard about the JACK Switch from my friend in Orange County (I didn’t believe her at first!)…
    Haven’t listened to Jack once since!
    But I WILL check in on 94.1 come September to hear Jeff & Jer again…

  72. Russ says:

    I’m actually from Vancouver, where this mess all started. Jack didn’t take over any previous stations here, but came on with its own frequency. At first, admittedly, it was not all bad. They trotted out some early 80′s classics that were all but forgotten by most, such as Doug and the Slugs, and Trooper. For a while, it was kind of cool to hear these again, but soon it grew old..”not Trooper again…” Jack does have morning ‘personalities’, namely two imbeciles that were hired over from local C-FOX station, Larry and Willy. The rest of the day, its the most schitzophrenic mix of music that I could possibly imagine. Who plays Alannis Morissette, Ozzy Osbourne and MC Hammer in the same set??? The best way I can describe their format is “Class of 1981 high school reunion”. And there’s the TV commercials…For months, they ran these absolutely obnoxious spots, featuring their East Indian sound technician making a total ass of himself, belting out loud, stupid promo slogans about the station. This was followed by extremely low budget commercials, featuring their dememted listeners belting out the same slogans, imitating the first guy. Fabulous. To quote the great Frank Zappa: “If you only listen to the radio, you’re going to hear the same 50 songs for the rest of your life.”

  73. Mitch says:

    So now Jeff and Jer are moving to 94.1 after all. Way to go, Jack! What a bunch of crap. Apparently, there are “Jack” and “Bob” and even a “Ben” stations all over the country. Same format and same idiotic “We’ll play what we want” phrase. Now, I’ll listen to 94.1 in the mornings now.

  74. Lola says:

    Sorry, I love Jack and I think you are all a bunch of whiners. I appreciate that you thought these people were your friends and that you enjoy the asinine conversation of morning jocks. Us young folks don’t! I love eclectic crazy mixes. I love crap pop music mixed in with great quality music. I always changed the dial when people started talking. I do listen to the radio for music and my expectations were never high. I love that I don’t hear the same 25 songs every hour. I don’t miss the stupid jokes and chatter or the idiots that called in to talk to thier “friends”. I know I am not alone. I have a large group of friends that have all found Jack in Baltimore. Non of us ever listed to the station that Jack took over. WQSR lost listeners. Jack is gaining listeners. Things change. Face it. There is always a generation loving it and one bemoaning the evils. Radio was a community service before the internet changed how we get our information. I don’t look to the radio for information or contact with the community. It is not charity to sit in a car and listen to a station doing a charity event. Get off your ass and do it yourself!

  75. Ryan says:

    Jack FM over WCBS-FM…It is just a bad nightmare that goes right into the day…and never ends…I can’t stand it. Where is the FCC ? I thought radio was to serve the public interests…I can’t stand JACK-FM…

  76. setting things straight says:

    Listen Lola
    You can like/love Jack for all your desire but there is no reason for name calling. Like you said things change and one day you too will lose something you love

  77. infinityspy says:

    i have friends who are top executives with infinity radio, so i am not using my real name. i have learned that infinity is about to phase out it’s remaining oldies stations and replace almost all of them with jack fm, even in cities where clones of jack are on the air.
    on or around labor day, oldies stations owned by infinity in boston, detroit, philadelphia, cincinnati, and san francisco will all be changed to jack fm. all five, in fact, will probably switch to jack at the same time. krth in l.a. will also drop oldies, but with a jack fm already in l.a., a different format will replace it.
    face it—oldies and personality jocks are history. jack fm is the future!

  78. Shriber says:

    Sorry, the ONLY good thing about Star was Jeff & Jer in the morning, the music was awful. How many little girl songs can you listen to in one hour? Yikes! I’m looking forward to a variety of music. Use your iPod if you need to listen to only your type of music. I guess you’ll just have to download Kelly Clarkson and Hillary Duff.

  79. Glen says:

    Jack is evolutionary not revolutionary. In time, it will shift from its inane “something for everybody” eclectic mix to focus on some niche segments and spawn some “everything for somebody” narrow formats like you find on the Internet. While (on balance) I like the mix, I’m looking forward to the next generation arrival when the market share raiders create a more “focused mix” as the pendulum swings back.
    In the meantime, what I absolutely DETEST is the smug and condescending voice featured in the radio commercials reminding us Jack is “Playing what we want”
    A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed your remark about the PO’ed peeler at the club with the cheap sandwich special.
    Here’s a new one. In time, Jack’s ipod-broadcasting will be about as popular as a poorly managed Mongolian barbecue joint. Sure, you may think that you’ve got a lot of choice in the mix, but if the ingedients (i.e. music mix) is low-quality crap served up by some celluloid zeroes, then you’ll soon find somewhere else to get quality food.
    In the meantime, keep the faith, and wait for the next generation. It may be awhile as they’re likely struggling with a quality format or appropriate name. Somehow the working title of JacK jUNior or JUNK doesn’t quite cut it …. yet

  80. Grant Healey says:

    Where have Jeff and Jer gone? It made my commute a breeze in the morning and I miss the banter. I can find Jack type music anywhere (including my iPod) so don’t have much reason to listen now. I can’t find which radio station they have gone to. Can anyone help? Also detest the smug and condescending voice on Jack that tells the listener to forget free choice – it’s Jack’s way or the highway.

  81. Scott says:

    Jack Totally SUCKS! I remember the morning the change happened I was expecting to wake up to Jeff & Jer on my alarm and I end up waking up to Roy Orbison! I went to the Jack website and found a place to post your opinions and I wrote one to express my distaste and they never post it. I wrote several and they never got posted. Of course all the one posted approve of the Jack format. I’m glad to finally find a place where many many others share my opinion. So now they are losing Jeff & Jer?!?!?!?! Jack is going down! I can’t wait to hear them on 94.1. I always thought they were too cool for Jack and I’m really young! So is Jingle Ball and the Fugitive ever going to happen again? Tommy, Laura and Randy have to be there too. I don’t really care about Rick. He was never part of the origional chemistry and it seems like all they want him to do is sports. Well there is my rant. I hope this place will not reject my post.

  82. Carlos E. Rodriguez says:

    I tough Jeff & Jer were joking on 8/31, but next thing they are out. I heard they were moving to 94.1 fm, so I’ll make the switch.
    Now about Jack, what the hell happened??? I liked the format of the old station, I do not like Jack’s voice or his comments. The music is OK, but I’ll follow Jeff & Jer to the “other” station, as I have from the “other” and “other” and “other”…..stations.

  83. Vuarra says:

    I listen to a Jack FM in Toronto ON. I would rather listen to Judas Priest followed by Echo and the Bunnymen than listen to Boulevard of Broken Dreams for the 3rd time during my 12 hour shift – by the same DJ.
    The Corus and Chum groups in Canada have no idea that a wide playlist is better than the proverbial game of “which song can we piss the proletariate off with by playing it 8 time per day?”

  84. MADMATT says:

    JACK SUCKS AND CLEAR CHANNEL IS LIKE WAL MART. I WAS TALKING TO TRACY JOHNSON AND FOUND OUT THAT CLEAR-CHANNEL WAS WILLING TO OUT BID THEM AND DID. I AM SHOCKED THAT JEFF AND JER WOULD MOVE RADIO STATIONS AL OVER MONEY. THAT IS ALSO ANOTHER REASON THEY WERE TAKING SOO MUCH UNUSED VACATION TIME. I WAS DISAPOINTED. I AM ANTI JEFF AND JER BUT STILL LOVE THEM. ALMOST LIKE A LOVE HATE RELATIONSHIP

  85. Bob Stunts says:

    I was on my way home one day and went to turn on 96.5 KROCK (Seattle) and it was gone. What the? I listened to Jack fm for 1/2 hour thinking it was a glitch. Too bad it turns out it wasn’t a glitch it was just a really bad radio station. KROCK was just becoming into its own and Jack cut it off. Now all I got is KISW and even the mighty 99.9 is suffering from this Jack fm crap, as other stations are changing to different formats KISW has graciously taken some of there DJs and in doing so cluttered there airwaves.

  86. JACK SUCKS says:

    JACK FM is probably the favorite of State-Province Police Internet File Losers.

  87. Chris V says:

    Apparently it’s been a while since anyone was on here. I started listening to JACK here in Baltimore last year, and to be quite frank, my car’s radio dial has never moved. I’m 43, and from the eras these songs came from. I never listened to the oldies station here, as those songs were generally slightly before my time, though I still like them. Actually, I like all kinds of music, from classical to folk to ’80s hair bands.
    And I don’t really like listening to morning/afternoon drive-time radio DJs that spend all the time talking about TV the previous night, other celebrities, or a million other uninteresting things. Chalk me up as another one that would change the dial the moment a DJ started talking in the morning, because I knew it would be 5-10 minutes until I heard another song. Another SINGLE song, followed by more ads and more talking. And I’m not going to listen to an iPod in the car (in fact, I don’t own an iPod).
    I also find it interesting that up above, “Lola” said that there were a bunmch of whiners, and almost immediately someone called “setting things straight” said “there’s no need for name calling” and yet isn’t that what people have been doing for most of this page? I mean, the hatred and bile spewed just because some radio station changed formats is perfectly acceptable, but saying that you’re a whiner for spewing said hatred and bile isn’t? Amazing how adults treat each other these days under the cloak of anonymity on the net…

  88. RG74 says:

    IT’S A BEAUTIFUL AFTERNOON IN NEW YORK !
    Jack went out the back door and WCBS-FM CAME BACK IN !!!! NEW YORK IS THE #1 RADIO MARKET IN THE COUNTRY AND TRADITIONALLY, WHEN THINGS CHANGE IN NEW YORK…IT HAS A RIPPLE EFFECT AROUND THE COUNTRY (MINUS THE WHOLE JACK EFFECT I MUST ADMIT !)
    JACK-FM BILLED AS A FORMAT WITH A WIDER PLAYLIST IS ONE THING…JACK-FM AS PRESENTED WITH ITS GRATING OBNOXIOUS ATTITUDE IS SOMETHING ELSE ! IT IS THAT “SOMETHING ELSE” THAT GOT JACK TOSSED ONTO THE STREET AND THAT FIRST CLASS WCBS-FM FLAGSHIP-HERITAGE SOUND BACK ON THE AIR !
    CBS RADIO…PLEASE NEVER LET ANYTHING LIKE THIS HAPPEN EVER AGAIN !
    SPREAD THE WORD, WCBS-FM HERITAGE BROADCASTING IS BACK IN TOWN AND JACK IS OUT ON HIS YOU KNOW WHAT !