Fans of Philadelphia's only alternative music station have begun a strong grass-roots effort to bring back the popular station, which shut down last month.
Y100 WPLY-FM, was removed from the air on the night of Feb. 24, replaced by what was formerly 103.9 "The Beat" -- a hip-hop and R&B; station.
A Web site created by fans -- y100rocks.com -- attests to both the distress and dedication of the station's loyal supporters.
The goal of the site is to make as much "noise" as possible, according to former Y100 Program Director Jim McGuinn -- alerting radio corporations nationwide of the void this decision has created in Philadelphia.
He speculated that the decision of Radio One -- which owned both Y100 and The Beat -- was motivated by a desire to target the black demographic.
McGuinn said he was surprised at the move, given Y100's higher profitability and market share.
On the Web site, bands including Dave Matthews Band, 311 and Taking Back Sunday -- all grateful for the station's support -- express their desire to rally with listeners.
"Great radio stations are hard to come by," wrote 311's members. "To lose a station like Y100 in a city as influential as Philadelphia is a strike against art."
Bands who got their start with Y100 include The Starting Line, Weezer, Beck and Good Charlotte.
While local rock bands no longer have a radio outlet, listeners can access a hybrid version of Y100 through the Web site Live365.com.
Some former disc jockeys are streaming music from an "undisclosed bunker" and even from their homes.
In addition to an Internet petition with nearly 60,000 signatures, various concerts -- including an upcoming Sum 41 and Unwritten Law show -- are "trying to ... keep the hype alive," according to former airman DJ Marco.
Still, the future of Y100 is unclear.
"If we want another station, we really have to band together ... as a family and tell corporations that the alternative rock format is needed and it's lucrative," Marco said.
Known for airing bands which other local stations only took a marginal interest in, Y100 was also famous for its on-air personalities.
"Y100 appealed to a very intelligent listener regardless of age," former DJ Electra said.
For College senior and Philadelphia native Ed Knizhnik, who signed the petition, Y100's disappearance marked "the end of an era."
"The station I had been listening to since I was 12 or 13 had vanished," he said.
Knizhnik and many former DJs feel that no other local rock station can compare to Y100. These stations -- including WYSP and WMMR -- play more hard rock that targets an older audience.
McGuinn said that a show with Dashboard Confessional -- which Y100 exposed by playing their first song, "Screaming Infidelities," in regular rotation -- is possibly in the works.Comments powered by Disqus
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