Radio Y100 off airwaves, alive in hearts of supporters
Issue date: 3/11/05 Section: News
Former Y100 DJs and fans spoke to the crowd and letters were read from bands showing their support including 311, G. Love and Garbage, while the event was covered by local stations NBC10, WB17, and FOX29.
"I personally believe that Y100, as a station, had a very unique identity as far as a personality went," former Y100 DJ Zack said. "[It was] very down-to-earth and very real, for a lack of a better term." Zack is now currently a member of Y100rocks.com, which was set up to counter RadioOne's move.
At this point, former staff members of Y100 are broadcasting online through http://www.365live.com, and the online station has now been noted to be one of the top 10 frequently listened to online alternative stations in the world.
"The only reason I'd ever turn off my CD changer was to listen to [Y100]," 19-year-old Aaron Young of Upper Providence said. "It was the only good radio station left." In addition, Y100 was especially noted for its philanthropy. Y100 is distinguished in the fact that it has raised more that $400,000 for charity and collected over 400 tons of food. "The countless amount of charitable work that was done helped not only in a financial way, but helped raise awareness," Zack added.
In its twelve years on the air, Y100 introduced current mainstream artists such as Weezer, Beck, and Good Charlotte. RadioOne maintains that it is "the Urban Radio Specialist," according to its Web site.
"We believe radio broadcasting primarily targeting African-Americans has significant growth potential," the Web site proclaimed. "We also believe that we have a competitive advantage in the African-American market and the radio industry in general, due to our primary focus on urban formats, our skill in programming and marketing these formats, and our turnaround expertise."
For those who feel that Philadelphia had been dealt a horrible blow to its music culture, Y100rocks.com is running a petition that it hopes to use in order to regain the airwaves. As of March 24, 54,892 people have displayed their support by endorsing the appeal for "Radio One [to] immediately reconsider this drastic move and bring back the Y100 we all know and love." The Web site has also provided the e-mail addresses of senior executives Alfred Liggins, and Mary Catherine Sneed, the CEO and COO of RadioOne respectively, for the purpose of allowing people to present their thoughts on the parent company's decision.
At midnight Feb. 24, Philadelphia's only alternative rock station, Y100, made its final broadcast with Pearl Jam's 1992 sensation "Alive". Parent company, RadioOne, made the decision that it would no longer support the alternative rock radio station for financial reasons. In the rock radio station's place, RadioOne moved the station, The Beat - Philly's newest hip hop station, over to Y100's former slot.
Check out more photos from the rally (photos by Karen Maziarz).