antiMUSIC is pleased to welcome aboard Trent McMartin who not only has been filing special news reports but now will give you the "lowdown" on various music related topics! 

As always the views expressed by the writer do not neccessarily reflect the views of antiMUSIC or the iconoclast entertainment group

Is Rock Radio Dying?

Throughout his short and turbulent life music critic and author Lester Bangs would repeatedly denounce the state of rock and roll, regularly criticizing it and on many occasions declaring it dead. Bangs’ prophecies about rock’s premature death were always greatly exaggerated since rock still remains and will endure for generations to come but none can question the overall decline of rock radio’s ratings in North America. 

As reported by Steve Knopper in a June 24th, Rolling Stone article; five rock radio stations in major U.S. cities switched formats in recent months after ratings dropped for six consecutive years. This does come at an odd time since, as explained by Knopper in his article, rock albums have dominated the charts the past few months. Artists such as Coldplay, Green Day, Audioslave, System of a Down, Bruce Springsteen, Nine Inch Nails, the Dave Matthews Band, and Rob Thomas have all experienced success on the billboard charts this past spring and summer. 

But this success is fleeting since rock radio station ratings are still in decline. In a March 8th article in Rolling Stone, Bill Werde reported only six percent of teenagers in the U.S.  listen to rock at any given time, compared with nearly twenty percent listening to urban radio and forty percent listening to Top Forty radio stations. Since 1998 album-oriented rock stations have seen listenership fall seventy percent while Spanish-language radio ratings are up thirty percent the latter of which could be partly attributed to the Hispanic population becoming the United States’ largest minority population in 2003.

Along with demographic reasons, the decline of rock radio could also be attributed to the Internet and illegal downloading, Satellite radio and the overall ignorance of the music industry towards rock music. 

“It seems the current music industry doesn’t focus on rock musicians as much as pop stars,” says rock fan T.J Karpinka of Sherwood Park, Canada. “Too me, it’s more of a cash grab than anything.” 

And it’s not just fans that feel that way but performers as well. “An act like ours wouldn’t even be around today if someone hadn’t brought us along and let us make mistakes and grow at our own pace,” said Tom Petty in a Rolling Stone interview with David Wild in 2002.  E-street Band guitarist and Sopranos actor Stevie Van Zandt said similar comments in an interview earlier this year with News Hour Correspondent Terrence Smith where the rocker stated that if the Rolling Stones were starting out today, they wouldn’t get airplay on regular radio.

An employee from 97.7 HTZ-FM in St, Catharines, Canada who wished to remain anonymous blamed the decline mainly on the quality of mainstream rock. “I think the primary factor numbers have slid because of mediocre music. If you don’t have great music than you don’t have competitive format and listeners will start looking elsewhere for their entertainment. Be it building libraries for their iPods or listening to old CDs.”

The emergence of satellite radio, though still in its infancy, has the potential to take a significant chunk of listeners away from standard radio over the next few years. XM Satellite Radio declares themselves America’s most popular satellite radio service with over 150 digital channels featuring 100% commercial-free music, over 30 channels of news, sports, talk and entertainment, over 20 dedicated channels of traffic & weather, and a deep playlist with access to over 2 million titles. Sirius Satellite Radio is also making inroads landing popular shock jock Howard Stern who debuts this upcoming January in all his uncensored glory. Sirius declined to comment on rock radio’s situation saying, “Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate your request to speak to someone at SIRIUS regarding the decline of rock on terrestrial radio.” 

And it wasn’t just Sirius who declined comment from my requests for interviews but also programmers, on air personalities and managers from standard radio stations. Ryan Zimmerman, Program Director for Edmonton’s modern rock station 100.3 The Bear was one of many who responded by saying “not interested.” So obviously many of these stations are putting on a brave face saying everything is fine but behind the scenes there could be a genuine fear that the future may be bleak for all types of stations and not just rock radio stations 

“I think if anything, time spent listening to radio (all formats) may be down slightly, but not strictly rock radio, “ said an unidentified radio employee from central Ontario’s The Wolf 101.5. 

Radio’s demise has been forecasted before when videos exploded onto the scene in the 1980’s just as the film industry was predicted to pack it in when television emerged in the middle of the twentieth century. But radio remains because of its continual evolution to stay relevant and to connect with a wide variety of listeners.  

“Radio in general has always had its share of challenges: TV, DVDs, home theatre, video games, the Internet, peer to peer downloads, iPods, etc. But listening overall hasn’t declined much,” says the anonymous employee from 97.7 HTZ-FM.  “Rock radio has suffered in recent years because nothing revolutionary is taking place.”

 “We need a revolution....punk rocked the disco age into the grave and grunge saved rock from its pretence and its excesses,” he says.  We need some band to come along and change everything. Unfortunately, I don't see it coming any time soon.”

Trent McMartin




News Reports

Latest Rock News Stories

• Guns N' Roses Star Seriously Hurt In Motorcycle Crash (top story)

• Thursday and No Devotion Singer Poisoned and Robbed Outside Venue (top story)

• Former Megadeth Stars Poland, Menza and Lomenzo Form New Band (top story)

• Slipknot's Corey Taylor In Upcoming Doctor Who Episode? (top story)

• Chickenfoot Working On New Album Says Sammy Hagar (top story)

• Def Leppard's Vivian Campbell Expects Lifelong Cancer Fight (top story)

• Arch Enemy To Reunite With Original Members At Music Festival (top story)

• Iron Maiden Frontman Impressed By Lady Gaga (top story)

• Megadeth Offshoot Act Of Defiance Launching North American Tour (top story)

• Sevendust Streaming Their Entire New Album 'Kill The Flaw' (top story)

• Asking Alexandria Streaming New Song 'Undivided' (top story)

• David Gilmour Tops The UK Chart With 'Rattle That Lock' (top story)

• Rammstein Release 'Engel' Video From In Amerika DVD (top story)

• The Flaming Lips Plan 20th Anniversary Clouds Taste Metallic Box Set (top story)

• The Temperance Movement Lose Founding Member (top story)

• Joel Hoekstra's 13 Streaming New Song 'Long For The Days' (top story)

• Slayer's Kerry Kings Finds Today's Bands Uninspiring (top story)

• Von Hertzen Brothers Release 'Sunday Child' Video (top story)

• Flying Colors Release Live 'Mask Machine' Video (top story)

• Motorhead Already Planning Next Album Says Lemmy (top story)

• 3 Doors Down Announce The Better Life Foundation Concert (top story)

• Saxon Tried To Avoid Remaking 'Wheels Of Steel' On New Album (top story)

• Candiria Ink Metal Blade Deal For First New Album Since 2009 (top story)

• Kurt Cobain's Home Recordings Set For Release (top story)

• Ozzy, Motley Crue, Def Leppard Guitarists Lead Jeff Beck Tribute (top story)

• Tom DeLonge Makes New Film With Teen Wolf Star Tyler Posey (top story)

• Rolling Stones Open The Vault For Latest Classic Concert DVD (top story)

• Jimi Hendrix Concert Film Coming To DVD and Blu-Ray (top story)

• David Gilmour Scores His Biggest U.S. Hit With 'Rattle That Lock' (top story)

• Foo Fighters Jam Led Zeppelin Classic With Jewel (top story)

• New Metallica Album Doesn't Make Sense Says Slayer's Kerry King (top story)

• KISS Fan Streaming 45-Minute Clip Of Paul Stanley Stage Banter (top story)

• Taylor Swift and Steven Tyler Perform Aerosmith Hit (top story)

• Ghost Perform 'Meliora' Tracks For Live Online Session (top story)

• John Mayall's Bluesbreakers Live in 1967 Gets Double Vinyl Release (top story)

• Counting Days Release 'Die Alone' Video (top story)

• Temple of Baal Streaming New Album 'Mysterium' Online (top story)

• Blackberry Smoke Release 'Rock and Roll Again' Video (top story)

• Chris Cornell Unplugs For Performance Of Soundgarden Classic (top story)

• We Are Harlot Frontman Reveals His Baywatch Dream (top story)

• Chantel McGregor Premieres 'Take The Power' Video (top story)

• Buck & Evans Streaming New Song 'Slow Train' (top story)

• The Enid Added To Summers End Festival Lineup (top story)

• Bullet For My Valentine Ready To Lead Download (top story)

• The Tea Party Expand 'The Edges Of Twilight' For 20th Anniversary (top story)

• The New Regime (Nine Inch Nails and Paramore) Stream New Song (top story)

• Graham Nash Exhibit Coming To The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame (top story)

• Def Leppard To Unveil Their Craft Beer On Hysteria on the High Seas (top story)

Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

Latest B-Sides News Stories

• Young Thug Denies Lil Wayne Murder Plot Rumor (top story)

• Drake and Future Top The Album Chart With 'What A Time To Be Alive' (top story)

• Carly Rae Jepsen Announces North American Fall Tour (top story)

• Bobby Brown's Lawyer Blames Bobbi Kristina's Death On Her Boyfriend (top story)

• Chris Brown Makes Deal For Las Vegas Residency (top story)

• Bleachers Giving Away Female-Fronted 'Terrible Thrills Vol. 2' Album (top story)

• Wiz Khalifa Streaming New Track 'King of Everything' (top story)

• Young Thug and The Game Feud Reignited (top story)

• The Staple Singers Earliest Recordings Part Of New Box Set (top story)

• Justin Bieber Reveals Details About Selena Gomez Relationship (top story)

• Swizz Beatz To Host 4th Annual Global Spin Awards (top story)

• Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen Lead Stars and Strings Lineup (top story)

• TomorrowWorld Attendees Slam Event's Promoters (top story)

• Kanye West Explains The Importance Of Sweatshirts (top story)

• Thomas Rhett Talks New Album 'Tangled Up' (top story)

• Cold War Kids' Nathan Willet Discusses Hit Song 'First' (top story)

• Justin Bieber Mocks One Direction In Online Video (top story)

• Sam Smith On Track To Make History With New James Bond Theme (top story)

• RATM's Tim Commerford Apologizes for Limp Bizkit (top story)

• Chris Brown Reaches Agreement Over Daughter Royalty (top story)

• Lorde Stars In Provocative Video For Disclosure's 'Magnets' (top story)

• George Strait Announces New Residency Dates (top story)

• Nicki Minaj Announces Television Comedy Series (top story)

• Sisqo Reportedly Sues For 'Thong Song' Royalties (top story)

• Imagine Dragons Releases 'Roots' Video (top story)

• Metallica Release 'All Nightmare Long' Live Video (top story)

• Aerosmith Classic Used In New 'Uncharted' PS4 Game Commercial (top story)

• Alanis Morissette Streaming Demo For 'Closer Than You Might Believe' (top story)

• Young Thug Releases Video For Slime Season Track 'Power' (top story)

• Snoop Dogg Launching Football Reality Series (top story)

• Rihanna Snaps Her Own Fader Magazine Cover Photo (top story)

• Drake Declares That Meek Mill Is Dead (top story)

• Fetty Wap Hospitalized After Motorcycle Accident (top story)

• Kenny Rogers Retiring After Final Tour Next Year (top story)

• Sam Smith Releases New James Bond Theme 'Writing's On The Wall' (top story)

• Mick Jagger Rocks Rolling Stones 'Satisfaction' With Taylor Swift (top story)

• New Eazy-E Death Conspiracy Theory Floated By Frost (top story)

• Pope Francis Releases Pop Music Song, Plans Full Album (top story)

• Janet Jackson Recruits Missy Elliot For New Track 'BURNITUP' (top story)

• Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit Declared Most Iconic Song Ever (top story)

• Sara Bareilles Reveals New Song 'She Used to Be Mine' (top story)

• New Weezer Release Date Leaked? (top story)

• Kendrick Lamar and George Clinton Release New Remix (top story)

• Halsey Releases 'New Americana' Video (top story)

• CeeLo Green Announces New Album And Jimmy Fallon Performance (top story)

• Big Big Train Release Live 'Victorian Brickwork' Video (top story)

• Drake Surprised That Meek Mill Didn't Respond To Diss Track (top story)

More News

Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2015 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved.

Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.