HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

As of this Thursday, Audacy’s WNYL will no longer exist as an Alternative outlet for NYC. Instead, 1010 WINS, the oldest continuously running news station in the States (first on-air in 1924) will now occupy the 92.3 FM frequency. Losing this station is a huge bummer but hardly the first time an Alternative station has had the plug pulled in NYC. “We can’t have nice things” could very well be our beloved format’s motto, as stations with a 0.0 share (the sound of one hand clapping) have their spins counted toward the Alternative Mediabase chart (a disgrace) while we lose a station that actually had an impact in the market, which happened to be market #1. Jesus.

Audacy has swapped Las Vegas Alt KXTE to Beasley, who will take morning-show powerhouses Dave and Mahoney, with no announcement regarding the format of the station. WNYL PD Mike Kaplan will be leaving Audacy and taking time to explore his myriad options, while his programming team of Christine Malovetz (whose brilliance outshines all others) and Brad Steiner (aka my best friend) will continue to blossom at Audacy under the guidance of Kevin Weatherly.  KXTE PD Ross Mahoney will continue his role as a Regional VP. I anticipate a shuffling of who is overseeing which markets in the months ahead, but for now we’re holding our collective breaths, hoping for no other surprises in the near future.

A million huzzahs to Lisa Worden for her Alter Ego lineup, which is iHeart’s premiere Alt-radio festival. In January, we’ll be at the Kia Forum, grooving to Rosa Linn, Beach Weather, CHVRCHES, Phoenix (swoon), Fall Out Boy, Muse, Jack White and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Brava!

This week, thanks to the generosity of Columbia’s Lisa Sonkin, I’ll be at the Forum with Merge Records goddess Christina Rentz to see Harry Styles. Had I gone to see Wolf Alice at the Wiltern a few nights ago, I could’ve had my photo op with Harry, who was hanging backstage with his onetime opening act. Lesley James, the new appointed APD and host at KXT Dallas, snagged a selfie with Harry while I was at home watching Bachelor in Paradise or some similar escapist fare, chosen to numb the pain of another Tuesday.

Arista’s Nick Petropoulos, one of my favorite people on the planet, coasted into the weekend with Beach Weather’s “Sex, Drugs, Etc.” entrenched at #1 at Alternative, six years after its initial release (time flies in a pandemic). After Beach Weather, Gorillaz “Cracker Island” is a lock for #1, to be followed by blink-182’s “Edging.” News of the band’s reunion with Tom DeLonge, plus the on-sale of a massive tour, confirms their status as one of the biggest bands in the U.S. The timing of the single and tour announcement is a much-needed jolt for the Alternative format.

The biggest band in the U.K. is The 1975. Their latest album, Being Funny in a Foreign Language, debuted at #1 across the pond, outselling the collective sales of the remaining albums in the Top 5. “I’m in Love With You” is a monster hit over there as well. Does 100 million global album streams get your attention? Does the cover story from Pitchfork catch your eye, perhaps? Maybe a sold-out arena tour of the States, which starts in two weeks, will impress you. Look for a significant chart debut in the States—extra-poignant because the band chose to release the album on their own label, Dirty Hit, also home to beabadoobee, blackstarkids, Rina Sawayama, Pale Waves and Harry’s buddies Wolf Alice (in the U.K.).

One of my favorite bands of all time, Simple Minds, released an album of new material Friday titled Direction of the Heart. I know there are new records from Taylor Swift and Arctic Monkeys that would otherwise occupy every waking moment, but I’ve been listening to the Simple Minds album on repeat for weeks. Without question, working with this band during my tenure at A&M remains a top-five career highlight. I’d love to interview singer Jim Kerr about what it was like to be an Alternative artist 40 years ago.


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