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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

From a Different Era

New York City has a new FM all news station,  WEMP 101.9.  It streams on the internet, and you can listen to it  here, at http://www.fmnewsnewyork.com/.  It's not a bad operation.  Plus, I'm in favor of anything that adds news to the radio dial, and keeps news people employed.

Like a lot of radio stations, WEMP has traffic reports.  In the biz, we call them sounders-- a little jingle or few musical notes that let you know a different feature has arrived.  WEMP uses a "ding ding" thing as the traffic report intro, the same sound you used to hear when you drove over the thin, black hose at the full service gas station.  Driving over the hose would trigger the ding ding bell inside the station, alterting the attendant that he (or she) had to go outside to pump some gas.

Here's my point.  Most full service stations are long gone.  WEMP is trying to appeal to a new generation of all news listeners.  Does anyone under 40 know what the ding ding is all about?

I have to admit, it did bring back some pleasant memories of my uncle's gas station, and the gas stations where I grew up, where I used to get air in my bike tires and a cold soda.  But then again, I'm not in WEMP's target demographic.