THE LAST MISFIT "It was an institution," says current 'FNX program director Paul Driscoll. "Boston has lost a piece of its identity and soul."
WFNX: what's next?
After last week's sale of 101.7 FM to Clear Channel, the hot question around town is: what's next for WFNX? The short answer: stay tuned. Though several on-air hosts gave their farewell performances last week, a skeleton crew is keeping the station on the air pending FCC approval of the sale, which could take 60 to 90 days. Clear Channel has not announced how it intends to use the signal (industry watchers have suggested Spanish language broadcasts, country music, or right-wing talk radio as possibilities), though whatever it is will not have access to WFNX's call letters, library, or intellectual property — all of which are being retained by the Phoenix Media/Communications Group, the family-owned company that operates WFNX and the Phoenix. A change.org petition to save the station is making the rounds, and fans are using the hashtags #wearewfnx, #RIPWFNX, and #29Forever to organize, mourn, and share memories. In addition, the station has set up a Web site to collect fans' testimonials at wfnx.com/wearewfnx.
Though WFNX's "last day" has yet to be determined — and final plans may be unclear for several weeks — program director Paul Driscoll is planning to go out with a bang. In the meantime, it's kind of like Lord of the Flies for radio: Driscoll has shaken up the playlist, throwing Frank Turner's "I Still Believe" into heavy rotation as WFNX's new unofficial anthem, and is taking the station back to its free-form roots. He'll be personally hosting hourly blocks during the week, and is working to bring in WFNX artists to stage airwave takeovers. The station's local-music program, Boston Accents, will continue to run every Sunday night until the plug is pulled, with Boston Phoenix music editor Michael Marotta continuing at the helm.
In addition, the station's previously scheduled events around town are expected to go on as planned. They include:
• The Kooks, performing an intimate pre-show for WFNX listeners on May 26 at the Foundation Room at House of Blues.
• Local Exposure showcase with the Daily Pravda, May 30 at the Hard Rock Café.
• Silversun Pickups, performing a secret listener session on June 6.
• Temper Trap, performing a private listener session June 7 at the Museum of Fine Arts.
• "Seaport Six," June 14 at BOA Pavilion, featuring Grouplove, Two Door Cinema Club, Reptar, Stephie Coplan & the Pedestrians, Delta Spirit, and Cake.
For the latest, and to listen live, keep an ear to wfnx.com. Michael Marotta can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org. SHARE YOUR WFNX MEMORIES: WFNX.COM/WEAREWFNX.