I love WFNX. I suppose I might be expected to say that, but that is really how I feel. This little 6000-watt station (whose broadcast signal was only 3000 watts up until two years ago) that has been dismissed by the mainstream and corporate radio world too many times to note over the past 25 years has, literally, changed the face of music — not just locally but nationally and internationally. Think I'm embellishing here? I am not. From the bands to the managers to the listeners to the advertisers, WFNX matters — and it doesn't just matter a little, it matters a lot.
A little bit of insider history: I remember my father coming into my room back in 1983 (I was 15) and telling me he was buying a radio station and couldn't figure out what kind of music it should play, but there were two choices: country or new wave. At that time I was more of a metalhead than anything else, so I had no idea what "new wave" was, but I made it very clear that, from my perspective, country would be a really bad choice. So I said something to the effect of, "anything but country." Mind you, I take zero credit for WFNX's 25-year staying power, and I'm sure if we had gone country, we would have been a phenomenal country station. But my self-centered, narrow teenage mind called it as I saw it back then, so in my own little way, I am pleased that I contributed something to the station's success.
Although my contribution has been minimal, there are countless people, past and present, whose impact has been immeasurable. These 'FNXers — from all areas of the radio world — have brought their insight, commitment, and brilliance to truly make WFNX what it is today. Not only did they believe we were unique, they made sure everyone around them — from bands to labels to listeners — also believed in what we were doing and why we were doing it. And, most important, they were right.
Twenty-five years from now, who knows how people will explore and embrace music. Downloads directly to your brain based on your mood? Who knows? What we do know is that radio is changing very quickly, and being independently owned, we've always had the freedom to take chances and help drive the change. So whether you continue to hear us on 101.7 FM, listen online at wfnx.com, or get the brain download of the future, you can be certain we'll make sure that whenever anyone tunes to WFNX, they will be listening to "Boston's True Alternative" and, frankly, the best radio station in the world (yes, the world). So from me and on behalf of my father, Stephen Mindich (the guy who wisely chose new wave over country), I want to thank all of you — the staff, the bands, the labels, the listeners, and the advertisers who make this possible every day — for your 25 years of commitment to WFNX.
I invite you to explore the station's history within this 25th anniversary retrospective, and I am sure you will be as proud as I am.
Brad Mindich, president, the Phoenix Media/Communications Group