Sunday, November 26, 2006

"SOJ" Turns Nine

Like many broadcast ventures, the start of "Sunday Oldies Jukebox" on WSTB/88.9 was rather modest in its debut some nine years ago.

"It’s been almost twenty years since Portage County radio listeners enjoyed commercial free oldies. In 1978 what was then WSTB 'Golden 91' dropped the oldies format and never looked back, until now," "SOJ" program director "Uncle" Bill Weisinger wrote in November 1997, as a group of volunteers prepared to launch a weekly one-day format change on the otherwise rock station - operated during the week by students at Streetsboro High School.

Fast forward to 2006, and "Sunday Oldies Jukebox" is actively targeting the entire Akron market, which otherwise has no station devoted to pre-1970 rock oldies...aside from whatever older songs are still in Cleveland Clear Channel powerhouse WMJI/105.7's playlist.

(We haven't checked lately, but as "Majic 105.7" continues to try to update its playlist like most commercial "oldies" stations, we'd guess that's a small number to count.)

That full-market focus from the school district-owned station became somewhat easier in 2003, when WSTB started transmitting from a tower on the campus of Kent State University - ironically, the same one abandoned by WKSU/89.7 after its own move to a tower near Akron's Rolling Acres Mall.

The move dramatically improved the WSTB signal in the Akron area, and like Kenston High School standards outlet WKHR/91.5 Bainbridge, the station started filling an unmet need in a larger, nearby market... in a format rapidly abandoned by commercial outlets, in the case of WKHR's standards and the "Sunday Oldies Jukebox" on WSTB.

And though the WSTB signal means it can, like all other broadcast outlets in Portage County, focus primarily on greater Akron, the station hasn't forgotten its roots entirely - as noted by the station's recent full-steam-ahead Portage County election coverage.

"Uncle Bill" tells us that listeners in six Northeast Ohio counties check in with "SOJ", including some who are so hungry for 50's and 60's oldies that they drive closer to the broadcast signal on their Sunday drives.

Among the list of all-volunteer "SOJ" air personalities are at least three regular readers of OMW, so congratulations to them directly!

19 comments:

74WIXYgrad said...

I have at least one of the personalities checking in on my blog also. I honored that with a direct link on my link list, right now at the top. But anyway I want to say congratulations also.

VODood said...

Congrats Uncle Bill, Johnny and Co. Great job! A few more Drake sounders would rock (hint hint) but other than that... "Rock On!".

Anonymous said...

The SOJ sounds great, and it has a web site that makes some commercial stations look lame http://www.sundayoldiesjukebox.com!

MIKE YOUNG said...

Thank-You OMW for the nice write-up as one of the newest member of the SOJ staff I thank the listeners and readers for keeping the oldies going strong as always WE ARE LISTENER SUPPORTED AND COMMERCIAL FREE. Someday(doubtful I know)maybe the BIG BROADCASTING COMPANIES WILL GET A CLUE ABOUT PROGRAMMING AND HAVING YOUR AIR-TALENTS BEING MORE THAN A TIME/TEMP JOCK AND SHOW WHAT RADIO WAS PERSONALITY DRIVEN WITH A LOCAL PROGRAMMER WHO GET'S IT. Thank-You Uncle Bill for not only making me a part of the SOJ family but for the great music you don't hear on commercial radio anymore. Many more years and my wish is that all of us could be on 7 days a week with the SOJ.

Anonymous said...

As one of the crew on SOJ FM88.9, I'm always amazed at how much the staff cares personally about our listeners. We know meany of them just by the sounds of their voices when they call. We provide them with the music and memories they knew and loved as young adults, and they respond with tremendous support and loyalty. Not something likely to be happening in commercial radio. I'm proud to be a part of it.

Guy Z
FM88.9

Anonymous said...

Here we go again about sunday oldies jukebox who in the world would listern to a station like that. Wmji 105.7 is alot better then sunday oldies jakebox and the staff at sunday oldies jukebox they do nothing. They just all seat there and look at the wall and some of the staff just like to make up story about everything. I will never listern to sunday oldies jukebox. Wmji 105.7 is a lot better then sunday oldies jukebox. If you look at the rating you will see who is better.

Neil said...

In response to the WMJI employee who posted above: Your station doesn't even use the word "oldies" any more.

All that seventies stuff you play does not qualify as "oldies" to a true rock-n-roll oldies fan.

"Oldies" means doo-wop and rockabilly. That's not your station.

Anonymous said...

The reason there is an on/off switch and a way to change stations on your radio is so that you use them. Not every radio station is for every person (Regardless of what CC thinks). So if you don't enjoy the SOJ please listen to the same 200 songs on Majic :)

And on a personal note to the poster, I am not the best at spelling and grammar, but do you notice anything wrong with the syntax of your posting?

Anonymous said...

"If you look at the rating you will see who is better."

Hmm, I didn't realize that the ratings reflected what is better quality, I thought they only estimated the amount of people listening. I'm sure many believe WCLV to be the best "quality" radio in NE Ohio, but it certainly does't have the highest ratings. Same is true in TV, WVIZ seems to have quality programming but not huge ratings.

It is rather humorous to believe that a Sunday only radio station with its tower in Kent, aiming at Akron is a huge threat to WMJI, even if its OLDIES programming QUALITY is far superior.

Johnny Morgan said...

How odd that the anonymous SOJ-hater says he will never listen to the SOJ...yet seems to know a hell of alot about the SOJ, including the laughable assumption about the "SOJocks" and how they just "seat [sic] there and look at the wall".

I guess I missed WMJI's open-air, wall-less studios. Perhaps Chuck can mention what it was like working in wall-less studios at Majic.

The fact is that people DO listen to the SOJ, and they respond in kind. Only a small portion of our total listenership contributes annually during the fund drive, but it's a portion that wants us to know that they listen and love us.

And as someone (I forget who) always says, most of audience hasn't found us yet. Give it time. While anonymous SOJ-hater may pine for the Majic, the memories are being played.

What a shame that anonymous can't appreciate both stations. His loss I guess. You don't see anyone else here hating another station. No Majic-hate has appeared. How sad that a nice tribute has to be ruined by ignorance.

For me, I'll stick with having a radio that tunes to a number of stations, including Majic and the SOJ.

Warmest,
Johnny Morgan
One of the maligned SOJocks

Anonymous said...

If you look at rating. You will understand why sunday oldies jukebox is in last place in the radio market in Akron. Now for the Staff at sunday oldies jukebox yes all the do is sit there and look at the wall all day. And tell story about thing. Yes in fact I do not like sunday oldies jukebox at all. Why would I want to listern to sunday oldies jukebox when I can listern to better music on WMJI 105.7. Some people in here think that I don't like sunday oldies jukebox that is 100% right. sunday oldies jukebox staff and music are to OLD OLD to be on the air. sunday oldies jukebox is in last place in the rating for Radio. Maybe if the staff took time to look at the facts and see who is in First Place That would be WMJI 105.7 Not sunday oldies jukebox.

MIKE YOUNG said...

To anonymous it seems to me that you have MORE BITTERNESS TOWARDS SOJ. Could it be you're a former SOJ staffer who is bitter? Could it be you're employed by MAJIC? To my knowledge we have never shown on the air-waves any DISRESPECT TOWARDS MAJIC RADIO. As several people have stated the 2 stations program quality music,THE SOJ however have never forgotten nor ignored the roots of rock-n-roll. The next time you feel the need to vent do it in the open and let us and the readers know who you are. If you truly believe in your statement. I believe in mine I'm MIKE YOUNG A PROUD MEMBER OF THE SOJ AND HOST ON SUNDAYS MUSIC,MEMORIES&ME ON WHK NOON-2PM.

Ohio Media Watch said...

Careful, folks, I'm getting that itchy Close the Comments Trigger Finger.

Before I do, I'll just note this:

"Sunday Oldies Jukebox" and WMJI live in different universes.

WMJI is a full-power commercial station covering all of Northeast Ohio, with a major local radio icon as its morning co-host.

"SOJ" is a one-day a week volunteer effort on a high school owned station east of Akron.

Both have their place, and other than the fact they may (or may not) share a musical piece or two, they're once again the proverbial apple vs. orange.

One amasses a large audience and makes money, the other is a "labor of love" where none of the air personalities are paid. How could anyone possibly compare the two on any level?

It's just like that back and forth on the translator for Mansfield non-comm CCM outlet WVMC in Wooster. WVMC and WQKT are as different as night and day.

Knock it off, folks. I don't have the time to moderate your arguments.

-The Management

Anonymous said...

OA - it is kinda nice to see people feeling passionate about something!

Anonymous said...

Dear The Management of this web Site.

I know who the Management of this page is. So I will not sit here and agree with Management or disagree with Management of this page. But This Management does a Great Job here and I want to Public Thank Them for allowing this Comment Section to stay open for this. But I belive That People have a right to speak there minds. And people here are speaking there minds. I may not agree with some people but that have a right to say what they want to say. Sunday Oldies Jukebox Staff needs to look at the Facts and get them RIGHT.

Now as for Sunday Oldies Jukebox It surprize that three of the post that have been made by Anonymous. All seem to have something to say nice about Sunday Oldies Jukebox now why would that be well that's because they work for them or the person is from Sunday Oldies Jukebox. My people do not sit on there chair and do nothing all day. Now let's talk about DISRESPECT TOWARDS MAJIC RADIO. Sunday Oldies Jukebox has in the pass made on air comments about WMJI. So to clean up the air about everything. WMJI has NOT every Made any DISRESPECT comments toward Sunday Oldies Jukebox so there for if anyone from Sunday Oldies Jukebox wants to talk about facts let's get this out WMJI 105.7 Is the best of the best for Oldies. Sunday oldies Jukebox Has lost listern time every time.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

What are the facts you are referring to? As far as I can tell the SOJ plays oldies that they feel appeal to a specific niche of the market. Period.

WMJI plays music to a niche of the market as well.

I think that the music selection between the SOJ and WMJI is quite different, as the SOJ plays much more from the 50's and 60's than WMJI, and I think has quite a broader playlist.

Those are the facts. Ratings are only important to commercial stations that are dependant on high ratings in order to have high income.

As far as the SOJ disrespecting WMJI, the only think I have heard on the air resembling what you are describing is during fund drives, when it is discussed that the SOJ on-air library of music is significantly larger than WMJI. I believe this is quite factual, and not disrespectful at all.

As Johnny points out, both stations are fine. Personal preference dictates which you prefer, or you may prefer to listen to both. Either way you seem awfully defensive about nothing you have a stake in (unless you are a former member of the SOJ or WMJI). Why do you care that some like the SOJ? Can't you accept that and let them be happy?

And for someone who hates the SOJ you seem to listen an awful lot.

Anonymous said...

Update

The Point is My Staff does not sit on there chairs and doing nothing that's the point the other is We as a Radio Station will not Talk bad about a Other Radio Station and that's the other point Were Sunday Oldies Jukebox has in the past Talk bad about other Radio Stations.

I think I will End there and Say this. The Ownersship of this Web Site is the Best of the Best out there. Great Job Web Site Owners. Keep up the great work. As for

Sunday Oldies Jukebox different story they don't do any work at all.

****Dear The Management of this web Site****.

I know who the Management of this page is. So I will not sit here and agree with Management or disagree with Management of this page. But This Management does a Great Job here and I want to Public Thank Them for allowing this Comment Section to stay open for this. But I belive That People have a right to speak there minds. And people here are speaking there minds. I may not agree with some people but that have a right to say what they want to say. Sunday Oldies Jukebox Staff needs to look at the Facts and get them RIGHT.

Now as for Sunday Oldies Jukebox It surprize that three of the post that have been made by Anonymous. All seem to have something to say nice about Sunday Oldies Jukebox now why would that be well that's because they work for them or the person is from Sunday Oldies Jukebox. My people do not sit on there chair and do nothing all day. Now let's talk about DISRESPECT TOWARDS MAJIC RADIO. Sunday Oldies Jukebox has in the pass made on air comments about WMJI. So to clean up the air about everything. WMJI has NOT every Made any DISRESPECT comments toward Sunday Oldies Jukebox so there for if anyone from Sunday Oldies Jukebox wants to talk about facts let's get this out WMJI 105.7 Is the best of the best for Oldies. Sunday oldies Jukebox Has lost listern time every time.

Johnny Morgan said...

OA, if you will allow me one multifaceted comment in response, then you may punt this thread as you see fit.

First, Anonymous SOJ-hater alleged that the SOJocks are too "OLD OLD". That will come as a great shock to (a) the remainder of the SOJocks, (b) me, (c) a number of readers here, (d) the much-loved management of this website, all of whom know how old I am.\

Hint: I ain't "OLD OLD".

Second, anecdotal placement in the ratings--which book, what hours, what demo, etc. are unexplained--says nothing about quality. Also, ratings, ranking, and relative position does not offer any explanation of "why" something is, only that "it" actually is. If the SOJ is in last place--which isn't even true, by the way, to the best of my knowledge--that means nothing more than the fact that listeners listen more to WMJI. It MAY mean that they prefer WMJI, but the logical correlation is by no means complete right there.

By the way, if we're talking about sitting on chairs...name me the live jocks on the weekends on WMJI. Go ahead, I'll wait for it.

Again, the ONLY FACT is that WMJI and the SOJ have their listeners. Some WMJI listeners listen to us, and vice versa. That the random anonymous SOJ-hater cannot accept that fact is telling.

Quite telling, in fact.

We're just trying to be cordial here, "talking about thing" (whatever that is or means). You're the one with the vitriol, Mr. Anonymous SOJ-hater.

Feel free to email me with the names of those non-chair sitting live weekend voices on Majic.

Warmest,
Johnny Morgan
Still being maligned SOJock

Ohio Media Watch said...

/include std_ThisIsNotAMessageBoard_speech

/close comments

--The Management