WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic
Magazine Decay has its own page.


Total Abandonment

  • Encyclopedia Dramatica started out as a catalog for Live Journal drama and other internet culture. In the years since, the site has gradually deteriorated towards imageboard culture and trolling (part of the blame for this can be laid at the feet of Eternal September) and getting the distinction of being the "Wikipedia for Trolls" in the process. Eventually, the head administrator had enough, and retooled the site in April 2011 into Oh Internet, which continued their tradition at cataloging memes and internet culture, but without all the Not Safe for Work material and trolling culture and style. Users of the site however, were not too pleased at this, to say the least, quickly setting up mirror websites as a replacement and the head administrator was bombarded with hate mail and death threats.
  • Gaia Online may qualify. Originally an anime-centric roleplay site, its focus has shifted towards general entertainment and pop culture, much of the quality of the site's features has dropped considerably, and a great deal of new items and features require the purchase of Gaia Cash, a virtual currency bought with real money, which is a sharp turn to a site that was for the most part free and losing much of their fanbase in the process.
  • Game FAQs’ "WoT" (408) board was originally used as a forum to discuss the events of 9/11 and then the war on terror. It quickly devolved into a social board, and due to the topicality issues, the board was temporarily removed, then reinstated as a hidden board. In the process, it was officially renamed from "War on Terrorism" to WOT. The politics discussions were then given its own board, 261.


  • My Space resorted to a Retool in Fall 2010 due to fewer and fewer people using the site, having lost most of them to Facebook. The new CEO proclaimed that My Space is no longer a social network, but "Social Entertainment", revamping itself into an entertainment site and alienating the few people who still used the site. This included a new logo, new homepage and a new profile layout. They were about to force everyone to upgrade their profiles to the new layout (considering how many My Space sites are Mirror-Cracking Ugly, this was considered an improvement) when the uproars of They Changed It, Now It Sucks caused them to back down and allow users to change their profiles back to how they originally looked, glitter GIFs and all. This still hasn't stopped people from abandoning the site, unfortunately, and it was sold for a pittance to a group which includes an ad agency and Justin Timberlake.
  • The Good Old Games digital distribution was designed to 1: provide quality old games, 2: do so at low prices and, 3: With no DRM. It has always had a few newish titles in it's library, though all very much Cult Classics (Like Psychonauts and Beyond Good and Evil) and the newest titles being sequels (like one would get in the bundles that one would otherwise buy to get the old games) or spiritual successors to games that fit (Such as UFO Afterblank to the not carried X-Com). The 2nd part has slipped a little more, with almost all new titles being offered for the maximum $9.99. The 3rd is still steady though. It has been announced the system will carry The Witcher 2, though this is because of the obvious advantages (GOG is run by the same company, making it more profitable than other digital distribution networks as well as keeping the game DRM free.)
    • Adding new indie titles were somewhat justified, what with the titles carried being mostly retro throwbacks. Upping the maximum to $19.99 (except for The Witcher 2) is also somewhat defensible, as only a few titles[1] are above $9.99, and most of them can be covered under 'indie game or recent bundle of newish sequel to older game'. Adding Assassin's Creed I, on the other hand...
  • 4chan was intended to be a place to discuss Japanese comics and anime, an American counterpart to the popular Japanese Futaba Channel ("2chan") imageboard. However, these days many consider it to be more of a meme and trolling site due in thanks to the infamous /b/ board. It is not uncommon for a fan of anime and other Japanese media to say they wouldn’t touch the site with a 10 foot pole, and with the stuff that goes on there, who would blame them? They still have plenty of discussions about Anime and Manga, and an untold amount of Anime memes have originated from here but a good amount of people that came just for the memes are unfortunately advocates of the Animation Age Ghetto, and as a result, there are a pretty strong hostility towards anime and Japanese around 4chan these days.
  • DozerfleetWiki early-on began its life aiming only to be strictly a cataloging of the Dozerfleet founder's (goes by IvanRider on the site) project history, and a list of articles about fictional characters and items/mythology in some of those projects. Then came the Ferris invasion, documenting non-fiction works made in cooperation with a TV production graduation class for spring 2010 at Ferris. After a year and a half of the "Ferris Invasion," along came the SWOCC Invasion which documented about 30 different projects that were made in the latter half of 2010 at SWOCC Studios in Farmington, MI. Then came the Tri-Sola Invasion, documenting and creating navboxes for poems written by a poet from St. Johns for his Tri-Sola Poetry collection. (Mike was a friend of IvanRider's.) There was also the addition of a Sims fan site called Utterly Sims which was merged into the Wiki. And then the Dozerfleet Blog and Dozerfleet Forum were merged into the Wiki, sharing space only with Facebook and Google+ for IvanRider's personal anecdotes. Things really got complicated when some of the news about government waste incensed IvanRider, leading to the Shrimp on a Treadmill Index on some articles; and later a Featured Video of the Month section which would devote itself from November of 2011 until November of 2012 entirely to videos attacking left-wing policies, or exposing the seedy histories and criminal conspiracies of groups associated with the Obama administration. The Featured Monthly News / What's Hot This Year section became half of the regular project updates news and half rants about political and culture war developments. It remains to be seen how much of the new political dimension will remain active after the 2012 election year.
  • Deviant ART has spent the past couple years trying to Retool itself into an art-themed social-networking site.

Major Shifts That Fit

  • The page that inspired This very wiki:
    • Despite the name, TV Tropes no longer focuses on television. Over the past couple of years, it has added movies, books, board games and video games to its lineup. Lately, it's even been moving away from tropes, adding Useful Notes, Audience Reactions, Trivial Facts, writer's tools, humor pages, and with a few exceptions, Real Life examples and material. Of course, this wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. What's happened here is more expansion than decay; since we're not dealing with a finite number of time slots, we didn't have to remove any of the original material to make room for the new stuff. Given that most TV tropes originated in literature, mythology, and theater, such expansion makes sense. It gives perspective on the tropes.
      • Of course, all this justifies why the 'fork' site you are currently reading this on removes the 'TV' from the name and instead calls itself 'All The Tropes'.
    • Troper Tales was a big example within the site itself. It was oringally intended to be an example of tropes in real life, and the ultimate reason for its removal was because it became more of an anonymous blog and discussion forum. See also our own section of Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things.
  • The site Movie (and TV) Mistakes seems to to be moving the same way as we did.
  • The Internet Movie Firearms Database is a lot like TV Tropes in this regard, except more wiki-like, it started with films instead of TV, and the focus is weapons instead of tropes.
  • YouTube was originally meant to be a medium for people to broadcast self-made videos (hence the motto, "Broadcast Yourself"). Then people started uploading copyrighted material so that others could watch their favorite shows and movies anywhere without the hassle of commercials or having to buy the DVD. Today, it seems most people go to YouTube for mostly clips or episodes of mainstream commercial shows, while the site deals with lawsuits from companies like Viacom, with YouTube accused of letting copyrighted material be posted to increase the site's exposure. This led to the creation of Vevo, which is backed by the industry and specifically caters to music.
    • Ironically for this topic, many of those clips are of programs and promos of other networks taped off air pre-decay, such as Game Show Network, Nick and TV Land (Where else can the youngsters of today learn about Twip?)
  • Ultimate Disney originally consisted of simple lists detailing which Walt Disney movies became available on DVD, and in what collections. Later, the website also contained reviews of some of the DVDs. It also gained a forum for discussing Disney titles of the past, present, and future, as well as some miscellaneous topics. However, when Disney started releasing fewer of their titles on DVD, Ultimate Disney registered an alternate domain, "DVDizzy", for hosting reviews of other studios' movies and shows. All of Ultimate Disney's content absorbed into DVDizzy after a few years. Fortunately, not only do the authors continue to promote and review Disney-owned movies and shows on DVD (and Blu-Ray), but still redirects to, and the Disney-themed part of the forum still has a spot on the top of its index page.

Temporary Shifts

  • Illumistream used to be a general health channel on YouTube, and they still do some general health advice videos. Then they started introducing a sex health segment. Fair enough. Then they started focusing more and more on sex health, to the point where it seemingly became their main focus. Hey, it's still health related, so it's still fair. Then they started doing more and more videos on steamy sex confessions with little visible or tangential connection to actually health advice or even sex health advice, almost as if their whole intention now is to turn into a softer-than-softcore version of Penthouse or something. Oh-kay... But wait! They have appeared to have learned the error of their ways and in the past several months returned to being a sex health/general health channel, with about an equal emphasis on the two!

Unique Situations

  • How about Google Street View? It started as a service to allow Internet dwellers to explore the roads of their own home, and of other cities and countries, including far-off nations such as South Africa, Romania or Brazil. Then in 2009, they started introducing landmarks, including parks, stadiums (the World Cup being the whole reason for South African updates) and other points of interests. After 2009 and 2010, which had spread to nearly 30 countries, Street View began catering more to landmarks, taking an apparent focus to museums (the Internet equivalent of Adored by the Network), and not even updating roads, except for a brief unadvertised update to France and Brazil, until they introduced a Channel Island and Monaco, which were the only two new places to be introduced in nearly a year. This might be the side-effect of the Wi-Fi Capturing Case though, as not only are road updates relatively neglected, but their last two updates was the official introduction of Google Places (indoor business photos) and a whole bunch of parks already collected. Note that Google Street View stays out of Total Abandonment and Slipped due to the fact they still offer roadside views, and the occasional, but rare, actual road update, and that park updates usually include in-park roads.


In General

  • The death of Radio Drama due to the rise of television in the 1950s can be seen as an example of this.
  • The oldies and classic rock formats in general has been undergoing a justified form of decay for a long time. The passage of time means that the line between "classic/oldies" and "modern" continues to move forward. It's not uncommon to hear music by Guns & Roses, Metallica, Madonna, Michael Jackson, the Black Crowes, or even Nirvana on such stations when it once would have been unfathomable...until you remember that The Eighties ended over twenty-five years ago, a fact that can make a child of the 1980s feel old.
    • Lampshaded by a line in Bowling For Soup's song "1985":

 "When did Motley Crue become classic rock?"

  • In recent years, a lot of modern rock stations around the country have undergone decay, either adding more classic rock to their playlists or dropping rock music altogether for something else entirely. Much like the decay of the music video networks, this one has a lot to do with the internet. The fanbase for modern rock is, by and large, more net-savvy than the average American, and rock musicians were among the first to start relying heavily on the internet for self-promotion, increasingly forgoing airplay on terrestrial radio. With their listeners migrating en masse to the internet, rock music stations were forced to adapt if they were to survive. As artists in other genres start moving online, this trend may soon start creeping across the airwaves, especially with respect to those stations targeting younger listeners.
    • Many modern rock stations have begun to play indie rock to attract back listeners, and it's worked pretty well. (It also brings things full circle, inasmuch as "modern rock" is basically a more commercialized version of what was once known as "alternative rock" or "college rock", i.e. the original indie rock.) Others have switched to "active rock" stations (which play harder rock in addition to classic rock), which have also worked pretty well, too.
  • The AM band used to be the only way to listen to radio, which meant that there used to be far more AM music stations. However, in The Seventies and The Eighties, most music stations switched to FM, which has a much higher audio quality, and those that didn't found themselves hemorrhaging listeners and shutting down. As a result, countless AM radio stations decayed out of necessity, switching to the news, talk, and sports that now dominate commercial AM radio... and many of those are themselves moving to FM because many people, especially young people, often have receivers that only get FM without any AM at all.
    • In Venezuela, most AM stations are still music stations... broadcasting popular music from the 30's to the 80's, about the age they were still relevant before the FM band. The only new music they have, if any, is usually of the folkloric kind.
    • Radio Disney uses the AM band almost exclusively for their radio stations. It's a brilliant marketing tactic — the lower audio quality (and their demands for record companies to give them ultra-clean versions of songs) means that listeners will have to actually buy the music in order to hear it as it was meant to be played. It does help, though, that Radio Disney is among the biggest pushers of HD Radio, which provides at least FM-quality sound on AM, and is found in the newer cars of parents which are right down their marketing wheelhouse.
      • Speaking of Radio Disney, they too suffered network decay. When launched in the late 90s, they catered to kids of all ages and the kid-at-heart, with a night slot that played lullabies, a late night slot that played oldies with a mix of kids music and lullabies right up to morning, and an afternoon preschool block. Those are long gone, they now only play music of interest to tweens and teens..
    • In Canada, the CRTC (the Canadian FCC) once actually limited the amount of hit music that could be played on FM. Result: Canada stuck with Top 40 on AM for longer (Toronto had competing Top 40 stations on AM as late as 1993), which also resulted in AM stereo being a bigger success in Canada than in the US. Later, the regulation was re-jigged into a limitation on oldies, a limitation still not void in Quebec, but removed in other provinces.
  • The "Morning Zoo" block on music stations could be seen as a form of this with people who listen to the station strictly for the music, even if the block has been on the station from day one. This is especially true of instances where radio stations decide to dedicate more hours of the week to their "Morning Zoo" hosts.
  • FM stations simply do not have news departments anymore unless they're public radio or from a local broadcaster who actually gets what the word "broadcasting" means. So you either get no news at all or it told to you in a sarcastic style which hardly informs you.
  • Don't get any Clear Channel listener started on having to sit such ridiculous branding such as the "Gordie Boucher Chevrolet of Waukesha Rides With You Every Mile Traffic Center".
  • Don't get any cranky old broadcasting codgers industry veterans started on Clear Channel. Or Jack FM. Or voicetracking, where a DJ in Philly fakes that he knows all about "the haps" in Walla Walla.
  • A temporary form of Network Decay is when certain radio stations switch to all or mostly Christmas music over the winter holidays. Not only are there people who don't want to hear so much Christmas music (or, in some cases, any Christmas music), but this also disadvantages people who happen to really like the radio station's usual format.
    • One of our local "goodtime oldies" stations cheerily declared it was going All Christmas All The Time on Dec. 1. About ten days into it, they had so much listener complaint they had to put their usual stuff back on with a mere sprinkling of Xmas tunes!
      • Kansas City inverts that line of thought then. There are at least two stations that go All Christmas every year and one of them is starting earlier each year to get a jump on the other one. Another station in Wichita actually sees its ratings increase when it plays All Christmas because its normal format isn't suitable for workplaces and offices.
      • Similar circumstances in California. The ONLY local oldies station in my area, as well as one easy listening station, both go All Christmas the moment Halloween has past every year, and stick with it until the beginning of January. The two stations never waver with such programming... did I mention this is in an area where the winter weather is typically either warm and sunny or mild and wet?
      • Sirius XM used to throw out their disco channel from November through New Year's for Christmas music, but backlash from fans (yes, Virginia, disco fans still exist, and in surprising numbers) caused them to move it to the religious music section instead, where the disco fans said it had belonged all along.
  • Any public radio station when they stop carrying classical music to carry more talk programming. It gets ugly usually, with long time underwriters threatening to pull funding, verbose newspaper critics declaring the time of death for American radio, and people complaining about the station moving the format to the infant HD radio band so they have to buy new equipment. This, even though smooth jazz and classical music is dying in the same way elevator music pretty much left FM radio by the mid-90's.
    • The demise of St. Louis's KFUO-FM follows a similar track. KFUO was started by the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod as a Classical Music station in 1948, and remained that way until it was sold to Gateway Creative Broadcasting in spring of 2010. Gateway completely revamped the format, and the rebranded KJLY started broadcasting Christian music that summer. Regardless of how one feels about the genre, classical music fans were outraged at the loss of the only game in town. The local NPR station helped pick up the slack with an HD channel devoted to classical music and weekly broadcasts of the local symphony orchestra, but terrestrial listeners are still left high and dry most of the week.


  • 99X in Atlanta was an influential modern rock station that, one random Friday, became the Top 40 station Q100, formerly housed at 100.5.
    • For (relative) clarity, here's how it happened. 99X (then on 99.7) was competing with another modern rock station, Project 9-6-1 (96.1 on the radio), which had already undergone its own slight Network Decay when it moved from 105.3. (Before that, 96.1 used to be a classic rock station, and the Project kept playing some of those classic rock songs.) Despite the decay, the Project became more popular than 99X, leading to Q100 getting the 99.7 frequency rights (the same company, Cumulus Media, owns both 99X and Q100). Afterwards, many of the DJs from 99X moved to a new rock station, Rock 100.5 (which was Q100's old position, and also owned by Cumulus Media). After a year, 99X then briefly began broadcasting on the 97.9 frequency--making the name a non-indicative Artifact Title--before moving to 99.1 in 2010. The new frequency doesn't have as wide a range as the old frequency (advertised as the strongest signal in the Atlanta area), unfortunately, meaning the reemergence of the station is irrelevant to many listeners farther outside the city. Isn't Executive Meddling fun?
  • Some people think 95.5 The Beat was this, in that it used to play mostly rap, hip-hop and R&B with a little bit of pop crossover hits. In the later stages, however, they started playing more and more pop (so much so that the other rap station, Hot 107.9 advertised themselves as not being watered down with Justin Bieber) until finally they were replaced with the FM version of WSB radio.
    • Actually a double decay. In the late '90s, 95.5's playlist incorporated a lot of electronic dance music such as Groove Armada and Eiffel 65. They dropped most of that for hip-hop in the 2000s, thus annoying the listeners who actually did like electronica.
  • An extreme amount with 107.5 and 102.5, which were a jazz station and oldies/R&B/Soul station respectively, but in 2009, 102.5's programming was moved to 107.5 and 102.5 became a gospel station.


  • BBC Five Live began life in 1990 as BBC Radio 5, which had a combination of sports and young people's programmes (including the original radio version of Room 101). Then in 1994 it became the "rolling news" station Five Live. Since then Five Live has gradually become filled with phone-in programmes, rather than actual news.
    • BBC Radio 2 and 3 often get accused of this: Radio 2 suffers the "oldies/classic rock" problem mentioned above, while Radio 3 (officially "classical, jazz, world music and arts") is frequently accused of "dumbing down" for classifying modern jazz, folk, or "experimental" music as part of their remit.
      • Radio 3 gets complaints when they play only one movement of a symphony, or just two acts of an opera, never mind playing a stand-alone aria.
    • Radio 2 seems to be aiming for the "Too Broad To Decay" category, and is the last British national station trying to appeal to different demographics at different times of the day. You may get two hours of modern alternative music followed by a documentary about the history of barbershop quartets, then a biographical piece on some famous dead musician, or something else not quite niche enough to fit on Radio 3. Despite the predominance of classic rock and oldies during office hours, there's a surprising number of live sessions, and Terry Wogan is widely credited with helping Katie Melua's career get off the ground.
  • The network decay for commercial stations in Britain came when Global Radio (who bought out G Cap, a hybrid of GWR & Capital Radio Group rebranded "heritage stations" into Heart (softer, more female music) or Capital (generic top 40, usually with Katy Perry in Stupid Statement Dance Mix format - note the station is named after 95.8 Capital FM). People were not amused. Personality-driven radio, which is common in North America, was common in Britain, until 2008, for G Cap until Global came in.
    • But the process began way back in 2008, when G Cap Media had all its stations local 6-10am and 1-7pm weekdays, 8am-12pm Saturday & Sunday (for G Cap) and 6-10am/4-7pm (Heart/Galaxy), then gradually ebbed away to 6-10am and 4-7pm weekdays, 8am-12pm Saturday & Sunday (for Heart, the former GWR/Capital stations) and 6-10am and 4-7pm weekdays, 8am-12pm Sat & Sun (Capital), leaving all localness gone. Then came the bad part: they merged stations in the regions under Ofcom's new legislation.
      • That said, people preferred the old G Cap style of presentation and it shows in the complaints leveraged against the stations on social networking.
    • Localness, and, personality radio, was, and still is a very big part of British radio. Compare stations like 96.6 TFM, Metro-Radio, Hallam FM, The Pulse of West Yorkshire and GMG's Real Radio network, which are local for much of the day and only network at off-peak hours.
      • UKRD take this Up to Eleven with 24-7 locality, except for the Top 40 Chart Sundays 4-7pm. Every show is locally made, no networking, only voicetracking/voicetracking "as live" off-peak. Which explains how someone can be on 2-7pm and 7-10pm simultaneously on two or three different stations.
    • The Breeze - owned by Celador, is also criticised, for being bland and formulaic. To quote one radio forum: "Mark Walker - square peg, round hole. Should have been on 95.8 Capital FM breakfast instead of Johnny & Lisa." And that's saying something...


  • Fresno station KFYE, which was a Christian radio station broadcasting Christian music, sermons, and stories from the Bible, suddenly turned into a "porn radio" station, which played songs overlaid with prerecorded moans and groans. After one year as KSXE, the station became a more generic Top-40 one, changing its callsign to KVPW. The station is now off the air after some disputes with another broadcaster.
  • San Diego's XHMORE-FM More FM 98.9 zigzagged this trope. For those who don't live in either San Diego, CA, or Tijuana, Mexico, More FM was a station which was aimed to the northwest Baja California (in Mexico) and to the Spanish-speaking communities in San Diego, broadcasting pop music in Spanish like your average Top-40 station, called back then as "Radio Sensación". It gradually changed since its inception until 1994, when it became MORE FM, and it's considered its most memorable phase, as it broadcasted Latin American Rock (and Oldies every Saturday Night), and it was a great way to know about independent Latin American rock bands which deserved more recognition than the same overexposed groups and musicians that swamped the remaining pop music stations in Tijuana (A good thing in Tijuana, since the stations there are either regional folk music or Top 40 clones) and San Diego. But in late 2003, due to the station being acquired by MEC Network, and the death of More FM's original owner, it changed now into a generic English-speaking Hip-Hop station, changing its name to Blazin' 98.9 without any warning, and alienating its former fanbase (which was a very bad decision, since as it was, it didn't have any direct competition and was one of the most listened stations in both cities, and as a hip-hop station it had to compete with two radio stations from San Diego which were already established for some time. The fact their presenters spoke in English, even when presenting in Tijuana drove the point further); And then again, it changed into an English-speaking branch of ESPN Radio somewhere in 2009, again, without any warning. Fortunately, Cadena Baja California (its owner before MEC bought it) transferred it back to its lineup, and brought back the usual Spanish-speaking rock in late September 2010, announcing a string of concerts of Spanish and Latin American Rock Bands, more of the good ol' Rock en Español everyone loved and promotion for local rock bands, causing their former audience to shed tears of joy. Their only change from their 90's era was the fact that the oldies are now played all day during Saturday and Sunday, and these oldies are both in English and Spanish.
  • 100.9 The Zone in Ridgecrest and it's surrounding cities. It was originally an adult contemporary/Top 40 station with its fair share of valley known radio hosts on 103.5 as KRAJ. It would also air a 70's music block hosted all Sunday afternoon every week. Just after the turn of the millennium, they turned into 100.9, playing rap, hip-hop Rn B and their ilk, and fired most of the hosts, going mostly to computers and playlists to choose their music. In 2006, they turned into an oldies format, then changed to a Top 40 and dance format in 2009.
  • 92.3 "The Beat" in Los Angeles and their competition back in the 90s. "The Beat" competed against two other Hip-Hop/R&B stations: "Power 106" and "K-Ace 103.9". "K-Ace" was the first to fall, with the station owner making a radio announcement that they would not be a party to glorifying promiscuity and violence to black youths. They switched over to become an oldies R&B station (a very good one), before eventually being bought and turned into a Latin oldies station. "The Beat" became "Hot 92.3", and "The Beat" call sign moved higher up on the dial to "100.3", leaving "Hot" as a pseudo R&B oldies station with a very limited playlist. Most of "The Beats" old DJs, such as Shirley Strawberry and Theo remained. Currently, "Hot" plays mostly 90s R&B, with some older classic soul mixed in, which is ironic, because the station is now playing tracks they once played as world premieres almost 20 years ago.
  • Bakersfield's KKXX (FM 108), which from 1977 to 1988 was the market's #1 FM station, playing a broad variety of pop and rock music. That all changed when owner Buck Owens decided to drop the KKXX call letters and use the frequency for his country station, KUZZ. Not long after, another station at 105.3 FM dropped their call letters and adopted the KKXX call sign and format. This lasted only a few weeks before KKXX was completely re-tooled as "Power 105", and focused entirely on dance, R&B, and Latin freestyle, leaving Bakersfield without an actual Top-40 station for a number of years.


  • CBC Radio Two was Canada's version of BBC Radio 3, mostly playing jazz and classical music. In a gradual period spanning over 12 months in 2007-2008, the station replaced most of its programming with "Adult Album Alternative" music.


  • A rare example of Network Decay coming full-circle. In the mid-to-late 1990s, three suburban radio frequencies were simulcasting from Arlington Heights (92.7 FM), De Kalb (92.5 FM), and Park Forest (99.9 FM) to achieve full-market range as a single station, albeit on three entirely separate frequencies. The station was broadcasting as "Energy", a format dedicated exclusively to dance/electronic/club music without urban/rap/R&B music. In the early 2000s, the station switched to Spanish-language format and the dance format went off the air. Cut to the mid 2000s, when the three frequencies changed format again from the Spanish format to "Nine FM", a wide-ranging format to compete with off-radio iPod playlists (billing themselves as "we play anything"). Later, Nine FM began broadcasting "Dance Factory", a late-night weekend format that rekindled the dance format from the late 1990s with many of the former DJs returning to spin. The broadcasting hours were expanded to 9pm to 5am nightly. Due to low ratings, 92.5/92.7/99.9 switched away from the "we play anything" format and became an FM mirror for WCPT, an AM progressive talk radio format. Despite the format switch, Dance Factory continues to broadcast nightly on these three frequencies every night as "paid programming" on the same three frequencies as precursor Energy did (helped by the death of Air America creating a dearth of progressive radio shows).
  • Kevin "Pig Virus" Matheny, Howard Stern's longtime antagonist in the 1980's ran full-service station WGN (under the nose of CEO Randy Michaels, who was well known for turning Clear Channel into the voicetracking machine it is today), long the home of Paul Harvey, the ongoing soap opera of futility known as Chicago Cubs baseball (or more known as "The Pat and Ron Show" to listeners for announcers Pat Hughes and Cub legend Ron Santo), and the home of personalities that lasted decades on the station and never had a political agenda, from 2008-2010. During those two years since WGN owner Tribune went from a public company resistant to any change to the plaything of billionaire Sam Zell, listeners to "The Voice of Chicago" suffered.
    • The mid-morning team of Kathy and Judy, two older women who had an audience so dedicated to their show that they had a yearly convention that was as big as the winter Cubs convention. Their contract was ended abruptly and suddenly by the new station management and without warning they were saying goodbye to their listeners within one day. The show dominated every other station in the mid-mornings in Chicago. Their various replacements, like a blowhard conservative talkshow host/Michaels buddy from Cincinnati? Not very much at all.
    • WGN's morning show was known for the length of their hosts, having only three in nearly 45 years; Wally Phillips from 1965-1986, Bob Collins from then on until his sudden and shocking death in a plane crash in 2000, and Spike O'Dell from then on until 2008. The line of succession was about as traditional as you can get; the afternoon guy moves up to mornings, and WGN prided itself on creating a family feel to their shows, hoping their audiences felt the same. Naturally this meant John Williams, the afternoon host for years would get to move up to the morning chair (though this was due to Steve Cochran deciding not to take the morning slot due to a perceived cut in pay despite the prestige; this would turn out to be a warning sign for the events later on).
      • And he did; for six months. After that, the new management owed to so-called trends and research that the erudite John Williams didn't appeal to their new audience; the 18-49 ultra-political guy every other radio station targets, rather than the long-held 'broadcaster' who everyone could enjoy that WGN held to for years. John Williams was forced out to mid-mornings and replaced by a random political talk guy from San Francisco who has to deal with a "traffic on the 7's" format which ruins any ability to have long conversations. It was thought that Williams was out the door as he does a second show for WCCO in Minneapolis which provides a backstop in case WGN ends his Chicago program; he began in the Twin Cities in the 90's and is very well versed in Minnesota and Illinois politics.
    • Steve Cochran was shown the door because he outright expressed disgust at the Matheny/Michaels strategy on the air, right to Matheny's face, along with Sam Zell using Tribune as his personal piggy bank. This despite being a huge booster for adoption and many other heartwarming causes.
    • The station quickly became a retirement home for 80's shock jocks which haven't been relevant for years, thus the hiring of Gary Meier for mid-afternoons, passing by popular weekend evening host Nick Digilio, who started on the station in the early 80' a teenager who would call into Roy Leonard's Saturday show and give his thoughts about movies and eventually found his way to a show in the tradition of the hosts of the past as Leonard's mentor. Currently he and late nighters Steve King and Johnnie Putnam (along with John Williams), Dean Richards, the Sunday Papers with Rick Kogan, and Lou Manfredini remain the only hosts who have survived from Tribune's public ownership era from three years ago and continue to pretty much broadcast for everyone rather than just for men.
      • As for the old Roy Leonard timeslot? It became the home of a pseudo-infomercial for Tribune's blog network where random bloggers blathered on and on about politics.
    • The final straw was Matheny hiring convincted felon/former city worker Jim Laski as an evening show host, who had never had a minute on the radio beyond sound bites during his trial. He replaced David Kaplan and Long Runner Sports Central, about the last place in Chicago where listeners could talk about any sports without being mocked or shouted down by the hosts. The worst thing was the pushing Milt Rosenberg and Extension 720, the most intelligent and educational commercial radio show in any American market, to 10pm.
    • Thankfully most of these moves failed (though Meier will probably stick and has fallen more into the traditional WGN format since), and the hirings of Randy Michaels began to be questioned after one of his underlings sent out a near NSFW link to the entire company e-mail list to "motivate" their employees. It certainly did so, in that everyone in the company wanted him fired, as soon said underling resigned in shame, anger built up over Michaels sullying the traditions of Tribune (including holding a poker night in the sacred space that was Colonel Mc Cormick's office), resulting in him eventually forced to resign by the company's bankruptcy creditors. Matheny soon followed out the door, along with Laski. The station is now undoing the damage with new programmers, bringing back Sports Central to weekends (and eventually to weeknights), killing the blog site infomercial, and trying to get Digilio (who admitted he could no longer watch Private Parts until Matheny's departure without getting physically ill) on more during the week in fill-in slots, much to the relief of all of Chicagoland. Williams is also no longer in jeopardy of having to move to Minnesota, though he's keeping the WCCO show nonetheless.
    • Though it still leaves one question; Why is "The Lutheran Hour" only a half-hour long?
  • Suddenly in June 2011 It Got Worse; Randy Michaels came back to town after his non-compete clause ended and decided to buy Q101 and The Loop after their company decided to flee Chicago; nobody else wanted those stations because Q101 pretty much died the moment management didn't renew Mancow Mueller and seems to be permanently stuck thinking it's 1996 playlist-wise, while The Loop now exists solely as a server on shuffle with a bunch of moldy 70's rock on it from St. Louis. Q101 is going all-news and has the most uphill battle in Chicago radio history (taking on #1 WBBM), while The Loop is pretty well doomed no matter what.
    • The ironic thing? The ratings for 101.1 TANKED to 0.2..... a SHOCKING LEVEL for a major market commercial FM! Speculation is high on not if, but WHEN, the owners kill the news format! Adding salt into the wound is that a local AC station flipped to a simulcast of WBBM within days of the change.... and killed any potential that the news station has.
    • Though fortunately, the old Q101 format returned on 87.7(WLFM-LP) in May 2012:


  • For years, 570 KLIF was the leader in talk radio with a wide range of local straight talk and sports talk talk hosts with a politically neutral slant and a loyal fan base known as "AD Ls" (All Day Listeners). The decay arguably started in 1994 when parent company Susquehanna founded the area's first all-sports station, 1310 The Ticket. A couple of years later, sports talk was dropped from KLIF (only Norm Hitzges was retained by the company and moved to the other station). A couple of years later, centrist hosts like Kevin Mc Carthy and Humble Billy Hayes were let go and replaced by the like of "Mouth of the South" Tom Kamb. Eventually, all localized hosts were dropped and the station has run national right-wing, Fox News-style hosts like Dr. Laura and Bill O' Reilly since.
    • This pushed the local talk focus to Live 105.3 with the likes of Pugs & Kelly, Russ Martin and "Big Dick" Hunter...until 2008, when parent company CBS Radio decided Dallas needed a third all-sports station and rebranded it as 105.3 The Fan, grabbing the Dallas Cowboys from rival 1310 and moving the Texas Rangers from sister station KRLD 1080, and canning all their current talent except morning host Jagger. The station has seen ratings go up recently, likely driven by the Rangers' 2010 World Series run and hiring popular host Gregg Williams after he was fired by the other two sports stations for drug use, but the price has been that localized talk radio is all but dead in Big D.
  • 103.7 KVIL's change from adult contemporary to "lite rock" could be seen as this, especially since it drove longtime morning host Ron Chapman to request a transfer to oldies station 98.7 KLUV, where he lasted until his 2005 retirement.


  • In the late 1990s and early 2000s, 96.3 WDVD in the Detroit area sold itself on having the audacity to not play rap. It played a lot of Sheryl Crow, Nine Days, Three Doors Down, and their ilk. Now if you switch to it you're still unlikely to get actual rap, but good luck finding something that's not Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake, or the latest Disney pop "artist".
  • 105.1 WXDG was, one day, completely overhauled into Jazz and R&B after being exclusively Alternative/Indie for quite some time, presumably as a result of these bands beginning to self-promote heavily through the internet and their net-saavy fanbases before anyone else leapt on the boat.
    • That one's a bit of chain reaction, linked to WDVD above. WXDG had previously been the classical station (as WQRS), and was one of three modern/alternative/indie stations in the Detroit market in the mid-90s (the others being WPLT and the Canadian CIMX, about which more later). The alternative angle didn't work for the station. Then some Jazz/R&B station went under or was facing difficulties, and realizing the large number of affluent older blacks in the Detroit area, WXDG made the hop to Soul, Jazz, and R&B. As expected, the money started flowing in, until the management idiotically cut down the playlist in exactly the wrong way (this is Motown; Soul in particular is Serious Business). In the meantime WPLT switched to the much-vaunted "non-rap Top 40" and became WDVD. This left CIMX the only modern/alternative/indie station; it quickly gravitated in a distinctly "modern rock" direction as "89X." While this was going on, WXDG left the Jazz/R&B/Soul market to some other station (I forget which), and became an "Adult Contemporary" station geared to (mostly white) commuting working professionals (they signaled the switch by playing Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me"), rebranding themselves as "Magic 105.1" (call letters WMGC) and adopting that idiotic "all Christmas music, all the time" format as early as the 1st of November (they're having a bit of an arms race with WNIC, which is more or less the same station owned and operated by different people). This, combined with the similar demographic of WDVD, allowed/forced Windsor "light"-rock/AC station CIDR ("The River") to move into the alternative/indie direction, playing a lot of music that appeals to young, white music snobs and frequently digging into albums rather than playing singles (in other words, a bit like College Radio; and, indeed, the Wayne State University station WDET once devoted much of its schedule to playing that type of music until station management decided more syndicated news/talk content from NPR would improve their ratings). Everybody good and confused? Well, that's just what happens when you deregulate radio.
      • And the chain reaction goes on: In 2010, WNIC switched to a "hot" AC format, edging in on WDVD's turf. Results have yet to be seen.


  • WPBZ in the Palm Beach County market was an alternative rock station called "103.1 The Buzz" since it went on the air in 1995... until December 5, 2011, when it suddenly and without warning switched to a format of top 40 music, or as it calls it, "today's best hits without the rap". Alt-rock fans weren't too happy, to say the least. Compounding the anger is that the annual "Buzz Bake Sale" concert festival occurred only a month before the switch, and nobody was aware of the change that was coming. The original format lives on in the HD Radio feed, but the damage has been done, and Palm Beach County no longer has an alt-rock station to call its own- the only rock station left at all is WKGR, "98.7 The Gator", which plays classic rock.
  • WHDR 93.1 was originally a classical station, then it flipped to dance music and became the popular Party 93.1, "South Florida's Pure Dance Channel." Then it changed to Hispanic music and finally ROCK. Many techno/trance/house fans became devastated until 2008 when Party 93.1 relaunched...on HD Radio. Granted, this is better than nothing.
    • Party 93.1 wasn't that popular, hence the switch to Latin...which similarly wasn't very successful, leading to the switch to Active and later Mainstream Rock. The rock incarnation never made it into the local top ten, so at Thanksgiving 2010, it became all Christmas music all the time until New Year's day 2011, at which point it became soft Adult Contemporary. We'll see how long that one lasts...
    • Co-owned Party 95.3 in Orlando had a lesser decay; it started playing more R&B until that format eventually ended up taking over by 2004.
  • After seven years of broadcasting an alternative rock format (a common one for network decay, as noted above), 105.9 in Orlando — which had switched from a long-running oldies format in 2000 — reverted to its original format in 2008.
  • Orlando's REAL Radio 104.1. Currently under call signal WTKS-FM, it has, and still does, serve mainly as a talk radio station, with notable shows such as Monsters in the Morning. they in the past were known to play indie, alternative, and modern rock on weekends. In more recent memories, the weekend lineup is more or less classic rock.


  • Radio stations owned by Rubber City that have dial positions in the greater area of Lansing, MI, are frequently victims of being Screwed by the Network. In 1995, 92.1 was known as "92-1 The Edge," with 97.5 being an iffy format and 94.1 being 94.1 "The Bear." The Bear had to compete with B-93.7 in Grand Rapids and 100.7-WITL for country music listeners. One of the most popular pop stations was Z-101.7. By 1999, The Bear became "Kick 94," and started losing its audience to 93.7 and 100.7. 94.1 was re-branded about two years later as WVIC, and became a moderate rock/adult contemporary station. It would become 94-1 "The Edge" in late 2010/early 2011, with an emphasis on alternative rock. All that was different from the original 92-1 Edge was fewer sophomoric sex jokes from the DJs. The original 92-1 Edge was re-branded overnight without warning into My-92.1 in 2001, pretty much becoming the Sheryl Crow Channel. It remained that way until 2004, when it was rebranded overnight without warning into sports radio. By 2011, 92.1 would become a bland country music station on par with its predecessor Kicks 94. The same time that 92.1 lost its title of The Edge, Z101.7 was rebranded as Mike FM. Also without warning. That was in spite the fact the 101.7 had an established audience and was extremely popular. A clone of it was put on the 97.5 dial and dubbed "The New 97-5."

Moral of the story: If you live in Lansing, don't get too attached to any one given radio dial position. Its formatting can change overnight.


  • TOS was a popular hard/progressive rock station in Maine that was mostly listened to for the variety of entertaining DJs and hosts. After changing hands a few times in the late '00s, in late 2008 it was finally bought by the newly formed Blueberry Broadcasting, which completely changed the format to Top 40 with some 80s and 90s thrown in (originally, the only older music TOS played was by hard rock icons like Black Sabbath and AC/DC). Even worse, they fired all of their radio personalities, retaining only Tom O. and Mr. Mike, their morning show hosts (although their show is now heavily sanitized and word on the street is they're close to quitting). They even fired popular DJ Chris Rush, known for his publicity stunts and willingness to try new things and meet new people (including one stunt that actually resulted in him once having his jaw ripped off by a tow truck's hook by accident at a local fair, requiring him to have extensive reconstructive surgery to build a new one using one of his ribs). All of the fired personalities were quickly picked up by competing station WKIT (which is owned by none other than Stephen King), and as the ratings for TOS have fallen, WKIT's have gone up steadily since acquiring TOS' DJs.


  • WQBW 97.3 The Brew has become a major victim of this trope. While they've remained consistent with their emphasis on '80s rock, they underwent several tweaks to their music format — while keeping their station moniker. The most recent of their tweaks was the excising of a large portion of their 1970s classic rock songs, and the addition of 1980s pop songs. Interestingly enough, the station continues to air "Rockin' '70s" on Sunday nights, along with "Rockin' '80s".
    • It Got Worse. The Brew eventually began using the tag line "The NEW generation of Classic Rock". They even ran promos that made fun of the other classic rock stations in the city for playing outdated music, as if including songs by Billy Idol and Sting in their otherwise typical classic rock playlist somehow made them more hip and relevant. Needless to say, this cemented The Brew's status as the Butt Monkey of Milwaukee radio and t-shirts featuring a spoof of The Brew's famous beer-cap logo reading "Milwaukee Radio Sucks" became popular sellers.
    • It certainly doesn't help that there are now four stations playing the same type of music in Milwaukee, all of them seemingly hyperfocused on those twenty years of music at the expense of any other format and programmed with that personality-free Jack format under other names (The Hog, The Lake, etc.). It used to be in Milwaukee you couldn't not hear a Mariah Carey song every hour back when they all wanted to be the station you listened to at the office; now it's the complete reverse.
    • And on Memorial Day weekend they finally blinked and converted The Brew to a Top 40 format called "Radio Now" to take on the local Kiss FM station (here not owned by Clear Channel), mainly because a smooth jazz station with a lousy signal was threatening to switch over to the same "Radio Now" format and try to steal listeners from Clear Channel's other Milwaukee stations. A possible purposeful Self-Destructive Charge by the smooth jazz station, as their parent company also owns classic rock powerhouses WKLH and The Hog and were willing to pull a stunt to force The Brew to switch over off-guard.


  • Time Highway Radio (99.3 FM). Dear god, Time Highway Radio. In the 90s, they were a mostly English channel, playing mostly pop with a weekend oldies slot and had a very witty station ID. Then, they very suddenly went off the air when the monopolizing Astro bought them, and then they reappeared... as a Tamil station!.
  • Radio 4 (100.1 FM). Apart from it's pop music, it had a childrens slot between 2 to 5 on Saturday and oldies and country from Sunday afternoon all the way to 2AM Monday. The rest was dedicated to English indie and mainstream pop and rock. The childrens slot was outright removed and the oldies and country slots shrank until it was no more. They now only play hip-hop, mainstream pop, and metal. And they changed their name to Traxx FM to reflect their new playlist. While no one cared about the childrens slot, the gradual shrinking of the country and oldies slot, and the removal of them, was the point of decay to many of the older listeners.
  • Light and Easy (105.7 FM). Originally playing songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s, as of 2010 they changed their name to Light FM, moved on to playing easy-listening genre songs of the 80s, 90s and today. Much of the senior citizen demographics who started listening in when the station started in the 90s were not pleased.

New York City

  • The WCBS-FM affair in New York. For over 30 years, 101.1 CBS-FM was an iconic oldies station, its DJs being local celebrities. Enter Executive Meddling, and in 2005 came JACK-FM, a random music, jockey-less format that focused on the '80s-2000s and punctuated its programming with obnoxious comments by announcer Howard Cogen. To add insult to injury, the former CBS-FM DJs were fired on the day of the flip, without warning. The new station was universally reviled by New Yorkers, with many calling it "Jack Shit FM," and mayor Mike Bloomberg saying he would "never listen to that fucking CBS radio again." It took two years for them to get the message, and in 2007, CBS-FM returned to an oldies format. Now, the only decay present at the station is that it's starting to play more '80s music and less '50s music, but that's true for oldies stations everywhere.
  • 92.3 K-Rock in New York went through decay twice. First, at the start of 2006, the station switched from its modern rock format (which it had run since The Eighties) to a talk format, with the new name Free FM. This left the largest radio market in the country without a modern rock station. Free FM, anchored by David Lee Roth's morning show, was a disaster, and K-Rock was brought back on the air in less than 18 months, with Opie & Anthony replacing Roth as morning hosts. So far so good, right? Well, in March 2009, the station switched again, this time without warning (Free FM had been announced a month prior to the switch), to "Now FM", a pop station in the vein of Z-100. At least this time, New York had a modern rock station to pick up the slack, 101.9 WRXP... which itself switched from a jazz format in February 2008, leaving jazz fans with only NPR and a single AM radio station to listen to.
    • In addition to the above-mentioned online competition, another factor in K-Rock's decline may be the fact that each part of the New York area has its own rock station, which saps listeners from any station that tries to broadcast across the whole area. Northern New Jersey has WDHA, commonly nicknamed the "Jersey Giant" due to its dominance of the ratings in that area, and WSOU, a popular College Radio station. The Hudson Valley, meanwhile, has 107.1 The Peak, while Long Island has WBAB. On top of that, there's Q104.3, the classic rock station, which takes away even more listeners.
  • Remember 101.9 WRXP listed above? Well, in summer 2011, it became WEMP FM News 101.9, an all-news format (after running an adult contemporary stunt for about a month). Ratings crashed by more than 80% within five months of the format shift, plummeting from a 2.6 to a 0.5. Smart move, there, abandoning the market you had a monopoly on (they were pretty much the only New York station to play new indie rock) to go head-to-head against 1010 WINS, which is as much a New York cultural institution as it is a news station.
  • 102.7 WNEW is a sad tale indeed. It started as an influential AOR station in the 1970s and 1980s. However, the station failed to adapt to the trends of rock, instead squeezing it's playlist. The station would often go into a format a year. To many NY rock fans, the station jumped past the point of no return when the station paid little attention to the death of Jerry Garcia, a far cry compared to their tribute to other rock musicians. Then, Opie and Anthony came on, and had a predominantly talk-based format. So, management torpedoed "The Rock of New York" in September 1999 for talk. The ratings stayed stagnant (I.e. pathetic) in the 1-2 range, outside of Opie and Anthony. Then, Opie and Anthony got canned due to daring people to have sex in St. Pats Cathedral. (The church even called for the revocation of the license.) The fact the station lost it's stars and got fined $750,000 is bad enough, but it's ratings went to 0.8, which, until 101.9 went news, was not accomplished by any other major FM frequency in NYC. CBS nuked the Talk format in January 2003 for a Top 40 stunt. Then, it went into a hybrid Talk/Hot AC format, under the name "Blink 102.7", with Lynda Lopez (sister to Jennifer Lopez) in the morning. Ratings still stunk, so the station canned all of it's D Js, and went to a basic AC format, still called Blink 102.7. Then it went christmas....... and then relaunched as a more upbeat AC format as Mix 102.7. THAT eventually degenerated into a Disco Format, which was actually pretty cool. However, people did not know it existed, so the station was nuked in January 2007 for ANOTHER Hot AC format that took potshots at WLTW, at which point, the station got out of the gutter and is now holding it's own.


  • A mainstay for modern rock in Philadelphia was Y100. Overnight, the station was switched, with no warning, to rap and R&B. To make it even worse, it was an existing station just moving to the more popular frequency... and it kept being simulcast on the old frequency for a few weeks. There was an uproar among the previous listener-ship, but no action ended up occurring. Fortunately, the morning show from Y100 was rescued by WMMR, its former competitor, and arguably the only modern rock station left in Philly.
  • Another station that played most rock besides WMMR was 94.1, also called WYSP: playing The Rock You Grew Up With from the 70's, 80's, and 90's. However, the station was replaced overnight with Sports Radio.


  • The Toronto rock station 102.1 The Edge (aka CFNY FM, "The Spirit Of Radio" that Rush so famously wrote a song about) has suffered this, especially over the last few years. The station started broadcasting in 1961, and experienced a critically positive reception in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when it was known as one of the few Canadian radio stations which played alternative music. In the late 1990s, the station was bought by Rogers Communications, and became another corporate rock station. Its programming was homogenized to a point that listeners started to rebel against the station, calling in for alternative songs during all-rock countdowns. Another buyout, this time by Corus Entertainment, completed the transfer of CFNY from truly independent to corporate radio that stifled all creativity. Its decline culminated in a round of layoffs in the company, which included two prominent DJ's: Barry Taylor (who hosted the Thursday block of programming, a traditionally dead block that flourished through his charisma and personality) and Martin Streek, who had worked at the station for over 20 years (he was part of the station's success in the 1980s) and hosted the weekend "live-to-air" events at Toronto clubs. Shortly after the two men were fired, the station whitewashed their biographies and any trace of their careers from the company's website. A few weeks later, Streek wrote a cryptic status message on Facebook ("So...I guess that's it...thanks everyone...I will see you all again soon (not too soon though)... Let the stories begin.") Soon after, Streek committed suicide, and many called The Edge to task for their non-existent coverage of his death. There may be The Edge, but The Spirit Of Radio has finally left the station for good.

Washington DC

  • WHFS, a long-running alternative-rock station owned by CBS/Infinity, suffered a very similar fate to co-owned K-Rock in New York. In January of 2005, WHFS' 99.1 slot changed to a Spanish-language station known as "El Zol". The call letters, meanwhile, migrated over to 105.7, which was at the time a talk radio station with a very similar format to New York's Free FM; to play on those call letters, they began broadcasting alternative rock on nights and weekends. Eventually, that too was dropped, and 105.7 switched to a sports talk format. It still exists on the HD Radio subchannel of the Washington iteration of "Fresh FM", but by far very few people own an HD Radio, and the famous HF Stival is now just another concert with the has-beens of the 90's playing turn of the millennium rock music which has been run into the ground by dull and unadventurous adult contemporary stations.
    • WHFS has returned as of August 2011 on 97.5 in Baltimore on a translator with only city-wide range.


  • Sláger Rádió (Hit Radio; yup, they didn't really use their imagination). It started in The Nineties and differentiated itself from the other radios by playing songs from The Sixties and The Seventies only. The time interval slowly crawled upwards, in the end of the '90s they started playing songs from The Eighties, somewhere in the early 00s they started playing songs from the '90s (and dropped the '60s) and later they started playing contemporary hits thus the only thing differentiating it from its main rivals was its morning show.
    • After its cancellation in '09, they launched a new radio station, Neo FM, in its place on the same wavelength. It offers much of the same programming with the same presenters, but the new name clearly indicates it's a separate entity from its predecessor with different goals, thus in a way negating the complaints raised against its "former self" and how it shifted focus.


  • The entire shortwave medium itself, thanks to The Great Politics Mess-Up. During the interwar period, Americans, fearing for relatives overseas (many Americans at this time were still first- or second-generation immigrants), bought shortwave radios en masse to tune into foreign news broadcasts. During World War II, shortwave was the only place where people in occupied Europe could get news that wasn't filtered through Nazi censors, and the onset of the Cold War caused Western countries to keep funding their shortwave networks in order to broadcast to those behind the Iron Curtain. The Voice of America, the BBC World Service, Radio Canada and Radio Netherlands in particular became well-respected Western news sources, causing the Eastern Bloc to respond with shortwave stations of their own. Meanwhile, non-aligned countries like Libya and Albania broadcasted their own ideological rants to anybody who would listen.

    But then the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, and suddenly the public need for shortwave broadcasting was nowhere near as great as it had once been. Around the same time, the FCC allowed religious broadcasters to operate shortwave stations. Before long, many of these religious broadcasters realized that there was a lot of money to be made in selling their shortwave airtime, and the shortwave bands were quickly buried under a tidal wave of conspiracy theorists, religious fanatics, "Christian Patriots", and worse.
  • Due to budget cuts, the BBC World Service isn't what it used to be. Citing the Internet, it stopped shortwave service to North America, then it cut most of its fine arts/entertainment programming. It now airs mostly all-news all the time. The other content it used to broadcast was usually borrowed from Radio 4, which is now available worldwide on the internet.
  • WRNO New Orleans billed itself as "The Rock of New Orleans." Then it started playing mostly "Christian Patriot" programming. Then... well, Hurricane Katrina killed it by destroying the transmitters.
  • WWCR was originally "World Wide Country Radio," broadcasting from Nashville, Tennessee. Then it became "World Wide Christian Radio," playing Christian/Christian Patriot programming almost exclusively, with the original country radio block being maybe an hour a week if you're lucky enough to find it.
  • Similar to the above music examples, KUSW in Salt Lake City was originally a rock station, and then it very quickly became the shortwave arm of the Trinity Broadcasting Network and became KTBN. The station is now defunct.
  • Yet another music example: WNYW (no relation to the Fox owned and operated TV station in New York City with the same callsign) was first started as an educational shortwave station (in 1931!), then became, with World War II, an outlet of the British secret service. Later it was turned into a music station by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then it was sold to Family Radio, controlled by the now-infamous Harold Camping, and has been WYFR since 1973.

Satelite Radio

  • XM had a hard rock/metal oriented station called "The Boneyard" which played all kinds of hard rock and metal, new and old. It wouldnt be that odd to hear, for example, Yngwie Malmsteen followed by Bon Jovi. Once the XM/Sirius merger happened though, the Boneyard basically became a Classic Hard Rock station (lots of AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Rush) with some harder metal (Metallica, Judas Priest) thrown in. Meanwhile all the hair metal acts got moved over to Hair Nation. However, both stations mainly stick with the past (Boneyard will occasionally play a newer track by hard rock acts, but Hair Nation is for all intents and purposes a retro station).

Film and TV Studios


  • In the later Weinstein-run years, arthouse distributor Miramax Films began distributing "mainstream" films like She's All That. Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back made fun of this — "Once Miramax made She's All That, everything went to hell." Heck, there were even complaints of decay even before that. Miramax (and the Weinsteins) was responsible for the constant Hellraiser and Children of the Corn sequels along with the infamous Arabian Knight cut of The Thief and the Cobbler.

Major Shifts That Fit

Unique Situations

  • Cartoon Network Studios, and its subsidiary, Williams Street, known for their high quality animated productions for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, shifted their focus in the mid-2000's towards live action sitcoms and reality shows, coinciding with the channel’s Network Decay, and only backed down from this somewhat after the failure of CN Real. During the height of the channel’s decay, the studio seemed to be more focused on firing their animators than making cartoons, with Lauren Faust, Craig McCracken, and Genndy Tartakovsky being among the many animators that left or got fired due to the channel’s decay. For more on this situation see Cartoon Network’s entry in the Unique Situations sub-page.

Record Companies

Total Abandonment

  • Roadrunner Records used to be known for their reputation of holding extreme metal bands on their label. They used to be very particularly picky about the skill level of the musicians they let on the label and held many critically acclaimed artists during their early days. Then Nickelback somehow got signed onto the label. Because of their sudden commercial success, Roadrunner dumped many of the extreme metal bands they once held and let on many other Post-Grunge bands. YMMV on weather or not this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Major Shifts That Fit

  • Four AD Records started out as a small independent label without a niche. Then, after the success of the Cocteau Twins, they started catering to mostly Dream Pop/ Shoegazing acts with a small number of other Alternative Rock bands (i.e. Pixies). Then, after Dream Pop and Shoegazing started taking a spiral in popularity, the label made their main niche Slowcore with bands like Red House Painters and American Music Club. Then around the 2000s, the label started struggling financially and had to branch out into other Indie Bands (i.e. The National and TV On the Radio). They still maintain their general Alternative/Indie branch, they just change their main emphasis ever few years as the times change.


  1. Five, as of April 2012
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.