The Buzz

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What's in a name? A lot, apparently, judging from the sheer volume of radio stations flipping from golden oldies and adult contemporaries to Jack, Sam, Bob and Harold. OK, so there's no Harold, sometimes the Buzz gets carried away. The new radio formats, in which one can expect to hear Beastie Boys and the Beatles in the same set, are likened to an iPod on shuffle and inspired by the musical potpourri people store on their MP3 players. (Incidentally, this sudden widespread adoption is being undertaken by an industry whose initial wisdom insisted the Apple gadget wasn't widespread enough to affect radio.)

Last week, Infinity's 33-year-old WCBS-FM in New York and 21-year-old WJMK-FM in Chicago were the latest to get the extreme makeover, with longtime DJs like Cousin Brucie losing their mics and listeners left to go online for their Buddy Holly. Infinity is now streaming oldies through the two stations' Web sites, though it hopes to offer them as a multicast once the stations signals are HD enabled. We're thinking the execs at Infinity must know something about its aging audience's Internet habits that we don't know. But for those who want to hear Chubby Checker twist again, they can now hear Cousin Brucie on Sirius.

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