CBS Radio DJs Return To NYC Roost

Dial back to the future.

A number of well-known on-air personalities have returned to CBS Radio's WCBS-FM after the station dropped its "Jack" programming and brought back its "Oldies" format earlier this summer. Thus far, three are back behind the mike: Don Reed, hosting Sunday night's "Radio Greats," Dan Taylor, the morning host, and Bob Shannon, who's taking mid-day.

The return of the popular DJs completes the transition to the station's old lineup--a decision widely attributed to CBS Radio veteran Dan Mason, who also returned to the company as its new CEO earlier this summer.

While popular in other parts of the country, in New York, Jack's computer-selected mix of music and automated radio airplay had an uneasy reception at best, after its June 2005 launch. Many listeners claimed a sentimental attachment to the old CBS format, including DJs Bruce Morrow ("Cousin Brucie"), Norm N. Nite and Harry Harrison--none have announced plans to return. After leaving WCBS-FM, Morrow and Nite both got oldies gigs on Sirius Satellite Radio, while Harrison, almost 77, appears to have retired.

Many listeners also objected to the dilution of the pure "Oldies" format, songs from the 1950s-1970s, when artists from the 1980s to the present were added to the mix. After the switchover, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was quoted in the New York Post as saying he would "never listen to that [expletive] CBS Radio ever again."

Mason, previously president of CBS Radio from 1995-2002, left to work as a consultant for the radio industry, but returned to the network in March. The scrapping of "Jack," as well as his decision to return 92.3 K-Rock to its "Alternative" format, signal a return to formats that were CBS Radio signatures under his leadership.

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