2007_07_JACK.jpgWCBS is offing Jack FM, the station format it abrubtly switched to two years ago, and turning back the clock to its former oldies format. The 2005 switch upset a lot of listeners, who were outraged both at the loss of a long-beloved source of classics and the abruptness of the change, which occurred with only an hour's notice. It also led to the immediate dismissal of well-liked on air personalities like Cousin Brucie, Don Ingram, Bob Shannon, and Harry Harrison, who were replaced with a pre-recorded voiceover that nattered slogans and one-liners.

The New York Times describes Jack FM's format as an attempt to emulate the shuffle feature of an iPod, with random jumps between musical styles, e.g. Bon Jovi to Whitney Houston. These have traditionally been referred to as "train wrecks" in the industry, but the format was experiencing sucess in other parts of the U.S. It was not a success in NYC. WCBS's stable position around the bottom of the Top 10 market stations deteriorated quickly and fell as low as 22.

The New York Post is reporting that the oldies format could be back as soon as Monday. It's unclear how many of the on-air talent will return. Bruce Morrow was hired by Sirius Radio after his dismissal from WCBS.