From humble beginnings on WMMQ-FM/Lansing, Classic Rock has become one of America’s most popular and enduring radio formats
It seems hard to believe but there was a time 30 years ago when bands like The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin weren’t all that easy to find on the radio after being all but abandoned by Album Rock Radio stations in favor of Hot Hits and the newest videos on MTV.
Recognizing the pent up desire of fans to hear these artists led Fred Jacobs, President of Jacobs Media, to spearhead the launch of Classic Rock – first on the AM band in Dallas, Texas on KRQX and then on FM at WMMQ in Lansing, Michigan. Now, after 30 years of sustained success, Classic Rock has proven to be one of the most enduring and popular options for radio listeners.
What may be even more impressive is that after three decades on FM radio, Classic Rock isn’t showing signs of slowing down. Not only can listeners find the format on at least one station in nearly every radio market in America but according to Nielsen’s radio ratings, the Classic Rock audience has grown significantly over the last 36 months as original fans continue to enjoy the songs they grew up with while entire new generations discover this timeless body of music.
And from that original station to today, the consistent voice of the format has been Jacobs, shepherding stations through changes in technology, music tastes and the radio industry.
“And they said it wouldn’t last,” jokes Fred Jacobs, the architect of the Classic Rock format. “We’ve learned together that Classic Rock is the greatest music ever made. It will be loved, appreciated, and enjoyed a century from now.”
The 30th Anniversary
To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Classic Rock Radio, Jacobs Media has launched this website featuring a wealth of articles chronicling the history of the format along with a number of first-hand accounts from the people who worked at, managed and owned the stations that were a part of the birth and growth of Classic Rock radio.