Published on Friday, 04 June 2010 18:30
Normally summer is a good time for parades, but not for Hit Parade Radio. The radio syndicator/Internet radio station announced this afternoon that it is ceasing all operations this weekend, as of Noon on Sunday.
Hit Parade Radio never really got off the ground. The long-anticipated 24/7 Oldies Radio Network created by veteran WLS & WCFL programmer John Rook, and featuring Chicago's "Superjock," Larry Lujack, was supposed to launch last summer. Instead, numerous delays and canceled launch dates followed. For many months, it was only available online via their website. A few months ago, HPR had what they termed a "soft launch" with their network available on Clear Channel Satellite and on a handful of very small markets' radio stations.
The station's lineup was in a constant state of flux, with Lujack being moved from mornings to afternoons, new names added often, DJs sharing the same shift (which meant their automated software, playing the pre-taped DJs segments was not working properly), and plenty of behind-the-scenes problems. The company itself was sold a couple of months back to Earthworks Entertainment. A few weeks ago, DJ Wink Martindale abandoned ship. There was never the big marketing push it needed, nor was there any demand for a competitor to Scott Shannon's "True Oldies Station" Network.
Operations Director, Vic Thomas, who himself was just hired just over a week ago, made the sad announcement today that due to a lack of funding, Hit Parade Radio was dead as of this coming Sunday June 6th. In a letter to the few affiliates, Thomas wrote, "It all comes down to money, and over the last couple of weeks, for various reasons, our major funding sources have gone away, including Harris Broadcasting, who decided not to move forward." He added, "Whatever the causes, we gave it our best shot."