Jack is a new radio station in the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas area. Owned by Infinity Broadcasting, Jack is located on the radio dial at 100.3 FM, which had previously been referred to as WILD FM. Late in June of 2004, a vast majority of the staff and radio personality of WILD were fired or otherwise "let go" in preparation for Jack, with the notable exception of someone named Alex Valentine. Why this is significant, I don't rightly know. The corresponding website for this radio station is www.jackontheweb.com, but don't expect a live internet audio feed. Infinity Broadcasting is a subsidiary of CBS and Viacom, and for some reason there's a standing corporate disdain for internet audio feeds.

Reporter Robert Philpot of the Fort Worth Star Telegram described Jack-FM's format as "a mix of classic rock, adult contemporary and adult album alternative -- think ZZ Top, Phil Collins and R.E.M. -- but it's a lot more than that." What makes Jack signficant, and worthy of an E2 node, is that unlike most any other radio station in the world today, Jack's playlist consists of literally thousands of songs, as opposed to the hundred or so that appear to be the norm for any other pop station. Rather than claiming to play "the best of the sixties seventies eighties and nineties" like other radio stations, Jack's motto is, "We play what we want." The general assumption is that what Jack wants will just happen to be what the average listener wants to hear as well. Surprisingly, at least in my humble experience, nine times out of ten that happens to be the case. It should be assumed that in six months to a year some corporate suit dupe will step in and tweak the playlist until it's unlistenable, but at the moment it seems successfully geared towards a wide demographic: Unisex and 20 to 40 in age. The station's predecessor WILD was catering a much younger demographic, and both its ratings and lack of success in the advertising department led to this new change. The moral of the story: Follow the money.

What appears to be bad to some, at least in the early days of Jack, is that the personality of the radio station is limited to teasing bumpers which are all prerecorded. There's no live deejays or interruptions by someone in the control room to report about the weather or traffic. However, what appears to be a good thing for some is that there's no live deejays or interruptions by someone in the control room to report about the weather or traffic. There's just music nonstop. Even commercial interruptions are non existent. Assumedly this will change if the new radio station happens to attract advertisers. It's a gamble, but it's also a safe bet. While it looks unsafe and daring on the surface, the decision to go this route is a calculated risk made by corporate suits that realize they can't do any worse than WILD in terms of ratings. Anything's better than being on the bottom.

There's only abrupt and brief interruptions between songs reminding people that they are listening to Jack, and that the call letters are lame, so that the focus is on the music itself. Occasionally these brief reminders have snappy memes or amusing punchlines about how hip the radio station is and how no one thought this would ever work and now the naysayers are tuning in. Or there's the occasional Phone Jack where carefully selected bits of recorded calls are used to infer that Jack is pleasing everybody and if those people are listening intently then so should you. Of course, if anyone attempts to ask Jack to play something specific, Jack says, "You can listen so long as you follow one rule: don't tell us what to play." This is rude behavior perhaps for a radio station, but it's also downright honest. Radio stations have pretended to do requests, but that practice appears to have ceased some time in the late 1970s. Some argue much earlier than that.

While other stations pretend to serve their community or listenership, Jack makes no pretentions to that nature, nor does it apologize for its behavior. It simply broadcasts music it thinks is good, and if one wants to tune in for a ride they're welcome to do so. If they don't like a radio station with attitude, there's several others to choose from. In my experience, considering how radio is such a wasteland, beggars simply can't be choosers. Jack is a radio station with the attitude of knowing it's better than anything else out there, and for the most part one is reluctantly forced to agree with its arrogance. Rather sad, that, but there it is.

When 100.3 first became Jack FM, there were rumors that it was actually a joke - a parody format making fun of another recent radio station change in the D/FW area. 97.1 FM had been known as KEGL the Eagle for over twenty years. Clear Channel bought the station and effectively ran it into the ground. When purchased, KDGE 102.1 "The Edge" became The Eagle's sister station. Between that station and another Clear Channel owned station Classic Rock KZPS 92.5, the Eagle found itself competing with its own sisters. However, The Edge was too trendy for diehard Eagle fans, and KZPS was too old and cratchety. Still, The Eagle found itself wedged and Clear Channel did little to support it, finally ending The Eagle's twenty plus year existence in North Texas. In its place, CC regurgitated its "Sunny" adult contemporary radio format from elsewhere in the country. Sunny 97.1 has a limited and safe playlist consisting of highlights from the latter half of the 20th century. A couple months later, Jack shows up, appealing to the same demographic as Sunny, but much more effectively. Whether or not Jack is actually a joke is yet to be proven, but one would be hard pressed to deny that it's not in reaction to Clear Channel's turning The Eagle into Sunny.

What follows is a sampling of Jack's playlist, taken from random airchecks over the course of several days. The date and time of each piece indicates when each song was heard by myself, not the length of a given piece. Along with the notating of each recording is a gut check of whether or not I personally found the music appealing at the time I was hearing it. This is probably not very scientific, but a vast majority of the music happened to appeal to me at the time. So as much as I hate to admit it, the station is a go for me. Notice as you scan the list, that there's little to no concern for genre. Heavy metal big hair bands are played before or after light rock and new wave. The intent is to cater to a listener's varied taste in music. Since it's widely known listeners habitually tune from one station to another looking for something they like, the programmers behind Jack are attempting to alleviate a listener's concern in that area, by virtually changing the channel for them. The focus isn't on the idea that one style of music is better than another, but that so long as you consistently play high quality music from any genre, people will remain tuned in. Or something like that. One more thing: If you examine closely you will see duplicates. The station is playing the same songs over and over, but repetition isn't as common on Jack as it is on other stations.
Date     Time    Band Name           Title                         Good?
7/2/2004 12:41p  Journey             Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)  Y
7/2/2004 12:44p  Pat Benatar         Love Is A Battlefield         Y
7/2/2004 ~12p    Led Zeppelin        Foolin'                       Y
7/2/2004 ~10a    Billy Joel          River of Dreams               Y
7/2/2004 12:51p  Tom Petty           You Don't Know How It Feels   Y
7/2/2004 12:52p  Heart               Barracuda                     Y
7/2/2004 ~10a    Joan Jett           I Hate Myself For Lovin' You  Y
7/2/2004 12:58p  Baltimora           Tarzan Boy                    Y
7/2/2004 1:02p   Lynyrd Skynyrd      Sweet Home Alabama            Y
7/2/2004 1:05p   Tears For Fears     Tears Roll Down               Y
7/2/2004 1:10p   Fixx                One Thing Leads To Another    Y
7/2/2004 1:13p   The Kinks           Come Dancing                  Y
7/2/2004 1:18p   Simple Minds        Alive and Kicking             Y
7/2/2004 1:22p   Dixie Chicks        Landslide (S.Nicks)           Y
7/2/2004 1:28p   C'est Chic          Freak Out                     Y
7/2/2004 1:30p   Police              Spirits In The Material World Y
7/2/2004 1:33p   Beach Boys          Kokomo                        Y
7/2/2004 1:36p   Blues Traveller     Run Around                    Y
7/2/2004 1:39p   B.T.O.              Let It Ride                   N
7/2/2004 1:43p   The Pretenders      Back On The Chain Gang        Y
7/2/2004 1:49p   Gin Blossoms        Follow You Down               Y
7/2/2004 1:52p   Patty Smyth         The Warrior                   Y
7/2/2004 1:56p   O.M.D.              Jackie Blue                   Y
7/2/2004 2:00p   Phil Collins        You Can't Hurry Love          Y
7/2/2004 2:05p   John Mellencamp     Wild Night                    Y
7/2/2004 2:07p   Elton John          Bennie and the Jets           Y
7/2/2004 2:21p   Rolling Stones      Brown Sugar                   Y
7/2/2004 2:27p   Donna Summer        She Works Hard For the Money  Y
7/2/2004 2:30p   Pearl Jam (cover)   Last Kiss                     Y
7/2/2004 3:40p   Billy Joel          You're Only Human (2nd Wind)  Y
7/6/2004 8:38a   Joan Osbourne       What if God Was One of Us     Y
7/6/2004 8:41a   Linda Rondstadt     When Will I Be Loved          N
7/6/2004 8:43a   Pet Shop Boys       What Have I Done To Deserve   N
7/6/2004 8:47a   Tom Petty           Learning To Fly               Y
7/6/2004 9:30a   Chumbawamba         Tub Thumping                  N
7/6/2004 9:32a   Traveling Wilburys  Everybody Needs Somebody      Y
7/6/2004 9:37a   KC & Sunshine       That's the Way I Like It      N
7/6/2004 9:40a   Matchbox Twenty     Unwell                        Y
7/6/2004 9:43a   B-52s               Roam                          Y
7/6/2004 9:47a   INXS                Need You Tonight              Y
7/6/2004 9:50a   Manfred Mann        Blinded by the Light          Y
7/6/2004 9:57a   Melissa Etheridge   Come To My Window             Y
7/6/2004 10:00a  Stevie Winwood      The Finer Things              Y
7/6/2004 10:04a  Elton John          Your Song                     Y
7/6/2004 10:08a  Kim Carnes          Bette Davis Eyes              Y
7/6/2004 10:12a  Lenny Kravitz       Fly Away                      Y
7/6/2004 10:16a  Tina Turner         Simply The Best               Y
7/6/2004 10:20a  Go-Gos              We Got The Beat               Y
7/6/2004 10:25a  Kid Rock w/S.Crow   Picture                       N
7/6/2004 10:28a  David Bowie         Rebel Rebel                   Y
7/6/2004 10:33a  Genesis             Land of Confusion             Y
7/6/2004 10:39a  Smash Mouth         Walking On The Sun            Y
7/6/2004 10:41a  Culture Club        Karma Chameleon               Y
7/6/2004 10:44a  Doobie Brothers     Black Water                   Y
7/6/2004 10:49a  Sugar Ray           When It's Over                Y
7/6/2004 10:51a  Bangles             Manic Monday                  Y
7/6/2004 10:55a  Cars                Tonight She Comes             Y
7/6/2004 10:59a  Seal                Kiss From A Rose              Y
7/6/2004 11:02a  Madonna             Who's That Girl               N
7/6/2004 11:06a  Bad Company         Can't Get Enough Of Your Love N
7/6/2004 11:13a  Collective Soul     December (spit me out)        Y
7/6/2004 11:16a  Simple Minds        Alive And Kicking             Y
7/8/2004 8:29a   Mister Mister       Kyrie Eleison                 Y
7/8/2004 8:33a   Sarah McLachlan     Sweet Surrender               Y
7/8/2004 8:37a   H.Lewis & News      This Is It                    Y
7/8/2004 8:41a   KISS                Wanna Rock and Roll All Night Y
7/8/2004 8:44a   Sugar Ray           Fly (w/SuperCat)              N
7/8/2004 8:48a   Fixx                One Thing Leads To Another    Y
7/8/2004 8:51a   Joan Jett           Crimson and Clover            Y
7/8/2004 8:54a   Roy Orbison         Anything You Want             Y
7/8/2004 8:58a   Paul McCartney      Silly Love Songs              Y
7/8/2004 9:04a   Duran Duran         View To A Kill                N
7/8/2004 9:07a   Don Henley          Sunset Grill                  Y
7/8/2004 9:14a   Billy Idol          Dancing With Myself           Y
7/8/2004 9:18a   Fleetwood Mac       Say That You Love Me          Y
7/8/2004 9:23a   Ace of Base         I Saw The Signs               N
7/8/2004 9:25a   Ricky Valens        La Bamba                      Y
7/8/2004 9:28a   David Bowie         Space Oddity (Major Tom)      Y
7/8/2004 9:36a   George Michael      I Want Your Sex               N
7/8/2004 9:49a   Jewel               Foolish Games                 Y
7/8/2004 9:57a   Peter Schilling     Major Tom (Coming Home)       Y
7/8/2004 10:02a  Jimmy Buffet        Brown Eyed Girl               N
7/8/2004 10:05a  Julian Lennon       Much Too Late For Goodbyes    Y
7/8/2004 10:09a  Westlife            Next To Be With You           N
7/8/2004 10:15a  ?? (icky hiphop)    Someone To Lean One           Y
7/8/2004 10:18a  Bob Seger           Shake Down                    Y
7/8/2004 10:22a  ?? - "Why Don't You And I Hold Each Other"        Y
7/8/2004 10:26a  Eric Clapton        Lay Down Sally                Y
7/8/2004 10:31a  ?? - "Wish I Had A Girl That Walked Like That"    N
7/8/2004 10:34a  U2                  Mysterious Ways               Y
7/8/2004 10:36a  Paul Simon          Graceland                     Y
7/8/2004 10:41a  Meat Loaf           Hot Summer Night              Y
7/8/2004 10:46a  Phil Collins        I Can't Dance                 Y
7/8/2004 10:50a  ZZ Top              Gimme All Your Lovin          Y
7/8/2004 10:53a  Eric Carmen         Hungry Eyes                   Y
7/8/2004 10:57a  Cars                Let The Good Times Roll       Y
7/8/2004 11:03a  Traveling Wilburys  Well It's All Right           Y
7/8/2004 11:06a  10cc                I'm Not In Love               Y
7/9/2004 8:03a   Police              Don't Stand So Close To Me    Y
7/9/2004 8:06a   Meat Loaf           Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad    Y
7/9/2004 8:13a   Cardigans           Lovefool                      N
7/9/2004 8:16a   John Mellencamp     Paper In Fire                 Y
7/9/2004 8:19a   Pat Benatar         Hit Me With Your Best Shot    Y
7/9/2004 8:23a   KISS                Shout It Out Loud             Y
7/9/2004 8:26a   No Doubt            Don't Speak                   Y
7/9/2004 8:29a   Hall and Oates      Kiss On My List               N
7/9/2004 9:32a   Blue Oyster Cult    Don't Fear the Reaper         Y
7/9/2004 9:36a   ?? - "Takes some time.. Everything Will B Alright"Y
7/9/2004 8:41a   Patty Smyth         The Warrior                   Y
7/9/2004 8:44a   Level 42            Something About You           Y
7/9/2004 8:47a   Marvin Gaye         What's Going On               Y
7/9/2004 8:52a   Melissa Etheridge   Wanna Come Over               Y
7/9/2004 8:56a   Kenny Loggins       Danger Zone                   Y
7/2/2004 1:39p   B.T.O.              Let It Ride                   Y
7/9/2004 9:05a   Madonna             Celebrate                     N
7/9/2004 9:09a   Aerosmith           Crazy                         Y
7/9/2004 9:14a   INXS                New Sensation                 Y
7/9/2004 9:17a   Billy Joel          Second Wind                   Y
7/9/2004 9:26a   Beatles             Back In The USSR              Y
7/9/2004 9:38a   Bruce Springsteen   Cover Me                      Y
7/9/2004 9:41a   Supertramp          The Logical Song              Y
7/9/2004 9:46a   Seal                Prayer For The Dying          Y
7/9/2004 9:50a   The Who             You Better You Bet            Y
7/9/2004 9:54a   Yello               Oh Yeah                       Y
7/9/2004 9:57a   Doobie Brothers     Taking It To The Streets      Y
7/9/2004 10:00a  Rod Stewart         Forever Young                 Y
7/9/2004 10:29a  Proclaimers         I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)      Y
7/9/2004 10:33a  Bonnie Tyler        Total Eclipse of the Heart    Y
7/9/2004 10:38a  Grand Funk Railroad Some Kind of Wonderful        Y
7/9/2004 10:41a  Vanessa Carlton     A Thousand Miles              Y
7/9/2004 10:44a  Jackson Browne      Somebody's Baby               Y
7/9/2004 10:48a  Men At Work         Land Down Under               Y
7/9/2004 10:53a  Foreigner           Cold As Ice                   Y
7/9/2004 10:58a  Rembrandts          I'll Be There For You         Y
7/9/2004 11:01a  Prince              Kiss                          Y
7/9/2004 11:03a  Elton John          Bennie and the Jets           Y
7/9/2004 11:07a  Cars                Drive                         Y
7/9/2004 11:11a  Bare Naked Ladies   One Week                      Y
7/9/2004 11:14a  Yes                 Owner of a Lonely Heart       Y
7/9/2004 11:19a  Toni Basil          Mickey                        Y
7/9/2004 11:22a  Pearl Jam           Last Kiss (cover)             Y
7/9/2004 11:25a  Steely Dan          Reeling In The Years          Y
7/9/2004 11:31a  H.Lewis & News	Do You Believe In Love        Y
7/9/2004 11:34a  Alanis Morissette   You Oughta Know               Y
7/9/2004 11:37a  Journey             Any Way You Want It           Y
7/9/2004 11:43a  War                 Low Rider                     Y
7/9/2004 11:45a  EMF                 You're Unbelievable           Y
7/9/2004 11:48a  John Lennon         Watching the Wheels           Y
7/9/2004 11:51a  Hall and Oates      Out of Touch (Out of Time)    Y
7/9/2004 11:55a  Pat Green           Wave On Wave                  Y
7/9/2004 11:59a  John Mellencamp     Walls Come Tumbling Down      Y
7/9/2004 12:02p  Meat Loaf           Paradise By Dashboard Light   Y
7/9/2004 12:11p  Madonna             Vogue                         N
7/9/2004 12:22p  Tom Petty           Dont Come Round Here No More  Y
7/9/2004 12:26p  Simon and Garfunkel Me & Julio Down By Schoolyard Y
7/9/2004 12:29p  Collective Soul     Shine                         Y
7/9/2004 12:35p  Kool and the Gang   Celebrate                     Y
7/9/2004 12:39p  Aerosmith           Sweet Emotion                 Y
7/9/2004 12:42p  No Doubt            Keep On Dancing               Y
7/9/2004 12:47p  Rick Springfield    You Better Love Somebody      Y
7/9/2004 12:52p  U2 - Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For     Y
7/9/2004 12:56p  E.L.O.              Evil Woman                    Y
7/9/2004 12:59p  Better Than Ezra    Good                          Y
7/9/2004 1:02p   Pat Benatar         Shadows of the Night          Y
7/9/2004 1:07p   Paul McCartney (Wings) Maybe I'm Amazed (live)    Y
7/9/2004 1:12p   Stray Cats          Rock This Town                Y
7/9/2004 1:15p   REM                 Shiny Happy People            Y
7/9/2004 1:18p   Fleetwood Mac       Hold Me                       Y
7/9/2004 1:22p   Howard Jones        Things Can Only Get Better    Y
7/9/2004 1:26p   Five For Fighting   Superman                      Y
7/9/2004 1:31p   Boz Scaggs - Lido Shuffle (1 more 4 the road)     Y
7/9/2004 1:34p   Cyndi Lauper        Girls Just Want To Have Fun   Y
7/9/2004 1:37p   Black Crowes        Hard To Handle                Y
7/9/2004 1:40p   Glenn Frey          The Heat Is On                Y
7/9/2004 1:45p   Abba                Waterloo                      Y
7/9/2004 1:53p   Genesis             No Reply                      Y
7/9/2004 1:55p   Elvis Presley       Don't Be Cruel                Y
7/9/2004 1:58p   Bob Seger           Hollywood Nights              Y
7/9/2004 2:02p   David Bowie         Let's Dance                   Y
7/9/2004 2:09p   Steve Miller Band   Fly Like An Eagle             Y
7/9/2004 2:13p   Alanis Morissette   You Learn                     Y
7/9/2004 2:17p   Animotion           Obsession                     Y
7/9/2004 2:23p   John Mellencamp     Lonely Ole Night              Y
7/9/2004 2:26p   Stevie Wonder       I Wish                        Y
7/9/2004 2:29p   Joan Osbourne       What If God Was One Of Us     Y
7/9/2004 2:32p   Hall and Oates      Maneater                      Y
7/9/2004 2:38p   Supertramp          Breakfast In America          Y
7/9/2004 2:41p   Matchbox Twenty     Unwell                        Y
7/9/2004 2:45p   ??                  (Let's Go) All The Way        Y
7/9/2004 2:48p   REO Speedwagon      Take It On The Run            Y
7/9/2004 2:51p   Rolling Stones      Honkytonk Women               Y

I received the following msgs after posting this thing, and wanted to save them somewhere, so, here ya go. Thanks to everybody for all the help.
Ashley Pomeroy says "I'm not in love" is of course by 10CC - unless it was a cover version.
dem bones says re KJKK 100.3 FM: final paragraph before song listings - you've got 'ame' when you want 'same'
panamaus says re KJKK 100.3 FM: "I'm Not In Love" is a 10cc song. Also, "Low Rider" was probably ZZ Top. You could probably Google the others.
Cool Man Eddie says Hey, Zach, Servo5678 just cooled your KJKK 100.3 FM writeup, baby!
Eidolos says Re: KJKK 100.3 FM While I can't speak for any other songs, I know Low Rider is from a band called War.

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