"Underground" radio died and "progressive" radio took its place. Over time, the sound of the stations began to change. Commercials were added and playlists shaped to attract maximum listenership.
Though it may not have been clear at the time, the packaging of Philadelphia radio signaled the end of an era--two eras, actually.
Radio is now a mega-merger industry. The medium may be alive and well, but its soul is gone. Wherever you go, if you listen closely, you can still hear a radio playing softly in the background. But is anybody listening?
Tim Whitaker (email@example.com), the editor of PW, worked in New York radio for two years in the '80s.