Joe Elliott performs with the band Def Leppard at the...

Joe Elliott performs with the band Def Leppard at the after party for the "Rock of Ages" premiere in Los Angeles. The band re-recorded two of their songs that appear in the film, and they're teaming up with Poison and Lita Ford for a summer tour. (June 8, 2012) Credit: AP

The launch of WEMP / 101.9 FM last week has returned alternative rock to the New York City airwaves, after a year of an all-news format at the station failed to attract any new listeners.

So how can this latest incarnation of New York rock radio stick around? Here's some helpful advice:

Focus on the "new" part of your "New Rock" slogan Much of the success of radio's online competitors like Pandora and Spotify comes from the way they introduce people to new music based on artists they already like. Funny, that's what terrestrial radio used to do really well. Instead of playing it safe with tried-and-true classics, New Rock should make its name on new artists, something it seems to be trying by putting Walk the Moon and Neon Trees in heavy rotation.

FOCUS ON AREA ARTISTS In case you've been living under a rock, there's a massive music scene in Brooklyn, not to mention tons of bands from the rest of New York City, New Jersey and Long Island. The station could make its mark by spotlighting artists from the area. After all fun. has already proven itself a hit maker and bands like The Gaslight Anthem are set for a breakthrough.

FOCUS ON AREA MUSIC LOVERS So far, the station hasn't announced a slate of disc jockeys or shows -- seeing as the decision for the switch only came Tuesday. When looking for shows and DJs, the station should tap into the vast variety of musicians, music historians and music journalists in New York to prove that music comes first at the station and the on-air talent knows its stuff.

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