KRUZ (97.5)/Santa Barbara, California (Adult Pop)
Matt Stone, program director
Response from listeners has been both positive and negative. Lots of calls for it. Lots of calls against it. People are torn because of the fact it is for Haiti, but most don't like it because of the Auto-Tune and rap.
In my opinion, the original is much better. Artists I wish were on the new version include John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Elvis Costello, Lady Gaga, Eddie Vedder, Joss Stone, Norah Jones, Green Day, Weezer and Rob Thomas.
The use of Michael Jackson's vocals, however, in the cover is fantastic.
WZPL (Z99.5)/Indianapolis (Pop)
Scott Sands, director of operations/programming
We've been playing "We Are the World 25" several times a day since its debut. I think it has definitely been one of the rare "event records" of the past ten years and listeners were certainly interested to hear it at least once. However, in purely unscientific web poll research, most listeners have told us that they don't like the remake. So, we'll probably start to pull back on it this week and take our listeners' temperature again before the end of the week.
Honestly, I don't think the song should have been remade. I applaud the mission behind the song and think it's great to help raise so much money, but the original was just too special a moment in pop culture to attempt to recreate. Call me cynical, but today's artists are just too image-savvy and seemed to view this more as a public relations opportunity for themselves than a historical opportunity.
Again, just my opinion, but I think the 2010 artist selection is very weak compared to the original. There's just not the same star power representing today's biggest icons.
The new performance itself also seems flat. Although some artists sound genuinely passionate, others seem like they hammed it up, and I think the end result sounds lackluster.
The best part of the new version is the addition of the rap segment. That shows creativity and new trends in music and pop culture. Plus, those artists really sang with passion.
WBLS (107.5)/New York (Adult R&B)
Skip Dillard, program director/operations manager
Our listeners have been pretty hard on the remake. Even with Michael Jackson's presence spliced in, many WBLS listeners feel that the new version just can't touch the original. It's not easy to replicate one of the most well-known and celebrated songs in contemporary music history.
Personally, I miss Lionel Richie on the new version. Considering he sang the original recording's opening lines, it's unfortunate that his familiar voice is not heard in today's take.
Still, I think any major effort to help the people of Haiti deserves applause.
( Click here for more reaction on "We Are the World 25: For Haiti" from radio programmers).