The Best Positioning of Yesterday…

There have been two very different moves on station positioning in the U.K. this month. One was British group broadcaster Bauer going from the broad—“Your Music, Your Life”—to the more mundane with “The Biggest Hits, All Day Long.” But a week later, the U.K.’s Heart FM dropped its “More Music Variety” slogan. While it’s still unclear the extent to which it’s being used on the air, what replaced it is “Turn Up the Feel Good.” Judging by comments from readers and Facebook friends since last week’s question “Is Radio Famous for Boring Things?” there are a number of programmers who would be comfortable if radio moved away from station slogans altogether. Some felt that the right listener comments said more than any slug line. “Perception of the brand is the positioning statement,” writes veter...Read More

Where To Hear The ‘60s Online

They were the webcasters most vulnerable to changing performance royalty rates—the boutique stations specializing in ‘60s and ‘70s gold that you didn’t regularly hear on large-market broadcast radio. A year ago, there was legitimate cause for concern about the future of the individual Webcaster. So as we wrap up our look at where to hear the ‘60s on the radio, it’s gratifying that, whatever their travails over the last year, there’s still an incredibly wide array of choices. Pop Gold Radio — Veteran New Jersey radio personality Don Tandler’s labor of love got the most mentions here, including from Joseph McCombs, Tim Marini, and Rich Appel. Pop Gold’s centerpiece is its Saturday afternoon Time Machine countdown—not just the chart from this day in history but from a different legendar...Read More

Is Radio Famous For Boring Things

Is radio becoming famous for boring things? Or trying to? It’s long been something I’ve wondered about. It was always possible to reimagine McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” if broadcasters had chosen the slogan. But the fast-food giant never became “a better variety of burgers and chicken sandwiches — now with breakfast after 10 a.m.” In recent months, I’ve been listening to a lot of radio, even compared to my usual pace, and a lot of the traditional imaging is blending together. Without notes, I wouldn’t know where I heard “today’s hits, today’s favorites” yesterday, and where it was I heard “more music, more variety.” I wonder if those stand out enough against Spotify’s “Music for Everyone” or Pandora’s external marketing line “The Next Song Matters.” Only AccuRadio’s “Better Music for Y...Read More

Where To Hear The ‘60s Part II, Readers Respond

Last week’s column on Oldies and Classic Hits stations that still play the ‘60s, usually as part of a broader mix, brought forth a lot of reader suggestions. One of the biggest FM outlets to spring up as a result of the format’s evolution is Hubbard’s KAZG (Oldies 92.7) Phoenix. With rival KOOL pushing into the ‘90s, “KAZG cumes around 170,000 people a month and has a 1.3 share 6+ in December and the Holiday 2016 [PPMs]. We play Beatles, Motown, British Invasion, and lots of ‘60s pop music, in addition to plenty of ‘70s material,” writes cluster OM David Moore. Randy Michaels checks in with hometown WDJO Cincinnati, as well as Lancaster, Calif.’s “goldmine in the desert,” KFXM-LP, and WEAK-LP Athens, Ohio. Reader Bryan Wellander also mentioned WDJO. To which I’ll add that Cincinnati is als...Read More

How To Play The FCC And Come Out On Top

Make no mistake about it. Entercom’s maneuverings with KDND in light of the merger with CBS Radio were a stroke of genius. The potential of 107.9 KDND losing its license over the 2007 “Hold Your Wee For a Wii” contest and death of Jennifer Strange and attempts to have Entercom’s entire Sacramento cluster dragged into the matter was going to hover over the regulatory hurdles the merger with CBS Radio would need to clear in the months ahead. Now Entercom eliminates that hassle and has the potential to improve the status of its Sacramento cluster. By replacing low-rated Hot AC “Star 106.5” KUDL with the “107.9 The End” intellectual property and turning in the 107.9 license Entercom now has the ability to improve its standing in the Sacramento market. Upon c...Read More

Where To Hear The ‘60s (And More)

It began with a reader query: “Are 1960s hits pretty much phased out of local radio now?” he asked. “I know that gradually Classic Hits stations have modernized their playlists somewhat, moving [the ‘90s] in, and deleting ‘Stop! In the Name of Love’ and ‘Mrs. Robinson.’  Is the transition complete?  Are ‘60s hits going the way of Big Band era songs? “If so, that’s sad.  I think the ‘60s produced some amazing music, and although 25-54 demos are coveted, I think blowing out those songs is a huge mistake,” he added. The defections have been prominent, but not total, even among large-market Classic Hits stations. As recently noted, WMJI Cleveland, with an Adult Hits sister station next door, still includes the ‘60s in a ‘70s-centered mix. (Tommy James is headlining an upcoming station show.) W...Read More

What’s More Important? Generating Sales Leads Or Having The Content To Sell?

This morning Tom Taylor wrote about Cumulus CEO Mary Berner’s new plan to increase revenue at the company. Introducing new wolf mascot Sulumuc (Cumulus turned around), Berner’s Be A Leader campaign gives monthly and year-end prizes to all employees and not just salespeople who generate sales leads. The top ten performers get “Unique Experiences”, $1000 cash, and other prizes, while the top market for the quarter receives possession of the “Sulu” stuffed wolf mascot for “bragging rights”. The vimeo hosted video has since been made private after leaking to Taylor and This leads to a simple question. What will generate more revenue, having sales leads or having content that makes people want to advertise on your stations? Berner a...Read More

How The Second CHR Changed The Format

When the then-Clear Channel Radio unleashed its suite of Kiss-FMs in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, it was hard for the template of stations such as WAKS Cleveland and WKST Pittsburgh not to set the tone for the entire CHR chart. The new CHR stations played Rhythmic Pop, Hip-Hop and an occasional teen punk or Linkin Park record with ultra-high rotations (then around 90-100 spins) on power rotation. Their old competitors played a more adult-leaning blend, usually with far fewer spins. And sometimes, when one of the new-model CHRs showed up and blew a hole in the market, the other CHR station would just get out. One of the reasons the incumbent often left was not wanting to follow the Mainstream Top 40 charts, especially if that meant playing Eminem and DMX on a station that had been Sheryl C...Read More

Protesting For The Sake Of Publicity

In the past 24 hours the story of Texarkana Radio Center Classic Hits “Hits 105” 105.1 KTTY New Boston TX and simulcasters 940 KCMC/105.5 K288FY Texarkana dropping Madonna from their playlist has been picked up by nearly every major publication. Let’s call a spade a spade. This isn’t a protest like Madonna expressing herself at the Women’s March in Washington was. This is a publicity stunt. A well designed publicity stunt that gave international exposure to a nondescript radio station in market 253 and made it known worldwide if even for just one day. KTTY/KCMC is one of two Classic Hits stations in the Texarkana market. It registered a 2.3 share in the Fall 2016 Nielsen Audio ratings making it a low factor even in its hometown on the borderline of Arkansas an...Read More

Fresh Listen: WMJI and WHLK Cleveland

The parameters of WHLK (the Lake) Cleveland, iHeart’s successful Adult Hits station, are pretty much what you’d expect for the format, especially with a Classic Hits station next door. The bulk of the music is in the ‘80s, but there are the usual handful of megahits from the ‘00s and even from recent years. The music essentially begins in the mid-‘70s with mostly rock titles such as “Sweet Emotion” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I have no inside knowledge, but it seems likely that the parameters of WMJI (Majic 105.7) are influenced by cluster strategy as well. Majic lives largely in the ‘70s. It plays the ‘80s but has no depth; the most played ‘80s songs are “Billie Jean”-level superhits. As other stations bid farewell to the late ‘60s once and for all, even for the Beatles and Creedence Clearwa...Read More

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