Author: Sean Ross

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....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...Read More

First Listen: Three New Year’s Format Changes—Dallas, Houston, Long Island

Okay, technically, August 20 is National Radio Day. But format watchers already have their national holidays — Labor Day, Memorial Day, and the 12 days of Christmas (or the 12 or so days that follow Christmas) when format changes take place. Whether broadcasters are willing to invest in a new format is often an indicator of radio’s optimism, and this year radio seems fairly optimistic. The last fe...Read More

A Holiday Message From Dan Mason

A Ross on RadioInsight guest article from Dan Mason, Chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The giving time of year is upon us and radio stations across the country have been conducting drives to raise money and awareness for the charitable causes that help their communities. That’s part of radio’s public service, and we do it earnestly and well. Radio is a call-to-action medium. We k...Read More

Songs You’re Sick And/Or Tired Of

As somebody who schedules music for a living, and who helps guide radio stations toward “playing the hits,” I have no trouble programming “Sweet Home Alabama” next to “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” I know that “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Cold Water” and other recent hits will continue to test for months, and it doesn’t matter that I never warmed to them in the first place. Knowing the difference betw...Read More

Ross On Radio Announces New Presentation For 2017

“Radio: How Does That Make You Feel” Addresses Industry Change And Our Perspective Sean Ross, author of the influential “Ross On Radio” column has announced his 2017 public-speaking theme: “Radio: How Does That Make You Feel?” The new presentation addresses how broadcasters have reacted, internally and externally, to the changes in the industry, and looks at how we feel about the business and ours...Read More

A Format Change That Matters In A Market That Matters

The decision on November 17 by iHeart Media to take KDGE (the Edge) Dallas from Alternative to Mainstream AC as “Star 102.1” is significant not just for what it is, but for where it is. It wasn’t that long ago that a series of format changes and modifications, particularly in the Midwest, opened up Mainstream AC holes that threatened to go unfilled for a while. And over the years, the Metroplex ha...Read More

The Artists I Still Want to Meet

Working in the music business, getting to meet an artist is usually a matter of timing. Are you around at the beginning of the career, when they’re most available? Or around the time of a comeback, when they’re ccessible again? Some of my most fondly remembered conversations with artists—Billy Ocean, Natalie Cole, Vern Gosdin—came when they were switching labels after a decade or more. By that tim...Read More

Fresh Listen: BBC Radio 1 vs. Capital FM

BBC Radio 1, the state broadcaster’s (mostly) mainstream CHR has been a famous longtime irritant to its commercial rivals. The national footprint of a CHR station that also happens to be commercial free was the publicly stated rationale for the networking of British commercial radio that has taken place over the last decade. It was also Radio 1’s eclectic nighttime bloc from which Apple Music poac...Read More

Making The Grasp Equal Our Reach

These are the top five radio stations in New York: AC WLTW (Lite FM), Rhythmic Hot AC WKTU, Top 40 WHTZ (Z100), Classic Hits WCBS-FM, and Adult Top 40 WNEW (Fresh 102.7). Here’s Los Angeles: Top 40 KIIS-FM, Adult Top 40 KBIG (My 104.3), AC KOST, Classic Hits KRTH (K-Earth 101) and CHR KAMP (97.1 Amp FM). Philadelphia: AC WBEB (101.1 More FM), Classic Hits WOGL, CHR WIOQ (Q102), Classic Rock WMGK, ...Read More

The Last Days Of Disco … Rocked

Everybody knows what happens when you listen to Dark Side of the Moon and watch The Wizard of Oz. Now, try this one. Cue up the single version of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2.” It’s the one that begins instrumentally, without the “Happiest Days of Our Lives” intro, and without the scream. Now, think of “Boogie Nights” by Heatwave, specifically the “boo-gie nights” chant that pre...Read More

The Week Radio Really Got Moving

Yes, it was the best Radio Show in recent memory. It might have been the energy of Nashville. It might have been the crowded hallways. I try to look at radio’s progress with clear eyes, but it really did feel like “a pivot point,” as iHeartMedia Executive VP of Programming/Central Tony Coles called it. And it didn’t take the cheerleaders or pep talks that have characterized previous Radio Shows. I...Read More