A Clear Channel Station for Tweens

This column originally appeared March 8, 2007, at Edison Research’s “The Infinite Dial” blog.

Ever wonder what Clear Channel’s version of Radio Disney would sound like? That answer is now provided, courtesy of CC’s mainstream Top 40 WAKS (96.5 Kiss FM) Cleveland, which recently unveiled an HD-2 multicast channel, KiWi Radio.On the Kiss Website, KiWi is billed as a station for listeners who “like the music on 96-5 Kiss FM, but . . . also like Hannah Montana, the Jonas Brothers, High School Musical, Jesse McCartney, etc.” The channel is being produced by WAKS PD Bo Matthews for the Clear Channel Format Lab.

When heard on March 7, KiWi was a much less elaborately produced tween-targeted format–one place where most of the alternate platform services I’ve heard haven’t been able to (or tried to) compete with Radio Disney. The percentage of music typically heard on Mainstream Top 40 was higher and Radio Disney’s extensive catalog of exclusive songs was very cherrypicked.

Here’s the half-hour I heard:

  • Beyoncé /Irreplaceable
  • Everlife/I Could Get Used To This
  • Vanessa Carlton/Ordinary Day
  • Daughtry/It’s Not Over
  • Melissa Joan Hart/One Way Or Another
  • Backstreet Boys/Larger Than Life
  • Bowling For Soup/1985
  • Hannah Montana/If We Were A Movie
  • Chris Brown/Excuse Me Miss
  • Katherine McPhee/Over It

And in case you’re wondering, the Bowling For Soup song–heard, like a number of others, in a very altered form on Radio Disney, was a little less so here. The line about the mom who takes one Prozac a day remains in. And her lifelong ambition to “shake her ass/on the hood of Whitesnake’s car” is altered–the offending body part is obscured–but not replaced altogether as it is in the Disney version.

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Sean Ross is author of the Ross on Radio newsletter and VP of music and programming of Edison Research.

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