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

What Does Last Week’s Format Action Mean For The Rest Of 2017?

The Christmas/New Year’s season is normally busy for format changes, but with the amount of action (including five PPM market changes in one day) has put the entire radio industry on notice. While the circumstances behind every change were different, there was one noticeable similarity about many of the new format launches. Escaping younger demographics for older. We all know that reaching the 18-34 audience has become more difficult for broadcast radio, especially if you are not the heritage player in a market. Lots of words have been written elsewhere about the struggle for radio to reach millennials but has finally come back to hit radio in the wallet where it hurts most. New AC’s launched in Philadelphia and Tampa. Gold leaning Urban AC in Boston. Adult Hits in Houston. Onl...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 few weeks have brought something for almost every radio fan. KISQ (The Breeze) San Francisco has seemingly reignited the interest in supersoft AC. But Classic Country continues to spread as well. And we took three First Listens to a variety of stations. KKHH (The Spot) Houston When Top 40 KKHH (Hot 95.7) became Adult Hits “The Spot” late last year, it was symbolic. In 2008, Hot 95.7 was the first CH...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 know how to rally our audiences to help others. What happens, though, when the victim is one of our own? When an unforeseen misfortune befalls a member of the broadcasting community? That’s when the Broadcasters Foundation of American can step in to help. The Broadcasters Foundation is the only charity devoted exclusively to helping broadcasters in need. Our grant recipients are your colleagues. Br...Read More

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