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First Listen: Boomtown Richmond

“Out and About” wasn’t the first song that caught my attention on WUWN/WBTL (Boomtown Radio) Richmond, Va. It was just the one that made me start writing songs down. Boyce & Hart’s “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight” is of those top 10 records that might as well have never existed — except in my firmament — based on its acknowledgment (or lack ...Read More

First Listen: Fonz-FM Milwaukee

There are two things to know about Fonz FM, the AM/FM-translator combo that recently rebranded from the True Oldies Channel. The name is brilliant, prompting the sort of excited reader reaction that I last experienced during the November volley of CBS/Entercom format change. Like Tuscaloosa, Ala.’s Nick 97.5, it was the rare format change that gene...Read More

America’s Fastest Growing Music Service Is…

There’s good news for Amazon Music in “The Infinite Dial 2018,” just released by Edison Research. Monthly usage of the subscription service, flat a year ago, was up 6% to 9% in 2018. Those saying they used the service in the previous week were also up, 4% to 6%. Amazon Music’s usage is a fraction of the listening to either Pandora (31% last month) ...Read More

Final Listen: WLUP Chicago

“97.9 The Loop” WLUP-FM Chicago didn’t get the same big sendoff that “100.3 The Sound” KSWD Los Angeles did when it was sold to the Christian AC K-Love Network, but irony abounds in its last 24 hours before the news broke. When I listened to midday host Lyndsey Marie on Monday, March 5, the first break I heard began with “lo...Read More

The Best Batting Average In Country Radio

Among the “Moneyball”-style metrics that have become part of Jeff Green’s annual presentations at Country Radio Seminar, there were a new set of stats in Nashville this year. Those metrics were not about the songs, but the stations that break the hits, or don’t. Green rated stations on several factors: how fast their combination of airplay and audi...Read More

The Format With One Current

There are, effectively, five significant “currents” in Mainstream AC at this or any given moment. Of the current top five, only one, Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect,” is still considered a current in any other contemporary format. The others — Pink, “What About Us”; Shawn Mendes, “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”; Chainsmokers & Coldplay’s “Something Jus...Read More

My New Favorite CHR And Other Things I Heard On (Or Around) World Radio Day

Tuesday was World Radio Day—a few days ahead of when I would normally publish a column. And while I could repurpose my recent joke about every day being World Radio Day in “Ross On Radio,” it’s actually the case that I haven’t focused enough on international radio recently. There were reasons. Having access to a world of hit music changed my life t...Read More

A Life of Hearing Differently

By the time I was six, I had already figured out that my taste in music went beyond what was on the radio. My dad worked at WOL Washington, D.C., and it didn’t take long to figure out that some of what he brought home from the music library became a hit, but some of my favorite songs never did. With time, I would come to realize that even some song...Read More

Fresh Listen: Sirius XM – Little Steven’s Underground Garage

Three recent e-mails: “My favorite radio station is Little Steven’s Underground Garage on SiriusXM—rock and soul music you [will] not [hear] anywhere else.” – Michael DesBarres, October, 2017, in response to a column called “My New Favorite Radio Station Is…” “It really is time for you to cover Steven Van Zandt’s Underground Garage. Simply put, we ...Read More