Written May. 15, 2009 in Bob/Jack Week + Content + Terrestrial Radio with 0 Comments
When we published the Ross On Radio overview of the Bob- and Jack-FM format yesterday, we got a few e-mails from other programmers in the format.
Clear Channel/Columbia, S.C., OM/PD L.J. Smith wrote, "Hey, brother, don't forget about WLTY (Steve-FM). We've averaged a Top 3 25-54 ranking since we debuted. Huge."
And consultant Alex DeMers wrote, "Hope you have a chance to peek at [WMKK] Mike in Boston and [WAVF] Chuck in Charleston. we're really enjoying big success with both of those stations right now -- in both the Diary and PPM worlds.
So to close out Bob- and Jack-FM Week on the Infinite Dial, here's a listen to Entercom's Mike FM under PD Ron Valeri and DeMers. Mike is up in PPM -- which has been good to all the market's Classic Hits outlets. (WMKK is at a 4.6 to WZLX's 4.9, WROR's 5.9, and WODS' 6.4) It has some interesting touches, including a commercial free 9 a.m.-Noon bloc, as well as a sponsored legal ID and stagers that are in character with the station. One sweeper promotes a furniture store by telling listeners to take their feet off the desk and go back to work.
Here's Mike at 10:30 this morning:
Loverboy, "Working For The Weekend"
Commodores, "Brick House"
O.A.R., "Shattered (Turn The Car Around)"
Madonna, "Like A Prayer"
Blue Oyster Cult, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper"
Hootie & the Blowfish, "I Go Blind'
Phil Collins, "You Can't Hurry Love"
Steam, "Na Na, Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye"
No Doubt, "Just A Girl"
Tubes, "She's A Beauty"
Wild Cherry, "Play That Funky Music"
Stray Cats, "Rock This Town"
Outkast, "Hey Ya"
Written May. 14, 2009 in Bob/Jack Week + Content + Terrestrial Radio with 2 Comments
KKXX (Pirate Radio) Bakersfield, Calif., was Steve Perun and Scott Shannon's foray into the Classic Hits/Hot AC hybrid format. It differed at the time, and still does, by playing a few actual Hot AC currents, as opposed to the handful of recurrents heard on most of its counterparts. In the winter book, KKXX was down 2.6 - 1.9, fragmented in part by the launch of a new Classic Hits outlet KVMX (Max FM). But it was one of the most interesting stations I heard this week -- more of the barnstorming feel and eclecticism of the format's early U.S. launches. Here's Pirate Radio at 6 a.m. this morning:
Van Halen, "When It's Love"
Foreigner, "Feels Like The First Time"
Heart, "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You"
Taylor Swift, "Love Story"
Chic, "Le Freak"
Billy Idol, "Rebel Yell"
Player, "Baby Come Back"
Loverboy, "Loving Every Minute Of It"
Kenny Loggins, "I'm Alright"
Led Zeppelin, "Fool In The Rain"
Blue October, "Calling You"
Elvis Costello, "Every Day I Write The Book"
Poison, "Nothing But A Good Time"
Avril Lavigne, "My Happy Ending"
Rolling Stones, "Start Me Up"
Written May. 13, 2009 in Bob/Jack Week + Content + Terrestrial Radio with 2 Comments
WQSR (102.7 Jack FM) Baltimore has an unusual history. It was the most successful of CBS' heritage Oldies-to-Jack flips. Consultant Joel Folger was involved with the station, giving it essentially a Bob engine in a Jack body. And now a station swap has sent it from CBS to Clear Channel, which has done a smattering of Adult Hits stations but hadn't been in the "Jack-FM Business."
So far, Jack/Baltimore sounds a lot like it did when last heard before the changeover in December. It has a little more rhythm than the average station in the format. It can also be a little more '90s-based at times -- today's "Nine at Nine" year was 1994, allowing it to play "100% Pure Love" by Crystal Waters out of "Zombie" by the Cranberries. (The most provocative segue, however, was during the Web-only stopset: "Everybody Dance" by Ta Mara & the Seen into "Another Saturday Night" by Cat Stevens.)
Here's the station at 9:45 this morning:
Janet Jackson, "What Have You Done For Me Lately"
Foreigner, "Feels Like The First Time"
Stevie Nicks, "Talk To Me"
John Parr, "Naughty Naughty"
Paula Abdul, "Straight Up"
R.E.M., "The One I Love"
Duncan Sheik, "Barely Breathing"
Donna Summer, "Bad Girls"
Journey, "Don't Stop Believing"
Duran Duran, "The Reflex"
Written May. 12, 2009 in Bob/Jack Week + Content + Terrestrial Radio with 0 Comments
When Journal Broadcast Group's WKTI Milwaukee became WLWK (the Lake) last November, we felt Milwaukee's history as a pop/rock market and WKTI's own DNA boded well for the change. Since then, the Lake has gone 2.5 - 3.3 - 4.5 12-plus, adding shares even as most of its direct competition has also gone up 12-plus, suggesting that "The Lake" turned out to be a better version of WKTI for the existing audience than the one that was being offered.
The Lake is still very much the station we wrote about in November -- still tending to the AC side. In that spirit, there's still a lot of direct explanation of station benefits: "We, unlike others, play tons of music in the morning"; "Take the Lake to work to help the day fly by." There's also a lot of emphasis on the station's "surprising music variety."
Here's the Lake at 9 a.m. today:
Grand Funk, "The Loco-Motion"
Waitresses, "I Know What Boys Like"
Dan Hartman, "I Can Dream About You"
Wings, "Band On The Run"
Kylie Minogue, "Can't Get You Out Of My Head"
Night Ranger, "When You Close Your Eyes"
Foreigner, "Double Vision"
Avril Lavigne, "I'm With You"
Kenny Loggins, "Footloose"
Janet Jackson, "What Have You Done For Me Lately"
Whitesnake, "Here I Go Again"
Erasure, "A Little Respect"
Written May. 11, 2009 in Bob/Jack Week + Content + Terrestrial Radio with 0 Comments
CBS' KCBS-FM (93.1 Jack-FM) Los Angeles was always a unique take on the Hot AC/Classic Hits hybrid, drawing on the legacy of sister KROQ to play some '80s Alternative titles that would have been too obscure in other markets. Combining '70s Classic Rock and '80s Alterative (in an almost 1;1 ratio) allowed them to follow the music of a Southern Californian's life (KLOS and KMET in the '70s, then KROQ when it hit). It also made them more competitve than most Classic Rockers with a Hispanic audience that never had a problem treating Human League or the Eurythmics as Classic Rock.
In the March PPM, Jack/Los Angeles is up 2.8 - 3.2 and No. 11 overall. That's off from its first PPM month (4.2), but within its trading range in the diary era, well ahead of its 2.2 in the final diary book, and ahead of Classic Rock KLOS (2.4 - 2.3).
Here's Jack at 10:50 a.m. this morning:
Kansas, "Dust In The Wind"
Haircut One Hundred, "Love Plus One"
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, "The Waiting"
Eve 6, "Inside Out"
Joe Walsh, "Life's Been Good"
Cure, "Pictures Of You"
Van Halen, "Right Now"
Bangles, "Hazy Shade of Winter"
Rolling Stones, "Sympathy for the Devil"
Billy Idol, "White Wedding"
Joan Jett & Blackhearts, "I Love Rock & Roll"
The Cult, "Fire Woman"
Matchbox Twenty, "Bent"
Written May. 8, 2009 in Bob/Jack Week + Content + Terrestrial Radio with 0 Comments
Emmis' KBPA (Bob FM) Austin, Texas, was off 5.1 - 4.0 in the winter Arbitron, but has been a consistent performer throughout the Adult Hits format's ups-and-downs since its launch under consultant Joel Folger. (Mainstream AC rival KKMJ was up 5.6 - 5.8.) Like WARH (the Arch) St. Louis, the station we reviewed yesterday for Bob & Jack week, there's a definite AC feel here (although that could be a function of the relatively soft year being saluted on the station's 9 At 9 feature). Also like the Arch, middays are hosted, although PD Krash Kelly was heard mostly during the 9 At 9. The stationality was somewhat wackier than The Arch -- consistent with what we've heard throughout the format's history (e.g., "Listen to us while you pretend to work").
Here's Bob FM's 9 a.m. hour today, starting with its "9 at 9" from 1980:
Kenny Loggins, "This Is It"
Devo, "Whip It"
Robbie Dupree, "Steal Away"
Jackson Browne, "Boulevard"
Pretenders, "Brass In Pocket (I'm Special)"
Prince, "I Wanna Be Your Lover"
Johnny Lee, "Looking For Love"
Cliff Richard, "Dreaming"
Blondie, "Call Me" (backsold as the No. 1 song on this day in 1980)
Chic, "Le Freak"
Fastball, "The Way"
Bangles, "Manic Monday"
Heart, "Magic Man"
Billy Joel, "You May Be Right"
David Cook, "Time Of My Life"
Written May. 7, 2009 in Bob/Jack Week + Content + Terrestrial Radio with 0 Comments
In 2004, it was the "format that ate the radio." Today, you don't hear as much about our Bob- and Jack-FMs. The novelty (at least among radio people) has worn off. New music is compelling again to adults. The initial PPM results for most stations have been middling, particularly given what the industry expected for a cume-friendly, variety-based format. And even one of the relatively recent converts, Houston rimshotter KHJK (Jack FM),switched to Triple-A this week.
We've been big fans of the Hot AC/Classic Hits hybrid since its 2002 debut at CFWM (Bob FM) Winnipeg. And we don't want to be fair-weather friends now. A fuller analysis of the format and its recent fortunes will follow in the Ross On Radio column, but for the next seven days, we thought we'd listen to some Bobs, Jacks, Peaks, Arches, and others to get a sense of how the format sounds now, and what sounds good about the more enduring players.
Bonneville's WARH (the Arch) St. Louis seemed like a good place to start. It was one of the bigger, better launches. Its inevitable levelling off would have been more than acceptable as a peak for many stations. And in the winter, it was up 5.0 - 6.0 under new PD Kevin Robinson and second 12-plus in the market.
The Arch started life with the advantage of being in a market with the right pop/rock heritage, and on the frequency of a former station (KWK) associated with that music. Throughout it's life, it's always had research and marketing. It's always had jocks -- the middayer I heard today was on with relatable bits every second or third song, including one amusing line about not being able to explain the lyrics of Van Halen's "Finish What You Started" on an at-work radio station.
One of the things that impresses about the Arch today is its balance. There's obvious AC functionality, but there are enough songs that an AC couldn't play. The station voice is still John O'Hurley, but he's used in service of the more straightforward positioner, "It's all about the variety." The only downside to the station was the length of the stopsets; from the moment the jock cracked the mic at the end of a sweep, it was usually 7-8 minutes to music starting again.
Here's the Arch at 12:40 today:
Juice Newton, "Queen of Hearts" (acknowledged by the jock as an oh-wow song)
Eddie Money, "Shakin'"
Vanessa Carlton, "A Thousand Miles"
Bill Withers, "Lean On Me"
R.E.M., "It's The End Of The World As We Know It"
Queen, "We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions"
Sarah McLachlan, "I Will Remember You"
Great White, "Once Bitten, Twice Shy"
Elton John, "Crocodile Rock"
3 Doors Down, "It's Not My Time"
Thompson Twins, "Hold Me Now"
Van Halen, "Finish What You Started"
Norah Jones, "Don't Know Why"
Whispers, "Rock Steady"
Gnarls Barkley, "Crazy"
Foreigner, "Hot Blooded"