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September 13, 2022 9:31 am  #1

"How To Fix What's Wrong With Corporate Radio Stations"

This column is from a guy who writes about Southern California radio, but outside of some of the call letters, it could very easily apply to any place in Canada. In this case, he's arguing against the mistakes owners like Audacy, Cumulus and iHeart keep making that are driving listeners away from radio. Substitute the names Bell, Rogers and Corus and you pretty much have the same scenario. 

I'm not sure his solution will bring younger listeners back, but they're certainly worth considering. Using the legendary KHJ as an example, he focuses on one thing he believes will help get those ears back. 

"It all basically comes down to too much clutter and far too many commercials. Song repetition is mentioned as well, but that can easily be fixed..."

When KHJ launched Boss Radio top-40 in 1965, a huge part of the appeal was “more music.” And there was: the station limited not only the number of commercials per hour, they were also limited per break. Six minutes per hour; two commercials per break. This gave them a chance to charge more per commercial as advertisers got more value for their dollar, and it attracted more listeners than ever to the format. Within months, KHJ was the number one station in town..." 

The problem is, the debt-laden major companies...are all so desperate for revenue, they add more commercials to the mix, driving away listeners and ultimately driving down ad rates."

I'm not entirely sure he's right - Spotify or songs stored on your phone don't have ANY commercials, so I'm not sure the promise of "fewer" will help. But then again, it couldn't hurt. I've been listening to some of our stations here and have often been aghast at the commercial load I hear. I sometimes say to myself, "They can't POSSIBLY play another spot, can they?"

Sure enough, they can and do, and often a break will be six minutes or more. No one I know will stay tuned through all that, especially when changing the station is as easy as hitting a pre-set.

"Here’s what’s wrong with corporate radio stations. Let’s fix it."