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Monday, July 09, 2007

Jack hits the road in NYC

Rumour has it that in the Big Apple, CBS Radio is dumping the Jack format and returning Oldies to WCBS-FM New York. However ...

The switch back to Oldies ... is expected to be something of a hybrid, with more emphasis on ‘70’s and ‘80s tunes (within Jack’s territory) and less emphasis on the ‘50s and ‘60s Oldies ‘CBS-FM played during its first three-plus decades.

(More here and here.)

Being on the other side of the continent, and the border, I am nonetheless happy to see this. I don't know if it was simple dislike of oldies or (mistaken) economic considerations that motivated this unprofitable format change two years age. Given that the switchback is still eschewing 50s and 60s music I would guess the former played a large (if not major) role in that decision. Needless to say, I hope they paid top dollar for the lesson!

As an oldies fan myself, I find it encouraging that more and more stations are realizing they can still cash in on the music that boomers love ... and that more younger people than they thought (or care to admit) also enjoy it.

Recently, a U.S. radio network recognized the profitability of the boomer-era music and announced a "new" format called The Lounge. Well, guess what. It's not exactly new. It's a format this station right here in Lotusland took a chance on several years ago, and did very well with, thankyouverymuch.

The moral of this blog post is that you can't dictate musical tastes. And, that it's not profitable to buck marketplace music preferences just because you don't like them!


Orest said...

Wouldn't it be nice if radio actually played good music that people would actually want to hear. Thank you for the advent of satellite radio and the iPod. Imagine carrying the history of music in your pocket and listening to it at any time you wished. Let radio try that!

Pawlina said...

Good point, Orest. Unfortunately, the radio industry was long-ago hijacked by paranoid, stodgy, risk-averse bean-counters.

Back in 2000, the radio station that my program airs on applied for an FM license to operate a world music station. The music would have been contemporary music from other countries, with announcing in English.

The industry is so stodgy that no one at the CRTC hearings, neither the panel nor other applicants, could grasp the concept.

Well, except maybe for Rogers. Now, seven years later, they are going to try out the format in Edmonton on 101.7 World FM.

Interesting to see how they make out.

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