Thursday, October 18, 2007

WNCX/Cleveland + How Deep Is Your List?

66° - overcast/light rain at 11:35am

Good Morning. Yesterday was day 3 of the summer number rollout.

In Cleveland classic rock WNCX posted its best 12+ numbers in over a year (like sister WZLX/Boston - mentioned here Wednesday). The CBS classic rockers appear to be kicking some serious ass!

Added: Listening casually today to WNCX - its totally plugged into Cleveland. Liners done by members of the Indians. Afternoon drive hosted by local music legend Michael Stanley
(yes, that Michael Stanley). A radio station with soul and character.

I can't recall the last time I heard "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" on classic rock radio, except during an A to Z.

I did have an "oh wow" moment listening to WNCX's stream today: A song (and a band) that I haven't heard since the mid-70s. As soon as it began to play my ears perked up though I couldn't identify.

Quickly maximizing the streaming player window - there it was - title and artist: "Back To The River" by Cleveland's own "The Damnation of Adam Blessing". TOO COOL. Used as internet fill to cover a stopset on the stream.

Later: Michael Stanley Band's "My Town" as fill.
Self-indulgent mode now "off". But thanks 'NCX....its great to be excited about listening to the radio.

How deep is your list? Edison Media's Sean Ross has posted a great piece on comparing classic rock playlists between terrestrial and satellite radio.

Comparing playlists on some XM and Sirius channels to New York's WAXQ, Sean notes:

"...the satellite services were a lot less eccentric than their reputation. The most aggressive among the Sirius and XM channels had four "oh wows" per hour--meaning that even in satellite radio, somebody is thinking about giving the listener that well-balanced quarter-hour that is such a tenet of terrestrial programming."

Sean also observes - casually that when he does hear satellite radio playing, its typically the mainstream channels, not the "deep tracks". Read here. Lots to read and digest.

Supplementing Sean's piece
are comments from some respected names in the business...

Consultant Greg Gillispie:
"Properly displayed and positioned, terrestrial radio should use deeper tracks. Doing so can certainly create talk...and hopefully we all know what WOM can do!"

"...there are stations - and one large market station is scary - that won't stay tied in with topics of interest. A major day-in-history event, big artist b'day, etc. go without a short feature or in some cases even a brief word."

Programmer JJ Duling: "It is possible to play the hits AND provide the occasional "WOW!" song to keep it fresh and Programmers who aren't boxed in by typical radio definitions do just that every day."

Very good food for thought. The hits are the hits. But I'm one for throwing in the occasional deep cut or "wow" - especially with the right setup and/or staging; the local market dictates. Thanks to Sean Ross for providing the forum for discussion.

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