Wednesday, May 26, 2010



I thought that by leaving the radio industry, people would stop asking me about formats, bands, personalities, and the like.  I was ready to assume a lifestyle  of suburban anonymity, pierced by the occasional trip to Costco and Target.  Five years later, I'm writing for FTC, and co-host a talk show on WOR in NY. So much for anonymity.  The best part of being an anonymous media buyer is when people find out that I had programmed country (they're less impressed that I followed Ryan Seacrest in San Francisco).
 "Why don't we have a country station in New York?" is the question most frequently asked.  You would imagine that I site demographics, geography, and corporate politics.  But, for the first time in many years, I'm slightly (very slightly) optimistic that a country station could work in the City.  Here's why:

1.  Check out the PPM numbers in other major metro areas of country stations.  Look at overall trends, not an occasional bad book
2.  Note that whites are flocking back to the cities (see post from two weeks ago)
3.  Country crossovers are hot right now (we're in the Zapolean "Duldrums" for the next few years--meaning that crossover and AC penetrate mainstream)
4.  Country has artists that can translate to a city audience
5.  America is angry, and when we're angry, we tend to lean a bit conservative 

Note: The key to winning in New York is to win the five boroughs.  We still have a long way to go to have a significant PPM base here.

Just look at the latest New York PPM and pick an underperforming station to flip.

1 comment:

  1. NY should have never lost their country station to begin with. One of the most diverse cities in the world, and no country?

    Country will definitely work in NYC, but it needs to be programmed extremely mainstream, with not only the HOT new and crossover currents, but also some bluegrass, edgy new country (not all top 20 only), some hits from the TX music chart, and even some southern rock. It needs to be diverse like the city it would play in. A new model design of the AM's that played everything back in the day, but with country always in mind.

    If it's a pop song with a country singer featured, PLAY IT! If it is a 80's cover redone bluegrass, PLAY IT! If it is a a duet with Willie Nelson and Natasha bedingfield (pop artist), PLAY IT! Remember as long as there is some type of country connection you can own it. Play more than just the top 20 and top 5 testing golds.

    There is a whole palette of amazing country music out there, you just have to listen.

    Plus, look at all the great artist promo opportunities that are being missed in NY with Good morning america concerts, etc; They should have never turned off country in NYC, I guarantee it would work.

    Jaymie G