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.