Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's not about the music! (but it has to be right)

just hit F-10
So many CMR programmers are immersed still in the music programming of their stations. They should be to some degree. I'm reminded of a story where Bobby Knight and I were doing music at WCTO Allentown and Tony Benkin dropped by early for a planned visit. The rep was amazed that we looked at rotational corrections and movements for the weekly list, more than adds for the station. The energy for that successful station built around a brand, came from spending time and energy on the creative writing and imaging process. We have way too many CMR stations that have a great brand and simply use it to identify the station. I don't know if they don't know better or are just lazy. Taking music calls, being on music agenda panels, lunches with labels, listening to music, reading the trades and more music issues does eat into your creative time. 

My mentor and dear friend Bob Glasco told me: "It's not about the music, but it better be right". Let's face it, years ago record labels made and broke programmers. With some little reliance and input from record labels, post Spitzer, there shouldn't be the kind of time spent on the music of a Country Music Radio station. You better be spending that time working on the creative aspect of the product and with sales management helping find and grow revenue streams.

Bob told me yesterday "Fans of Country Music follow what comes out of Nashville, if they are true fans of the format and the music. It happened in the 80's, 90's and now." It will be interesting to see the ratings for next weeks 44th CMA Awards show on ABC. The baton will be passed with no Tim McGraw, George Strait, Reba, Martina McBride, Brooks and Dunn. New names and new faces like Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley and Chris Young. Country Music Radio is about Mornings, Marketing and Music. Nothing more, nothing less. The marketing is the creative process, not really spending money on television and outdoor. It has to do with social networking and using social media the right way so it doesn't seem contrived and pimped out. Mornings in the PPM world has to be about playing hit music, offering entertainment and combining both of them. And music: It better be right!


Great blog today!

I think a lot of country radio programmers have become complacent and are missing the small things. I think it’s time for radio, specifically country radio, to get back to the basics. The three M’s are definitely a start.

In the “radio world” we live in…it’s no longer the one or two BIG things that will set you apart from your competition. It’s going to be the THOUSAND little things that no one bothers to do anymore. Special imaging, local imaging, heck…just regularly updated imaging. Oh, and using REAL listeners in your imaging…people with names and towns…being the station that shows up at the smaller concerts to intro bands even though there isn’t a talent fee…etc.  

I think too much time is spent perfecting the “Hail Mary” at the end of the 4th quarter…when we should be focusing on blocking and tackling throughout the game.

That’s just my two cents. I really enjoy FTC…keep it up! You’re doing a great thing!

J.R. Schumann
105.7 KYKX
Longview, Texas

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