Kevin is pretty happy about this story of how the new Country Legends radio station in Houston is replacing tampon seller KILT as the top-rated country station in Houston. I'm glad to hear it, too, but I still have the same reservations about this station that I had back in February when I first heard about it and compared them to 106.9 The Point, the all-80s station in town.
[The Point] started playing stuff I hadn't heard in years, and it was great fun. But a year or so later, it's dry as dust. I don't know if they've narrowed their playlist (it sure feels like it to me) or if the life span of such a station is that limited, but I guarantee that the novelty will wear off...Will you still love "Ring of Fire" and "You Ain't Woman Enough" after you've heard them every day for nineteen straight days?
It's really amazing, by the way, what lengths static format stations will go to in order to ensure that they never play something their audience doesn't already know by heart. The Point hosted a concert by The Human League earlier this week. They broadcasted live from the concert venue and had a brief chat with the two female Human League members. One of the things they touched on was the album that Human League released last year. Why bother if you're never ever going to play any song off that album? I don't care one way or the other about Human League, but isn't it just barely possible that someone who likes "Fascination" and "Don't You Want Me Baby" might enjoy the new stuff? Is anyone being served by not spinning a few tracks to find out?
The same basic thing happened a few months ago on The Arrow. They had a phone interview with Robert Palmer, who's promoting a new album. Again, this is exactly the audience that the artist would like to reach, but they'll never hear what he's got unless they hunt it down for themselves. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I can't help but think that this behavior by radio stations has a bigger negative impact on CD sales than any amount of illegal downloading.
I understand that the Country Legends manager feels he's got a winner on his hands and that he'd hate to muck with success. But he's already got a what-not-to-do example to guide him in the failed KIKK experiment. Would it kill him to survey a few listeners and see what they might think about mixing in some new stuff that's in the style of what they like even if it isn't a known commodity to them? Would it kill any radio station manager in this town to do that?Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 15, 2003 to Music | TrackBack