Oldies’ New Lease on Life, Or Maybe An Extended Warranty

It was shaping up as another frustrating year for fans of Oldies radio: another year of heritage FM outlets ditching the format altogether; another year of hearing the survivors add so many ’70s and ’80s songs that they effectively became Classic Hits stations; another year of 50-year-olds in the prime of their earning years being told that they were somehow viable to advertisers only if they listened to a News/Talk or Sports station.
So without knowing what plans the CBS folks might have really had for heritage Oldies station WOGL Philadelphia, it didn’t beggar credibility when rumors began circulating this spring that a Web address had been reserved for Fresh981.com. WOGL was a top-five station 12-plus. But, hey, what did that mean anymore?
Then Arbitron made the March PPM figures for Philadelphia public. And while it was hardly an apples-to-apples comparison, WOGL was no longer a 4.5-share 12-plus radio station (still a respectable number by comparison to many of its brethren) but a 7.5-share radio station. Two months later, it’s in the high six-share range, No. 4 12-plus in the market and No. 5 in 25-54. And in a format hit by the combination of aging and attrition, having “only” a 4.5 share is a lot easier to walk away from than a 7.5.
Articles like this one are on the Web for a long time. So I would just be asking for trouble by suggesting that PPM might have saved WOGL indefinitely. And on May 22, CBS made Oldies the stunt format, not a destination, for their new launch in San Diego. But the Fresh 98.1 rumors did die down after the March numbers, and now one at least hears the question posed in the industry, “Is it worth launching Oldies stations again?”
A few people have thought so. KKLZ Las Vegas ended a Classic Rock war of attrition and reimaged itself as “Classic Hits” (but with a ’60s component more typical of an Oldies station). ABC (now Citadel)’s WGVX Minneapolis dropped Adult Modern for “The Greatest Songs of all Time” as “Love-FM.” And Minneapolis was a market where heritage Oldies outlet KQQL (Kool 108) had not entirely vacated the space yet.

Oldies fans that were faced with the choice of Classic Hits stations that wouldn’t play any R&B beyond “Superstition” or waiting for the handful of ’60s Oldies that Mainstream AC still played have been given a reprieve, at least in some markets. It’s not quite a new lease on life. But it’s an extended warranty.

And even without PPM, there have been resurgent books for Oldies at KRTH (K-Earth 101) Los Angeles (2.4 – 3.5 12-plus from summer ’06 to winter ’07), WZZN (True Oldies) Chicago (2.4 – 3.0 during the same timeframe), KLUV Dallas (3.7 – 4.4), and WBZO (B103) Long Island, N.Y., (2.4 – 3.1).
Okay, time for some managed expectations here. The word “Oldies” isn’t going to make a comeback (and not everybody who likes music from the ’60s likes that word anyway). KKLZ and WGVX, with the advantage of starting clean, aren’t using it. And KLOU St. Louis, which, several years ago, had made a point of bringing back “Oldies” retrenched a week ago, becoming My 103.3 and segueing to the same late ’60s/early ’70s-driven mix heard on most stations in the format these days. (The recently revived WGCO Savannah, Ga., is calling itself Oldies 98.3, however.)
And there’s no sign of that hyper focus on the late ’60s/early ’70s changing anytime soon–judging from both the new and surviving outlets. If you were in the class of ’72, you’re still very well-served by the Oldies format. If you graduated high school before 1969 or later in the ’70s, it can still feel a little claustrophobic. If there’s any good news, it’s that the handful of pre-Beatles titles with undeniable durability today seem to have found their way back on to some stations that were going to draw a hard line at 1964.
That the music window remains so focused on the late ’60s/early ’70s is, to some extent, a function of something observed here in Oldies and Classic Hits music testing in the past two or three years. Even if you’re one of the Oldies PDs who refuses to test “Sister Golden Hair” and “Just The Way You Are,” you’re still likely to get back a music test with a lot of later Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival songs at the top of the page, while onetime mainstays like “Cherry Cherry” and “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” drift toward the middle of the pack–less resonant with a 45-year-old (and perhaps diminished for a 53-year-old after 20 years of daily exposure).
So what we have is not quite the wave of defiance I had hoped for several years ago. If you’re a serious ’50s or ’60s fan, you’re probably going to be happier with what you find through streaming or on satellite radio. But it’s still good news for a format that broadcasters might have banished entirely this year. Oldies fans that were faced with the choice of Classic Hits stations that wouldn’t play any R&B beyond “Superstition” or waiting for the handful of ’60s Oldies that Mainstream AC still played have been given a reprieve, at least in some markets. It’s not quite a new lease on life. But it’s an extended warranty.
Changes at Mainstream AC may give the Oldies format a new currency as well. There are certainly ’60s songs that continue to resonate even for listeners who didn’t grow up with them. Up until now, however, it’s been pretty easy for AC to pick them off. Now, while some of us regard James Taylor and James Blunt as being of a piece, some PDs are likely to decide that the new Snow Patrol-flavored AC format no longer supports playing the soft ’70s, much less the handful of remaining ’60s songs.
WOGL has, through the years, been a better, more durable major-market Oldies FM than many. It has gone through stretches that were, for me, heavy on the “Rihannon” and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” type of Classic Hits that could in no way pass for “Good Time Rock ‘n’ Roll.” But it has always been identifiably Oldies, well produced and well executed. There was a reason it was top 5 even before PPM.
That said, much of what PPM unearths is listening that just wasn’t top-of-mind for diary-keepers. So even taking into consideration that WOGL’s 7.5 share was based on a different universe of listening, divided among a smaller number of encoded stations, that’s still at least a few shares of added presence-of-mind any way you look at it. So it makes sense that in the diary world, the most viable Oldies stations were often those with viable morning shows; that’s one good way to remain top-of-mind. But until PPM comes to their markets, Oldies broadcasters have to ask themselves: What can they do to reactivate the passion for the format that now manifests itself as several potential shares’ worth of phantom cume? Stations hear from those listeners when they change format. But broadcasters–particularly those considering new Oldies stations–need to figure out how to activate that passion now.

23 replies
  1. greg gillispie
    greg gillispie says:

    The word “oldies” drifted away years ago. People don’t want to feel old so why identify their favorite music as such.
    Also quantifying the music you play by era or decade is not necessarily best. When I programmed 3WS/Pittsburgh, the station had gone from “the greatest hits of the 50s & 60s” to “the greatest hits of the 60s & 70s.”
    Research indicated there were songs deeper into the 70s and touching on the early 80s that fit the music of the target’s life. I resisted adding another decade to the slogan or even some “researched” name.
    Instead, using the most powerful word in the English language – “you” – I created the slogan “Your Greatest Hits.” Think consumer generated marketing before the term hit.
    Using only the best pre-Beatles and post-Fleetwood Mac songs and relationship-based talent rather than the 60s shouters makes the station focused.
    And being focused as “your” – the listeners’ – station is what makes “oldies” successful once again.

  2. Bob Quick
    Bob Quick says:

    Great points Sean. Oldies, as a format, is not dead. We must remember that the 25-54 advertising agency driven buys are overlooking the same population bump THEY coveted when THEY invented 25-54. And THEY are the ones forcing broadcasters to dump the format. There are millions of “Boomers” with BILLIONS of dollars in buying power out there that the ad agencies are IGNORING. At least as far as radio is concerned.

  3. Bobby Rich
    Bobby Rich says:

    And the circle remains unbroken. First Oldies were IN. They were so IN that stations started imaging with just the word OLDIES in front of their dial position.
    Then it was OUT. So out that stations ran to spin the format wheel as fast as Mitch Ryder sang Jenny Take A Ride. The good news was some new format variations were tried. Some even worked.
    But where have all the oldies gone? I for one miss them and hope this “next new/oldies thing” will take off.

  4. Steve allan
    Steve allan says:

    You hit it on the head when you said 50-somethings are only viable if they listen to News/Talk…or Smooth Jazz. Oldies is not a sexy format. The only people who really care about it are the listeners. Maybe, OGL’s success will prove that there is still life in that old horse of a format.

  5. Tim Byrd "The Byrdman"
    Tim Byrd "The Byrdman" says:

    As always insightful,well thought out , and ahead of the pack. I believe that for those “oldies” or gold based formats to be successful, they just have to play great music and stop putting year restrictions on everything. That is not how people think. I am a street person, by that i am always out in the public serving them, and listening to what they have to say as well as having conversations with them, so i know what they are saying and feeling, and wanting to hear.
    In the past i had one pd who scolded me for switching a song, and (heaven forbid) 2 songs from the same decade played next to each other. My point is…the listener doesn’t think…Tim just played 2 songs from the same decade…if the selections are good they enjoy it pure and simple.
    I speak to my listeners the same way they speak to me.We have been consulted to death and lost common sense and lost a sense of the heart of the people, and lost the soul of radio as we once knew it. Too many people use research as a bible, when in reality the intelligent folks know it is just a tool. I learned that working as music director at WAPE with Bill Burkett, and Stan and Sis Kaplan ran great radio stations. If one is knowledgeable of the format they are trying to execute, and knows the audience, and the music…then you incorporate research with said knowledge, plus good sounding people on the air, and everybody else better look out, because success will come your way.
    So, if you want to do a gold based format, just make it relevant, a now sounding radio station without all the references to “the good old days”
    which by the way are now, make it something people enjoy and can incorporate into their day in the morning, at work, and at home, make your station the one people can’t do without, plus fun and info that people need, and your off to the races.

  6. Gregg Colamonico
    Gregg Colamonico says:

    Very good article. I just couldn’t imagine a day where The Beatles and The Supremes could not be heard on radio.
    But here’s are my question…
    Why would an updated Oldies station… Classic Hits if you will… decide to move more toward Rock and away from the Top 40 hits of 20-30 years ago? Let’s take WBIG Washington. It seems they’ve added plenty of Doors and Queen titles while they subtracted most of the black artists.
    One of the great things about the Oldies format is it plays about 40% music by African-American artists. In a market like DC, do you give up being one of the six pre-sets in the cars of most black adults? Why would you migrate to a format where, as you said, “Superstition” might be the only R&B song you might hear in a given half-hour?
    When it first signed on as Oldies, WCBS-FM played mostly 50s and early 60s hits. Then as time went on, 70s were added, 50s were diminished. So why can’t the format add selected late 70s and 80s titles? Okay, we won’t be adding Flock of Seagulls to a modern Oldies station. But would “Maneater” and “Little Red Corvette” sound out of place? We can hear “Horse with No Name” every 20 hours but “You Can Do Magic” would drive listeners to turn off their radios?
    A few years before its switch to Jack, WCBS-FM was playing Johnny Hates Jazz “Shattered Dreams,” “Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder and some other pop-sounding late 70s and 80s titles. Maybe I’m a little younger than the aveage oldies listener, but that sounded fine to me, next to “See You in September” and “Baby Love.”
    Top 40 stations were big in most markets in the 70s and 80s. We all grew up hearing the hits, jingles, contests, echo and involved DJs.
    So why are the stations that are moving from Oldies to Classic Hits also moving from a Top 40 play-all-the-hits philosophy to a mostly-white, no-jingles, don’t-talk-over-song-intros format?

  7. Adam Jacobson
    Adam Jacobson says:

    As the former Oldies/Classic Rock Editor at Radio & Records I’m passionate about Whatever You Want To Call The Format That Plays Your Favorite Music.
    It’s great to see and read about an Oldies resurgence, but I believe the future of the Oldies/Classic Hits/All-Time Hits format is based on local market preferences and, sadly, what the advertisers demand.
    I recently spent a week in the Hudson Valley – an area with many longtime older listeners that can certainly be approached by advertisers.
    The one Oldies station, WBPM-FM 92.9, was recently acquired by Pamal from Clear Channel.
    Now it is a bad Jack FM wannabe playing a tremendously wide variety of 1980s and 1970s Classic Hits.
    The thing is – Mix 97 already made this move and failed.
    The very fact that New York City does not have a station playing “the greatest hits of all time” or whatever Madison Avenue wants to invent this week is a sad testament to the power of greed among radio operators and the lack of strong leadership on the sales side of the business.
    We are so focused on the 25-54 sale, yet no one has waken up to the realization that the 25-54 buy is based on a 20-year old paradigm.
    Therefore … the 45-74 buy might make sense.
    Whoa: A 45-74 buy?? What does a 45-year-old have in common with a 74-year-old geezer?
    Well, more than a 25-year-old with an iPod, Blackberry, concert tickets to Lily Allen, multiple girlfriends/boyfriends and a Myspace page that’s updated hourly has with a 54-year-old who uses a cellphone to make calls (not text), uses a computer to use email (and never pays bills online or uses e-commerce) and enjoys it when Steely Dan comes on the radio.
    WOGL is a success because the station hums, sounds like Philadelphia, and Anne Gress is a genius.
    For “Oldies” to work, it needs to sound like your city. In Chicago, WZZN works for Chicago. In L.A., K-Earth remains an institution because it’s transitioning better than KHJ ever did when the playlist’s selections were new Top 40 hits.
    When Oldies makes a comeback in Gotham, then we’ll have a story.
    And pity those WPLJ listeners who’ll hear Scott Shannon one Tuesday morning utter the immortal words, “It’s time wake uuuppppp….” into a WABC-FM jingle and Bill Hailey & His Comets’ “Rock Around The Clock.”

  8. Frank De Rosa
    Frank De Rosa says:

    I see two overwhelming reason why oldies or whatever one wishes to call it, will never again play on New York City radio. One is Wall St (shareholders), two is Madison Ave (advertisers). The advertisers will pay for no listeners over the age of 40 (if even that mature) and the shareholders want a return on their investment. These are the de facto programmers of New York City radio. Program directors and music directors of New York stations simply carry out their wishes. As for the listeners, they have two choices, move away or subscribe to satellite.
    WOGL’s accomplishment is significant, but Wall Street and Madison Ave do not have nearly the same clout in Philadelphia that they do in New York City. This is why there are so many missing formats in New York that can be found elsewhere. The current offerings in New York in no way mirror the tastes of a market that stretches from the Jersey Shore to Long Island Sound. Bottom line, it’s about Madison Ave and Wall St. As Fats Domino would say, “Ain’t That A Shame”. They’re the ones to blame!

  9. Dave Van Dyke
    Dave Van Dyke says:

    At Bridge Ratings, we just completed a two month study of the lifegroup formerly linked to WCBS-FM/New York’s Oldies Station. It should come as no surprise that there are still close to 1.4 million New Yorkers who would listen to Oldies radio the way CBS-FM WAS TEN YEARS AGO.
    We tested four different versions of the Oldies format and the original CBS-FM sound still garners the greatest passion among New Yorkers.
    Watch for Oldies to return to the New York area soon.
    Impatience among owners, GM’s and Sales Managers in this business is one of the industry’s deadliest viruses. No one’s willing to work through the ‘dips’.

  10. Jim Loftus
    Jim Loftus says:

    I just wanted you to know that while the PPM has been good to WOGL,it was a strategic plan to evolve the station that lead to ratings improvements and that WOGL was top 5 25-54 on a four book average for more than a year leading up to the debut of PPM.

  11. Sean Ross
    Sean Ross says:

    As a regular listener, I hope nobody (else) came away from this article feeling that I was shortchanging the work that Jim, WOGL’s GM, and PD Anne Gress have done to modernize the station over the past few years. This article is about how PPM has perhaps created an industry perception of viability for Oldies, since it is group owners, not listeners, who have been leaving the format.
    That said, one also has to note the following:
    1) While few stations did it as successfully, many of the other now-defunct Oldies stations were taking very similar steps to modernize.
    2) Seven-share Oldies stations are less vulnerable to a format change than four-share Oldies stations.
    3) Seven-share stations get copied more than four-share radio stations.
    It would be better and more enlightened if station owners were turning on new Oldies stations just because there was an obvious hole in their markets. But if it takes PPM to reignite the industry’s interest, so be it.

  12. Rick Hunter
    Rick Hunter says:

    Hi Sean,
    I enjoyed reading your latest comments on the oldies format. I have been listening online to a number of stations including B103, Q105 Tampa, Magic 102.7 Miami, the return of KFRC, K-Earth 101, and KSBG Seattle. A number of stations continue to play the ’60s and ’70s hits, but we are seeing more of the classic hits stations including ’80s in the mix. It is true that the classic hits stations sound a little more rock based with fewer pop hits, but as a boomer in my late ’50s, I must say I prefer listening to a wider range of years.
    When I began at CBS-FM back in 1981, we were playing a lot of 50s stuff, which to me seemed a bit dated even 25 years ago. Like many of us in the Woodstock generation, our musical tastes started to change in the late ’60s. I grew up listening to WABC, WMCA, and WINS, and it was the kind of radio I loved, complete with the reverb, jingles, and personality. When progressive rock started, I found myself torn between the newer music, and the technique of top 40 radio. The latest incarnation of classic hits tends to combine the elements of rock based hits, top 40 hits and the on-air production values of old time top 40 radio.
    When I worked at WODS Boston, we started out with very low ratings after switching from the Quality Rock Q103 format. After two books, my afternoon show soared to number one in the target demo. We were playing a very safe, tested and tight format of ’60s and ’70s hits, cutting off at 1973.
    I found this a bit limited for my own musical tastes. Many of the staple songs in this narrow range of years have been burned to death by the oldies stations themselves and gold based AC stations. While advertising agencies don’t like to target boomers, they sure use those same oldies for commercials, helping to burn out the safe tested hits.
    CBS-FM used to play “future gold” hits while I was there, and that was considered kind of controversial, but living in a musical vacuum is not the way to remain fresh. I could see a classic hits station slipping in some current hits, especially from core artists such as Billy Joel, Elton John, or Eric Clapton, or perhaps groups like Cutting Crew (I Just Died in Your Arms), or No Doubt’s version of “Its My Life”. In this way, classic hits/oldies stations could draw listeners away from AC.
    I believe in expanded playlists to avoid burnout. Music testing research is a tool, but it is flawed: the familiar cuts will always test better. The sample test group methodology assumes far too much regarding the tastes of the public at large. Gut instinct should not be underestimated. Let’s have more programmers who really know the music, and what good radio should sound like. More art: less number crunching.
    Rick Hunter

  13. Cool Bobby B
    Cool Bobby B says:

    The oldiesradio audience doesn’t always make sense. As a fun, high energy, friendly weekend specialty show, my Doo Wop Stop began to be dropped by Oldies stations as they switched musical bases in 2004. The weird thing is that, at most of my stations, past and present, my show often ranks higher in 25-54 and particularly in Women 25-54 than the rest of their week snd s lot of the rest of the market.. I don’t believe that my songs would test well, BUT, they get the numbers. How do you figure?

  14. Mark Elliott
    Mark Elliott says:

    Sean – Is “Oldies” a bad word? I don’t know, but one thing I wish that stations would research and pin down is the idea that the “contents” should be the “brand”. What kind of emotions does the word “Oldies” bring out in listeners? Vs “Fresh”? Classic Hits is just radio talk for oldies really. Tom Kent’s Classic Top 40 is closer to helping listeners connect with something that’s familiar (everyone over the age of 40 wonders what happened to Top 40 and has no idea what CHR stands for.)
    WOGL, with music, personalities and image, elicits emotions from listeners beyond the era of the song. Radio stations need to use Apple, Coke and Disney as models of brand management and focus on “user experience” and not “contents”.

  15. John Bussi
    John Bussi says:

    I believe the market would welcome a boutique station which can play music of the 50’s and 60’s though not necessarily the “big” hits. There is alot of doo-wop, r and b, soul and rock that was recorded by great artists, and lesser known ones, that would sound fresh. The format would be similar to what many non-commercial and college stations do like WFUV-FM in New York. Also, hire knowlwedgable DJ’s who know and feel the music so they can pick their own songs.(like Scott Muni did and others)I bet people will listen. The oldies hit format is played out, with all of the multiple uses on commercials and films. This new format would work only if you were able to get great DJ’s who are historians and love the music.

  16. Charles Everett
    Charles Everett says:

    Lead story on Crain’s New York Business at this hour: CBS-FM in New York will return to oldies next week. CBS corporate won’t say when the flip will actually happen.
    The new CBS-FM will work if it images around “Good Time Rock ‘n Roll” with plenty of room for New York hits. 102.9 DRC-FM in Hartford does a version of that format.

  17. John Hook
    John Hook says:

    Many respondents have already pointed to one of the most important fact about ‘oldies’–but I think it was reiterating; it’s fundamental to my broadcasting (now read ‘webcasting’) philosophy. It’s doubtful that folks listen to ‘oldies’ because they are old. Nor do I believe they listen for the alleged reason that they bring back a memory–I think it’s the emotions they trigger, the memory is part of the afterglow. A couple of respondents pointed out that the importance of an ‘oldie’ is in the now. Which should be obvious–the past doesn’t exist except in conversations (external or internal).
    The same is true about golf. Does a golfer go out to hit the ball because he wants to remember that time he hit it in ’69, ’73, ’81? Nah, he wants the good feeling it might give him again today. This has to do with what the ‘taste philosphers’ call Familiarity, there’s also Variety, or sheer Pattern recognition (it’s similar, but not the same). Familiarity can generate a new experience simultaneous with an already known outcome.
    So much for the intellectual side. My webcast services 30,000 unique listeners who hear the first 61 years of Beach and Shag music. They don’t listen ’cause it’s old! And they don’t dance to those tunes in saloons, night clubs, social clubs, pavilions, festivals, concerts, and dance contests throughout the Southeast because they are old. I’d venture to say that 50% of the junior shaggers today would prefer to dance to “I Used to Cry Mercy Mercy” by the Lamplighters from 1954 before they’d choose “Game of Love” by Santana–both great Shag tunes.
    I predict there will be many manufacturers and retailers who will realize that they can make millions in sales–including new sales and 4-5 backend sales per customer–out of the Mo’Better Music of Your Life format. (I’ve always wondered why advertisers weren’t a little hipper than the programmers e.g. in TV one sees a show ‘slip’ to a mere 12 million listeners from 20 million and the network bails out. Man, I’d love to have an audience of 12 million to advertise to–all year long!) Same’s true in radio. Not necessarily for ALL of the major league national buyers, but every local and regional business has got to get excited when they get 30 new customers in a month. That’s 150 backend sales plus 30 frontend. 180 new sales. Any radio station that can deliver that with 45-74s for businesses, should be a radio station in business for a long time.
    Another distinction missed today–Baby boomers aren’t necessarily like their parents saying, “I just can’t understand the lyrics, the music is too loud.” Nope, new standards of fulfillment that I doubt are well-researched.
    I playe music for folks in the 20s, 30s, and the bulk 40s-70s. They don’t complain about the Joss Stone, Full Flava, 3 T, Ronan Keating, Gwen Stefani, ATC, Cliff Richard, Jennifer Hudson, Michael Buble, Ryan Shaw, Scooter Lee, or Mannish Boys I’m playing–all new. And mixed with stuff from 6 decades. Baby boomers are eclectic to the max….but perhaps bored with some of the *presentation* they’ve lived with for years. Not necessarily the songs themselves. Regards, Fessa John Hook, The Endless Summer Network.

  18. Dave Bartley
    Dave Bartley says:

    I’m enjoying reading all of this. I cut my teeth in radio doing an oldies format in the late 80’s when the “Oldies” format was new. I’ve worked my share of solid gold formats through out the last nearly 20 years. I’ve always had the most fun doing that style of format. I remember when 66 WNBC did their TIME MACHINE format from 1987 to 1988 I thought it was excelllent! They re-created Top 40 from the 60’s and 70’s all over again. Dan Taylor and Big Jay being my favorites. I’ve always told myself I will do that style of radio again, and managed to a couple of times, the most recent was at a little station outside of Knoxville, TN we re-duplicated the Music Radio WLS style and presentation including reverb, a WLS jingle packege circa 1977 and had a ball with it. It just changed format several days ago. It’s now Classic Rock, and boy are the listeners bitching! It was done because the advertisers in a small town didn’t like all the disco, heavy soul plus Carpenters, Barry Manilow hits that we played, the Harley Shops and Car dealerships felt Classic Rock was a better outlet so the owner changed to gain the better revenue. The listeners however LOVED our re-creation of radio from 30 years ago, our jocks where high energy all the elements were there, the playlist went deeper than most traditional Oldies we focused on the 70’s but played 60’s and some early 80’s as well. We used our call leters constantly and the Music Radio solgan. What was done 30 years ago was a fun flashback for our boomer listeners and the younger listeners it was new to them. Radio sounded fun again! Knoxville embraced us big time since there’s been a hole there for a Classic Top 40 format for the last 2 years since the Jack and Jack clones popped up. I hope to do the Music Radio, or Time Machine style format again it was so much fun as a jock and the listeners enjoyed hearing that excitement. Thanks for reading my little part in how “Oldies” radio can still be alive if you can line all the right elements up.

  19. Dave Mason
    Dave Mason says:

    Sheesh. Sean, why is it that this argument that will never die. “Oldies”. How many radio formats can the LISTENER (you know the ones with the diaries, the PPM, answering the phone when the research company calls?) give back to radio people. News-Talk. Oldies. Classical. Smooth Jazz. Classic Rock. Rock. But NOT “Classic Top 40″. Not “Top 40″ even. Not CHR. Not “Hot A/C”. Not “A/C”. Light (Lite) or Soft Rock? Yeah. Hell, back in 96, we referred to songs from the late 80’s as “Oldies”. Anything that had moved away from a recurrent. Play The Supremes, The Beatles, The Beach Boys -and the audience will call you “Oldies”. Play the songs that resonate with their lifestyle and the fact that the “Oldies” audience wants an uptempo radio station they can really sink their teeth into, and the word “Oldies” will make a resurgence into the world of acceptance. We sometimes get a little too caught up in what we’re NOT, and refuse to admit what we are. Ya wanna be different? Ya want your cume to be able to remember you? Talk THEIR language. Don’t like the word “Oldies”? Don’t use it. But realize that the listener WILL. The latest memo won’t get them to stop.

  20. Krista
    Krista says:

    STOP TAKING AWAY GOOD MUSIC! I’M SICK OF IT … if I want to listen to the freakin’ 80s music I can turn on ANY BLASTED STATION I WANT …. when it comes the 60s music I relied on stations like FROGGY-94 (Erie) and 3WS (Pittsburgh – when traveling) and now both have decided the oldies weren’t good enough … they both changed. NOT EVERYONE HAS SATELITE RADIO … now where am I supposed to find the 60s music .. CD stores? Don’t you know CDs will be a thing of the past and then what will we have of the 60s??? NOTHING!! I’m not even FROM that generation people! I was born in the 70s, came to like the 60s music in the 80s and to be honest with you there are very FEW 80s artists I even like. So now what do I do….sit and wait to hear if they’ll slip in an old song somewhere along the line? Not to be mean but….FRUSTRATING!!!!!! I don’t have patience to do that … I want my 60s music back …. start caring about those that still want to hear it. If I want the 80s music I’ll turn on the radio and find a bunch of stations already playing it. So STOP PLAYING THE 80s and go back to the 60s!!!!!! You’ve lost all respect from someone who wasn’t even from that generation … I now have to make sure I get a bunch of 60s CDs just so I can get my oldies fix.


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