Intriguing Stations of 2015: Part II

It would not be merely smart-alecky to give an Intriguing Station of 2015 award to Voltair. The audio-processing unit believed to enhance the detectability of station signal encoding for Nielsen’s PPM ratings measurement was a far bigger story than any one station, and not knowing exactly who was deploying it created speculation about any station’s […]


First Listen: What Beats Music Means For Broadcast Radio

For the last several years, the Clear Channel talking point on Pandora, from Bob Pittman down, has been some variant on “it’s not radio, it’s a playlist generator.” The broadcaster’s intent is to diminish its pureplay rival, but in many ways, Pandora is more radio than radio. Much of broadcast radio has been on a […]


First Listen: Seattle’s Hot 103.7

A few years ago, it seemed almost foolhardy to suggest that there might be a hole for a ‘90s/early ‘00s-based rhythmic pop station, even in the most rhythmic-leaning markets. KQMV (Movin’ 92.5) Seattle, the most prominent of that format’s mid-‘00s launches, had initial success, but eventually made a successful transition to Mainstream Top 40. Markets […]


How To Be Live & Local

When the NAB/RAB Radio Show began last week, the panel on creating your own individual brand as a personality was asked what might have seemed like a softball question: “What is radio’s brand?” But on Wednesday, that question generated several seconds of silence and no immediate answer. ABC’s Ann Compton circled back a question later […]


“My Two Songs”: When Listeners Agree To Disagree

Here’s an observation that began in an unusual way–with a Washington Post article about likely candidates for the 2014 mayoral election. One entrant, who has already established an exploratory committee, is the city councilman for my old neighborhood. So I followed the links on Tommy Wells and ended up at a Post article from 2011–giving […]


First Listen – NASH FM

There was never all that much mystery about whether Cumulus would take its newly acquired WFME New York to Country. Cumulus clearly likes the format, which is enjoying its biggest boom in twenty years. Success stories in Boston and Philadelphia have proven Country’s mettle in the northeast. The only other realistic choice would have been […]


Radio’s Bad Ideas That Won’t Die

“Why Don’t Bad Ideas Ever Die?” That was a question posed recently by Washington Post financial columnist Barry Ritholtz. “This time of year is filled with retrospectives and ‘best of’ lists,” Ritholtz wrote. He opted instead to take on “zombie ideas: the memes, theories and policies that refuse to die, despite their obvious failings.” Ritholtz’s […]


What We Learned From Testing Christmas Music In 2012

When Edison Research did its last national test of holiday music in 2007, nearly half of the best songs–those making up the top sixth of the songs tested–came from 1967 or before. In any other radio genre, time marches on, songs lose their currency, and new listeners age into the target demo and bring a […]


The Least Liked Holiday Songs Of 2012

When it comes to holiday music, one particular novelty song is still a total dog. “Jingle Bells” by the Singing Dogs—the 1955 version of the holiday standard that is actually barked, not sung, is still the most-disliked holiday song, according to a new holiday music test by Edison Research. The Singing Dogs are joined in […]


Bob- & Jack-FM: After The Goldrush

Okay, it’s been a few years since you’ve read a lot about Bob- and Jack-FM in the trade press. But there are still stations doing the format very successfully in 2009. On the seventh anniversary of the format, Edison Research VP Sean Ross takes a clear-eyed look at the new issues that have emerged in “Bob- and Jack: After the Goldrush.”


Reclaiming Teens? A Second CHR Is (Only) A Start

In the first-ever “Instant Request” edition of Ross On Radio, we take up a reader’s question about why broadcasters are launching so many CHRs if teens don’t like radio. For the first time in a decade, new Top 40 stations have the potential to expand the format’s audience, not just cannibalize it. But bringing the teens back is going to take more than two Top 40s in a market.


Determining A Song’s Real Radio Age

There’s been a lot written lately about the Website that suggests your “real age” based on your overall health and lifestyle. But that concept applies for songs, too. “I Will Survive” has a lot of currency for a 30 year old record. “Brown Eyed Girl” doesn’t sound 42. In this week’s Ross On Radio, Edison Research’s Sean Ross looks at why and how records endure. See his quiz for “Determining A Song’s Real Radio Age.”