I do like the idea of a 80s/90s/2000s classic CHR format if done correctly. Merlin Media was a disaster and should had never flipped Q101 in the first place. I disagree a little bit with WYTZZ95FM that rhythmic will be the way to go if 95.5 does flip from country to classic hits of the 80s/90s/2000s/early 2010s. I think it would be more broader and include rock crossovers (matchbox 20, nickleback, etc) and AC stuff (celine dion, michael bolton, etc) balance out the rhythmic (rap, r&b, dance) songs. If they do focus solely on rhythmic hits, then then they'll have to limit the amount of R&B songs and focus either on old school hip hop or dance since many of the classic R&B songs of the 70s/80s/90s/2000s are still played on sister station V103.
This likely will not happen, but imagine a scenario where iHeart gives up on country and flips 95.5 to classic rhythmic/dance within a year by now. Management brings in Sal Amato and the rest of the WBMX.com staff to help run the station. "The Beat" is no longer on low-powered 102.3 WCKG on the weekend and moves to the stronger frequency of 95.5 running 24/7. Let's also assume that 104.3 Jams doesn't change their call letters to WBMX (they either keep WJMK or get new call letters). The rhythmic format on 95.5 strongly focuses on classic dance and rhythmic hits of the 80s & 90s (songs that were huge either on the original WMBX, B96, or Energy 92.7). There would be tweaks on the the way, of course, such as cutting back on 1970s/1980s disco & R&B (since V103 also plays such records) and adding more dance/rhythmic hits of the 2000s & early 2010s since the station doesn't want to skew too old. May have to sprinkle a few classic ballads/love songs that were big on Rhythmic top 40 (anything from Janet, Whitney, Mariah, Luther, Boyz ii Men, etc) as well.
That being said, I do agree with WYTZZ95FM about the need for a extended, broader-based playlist, especially for stations that play decades-based formats (classic rock, classic hits/oldies, old school R&B/Rap, etc). Just playing the same 200 songs over and over again is one of the reasons why corporate radio is so stale. Computers these days can store a ton of GB that feature thousands of songs. There are hundreds of songs that were hits and you don't hear them on the radio ever again. I also agree with letting station DJs have more creative control. Another example I would point out was long-defunct Energy 92.7 of 2001/02 which I was a big fan of. Yes, their parent company screwed up with their money and Energy died too soon, but the DJs on that station were very good and were passionate about the dance format.
Going back to my imaginary scenario "WBMX 95.5 the Beat" for a moment (which again will probably not happen, but I can dream can I?), everything WYTZZ95FM just stated has to be considered if the rhythmic format is to be successful. I would also make it uniquely Chicago (like how WBMX.com does it on the weekend) and add the old dance songs that were actually popular in the day. Did any top 40 station back in the 90s outside Chicago played "Fat Boy" by Max-a-Million on heavy rotation like B96 did back in the heavily rhythmic "Killer Bee" days. Don't limit the playlist to just the classic dance/rhythmic hits everybody nationwide already know like Madonna's "Vogue" or Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" or Justin Timberlake's "Sexy Back" (you have to include the 2000s rhythmic hits too). Expand the playlist to about 1,000 songs. Include the deep cuts and forgotten hits, ranging from R&B, disco, house, synthpop, hip hop, reggae-rap, freestyle, electro, eurodance, techno, EDM/dubstep, upbeat pop, etc., to make sure the formula doesn't grow too stale.
« Back to index | View thread »