Re: The sad state of CHR radio & the decline of WBBM-FM Chicago B96.
Posted by Jeremy Andrews on December 27, 2018, 4:08 pm, in reply to "Re: The sad state of CHR radio & the decline of WBBM-FM Chicago B96. "
iHeart (Clear Channel when it was put in place) uses what was and is still widely called "Premium Choice" music logs for pretty much every format. There are local differences on major market stations in specific, but they're almost all based on a single music log programmed by a corporate VP. Songs can be moved, omitted, sometimes added. I've heard this happen. |
They usually use the logs without many edits overnights, sometimes weekends. For example, overnights the same song will be playing on WGCI and WKKV in Milwaukee at the same time. This has been in use since 2009. Smaller the market, the more likely you are to hear the generic log without any edits. They include generic voice tracks from major market talent not mentioning the station names (Although they can remove them and use local talent, run it jockless, put in local imaging, or even have the national DJ record a station name before the VT plays)
Even the Christmas music is based off of a Premium Choice log. WLIT usually used it in the overnight hours, switching to a local feed at 5AM sharp (There's an abrupt cut when they take the station live at around 5AM)
If a station needs to change format, or go all Christmas, it's an easy way to make it happen fast without too much effort.
In regards to Entercom, like iHeart and CBS before them, they tend to do a lot of things in the most generic way possible. They do have more local people in some markets. So far they do not go as far as iHeart by using the same music log, but they do have "Format captains" consulting each format nationally.
Lots of micromanaging across the board.
As for Cumulus, ever since Mary Berner took over as CEO, she has made a point to stay out of the way they program. That's up to the people hired to do it. I read somewhere she told the VP of Programming something along the lines of "If I tell you how to program something, ignore it." Like the rest, they do have their national and generic ways of doing things but they have toned it down extensively recently. They backed down bigtime on the "NASH FM" branding they put on almost all of their Country stations. A lot of them went back to their original branding in recent years.
They do own Westwood One, which syndicates 24 Hour formats on a lot of small town stations. There's a little of that everywhere.
Hubbard and Bonneville (Which has been expanding more out west) still do things with less "VP Of This" "VP Of That" national stuff. A lot of it seems local and station specific. I'm sure they hire consultants like everybody else. The problem is the heavy budget cuts.
This is all of what I know to be true either by listening or by reading. I've never had a real job in radio, I don't think I ever will, so there's really no way for me to know the motives.
As for apps, analytics are great, but the only ones using them on the local level are ones like Shazam (Song ID sniffers) They have made charts on a per city basis, basically telling you the most searched songs on that app. Since Apple owns it, it's virtually built into any iPhone. I know for a fact some radio programmers use the Shazam charts to help them out.