...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Jacking radio around.

OK, Seattle's got a "Jack" radio station now. Along with a handful of other markets. This "new" format that's sweeping the country actually started two years ago in Canada. The original joke in calling a radio station "Jack" is long-since lost in the border crossing. The "new" idea? Play everything in rock 'n roll. Rather than playing only research-stressed tunes that the demographic sample lights up for. Meaning, no new music. Only took anybody, including the supercreative Canadians, about thirty years to make this mental breakthrough. Trying to counter-program Ipods, etc.; you get the idea. Which exposes the complete absence of ideas in the radio business, other than five-or-six-spot commercial breaks, potty-mouth morning shows, lame radio station TV commercials, etc. Radio claimed it was going for niches, but what they always wanted was to find the mass niche. Now they're back to the original "Hit Parade" concept: play everything and get everybody listening. Except, now we have media that the user controls. How long will it take someone to come up with a real idea for broadcasting in the new environment? [Thanks to Jack N. for the P.I. link.]

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