Who Killed Rock Radio?
Article by Keith Moerer discussing the waning popularity of rock radio stations.

  • REV 105, by defining modern rock in a broad but informed way, and by avoiding the mindnumbing repetition that drives dedicated music fans crazy, violated two tenets of the ratings-obsessed radio programmer: Keep your playlist tight, and pound the hits till your most fickle listeners are familiar with them.

  • Most have done this by tightening their playlists to 35 or 40 of the surest hit singles, and embracing softer, more mainstream artists -- the Wallflowers, Jewel -- who never would have qualified as Modern Rock six years ago.

  • At virtually all commercial stations, however, playlists are determined by program directors or music directors, working with consultants paid to research how stations can reach the greatest number of target listeners-say, men 18-to-34 or women 25-to-44.

  • Today, almost every station uses a software program -- the most common is called Selector -- which requires music directors to code each song as before, but sequences a station's playlist by computer.

  • Record executives may complain about tight playlists, but they love them, too.

  • The best example of Top 40 today is probably MTV, which has a playlist as tight as most Modern Rock stations, but is more expansive about what it includes: hip-hop, R&B, hard rock, teen pop, over-the-top balladry.

  • Now look at KROQ's playlist for the same week.

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  • Playlist July 19.

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  • We have over 10, 000 great tunes in rotation (and are adding more all the time)! Everything from Rock, Metal, Jazz, Comedy, Funk, Fusion and even Classical - broadcasting 24/7 for your enjoyment! And if you don't like what you're hearing, click the button on the left and choose from our entire playlist! 2/23/2005 8:59 AM Hey guys, we're still blasting your tunes.

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