Wednesday, January 22, 2014

re:  On The Radio:

Chicago Media Columnist Rob Feder just ran the final tally for the December radio ratings period and once again those know-it-all consultants have been proven right ... Chicago really DOES need six stations playing the same Classic Hits / Classic Rock format.  Just a casual glance at the ratings will prove how right they really are ... 

#1 - by a LANDSLIDE - is the new My-FM (93.9, formerly The Lite), programming their annual 24 / 7 Christmas Music Blitz.  How big?  An 11.6 share ... nearly DOUBLE their nearest competition.  (In all fairness ... as Robert Feder points out in his column ... traditionally it will now go on to lose two-thirds of its audience as it returns back to its regular adult contemporary format.) 

How did our know-it-all rockers fare?  Well, let's see ...

WLS-FM (the guys we keep saying NEED to switch back to oldies if only to save themselves) were at 2.4.  (I'm sure those numbers please the folks back at Corporate!  In the all-important 25-54 demographic, that number drops to 1.7, or good enough for 24th Place on the list of Top 30 Radio Stations in Chicago.  Woo-Hoo!!!)  

WLUP (newly acquired by Cumulus) was ALSO at 2.4.  (Their numbers actually improve in the 25-54 demo.)  WDRV (The Drive) fared a little bit better with a 3.3 share, or about HALF of the city's #2 station WVAZ (who scored a 6.4 playing "urban adult contemporary" music.)  K-Hits (yeah, the guys we offered to help) fell to a new low of 1.7 (meaning nine out of every ten Chicagoans would rather listen to the same Christmas songs played over and over and over again than ANYTHING K-Hits has to offer) and suburban rockers The River and The Fox scored so low they didn't even place on the list. 

Clearly, we have absolutely NO idea what we're talking about ... thank you, Chicago listeners, for proving this point once again.  (It just keeps getting better, doesn't it???) Hmmm ... maybe My FM should switch to a 6-week "Love Songs" format for Valentine's Day and see if they can keep the streak going.  And then there's Easter ... surely there must be SOME way to bunny-hop back up the charts.  Heck for the 4th of July they could play Katy Perry's "Fireworks" every other song ... instead of every fifth song like they do now.  Follow that up with a very special "Christmas In July" two-week marathon and before you know it, it'll be time to spin those holiday classics again for real!!!  (I'm only half-joking ... we've hit a low point here in Chicago where you could program almost ANY new idea, no matter HOW ridiculous it might seem, and still get people to tune in and listen to it, just because it's something better than or different from what we're being force-fed now.  Which again begs the question ... why not oldies?  What have you got to lose?  Or, more to the point, how many more listeners can you afford to lose?) 

And here's something interesting ... the formats that scored ahead of Classic Rock / Classic Hits include Urban (2 stations), All News (3 stations), Current Contemporary Top 40 (B-96 and Kiss-FM) and Country.  Perhaps the saddest news of all ... the All-Mexican Channel now draws more listeners than WLS-FM ... but there's nothing they need to fix there ... they believe they're giving Chicago exactly what it wants to hear.  (You just keep telling yourselves that, guys!  Lord knows you've been proven right so far!)  kk 

Fifty Years Ago This Week:
As we continue to re-live the 50th Anniversary of The British Invasion (be sure to see last night's special posting for some VERY exciting news), here is a recap of how the Brits fared on our U.S. Charts fifty years ago this week:

1/24 and 1/25/64 - I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND jumps to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart, right behind LOUIE LOUIE (#2) and THERE! I'VE SAID IT AGAIN (#1), a 42 point jump on the charts.  Meanwhile SHE LOVES YOU premiers at #69.

Also new on the chart this week:  DUSTY SPRINGFIELD debuts at #77 with I ONLY WANT TO BE WITH YOU, becoming the first of what would become known as The British Invasion to make their way on to the U.S. charts.

Here in Chicago, on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" jumps from #40 to #8 this week … Beatlemania has taken over The Windy City ... and The Fab Four haven't even appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show yet!