Thursday, July 11, 2002

Ravaging Radio VI
Laura Holson contributes an excellent article to the New York Times today about radio station marketing research and how playlists are developed. She details the rise of radio conglomerates such as Clear Channel, which operates about 1,000 stations, and analyzes how commercial playlists are constructed. Mainstream DJ's don't take requests any more. They can't. And what they can and do play is determined by what are now mostly automated playlists -- which are created based on test marketing, telephone surveys, and other research. Commercial programmers say it makes for more democratic radio. I say that it makes for bland, white-bread radio that represents no regional variation or DJ-driven exploration of new music. I want my WMBR and WNUR, thank you very much.

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