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Yearbook Jan 2019

Radio aaeiilnnortt 21 empathy for what the programming department is trying to do. Similarly, PDs who keep music research or perceptual studies in a locked fortress lose the chance to help the air staff better understand why the station is – or isn’t – playing that song, breaking at that time, or ending the morning show at 9am. A number of years ago, I consulted at a classic rock station that was floundering. The air staff didn’t respect the station management, and felt the playlist was unnecessarily tight. To diffuse the situation and bring the jocks into the conversation, I convinced the PD to let each member of the air staff select five songs that would be included on the hook list in the upcoming test. So yes, there was a cost – in fact, 20 songs that were never tested before replaced ones that were tested year in and year out. The end result of this experiment was that we shared the results of the entire test with the staff and they got to see how their picks actually performed, learning (in most cases) why those titles would never see the light of day. Respect for the proces My recollection, however, is that we discovered a few new songs we could play, because a couple of personalities believed there were songs that had a market history us out-of-towners couldn’t possibly have known about. And they were right. The air staff felt included as their opinions were considered. They finally had an understanding of the benchmarks used to evaluate the music. And they came away with a higher level of respect for the process. The other data application is with the audience. More and more stations conduct web-based research and a typical question asked by respondents is whether they’ll see the results. While it was once unthinkable to share data with listeners, it is actually a smart strategy. If you think about research as marketing, it’s a brilliant way to deal the audience into the process while getting their buy-in for programming changes. By providing a brief series of slides for listeners (those who took the survey,


Yearbook Jan 2019
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