The death of Gene Chenault brings to close the story of "Boss Radio," the dynamic sound that revitalized Top 40 radio in the 60's. The radio stations in the Drake-Chenault chain had a style that was imitated in many parts of the country except the Ozarks. When you bring up the "Boss Radio" to many people in the radio industry in southwest Missouri, you get an attitude of disdain. Many complain that Boss Radio was too "West Coast" or "big city."
I recently out lined how I would create a Top 40 station over on the Missouri Radio Message Board. I mentioned early on in my post that I was taking cues from the "Bill Drake playbook."
Here is my outline:
"Music: T-40 (Not a restricted CHR) with a good dose of Alternative and Hip Hop/R&B. Also I throw in a select group of oldies/classic rock. This last group would be rotated quite a bit. I would use an automation system, but the DJs would be live. I would also demand that music logs were checked so that the same song doesn't play at the same time, day after day, week after week. Most of all I want to keep the music upbeat and diverse. THAT MEANS DON'T JUST PLAY WHITE ARTIST.
DJ should be up beat, exciting and fun. They should also be profesional radio talent. No real estate guys, plumbers or auctioneers. I was also require them to be on MORE than three breaks an hour. The DJs must give the name of the song and artist along with time and temperature. Also the DJs will give any pertinent info they might want about what is going on in the community. Listen to the KHJ and CKLW aircheck here and here and here.
I will find a morning guy who is equivalent David Letterman or Conan O'Brien and let them have fun. Then find them a good sidekick, male or female. I have them make fun of local talk radio host. My morning show host will put a "kick me sign" on any talk host "standing up for what's right."
Imaging: At no point will you hear a liner or ID that sounds like static or the station has went off the air. There will be jingle like the ones heard here on You Tube.
News & Weather: I would have a two minute newscast at the quarters (15 after and 15 til) and weather four times an hour. The news department would be separate. The DJs would not be forced to do the news. Also none that "we don't do cover that." If it is news we would cover it. I don't believe in "pick & choose" news. Of the Drake stations, CKLW had the biggest news department under Byron McGregor (although the style at times boardered on being in poor taste). NO WALL TO WALL COVERAGE UNLESS IT IS A TORNADO. Even then the DJS can give warnings and info with out turning into "War of the Worlds." I also believe that during an ice storm people would appreciate some music as apposed to phone calls from idiots complaining about the electricity being out.
Sports: DJs can give scores and there my be an update once an hour on Saturdays. No play by play, but the station would have a "tailgate party" at every game with free food and maybe free swag. Have someone there to call in a score update to the Djs.
Public service: I believe that public service is the key name branding and public trust. I'm against this "If they charge to get in, we are not giving them free airtime." Try to be involved in every charity event you can.
Commercials: I would put a limit on commercials per hour and spread them out through out the hour. No more "30 minutes of non stop music" followed by 8 minutes of commercials. Once the slots were filled on the prime time, have the sales people tell advertisers they can be on a waiting list or sell them ROS. If there are barter/makegoods, put them in the overnight or light hours. The local advertisers or national ad buys are more important than that idiot that says "Is yor kid abnaxshush?" or "Men, Do you have trouble urinating?" spots. Most of all I would keep the sales people on a short leash. There job is sales - THAT IS IT. Make sure they find advertisers that will be right for the format. The T-40 audience goes to bars, restaurants, stores, banks, hair salons etc. They don't buy drywall drills or backhoe equipment.
Promotions: There will be surveys like the ones found on this KHJ site. Billboards with the DJs picture on it. T-shirts with the station on it. Window stickers with the calls. The station would do a promotion where a person wearing the station Ts or has window sticker in their car gets a prize."
Sounds like a good idea doesn't it? They didn't thinks so. I only received one positive comment about it. I was chided for trying to program for kids and that it wouldn't make money. Many area broadcasters are infatuated with the work of Missouri's Jerald Shepherd because he "made lots of money." His was bare bones and bland with an over abundance of bland, dry-read ads. No jingles or commercials with background music or humor. Of course, all that is important to the Ozarkers and the talk radio freaks is money. No fun or joy allowed in the Ozarks. It will upset those listeners over 70.
That is why the radio industry is doomed in this part of the country. Soon the only people listening will be country music loving rednecks and the money-grubbing, hate-driven talk radio freaks.
Of course, opinions like this are why I'm considered the Super-Villain of the Ozarks!!! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!