By David Kidd, BPR
I’m writing this article from Sherman Oaks, LA. A great part of a great city.
I’m listening to K-Earth 101, the legendary Classic Hits station and probably the blueprint for Classic Hits stations around the world. Or at least it should be.
K-Earth has a compelling Morning Show…The Gary Bryan Morning Show. The station also has very connected talent throughout the day.
It has the #1 cume in LA over 2.3 million!
But what impresses me most about K-Earth is the music policy. Let’s face it ….” The Greatest Hits on Earth” is a nice twist on the station brand but also bold. You must live up to the brand promise
When was the last time you listened to a Classic Hits station and thought…” mmmm… that doesn’t sound like a classic hit to me?”
Too many stations in the Classic Hits arena dilute their brand and therefore their ratings performance with a universe pumped full of weak testing songs and poor music scheduling.
K-Earth has a playlist tighter than many Hot AC stations. K-Earth is laser focussed and the ratings don’t lie. Remember, #1 cume in the #2 market in the US.
Rotations. Now this is impressive.
Years ago, with Classic Hits formats we were to taught to rotate categories like 70s, 80s and 90s based on their decade of release. Right? The older they are SLOW DOWN the rotation.
But hey this is 2022!
And guess what…. successful Classic Hits stations have evolved by analysing not just the songs the audience LOVES but also how and when listeners actually LISTEN.
K-EARTH embodies this strategy which has paid dividends in the station’s market share and cume (need I remind you… #1 in LA).
You can hear Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”….three times between 6am and 6pm on K-EARTH. Police “Every Breath You Take” two or three times. The chances of the same listener hearing either song on K-Earth more than once in the same day is minimal. Every song the station plays defines the brand promise of “Greatest Hits”.
Chris Ebbott, VP Programming for the five Audacy stations in LA, understands what the K-Earth audience loves and their listening patterns.
Chris Ebbott: “A few years ago I was listening to The Steve Dangle podcast — it’s a Toronto Maple Leafs show that a friend of mine Adam Wylde co-hosts. He said something that has resonated with me ever since — “A brand is a promise kept”. That’s what we always strive to do with K-EARTH — deliver those great musical moments and positive station vibes immediately upon tune in.”
Every SUCCESSFUL programmer needs to understand the listening patterns and music preferences of their audience…. WHEN they listen and WHAT they really want to listen to.
In a competitive environment, a Classic Hits format is all about songs the audience LOVES…. not just the ones they like.