And this image will surprise you…
Radio, in the United States, is very segmented. Not so much so in Europe, but they have far fewer signals in most major cities, and often a lot of government control of formats and boundaries.
In America, it’s unusual to hear a Country song on a CHR station, or a Hip-Hop song on an AC station, which is why you may find this video really interesting.
One of the best AC stations in the world is in the home of Country Music: Nashville. The station is WJXA-FM.
Barbara Bridges, the PD, has no fear of playing any song that fits the sound of the station she carries around in her head. Her instincts are true and sure.
WJXA dominates a really good radio market, and has for years. So, if you listen, you’ll hear songs our industry would classify as Rock, Country, Contemporary Christian, Pop and Alternative, along with all the usual AC and SOFT AC titles.
Simply put, Barb’s unwillingness to disregard hit songs her audience loves because of fences someone else has put around her format, makes her station one of the most interesting AC stations anywhere.
Barb programs for her listeners, not the industry, and it has helped her brand dominate.
Look, Martha Stewart is pretty savvy when it comes to her personal branding. If broadening the horizon is good enough for her, maybe its time to rethink the walls you — and our industry — have put around your station.
The worst thing you can be today is predictable, because predictable = boring and there’s too many other interesting options to settle for boring these days.
I’d love to hear about a station you know that breaks traditional boundaries and format rules. Are there risks? Sure, but in skilled hands (and ears) the rewards out-weigh the risks today.