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Posted By: Jim Liddane on: 07/10/2007 06:46:29 EDT
Subject: Question For Bob

Message Detail:
In a recent reply, Bob wrote:

"Which is to skew no higher than the 54 year old listener, which alas, rules out the 'real' old gold!"

I wonder if Bob could explain how an American PD works out the earliest track for a 54 year old listener?

Back when I was a PD here in Ireland, our licence stipulated that we should cater musically for a 15-45 audience (that was when there was only one local licence per city. Nowadays of course, there are multiple licenses allowing for niche outlets).

In 1989 for example, when we won the Limerick City licence, I gauged the earliest music for a 45 year old by using a formula of 45 minus 12 equals 33. That meant we would programme music from 1989 minus 33 (1956).

My theory was that any music heard between 12 and 20 was part of that listener's DNA as it were!

I am not sure where I got this theory from - possibly one of those "How To Program A Radio Station" manuals that used to be advertised in Billboard!

Naturally, I took into account demographics based on the local census, and of course day-parting, but on an average hour (three sweeps per hour), we would play 2 50's, 4 60's, 4 70's, 3 80's and 2 currents (the 50's and half the 60's would disappear after 7pm to be replaced by currents when mainly teens listened, but the 50's would be more predominant in the morning when more adults tuned in).

As the news was just three minutes, and our ad-breaks initially rather sparse, this worked for the first year (then we had to drop one of the 60s tracks for time reasons, mainly because some of the currents were exceeding four minutes and the ads were - thank God - getting more plentiful).

To produce playlists, I used a system called SelRec which the sole DK who could program a PC wrote for us (very loosely based on Selector), and we operated from a 3500 playlist (plus currents which were mot entered into the system - the DJ could pick whichever he/she wanted from a box), and also weighted them according to chart popularity etc. Incidentally, in 1989, we were still using some vinyl.

By 1995 when I left, we were still playing two fifties per hour, but of course nowadays, with niche outlets, such a wide format is I guess not necessary. and no local station feels the need to program so widely.

I would be curious to know how a 54 year old listener would be programmed. If I were still doing it, it would be 54 munus 12 equals 42, and 2007 minus 42 equals 1965.

From what I hear of oldies Stateside radio - that seems to be the norm anyway nowadays.

Which means that the only place we will hear the real authentic oldies from now on, is on Ultimate Oldies.

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