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Posted By: Jim Liddane on: 07/11/2007 06:18:17 EDT
Subject: RE: Question For Bob

Message Detail:
Jimmy Dee wrote:

And I believe your method to be right on the button.

Jim Liddane replies:

Thanks, but I would say it was probably a very crude method in comparison with the way the top US PDs did things at that time, but 3500 miles across the ocean from New York, what did we know?

It would be a pity though if my method was even vaguely correct nowadays, because it would mean that anything prior to 1965 is more or less out for good.

Unless of course there is a radio station whose management decides to cater for a much older audience - an audience with a cut-off age of (let's say), 65 - in which case, they would still be programming 1956.

(Having said that, I often listen to KSEY in Seymour, Texas, and they seem to be playing country oldies going back to 1940, or even earlier).

I often wondered about that "magic" 54 - but it was always made clear to me by advertising agencies that in their collective wisdom - 54 was the cut-off point, and
they were not at all interested in ratings which included a high percentage of 55+ listeners (which we had).

Apparently after 55, even though those people have amassed more money, and have more free time on their hands, they are not as susceptible to "change" or to "impulse purchasing".

In other words, if they always drank Pepsi or drove a Ford, they were not going to change now, no matter how much advertising you put their way. They are also more loyal to brand names, and so do not need to be hard-sold to.

Also of course, by 55, they already own everything they need, so apart from replacing worn or broken items, they are not in the market place as much as younger people.

That was the agency theory anyway!

John, in aother reply, also mentioned that the best oldies shows are not done by PDs - shows like Dick Bartley etc.

However, I cannot be sure about Dick Bartley but those syndicated US oldies shows we bought in, certainly were. We would get a printout of the playlist well in advance of each show, and they clearly detailed their programming method in their sales material, giving us a breakdown of the number of Top 5, To0 10, Top 40, etc., hits which would come in each programme.

It would be an unusual oldies station indeed that allowed universal free-format radio now anyway, for one simple reason - song burnout.

A year or so after we started, our sole PC went down, and with it, our SelRec system.

The DJs were free to play their own choice, as long as they kept lists for IMRO (the Irish equivalent of ASCAP/BMI) purposes.

The result sounded fine to me, and I was very tempted to leave things stand and dispense with the playlists, until I analysed the IMRO returns.

Over a five day period, "Unchained Melody" had been played 16 times, while "Penny Lane" had been played 11 times.

And there were a lot more like that.

In one day alone, "True Love Ways" had been played during every single show (five times - one show after another)! The reason was simple - it was at that moment, a much requesed oldie and as DJs do not always listen to other shows preceding theirs, they were not aware of how often it had already been played earlier that day.

I think free-format radio is far more possible with Top 40 stations - the songs will still burn out, but they ae going to be replaced by new product anyway, so who cares about them.

Once you burn out your oldies - they are gone - if not for good - for a long time.

I remember after that famous playlist-free week, I decided not to play "Unchained Melody" or "True Love Ways" or "Penny Lane" on my own Sunday oldies show for several months unless specifically requested - for fear of destroying what was left of their appeal.

In fact, I think requests completely died away for "Unchained Melody" which had been one of our most-requested songs.

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