(Welcome to new readers of my blog, and thanks to Tom Taylor for the plug. Here's one of my more quoted and read posts. Thanks to Sean Ross for allowing me to write this guest column for his "Ross on Radio" newsletter. Sign up for my "Brainstorming Radio" newsletter here.)
young Reds fan living outside Cincinnati, I grew up listening to Full Service
Radio without knowing it. WLW – “The
Nation’s Station” - was always on the radio at my house. They played music,
current Top 40 songs (not all of them – the industry called it “chicken rock.”) They
had news – top and bottom of every hour – along with weather, traffic and all
sorts of information. High profile personalities (James Francis
Patrick O’Neill, “The Morning Mayor” and Rich King in the afternoon) were on every daypart. It
met the listening needs of everyone in our household (until I became an unruly
teenager and discovered WSAI.) It also
met the needs of a lot of listeners (up until the mid 70’s, WL…
I’m lucky to be back in Columbus, Ohio - my hometown - I spend a lot of time with family, especially nieces and nephews and their friends. The other day, I was “volunteered” to transport three of my niece’s girlfriends from campus to a “secret party location” (that way they would be forced to spend the night or safely Uber home.) They all piled in the backseat and begged to stop at the gas station on the way for cigarettes and six-packs (they were all old enough and uncles don’t judge.) Once we got on the road they were excited to ask me questions and talk about music and radio. “We love radio.. we listen all the time, it’s free and this one station plays great music. The Blitz - can we listen to the Blitz?” I wasn’t surprised. As their website states - “99.7 The Blitz WRKZ Columbus Ohio is an active rock radio station featuring artists like Metallica, Nirvana, Korn, Soundgarden, Disturbed and Tool.” Not my cup of tea, but I was just the chauffeur, so I flipped it on and started …
I recently met a small business person in Columbus Ohio who wanted my advice about advertising, especially radio. He wanted to promote an upcoming sales event and was trying to get information from Columbus radio stations, including the iHeart Radio cluster.
(Disclaimer: Since I didn't transcribe or record the conversation, I'm paraphrasing his story here.)
"I went to the WTVN (local iHeart news/talk station) website and saw their telephone number - an 800 number. I called and the person on the other end of the phone was really no help. They didn't know what stations were in Columbus, did not ask me any questions about my business or what my needs were, all they wanted to know what how much money I wanted to spend and what my credit was. After I hung up, I got an email with a proposed schedule that included stations I had never heard of!
So we called Sunny 95 - it was a local number. Someone named Susan spent about 20 minutes with me on the phone, asked me a lot…