YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD TO BE YOUNG
LARP (Los Angeles Radio People), not to be confused with AARP, is one of my favorite sites on the web. Written by radio historian Don Barrett (www.LaRadio.com), it’s a must-read for present and past radio professionals who want to keep up to date on what is going on in their industry.
One of the services of subscription-only LARP is the eagerly awaited release of the Arbitron Radio Ratings. To be number one, even by one-tenth of a percentage point ahead of your closest rival, is reason for great celebration and on-the-air crowing.
My focus whenever I peruse each rating result centers obviously on the oldies station category. I am always disappointed that my local LA oldies station just can’t seem to rise above 15th place in the overall ratings, or as Don Barrett so aptly put it, “has stayed largely status quo so far” despite programming changes. No matter what they have done in the recent past to boost their ratings, they can’t seem to break into the coveted top 10.
Why do I care? I worry about the station possibly going out of the “oldies” business altogether. Recently Los Angeles’s one and only country music station went off the air. Can you believe it? 10,000,000 people in LA and NOT ONE COUNTRY MUSIC STATION?
Could “Oldies” be next?
It’s obvious that something drastic must be done to keep stuff like this from happening to our premier oldies station. So, in order to prevent such a catastrophic and malefical event from ever occurring, I am offering my services as a non-paid oldies radio consultant. I opt to be “non-paid” because the solution is just too, too obvious.
Here is my solution:
(FANFARE or DRUM ROLL)
NEVER … EVER … use the word OLDIES again!!!!
I told you it was obvious.
One comment that was going around about LA’s top oldies station before they decided to change its program line-up, was that the station was beginning to sound OLD. Are you kidding me? How can you not sound old, if you keep calling yourself an “Oldies station?”
According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: “Middle age is a non-specific state in life when one is neither young nor old, but somewhere in between. Middle age is between 40 and 65.”
What intelligent 45 year old hip, and up and coming person would ever admit in a radio ratings diary that their favorite radio station plays oldies? Most 45 year olds won’t even admit that they are 45! Let alone use the word “Old” in any form when referring to themselves.
The 60s was a big time young and happening event anyway you look at it. The Beatles? Old? The Beach Boys? Old? The Rolling Stones? What is the oldies radio station trying to tell their audience? That 60s music is only for the old. No one was old in the 60s and they still aren’t today. The Baby Boomers will never grow old.
There is a huge, even newer and younger audience waiting out there in radio land. To them 60s music is new. However, they will never come if stations keep building up their broadcast as an oldies experience. Psychologically it will permeate everything that is done on the air. And, yes, it WILL sound old.
So … as Cher would say as she slaps a little face … “Get over it!” (Cher’s from the 60s you know and she never grows old).
Tell you what I am going to do. I’m going to throw the problem out to all the Lloyd Thaxton Mouse Cliquers and have them kick it around. Their goal? Come up with a new format name to replace “Oldies.”
To all my Mouse Cliquers: Don’t let LA down. Come up with some names. My favorite would be “Boss Radio.” But that is taken. However, it sure sounds new to me?
While you’re trying to come up with ideas, keep saying this:
“Out with the Oldie. In with the New.”