Hot and Cold Radio Stations

There’s nothing worse than a “cold” radio station. You know the kind I’m talking about.

Sure, the imaging is super-clean. The music may be good. The jocks are probably tight and do a great job promoting the upcoming contest. The promos are well produced and slick. But the station has no soul. It’s just an appliance… mechanically sound, but doesn’t make you feel anything.

More and more stations have become this way – dare I say that a vast majority in big markets – mostly as an overreaction to the PPM ratings system. Programmers are spending way too much time gaming the system to try to prevent “tune-out,” that we’ve forgotten about creating the magic that causes “tune-in”.

Most of today’s iconic radio brands were created when ratings were diary based and the goal was to get people to remember your station to write it down. Your goal as a programmer should still be the same today – just for different reasons. Hot radio stations have a personality, or as I like to call it “stationality”. They are interactive. You never know what’s going to happen next. The jocks are personalities with a genuine opinion on everyday life. Hot stations are living, breathing things… that make you feel something when you listen. They entertain, make people laugh, capture your emotions, tell a story, or maybe even make you cry. Even the promos are entertaining. They activate the listener’s imagination.  There’s an experience beyond just the music. “Commercial Free” isn’t the ONLY benefit they offer.

Music is a commodity. If I want to hear a Taylor Swift song, oh let me count the ways! I can think of many more immediate ways than radio. But great radio stations offer so much more. There’s a reason to tune in beyond just the music. Even the music offers some depth and discovery on a great radio station.

Radio stations that are just appliances dispensing music are as dead as a coffin. Emotionless, cold and dead. Hot brands are interesting and colorful… with unique content that you can’t get from the other stations.

Turn up the heat!



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