Variety Hits FAQ
Q: Why did you make this website?
A: Because there wasn't anything else like it out there. I found the Variety Hits concept to be an intriguing thing, and so I put this site online. I also run the RadioHotTalk.com site, and while the two formats are very different, I find both of them interesting.
Q: How could two people have invented the Variety Hits format separately? What gives?
A: Is it really that surprising? Hits=ratings. Howard Kroeger's creation in Winnipeg came as the result of trying to find hit songs from the past and present that appealed to P35-54 (Adults ages 35-54, to put that in non-radio terms). Bob Perry, meanwhile, was an old-school jock who had disdain for what corporate radio had become with its tight playlists and narrow formats. Longing for how things used to be, he made an internet radio station (Jack FM) that went against all of what's out there today. The grand irony, of course, is that what Perry created is now what major media companies are licensing to use and/or copying and modifying slightly for their own taste.
The idea of a non-format format (which is what the Variety Hits format is, in a nutshell) was an idea whose time had come. It just so happens that two people came about it in very separate ways at about the same time. These things happen.
Q: Won't this be like Jammin' Oldies, a fad format that dies off quickly when people get sick of it?
A: I don't think it's going to be another Jammin' Oldies fad. What gets overlooked with Jammin' Oldies is that it hit the nostalga factor so hard for the 25-54 demo, but what in hindsight will be remembered is the 1½ to 2 year burnout factor that the format had in most of its markets. What I believe will keep the Variety Hits format from burnout is the following: it has a much, much larger playlist than gold-based fad formats of the past; it has enough new material added in that there will be a continuing base of new material filtering in; music targeting the 35-44 narrow and 25-54 wider demo changes over time, so what is played today would be different than what would be five years from now, assuming that the given station is programmed correctly. All of those factors, I believe, will give Variety Hits the legs to last indefinitely as a viable format.
This site is new; I'm sure there will be more questions to come...
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