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Variety Hits Mailbag

July 19, 2005

From: Chet Harvey
To: LouPickney@gmail.com
Date: Jul 19, 2005 1:37 PM
Subject: (none)

Thanks to the new crap WQSR is playing I have freed up a pushbutton on my radios. The new style of WQSR is terrible. I am glad I don't have to listen to it. I tried but it is terrible.

Lou: Interesting that angry mail about the Baltimore flip continues to come in, 2 months after the fact. I'd say the two most "controversial" flips have been WCBS-FM/New York and WQSR/Baltimore, judging at least by the e-mails I've received and the articles I've read in the mainstream press (and in the radio trades). There's been some anger about the flips in Chicago and Boston, but those are secondary compared to these two.

But, with all of that anger considered, it should be noted that no other company has stepped up to fill the oldies "void" created in New York City and Baltimore, respectively. In only one case that I know of did an Oldies station even pop up to replace one knocked off by a Variety Hits station (in Nashville, where South Central's Oldies 96.1 became 96.1 JACK-FM, and then just a couple of days later Star 97 switched from Hot AC to Oldies as Oldies 97.1, hiring most of the former 96.1 airstaff). If the demand (and, more importantly, the ad dollars) really existed, wouldn't you think other companies would be clamoring to snap up the format? If so, then why hasn't it happened yet? Warrants considering, does it not?

Keep in mind: I really like Oldies music. There are some great songs from the post-Beatles invasion era that I enjoy. But I'm but one person in the P25-54 demo, and the reality is that music from that era, great as it is, is having a harder and harder time commanding the P25-54 audience that is critical to its long-term success. That's the reality of radio in 2005. Just be glad that satellite radio exists as an option if you're one of those who feels disenfranchised by the options available in your local market.

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