In recent years, broadcasters have done a better job of creating products that go beyond their AM/FM transmitters, whether it's hip-hop/R&B WQHT (Hot 97) New York getting its own reality series or cross-town sports outlet WFAN's morning team getting its own food kiosk court at the Barclays Center. What they haven't done so far is create a lot of other radio. The job of creating radio for people who can't be satisfied by what's on the dial has largely gone to Sirius XM.
Radio League, the new app from Journal Broadcast Group's Milwaukee cluster, addresses that issue, offering a suite of seven stations that don't include JRN's broadcast signals in the market. There are "Variety" and '80s channels tied to (but not rebroadcasting) Adult Hits WLWK (the Lake). But there is also country, Christian AC, top 40, triple-A, and a station based on acts from Milwaukee's always mammoth upcoming Summerfest.
The Radio League also addresses one of broadcast radio's existential issues at the moment. FM music stations aren't equipped to compete with the online pureplays' lower spotloads. Heard last Saturday, Pandora ran six separate units adding up to a little more than two minutes an hour. That's unimaginable for most broadcasters. Yet, ceding the continuous music franchise means backing away from the biggest piece of what radio currently does.