2019 American Music Awards

Ross On Radio: First Listen - John Garabedian's Y101

Since the mid-'00s, I've enjoyed seeing "Monday Morning Update," the top 40 newsletter sent out by "Open House Party" host and creator John Garabedian as a recap of the syndicated show's top requests.

"Monday Morning Update" always contained an ample dose of record advocacy -- something which was once a staple of music industry tipsheets, but disappeared in a more conservative era of programming when there were fewer PDs aggressively looking for music and fewer willing to discuss it in public. Even before YouTube brought "off-the-menu" music back to the fore, Garabedian was pushing PDs to find the next phenomenal record or the real hit on the album.

In recent years, Garabedian has been writing more about audience retention scores and bemoaning that many CHRs were too current based--which isn't necessarily contradictory advice. Recently, Garabedian has cut back on the commentary, and MMU has just been the show's request tally, although even that has some songs not found on most top 40 stations (e.g., several One Direction titles beyond the current single). And it's always interesting information. 

Garabedian was, in any event, somebody who you would have wanted to hear running a Top 40 radio station again. And now he is. As a recently minted station owner in Cape Cod, one of the few markets where Top 40, despite its recent success, has been missing for several yaers, he and veteran area programmer/station manager Steve McVie Solomon have just launched WHYA (Y101), "the new Beat of Cape Cod."  The frequency was half of a Classic Hits simulcast; now it's the first top 40 in the market in four years.

As you would expect, there is a strong gold and recurrent component to Y101, going back at least as far as Kelly Clarkson, "Since U Been Gone." After listening throughout the first day, I haven't encountered any left-field currents yet, although the station did play Havana Brown's "We Run The Night," frontsold with a promise to play "big hits that have never been played before on Cape Cod radio." Power rotation seems to be around 1:20. 

It's also worth noting that in most stations launch with 10,000 songs in a row by apparent legislative fiat, Y101 has had a full airstaff (including McVie in afternoons) on its first day. It's already a "real radio station"--something you would have expected from the people involved. There's also one nice little "old school" touch with the market's most prominent city being referred to as "Y-annis." 

Here's the first hour of Y101:

LMFAO, "Party Rock Anthem"

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "Thrift Shop"

Adele, "Set Fire To The Rain (Remix)"

fun., "Carry On"

Elle Goulding, "Lights"

Pink, "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)"

Justin Timberlake f/Jay Z, "Suit And Tie"

Rihanna f/Mikky Ekko, "Stay"

Bruno Mars, "Just The Way You Are"

Maroon 5, "Payphone"

Muse, "Madness"

Lumineers, "Ho Hey"

Demi Lovato, "Heart Attack"

Chris Brown, "Don't Wake Me Up"

Katy Perry, "Teenage Dream"

And here's the station just after 5 p.m.:

fun., "Carry On"

Jesse J, "Domino"

Pink, "Just Give Me One Reason"

Swedish House Mafia, "Don't You Worry Child"

Mike Posner, "Cooler Than Me"

Havana Brown, "We Run The Night"

Katy Perry, "The One That Got Away"

Bruno Mars, "When I Was Your Man"

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "Can't Hold Us"

Mumford & Sons, "I Will Wait"

Maroon 5, "Daylight"

Kelly Clarkson, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"

Usher, "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love"

Demi Lovato, "Heart Attack"



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