While pop, R&B, and rock radio have spun off older skewing formats over the years, the country radio and record community has fiercely resisted any similar fragmentation. But group owner Cumulus has just unveiled a new "Nash Icons" format, in conjunction with the Big Machine Label Group, which it says will play new product by heritage artists, many of whom are starting to struggle at country radio. In doing so, they may finally have provided a wedge for country radio fragmentation.
Until recently, streaming radio aggregator TuneIn had avoided mostly avoided ranking the 100,000 broadcast and pureplay stations it lists. But with a recent redesign and a new social emphasis, TuneIn is now showing "followers" to each station.
On May 8, at Canadian Music Week, veteran Toronto-based programmer Liz Janik will receive an award named for legendary CKLW Detroit music director Rosalie Trombley. The award is actually for female trailblazers in broadcasting, but if you were going to give an award for championing music, you would still name it after Trombley and give it to Janik. Here's how each contributed to the musical legacy of their market. And why music director heroics are in short supply these days.
Two recent articles about the current state of alternative have taken issue with the presence of Daft Punk and Avicii at alternative KROQ Los Angeles, as well as the recent lack of guitars and "danger" at the format. But with alternative rock radio seemingly poised for a breakthrough, how much more rock does it need? And how do you reconcile the rockin' '90s period of the format being both its most successful time, and an aberration? Who says alternative is supposed to rock?
First quarter has always been the time when labels release international hits and those acts that have been one song away from megastardom. This year, a few of the songs tipped for Q1 were backed up four months, or not released at all. That's because of the current chart backlog, the new emphasis on having the "song-of-the-summer" and more. "Ross On Radio" discusses how a changing Q1 represents changes at radio.
Earlier this year, the "Ross On Radio" column noted that retro-flavored songs were helping end a dry spell for R&B crossovers at top 40. Six weeks later, Pharrell Williams' "Happy" and John Legend's "All Of Me" are phenomenal hits, while Kid Ink's more contemporary "Show Me" got only as far as the top 25 at Mainstream Top 40. It's part of a larger trend toward the retro-flavored throughout pop music. And now Sean Ross wonders, why has every day become Throwback Thursday?
For the last six years, the Song of Summer has been pure pop ("Call Me Maybe"), rhythmic pop ("Party Rock Anthem," "Blurred Lines") or somewhere in between ("California Gurls"). This summer, there's a decent chance that at least one or two of the contenders will be a rock song, based on the product climbing the alternative and triple-A charts. This week's Ross On Radio looks at some of the possible candidates, and why the conditions are right.