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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Is rock radio coming back in Houston?

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the new way to measure radio in Houston with Arbitron's Portable People Meter. A lot of people are looking at my post about Rock 103.7 KIOL switching to KHJK Jack FM 103.7 - more on this after the WSJ does its thing:

Philadelphia radio listeners started hearing less Marc Anthony and more Modest Mouse in May, when WRFF 104.5 flipped to alternative rock from a Spanish-language format called Rumba. The Clear Channel Communications Inc. station made the change after a new electronic method of measuring radio audiences showed rock music is more popular in Philadelphia than older, diary-based measurements had indicated.

The switch shows how much power the new ratings system may have to shake up radio. For years, Arbitron Inc. has measured radio ratings based on paper diaries filled out by listeners. But it's now in the early stages of moving to a new electronic system, called the Portable People Meter. Already in use in Philadelphia and Houston, the system will be rolled out more widely soon.


In the markets that have switched to the electronic ratings, rock and classic rock rank higher than before, while hip-hop and other urban music generally don't stack up as well. Perhaps most important, radio stations typically pull in a bigger audience than they thought, but that audience spends less time listening to them.


The reason I bring up the JACK 103.7 switch is it seems odd after the PPM data comes in that a radio station would switch away from rock. Granted, many would say that Rock 103.7 KIOL was a pretty weak station and never captured the glory days of Rock 101 KLOL. If you listened to Rock 101 after 1995 or so, you never heard the glory days by the way.

A lot of people have complained on this blog that there is no Album Oriented Rock station or AOR in Houston. Many say this format is dead. I am not so sure now that Arbitron has changed the way it measures the Houston audience. Based on what the above article says, we might have a new rock station by the end of the year.

95.7 The Wave KHJZ is supposedly on life support when it comes to PPM ratings. Will we see a change there? Maybe. But Cumulus (103.7 JACK FM's owners) beat CBS (The Wave's owners) to a JACK FM switch. CBS usually runs JACK in the large markets from what I understand. So what will they do with this strong 95.7 signal no one is listening to right now? CBS is known for its rock formats. They own K-Rock in New York for example. I am just throwing this out there. That means a new station for Opie and Anthony too. I am sure they would like that. COMMENT: Click to leave your thoughts on this post here