It seems like sometimes the message is, “We’re not reinventing the wheel here.”
I always thought, “Why not?”
You could argue that the wheel is the perfect example of something that’s only stayed around as long as it has BECAUSE it’s been continually reinvented. (Nobody’s having to stop and put a patch on an inner tube on their Mustang Mach-E these days.)
How this applies to music radio:
In the early 1950s, Todd Storz in Kansas City and Gordon McLendon in Dallas got away from what was, up until then, “block programming” or “middle of the road” music to try a new idea: Top 40. Wheel, meet new wheel.
Some years later, people wanted to hear more than just the “hit singles”, so Album Rock was born. New wheel.
Modern Country, Smooth Jazz, Progressive Rock, Rap, Hip-hop…new wheels.
And look at the growth of Contemporary Christian Radio, with stations like KLTY in Dallas, birthed by “Brother” Jon Rivers – who, years before, had worked for Gordon McLendon at KNUS. (And the wheel goes ‘round.)
Each of these changes was dictated by what people wanted, and smart people reinventing radio to accommodate that. As the world changed, the tastes and preferences changed. More things had to be invented and reinvented to feed them.
Now we have the digital “wheel”, and are thinking up new ways to use the digital and social media world in my client stations.
ALWAYS reinvent the wheel. If you’re not trying to innovate, to come up with new ideas, always diving deeper into how to make someone want to come back and listen again, you’re just patching an inner tube for a tire you have to put on a Hupmobile in 1920.
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Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2021 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.