Statistics Show The End is Near For Rush Limbaugh forums forums Portland Radio Statistics Show The End is Near For Rush Limbaugh

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    Andy Brown

    Nostalgia is not a valid format.

    I fixed the link. Go here and scroll to bottom

    Musical formats are either “contemporary” or “classic” for the most part (alternative and active are other words used). Oldies is, however, a reportable format and like I said, its share is so small that it is not viable for most of these AM stations currently in need of replacing Rush now that he can no longer be sold. This is not a new phenomenon. What’s happening to Rush and his hate radio is that his core audience has been continually shrinking as they die off or grow tired of his antics and there is a mass rejection of his infotainment by the younger generations. It’s the same with “oldies,” which has tried to update itself somewhat, but that just didn’t work. It gave way to “classic hits” and “classic rock.” The Bubble gum of the 50’s and early 60’s (you know, the KISN stuff) is just terminally obsolete like 1940’s big band stuff. It has a place, yes, but that place is in the collections of individuals. It has no place on the radio, at least none worth mentioning. The only hope for some of that music (and I do mean “some”) is if more eclectic formatting becomes more popular. Unlikely other than on community radio. The underground radio of the late 60’s and 70’s was a perfect forum for “some” of that music, at least the tracks that were truly well performed, well produced and had some modicum of uniqueness. Maybe one in ten songs on a KISN playlist would meet that criteria. It is still viable and sometimes they do pop up in other formats. The same goes for some of the big band era stuff, not only in its original incarnation but the remakes and covers that contemporary artists do. The bottom line is that radio is now such a vast landscape that the only element that prevents it from covering the vast archives of quality music is the greed of ownership on the commercial dial and the need for financial support on the non commercial side. Disagree if you want, but it is an accurate assessment.


    My radio format vocabulary is somewhat out of date. What is the official industry name for the format heard on Sunny 1550?

    Andy Brown

    I meant to say that Nostalgia is not sufficiently reported to have a market share.

    The last Arbitron summary I can find on line (I think Nielsen bought them and revamped their approach) located at shows 51 stations reporting “nostalgia” as their format for a market share of 0.0.

    Other formats at the bottom of the list include:

    Children’s Radio
    Family Hits
    Spanish Cont. Christian
    Spanish Oldies
    Spanish Sports

    1550 is a prime example of what I described. Owned by a wealthy guy who has so much money, he can have 1550 formatted however he wishes with no significant consequences. IMO that doesn’t validate the format.


    I know a lot of people that listen to news-talk, but not Rush. They listen to drive time coming and going to work. I see streaming it really catching on as the way to listen to radio. That is my choice out here on the Oregon Coast as OTA, there is little choice. I love streaming on my wifi radio as the choice is endless. No matter what I am looking for, I can listen to it. Plus, any station I listen to, is local, no fading, static, etc. I also read a piece lately that cable and satellite are losing viewers left and right. Many have gone back to free OTA TV or streaming, like on the Roku, Apple. Streaming is the future. I love it.


    >> Streaming is the future
    I’m betting on it…world wide audience.


    Like this morning, I was streaming WBZ Radio Boston when the verdict was read on the Boston bomber. Back in the 1970’s WBZ was a regular coast to coast at night, but not any more. But listening on the wifi radio is like I was in Boston.


    ” All news barely beats that with a 1.5 share.” I couldn’t figure out how you came up with this figure but now I know. This figures a share for the format based on a percentage of the entire country. This works fine for formats that exist everywhere but there are only 13 All News stations in all of America! In the last ratings, in New York, the format ranked #6 and #8, in Los Angeles, 11th, #1 in Chicago, San Francisco, Washington and Detroit and #2 in Philadelphia and Boston. The problem is that it’s a cume format that doesn’t work very well outside of the top ten markets and not even all of them.

    Andy Brown

    Precisely. The biggest markets are sort of a radio sphere unto themselves. Things just happening in the last twenty years out here in the Northwest happened back in NYC when I was growing up (like Spanish speaking versions of popular formats). Growing up there was jazz and big band music still making it when Top 40 was the big piece of the pie, all because there were so many people in the metro and even back then over 50 stations competing. I’m sure Chicago and L.A. were the same, but I didn’t grow up there.

    Andy Brown

    Don’t have a stroke.

    “The 90s and 2000s were full of even bigger crap than the 50s/60s/70s had”

    That is exactly correct, but for different reasons. It was much more difficult back in the 50’s and 60’s to get a record made. Most vinyl fell into two categories:

    1. Art

    2. Schlock Crap created by greedy record executives in an attempt to make oodles of money off of non discriminating listeners that enjoyed following trends and fads more than they did recognizing and appreciating art.

    “like Rush”

    They are not my favorite artist, but they are clearly successful at what they do.

    To discuss all your vitriolic rhetoric aimed at me, we do need a metric. Worldwide album sales? Concert revenues? The Billboard Top 100 Albums? Hot 100 singles?

    Otherwise it is just my opinion vs. yours.

    Bubble gum Top 40 is crap. Period. It was created for the reason stated above, to make money. Radio stations got paid to play many of those songs. It’s no different today. It’s not now nor was it ever good music. It was popular because it appealed to the lowest common denominator. It had to in order to make that cash come in.

    You can like it all you want. No one is going to stop you from liking it. I certainly am not trying to convince you of anything. I’m just calling it out for what it was and what it wasn’t. I have only one benefit over you, gouge, and that is I am old enough to have been there when it was first produced, released, played on the radio and in some cases caught up in scandal. I really don’t expect you to appreciate any of that, but that’s O.K. I don’t mind you trying to vilify my opinion. It just makes me a better contributor here.

    You should come to the get together. You’ve been offered a ride. Bill will probably be going.

    Oh, and I’m not the boss of anything but my own opinion. I don’t set standards. I never claimed to nor will I. I just have some background in the business of radio. If you want to listen to nostalgic Top 40 bubblegum all day, go for it. I don’t care.


    It is perfectly reasonable to expect your circle of friends to listen to the same type of music as you. It just isn’t close to the majority of 30 year-olds who do and radio has to play to the masses. Oldies is my favorite format and I like virtually all of the songs but it’s been gone for over a decade. Now, I listen to Z100 until I hear a song I don’t like.


    I am not interested in bickering over what is “good” music to any one individual. However, the broadcast aficionado and the scientist in me is interested in understanding why and how oldies radio libraries have become whittled down to a small canon of recordings that is just a tiny fraction of the hit music* that was produced in the era covered by oldies formats. What was the methodology used for selecting the songs?

    *I am defining hit music as records that made it into the national Top-40 as charted by Billboard, American Top-40, etc.

    Andy Brown

    AT40 used the Top 40 portion of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart from the show’s inception in 1970 to November 23, 1991. With the show’s revival in 1998, a new chart was implemented, the top 40 portion of Radio and Records CHR/Pop top 50 chart.

    Billboard, however, goes back well before 1970.

    During the 1940s and 1950s, popular singles were ranked in three significant charts:

    •Best Sellers in Stores: ranked the biggest selling singles in retail stores, as reported by merchants surveyed throughout the country (20 to 50 positions). It is the oldest of the Billboard charts and dates to 1936.

    •Most Played by Jockeys: ranked the most played songs on United States radio stations, as reported by radio disc jockeys and radio stations (20 to 25 positions).

    •Most Played in Jukeboxes: ranked the most played songs in jukeboxes across the United States (20 positions). This was one of the main outlets of measuring song popularity with the younger generation of music listeners, as many radio stations resisted adding rock and roll music to their playlists for many years.

    Billboard eventually created a fourth singles popularity chart that combined all aspects of a single’s performance (sales, airplay and jukebox activity), based on a point system that typically gave sales (purchases) more weight than radio airplay. On the week ending November 12, 1955, Billboard published The Top 100 for the first time. The Best Sellers In Stores, Most Played by Jockeys and Most Played in Jukeboxes charts continued to be published concurrently with the new Top 100 chart.

    The Top 100 evolved into the Billboard Hot 100 and is still the standard by which a song’s popularity is measured in the United States. The Hot 100 is ranked by radio airplay audience impressions as measured by Nielsen BDS, sales data compiled by Nielsen Soundscan (both at retail and digitally) and streaming activity provided by online music sources.

    There are several component charts that contribute to the overall calculation of the Hot 100. The most significant ones are:

    •Hot 100 Airplay
    •Hot Singles Sales
    •Hot Digital Songs
    •Streaming Songs

    The first number-one song of the Hot 100 was “Poor Little Fool” by Ricky Nelson on August 4, 1958. As of the issue for the week ending April 18, 2015, the Hot 100 has had 1,041 different number-one hits. Its current number one is “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars.


    Although I know that non-technical/business people are trying to communicate the notion of content exclusive to the Internet, as an engineer I am annoyed by the abuse of the word “digital.” When I listen to a CD, is that not a digital recording? If somebody plays an electronic musical instrument that uses wave lookup tables, are the sounds not being generated digitally?


    Somehow this seems appropriate at this point:

    Andy Brown

    “Digital” is a buzz word for marketing and sales people, even though it is often misused. Just like “bandwidth.”

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