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Re: Driving the calls (was: wrong call letters)

On Wed, 15 Sep 1999, Sven Weil wrote:

> One of the things that annoys me to no end about commercial radio in this
> country...overannouncing the station name.

Ratings services measure *recalled* listening, not actual listening. That
makes it vitally important that listeners remember station call signs and
slogans. Most listeners do not know or care about the radio stations to
which they listen, so getting them to give Arbitron the correct call
letters can be a challenge.

Three examples:

When WODS first appeared on the Boston radio dial, ratings for WILD
suddenly shot up; it seems diary keepers heard "Oldies 103" and wrote down
"WOLD", which Arbitron took to mean WILD.

Back in the days when WCRB still syndicated BSO and New York Philharmonic
tapes, we had a part-timer on the staff whose job it was to duplicate
tapes and ship them off to affiliates. He was a musician with a passion
for jazz, and one day I asked him what were his favorite radio stations.
He said he rally liked that little station in Cambridge, "you know, the
one in the basement of City Hall." He meant WHRB, but he had absolutely no
recollection of the station's identity beyond a vague notion that it was
some sort of community station.

My colleagues at WCRB also used to get lots of calls from people telling
us how much they loved our music and naming Robert J. Lurtsema as their
favorite WCRB announcer, leaving us to wonder if they were actually
listening at all; and a year or so ago I got an e-mail from an irate
listener threatening that if we didn't take a certain commercial off the
air he'd switch to WCRB! 

As far as I'm concerned, one cannot say one's call letters too often.

Rob Landry