David Tomm nostaticatall@charter.net
Mon Jul 28 02:06:09 EDT 2008

Oldies has evolved into Classic Hits in many markets.  Stations like  
WCBS-FM/New York have shifted focus to a primarily 70's based format  
with a few mid to late 60's and compatible 80's tracks included for  
spice.  There's absolutely nothing before 1964 on most "oldies"  
stations nowadays.  Even Scott Shannon's True Oldies format isn't  
going back as far musically as it once did.  The format has had to  
evolve in order to stay relevant in the 25-54 demo.

The strange thing is, the money demos aren't listening to classic  
hits, even with the changes.  Here in Boston, believe it or not, Kiss  
108 and Jam'n 94.5 do very well in that demo, which is unusual.   
Current-based hit stations normally target 18-34, but it seems even  
40 somethings are listening to them recently.  My wife is 42 and she  
bounces back and forth between WXKS-FM and WJMN.   She won't even  
tune in Mix or Magic, never mind 103.3.  Too old, she says.  This is  
not a local phenomenon either.  Z100/New York is also in the top 3  
25-54 on a consistent basis.  Same thing with KIIS-FM in Los Angeles.

As far as new wave goes, there's been a couple of attempts nationally  
over the years to come up with an "classic alternative" format  
concentrating on post punk and new wave but none have been  
successful.  Keep in mind most of this music was fairly edgy and  
unfamiliar to most of the country, Boston being a notable exception.   
Sure, there were the crossover songs that made it to Top 40, but not  
enough of them to sustain a format 24/7.  There simply aren't enough  
listeners to support this kind of format.  I suppose a station here  
in Boston could try it, but when you consider WBOS is currently  
running a 90's based retro alternative format right now and it hasn't  
really made much impact so far, I can't see an 80's version working  
here either.  It would make a good HD2 channel for WBOS, WBCN or WFNX  
though.  I'm a big fan of that music and between my personal  
collection on the I-pod (which is huge), several internet streams I  
occasionally visit on I-Tunes and Music Choice "Retroactive" on  
cable, I probably wouldn't listen to a terrestrial version of it even  
if it was out there....

Dave Tomm
"Mike Thomas"

On Jul 27, 2008, at 9:46 PM, Bill O'Neill wrote:

> What is "Oldies" today?  And who decides?  I visit the folks in the  
> Town-a-Dracut often and last time was listening to Oldies 103.   
> Have they morphed back to more of their former core songs?
> Also, is there a station (format) focusing on the New Wave late-70s  
> to mid-80s? Sirius 22 "First Wave" is an example of that - would  
> target the demo between say, 35-49.  I hear that demo has some cash.

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