1. Computing

Maybe Commercial Radio Didn't Know JACK All These Years

Opinion/Analysis

By

Listeners were finally set free from commercial Radio which somewhere along the way - lost its way.

Some might say commercial Radio didn’t know JACK about what people wanted…which brings me to the crux of this article.

Mp3 files, iPods, Satellite Radio, SmartPhones, PDAs, and other technology is forcing commercial Radio to take a long, hard look at what it has become and how it can stay relevant.

If a station pops up in your city named “JACK” or “DOUG” or any other number of names don’t be surprised.

This past October 7, 2004, the former KFME-FM (105.1) in Kansas City became JACK-FM. Their slogan? "Playing What We Want". The Susquehanna owned radio station has taken a cue from the changing challenges of what listeners really want: a library of music that offers real variety and an irreverant but fun attitude. That’s what you get from JACK.

This past March 13th, Indianapolis got its own JACK: 104.5 JACK-FM. And this guy promises to play “thousands of hit songs” from the ‘70s through today…plus some attitude.

The JACK stations are using the iPod “shuffle” metaphor. In other words: don’t expect the same 150 songs over and over again. In Los Angeles, KCBS-FM (formerly Arrow 93.1) is now JACK-FM. Their motto? You guessed it: "Jack-FM, Playing What We Want."

In Detroit, Michigan: WDRQ-FM (93.1) recently reinvented itself and became DOUG-FM. Guess what? DOUG says "We play Everything”.

Indianapolis now has HANK-FM. Technically it's WLHK-FM, but now better known as “97.1 Hank FM: He plays anything Country."

The former KFMB-FM in San Diego opted to change it's name and format in early April and became "100.7 JACK".

So how’s JACK and the boys doing in the ratings?

FMBQ. says:

Bridge Ratings shows that one year into the format, the first U.S. Jack station, KJAC/Denver, is among the top stations in the market when it comes to listener loyalty and the station is converting over half its listeners to "favorite station" status.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.