Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Makes Me Wonder

Back in the late sixties, I was the kid that would lay in bed at night and listen to top-40 stations around the country on my Panasonic, AM, transistor radio. One of the stations that I always enjoyed listening to was the legendary CKLW from Windsonr/Detroit. Not only was CKLW a great top-40 station, they were famous for their 20/20 news. These weren't just newscasts, they were expertly crafted, high-energy, sometimes shocking accounts of what was happening in the Detroit/Windsor metro right now!

The newscasts were as important as the music on the station. The news anchors always had that deep anchorman voice, they were Disc Jockey's without the music. It was fun to listen to, informative and the listeners were engaged, they never tuned out. These newscasts were radio's version of reality shows, and they were updated twice an hour.

I ran across this tribute to the CKLW 20/20 news and it made me wonder. Would this work today? We talk about how radio needs to be local. What's more local than local news? Reality shows are hot right now. This is reality at it's best.

I'm not suggesting that music radio stations today have a local news staff totaling twenty-four. That would be cost prohibitive in this environment. Although, with technology today, you could probably to the same work more efficiently with less than a quarter of the staff. What I am suggesting is that offering, live local, relevant content in a unique way is what is needed between the records today. It will only enhance the listening experience and create brand loyalty. What can be so wrong with that?

Commercial radio is reinventing itself as it has done throughout history. It might make sense to look at what others did before us, see what worked and made them successful. I've always believed that you can learn from the past.

Think about the re-purposing, podcasting, video and website opportunities CKLW could have had back in the day. They'd be sitting on a gold mine!

As Maroon5 says.... Makes Me Wonder......