Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Nov 30, 2008

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Detroit Free Press:

If you have any interest in the Feb. 24 Detroit mayoral primary, you'll want to tune in to WADL, Channel 38 (14 on Detroit Comcast cable) on Tuesday at 8 p.m. The station may not be one of the regular stops on the clicker, but it hopes to be starting with the viewing audience expected for the first of four scheduled live, 90-minute debates among the candidates for mayor, this one featuring incumbent Ken Cockrel Jr., businessman Dave Bing and former deputy mayor Freman Hendrix. The Free Press and WCHB/Radio One Detroit are cosponsors for the first debate; the subsequent ones may involve other partners. So far, though, this makes WADL the only local television station to dedicate this kind of significant air time (six hours in all) to the race for one of the biggest political jobs in Michigan. This is a big attention-getter for a station that only recently went to a 24-hour commercial broadcast format, and has no news staff or programming. It instantly casts WADL as a serious player in local public affairs... Tune in to expanding WADL for Detroit mayoral debates (Sun, 11/30)

 


 

AllAccess.com / Wikipedia:

Radio legend BILL DRAKE has died from lung cancer at age 71 in LOS ANGELES. DRAKE, born PHILIP YARBROUGH chose his last name from among his relatives' surnames, because it rhymed with "WAKE", the station in ATLANTA, where he worked as a programmer and disc-jockey in the late 1950s, writes WIKIPEDIA. Later, BARTELL BROADCASTING, who owned WAKE -- that he had programmed to number one, transferred him to KYA in SAN FRANCISCO, which also became number one. It was later at KYNO in FRESNO that he met GENE CHENAULT, who became his business partner. Together, the pair developed highly influential radio programming strategies and tactics, as well as working with future "Boss Jocks."

DRAKE-CHENAULT perfected the Top 40 radio format, which had been created by TODD STORZ, GORDON MCCLENDON and other radio programmers in the late 1950s, which took a set list of popular songs and repeated them all day long, ensuring the widest possible audience for the station's music. Jingles, news updates, traffic, and other features were designed to make Top 40 radio particularly attractive to car listeners. By early 1964, the era of the BRITISH Invasion, Top 40 radio had become the dominant radio format for NORTH AMERICAN listeners and quickly swept much of the WESTERN world.

DRAKE streamlined the Top 40 format, using modern methods, such as market research and ratings demographics, to maximize the number of listeners. He believed in forward momentum, limiting the amount of disc jockey chatter, the number of advertisements and playing only the top hits, as opposed to less-organized programming methods of the past. DRAKE created concepts such as 20/20 News and counter programming, by playing music sweeps, while his competitors aired news. DRAKE-CHENAULT controlled everything from the specific DJs that were hired, to radio contests, visual logos, promotions and commercial policy. DRAKE essentially put radio back into the hands of programming, instead of sales. DRAKE hired the JOHNNY MANN SINGERS to produce the BOSS RADIO jingles, ensuring a bright, high-energy sound that engaged the listener, while providing a bridge from song to song, as well as a smooth transition from songs to commercials.

In the Spring of 1965, Drake-Chenault were hired to turn KHJ in Los Angeles, from a financial and ratings loser into a success. Drake hired Ron Jacobs as program director, Robert W. Morgan in the mornings and Don Steele in the afternoons. KHJ quickly jumped from near-obscurity, to the number one radio station in Los Angeles. "Boss Radio" moved faster and sounded more innovative than the competition, making it the #1 choice over competitors in Southern California.

Bill Drake also programmed KFRC in San Francisco, WOR-FM in New York, KAKC in Tulsa, WHBQ in Memphis, WRKO in Boston and 50,000 watt CKLW, in Windsor, Ontario, across the Detroit River from the city of Detroit. (Sun, 11/30)

 

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on November 30, 2008 3:20 PM.

Mid-Michigan: Newsmakers Nov 29, 2008 was the previous entry in this blog.

Sales / Transactions / FCC Actions: Nov. 28, 2008 is the next entry in this blog.

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