This is news to me. In the 1980s, I worked in radio syndication and narrowcasting was decidedly the opposite of what radio stations were all about back then. It was all about lowest common denominator listening, which meant watering down all formats and reducing playlists to the bare minimum. This is how so-called "oldies radio" became popular, with the constant recycling of the same hits - nothing that charted below #5 ever got played, so kids growing up today only know two songs by the Four Tops, one song by Mary Wells, and maybe a dozen by the Beach Boys. Expensive consultants were hired to try and streamline stations' playlists, no matter what geographical idiosyncrasies they might have. This was the reason satellite radio came about, because conventional radio stations would not budge on their restrictive formats to save their own lives. Where were those narrowcasters when I was trying to syndicate a traditional country music format?
> Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2011 10:50:05 -0600
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] RIP rock n roll
> To: [log in to unmask]
> -----Original Message-----
> From David Lewis:
> "...The majors, at least, were not successful in dealing with emerging grass
> roots trends around 1980 and decided instead to cultivate their own pop
> artists, with MTV taking a major role in getting this out to the masses, a
> calculated plan to divest the business of radio and to control trends in pop
> What I saw happen from the inside was that Madison Avenue started wanting
> radio to narrowcast to small demographic groups based on testing music with
> focus groups. National radio sponsors loved this because it gave them
> numbers they could use to cover their asses with stock analysts when their
> new products tanked.