To me, narrowcasting means targeting niche markets, literally narrowing the targeted demographic. Guess I'm out of the loop, radio-lingo-wise.
> Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2011 22:21:37 -0500
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] RIP rock n roll
> To: [log in to unmask]
> On 1/4/2011 9:21 PM, Cary Ginell wrote:
> > 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.
> But that IS what narrowcasting means -- a tight restrictive format that
> plays one specific musical genre to a targeted audience. When in the
> early 80s Jacor found the loophole in the rules which allowed one owner
> to program multiple stations in a market using leased time, and sold out
> to Clear Channel which took the idea to the extreme when new ownership
> rules allowed it to buy rather than just lease multiple stations in a
> market, each of the stations would have a different nitch narrowcast
> format. Taken as a whole the group of stations could serve a wide
> audience, but each individual station narrowcasted to a targeted audience.
> I had a front row seat to this. Jacobs' sons went to Morehead and one
> of them was my student at precisely this moment. Four or five of my
> students worked for the top rock station in Lexington when Jacor swept
> in from Cincinnati, bought them and sold to Clear Channel along with six
> other stations in town. The twenty-one (non-religious) commercial
> stations in town used to be owned by about 14 separate companies -- now
> all are owned by just three!! No one station programs for a "general"
> audience anymore.
> Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
> > 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?
> > Cary Ginell
> >> 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
> >> music..."
> >> 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.