Monday, March 2, 2009

Break A Rule Today....Will Ya?

In 1985 when I arrived at WCCC in Hartford, CT [ a rock station ] and tuned in at around 8:30 in the morning I thought I had dialed in the wrong station. Instead of John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) or Paul Rodgers (Bad Company) coming through my speakers it was Paul Harvey.

I thought to myself, what is this doing here and when can we take it off? Of course, taking it off was not an option...mostly because the clearance (a big 50kW FM station) made the station nice money. Running PHN&C was considered stodgy even back in the mid 80's, but on many levels it worked so well. A few that come to mind are ratings--a nice 8am hour pop; revenue--the aforementioned network comp.; and of course that stodgy but camptivating, booming voiced-story telling broadcaster that made WCCC sound different than every other station in town.

In today's world running something so escew from the "center lane" is verboten--imagine Kanye West playing on a classic rock station. Even back then airing Paul Harvey was a bit extreme, but it does help showcase the idea that things that are a few steps from the center can add something special and memorable to a station.

At a time when most everyone is trying just to hang on it seems likely that anything that might arouse questions from someone on high will be left on the sidelines for another time. Consider this, maybe the things that would arouse questions are the very things that might help add a special spark to your programming and arouse interest and delight among the very people who you are trying to entertain...your listeners.

Procede at your own risk.

No comments: