Sunday, June 28, 2009

Did We Or Didn't We? Part II


No and yes.

[following up on Friday's post]

How did radio do with Michael Jackson coverage?

While impossible to know what was said or produced, I did review a ton of music logs from all around the country in markets big and small. Here's what I found:

Thursday night looked pretty rough--the effects of tracking and syndication were clearly evident. Some stations in the largest markets were clearly all over it. In smaller markets, which aren't so small, like Providence, RI (1.3 million people) radio missed the boat. I guess folks in Providence care less about a breaking story than someone in NYC. If you were there Thursday night you were hard pressed to hear anything about it on the radio--at least his music. Again, I can only judge by the music that was played.

Friday, during the day, was a different story. From morning drive onward stations seemed to be on it in varying degrees depending on format and specific station.

It was interesting to note how stations of the same format came to different decisions on whether to play Jackson's music or not and how much of it. There were stations I thought should have been all over the music and were not, and conversely, stations that would not typically expected to own it, did.

So, did we or didn't we?

Based on my research I give radio a passing grade, but as my teachers used to tell me--there's room for improvement. Overall, a C-.

Sadly, radio is so understaffed and unprepared for any event that strays from the norm. Few events rise to the level of Michael Jackson dieing, but there will be others. Next time, I'm afraid, I will write a column similar to this and I will be giving the same assessment, only worse. I hope my industry proves me wrong.