Monday, March 13, 2006

Radio for Women

Active rock was a boone to radio programers and advertisers alike. Their demographic cup overflowed with 18-20-somethings males. But before then and since the hunt has been on for the magic format that does the same for women.
In October 560 KLZ-AM put out a press release stating they were ditching their music format: "chosen by women for women" and going ESPN sports talk. At one time KLZ-AM was possibly the only station of its kind. It was a Hot AC/Classic hits hybrid resembling jack with a shorter playlist. But the chatter had a keen feminist edge. Yeah. On Friday nights their big feature program "songwriters live" hosted live (female only) song writers.

But the format wasn't working for KLZ. Company head Don Crawford Jr. said: "I don't know why the women of Denver didn't embrace it... Qualitatively, it worked, but quantitatively, it didn't." Regardless the format reappeared on KUTR-AM 820 a new CP circa 2005. http://www.utaham820.com/ I guess somebody likes it.

WNEW attempted essentially the same thing in 2003, the city leaned further left politically, but "Blink" still didn't work. They re-branded a few months later.

But the idea goes back even further....
Back In 1955 Sam Phillips of Sun Records launched 1430 WHER-AM, the “All-Girl Radio Station” in Memphis, TN. Phillips hired a staff of all female DJs, sales and admin to run the station. The experiment went on for seventeen years, their format didn't change until 1971. Today it's WOWW... another Radio Disney outlet. NPRs lost & found sounds did a nice long form program on WHER-AM. It's online here: http://www.npr.org/programs/lnfsound/stories/991029.stories.html

For those readers interested in feminist radio, I recommend you check out The feminist radio fun. An international project involving women in broadcasting and media politics.
http://www.womensradiofund.org/

Side note: While working in Seattle I met a retired sea captain names Philipe Jacque who's lifetime dream was to open an all-women radio station in Pt. Reyes, California. He's even tried to buy a decommissioned lighthouse for the job... but he couldn't get the investors together. Too bad.