Thursday, August 30, 2007

Branding for sale

Fybush tipped us off to what might be a horrific new trend in radio branding. The idea is revolting, truly heinous even by the standards of the biz. In addition to selling product placement, endorsements, sporsorships, ads, mentions, flickers, blips, spots, live reads and placements we can now sell the brand itself. Somone please stop us.

Clear Channel like many obese radio chains has been in hot pursuit of Non-traditional revenue sources. As a matter of fact, Google that Phrase and see how many radio services pop up. It's a sign of the epidemic.

So CC's Rochester cluster has been trying some very new non-traditional revenue sources on 107.3 WCRR a tiny class A in South Bristol Township. the station is to the distant south of Rochester, almost audible in Corning, NY. It's spent most of this summer as "Labatt Blue Country 107.3," having co-opted it's own branding in the name of a beer sponsor. I cant decide if this is a money maker or just sad. I 'm leaning toward sad.

Their low standards became evident last year when they stunted with the "Wheel Of Formats." Durring the stunt they used the brand "Huge 107.3" co-branding with a local automobile dealership. After six days of thsi horror the wheel stopped on CHR/Pop. Gag.

Way back in the 1950s WCRR (as WVBT) they were a part of the Rural Radio Network. It was the first all radio, no wireline radio network in the world. It was meant to serve the agricultural areas of upstate New York. It was broken up and sold off in the early 1980s. More on that tomorrow.

For the record, WCRR-FM has relation to college radio 1600 WCRR-AM