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Charlie FM

Tuesday, January 10, 2006
As I was listening to the radio this morning, I recalled an article I'd read online at Wired.com. I saw a similar article in Entertainment Weekly, but they don't have it online.

The article talks about a new radio station format, known as "Jack". The "Jack" format is a low-advertisement, no DJ, random shuffle of popular songs that's becoming increasingly popular on the airwaves as a way to compete with XM radio and iPods on the road. Here in Portland, we call that 97.1 Charlie FM.

Let's take a look at my radio presets, shall we? I have 92.3 KGON, Charlie, 105.1 The Buzz, 101.9 KINK FM, 106.7 Klite, and of course 91.5 KOPB (where would I be without NPR, CarTalk, Talk of the Nation, and more?)

Usually I listen to NPR. If it's articles I've already heard or something like that I'll usually switch over to KGON (Classic Rock). However, KGON has a LOT of stupid advertisements, so then I'll switch over to listen to Charlie just to have something to drown out the road noise.

But what about the Charlie format? Is it a good one? I don't think a random selection of hit songs is an adventurous format, that's for sure. (But who am I to talk? I enjoy classic rock, music that's had 20+ years to filter out most of the crap.) Also, being DJ-less means it's very much just a corporate push-the-button-and-run station. But it works. I mean, they don't have to pay for many humans, they don't run any stupid morning shows (I can't stand those!) and they end up playing enjoyable music all day.

In the end, it's a successful alternative format. I think we should all worry if it becomes the standard format, however, due to the lack of anything new or fresh on it.


Blogger The Infinite Jester said...

Great. First they move Saturday Market, now you're telling me that 97.1 KISN changed format. Thank you, Burton, for keeping me up to date on the slow erosion of all things good and decent in the world.

2:29 AM, January 11, 2006  

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