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WHY HIGH SONG ROTATION

QUESTION FOR DAN O’DAY:

I'm a telecommunications major at (University). I work at the non-commercial station here on campus. I have to do a paper this quarter about "niche programming." My question to you is, why do radio stations (mainly top 40 stations) beat a song to death? To put it a little less blunt, why is it that stations will play a certain song every, say... 2 or 3 hours until the song is completely burned out and the listeners are so sick of it that they change the channel when they hear it come on?

Also, I was recently promoted to Public Affairs Director at the college station. Any advice for a 19 year-old management staff member?

DAN REPLIES:

"Why do radio stations...beat a song to death...until the song is completely burned out and the listeners are so sick of it that they change the channel when they hear it come on?"

The above portions of your questions are your opinion but are not supported by the ways in which listeners actually respond to programming.

"To put it a little less blunt, why is it that stations will play a certain song every, say... 2 or 3 hours ?"

Because:

A) Listeners do not want to wait several hours to hear their favorite songs.

B) Playing the most popular songs frequently (which can be more frequently than every 3 hours) translates into larger ratings...Always.

"Any advice for a 19 year old management staff member in the PA field?"

Do all you can to learn about radio from the "real world" perspective that, alas, you do not get from college. Are you searching out books & tapes from qualified professionals to increase your understanding of the business? With all due respect, if the telecommunications professors at the university you attend were qualified to teach radio, none of their students would have asked the music programming question you asked me. I do not say this to offend you, and I apologize if you are offended. But if your professors and textbooks (which always are written by professors, not by accomplished professionals) can't provide you with a more realistic understanding of the radio industry AND you hope to have a career in radio, you owe it to yourself to acquire a fuller, more relevant view of radio.

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