HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

The biggest news of the week was the announcement of Walt Flakus as the new APD/Afternoons of KNDD Seattle, where he and PD Leslie Scott will undoubtedly rule supreme. Walt, as we all know, was most recently the wind beneath Troy Hanson’s wings at WKQX Chicago—his contribution to that station and to the elevation of Cumulus as a musical force in the Rock and Alt arenas has been formidable. Walt’s move to the PNW is personally motivated—it’s perfect that Leslie was waiting to hire a new APD until the ideal candidate became apparent to her. We look forward to visiting Walt in his new digs in August. In the meantime, Troy is being bombarded with candidates eager to fill the vacancy. Who wouldn’t want to be the APD/MD at this Market #3 powerhouse! Troy has an incredible track record for hiring the best and the brightest, and whomever he brings in to fill Walt’s position will undoubtedly be a star.

The Lumineers relinquished their six-week hold on #1 to their friends The Head and the Heart, whose “Missed Connection” marks the Warner Records band’s second Alt chart-topper. Rob Goldklang has competition this week, with juggernaut Billie Eilish likely to surge to #1 with “bad guy.” One thing that’s become abundantly clear this year is that unless a song has Pop or Hot AC support, like Shaed, Panic! At the Disco and Billie Eilish, radio stations are quick to bail on songs once they reach the Top 5.

“They topped the chart; why shouldn’t we move on?”—I hear that daily from my radio friends. Chart success is part of my weekly “report card,” so of course it’s important, but my #1 priority is to have the song I’m working become part of a station’s “library,” with a shelf life far beyond the first 500 spins. For a station to stop playing a song that has legitimately earned Power rotation—and we’re talking about spins going from Power to OFF THE RADIO—is short-sighted and mitigates the very real possibility that said song could continue to thrive on the station beyond its run to the top. There has to be a middle ground between the “format killer’s” predilection for keeping a song in rotation beyond its potency, thereby eliminating the possibility that a band could have a second hit, and the current programming attitude of up-and-off after 300 spins.

“Gloria” is the #2 Current in Mediabase’s overall call-out, hence this week’s move to iHeart’s Custom Power. The band’s song “Angela,” from two years ago, was #11 overall in call-out for Currents and Recurrents. Again, the goal is to have any band I work with become a “core” band for the format. Ted referred to it as the “nervous energy” of the chart.

We all know that a good chunk of summer airplay, especially for new artists, is what we might call “transactional,” based on the need for bands to complete summer-show lineups. As soon as the headliner says, “Thank you, goodnight,” the PD’s need to book the next one looms large. As many of you found out this summer, there weren’t many available “headliners” to satisfy the demands from radio. This is not the fault of the labels or the bands—the station expects loyalty from the label and band, but where is the reciprocity?

What band has consistently SHOWN UP for Alt radio more than Cold War Kids? (above)? They, along with Bastille and Bishop Briggs, and, oh yeah, my friends in Judah and the Lion, have new songs at the format that should be AUTOMATICS. Did Shaed play your summer show? Yep, you’re going to add the new single. You can hide behind your compliance horseshit, but the truth of the matter is that these artists’ new singles should be treated like the private-school application from a younger sibling whose older sibling is already a student at the school: on the top of the acceptance pile. CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE ARTISTS YOU CHOOSE TO SUPPORT, FOR THEY ARE YOUR FUTURE.

Question to ponder: Which has the bigger impact, an “F3 station” or the sound of one hand clapping?... SONG TO HEAR: Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes’ “Crowbar” (added this week at KPNT!)

Post Toasted Index
posted 5/22/23
posted 5/8/23
posted 4/24/23
posted 3/27/23
posted 3/13/23
posted 2/27/23
posted 2/13/23
posted 1/30/23