Re: Full Service Radio

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Posted by Craig Francis on July 05, 2018 at 19:33:43:

In Reply to: Full Service Radio posted by Tom Tortorella on July 05, 2018 at 07:35:29:

Full Service Radio was the norm in the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s for two reasons...

1) There were no "Talk" stations that broadcast a mix of talk and news as there are today. A few stations in big markets experimented with talk formats (WNBC New York, KABC Los Angeles) but that was rare. Until the debut of the Group W and CBS All-News stations (including WINS and WCBS) we also didn't have news stations we could go to at any time if we were in the mood for news and information. So to get news, we needed radio stations (MOR, Top 40, Country, R&B, etc.) to do frequent newscasts.

2) The FCC required a certain amount of non-entertainment programming on all stations. So even Top 40 stations felt compelled to do a sizable amount of news and weekend public affairs programming to keep their licenses. We knew that most listeners thought the news was an interruption, similar to commercials. But they had to put up with it because the FCC required it.

With deregulation, the FCC no longer tells a station how much news it has to do, just that it has to do SOME news. And while only some of the largest markets have an all-news station, nearly every market has a talk station and NPR station that has hourly newscasts. Some of the commercial talk stations do little local news outside morning drive. But at least they carry a network newscast at the top of every hour.

Most music stations restrict their news to a few headlines, usually between 5 and 8:30am, so they'll sound topical and to fulfill the minimum FCC requirements.

I doubt we will see any music station decide, let's do hourly newscasts and see if the listeners like it. I remember when WCBS-FM would do hourly newscasts overnight from the CBS Network, it its pre-Jack days. But when it came back from the two years of Jack, those newscasts were gone.

Craig Francis


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