“Quality” in radio programming
For a while now, I have, evidently, been banned from receiving Chuck Peters’ SGShowPrep newsletter (he didn’t, it seems, care for this too much). So I didn’t see this until it showed up on musicscribe blog recently. Chuck is a veteran gospel music radio type and though his skin may be a bit thin when it comes to criticism of his reporting, his thoughts on quality in radio programming are required reading for anyone who works in that side of things, or for anyone who’s just interested out of curiosity (some of you may remember Chuck’s short lived radio blog … and, a lesser known piece of trivia: Chuck also did a stint as an anonymous blogger for a while). Money quote:
And here’s a shot of honesty.. Some of you [radio program directors] are wrong. I say this with all confidence. Some of you need lessons in programming practice. There are way too many bad music things happening in SG radio. From bad music production to bad song writing and poor singing. Quit airing songs just because the promoter tells you they are good.. or the artists sent you a free CD .. Don’t cheapen your format. In the long run an artist will appreciate getting airplay on your station if you are playing “quality”. If you are playing anybody and everybody.. then a sping on your station really isn’t worth much.. is it?
If I ruled the world, there would be a compulsory crash course in music and vocal performance for every radio programmer who thinks he knows what “quality” is, and then proceeds to plug in three or four cuts an hour from dear old Sister Pitchy and Brother Noteshaver who have finally given in to all the folks down at the Senior Citizen Center who kept asking for a tape of their favorite songs by Brother and Sister. Cause let me tell you sumthin right here, it don’t get no better suthern gospuhl than Sister Pitch and Brother Shaver, as us them that’s their friends call ‘em down at the Center. Sister and Brother know how to do it up right, fer shur. Listen to this here what is their latest: “He’s A Comin One Day Soon.”
Nobody loves ‘em but the people, you say, but maybe that’s because the people have been conditioned to like crap, junk, and garbage from so much of what they hear on the radio. Danielle Steele sells a pagillion copies of her books a year - nobody loves em but the people - but thank god my local bookstore takes some responsibility, exercises the judgment of people who know, and stocks more than post-modern bodice rippers (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
So, Chuck, I’m hoping you follow up what you started here with something like, say, a five-point memo on the foundational elements of quality sg radio programming. Cause if not you, who? And if not now, when? And if not in the SGShowPrep, where? And in the meantime, anyone who can figure out how to convince all those radio programmers to even admit there’s a problem with programming Sister Pitch and Brother Shaver in the first place, please, let’s bottle it and make a fortune.
Update: Chuck has a follow-up post of sorts on his quality and radio programming entry. This one, about charting stations, is also available at musicscribe.com.Email this Post