Changes in Cumulus CHRs? - Page 2
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Thread: Changes in Cumulus CHRs?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jt99 View Post
    Hello. Anyways, here to discuss my local Cumulus CHR/Top 40 station, 104.1 KRBE in Houston:

    Ever since John Kilgo took over for Cumulus during the summer of 2013, KRBE has definently gotten better. In bchristi's thread started back in 2012 about how bad Cumulus runs their CHR stations, a major point of discussion was how they would play a lot of pop/rhythmic tracks from the mid-to-late 2000's, and while I can definitely say that was the case with KRBE during the Jeffries days, that has definitely stopped ever since Kilgo took over. KRBE has also gotten faster with adds, but the biggest improvement they have made is how they handle current Rhythmic/Urban music. When Jeffries ran the show, they were extremely conservative with what rhythmic tracks they added, and not even the biggest of rhythmic hits could get into power rotation on Cumulus stations, plus on pop songs with a guest rapper, they would remove the rap verse. Nowadays though, they are not afraid to jump on Rhythmic songs and put the big rap hits on power rotation and leave featured rap verses in songs whenever they come up. However, KRBE still has a lot of room for improvement.

    Even though they are faster with adds than they were during the Jeffries era, they still aren't as fast as they should be for a station in the NUMBER SIX (!!!!) ranked radio market of Houston. According to allaccess, KRBE on average only have about 20-25 currents in their top 50 at a time, even though a major market station should definently be averaging 25-30 currents AT MINIMUM! The last thing that they could improve on is playing a wider variety of recurrents. I just started noticing this sometime last year, but it really seems like when it comes to recurrents, KRBE specifically chooses to focus on songs that peaked 4-8 months ago on CHR. Again, according to allaccess, "Can't Feel My Face" by The Weeknd is NUMBER THIRTEEN on their playlist. I love the song and all, but no CHR station should have a song that peaked in August still in their top 15 in March.
    There was definitely a change in Cumulus stations around Summer 2013. In late summer 2012, my local station KKWD was completely taken over by Jefferies, and in that period you didn't hear much that was current on the station and a majority of the playlist was rhythmic hits from around 2000 through 2011ish. In summer 2013, they became a little more current, but still too conservative and gold leaning to be enjoyable to listen to. Then in February 2016, they started to tweak it again, increasing the plays per week for the currents and decreasing the plays per week for deep gold. It went back an forth for a few weeks but seems to have settled into a balance. They also added on-air personalities back beyond the morning show (something the station had back when it was run by Citadel). Now, it does sound a little more acceptable, though there is still room for improvement.

  2. #12
    I personally don't think KRBE is trying to be lean Hot AC anymore, but rather be a straight up mainstream CHR. They sound pretty decent now, but my problem is that they're a conservative mainstream CHR. Houston isn't really a super liberal market like San Francisco or anything, but I don't think Houston is anywhere close to conservative either, and seeing how diverse the market is, I really don't think it makes sense for a CHR to be conservative here. KRBE does beat the other CHR, Hot 95-7 pretty handily in the ratings (4.4 to 3.3), but I still feel like a change from conservative programming to non-conservative programming would give the station even better ratings.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by jt99 View Post
    I personally don't think KRBE is trying to be lean Hot AC anymore, but rather be a straight up mainstream CHR. They sound pretty decent now, but my problem is that they're a conservative mainstream CHR. Houston isn't really a super liberal market like San Francisco or anything, but I don't think Houston is anywhere close to conservative either, and seeing how diverse the market is, I really don't think it makes sense for a CHR to be conservative here. KRBE does beat the other CHR, Hot 95-7 pretty handily in the ratings (4.4 to 3.3), but I still feel like a change from conservative programming to non-conservative programming would give the station even better ratings.
    Being that it's winning, I doubt the local PDs want to change things too quickly, though if Cumulus takes more of a hands-off approach and lets the PDs do their job, it wouldn't surprise me if the station becomes less conservative over time. I did take a look at the playlist though and it definitely needs some tweaking. It's very gold heavy, including plenty of rhythmic tracks from the early 2000s (like Yeah! by Usher) that don't flow well with today's music. It's typical Cumulus fashion. My biggest issue with Cumulus CHRs is the way they hold on to these overplayed gold tracks that sound awful when played alongside today's music. When songs like Yeah, Drop It Like It's Hot, Ride Wit Me, Hot In Heere, etc come on, I change the station. I see the station still plays "Call Me Maybe" which is awful. That was a fad song in the summer of 2012 that, like the Harlem Shake, Gangnam Style, and the Fox song, no longer belongs on a Top 40 station. It's like playing the Macarena in 1999. Maybe because it's winning, Cumulus is either forcing the station to hold on to the national playlist or the PDs are voluntarily doing it.

  4. #14
    95.7 The Vibe (Cumulus) has added songs "Errbody but Me" by Tech Nine (a local KC artist), "Cool Girl" by Tove Lo, and a few others that are unique to it's own station. Also, they locally program their nighttimes now with Zach Sang just providing the voice tracking. They also seem to add songs the day they drop anymore, as opposed to waiting months to hear them.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by tall_guy1 View Post
    95.7 The Vibe (Cumulus) has added songs "Errbody but Me" by Tech Nine (a local KC artist), "Cool Girl" by Tove Lo, and a few others that are unique to it's own station. Also, they locally program their nighttimes now
    This seems to be keeping with the new Cumulus directive towards more local programming than in the past. The Vibe is losing the Top 40 battle with Mix, so local management is making adjustments to better position themselves against that station and other similar formats in the market.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jt99 View Post
    I personally don't think KRBE is trying to be lean Hot AC anymore, but rather be a straight up mainstream CHR. They sound pretty decent now, but my problem is that they're a conservative mainstream CHR. Houston isn't really a super liberal market like San Francisco or anything, but I don't think Houston is anywhere close to conservative either, and seeing how diverse the market is, I really don't think it makes sense for a CHR to be conservative here. KRBE does beat the other CHR, Hot 95-7 pretty handily in the ratings (4.4 to 3.3), but I still feel like a change from conservative programming to non-conservative programming would give the station even better ratings.
    KRBE certainly wasn't a conservative mainstream CHR in the late 80's or into the 90's and was actually quite the opposite. For that matter, neither was the Houston market during that time-frame.

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