Should We Call KFMB-FM "Recent Classic Rock"?
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Thread: Should We Call KFMB-FM "Recent Classic Rock"?

  1. #1

    Should We Call KFMB-FM "Recent Classic Rock"?

    I was looking over the playlist today, Sunday, for KFMB-FM (or as the website calls the station KFM-BFM). I was surprised how it leans to Classic Rock. Some titles include...

    Pete Townsend--Let My Love Open The Door
    Bon Jovi--Wanted Dead or Alive
    Free--All Right Now
    Corey Hart--Sunglasses at Night
    Midnight Oil--Beds Are Burning
    AC/DC--Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
    Stray Cats--Rock This Town
    The Police--Roxanne
    Tom Petty--Refugee
    The Fixx--One Thing Leads to Another
    David Bowie--Young Americans
    Prince--Let's Go Crazy
    Van Halen--Hot for Teacher
    INXS--Devil Inside

    I omitted some more recent titles, but not too many. These Classic Rock songs were clearly the largest part of the playlist. I was surprised that some of these songs are 30 years old or more. OK, no Beatles and not much mid-tempo rock, such as Fleetwood Mac or The Eagles. (I was also surprised to see Prince on the playlist. I wonder if that was true before his death as well as now?)

    I know that even Rock stations classified as Active Rock have, in the last year or so, gone back to mostly older titles. But I didn't think that was true to this extent. Has KFMB-FM modified its original mainstream rock format? Is this what it sounded like when it first switched from Hot AC to Rock? Or has it decided to be a slightly more recent version of KGB-FM?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg. View Post
    Has KFMB-FM modified its original mainstream rock format? Is this what it sounded like when it first switched from Hot AC to Rock? Or has it decided to be a slightly more recent version of KGB-FM?
    I thought this was what they intended the format to be when they became BFM about a year ago: ie, a mixture of current and classic. We've had this discussion in other city boards, such as Phoenix, Atlanta, and even New York. The rock station in NYC got its best ratings when it began incorporating more 90s songs. Part of the reason for that is the current stuff isn't particularly commercial or distinctive.

    When you see a band like Green Day, who recently put out a new album, you quickly realize how derivative a lot of the current music is. When rock bands try to advance the genre, it then gets reclassified to another genre, like pop or country or even hip hop. I can't tell you how many straight rock bands are going to Nashville to make records just because they might get airplay and build a fan base through that format rather than rock.

    So what does that leave for a radio station that is trying to build an audience around rock? The most recognizable stuff that attracts a consensus audience (which is what radio needs to get advertising) is at least 20 years old. I mean, who in the rock world today is making music like Prince or Bon Jovi, who can fill stadiums like those guys did? That's what radio is looking for. So it's a real challenge. Plus this is a station that has a lot of heritage playing that music. So if that's what the people expect, why not give it to them?

  3. #3
    There is an audience for some of the new-ish rock (last 10 years), but it just has the deadly combination of both being small and not very affluent (because it tends to be young adults under age 30).

    The other problem is that your 48 year old Eagles bro probably isn't into Cage the Elephant, nor is the 25 year old college grad who just wants to hear Florence and the Machine into INXS.
    "Its music what makes a radio station, and at Live FM, we play the last music around."
    After receiving that copy, I quit the VO industry.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by PTBoardOp94 View Post
    The other problem is that your 48 year old Eagles bro probably isn't into Cage the Elephant, nor is the 25 year old college grad who just wants to hear Florence and the Machine into INXS.
    Exactly...rock, more than any other genre, has become highly Balkinized, to the point where the audience is very dedicated to its particular bands or artists, but not the genre or the format in general. They just want to hear their favorites. Which is exactly what personal music devices were designed for...not mass media like radio.

    The annoying part of this to me is this has happened with the compliance of the music business. They have talked themselves into believing that they don't need to sell lots of albums any more. They just need to sell enough to build a fan base who will pay to hear the band in concert. What they don't understand is that they're building for the short term, and not the kind of lifetime careers rock once had. Which is why rock radio turns to older music.
    Last edited by TheBigA; 12-04-2016 at 10:26 PM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg. View Post
    I was looking over the playlist today, Sunday, for KFMB-FM (or as the website calls the station KFM-BFM). I was surprised how it leans to Classic Rock. Some titles include...

    Pete Townsend--Let My Love Open The Door
    Bon Jovi--Wanted Dead or Alive
    Free--All Right Now
    Corey Hart--Sunglasses at Night
    Midnight Oil--Beds Are Burning
    AC/DC--Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
    Stray Cats--Rock This Town
    The Police--Roxanne
    Tom Petty--Refugee
    The Fixx--One Thing Leads to Another
    David Bowie--Young Americans
    Prince--Let's Go Crazy
    Van Halen--Hot for Teacher
    INXS--Devil Inside

    I omitted some more recent titles, but not too many. These Classic Rock songs were clearly the largest part of the playlist. I was surprised that some of these songs are 30 years old or more. OK, no Beatles and not much mid-tempo rock, such as Fleetwood Mac or The Eagles. (I was also surprised to see Prince on the playlist. I wonder if that was true before his death as well as now?)

    I know that even Rock stations classified as Active Rock have, in the last year or so, gone back to mostly older titles. But I didn't think that was true to this extent. Has KFMB-FM modified its original mainstream rock format? Is this what it sounded like when it first switched from Hot AC to Rock? Or has it decided to be a slightly more recent version of KGB-FM?
    It seems to me that I read sometime back that Billboard had combined its Active and Mainstream Rock categories into one chart. That could certainly have something to do with it.

  6. #6
    BTW, when it was Jack-FM, KFMB-FM did not allow its audio to stream outside the San Diego area. But I am currently listening to the station in New Jersey.

    The webpage to stream the station still says it is not available outside the broadcast region, but maybe the text is outdated. Did KFMB-FM turn off the geographic blocking mechanism? Or did it make a mistake and allow my computer to activate audio streaming? (I live in Jersey but have a cousin in SD County, so I visit every few years and am always interested in the radio market.)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg. View Post
    BTW, when it was Jack-FM, KFMB-FM did not allow its audio to stream outside the San Diego area. But I am currently listening to the station in New Jersey.

    The webpage to stream the station still says it is not available outside the broadcast region, but maybe the text is outdated. Did KFMB-FM turn off the geographic blocking mechanism? Or did it make a mistake and allow my computer to activate audio streaming? (I live in Jersey but have a cousin in SD County, so I visit every few years and am always interested in the radio market.)
    The Geofencing went away when the station was LMA'ed to Local Media San Diego.

    That LMA is winding down. I have noticed that the website platform for the KFMB stations have changed from WordPress to WorldNow/Frankly, which is what Midwest TV used when they ran it on their own, and if you poke around the site enough you might find a link that still says Jack. So I would guess that as part of moving things back to Midwest TV they brought back the old Jack website and either didn't take the geofencing notice down... or they'll turn it back on when they get the SoundExchange bill. The whole point of geofencing is to cut down the traffic. They don't make any money on you in New Jersey playing you spots for Rubio's fish tacos, so why pay SoundExchange for the privilege to stream to you?

    Anyway, this is a geeky way to point out that I have too much time on my hands to come to these conclusions, and to say that you should enjoy it while you can, because once all of the operations go back to Midwest TV, well, if history is any guide, they'll pinch every penny outside of the morning show until it screams.
    The opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employers. Retweets are not endorsements.

  8. #8
    Back to the original topic at hand:

    1. If you go back to rock radio before Classic Rock was a thing, you'd find that stations played music from the last 20 years or so alongside currents. It wasn't until people started moving small town sticks into the major markets and you had 30 FM signals looking for the piece of the pie that stations started coveting a niche of the rock audience.

    What I like about KFMB is that it recognizes that people don't eat at a steakhouse for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They know all kinds of rock. And KFMB has found a playlist that ticks the boxes of a good chunk of adults. Is it researched? Hell yes. That's why they're playing the right songs.

    2. I had a PD who said he was going to "mentor" me. It didn't go well. After having me read Ries & Trout I figured out where he had it wrong and he didn't like me telling him so. But a lot of PDs make the same mistake of confusing Positioning Statement with Position. This guy told me that the secret to success was a perfect positioning statement, and he spent weeks crafting the perfect liner that we all referred to as the "paragraph that pays." The reality is that you should create the right position - which I define as everything that the listener perceives that the station does.

    KFMB gets this, and they have gotten this even going back to B-100. They don't spend a lot of time telling you what they are, they spend that time doing it. And a station that plays the music that you like delivered by jocks that you like, talking about bands and things that you find interesting is more entertaining than listening to a bunch of liners telling you that they're specially designed for listening at work...

    TL;DR: Call KFMB-FM whatever you want. Just call them KFM-BFM San Diego.
    The opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employers. Retweets are not endorsements.

  9. #9
    I've assumed the music is selected by the morning crew, the DSC (Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw). The ratings have been falling for at least 3 months, so this "new" format does not appear to be working.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by [V] Musik View Post
    I've assumed the music is selected by the morning crew, the DSC (Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw).
    Hard to imagine a station in a big market like San Diego allowing the jocks to select the music.

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