Remember 15-odd months ago, when the TV networks were complaining about all those lost men in the ratings? Turned out, they were “found” on late night cable. Programming blocks like the Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim” or Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart are sucking up young guys at a rapid rate.
In many ways, prime time television has been redefined by this phenomenon. And this has application for us in radio as well, where night numbers on Rock-type stations have been abysmal for years. Instead of innovating and trying new things, however, we’ve cut our losses by programming bland voicetracked music or the same thing we broadcast during the day.
In the same way we understand that tastes in morning drive are different than in the daytime, nights deserve a new look. This may be part of the reason why shows like “Nights With Alice Cooper” (United Stations) are beginning to pick up steam. Or stations like FM94/9 (San Diego) have experimented and succeeded with programming like “Big Sonic Chill.” During the evening hours, we have to try different things to create appointment listening. Otherwise, we concede big blocks of time to other media.
Even streaming audio is a step in the right direction, if we can piggyback on computer use. Instead of just providing a stream, how about teaching our listeners they can enjoy great music for free while they’re on their computers? It’s a start.