There have been a lot of great radio stories in the past year, but perhaps none bigger than the explosiveness of The Hog in Milwaukee. If you recall, 2005 was the Year of The Brew. The mission was to "fix Lazer," make it dominant, perhaps hurt The Brew in the process, and do as little collateral damage to sister station WKLH as possible.
Many of you have seen the incredible results for The Hog, starting with its debut last summer, Fall '05, and now the new Winter release where they're #1 25-54 Adults, and dominate a variety of really great demos.
I've probably had more questions about The Hog in the past year than any other station we work with, so the best place to go is the Hog Head, programmer Keith Hastings for this Guest Blog:
Why The Hog? Active Rock is in a funk, and a new competitor was on a tear. Our team launched aggressive research to assess and challenged each other to attack the problem in new ways with bold initiatives. We needed to “shock and awe” the market and re-take our turf.
Why “The Hog?” We had to make people stop and say “Huh, what?” We had to break the mold. If we re-launched thinking that better music was the only answer, we were going to disappoint ourselves. The attitude had to be constant in everything — the production, the writing, the visual. The new jocks had to “get it”, while launching a music battle. We had to think differently about everything. Now, I’m less about constructing music logs with mean research scores in mind and more about trusting my inner rock’n’roll child to tell me what’s gonna sound kick ass! Most of our staff is Milwaukee born and bred — couple that with my time in the market, and you get a library more unique to the market. Some call us a “rock Jack,” and while there are wonderful “Oh wow” moments to our music, we focus much less on ourselves and much more on the audience.
We’ve applied “cult brand” thinking to a mainstream product, resulting in hundreds of Hog Heads that view this station as their very own. They’re a vocal lot with an open conduit to me, via my “Head Hog Blog.” Everyone, listener or not, that e-mails me with comments, questions, or opinions hears back from me personally. Many write back and are impressed by everyone at The Hog’s willingness to e-mail, pick up the phone, shake their hand at an event, or converse with them in the lobby when they pick up prizes. We are ambassadors of our love for what we do, instead of being button pushing DJs that read and play what is put in front of them with no true love or understanding of what they offer.
Why The Hog? I’m having more fun coming to work than ever before. We bust our butts to put together a rock station that gives something you can’t find on an iPod. We have moments where passion for the music positively gushes through, moments of weirdness, moments of sarcastic wit, moments of passion for our local sports heroes and signature events, and marketing and promotion that entertains whether you listen or not. We don’t take ourselves seriously. But we take our relationship with the Hog Heads VERY seriously.