12/28

The Wisdom of Colliding Radio Genres

I was listening to an interview with filmmaker Quentin Tarantino and a fan asked him what movies made an early influence on him.

One of his answers was surprising – the movie was Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.

I’m with you, Quentin – I have seen that movie hundreds of times (and yes, it still holds up).

Why did this film make such an impression on young Quentin?  Because it was the first time he had seen a movie where two “different” genres collided:  It was both funny and scary.  Until then, there was “funny” and there was “scary,” but there never was a movie which could be both, sometimes at the same time.

Anyone who has followed Tarantino will not be surprised that this notion of colliding genres made such an impact – such collisions are knit into all of his films.

It’s a useful reminder to those of us working in the narrow genres defined by radio formats to reconsider from time to time what the world of radio would be like if the lines could be finer, more porous, and a whole lot smudgier.

What was the JACK format before JACK but a dramatic inversion of all known programming conventions?

Before All-Christmas became a holiday radio staple, does anyone recall how incredibly risky and controversial the notion was?

When we create News/Talk content, why is it always in the image of Rush Limbaugh rather than the image of Jon Stewart?

While audience expectations are important, there’s a difference between an expectation and a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Ponder that the next time you consider how smudgy your own radio brand’s fine line is – or should be.

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