“The JACK is Dead; Long Live the JACK”

This observation from the always fun to read Radio Daily News:

Has Jack gone Splat? the much vaunted “Jack” radio format falling out of favor with listeners? You can’t blame people for wondering after Monday’s announcement from New York radio station WCBS-FM 101.1 that it has decided to ditch Jack and re-embrace the oldies format it had abandoned two years ago.

Personally, I don’t see why the disappearance of JACK from New York has any broader meaning than the disappearance of Oldies from New York two years ago. The global consequences are…none.

I won’t bore you with the details but you can look market-by-market and see so-called “Variety Hits” stations performing admirably in scores of markets. And that’s aside from the fact that any format replacing the legendary WCBS-FM and replacing it in the way JACK replaced it is destined to land with an uncomfortable thud.

Reports Forbes:

Radio listenership data collected by Arbitron show that the format continues to grow audience share. Among the top 100 radio markets in the U.S., Jack stations had a 2.7% audience share during the three months ended March 31, 2007, up from 2.4% during the same period a year earlier.

To a great extent, the Variety Hits formats continues to be one of American radio’s secret success stories. As I travel from market to market I’m always surprised to discover just how many of these stations are out there and, more often than not, how well they’re doing.

So before you go questioning whether JACK is dead now that it’s dead in New York…

…will you be asking that same question about Country?

And here’s a wild prediction: It’s the return of “Oldies,” not the demise of JACK, that is being greatly exaggerated.

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