Rock 100.5 last week began shifting its music, using the moniker “quality rock.”
‘”We’re trying to put a radio station on that maintains its roots and its feel and its compass and anchor points in rock,” said Cumulus head of programming John Dickey Monday. “Rock today means more than just one particular genre of music. We’re all about quality and playing the best of hte best. I guess the best way to describe it, we’re pitching a bigger tent and throwing a bigger party.”
The station debuted a year ago with a fairly aggressive “active rock” mix with healthy doses of Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam and ZZ Top along with some current rock songs. Those acts are still in the mix but they are now adding more ’90s cuts from softer acts heard on Dave FM such as Counting Crows, R.E.M. and Sting. Currents by Kings of Leon and U2 are being played, too.
Cuts you might hear on the River are heard, too, such as “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart and “Jet Airliner” by Steve Miller Band. And a few songs you might hear on Project 9-6-1, too, such as Shinedown’s “Second Chance” and Pearl Jam’s “Brother.” What’s gone? Harder metal stuff from the 80s such as Motley Crue and the Scorpions are no longer on the playlist.
In other words, a hunk of the songs can be heard or could fit on one of the other three rock stations. Usually, a station can build “time spent listening” by creating a “unique” mix of music e.g. Praise 102.5 or Viva 105.7. So Rock 100.5, by sandwiching itself among the other three, may have a tough time keeping people in the tent when the Regular Guys are not on.
Dickey said the shift is not really a “dramatic” change per se but the station would like to bring in more listeners overall from the 25-54 age range. General Manager Gary Lewis said the station skews a bit too male right now. And the mix suggests the station may be trying to pivot a little bit younger and a wee bit more upscale.
Here’s a sample hour from 1 p.m. yesterday, which shows a fairly broad mix of rock from five decades.
Nickelback “Photograph” (2005)
Gavin Rossdale “Love Remains the Same” (2008)
ZZ Top “Tush” (1975)
Toadies “Possum Kingdom” (1994)
R.E.M. “Driver 8″ (1985)
Sting “All This Time” (1991)
Joe Cocker “Feelin’ Alright” (1972)
Staind “It’s Been Awhile” (2001)
My Morning Jacket “I’m Amazed” (2008)
The Rolling Stones “Shattered” (1978)
The Smashing Pumpkins “1979″ (1996)
Talking Heads “Take Me To the River” (1978)
Incubus “Anna Molly” (2006)
Santana “Evil Ways” (1969)
Cumulus has also purchased a translator station at 97.9 and will likely announce what format it will air on it later this week.