Kiss 104.1 will get a facelift on Monday. A home to 1970s and 1980s classic R&B hits for 18 years, the station will add more songs from the past 20 years into its mix to try to draw more youthful listeners, said Tony Kidd, vice president of programming for Cox Media Group’s radio division.
Kidd said he’d like to draw more listeners in their early 30s.
There will be no personnel changes but the station will go commercial-free at least on Monday, he said.
Though still a solid top-five station in overall listeners, Kiss ratings have slipped a bit in the past two years and its audience has aged. In the April Arbitron ratings, Kiss tied for fifth place overall but was eighth among 25 to 54 year olds. In April, 2010, the station was tied for fourth in overall ratings but second among 25 to 54 year olds.
Kiss is going directly after Majic 107.5/97.5, which plays mostly R&B songs from the past 20 years, though Kidd said it won’t play as many current songs. Majic has beaten Kiss the past three months among 25 to 54 year olds, the longest stretch since Arbitron began using people meters in early 2009.
The average age of a song on Kiss right now is 25 years old, according to Mediabase 24/7. Its syndicated morning show with Tom Joyner does play some newer tunes but very few are on the regular rotation the rest of the day.
Its current most popular artists, based on the past week’s airplay are Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder and the O’Jays. Majic’s five most popular artists the past week also include Vandross, Jackson and Earth, Wind & Fire but features Jodeci and Mary J. Blige, artists that broke through in the 1990s. The average age of a song on Majic is 15 years old.
UPDATE on Memorial Day: Here’s what the station played from 6 to 7 a.m. today, according to the Kiss website. Of the 14 songs, four are from the past 20 years, two from the past couple of years. Before the changes, the station would play maybe two songs an hour since 1990 and virtually none from the past five years.
6:02 a.m. The Gap Band “Yearning For Your Love” 1981
6:07 a.m. Toni Braxton “He Wasn’t Man Enough” 1997
6:11 a.m. Stevie Wonder “Knocks Me Off My Feet” 1976
6:15 a.m. Shalamar “This Is For The Lover in You” 1980
6:19 a.m. Marsha Ambrosius “Far Away” 2011
6:23 a.m. Sade “Sweetest Taboo” 1985
6:27 a.m. Funkadelic “One Nation Under a Groove” 1978
6:32 a.m. Brownstone “If You Love Me” 1994
6:37 a.m. Teddy Pendergrass “Joy” 1988
6:42 a.m. Whitney Houston “You Give Good Love” 1985
6:47 a.m. Chuckii Booker “Games” 1992
6:50 a.m. K’Jon “On the Ocean” 2009
6:55 a.m. Minnie Riperton “Memory Lane” 1979
6:58 a.m. Teena Marie “Square Biz” 1981
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog