Evolving a public radio music station is never easy, but often very rewarding for stations that choose to do so. In the past few years, I’ve been fortunate to help guide WFUV/New York, KUTX/Austin, KXT/Dallas, The Bridge in Kansas City and other public radio stations into a “Music Discovery” format and market position. These stations have chosen to play more new music, focus more heavily on the local music and the local scene, and local air talent who serve as guides for an enjoyable music discovery experience. These stations are curators for a unique local music discovery experience that make them special and define their very existence.
The latest pubic station to take the plunge is WNKU-FM in Cincinnati. With one of the biggest coverage signals around, a new general manager (Sean O’Mealy), PD (John McGue) and APD/MD (Liz Felix), and a supportive license-holder in the University of Northern Kentucky, WNKU started making music format changes at the beginning of 2015. The new music format officially kicked in around September, and WNKU was just rewarded with their biggest fund drive EVER with a large number of new members. Here is a new article that shares their experiences: (more…)