Friday, September 21, 2007

Rock radio, long thought to be dead, is making a comeback across the country

San Francisco Bay Area is in its last ratings period using the old method of people reporting what stations they listened to by penciling it in a diary.

Starting next year, ratings will be done by electronic monitors called "People Meters," as they are now done in cities such as Philadelphia and Houston.

The biggest change in the results so far, according to Tom Taylor of Chicago's Radio-Info.com?

Men are now being counted more, and they listen to more rock radio than had previously been accounted for.

The reason why is fairly logical. Women are better diary keepers. Its something they are trained to do from an early age.

In Philadelphia, writes Taylor, Clear Channel flipped a Spanish station back to alternative rock (as it has also recently done in San Jose with KCNL, Channel 104.9) and caught a "strong wave."

Taylor says he expects Clear Channel to do the same in Los Angeles Monday with its KYSR, "Star FM," adult contemporary station heading to a more male-oriented 90s alternative rock format.

For years male fans in the Bay Area have been complaining as they watch stations switch to Spanish music or soft rock. It will be interesting to see whether the new ratings will bring more changes here. Will we see less Elton John and Eagles and more AC/DC and Zeppelin on the classics, and less My Chemical Romance and more Atreyu on the modern rockers?

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