Radio

Published on August 20th, 2014 | by Alan Cross

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Calgary Radio Station Abandons QuickHitz Format

Well, it was an interesting experiment and it sure brought a lot of attention to a new radio station, but NewCap Broadcasting has decided to end their QuickHitz format at 90.3 AMP Radio.

In case you haven’t been following the story, the QuickHitz format promised twice the hits in the same time.  Instead of hearing 10 songs per hour (a reasonable average for radio in this country), AMP promised 20.  How?  By editing each song to around two minutes. But the blowback from the industry and artists was so intense that AMP has decided to revert back to a more conventional musical approach.

Word is that there were threats of legal action against the company–which I find a tiny bit weird.  Here’s why:

1.  Radio stations have been editing songs for decades.  When I was a program director, I often ordered edits on songs to make them more radio friendly.  I can’t recall a single complaint from a label or artist.

2.  Record labels routinely edit songs before offering them to radio stations.  That’s why you’ll see the phrase “radio edit” attached to some songs on iTunes.  It also explains why the version of a song you hear on the radio is different that the one you find on the CD.

3. Edits don’t just make songs shorter.  What about extended mixes?

4. Back in the day of K-Tel compilations, songs were edited in order to have “22 explosive hits on one LP!”

The difference with the AMP situation was that the edits were done at the station level and not with the label, the entity that owns the master recordings.  That gives them the right to do with the recordings what they will. Hacking a song down to less than 2:30 by someone at the station results in an unapproved edit.  A couple of these edits on a playlist isn’t a big deal, but if your entire music universe consists of unauthorized edits–well, you can see the problem.

Like I said, though, it was an interesting experiment.  It may have failed, but it shows that there’s still room for innovative ideas in radio.  Read more at the CBC or FYI Music News.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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