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St. Hat Trick's Day
  If there's an NHL or popular minor league hockey team in your market...and they have a home game on/around St. Patrick's Day...tie them into the holiday with a "St. Hat Trick's Promotion."

Give away tickets to the closest home game and souvenir green station t-shirts. Put your hockey lovin' listeners in their own suite and ask the arena caterers to provide Irish themed beverages and drinks during the game.

If a player on the home team scores a "hat trick" that night (3 goals), your winners get bonus prizes...options would include a road trip with the team, official jerseys, or the best green of all...cash!

  The weekend death of Pop Diva Whitney Houston - coupled with last Summer's passing of Springsteen sideman Clarence Clemons - raises the question of how prepared radio stations are to deal with breaking music news, especially in special programming or already-voice tracked hours.

You can bet that the networks and news channels have prepared "packages" for immediate broadcast upon the death of a political or pop culture icon. Consider assigning a member of your programming team or a trusted intern, to do the same for your stations. Include the performer's biography, recent head shot (many images available online), discography and other relevant personal notes of interest.

Store the information on an easily accessible place on your hard drive - or password protected "cloud" location. Make sure everyone on your staff knows how to get the information quickly.

With your staff, determine whom the "A," "B" and "C" list artists are for your format, and what type of programming response you'll have to each announcement. "A" list artists should be Rock's icons and your core artists. Immediate programming adjustments would be made...for example, interrupting scheduled programming with the announcement and regular detailed updates (especially if the death is tragic or mysterious), going "All-(ARTIST)" for a pre-determined amount of time, having tribute imaging cut ASAP and inviting listeners to post their thoughts on the artist via your Social Media outlets. Follow up programming options might include a countdown of the artist's biggest hits/album cuts during the week or at the time of the funeral service.

A "B" list performer might merit the immediate death announcement and an hourly 2-fer or music block for a shorter period of time, along with Facebook tributes and increased spins on their catalog in the days following their death.

"C" list performers (newer artists, secondary members of bands) are best served with announcements and updates on Facebook/Twitter, along with a song or two in tribute at the next logical break in station programming or when the next jock prepares voice tracks.

 
DeTop 500 Countdowns - 2011
  We've put together Top 500 song lists for several key formats.

You can access the spreadsheets of the Active Rock, Alternative, Classic Rock and Classic Hits countdowns below. The data is provided in both Countdown and Alphabetical listings for your convenience.

DeTop 500 Excel files
Active Rock
Alternative
Classic Rock
Classic Hits

For help with the execution of your countdown feature on your station, contact Alex, Jeff or Peter.

PD Toolbox: Tournaments
  Tournament Toolbox
 
Are You Ready?
  Reprint of FMQB article with tips for Emergency preparedness.
DeMers Dispatch - Summer '06
  The latest issue of our Dispatch covers the shifts we see in playlist trends among Active and Alternative stations. After sorting through all the artists and tunes, the bottom line remains: tailor your station to your audience.

Click here for the full story.

12 Steps To A One Share - Uncovering The Clutter
  The latest in our 12 Step series, "Uncovering The Clutter" takes you through 12 ways in which stations may unknowingly invite clutter onto their airwaves...our tongue placed firmly in cheek, of course.
Get Your Mind Out Of The Clutter - DeMers Dispatch Winter '05
  In our latest edition of the Dispatch, we pick up where we left off back in October with an aim to address your station's specific clutter issues.

As we note, "From the product perspective, clutter is anything that takes away from the listeners' positive experience." To that end, this Dispatch includes a questionnaire for both the Programming and Sales departments as a guide to identifying and eliminating the potential clutter in their respective areas.

"See Spot Run...Over The Golden Goose" Article and Power Point Presentation
  In the October '04 edition of the DeMers Dispatch, we face the "clutter issue" head on. With all of the debate concerning spotloads, number of breaks, etc. going on, we present a Programmer's perspective on deploying units effectively.

Additionally, Alex recently gave a Power Point presentation on the same topic. It is presented here as a companion piece to the October '04 Dispatch article.

Click here for the Slide Show.

Click here for the non-animated PDF file.

DeMers Dispatch, September 2004
  The second in our format study series, here we ask "What's So Alternative About Alternative?"
DeMers Dispatch, August 2004
  Exploring the Active Rock universe to find answers to the question, "What's So Active About Active Rock?"
PD Toolbox: A to Zs
  This PD Toolbox features eveything you need to know to program an A-Z playlist.
DeMers Dispatch, Winter 2003
  Articles:
State Of The Formats
We've decided to borrow a page from the world of politics (the "State of the Union" address) and share with you our sense of the current state of our medium as measured by the health of its Programming efforts.

Glory Days
What formats are the best performers now and the brightest ideas for the future? We begin our "State of the Formats" with a look at Radio's "best and brightest."

Under Pressure
The squeeze is on! From formats going through a down cycle to those under attack - here are the formats that require careful attention in the years ahead.

Learning To Fly
Time to gaze into the format "crystal ball" and see what's next. Ideas from the fringe and smart responses to a changing demographic make up our future file.
DeMers Dispatch, Winter 2004
  Articles:
Missed Spent Youth
Are you hitting all of your targets?

Selling The Programmer
Here are some concepts to build on within the Sales Department as you work toward developing the most effective moneymaking team within your cluster.

Programming The Seller
The other side of the coin. Here are some concepts to build on within the Programming Department as you work toward developing the most effective moneymaking team within your cluster.
DeMers Dispatch, Fall 2003
  Articles:
Everyday Passion vs. Passion Every Day
Has Your operation become a victim of "Everyday Passion" - where good enough gets you through to the next day.

Station Prep Checklist
Are you prepared to create a better listening experience for your audience?

Check, Please!
Make sure your performers get it right before it goes out over the airways.
"We'll Be Right Back After This"
  From the September 1993 DeMers Dispatch. According to a nationwide study by Paragon Research, 80% of listeners surveyed will "sometimes or always" switch stations when they hear commercials. Given that advertising revenue is the lifeblood of our business, what is the best strategy for reducing the level of inevitable tuneout during your next spotload?
Remote Control
  From the February, 2000 DeMers Dispatch. How can radio make multiple remotes draw, and be sure that the increase in live broadcasts doesn't lead to a decrease in audience? We'll stick our Marti out and suggest that the answers have less to do with how many remotes a station airs and more to do with the effect the remotes have on the sound of your station.
Radio's Attention Deficit Disorder
  From the April, 1996 DeMers Dispatch. You may not realize it but radio stations have two paying customers - advertisers and listeners. In today's time-stressed society, "paying attention" is becoming as literal a transaction as "paying the bills." Who's paying attention to you?
Program The Seller
  Salespeople want to please the client so they can pay their mortgage for another month. Programmers want to maintain a focused on-air sound so they can cling to their ratings for one more book. This article gives some easy suggestions to bring a détente to the sales/programming battle. Give it a read, then go find your sales manager and give her a hug.
Check Please!
  Can you imagine a movie like Star Wars without a script? Did those Harry Potter books make it to stores without any editing? Ever hear of The Rolling Stones launching a world tour without rehearsing? Do you think The Sopranos cast nails it in one take? Of course not. Why, then, doesn't radio take a cue from the rest of the entertainment industry and make sure performers get it right before it goes out over the airways?
At Issue: Staying Creative
  We realize that it's getting more difficult for PDs and promotions directors to come up with good ideas inside the building, as various team members rush off to voice track and keep up with their daily production loads. This article provides a few ideas for thinking outside of the box (and station!) in order to maintain your creative edge.
Take A Hard Look At Your Special Programming
  Nearly every station offers some sort of special programming, but how many PDs regularly ask themselves why a particular feature is on their air? While there can be several good reasons to do special features on your radio station, all of your special programming should achieve at least one of the five goals outlined in this article.
(They Can't Get No) Satisfaction
  As Americans, we're always looking for the "next big thing" - that which tastes different, looks prettier, has more cachet or just plain costs more. So, what makes you think that your product, your Radio Station, is any different? Here are some ideas to help you stay ahead of the competitive curve.
Guerrilla Radio
  Ever since author Jay Conrad Levinson coined the term, the concept of Guerrilla Marketing has become an integral part of the marketing plan for nearly every radio station in the country. The tactics are especially important weapons for Alternative radio as well as other formats targeting the younger end of the demographic spectrum. With smaller staffs and tighter budgets, the need for innovative and cost effective marketing has never been greater.
A Fresh Coat Of Paint
  When's the last time you gave a critical listen to your station's imaging package? Do your non-music elements sound fresh, entertaining and unique? If the answer is "not really," then maybe it's time to put a fresh coat of paint on the station.
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