Monday, June 21, 2010

12. What AAA Radio Formatting Means

One of the terms that is starting to be bandied about is AAA. Mr. Beard, in the tonight's (6/21/10) meeting, mentioned that he had helped to create the AAA format, and wishes to use a similar template at WTJU, in all departments. While at no point did it seem like he wanted to change WTJU into pure AAA, it seems that we are headed in that direction.

The following are links to pages that describe what AAA is. Anyone interested in seeing one possible outcome of the changes going on at WTJU would do well to check them out.
Notice the "Triple A Buzz Cuts", featuring acts and songs such as Fat Freddy's Drop doing "The Raft," R.E.M.'s "Throw Those Trolls Away" and Dr. Dog.
Here, Clear Channel makes a press release announcing the appointment of a "National Adult Album Alternative Liaison/Director."

"According to MacLeash, "Clear Channel has taken the lead in not only reducing commercial spot load, but in continuing to think outside the box when it comes to launching new music formats. Clear Channel has signed on at least 5 AAA stations in the last two years and I hope to use my experience in this format to make all our AAA stations the best they can be for their respective markets. The beauty of this format is that no two are alike since each is tailor-made for local markets. I am thrilled to be a part of this innovative thinking!""
An interesting interview with Meg MacDonald, voted "
Triple A Independent Promotion Executive of the Year as voted on by Radio and Record labels at R&R."

"I think that’s why AAA (Adult Album Alternative or “Triple A” Radio) has exploded over the last ten years. AAA stations are the stations that broke Dave Matthews, Ben Harper and Jack Johnson. It’s the only format in radio that is currently growing. They have more flexibility in what they play; because they’re independent. Some are commercial stations, but many are non-commercial “listener-supported” public radio stations."

Finally, one must do what all the other high-schoolers are doing and go to wikipedia.

It should be noted that in the first article above, there is a list of AAA stations. One of them is WNRN. Mr. Beard said repeatedly that we are going to be completing directly with WNRN; indeed, when I personally mentioned that doing so would be foolish, that people don't listen to WTJU to hear WNRN when they can already hear WNRN, which is so successful a radio station that it basically blankets three markets, he said that he wanted to beat them and "The Corner" at their own game. One more link: the homepage for 106.1, The Corner.


  1. Well, it's good to have some better-fleshed-out information on where he's coming from, but where does he stand on best practices in directing volunteer organizations? What volunteer organization can run without what administrators unbeautifully call "buy-in" from the volunteers themselves? What mechanisms are being put in place by the University to allow the volunteers to guide their organization, or at least affect the movement in some way?

  2. AAA stations are the stations that broke Dave Matthews

    That hardly seems something to which WTJU should aspire.

    Is WTJU to be about music that has traditionally found its home in college radio, or is it to be merely about market share?

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