Throw Away Your Format Label
January 4, 2013
By Mike Couchman, KSOS Las Vegas
As we kick off 2013, a few feathers have been ruffled by the changes made to Billboard's Christian radio charts. Whatever panel you landed on, or missed by a mile, matters not.
Your audience doesn't care what chart you report to or aspire to join. You're their source for what they likely call "Christian music." You'll be hard pressed to find a normal listener (as-in not connected to the industry) who even has a clue what "Hot AC" or "CHR" or whatever means. If you've been making decisions based on charts more than on your listener feedback, sorry, but you've been doing it wrong.
Two important things to keep in mind: 1. Your station is called to serve a certain audience. That calling doesn't change even when charts do. 2. The only people living and dying by song charts are artists and record labels. Charts are their tool to measure their impact. For all of us in radio, charts are intelligent shopping lists.
If you're sweating the new chart, consider focusing instead on being the best you've ever been at accomplishing what God has in mind for your station. There's no better way to save a format or grow one even stronger.