Top 10 Ways to Make Music Radio Better

Inspired by David Letterman not written by him. Advice to the big radio conglomerates:

#10...Cut the commercial load in half but don't tell anybody (the listeners will notice).
#9 ... Hire djs who are knowledgeable about the music
#8 ... Let your newly-hired "smart jocks" play some of their own music not just the corporate playlist
#7 ... Stop trying to be interactive -- you can't. Entertain in an analog sort of way
#6 ... Take all the stations you own in each city and run them separately. You keep the cash they will surely generate by being truly competitive with each other. The listener gets real choice.
#7 ... Location/location/location -- the more local you make your station the more listeners will crave it
#6 ... Mix new with familiar music. Make the familiar really familiar and the new really new
#5 ... We're onto your tactic of clustering commercials -- too bad advertisers aren't. Run one commercial between each song -- don't cluster them to create music sweeps. The longer the commercial sets the longer you lose us.
#4 ... (And while you're at it), go back to lots of "live read" commercials. Young listeners will listen to knowledgable personalities they respect even on products and services
#3 ... Don't brand yourself -- no "Kiss", no "Jack", no "Power" -- no meaningless names. Go back to call letters and frequency. Think KCRW.
#2 ... Stop with the repetition, already! Play the hottest tunes once per daypart at most and listen to your audience. In the past they said they didn't want so much repetition but you knew your ratings would go up if you tightened the playlist. Now, no means no. Your listeners can turn to the Internet to avoid the needless repetition they detest on your stations.

And, the #1 Way to Make Music Radio Better ...

Don't wait for HD. HD doesn't matter to listeners like it apparently matters to you. You'll see. You can't be what you're not -- interactive like the Internet. Be cool with being less interactive. Make these changes and to quote Mister Rogers, "we'll like you just the way you are".