Several weeks ago, Network 40 sent out “Report Cards” asking our readers for input.  We asked how you liked current features, whether you wanted changes, additions, etc.  As we’ve said since our first edition, Network  40 is dedicated to serving our industry.  We want to reflect your needs, not dictate our own agenda.  Network 40 consists entirely of charts, articles, features and ideas created by your input.

So far, you’ve done a good job.

The response to our “Report Cards” was unbelievable.  Somewhat less than 10,000 of you responded with suggestions and ideas.

Now it’s our turn to make your input and ideas a reality.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll see changes and additions to Network 40, based on what you’ve told us you wanted.  The first new feature appears this week.

Nearly everyone who responded asked for a feature on music and programming research.  Another big request was to include information about programming in specific markets.

The exclusive Network 40 Market Profile debuts this week on page 12, followed by another exclusive, the Network 40 Music Research, on page 16.

In the ever-changing world of programming in the ‘90s, it’s difficult to keep up with stations in different parts of the country.  Call letters and slogans changes with the seasons and even when call letters remain familiar, it’s often impossible to know what kind of a music mix is generating the latest trends.  If you don’t have friends in a particular market you’re interested in, it’s hard to know exactly what’s making a station tick.

The Network 40 Market Profile takes out as much of the guesswork as possible.  It’s the next best thing to being there.

Through a venture with Media Base Research, we’ve compiled a breakdown of selected stations in the Houston market.  In future weeks, other markets will be featured.

On the first page of the Network 40 Market Profile, you’ll find everything you need to know about the individual stations featured in the Houston market…address, personnel, consultants, voice-over, etc.

Media Base also provides additional information such as specific promos, stagers and commercial copy.  If there are other elements you would like to see, let us know.

The second page of the Network 40 Market Profile consists of comparative music hours from each station in selected dayparts: mornings, mid-days, afternoons and nights.  You can compare the music programmed on each station during each daypart.

Some stations are doing special programming during the music hours we use. When this happens, it is noted.  For example, KTBZ was doing a “Menage A Trois” lunch hour during our profile.  You’ll see three songs in a row from the same artist.  KBXX had an Old School lunch hour and a Five O’clock Traffic Jam.  We chose not to list those specific titles because they weren’t part of the normal programming.

Following the Market Profile is Network 40’s Music Research.  We have been working on a music research system for the past several years.  Programmers understand how difficult it is to establish an accurate national music research system.  Musical tastes vary from region to region…and even from market to market.  Even within the same market, music research is difficult.  Each radio station identifies its core audience and tests within the core.  How beneficial a national research system is depends upon your wants, needs and opinions.

With Media Base, However, we have developed a system that will show you the top-testing current releases with a national Mainstream audience.  We don’t profess that it will be absolutely accurate for every radio station, but it will give programmers a broad overview of the top-testing records across the country…for Mainstream Top 40.  It’s another bit of information that will help lead you to the right decisions.

Because each station is different…as is each core…each market…each region, Network 40 will not print specific research information about negative-testing records.  We will share only the top-testing records, in alphabetical order, so you can see the cream of the crop.

The Network 40 music research is unique in that Media Base uses the core audience samples from Mainstream Top 40 stations in the nation’s Top 20 markets.  You won’t have to “guess” as to where the testing is being done.  It reflects the tastes of those in the core audience Mainstream Top 40 stations in major markets.

More important than a national call-out test of new music are the Most-Played Recurrents.  This listing has nothing to do with call-out testing.  It is tabulated from different formats based on the number of plays each recurrent receives.  This way, you can compare your recurrent receives.  This way, you can compare your recurrents with those getting the most play in your format.  We’ve broken the formats into Top 40, A/C, Alternative and Crossover.

Because recurrents turn over slowly, there won’t be radical changes in the weekly recurrent listings.  However, you will be able to detect the changes as they occur.

Remember, as you check the Network 40 Music Research, the Top Testing Currents are listed in alphabetical order.  The Recurrents, by format, are listed in the order of the plays each receives.

We’re excited about the Network 40 Market Profiles and the Network 40 Music Research.  We’re excited because we’re able to provide some thing you’ve asked for.  We’re excited that we’ve been able to partner with Media Base to give you virtually as much information about specific programming in various markets as you want.

Each week, we’ll profile a different market.  Next week, it’s Philadelphia.  If you would like to see a specific market, just let us know.

This is the first of several changes you’ve requested.  In the coming weeks, you’ll see more.  You asked for it…you got it…

As for the highly educated, sophisticated segment of our audience who asked for more “nekkid” pictures on Page 6…

Send ‘em in…we’ll run ‘em.

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