to standardize the format descriptions on all of the pages. A simplified
version of the format list that companies like Billboard
and BRS Radio Directory use
will be employed here.
A general catch-all format that includes
bands from modern rock, metal, 80's rock and 70's rock subformats. Generally
rock stations feature a wide playlist and may go from KoRn to Bachman-Turner
Overdrive in the same set. May be referred to as Album-Oriented-Rock
Playlists emphasize the more modern,
mainstream rock acts like Matchbox 20, Cake and the like but may also occasional
metal or 80's rock. Stations with this format often mix in new wave 80's
bands or showcase them in a seperate show.
This format highlights rock'n'roll bands
from the 70's, and often includes rock mainstays from the 80's and early
90's. The playlist is somewhat narrow, generally, and these stations sometimes
offer "theme days" like Two-For-Tuesday and Weekend Rock Blocks.
Stations usually shy away from more heavy rock from decades past Poison
A general catch-all name that includes
mainstream country artists and older, more classic country artists too.
Within this site, Country will be used to designate country format stations
that may or may not fit into other country-related catagories.
This format highlights country hits
of yesteryear by artists like Alabama and Johnny Cash. Classic country
stations often play old country tunes that you cannot hear on mainstream
country stations. Sometimes these stations may have bluegrass or
dixieland shows, too.
Probably the nation's most popular format,
mainstream country, has a tight playlist designed to play the most popular
songs a lot. Mainstream country stations rarely go back beyond the early
90's when picking songs. Artists included in this format are Garth Brooks
and LeAnn Rimes.
This is something of another "catch-all"
format because it borrows music from rock and other formats. Music on these
stations can range from hot top 40 music to borderline easy listening or
soft rock. Some country crossover artists can be heard on some stations.
Some stations mix in pop hits from the 80's and 70's. Artists range
from Elton John to John Tesh to the Backstreet Boys to Sheryl Crow.
Hit Radio (CHR)
Similar to adult contemporary, only
they throw out all the sleepy stuff that typical AC stations are notorious
for. Emphasis is on current modern rock, pop and R & B hits. Sometimes
referred to Top 40, Hot AC or Rhythmic. Some stations may play more
dance-oriented songs as well.
Adult Contemporary (Soft AC)
Just the opposite of Hot AC, this format
emphasizes softer hits from current and past artists. Stations sometimes
feature love songs or instrumentals along with other artists.
Take what little pulse is left in Soft
AC and toss it out the window and you've got Easy Listening. No upbeat
songs in this format; music is designed to relax and sooth listeners. A
hodgepodge of music finds it's way on air with this format. Everything
from the great singers of the 50's and past to big band to 70's lighter
contemporary to modern instrumentals. Think elevator music.
Talk stations play little or no music.
Their main programming consists of interactive radio where listeners and
hosts alike debate various hot topics. Stations with this format
designation in the ABMP lists may also play occasional sports talk shows
or carry sporting events and also usually have up to date news on the hour
or half hour. Programs may be topical, political or just for entertainment.
Entertainment programs include the Don and Mike show and Howard Stern,
politcal shows include Rush Limbaugh and Tom Leykis, topical shows include
Judy Jarvis and Art Bell.
Like Talk/News stations only there might
not be any real news to speak of and all of the programming is sports related.
Programming is usually more localized than most Talk/News stations, but
does include some syndicated shows like The Fabulous Sports Babe and the
Top 40 hits from the late 50's through
the mid-70's. Some oldies format stations play some rock from the
early and mid-70's as well.
Stations under this format usually play
parts or full-length versions of compositions from the world's great composers.
The majority of these stations are noncommercial and also carry a public
radio feed like PRI or NPR.
Similar to Classical format stations,
jazz outlets are usually public and carry similar public radio programming
as classical outlets. Stations under the jazz moniker can range from traditional
jazz to "lite jazz" stations that are almost exclusively contemporary jazz
and vocals stations.
Similar to regular adult contemporary
only African-American artists are highlighed. Stations usually offer up
a smorgasboard of artists from other subformats like lite jazz, R &
B and soul. Toni Braxton and Luther Vandross come to mind. Stations
also usually have some gospel programming on weekends and often mix in
black oldies from the 70's and early 80's. Sometimes referred to
as urban adult contemporary.
Sometimes referred to as urban contemporary,
this format includes modern African-American hit music from catagories
like hip-hop, R & B and rap. Sometimes these stations have old school
shows highlighting 80's artists. You'll probably hear artists like
Brandy, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Master P.
Like the regular
oldies format only tailored to highlight African-American artists from
the 50's through the 70's. May also include more bluesy music, soul and
R & B.
Another catch-all name, used to desgnate
stations with unknown forms of religious programming, but also stations
known to play a diverse mix of programs. These stations can be found at
the commercial and noncommercial ends of the dial and usually mix in religiously
oriented music with talk or spoken work programs. This format name
covers pretty much all denominations of all religious sects.
Contemporary music in any one of the
aforementioned music formats can be heard on these stations... Some
may play more gospel, some may play more alternative christian music. These
stations usually also mix in talk and spoken word programs. They are often
found in the commercial band.
Other format names will be used from
time to time in the lists when none of the above will do. Examples
include "agricultural", a designation that
means the station mainly focuses on news and information that farmers desire;
"community", which designates a station that
usually is totally locally run with local only programming in any number
of diverse formats; "all news", which is nothing
but news around the clock with only occasional sports or talk programs;
"public radio", which is a catch-all for stations
that are in the noncommercial band, non-religious in nature and may be
either jazz or classical; "big band/standards", features big band music
of the 40's and the great singers of years gone by; "gospel",
which is almost exclusively black religious music and programming.