We got the Jack

MSP gets new music format, single-entendre headlines

Our favorite '80s station, Mixx 104.1, flipped formats yesterday to the Jack. CP's own Lindsey Thomas has the press release. And the Pioneer Press treats it as the second coming. And here's the playlist from the first two hours yesterday.

The Jack is corporate radio's newest gambit: The iPod format. The idea is that radio has become too predictable, and the playlists to constricted, and let's do something wild and put Brooks and Dunn next to Billy Ocean. A noble intent, sure, and having a playlist of some 1,200 songs can't be a bad thing. Well, actually, it can, when you consider the format's other main premise: Play absolutely nothing unfamiliar.

The trouble with the concept is that the iPod and commercial radio are inherently opposite. One is based on insular consumerism and a bogus concept of micromanaged "diversity," the other based on crass repetition and predictability for the great unwashed.

But there must be some big business in sight, at least for the short-term. For instance, some "variety" top-40-ish stations that have not been Jacked are taking precautions. Locally, someone from Hubbard-owned KS95 snatched up three potential Jack domain names that redirected surfers to the station's site yesterday.

(Today there's just a pic of a kitten. Cute! Actually, the domains are registered to this guy, a KS95 producer.)

And note this list of Jack stations in other markets. Same logo, different city.

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