How To Cope With Changing Tastes? Look to Pepsi


By Adam R Jacobson

Several times in the last week, I was dumbfounded by a song I heard on no less than three Classic Rock stations in three completely different markets.

Entercom’s KGON-FM 92.3 in Portland, Ore. and KSEG-FM 96.9 in Sacramento, along with iHeart’s WBGG-FM 105.9 in Miami, were playing the 25-year-old Tom Cochrane pop smash “Life Is A Highway.”

This isn’t a Classic Rock song?! I shouted out to no one in particular.

But, maybe it was. Taste change over time, and perhaps the Aerosmith, AC/DC, Van Halen and ZZ Top records had lived their course.

I was reminded by a noted consultant and industry observer that the Tom Cochrane track was a No. 6 rock hit at the time, and the Rascal Flatts cover version — now incredibly 10 years old — has found a whole new audience from its appearance in the animated film Cars and its presence on big ACs including WJXA-FM in Nashville.

To break the old R&R STREET TALK rule on overused song references: CH-CH-Changes matter for radio. Failure to react to changes in taste could lead to long-term declines in audience and revenue.

How should a radio station evolve with its listeners? Perhaps the C-Suite should look to Pepsico. 

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