Today’s commercial radio-industry faces a persistent business problem. Much of it stems from the large number of highly desirable apps and useful streaming platforms that feature personalized music and podcasts. Clever rivalry among media specialists is not something new to the U.S. radio-industry. The astonishing success of television during the post-war years dramatically diminished the size of radio’s listening audience. Starting in the 1950s, successful radio broadcasters fought the rapid advancement of television by overhauling some of their out-of-date programs. Many influential large radio outlets including Westinghouse’s KYW rose to the occasion. In the case of KYW, its hands-on approach towards broadcasting enabled that 50,000-watt radio giant to regularly exercise its leadership role during its nine-year tenure in Cleveland.
Its ability to set aside its middle-of-the-road format in the early 1960s to become a leading Top 40 contender demonstrated KYW’s determination to succeed using sensible program improvements. This book will explore some of the methods used to achieve its business objectives and what lessons we might learn from its experience. The broadcasting model perfected by KYW-Cleveland may well help some of today’s struggling outlets that are forced to fight unyielding competition initiating from numerous new business fronts.