Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Seems like everyone gets a #1 this summer. Our 3rd new number one in as many weeks. Hot Chip takes it this week after just missing out last week. I thought maybe Thee Oh Sees would have an extended run but there could be some Thee Oh Sees fatigue out there since there is a new record every year.  Hot Chip is in a great position to hold on though as the closest competition is the Unknown Mortal Orchestra and of course Thee Oh Sees could come back.  Girlpool could be a bit of a wild card but we would need to see them jump into the top 3 next week to have a real shot at it.  Jamie XX cracked the top 10 and I could see that climbing to the top 5 but I doubt much further. 

As I have mentioned most of the adds over the last few weeks have performed in a way that leads us to believe they have no shot at #1. Last weeks #1 most added Mates of State did come in with the highest debut of the week but at #52.  Pins was #1 most added 2 weeks ago and that is now at #22 Three weeks ago Sharon Van Etten was #1 most added and is at #8. The last 2 records to get over 100 ADDS Thee Oh Sees and Hot Chip. 

This weeks ADDS race, while it did not likely produce a potential #1 record was a big reason why I love ADDS.  With ADDS you know where you stand the whole time. If you are down by one add you know it takes one add to tie. Whereas with the charts you could be at #11 and need 4 stations to get to #10. With ADDS you know what you need to do.  I love being in a race for #1 most added. It was a back and forth battle this week and when its summertime and no one is around it sometimes get difficult to pick up that phone and call that same station for the 10th time in the hopes they might be there. But with an ADDS race you can feel energized.  

I knew it would be a race from the start when I checked at 1pm on Monday with just 30 reporters Desaparecidos had 8 adds and Bully had 9.  At 7pm the 2 had flipped and Desaparecidos had 18 and Bully had 16.  

In the morning when I checked the lead for Desaparecidos was 1 and that was the last time we would lead.  The next update saw us down by 4. The next down by 5. We hovered around 5 for the next several updates and in the end it was not as close as it had felt early on with Bully taking #1 89-75.  But I will say it was fun.  It lead to one of the best #micdrop moments on Twitter in a while with Rachel from the syn 

Well done! 

The other big news to come out yesterday aside from the charts is the announcement that Christine Sanely is making the move over to Congrats to the team over there on the big move! 

Lets talk about whatever on Twitter. 

thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


A semi exciting week here in the dog days of summer. We had a pretty good race for #1 between Hot Chip and Thee oh Sees. It was neck and neck for a while and Hot chip had a few more stations. My Morning Jacket, Alabama Shakes and Unknown Mortal Orchestra were all in contention throughout. In the end Thee Oh sees came up on top and with no new contenders over the last several weeks I expect a battle between Hot Chip, Thee Oh Sees and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. You could even seen My Morning Jacket make a return to the top.

The summer can be pretty difficult to navigate as only 147 stations have reported each of the last 4 weeks and overall there have been 274.  We hit 233 this week and thats above the average we have been hitting. I would hesitate to call it a trend though.

Looking at the adds we have not had a record get anywhere near 100 for the last 3 weeks in a row. So that leads to a lack of real contenders for #1 Sharon Van Etten made top 10 this week but making a run at #1 seems a long shot. Last weeks number one most added Pins had the top debut at #38 but remember when those debuts were happening the week they went for adds and propelling the records to a top 15 debut? Maybe under 100 is the new normal for the summer and we might see one of these make a run but I would bet that 100 or close to is a magic number for predicting #1 records. This weeks #1 most added was Mates of State and I imagine they will do just as well as the last few that did not break 100.

While I was looking at the numbers this week between Thee Oh Sees and Hot Chip one of the first things i look at is how many #1's each record has.  I am never really sure how much of a predictor that is for being #1 but I always like to think that if a station has an overwhelming amount more #1's in their pocket they should come out on top. Now this is not always true as you could have all your #1's come from really small stations. And maybe one day we can look at the history of #'1s and how many number ones on average they have .. but not quite yet. So while looking I saw that Thee Oh sees did have a significant amount more #1s than Hot Chip.  I went ahead and looked up every record in the top 10



THEE OH SEESMutilator Defeated At LastCastle Face

HOT CHIPWhy Make Sense?Domino

MY MORNING JACKETThe WaterfallCapitol



BEST COASTCalifornia NightsHarvest

BLURThe Magic WhipWarner Brothers

DJANGO DJANGOBorn Under SaturnRibbon

GIRLPOOLBefore The World Was BigWichita

SHARON VAN ETTEN I Don't Want To Let You Down [EP]Jagjaguwar

So of course I found that very interesting... and had to keep looking... Like what was the highest charting record with NO #1's

Well I did not have to go far as it was #11's Surfer Blood 

The lowest charting record with the most #'1s 

Well Jamie XX at #15 had 8 #'1s 

Twenty One Pilots at #23 had 6 #1's 

What I really wanted to know is how many #1 records there were this week. I thought maybe there would be 50 maybe 75 as there are often stations that have random records at #1 that no other station charts.  What I found was pretty interesting. 
For this weeks charts with 233 reporters there were 115 different #1 records. 

26 of those #'1s would be that records only reporter 
In looking over a lot of these #'1s I have to imagine a lot of them are local bands the station is trying to promote or help out.  

The lowest charting record with a station charting them at #1? Rhett Miller at #195 had one station with them at #1 

But the names of records charted at #1 is pretty fantastic. 

Some station is still charting the last Smashing Pumpkins record... and of course it is at #1
Blues Traveler has a station with them at #1 
Stone Sour 
Between the Buried and me 
Veruca Salt 

While looking over the #'1s I did find it odd to see how many stations were charting singles.  In doing a search for singles over the CMJ playlists I pull up 212 singles being charted, that only leads to 3 singles being charted in the top 200, but those 3 only account for 42 of those 212 singles.  I have always been told and have thought of CMJ as an Album based format. However maybe this is changing? Or maybe this is not actually the case.  I did a few searches and found nothing saying CMJ is album based so perhaps it is a creation of the promoters?  

Would it be useful to have a singles and also an album chart? I don't know. I like believing CMJ is an Album based format because that is what I am used to and no single has ever gone to #1, as far as I know.  

Back to my original thought though, 115 different #1 records. So while there does seem to be a lot of parity at college radio it is interesting that a lot of stations do not mind using their #1 spot to promote something they really are into and I have no argument against that. 

Thank you for reading! 

Lets talk about it on Twitter  


Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Hello everyone! We have a new number one! My Morning Jacket have busted on though Alabama Shakes to take the #1 spot.  Congrats go out to the team over at The Syn, they have had a string of "not quite" so it has to feel good to break through.  Not that we should feel bad they have been working great records but as a wise man once told me there are 3 numbers he never wants to see in a report, 2, 6, 11.  The worst three numbers you can be on the chart.

The question now is how long can they hold on? Summer can be a time of slow movement so while Thee Oh Sees is knocking on the door at #2 there is a chance My Morning Jacket could hold on. Getting stations on board tends to take a bit longer and getting them to move on from a record also takes a bit longer.

Aside from Thee Oh Sees, Hot chip remains in contention but everything else looks pretty far away. Girlpool comes in at #12 and Sharon Van Etten at #21 and the highest debut of the week is Dawes at #41. It will take a  few weeks before any of these make a run at the top.

For this weeks ADDS we had another pretty weak ADD week with the top add getting only 71 adds. Pins was that #1.  In looking back I cannot find a record that has received under 75 adds ever making it to #1.  A few years ago the Decemberists in the second week of the year, so low reporting week anyways, got 85 ADDS but that is the lowest I can find.

We had a nice discussion on twitter last night about the CMJ charts and rankings. I encourage you to look back at it  Some of the fun I thought was the discussion on if you can tell the difference between a station that is weighted 1 and a station that is weighted 5.

Here are the stations I gave. Let me know if you can tell the difference ( if you don't already know)


The general discussion started because, and I am going to simplify, there are a lot of 1 weighted stations that do great jobs and are great people and in almost equal proportion there are a lot of 5 weighted stations that are rude and unresponsive and as a promoter you end up wishing the 1 was the 5 and vice versa.   While I do wish we could put a weight on niceness it does not work that way.  But rankings can change. As good as it would feel to call out stations that have been jerks in the past I will refrain, but there have been many occasions where a stations have been downgraded and there is nothing better than seeing it happen to a jerk.

Another point of discussion came from the new GM of CMJ :

"should pointed out that in many ways CMJ is playlist agnostic when it comes to weight

we are not an arbiter of taste in that respect. Charts report, not editorialize"

It is an interesting point for sure. The Charts do report but because of the weight system we can get a skewed view of what is happening at college radio. I do miss the days of the Core chart and the spins chart that gave us alternative views of what is happening at radio. Perhaps even an unweighted chart would be nice to see.  The good thing is that CMJ has shown in the past they are not afraid to change with college radio changing around them. So hopefully we see some changes in the near future.

Thanks for reading!

Happy summer.

Don't work on Fridays its nice outside.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015


Summer is here! I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day last week, I was in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.  Looks like I did not miss much. Alabama Shakes #1 again, Thee Oh Sees took #1 most added. There were under 200 reporters as I expected.  

This week we saw a bit of a rebound back to pre Memorial day numbers with 225 reporters (or 57% of our max more on that later) and yet another week with Alabama Shakes at #1.  

 My Morning Jacket did close the gap a little though. Currently Alabama shakes has 65% of the reporters and My Morning Jacket comes in with 55%. 

The question is then can they make up that 10% gap before Hot Chip, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Thee Oh Sees make a run.  I never say never with My Morning Jacket, people that play them tend to stick around for a long time so they could outlast a jump. They have in the past, but that was towards the end of the year.  But can Thee Oh Sees or "The Oh Sees" as some like to call them for some reason,  make a jump from 37% to closer to 60%? That is a lot to ask. 

Hot Chip only has to go from 44% to closer to 60%.  Or does Alabama Shakes just ride this out for another 4 weeks until something newer comes along?  

Things move slower in the summer so something that might normally be done after 3-4 weeks could live to be 5-6 weeks old.. A LIFETIME in college radio. 

57% of our max is not an exact science as CMJ does not hand over everyone that has a subscription, and there are those that have subscriptions and do not report for some reason. So to get that number I looked at everyone that has reported so far this year. I took this weeks total reporters and divided by that. So maybe we can start to see if it was a slow week or a busy week. So 57% for this week what would of last week been?  49% so there 8% of stations that took off from Memorial day.  Could be something fun to pay attention to or it could be dumb. It's summer I have the time to waste if I want to. 

And since I have more time to waste I thought It would also be fun to look at 2015 numbers so far and compare them to 2005.  For starters if we had the same number of reporters today with he max number of reporters we would of had in 2005 then it would of been 33% of all reporters!  Aside from just the drop in stations what else has changed. (keep in mind that my numbers are not 100% accurate but I think they are pretty close) 

I will present the numbers first: 

In 2005 there were 5, 6 weighted stations or 007% of the reporting panel 
In 2015 there are 3, 6 weighted stations or 007% of the reporting panel 

In 2005 there were 20, 5 weighted stations or 03% of the reporting panel 
In 2015 there are 17, 5 weighted stations or 04% of the reporting panel 

In 2005 there were 103, 4 weighted stations or 15% of the reporting panel 
In 2015 there are 81, 4 weighted stations or 20% of the reporting panel 

In 2005 there were 173, 3 weighted stations or 25% of the reporting panel 
In 2015 there are 122, 3 weighted stations or 30% of the reporting panel 

In 2005 there were 176, 2 weighted stations or 26% of the reporting panel 
In 2015 there are 96, 2 weighted stations or 24% of the reporting panel 

In 2005 there were 155, 1 weighted stations or 23% of the reporting panel 
In 2015 there are 79, 1 weighted stations or 20% of the reporting panel 

What stands out to you? 
Just so you know, CMJ does adjust the weights of stations from time to time. However it has been a while since a mass adjustment was made.  
I find it interesting that the 6 weighted stations hold the same exact power as they did back in 2005. 
If you add up the 1,2 and 3's and treat them as one group they are the same in 2005 as they were in 2015 accounting for 74% of all reporters.  The big differences seem to come at the 3 and 4 level. 

Questions I wonder are is a 1% difference in the 2nd highest category significant? Does it change the chart that much? 

I think the 5% difference in both the 3's and the 4's do make a difference. I really don't know if it is good or bad though.  I do think there should be yearly adjustments though, reviews on stations to improve their ranking if they so wish.  Maybe it could be something stations apply for.  "Hey I am a code 1 and we just went from cable to having 10 watts, so before no cows could hear us and now 3 cows can hear us. Upgrade?"  

Lastly there are some changes coming at CMJ,  I did not see them listed on yet so I won't announce them here but stay tuned. In light of these forthcoming changes what are some things you would change about CMJ? Could be anything. 

Anything. It is summer lets brainstorm on how we can make CMJ better and see if we can't bring about positive change! If you have ideas that are too long for twitter just email me. 

Look forward to seeing what you have to say! Thank you for reading. 



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