Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Sometimes it can be very frustrating to work in College Radio. Working with College students can be a lot of fun but it can become difficult when a new Music Director is never taught by the previous one. Or if there is a new station that starts reporting to CMJ where do they go to learn how to do things?  

Sure I would hope they would come to me, or one of the many other music promoters but often times those stations that are in need of our help do not know we are here to help them.  In the cases we do get in touch with these new people not all of them follow our suggestions because really at this point  that is all they are. Suggestions.  

As far as I can tell there are no written rules when it comes to reporting to CMJ. Sure I know what you can and cannot do because I have been here for a hot minute, but how would a new MD or new station know.   You can search and there is the guide written by Laura from Distiller and of course I have written many things here to try and help people but nothing from CMJ itself. 

Let's just talk about ADDS for a second, once again. 

I could go through and tell you all the adds that don't make sense. But lets just stick to the records I work. 

Front Bottoms, New order (5) , Silversun Pickups (2), Maritime, Editors, Moving Panoramas (2), World is a Beautiful Place and I am no longer afraid to die (2), Son Little (3), Motion City Soundtrack, Arcs 

All got adds this week. That might not seem like a lot but when you are actively pushing an artist that misses the ADDS chart by 7 adds then 19 wrongly added records means a lot.  

This happens every week but this week the absurdity of allowing stations to ADD records that are not going for adds really got to me as one station ADDED a record that went for adds on October 5th. So that alone is not too bad as you can see from the above someone added Arcs this week and that went for adds on SEPTEMBER 7th!!!  But what really got to me about this station was the fact that they had already been charting this record for a week before adding it this week. 

So this station obviously has no idea what they are doing. It is not their fault. There should be either a system that prevents such mistakes on CMJ or at the very least a simple "Welcome to College Radio reporting" page on the CMJ site. If it were me I would just make ADDS that are not going for ADDS unreportable. There problem solved. I would rather have stations not doing adds or adding only 4 records than wasting spaces for records they already have in rotation. 

I am frustrated with having to have this conversation weekly, given that there is an easy fix. I am starting to feel like the old man telling kids to get off their lawn and maybe I am, or maybe we just have this "problem" because there is no clarification from CMJ. At this moment everything I say and will ever say about ADD are suggestions. Suggestions that I think 90% of other promoters would back. 

So why does this even matter? Well adding a record a week late is not the end of the world for sure. It usually just impacts the ADD week but what about the station that ADDEd ARCS this week. Not only does this not help Arcs. It ends up having an impact on so many other records. This station happens to be a big station so them just adding it now means that the Arcs will have a bit of extra time on the chart maybe robbing other records of time on the charts. 

So in leu of there being an official page on the CMJ site let me try and help those of you that may not know.  When doing adds check your promoters/ labels emails to see what is "going for adds" If you don't see it, don't add it. There is also a page on the CMJ site that says "going for adds" most promoters update this with CMJ so check there.  And that is it. Your ADD order does not matter, if you add just one or if you add five does not matter. Just add the right records. This has nothing to do with the type of records you add. Just add them on the right week. 

This has nothing to do with the charts. We can tackle that another time. 

Now on to this weeks charts. 

WE HAVE A NEW #1 Churches takes the #1 spot, pretty much walking up there and taking it. Surely just a placeholder until the next Beach House but lets enjoy this time away from our Beach House overlords.  The next few weeks ( until the new Beach House whenever that may be ) will be interesting with a slew of records that should be jockeying for the #1 spot with Wavves, Protomartyr, Kurt Vile, New Order and lets keep an eye on Deer Hunter and Neon Indian but I would not be shocked to see Chvrches hold it for a while and I would also not be shocked to see 3 or for different #1's. We could finally see some volatility. 

Joanna Newsom ran away with #1 most added with Fuzz right behind. Not sure if either of these will have a shot at #1. In the past Joanna has done well with ADDS but is never really a #1 contender but I hear this record is more accessible so maybe we will see a push. 

We have 6 more reporting weeks left in the year! How many #1's will we have? 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Welcome back everyone. If you were at the CMJ marathon I hope you had a great time. I hope we got to meet up as well. If you were not at CMJ I hope you had a nice break from us promoters.

One thing I have always wondered about the CMJ break is how stations deal with it. Do those spins just disappear? Do you combine them with the next week. Seems like there should be some ground rules given by CMJ in this area but as far as I know there are none.  I would be curious to hear what you do at your station.  I think I would combine the 2 weeks into one.

It is always hard to tell what will happen the week after CMJ, aside from knowing that Beach House will be #1. Last reporting week we had a handful of HUGE adds in Wavves, New Order, Protomartyr and Chvrches if there was a chart last week where do you think they would of been? I think they would look a lot like this weeks so I am leaning towards thinking last week just did not exist at all.

Last reporting week we also had one of our largest reporting weeks since the Spring with 282 reporters and it looked like we were close to cracking that 300 station barrier. Now I am not sure if we would of or not but CMJ had a bit of a breakdown this week sometime around 1pm and did not come back to functionality until early this morning. As a result there were only 235 reporters.  Last years week 41 we had 288 reporters as a comparison.  235 reporters this time of year is pretty ridiculous but it seems to becoming the new new normal.  While the overall number of reporting stations in 2015 is only down by 10 the volume per week seems to be way down.

In 2014 the average number of stations to this point in the year was 260 stations a week.

In 2015 the average number of stations per week is 240.

So 20 less stations are reporting a week on average. It is pretty weird that the overall number of stations is still around the same but that the number choosing to submit charts is down that much.

If you did not report this week or you don't report regularly I would love to know why.

Because CMJ was down a significant amount of time it is hard for me to really look at these charts without thinking what could of been. Chvrches and Beach House are the only 2 records with over 100 stations and everyone from 3-16 are in the 76-85 station range.  So its pretty easy to say that one big station reporting would of made a huge impact on the chart.  Next week it will be interesting to see if which of these records start to stand out.

Neon Indian took #1 most added but with the firepower that is out there now I don't expect any run to the top for them.

We have 7 more reporting weeks left in the year.  What do you think will happen?

Lets talk on Twitter. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


Week 40! Can you believe there are only 8 more reporting weeks left? Sounds nuts when I write it out.  Next week of course is the CMJ MARATHON! I am looking forward to seeing so many of you there!  If you have not seen I am on a fantastic Panel with some great people ... here is the write up for it

    I Am A College Radio Promoter: Ask Me Anything

    Wednesday, October 15 | 10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. | Dream Downtown - The Gallery The college radio DJ and college radio promoter relationship is an interesting one, ranging from highly contentious debates to meeting up for shows. Promoters are a station’s direct line to the music industry but for a number of reasons, the lines of communication can sometimes be scrambled. We’re giving everyone a chance to clear the air and ask anything (and we mean anything) about the trade from a collection of the best college radio promoter pros out there. Douglas Blake, Co-Founder, Pirate! Hannah Carlen, Radio Director, Secretly Group Shil K. Patel, Head of Radio Promotion, Team Clermont Caroline Shadood, Director of Radio, Mute Jessica Weber, Owner, co-sign


I am excited to announce all future blogs will appear on the relaunched Medium Rotation.  Find that and more! T...