Saturday, April 25, 2009

Commercial Rock Station does Format Publicity Stunt as Kung Pao FM

This sounds more like an April Fool's joke to me, but word is that Virginia commercial rock station WXMM has changed format (as of 5pm Thursday) and is now playing Chinese music under the moniker Kung Pao FM. According to their website:

As we continue to ride the economic roller coaster, radio finds itself in an interesting, yet exciting period. In its existence. Radio has been a viable medium for over 80 years because of its ability to change to reflect the times and the ever-changing tastes and lifestyles of it’s audience. A new era has dawned for the industry and once again we must evaluate where we are and where we are going. With iPods and other music delivery services now available, Radio must continue to change to meet the times.

Earlier this year, Max Media undertook the most ambitious project that this industry has ever seen. With the help of Harris Research, the company launched an intensive research project. Hundreds of focus groups were hosted. Ten of thousands of phone interviews were conducted. A direct mail questionnaire was sent nationally to over 1.8 million radio listeners like you. And then the arduous project of looking at the numbers and seeing what they mean and where they point us began. And today, with Hampton Roads as its first market, 100.5 is poised to begin the next generation of terrestrial Radio formats. The research is in and the numbers are irrefutable. The large gaping formatic hole that has been all but ignored? Classic Chinese Hits. This is a very exciting time and we are both humbled and honored to be at the forefront of this new wave of music programming. So please welcome to 100.5, the first of what will soon be a worldwide musical revolution. The Classic Chinese Hits sound of Kung Pao 100.5. Let the music begin!

An article on said that the station played nothing but traditional instrumental Chinese music on Friday. Sounds pretty awesome to me and I know that my 3-year-old daughter would love it. She's a huge fan of Chinese music (there's a ton of it at our public library), so this station would be her dream come true.

But, I'm less than optimistic about the real motives of the station based on their offensive branding (Kung Pao. really?). On the surface it's not a respectful approach to Chinese culture, so it is probably a stunt. Rumor has it that the station will become classic rock station "Beer 100.5." Yikes.

1 comment:

Wolf said...

I think your right take a look at the questions for joining their "Insurgent Club". I agree with you, I am a bit saddened, I would enjoy a world music channel or even an East Asian channel. Well I guess the best we can do is cross our fingers and hope for the best.