The Web site of radio station KCJK-FM, known as 105.1 Jack FM, features a picture of an iPod and the taunt: “Guess you won’t be needing this thing anymore, huh?”
After years of tight playlists and narrow music formats, KCJK in Kansas City, Mo., is trying to prove that it can give listeners the same thing an iPod does: an eclectic selection of music.
Previously, like most stations, 105.1 let computer scheduling programs pick the songs from a library of 300-400 titles, with the same 30-40 songs playing most of the time. Now the station is going against the grain of the past two decades in radio, more than tripling the number of song titles played on any given day. With more than 1,200 songs on the playlist, most songs get played only once every few days, rather than several times a day. Program director Mike O’Reilly and his assistants handpick the music and the order in which they are played.