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Research and Stats

Radio Format Profiles

Radio Format Profiles help you examine the demographics of your audience.
  Format Description
* How to Read MRI Radio Format Reports  

**Radio Format Highlights For all Radio formats: A brief one-sheet overview featuring key demographics (gender, age, median age, household income, median household income, education, and occupation). 

Adult Contemporary (A/C) An adult-oriented pop/rock station. The Adult Contemporary station will play many of the same records as are currently heard on mainstream CHR stations or were part of mainstream CHR in the '80s and '90s but will leave out those that are at the extremes of rock, rhythmic and rap. The target audience runs from 25 to 54 and may skew. 

Adult Hits Format not included in 2013 DoubleBase. 2012 left in for reference. Promoted as "We Play What We Want" with playlist that draws from music from the '70s forward and commonly known as "Jack," "Bob," et al. 

Adult Standards Easy Listening American popular standards mixed with soft popular music, mainly vocal. 

All News This station broadcasts continuous news and information for all of the hours it is on the air. 

All Sports Talk shows focusing on sports. Play-by-play coverage of sports is not included in this format. 

All Talk Talk shows of general interest or varied topics. Can be of both the call-in and straight interview type. 

Alternative An eclectic playlist based on rock music but with some other forms of music such as blues, folk and jazz included. The target audience is generally from ages 25 to 54.  

Classic Hits A blend of rock and pop music of the late '60s through early '80s with an emphasis on rock and a total absence of any of the dance music that was part of the pop music in this period. 

Classic Rock Mainstream rock of the '60s, '70s and '80s with little or no current rock music included. 

Classical Airplay of orchestral music, chamber music, opera and other forms of non-contemporary vocal music. 

Contemporary Hits Radio (CHR) A format that focuses on current popular music, often encompassing a variety of styles from rock through dance, that appears on the mainstream music charts in music industry trade publications such as Billboard. 

Country A station playing a variety of country music styles. Although this station will play music currently listed in music industry trade publication charts in Billboard, the amount of older country music played on the station may vary greatly between 25% and 75% of the playlist. 

Ethnic Programs primarily in languages other than English and/or directed to groups of specific national origin. These stations often utilize block programming in which programs in one language or of one national group target are folowed by programs of a different language or national group target. 

Gospel Traditional gospel music and spirituals. The code may also be used as a "catch all" for a station that mixes both black and southern gospel. The format may also include teaching and ministry programs of varying lengths programmed throughout the broadcast day. 

Hispanic (All Genres) Any music, news or informational programming in the Spanish language. Includes Salsa, Merengue, Latin Rock, Regional Mexican, Spanish Contemporary, Spanish Variety, Tejano and Spanish Caribbean. 

Hot Adult Contemporary (Hot AC) Adult CHR might be another way of looking at this format. The Hot Adult Comtemporary station plays much of the same music as the CHR station but avoids music that appeals only to the younger CHR listeners. GfK MRI does not currently measure Hot AC as a distinct format. RAB created this report using a hybrid of the Adult Contemporary and CHR formats. 

Hot Country Hot Country stations feature the hot country artists and tunes that climb to the top of the Country Music Charts (and frequently cross over to AC and/or CHR charts). GfK MRI does not currently measure Hot Country as a distinct format. RAB created this report using a hybrid of the Country and CHR formats. 

Hurban A blend of Spanish and English urban music. May also include “Reggaeton” or Spanish hip-hop music. GfK MRI does not currently measure Hurban as a distinct format. RAB created this report using a hybrid of the Latin/Hispanic/Spanish and Urban formats. 

Jazz A station that programs music either traditional jazz or smooth jazz or some blend of the two. 

Mexican/Tejano/Ranchera Ranchera is Mexico's country music. Stations with this format play this music to the virtual exclusion of all other forms. With the Tejano format, stations play Tex-Mex music predomiantly, but some Regional Mexican music may also be programmed. The announcing is generally in English or is bi-lingual and often a flow between Spanish and English known as "Spanglish" is heard. 

News/Talk A talk station with a heavy news and information orientation. The News/Talk station has a news block in one or more dayparts. 

Oldies Popular music of the '50s, '60s and '70s. Current popular music is played in only rare exceptions. 

Public Radio Public Broadcasting is funded by the public (rather than through commercial advertising), with funding coming from individuals or through state or national subsidies. Some public broadcasters supplement this with contributions with grants from corporations, which may receive a limited amount of promotional airtime in return. Public stations may offer virtually any type of programming, but the majority emphasize news/information and educational formats. The stations may be affiliated with schools or colleges.  

Religious/Christian Music, information or teaching with appeal to a wide variety of audiences. Music may include: Black Christian, Black Gospel, Christian, Christian MOR, Christian Rock, Contemporary Christian, Gospel, Inspirational, Light Contemporary Christian, MOR Gospel, Religious Choral or Instrumental, Christian Country, Southern Gospel. 

Rhythmic Contemporary hit music that focuses on rhythmic or dance club music. 

Rock Mainstream rock as defined by the artists that appear and have appeared on the "rock" charts in the music industry trade publications such as Billboard. 

Soft AC Lite Rock An Adult Contemporary station that plays only the softest contemporary pop recordings and leans very heavily on airplay of soft-sounding pop records from the '60s and '70s. 

Spanish AC A station that focuses on current Latino popular music with announcing primarily in Spanish.  

Tropical This is a format of mainly Caribbean Latin music. While tropical is at the center of the format, other Caribbean forms such as Cumbia, Merengue and Salsa may be incorporated. 

Urban (All Genres) Covers all Urban formats including Black, hip-hop, R&B Oldies, Rap, Rhythm & Blues, Urban AC and Urban CHR. 

Urban Oldies Soul and R&B music records of the '60s and '70s that received airplay on the CHR stations of those decades. GfK MRI does not currently measure Urban Oldies as a distinct category. RAB created this report using a hybrid combinding listeners to Urban and Oldies formats. 

Variety A station that incorporates three or more distinct formats, either block programmed or simultaneously.