As a radio geek, stunt formats and frequency swaps naturally appeal to me. For the past two weeks, I have been enjoying the stunt format on 100.3 FM. It’s a mishmash of sound bites that are supposed to drive listeners away and get them to stop listening before new management takes over next week. Some of them succeed at being annoying, such as the sound of vuvuzelas, but most of the crazy clips are more entertaining than the programming they replaced.
I have been enthralled by audio of Cas Walker describing his plan to hire security guards who will “jump on” any thieves at his grocery stores and swear that it was the thieves who jumped on them. The best sound clip is from a fairly lengthy TV news report on the preparations for the 1982 World’s Fair.
My family and I have also enjoyed the themes from “Reading Rainbow” and “The Banana Splits” mixed in with some swanky elevator music and Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours.” I couldn’t tune away from a three-song sweep of “Dominique” into “It’s Tricky” into “Laughter in the Rain.”
Several of the segments sound like they were lifted straight off of YouTube. We laughed at an English-as-a-second-language lesson teaching idioms such as “I’m broke.” A group that sounded like a wedding band doing a cover of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls.” They also played the audio from an old cartoon that explained when a Chiquita Banana is ready to eat.
Although I loved the tune-out format, I think the station’s outgoing management missed a huge opportunity. They could have achieved the same effect of no listeners while making a boatload of money selling the time to local candidates for their negative campaign ads.