Monday, December 4, 2006

Not Exactly Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree... More Like Easy Listenin'

People take their Christmas music very, very seriously. So it's probably no surprise that oldies radio station "K-Earth" (KRTH-FM 101.1) is catching some heat for adding softer, more adult contemporary-sounding Christmas music to its mix.

Reader Scott fills us in:

They've mostly dropped the Elvis, Sinatra, Chipmunks, Beach Boys, and Bing Crosby, and switched to KOST-y stuff like Mannheim Steamroller, Cliff Richard, Air Supply, Kenny Loggins, and the Carpenters. Pretty jarring to hear easy-listening coming out of a Stones or Beatles track!

Word is the PD used to be over at KOST.

For me, Xmas is the only time I listen to KRTH, specifically to hear those great Phil Spector, Elvis, and Beach Boys tunes that nobody else plays, so I'm fairly bummed. I can't stand the cheesey stuff they're playing.

Scott is correct: Former KOST/KBIG program director Jhani Kaye took over K-Earth earlier this year. And I'm sure Kaye opened his KOST playbook in formulating this year's K-Earth Christmas mix. (KOST, after all, shot to the top of the Arbitrons last year after going wall-to-wall Christmas).

But that means both stations' holiday music mix sounds too similar for some listeners' tastes. Fans of the old K-Earth Christmas mix have even launched a blog to keep tabs on which tunes K-Earth is playing -- and to urge listeners to request more of the up-tempo oldies.

Meanwhile, I'm guessing neither K-Earth nor KOST play my favorite holiday track, the Pogues' "Fairytale of New York."

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