GUIDE TO RADIO STATION FORMATS

GUIDE TO RADIO STATION FORMATS

80’s Hits

Popular music and hits from the 1980s; can include a variety of genres
Adults Ages 35+

Active Rock

New and recent hard rock and heavy metal, with some alternative rock songs
Men Ages 25 to 44

Adult Contemporary

An adult-oriented pop/rock station with no hard rock, often with a greater emphasis on non-current music and softer hits from the 1980s and 1990s
Women Ages 25 to 54

Adult Hits

Does not adhere to a specific music genre; many adult hits stations play a mix of rock, pop, adult contemporary, and select oldies hits, predominantly drawing on music from the 1970s through the 2000s, including Classic Hits
Adults Ages 25+

Adult Standards/ Middle of the Road

Eclectic rock, often with wide variations in musical style
Adults Ages 25 to 44

Album Adult Alternative

Broad, diverse playlist; music tends to include numerous types of formats, often avoiding hard rock and rap music
Adults Ages 35+

Album Oriented Rock

Mainstream rock & roll, which can include guitar-oriented “heavy metal” and Classic Rock
Men Ages 25 to 44

All News

All-news, either local or national in origin, stations having this description must broadcast all-news programming during a majority of a normal broadcast day
Adults Ages 35+

All Sports

Listed only if all or a substantial block of a broadcast day is devoted to play-by-play, sports news, interviews or telephone-talk
Men Ages 25+

Alternative

Eclectic rock, often with wide variations in musical style
Adults Ages 25 to 44

Children’s Radio

Programming geared towards children often including music and spoken stories. The Family Hits format is similar, but likely contains more all-ages music geared towards older children
All Ages

Christian Adult Contemporary

Current, popular music, geared to a Christian adult audience; Contemporary Inspirational is a format with a similar style
Adults Ages 25+

Classic Country

An oldies format, focusing on the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, often paired with another type of programming
Adults Ages 25+

Classical

Classical music often includes opera, theater and/or culture-oriented news and talk
Adults Ages 35+

Comedy

Programming is humorous and comedic in nature; primarily talk programming
Adults Ages 25+

Country

Country music, including contemporary and traditional styles
Adults Ages 25+

Easy Listening

Primarily instrumental cover versions of popular songs, with more up-tempo varieties of this format including soft rock originals, which may be mixed with “smooth jazz” or adult standards
Adults Ages 35+

Educational

Primarily spoken-word, focused on offering educational programming
Variety of Ages

Gospel

Current gospel songs and sermons geared toward African-Americans
Adults Ages 35+

Hot Adult Contemporary

A variety of classic and contemporary mainstream music geared towards adults; some concentrate slightly more on mainstream pop music and alternative rock, while often excluding the more youth-oriented teen music
Adults Ages 25+

Jazz

Mostly instrumental; also includes music from the Blues genre
Adults Ages 25+

Mainstream Rock

Current rock, mainstream “alternative” and heavier guitar oriented hits
Teens & Adults Ages 20 to 25

Modern Adult Contemporary

An adult-oriented softer modern rock format with less heavy, guitar-oriented music than the younger new rock
Mostly Women Ages 25 to 44

New Country

Modern, current country music; popular hits
Adults Ages 25+

News Talk Information

A format devoted to informative news and talk programming; either local or national in scope
Adults Ages 35+

Nostalgia

A genre encompassing stations whose emphasis is on playing music from decades past; mainly focusing on the 1940s and prior
Adults Ages 35+

Oldies

Popular music, usually rock-oriented, with 80% or more, non-current music
Adults Ages 25 to 55

Pop Contemporary Hit Radio

Focuses on playing current popular, as determined by the top 40 music charts; includes Contemporary Hits Dance
Teens & Adults Ages 18+

Religious

Local or syndicated religious programming, often spoken-word, sometimes mixed with music
Adults Ages 25+

Rhythmic

Includes Rhythmic Adult Contemporary and Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio, which are often a cross between mainstream, Top 40 as well as urban contemporary formats; also includes Rhythmic Oldies concentrating on disco and dance genres
Adults Ages 25+

Smooth AC

Incorporating popular New AC/Smooth Jazz artists, while including more mainstream and urban adult contemporary material in an effort to reach a more diverse age demographic
Adults Ages 25+

Soft Adult Contemporary

A cross between adult contemporary and easy listening, primarily non-current, soft rock originals
Mostly Women Ages 25+

Southern Gospel

Country flavored gospel music, also includes the “Christian country” or “positive country” format
Adults Ages 25+

Spanish

Spanish-language programming, often paired with another type of programming including: Spanish Adult Hits, Spanish Contemporary, Spanish Contemporary Christian, Spanish Hot Adult Contemporary, Spanish News/Talk, Spanish Oldies, Spanish Religious, Spanish Sports, Spanish Tropical, Spanish Variety, Mexican Regional, Tejano, Latino Urban
Variety of Ages

Talk/Personality

Talk, either local or network in origin, which can be telephone-talk, interviews, information or a mix
Adults Ages 25+

Urban Adult Contemporary

Mix of contemporary R&B and traditional R&B; usually not including rap music
Adults Ages 25+

Urban Contemporary

Playlists made up mainly of hip hop, R&B, electronic dance music and Caribbean music
Teens and Adults Ages 15+

Urban Oldies

Primarily playing R&B music dating back to the late 1950s and the early 1960s through the early 1990s
Adults Ages 35+

Variety

Incorporating four or more distinct formats, either block-programmed or airing simultaneously
Variety of Ages

World Ethnic

Programs geared to various ethnicities, primarily in languages other than English
Variety of Ages

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