"Gen X Radio": Will It Slack or Succeed?

As a member of “Generation X,” I was among those once branded by the mainstream media as “slackers” destined to be part of a generation holding college degrees without much interest in the things our parents found important, like careers and families. We were all going to be like the characters in “Reality Bites” for as long as we lived, right?

Fast-forward more than a few years and the visions of an entire generation stuck working in coffee houses while trying to sort out our lives has been transformed. Now, we’re raising families and making significant business contributions, while sharing an experience stuck in between the much larger Baby Boomers and “Gen Y” groups in American society.

“Gen X” is now such a consumer force, with real buying power, the nation’s largest radio station group owner, Clear Channel, has created a format for us. Less than two weeks ago, “Gen X Radio” went on the air locally in Tulsa. If it works there, it’s safe to assume that Clear Channel will roll it out to other markets. But will it work? To get the best possible analysis for Tanner Friedman clients and friends, I asked global radio research and programming consultant Hal Rood of Strategic Radio Solutions. Here’s Hal’s take:

“This will be an interesting case study as this new station is targeting a media savvy demographic group with very diverse tastes. One might even say that Generation X is more like a tribe of individualists than a common community. There was a vast foray of music and specialized radio station formats during the time that this demographic was developing their music tastes so it will be interesting to see if fans of certain genres of music like Grunge and Hair Bands will listen to Hip Hop and Boy Bands that were also popular during the 80s and 90s. If the station does not reflect the generation’s common tastes or point of view, the GenXers will see the disingenuousness from a mile away and the station’s “GenX” name will be a hindrance more than rocket fuel.”

OK, Xers, what do you think? What if “GenX Radio” came to your hometown? Would you listen?