Category: Radio History and Origins
In the 1940s most radio stations were programming radio dramas and variety shows. Then radio station owner Todd Storz, observing how people used jukeboxes, had an epiphany. He noticed that people would play certain songs more often than others. In fact, the most popular songs got played again and again. He felt that if radio programmed music the same way, playing the more popular songs more often, his radio audience would increase. With this belief and also the results of a study he had commissioned the University of Omaha to do, he converted his station KOWH in Omaha, Nebraska to this new format in called the format “Top 40”, since it concentrated the airplay on the 40 most popular songs, based on record sales in the region. Storz also created the disc jockey, the air personality who would talk into and out of the various the success of his Omaha station, Storz was able to purchase radio stations in New Orleans, Kansas City, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, and Miami, all using this new format. And soon, the rest of the country would be using it as well.