South Florida Sun Sentinel from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on October 5, 1987 · Page 85
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South Florida Sun Sentinel from Fort Lauderdale, Florida · Page 85

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Issue Date:
Monday, October 5, 1987
Page 85
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Weekly Business, Monday, October ,5. 1987 7, MEDIA AM radio station hopes to motivate listeners By DAVID ALTANER Business Writer One South Florida AM radio station is playing its own hits. The Michael Jackson, Madonna and U2 of this station are Wayne Dyer, John Naisbitt, and Leo "Dr. Hug" Buscaglia. Oldies but goodies are W. Clement Stone and Napoleon Hill, of Think and Grow Rich fame. Rather than DJs, the station has AJs, or author jockeys. Pompano Beach station WWNN, 980 on the diat bills itself at the first motivational radio station. That means 24 hours of advice on how to stop procrastinating, how to cut your cholesterol intake or how to get rich quickly or slowly, depending on your taste. Its top hits are pop psychologists, nutritionists, would-be prophets like Megatrends author Naisbitt, and business and personal motivation speakers. It's the station for baby boomers who find it hip to be square, says station President Joseph Nuckols, copping lyrics from a Huey Lewis and the News tune of a few years back. "When you reach 40, things happen," said Nuckols, who turned 40 in July. "You realize, I may not grow up to be president; I may not grow up to be a movie star. But even though you're not going to grow up to be a movie star, you can improve yourself little by little." "Years ago, everybody was out to change the system, and they found they can't change the system, so they change themselves," said Ed Bauer of Nightingale-Co-nant, which produces the tapes for WNNN. Until July, WWNN was WWHR. As recently as February, the station had undergone a format change from an oldies station, WBSS, to a '60s soul syndicated format, WWHR, with AM stereo sound. Before that, it was WFIP, also oldies, and before that it was WLOD, easy listening. Nuckols and a group of investors bought the station from Sunrise Broadcasting Corp. in July for $1.4 million. Nuckols, who was station director of WN JY, 94-FM, in Riviera Beach until January, said he felt that there's already enough music and talk show-oriented radio stations in South Florida. So he conceived the motivational radio format because he likes motivational tapes, and he felt others would, too. "It's become a $200 million-a-year business," he said, citing motivational speakers like Zig Ziglar, who charge companies thousands of dollars for a day-long seminars. The format changes only slightly throughout the day. Insomniac listeners can lull themselves to sleep with the nasal drone of John Naisbitt. Or they can wake up to him on their clock radio. In the evenings, programming is oriented toward personal relationships, while during the day, it might be slightly more business-oriented, Nuckols said. Advertisers include a dentist offering a $9.95 introductory special, an accountant, a car dealer, and some brokerage firms. The announcers banter with listeners, announce contests, and read the weather like DJs at other stations. They introduce four-to five-minute tapes, condensations of 50- to 60-minute tapes put out by Nightingale-Co-nant, a Chicago company. "It's an idea that's long overdue," Bauer said. The company's chairman emeritus, Earl Nightingale, has a five-minute motivational radio show that's syndicated to 500 stations, Bauer said. The 30-year-old company pub- Z tiisr. Sif2fe - .W " ' 1 ' ' i I : . t J , I -? - . 4 HifeQ--Pi nr - ; - -gwter.. ... .hJ j : XSFAtr-ft- zZtri - r fa SB J; tmmrmi Wahzim W I t C I'? Cliff Mitchell is an author jockey rather than a disc jockey at the motivational radio station. Staff photoDEBORAH J. MEEKS Joe Nuckols is co-owner of WWNN, 980-AM. lishes 130 motivational and non-fiction book cassettes by 80 diffferent authors. Although radio industry officials say they know of no other all-motivational stations in the U.S., unorthodox formats are popping up periodically these days. A New York station has adopted an all-sports format, a Washington-area station had an all-joke format for a time, and an Arkansas station does all childrens' programming, said Susan Kraus of the National Association of Broadcasters. WWNN does its own editing. Station employees have boiled about 400 tapes into four to five-minute segments, and they'll stop when they have about 3,000 segments, program director Dick Fatherley said. If the format works, they hope to syndicate it to other radio stations. The station plays about 50 different segments each day, and repeats them each three or four times daily. "People who listen to motivational cassettes are trained to listen to them over and over again," Nuckols said. "They know the repetition is important." Broadcaster Cliff Mitchell says he doesn't mind being an author jockey instead of a disc jockey. "This is probably a broadcaster's dream." he said. "The difference between a jock ?nd a broadcaster is imparting a message, a u- .his is imparting a message." Nuckols is wa:ting for a cassette of Nor-matt Vincent Ptale ? Power of Positive Thinking, and he covets anything by How to Win Friends and Influence People guru Dale Carnegie. Ratings on the siation won't be in until January, but Nuckols said a promotion last week attracted 500 calllers. Another South Florida radio station with a format out of the norm also debuted in July. FM station WXDJ, 95.7-FM in Homestead plays light classical, soft jazz and "new age," music, a soft music that appeals to baby boomers. "I think anything unique, and anything different is good for radio," said station President Joe Davidman. Of WNNN he said, "there's a lot of interest in sales and motivational literature. How big an audience they'll attract I don't know, but I think they are going to attract a loyal audience."

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