Blog: Tim Martz

If Clear Channel Radio had had its druthers, Detroit's 104.7 The Oasis smooth jazz channel would've been static buzz. This week radio broadcaster and station owner Tim Martz talks guerrilla radio strategy and on how Detroiters effected 104.7's reversal of misfortune.

Post 1: Why did we dial into Detroit?

Metro Detroit has had to fight for its smooth jazz station, but we're in the business of giving the D formats that Detroiters want.  
Martz Communications Group had traditionally been a small market radio broadcaster until 10 years ago when we engineered a move into Montreal and programmed a Top 40 radio station for that market.  Based on our success in Montreal, we've looked for other opportunities to engineer moves into other major radio markets and we jumped on the opportunities to move into Detroit and Pittsburgh.

We think Detroit is a great market with major potential.  Much maligned, it has so much going for it that does not make the national media.  Now that the economy and auto industry has stabilized and shown signs of coming back, so has Detroit.  It's the 9th largest market in the country and it would be crazy to pass Detroit up.  

Market radio revenues offer the best barometer of the state of the economy.  Once at nearly $250M annually, it plummeted to $150M three years ago, and has steadily started to come back.  Current year estimates are in the $180-$190M range.

Detroit is also a great music and radio market, with so many innovations as well as historic musical roots.  Detroit was and is one of the best jazz markets in the country, and its radio stations reflected and tapped into the jazz market - first WJZZ and more recently CBS Radio's V98.7.  When CBS dropped the smooth jazz format two years ago for yet another Top 40 format, it left a huge void in the market.  It was that void that attracted us and we targeted it from the moment we got the license.

We launched 104.7 The Oasis on April 20 and have been overwhelmed by the response from Detroiters.  According to Arbitron, the June ratings (released to the public July 13) show The Oasis with nearly 100,000 in weekly listeners.

The Detroit radio audience shares similarities with other large urban markets, especially Chicago and but Detroit is arguably one of the strongest jazz markets in the country.  Smooth Jazz has a strong history in Metro Detroit and we're really excited to see where we can take 104.7 The Oasis.