Among the things more than three decades of consulting has taught me: every market situation is different and every station within those markets is unique.
When a format is down nationally and your station or show is also off about the same percentage, it's not time to beat yourself up too much. Music trends, events and buzz move up and down over time and of course it's possible for a great radio station's programmer to foresee those evolutions and adjust rotations and other non-music elements to compensate better than the average PD did.
That's what separates the cream of the crop. Moving up when most other stations in your format feels good. It takes a special skill set to understand what it takes to achieve it. Consultants and researchers are very helpful in teaching what it takes to out-perform.
However, when everyone else in your format us up and you are down, that's the time when you really need to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you know what happened or if you need to call for expert assistance.
"Arbitron Ratings: Radio audience figures, compiled with no basis in science or reason, used to fire Air Personalities." — Gerry House (from “Glossary Of Terms” in “Country Music Broke My Brain”)
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