Listener tastes are not carved in stone. They are more like icebergs floating through the ocean, constantly changing shape.
Radio stations grow in this sea of change not by maintaining the status quo but instead responding to these changes.
This continual evolution of listener expectations requires continual innovation and change.
Formats need to evolve to remain relevant, but too often ownership, general managers and programmers (particularly when things appear to be going well) are more comfortable maintaining the status quo.
Its human nature. Most people fear change. On top of that, the more successful the station the more tempting it is to just keep doing what your doing.
The larger the organization, the more maintaining the status quo seems like the safe thing to do.
Multi-station groups develop a “best practices” mentality based on prior successes. If it works in market A, it ought to work in market B.
The assumption might be true in some limited circumstances over limited time-frames, but continual changes in listener expectations can turn prior successes into future failures.
Even once it is clear that maintaining the status quo isn’t tenable and that change is necessary there’s still a reluctance to change.
This reluctance leads to the dragging of feet, half measures, timidity, and incremental change—all deadly if a station wants to remain relevant.
Next time you're tempted to leave things alone, remember: If you think change is dangerous, try the status quo. It is lethal.