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Subject: AEJ 95 GrubbM MME Managers' attitudes on station format changes
From: Elliott Parker <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:AEJMC Conference Papers <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 3 Feb 1996 10:20:32 EST
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A STUDY OF RADIO STATION MANAGERS' ATTITUDES ON
STATION FORMAT CHANGES
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A paper submitted to the
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
Media Management and Economics Division
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
by
Max V. Grubb
B.S.C. Ohio University 1979
M.A. Kent State University 1994
Doctoral Student Ohio University
 
10309A Porter Lane
Athens, OH 45701
(614) 797-3700
Email: [log in to unmask]
 
 
 
 
RUNNING HEAD: RADIO FORMAT CHANGES
 
ABSTRACT
A STUDY OF RADIO STATION MANAGERS' ATTITUDES
ON STATION FORMAT CHANGES
 
        The radio industry currently operates in a different environment from the
 
          pre-1980s period.  The drive for deregulation led to changes in the
types
 
          of management and in the competitive environment.  This study examines
the
 
          dynamics of change management and radio station format changes.  Force
 
        field theory was used as the theoretical underpinning for exploring the
 
         dynamics of radio station format changes.  Personal interviews and a
survey
 questionnaire were the methodologies used for this study.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A STUDY OF RADIO STATION MANAGERS' ATTITUDES ON STATION FORMAT CHANGES
        The radio industry has been operating under a regulatory atmosphere since
 
          its inception over 70 years ago.  Broadcast regulation originated with
the
 
          Wireless Act of 1910 and the Radio Act of 1912 (Head, Sterling, and
 
     Schofield, 1994, 156).  The Radio Act of 1927 and the Communications Act of
 1934 were enacted to establish that the airwaves resource be used as a
 
         public trust and not as private property.  Licenses were issued to
those
 
          who made a commitment to operate and use this scarce resource in the
public
 interest. The trusteeship approach to broadcast regulation was established
 with this legislation.  This trusteeship model would last until the
 
      deregulation of the early 1980s (Simmons, 1978, 27).
        Today, the radio industry operates in a different environment from the
 
         pre-1980s period.  The deregulation of the 1980s brought about
tremendous
 
          change for station managers.  Deregulation included changes in the
number
 
          of stations owned, the length of time of ownership, and the addition
of new
 radio stations.  The drive for deregulation led to changes in the types of
 ownership, the type of management, the number of radio stations, and the
 
          competitive environment (Anderton and Sanders, 1992, 6).
        One result of these changes is that radio station managers operated in
 
         increasingly competitive conditions.  To survive, radio managers needed
to
 
          incorporate change as an integral part of the operations of their
 
   organizations.  Fierce competition for listeners and advertising revenue
 
          resulted in the need for radio managers to adapt and change as their
 
      environments changed.
        Change certainly is not limited to the broadcasting industry.  Many
 
      companies have experienced change in today's business world.  Buzzwords
 
         such as reinventing, restructuring, and reengineering have been used to
 
         describe businesses' response to change.  Academicians and
professionals
 
          have observed not only that businesses need to change and adapt to new
 
        environments, but also that these businesses need to incorporate change
as
 
          a fundamental part of their organizations.  Radio station managers'
 
     attitudes toward programming change is the focus of this study (Byrne,
 
        1992, 62). LITERATURE REVIEW
        Radio station format changes and change management were the main topics of
 this research.  This section contains a review of the literature
 
   pertaining to these topics.  It begins with an overview of the development
 
          and changes in radio programming and formats.  A review of the
definitions
 
          and types of change are then presented.  Concluding this section is a
 
       discussion of change management.
Radio Station Programming
        The terms programming and formats are often used interchangeably in
 
      describing a radio station's over-the-air product.  O'Donnell, Hausman,
and
 Benoit define programming as "the placement of elements within the
 
     broadcast day" of a radio station.  They define format as that which
 
      "pertains to the entire overall strategy of the station" (O'Donnell,
 
      Hausman, and Benoit, 1989, 73).
        Radio's programming 50 years ago was similar to television programming
 
         today.  No one in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s or early 1950s had a favorite
 
         radio station (N. Anthony, personal communication, March 20, 1993).
What
 
          people did have were favorite programs.  People would choose to listen
to
 
          comedies, dramas, mysteries, quiz shows, and musical programs on
various
 
          radio stations.  In this type of radio programming, commonly called
block
 
          programming, the radio station used, for example, a comedy show for
one t
 
          wo-hour block, then would air either dramas, variety shows or musical
shows
 for the next hour or two.  For their programming, most of the stations
 
         relied on radio networks for delivery of these shows.  Some independent
 
         stations would program using local talent and have studio orchestras
for
 
          local shows (Keith, 1987, 1-2).  In the 1950s radio faced an
unpleasant
 
         reality as television emerged and began offering the same type of
 
   programming.  In fact, many of the shows previously on radio had moved to
 
          television, and so had the audience and advertisers.   Radio networks'
loss
 to television of national advertising caused them to cut back programming
 
          offered to affiliate stations.  With their listenership declining,
local
 
          radio stations started to play more and more records as an inexpensive
 
        alternative to producing their own shows (Vivian, 1991, 185).  As a
result,
 block programming, which depended on the radio networks, was abandoned as
 
          a strategy for radio (Keith, 1987, 2).
        At the time of the emergence of television, rock`n'roll also established
 
          itself in the field of music.  Hit playlists of record stores were
being
 
          dominated by the new music (Keith, 1987, 2-3).  Some radio stations
started
 airing this new form of pop music.   Anthony reported that during this
 
         period the "all format" made its appearance in radio.  Radio would play
one
 type of music, for example, top 40 or country, all day instead of using
 
          block programming.  In his book, Keith observed that a new period had
begun
 for radio:
                It was the dawning of a new era, of program specialization and
 
  selectivity. Radio            broadcasters began to narrow their programming to gain
 a share of the listening               audience that would generate advertiser
 
     interest.  The day when radio stations could               successfully broadcast in a
 
          random fashion was coming to a close for all but a few                stations
(Keith,
 
          1987, 2).
        The first format to appear was a form of hit rock 'n' roll music called
 
          top 40.  The term was created in reference to the airing of the top 40
 
        favorite songs as determined by record sales.  Keith identified
 
 broadcasters Todd Storz and Gordon McLendon as the young program innovators
 of this format.  This format had a pre-determined recipe for what music
 
          was aired and mixed together.  "No other format at the time adhered so
 
        closely to a formula," Keith noted.  Eventually Country, Beautiful Music
 
          and Middle-of-the-Road formats would create niches for themselves
among
 
         listeners.  Block programming stations were becoming extinct.  The
medium
 
          of radio was emerging from the 1950s with even greater strength
(Keith,
 
         1987, 2-3).
        Competition grew as more licenses were issued by the FCC.  While the
 
       number of AM station licenses continued to increase during the 1960s, FM
 
          lagged behind.  Up to this point, FM had been considered the
alternative
 
          band.  According to Keith, AM owners treated their FM stations as weak
step
 sisters.  Despite its superior stereo quality, FM was largely ignored
 
        during this time.  One reason was that very few people had FM receivers.
 
          Also, FM was associated with the highbrow culture.  It was described
by
 
         some as the egghead band, radio for the cultured.  Hence, most
broadcasters
 and listeners focused on AM and left FM in limbo (Keith, 1987, 3-4).
        In 1965, the FCC ruled that AM/FM stations could no longer simultaneously
 
          broadcast the same programming.  Prior to this, a number of AM
stations had
 broadcast the same programming on their FM stations.  The FCC considered
 
          this an inefficient use of broadcast frequencies.  This ruling
initially
 
          applied to cities with populations of 100,000 or more.  Thereafter, FM
 
        started to attract a listenership with its own programming (Keith, 1987,
 
          4).
        However, AM enjoyed tremendous success during the 1960s and early 1970s.
 
          It was not unusual for an AM station to air 18 to 20 minutes of
commercial
 
          time per hour.  In fact, to squeeze more commercials into a hour, AM
 
      operators were playing 45 rpm records at 47 or 48 rpm to shorten the
music.
  Having few listeners, FM could not sell its commercial inventory and thus
 had few commercials.  By the mid-1960s, people began to listen to FM
 
       because of its limited number of commercials, no-talk policy, and stereo
 
          quality (N. Anthony, personal communication, March 20, 1993).  By the
late
 
          1960s and early 1970s, FM started to achieve listenership ratings that
 
        attracted the attention of station managers and advertisers (Keith,
1987,
 
          4).
        FM listenership continued to grow in the 1970s.  FM ceased to be the weak
 
          step sister.  In 1978, for the first time, it attracted 51 percent of
the
 
          radio listening audience.  By the mid-1980s, FM would leave AM far
behind
 
          with 70 to 75 percent of the listeners.  Today FM radio garners 90
percent
 
          of the radio listeners (N. Anthony, personal communication, March 20,
 
       1993).
        In the 1970s, undeveloped FM stations were bought and moved closer to
 
        major markets to capitalize on growing revenue possibilities.  A 1961
FCC
 
          ruling had provided operators considerable flexibility in moving
 
  transmitter sites.  However, the strict administration of FCC rules kept
 
          the pace of station development slow.  Then, in 1984, the FCC
introduced
 
          Docket 80-90, which allocated new FM channels and issued new rules
allowing
 "greater flexibility to alter existing FM technical facilities to
 
    penetrate larger nearby markets" (Anderton and Sanders, 1992, 5).  Docket
 
          80-90 also included a use-it-or-lose-it provision.  FM stations not
 
     operating at full power for their class were given three years to build up
 
          to minimum levels or be permanently downgraded.  This provision, along
with
 the rest of Docket 80-90, changed the FM environment.  FM's growing
 
      audience and revenue potential, coupled with the use-it-or-lose-it
 
    directive, further fueled FM station expansion (Anderton and Sanders, 1992,
 5).
        Radio programming in the late 1970s and early 1980s focused on creating
 
          smaller niches in the audience market.  This occurred in markets where
 
        radio stations encountered competition from other stations.  Stations
 
       started to narrow the focus of the music to reach a specific listener
 
       target.  For example, now there were three different Adult Contemporary
 
         (AC) formats.  One station would have Soft AC, another a Hot AC,  and
 
       another a Middle-of-the-Road AC, splitting three ways what had been the
 
         broad Adult Contemporary listenership (N. Anthony, personal
communication,
 
          March 20, 1993).
        It was during the 1980s that the demise of the trusteeship approach to
 
         broadcasting occurred.  The deregulation environment of broadcasting
 
      started this process.  Docket 80-90, which added new FM frequencies, was
 
          just one part of it.  The early 1980s brought about a different
concept of
 
          the public interest.  Government regulators now viewed licensees as
 
     marketplace participants rather than holders of a public trust.  The
 
      marketplace approach is based upon the view that, in order to profit,
 
       entrepreneurs must provide to consumers goods of value and utility.  This
 
          entrusts the entrepreneur to maximize fulfillment of societal needs.
As
 
          Zaragoza states, the  entrepreneur is:
                led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his
 
       intention but            which, in the course of pursuing this own
          interest[.]...frequently promotes that of the                 society more
effectively
 
          than when he really intends to promote it (Zaragoza, Bodorff and
                Emord,
 
          1988, 30).
Those who advocate the marketplace approach stated that the trusteeship
 
         model prevents the broadcast spectrum from reaching its best and
highest
 
          use, which can be only achieved through competition (Zaragoza et al.
31).
        J. T. Anderton noted in his book, LMA Handbook, that operators in the
 
        early 1980s developed stations in markets with few or no stations and
 
       showed huge profit margins quickly.  The financial community was
impressed.
  The buying and selling of stations accelerated during the 1980s as more
 
          money was invested.
        Station prices were based on very high multiples of cash flow and the
 
        assumption that advertising revenues would continue to grow as they
always
 
          had.  Thus stations were bought and sold on their business potential.
Many
 stations were heavily leveraged to fund and capitalize acquisition and
 
         development creating heavy debt burdens (Anderton and Sanders, 1992,
5-7).
 Thus, in the late 1980s, as new station owners had to pay this debt and
 
          interest, they faced more competition with much greater financial
pressures
 than heretofore experienced.
        For example, where a $4 million radio advertising market once had four
 
         stations receiving $1 million each, there now might be eight stations
 
       obtaining $500,000 of the radio pie.  According to Anthony, 55 percent of
 
          the radio stations lost money in 1992.  Many markets were saturated by
 
        radio signals and formats, and numerous stations were heavily in debt.
 
         Advertising revenues remained static and actually decreased slightly in
the
 early 1990s (N. Anthony, personal communication, September 14, 1993).
        An option that radio station managers are choosing to make their stations
 
          more competitive and profitable is to change format.  According to
Robert
 
          Unmacht, editor of the M Street Journal, 40 to 45 format changes by
radio
 
          stations nationwide are tracked in his newsletter each week (R.
Unmacht,
 
          personal communication, December 14, 1993).  This means that between
2,080
 
          to 2,340 radio stations, approximately 23 percent of the 10,022
commercial
 
          radio stations in 1995, switch formats annually (Broadcasting & Cable,
 
        1995, 46).
        Rooster Rhodes, Operations Manager and Program Director of KCAQ-FM,
 
      Oxnard, California, indicated in a interview that a format change by a
 
        competitor might lead another station to switch its format (R. Rhodes,
 
        personal communication, April 1, 1994).  Long-time broadcaster Kim
 
    Colebrook said "movement by someone else," in other words, a format change
 
          by a competitor, might lead a station to change its format (K.
Colebrook,
 
          personal communication, April 5, 1994).  However, broadcast consultant
 
        Jerry King stated that in his 25 years of experience he has seen this
 
       response to format changes happen only twice in two markets (J. King,
 
       personal communication, April 4, 1994).
        Radio stations operate in a dynamic environment.  To remain competitive
 
          and profitable, radio station managers have had to change and adapt to
 
        shifting conditions.  Programming niches have divided the listener base
 
         resulting in advertisers having numerous groups of listeners from which
to
 
          choose.  Stations fiercely compete in an over-crowded market for the
same
 
          programming niche and advertising dollar.  Anderton stated that "the
result
 of these conditions is a far higher-than-normal station failure rate in
 
          the industry"(Anderton and Sanders, 1992, 6).  To survive, radio
station
 
          managers had to change and adapt to this new environment.  The most
common
 
          change is to the station's format.
Change
        Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Barry A. Stein,
 
          and Todd D. Jick stated that change is hard to define.  They adopted
the
 
          contemporary idea of change as being movement between distinct states,
 
        which they characterized as discrete and fixed.  Discrete and fixed
states
 
          are identifiable and separate from each other and are stationary.
Change
 
          is described as motion between "state 1 at time 1 and state 2 at time
2."
 
          This movement is seen as ubiquitous and multidirectional.  Kanter,
Stein
 
          and Jick described planned organizational change:
                Deliberate change is a matter of grabbing hold of some aspect of the
 
        motion and              steering it in a particular direction that will be
perceived
 
          by key players as a new               method of operating or as a reason to
reorient
 
          one's relationship and responsibility                 to the organization itself,
while
 
          creating conditions that facilitate and assist that           reorientation
 
     (Kanter, Stein and Jick, 1992, 9).
        Howard Carlisle stated that to understand the complexity of corporations
 
          and change, it is important to have a systems view of organizations.
 
       Systems theory assumes that nothing exists in nature that is unattached.
 
          To truly understand an organization, one needs to know the
relationships
 
          that contribute to its existence.  Carlisle observed that "a system is
an
 
          entity consisting of a composite whole formed of interdependent parts
or
 
          elements involving relationships that contribute to the unique
characteris
 
          tics of the whole" (Carlisle, 1982, 62).
        The emphasis is on the organization as a whole and the relationship among
 
          its constituent parts.  Relationships that exist among the elements
can be
 
          studied and understood by the unique characteristics they give the
whole,
 
          and by their cause-and-effect interdependencies.  Corporations are
systems
 
          composed of such constituents as owners, managers, employees, vendors,
 
        competitors and customers.  Changes in any one component will affect the
 
          relationships among all the other elements in the organization's
system
 
         (Carlisle, 1982, 59).
        Leon Martel identified two basic kinds of change: structural and cyclical.
  He defined structural change as a "fundamental transformation of some
 
         activity or institution from a previous state" (Martel, 1986, 32).
 
      Structural changes are almost always permanent and prompt other changes in
 
          the environment.  The transformation of the government's approach to
 
      broadcast regulation from the trusteeship approach to the marketplace
model
 would fit Martel's structural change definition (Martel, 1986, 39).
        Martel described cyclical change as having a temporary nature.  Cyclical
 
          change does not cause any transformation in the structure of
institutions
 
          or activities.  The duration of cyclical change is limited, which
means
 
         that adjustments to it is temporary.  Martel used economic growth rates
as
 
          an example of cyclical change.  He noted that a country will enjoy
high
 
         annual rates of growth and then later realize a downturn in growth
(Martel,
 1986, 39).
        Radio stations provide good examples of cyclical change.  Stations often
 
          have periods where their format was popular and the economy strong.
Then
 
          listener's tastes change, a new competitor emerges with a better
format, or
 the economy becomes weak, often causing the station to lose money.
        Organizations operate in an atmosphere of change.  Whether the change is
 
          structural or cyclical, businesses need to change and adjust to their
 
       environments.  To accomplish this, companies need to analyze the current
 
          environment, identify a need for change, and follow a process that
 
    implements planned change.  The following section presents and discusses
 
          the process of change management.
Change Management
        According to Edgar Schein, Kurt Lewin is the father of planned change.
 
          Schein felt that it was most useful to start understanding planned
change
 
          by going back to the model first proposed by Lewin (Schein, 1980,
239).
 
          Lewin developed a way of examining change called force-field analysis.
 
         According to Lewin, change is not an event, but a "dynamic balance of
 
       forces working in opposite directions" (Hellriegel, Slocum, and Woodman,
 
          1986, 590).  Lewin observed:
                In discussing the means of bringing about a desired state of affairs one
 
          should not            think in terms of the "goal to be reached" but rather in
terms
 of a change "from the          present level to the desired one.  The discussion
 
          thus far implies that a planned               change consists of supplanting the
 
      force-field corresponding to an equilibrium at the                beginning level L1 by
 
          a force-field having its equilibrium at the desired level L2.  It
                should
 
          be emphasized that the total force-field has to be changed at least in
the
 
          area          between L1 and L2 (Lewin, 1951, 224).
        His theory originally was derived from a physics concept.  For example,
 
          Einstein theorized space as a system of distributed gravitational and
 
       electromagnetic forces.  The distribution of such forces in an
environment
 
          "determines what an object with certain properties will do in that
 
    environment" (Riordan and Riordan, 1993, 86).
        Lewin's force-field theory asserts that the "properties of any given event
 are determined by its relation to the system of events of which it is a
 
          component" (Riordan and Riordan, 1993, 86).  That is, a change
situation
 
          involves moving from a current condition to a desired condition.  This
 
        situation is thought of as a field in which "forces are facilitating
change
 and forces are hindering change."  This theory assumes that most
 
   situations are held in equilibrium by these two opposing forces (Conner and
 Lake, 1988, 90).
        For example, Corbett and Norman used force-field analysis to identify
 
        individuals' positive and negative perceptions when a company introduced
 
          change in the form of new computer technology (Corbett and Norman,
1991,
 
          11).  Stokes also stated that force-field analysis is a good
management
 
         tool for information systems professionals to use to identify
facilitating
 
          and restraining forces when trying to attract users to their systems
 
      (Stokes Jr., 1989, 31).  Nicholas further identified force-field analysis
 
          as a "technique that can be used to investigate which forces act on a
 
       current project or which might influence an upcoming project, and to
 
      determine where emphasis is needed to increase a project's likelihood for
 
          success" (Nicholas, 1989, 38).
        Hellriegel, Slocum and Woodman assert that using Lewin's model has two
 
         major benefits.  First, it requires managers to analyze the current
 
     situation, and second, to identify factors that can and cannot be changed.
 "Managers often waste a great deal of time considering actions related to
 
          forces over which they have little, if any control" (Hellriegel et
al.,
 
         1986, 591).  For example, a radio station manager desiring to improve
 
       profitability must analyze the current situation.  Forces for and against
 
          the changes needed to improve profitability would have to be
identified and
 understood.  The radio manager may need to change the station's format.
 
          However, there may be many forces opposing this change such as owner's
 
        dislike of proposed format, advertisers desires, and competitive
pressures.
  Instead, the manager chooses to reduce station expenses which has fewer
 
          and weaker opposing forces.
        As Lewin observed:  "To decide how best to bring about such an actual
 
        change, it does not suffice to consider one property.  The total
 
  circumstances have to be examined" (Lewin, 1951, 224).  The concept is
 
        useful in that it identifies and describes these forces, thereby
 
  facilitating management strategies to best manage change.
         To initiate change, management must change the equilibrium of the forces.
  Hellriegel, Slocum and Woodman observed that a manager might attempt
 
        change by:
                a)  Increasing the strength of the pressure for change.
                b)  Reducing the strength of the resisting forces or removing them
 
      completely.
                c)  Changing the direction of a force --- that is, change a resistance
 
          into a pressure                                   for change (Hellriegel et al., 1986, 591).
Lewin's Force-field Theory:  A Three-Step Model For Change
        Kanter, Stein and Jick noted that most change theories are typically
 
       modeled after Lewin's three-part process of change whereby an
organization
 
          is moved from a flawed current condition to a desired condition
(Kanter et
 
          al., 1992, 375).  Lewin's theory is composed of a three-stage model of
 
        change with the steps being: unfreezing, changing, and refreezing
(Lewin,
 
          1951, 228-229).  Kanter, Stein and Jick explained that the three-part
 
       process of change embodied:
                1) The company must be awakened to a new reality and must disengage from
 
          the                              past, recognizing that the old way of doing things is no
 
       longer acceptable.
                2) Next, the organization creates and embraces a new vision of the
 
      future, uniting                              behind the steps necessary to achieve that
vision.
                3) Finally, as new attitudes, practices and policies are put in place to
 
          change the                               corporation, these must be "refrozen" or
solidified
 
         (Kanter et al., 1992, 375).
        The unfreezing step is the first stage of change and usually involves
 
        reducing the forces that seek to maintain the status quo.  Hersey
described
 it as a "thawing-out process in which the forces acting on individuals are
 rearranged so that now they see the need for change" (Hersey and
 
   Blanchard, 1988, 387).  The goal is to motivate and prepare individuals or
 
          groups for change.
        Hellriegel, Slocum, and Woodman described the moving, or change, step as
 
          the development of new behaviors, values, and attitudes through
changes in
 
          organizational structures and processes (Hellriegel et al., 1986,
591).
 
          Hersey asserts that the change process occurs by one of two
mechanisms:
 
         identification and internalization.  Identification occurs when role
models
 are provided from whom individuals can learn new behaviors.
          Internalization occurs when individuals are placed in an environment
that
 
          demands new behaviors of them if they are to operate successfully in
that
 
          setting (Hersey and Blanchard, 1988, 382).
        The third stage of the change process, refreezing, is described as the
 
         step that "stabilizes the organization at a new state of equilibrium"
 
       (Hellriegel et al., 1986, 591).  This is often done through supporting
 
        mechanisms such as organizational culture, norms, policies, and
structures.
  The concern with this step is that the new behaviors of the individual or
 group do not disappear over time.  (Hersey and Blanchard, 1988, 382-383).
 
        Lewin's force field theory explains how forces initiate the process of
 
         change.  Change is described as movement from a current condition to a
 
        desired condition.  This environment is characterized as a field where
 
        there are forces facilitating change, and forces opposing change.  Most
 
         situations are held in equilibrium by these two sets of forces.  As
noted
 
          earlier, some broadcasters suggested that a competitor's format change
 
        might lead a station to change its format.  According to the framework
of
 
          Lewin's theory, this would imply that a competitor's format change is
a
 
         facilitating force.  This study examined a competitor's format change
as a
 
          possible force that motivates radio station managers to change a
station's
 
          format.
THE RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
        An examination of the materials on broadcast regulation, radio programming
 and formats, change, and change management resulted in the development of
 
          a research hypothesis and related questions.  Earlier it was observed
that
 
          when one station in a market changed formats it led another station in
the
 
          market to change its format.  This observation suggests that one of
the
 
         forces acting on the equilibrium of a station operation is the
          competition's current format.
        A review of the literature suggests that the hypothesis for this study is:
 
        Radio station managers will cite the format change of a competing station
 
          as a primary force for considering a change of their station's format.
The
 researcher's definition of primary force was that the factor is observed
 
          as the first or second reason to consider a station format change;
i.e.,
 
          that it be evaluated as a strong force and likely to influence a
general
 
          manager to consider a station format change.
Related Questions
        Lewin's force-field theory suggests that there are many forces, pro and
 
          con, that maintain an organization's equilibrium.  While not directly
 
       related to the study, two related questions were investigated on a
 
    preliminary basis for future research.  They were:
        How will managers evaluate a set of possible forces, in terms of their
 
         importance, for changing a station's format?
        How will managers evaluate a set of possible forces, in terms of their
 
         importance, for opposing a station's format?
METHODOLOGY
        Lewin's theory observed that the change of the strength of a force would
 
          alter the forces maintaining the equilibrium and thus cause change to
 
       occur.  The researcher hypothesized that a format change of a competitor
is
 one of the forces that influence a station manager to consider a station's
 format change.
The concept was operationalized through depth interviews and a survey
 
       questionnaire.  The depth interviews were conducted with individuals from
 
          different parts of the country, with various market size backgrounds,
and
 
          who had radio format change experience.  The survey questionnaire was
 
       conducted by telephone with a census of radio station general managers in
 
          Akron, Canton, Cleveland, and Youngstown.
        The researcher used methodological triangulation for this study.  This
 
         strategy permitted the researcher to explore, gather information, and
 
       construct a questionnaire on the topic with depth interviews.  The survey
 
          was conducted to measure the factors discovered in the interviews.
This
 
          strategy was not intended to show corroboration, but rather to better
study
 and understand the attitudes of radio station managers and the dynamics of
 radio format changes.
         A purposeful sampling method was used for the depth interviews in
 
     selecting information-rich cases for study.  For the qualitative part of
 
          the study a snowball sampling method was used to recruit subjects for
 
       interview (Patton, 1987, 56).  The survey questionnaire used a census of
 
          four Northeastern Ohio markets for study.  A census of a small
population
 
          was used since the survey questionnaire did not utilize established
 
     measures and was untested (True, 1983, 83).  Thus, one outcome of this
 
        study would be a questionnaire that has been tested and is capable of
being
 used to conduct future research with a larger sample.
        The population surveyed in this study included radio station managers in
 
          the Akron, Canton, Cleveland and Youngstown metropolitan markets.
Station
 
          managers were selected from radio stations reported in the Arbitron
Company
 rating surveys.  Radio station managers from stations reported in the Fall
 1993 Arbitron, from the markets listed, formed the census .  The total
 
         size of this census was 31.  A total of 23 individuals participated in
the
 
          research, 7 from Akron/ Canton, 9 from Cleveland, and 7 from
Youngstown
 
         (Arbitron, 1993, III).
The Qualitative Research: Depth Interviews
        The researcher used depth interviews, a qualitative approach, as the pilot
 component of the study.  Wimmer and Dominick observed that depth
 
   interviews give investigators the opportunity to use broad questions to
 
         gain information on a subject (Wimmer and Dominick, 1994, 154-155).
The
 
          depth interviews also were used to assist in constructing a
questionnaire
 
          for the survey.  The researcher interviewed eight individuals for this
 
        study.  These information-rich cases included persons with the following
 
          backgrounds: 1) a vice president and executive sales director of a
 
    medium-market broadcast company, 2) operations manager and program director
 for a small-market radio station, 3) a vice president and general manager
 
          of a radio station, 4) a radio broadcast consultant of a major
national
 
         consulting firm, 5) a vice president and general manager of a major
market
 
          advertising agency, 6) a president of a national radio broadcast
consulting
 firm, 7) a vice president of a national group of 13 radio stations, and 8)
 a president of a multi-media corporation owning 15 radio stations.
The Quantitative Research: Survey Questionnaire
        The researcher constructed the questionnaire for this study so that each
 
          radio station manager's attitudes were measured using two Likert
scales
 
         (Singletary, 1994, 84-85).  In this study, respondents evaluated
factors
 
          that were identified in the depth interviews as motivating and
opposing
 
         forces for a radio station's format change.  On one scale, respondents
were
 asked to evaluate factors on a scale from 0 to 10 with 0 as `not a reason
 
          at all' and 10 `as the strongest possible reason' to make a format
change.
 Since the survey was conducted over the telephone, it was easier for
 
       respondents to remember and use this scale in their evaluations.
        The researcher then used another Likert scale to examine the same
 
    variables.  Participants could respond to factors with either highly
 
      likely, likely, neutral, unlikely, or highly unlikely.  The results of
this
 approach assisted the researcher in gaining an understanding of the
 
      factors under examination and provided information for more extensive
 
       research.
        Babbie notes that the ultimate validity of a measure cannot be proven.  It
 is difficult to say that a measure truly reflects a concepts meaning.  As
 
          for this study's measure to test if a competitor's format change is a
force
 that influences other station managers to consider a station format
 
      change, it has face validity.
Since this study did not use any established measures and the survey
 
      questionnaire was untested, there is no way to assess the reliability of
 
          this research (Babbie, 1992, 130-131).
Data Analysis
Depth Interviews
          Inductive analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data.  Patton
 
         identifies inductive analysis as one method of organizing themes and
 
      patterns in the data.  Once data is collected, the formal analysis begins.
 He identifies inductive analysis as a method whereby "patterns, themes,
 
          and categories of analysis come from the data; they emerge out of the
data
 
          rather than being decided upon prior to data collection and analysis"
 
       (Patton, 1987, 150).  There are two kinds of patterns that materialize
from
 the analysis of the data: (1) the categories developed and articulated by
 
          the participants in the study, and (2) the patterns which people did
not
 
          label "and the analyst developed terms to described these inductively
 
       generated categories" (Patton, 1987, 150).
Survey Questionnaire
        Univariate analysis was used by the researcher to study and interpret the
 
          meaning of the data collected through the survey questionnaires.  The
 
       analysis of the data involved descriptive statistics that examined
 
    frequency distributions, measures of central tendency, and measures of
 
        dispersion of the data (Babbie, 1992, G3).
        Data analysis was accomplished using the Statistical Package for the
 
       Social Sciences (SPSS release 4.1) through the Kent State University
 
      mainframe computer.  The following section details the results of the
 
       analysis of the data collected from the depth interviews and survey
 
     questionnaire (Norusis, 1983).
RESEARCH RESULTS
Depth Interviews
Motivating Forces for Changing a Radio Station's Format
        The researcher conducted the depth interviews during the first two weeks
 
          of April 1994.  The researcher questioned participants and probed for
 
       reasons or forces that move radio managers to change the formats of their
 
          radio stations.  Out of this path of inquiry, the researcher
identified
 
         nine factors that possibly act on radio managers to make a station
format
 
          change.  The factors include slippage in station ratings, lack of
sales
 
         revenues, competitive moves such as format changes, the development of
a
 
          hot new format, ownership change of a competitor, ownership change of
 
       station, station research, marginal profits, and anticipated format
change
 
          of a competing station.  None of the participants cited every item
listed
 
          above.  Each of the respondents noted three or four factors.  When
 
    combined, a list of nine potential factors was developed to determine what
 
          leads radio station managers to consider a radio station format
change.
 
          These factors were slippage in ratings, lack of sales revenues,
competitive
 moves, the development of a hot new format, ownership change of
 
  competitor, own station ownership change, station research, marginal
 
      profits, and anticipated format change of competing station.
        One of the most cited factors for changing a radio station's format was
 
          the lack of sales revenues.  Six of eight people noted the lack of
sales
 
          revenues in the current format as a very strong reason to change
formats.
 
          Another most cited factor for changing a station's format was slippage
in
 
          station audience ratings.  There were five respondents who cited
falling
 
          audience ratings of a radio station's current format as a strong
reason to
 
          change.
        The most cited factor for changing a radio station's format was
 
  competitive pressures.  All eight participants described competitive
 
      pressures as a force in deciding to change a radio station's format.
 
       Respondents noted that competitive moves such as format changes, changes
to
 a hot new format, or attacks by a competitor in a similar format would
 
         lead them to consider a station format change.  It is important to
note,
 
          however, that only one of the individuals cited this as a very strong
 
       reason to change formats.  Two participants noted it as their secondary
 
         factor, and the remaining five people stated this as a third or fourth
 
        lesser factor in contemplating a station format change.
Opposing Forces To Changing a Radio Station's Format
        Upon completing the discussion on forces that might lead the participants
 
          to change a radio station's format, the focus switched to factors that
may
 
          lead them to reconsider their decision.  The question was framed:
Given
 
         that the individual was contemplating a format change, what then would
be
 
          factors or reasons to reconsider changing a station's format?
        The following factors were identified by the participants as reasons to
 
          not change a format:  ownership dislike of the proposed new format,
current
 station advertisers, current loyal listeners, being unique in current
 
        format, the cost of changing a station's format, weak sales force to
sell
 
          new format, station research, consultant's advice, and deep pockets of
 
        competitor.  Unlike the forces for changing a radio station's format,
there
 was no factor that was identified by a majority of the participants.  Some
 factors received mention by three respondents; all the other factors were
 
          observed only once.
        The forces against change identified by three participants included the
 
          station's current advertisers, current listeners, and station
research.
 
          The loss of current advertisers was noted by both the small-market
radio
 
          manager and the president of the company owning several stations.  The
 
        president of the broadcasting company observed that anytime a radio
station
 changes format, it starts from ground zero and will need to build another
 
          listener and advertiser base.  His comment was that too many radio
managers
 underestimate the loss of business that occurs when changing a radio
 
       station's format.
        Another factor identified by three individuals was current listener
 
      loyalty.  Participants observed that current listenership might lead the
 
          manager not to change a station's format, particularly if the
potential
 
         audience for the proposed format is questionable.  One respondent
commented
 that often it is a matter of studying the current listeners and
 
  determining if the station can encourage them to listen longer, and during
 
          other days and dayparts.  Improvements are then made to the current
format
 
          which then leads to an increase in the station's ratings.
Consequently,
 
          the station avoids changing its format.
        Station research was another factor identified by three respondents as a
 
          reason to not to change a radio station's format.  They noted that
research
 may reveal that potential listeners, advertising revenues, or both for a
 
          proposed format may not be as great as first thought.  In addition,
station
 research may reveal that improvements in the current format would build
 
          more listeners and advertising dollars than making the costly move of
 
       changing the station's format.  The remaining force identified by three
 
         participants was the cost of changing a station's format.  All three
 
      individuals noted that this is not a strong or primary force, but it is a
 
          consideration that might make them not change the format.
        One comment worth noting is that it all comes down to what can be
 
    described as the risk vs. benefit ratio.  All the risks and all the
 
     benefits have to be weighed and examined before changing a radio station's
 
          format.  His thoughts were that the factors mentioned to changing a
format,
 pro and con, need to be weighed against the potential benefit of making
 
          that change.  Are the prospective revenue benefits worth the risk of
making
 a change?
Changing A Radio Station's Format
        In exploring radio format changes and change management, the researcher
 
          asked the eight participants to describe the process of changing a
radio
 
          station's format.  All the respondents observed that format changes
are
 
         dependent on the condition of the station and its market.  No two
 
   situations are alike.  In their observations, planning, timing, and staff
 
          changes would be different for each station's format change.
        Six of the eight people stated that once a decision is made to change a
 
          station's format, it is usually executed quickly.  The six respondents
 
        indicated the timing of a format change from when a decision is made to
 
         implementation is between one and four weeks.  They felt the timing was
 
         important because they feared the decision would leak out and give the
 
        competition time to gear up a combative marketing campaign.  Two
 
  individuals noted that they had changed a station's format in three to four
 days, although it is something they would not recommend.  In one case, the
 respondent observed that a station was offered a large amount of money by
 
          a competitor, with a similar format, to drop and change its current
format
 
          in two hours.  The station agreed to do it, and in two hours dropped
the
 
          current format.  For three days the station played the songs of one
artist
 
          from the new format until a new music library arrived.
        One participant said that when the station changed its format, he had
 
        hired telemarketers to handle calls from listeners.  Telephone calls
were
 
          screened so that positive calls of praise were passed on to the
announcers.
  Negative calls were taken by telemarketers who listened, probed for
 
       reasons of dissatisfaction, and offered information to the
caller/listener
 
          on how the format change improved the station's ability to serve its
 
      listeners.  The unhappy listener was then offered a dinner for two at a
 
         nice restaurant if he or she would listen, try out the station's new
 
      format, and then call with feedback.  The respondent noted that this
 
      approach was extremely successful in handling and converting irate
 
    listeners from the old to the new format.
Survey Questionnaire
        The census was comprised of 20 males and 3 females.  Twelve of the 23 had
 
          greater than 15 years of radio management experience, 7 had between 10
and
 
          15 years,  1 had between 5 and 10 years, and 3 respondents had less
than
 
          five years of radio management experience.  Seven of the 23
individuals
 
         were general managers of group owned stations.  The other 16 were
general
 
          managers of radio stations that owned no other stations outside their
 
       market.  The ages of the respondents ranged from 22 to 74.  The median
age
 
          was 49 with a mean age of 48.7.  Four respondents refused to provide
ages.
        Seventeen of the 23 participants had changed a radio station's format.
 
          The other six people had no format-change experience.  Of the 17 who
did,
 
          five individuals had experience changing a radio station's format
once, six
 people had changed formats two times, three people had changed formats
 
         three times, two participants had changed formats four times, and one
 
       respondent had changed a radio station's format seven times.
        The following sections provide results of the attitude measurements of
 
         factors for and against changing a radio station's format.  Data
analysis
 
          involved descriptive statistics that included frequency distribution,
mean,
 mode, and standard deviation.
Possible Forces That Influence a Format Change
        The researcher had the respondents evaluate potential factors that may
 
         influence a radio manager to change a station's format using a 0 to 10
 
        scale.  A score of 0 meant the factor is not at all a reason and a score
of
 10 was the highest possible reason to change a radio station's format.
        The results of the survey questionnaire appear to support the results of
 
          the depth interviews.  The factor, a competitor's format change,
received a
 mean score of 3.565.  At first glance this would indicate that radio
 
       general managers in the census rated a competitor's format change as a
very
 low reason to consider changing their station's format.  However, the
 
        standard deviation is large, 2.761, which indicates the scores were
widely
 
          distributed from the mean.  The range of reported scores was a minimum
of 0
 with a maximum of 8.  The mode value was 0 with a frequency of 5.  The
 
         values 2, 3, 5 and 8 had a frequency of 3.
        While the results indicate that radio station managers in Akron, Canton,
 
          Cleveland, and Youngstown cite a competitor's format change as a weak
 
       motivating force for a station format change, the range and frequency
 
       distribution of the scores may indicate that the strength of this factor
 
          varies.  Five of the radio station general managers evaluated this
factor
 
          with a 0, but the other 18 respondents measured the factor between 1
and 8.
  While the mean score indicates this is a weak factor, the range and
 
       frequency distribution of each of the scores exhibit strength that varies
 
          between 0, not at all a force, to 8, strong.
        Radio station general managers in the census were asked to evaluate nine
 
          potential forces in the survey questionnaire.  Evaluations were
 
 accomplished using the same 11-point Likert scale.  Slippage in station
 
         ratings, lack of sales revenues, marginal profits, and station research
 
         received mean scores of 7 or higher in measurement.   But the standard
 
        deviation for each of the factors mean scores was large.  This indicates
 
          that the scores were widely dispersed.  However, the frequency
distribution
 of each score showed that the majority of the respondents evaluated these
 
          factors as 6 or higher.
        The next segment of the survey used a another Likert scale to measure the
 
          attitudes of radio general managers toward possible factors
influencing a
 
          station format change.  The scale used was 1 `highly unlikely,' 2
 
   `unlikely,' 3 `neutral,' 4 `likely,' and 5 `highly unlikely.'  An
 
   examination of the results of the second Likert scale measurements indicate
 that a competitor's format change is unlikely to lead a station manager to
 change a station's format.  The mean score was 2.304 with a standard
 
       deviation of 1.063.  In this census, radio station managers observed that
 
          it is unlikely a competitor's format change would lead them to
consider a
 
          station format change.  However, the standard deviation is somewhat
large
 
          exhibiting a wide dispersion of scores.  The mode was 2 (unlikely)
with a
 
          frequency of 8.  The range and frequency distribution of each score
varied
 
          from a score of 1 (Highly Unlikely) with a frequency of 6 to a score
of 4
 
          (likely) with a frequency of 4.  There were 5 respondents who cited
the
 
         value of 3 (neutral) for this factor.  Overall, 14 respondents rated
this
 
          factor at least unlikely, but 5 cited neutral and 4 responded with
likely.
        Evaluations were made for the other motivating factors that might
 
    influence a radio general manager to change a station's format.  The
 
      measurements exhibit the clearest results for lack of sales revenues with
a
 mean score of 4.652 and standard deviation of .714, marginal profits had a
 mean score of 4.130 and a standard deviation of .968, and station research
 had a mean score of 3.783 and a standard deviation of .736.  The results
 
          indicate that the radio station managers in the census evaluated these
 
        factors as likely to motivate them to consider making a station format
 
        change.  Slippage in ratings also received a mean score of 4.087, but
the
 
          standard deviation was 1.240.  The frequency distribution though
showed
 
         that 18 of the 23 respondents rated this factor likely or higher as a
 
       motivating force.
        The other factors of competitor's format change, hot new formats,
 
    anticipated format change of competitor, ownership change of competitor,
 
          and own station ownership change received mean scores that rated the
 
      factors unlikely to lead the radio station general managers in the census
 
          to consider a station format change.  However, the factors' mean
scores had
 standard deviations that were large indicating a wide dispersion of
 
      scores.
Possible Factors Opposing A Format Change
        In the final segment of the survey, respondents, using a Likert scale,
 
         measured possible factors that might influence radio sales managers to
 
        reconsider a station format change.  The same Likert scale was used
again
 
          1`highly unlikely,' 2 `unlikely,' 3 `neutral,' 4 `likely,' and 5
`highly
 
          likely.'  The score reflected a radio station manager's attitude
towards
 
          potential factors that may cause a decision to change a station's
format to
 be reconsidered.  The results of these measurements were inconclusive.  M
 
          ost of the mean scores for these factors had large standard deviations
 
        indicating a wide distribution of scores.
Summary
        The intention of this study was to examine one specific force that may
 
         influence radio station managers to change formats.  As it was, the
small
 
          size of the census limited the ability of the research to examine the
 
       hypothesis.  What this study does find is that there are a number of
forces
 that influence change, as noted by Lewin.  However, due to the study's
 
         limitations, the exact nature and strength of those forces are unknown.
        The results of this study do not support the research hypothesis.  The
 
         data collected from the depth interviews identified a competitor's
format
 
          change as a potential force in influencing a radio station's manager
to
 
         consider a station format change.  But most of the eight individuals
 
      interviewed noted the force as a third or fourth reason.  Analysis of the
 
          data gathered through the survey questionnaire showed that radio
station
 
          general managers in the census do not cite this factor as a primary
force.
 A competitor's format change was evaluated by the census as a weak
 
     influence in the consideration of a station format change.  However, the
 
          dispersion of the scores indicate that the presence and/or strength of
this
 force varies among the participants in the census.
        The pursuit of this research produced two related questions:  what are the
 motivating forces that influence a station manager to consider a station
 
          format change?, and what are the opposing forces that influence a
station
 
          manager to reconsider a format change?  The depth interviews
identified
 
         nine potential motivating forces.  These forces were slippage in
station
 
          ratings, lack of sales revenues, competitive moves, the development of
a
 
          hot new format, ownership change of competitor, own station ownership
c
 
        hange, station research, marginal profits, and anticipated format change
of
 competing station.
        The evaluations of radio general managers from the census exhibited the
 
          clearest results for lack of sales revenues, marginal profits, and
station
 
          research.  These factors were identified as forces that would likely
 
      influence the managers to consider a station format change.  Slippage in
 
          station ratings was evaluated as a likely force, but the dispersion
 
     measurements for this factor showed the evaluations varied widely.
        The other factors of competitive moves, hot new format, anticipated format
 change of competitor, ownership change of competitor, and own station
 
        ownership change were rated as unlikely to lead the census to consider a
 
          station format change.  However, the evaluations were widely dispersed
for
 
          all these factors.  This means that the strength and/or presence of
these
 
          forces varied among radio managers in the census.
        The depth interviews identified ten possible forces opposing a radio
 
       station format change.  The forces identified were: ownership dislike of
 
          prospective new format, current station advertisers, current loyal
 
    listeners, being unique in current format, cost of changing a station's
 
         format, a weak sales force, station research, cost of operating new
format,
 consultant's advice, and deep pockets of competitor.   Measurement of
 
        these factors in the survey questionnaire were inconclusive.  The
 
   dispersion of the scores made the results unclear. Conclusion and
 
   Implications
        Although the initial results of this study failed to confirm the research
 
          hypothesis, this conclusion would be premature.  The distribution of
the
 
          scores from the survey questionnaire showed that the strength of a
 
    competitor's format change varies in its ability to influence radio station
 general managers in the census to consider a station format change.  One
 
          possible explanation for these results is that the size of the census
 
       surveyed was small.  This could affect the ability of the descriptive
 
       statistics to provide clear results.
        Comments offered by some of the respondents offer another interpretation.
 In evaluating the forces of change, one respondent stated that "it depends
 on the corporate strategy" of what would lead a station manager to
 
     consider a station format change.  Another individual from Cleveland said
 
          that the only way his station would change formats "is if it got
bought,"
 
          because the station is focused on serving the ethnic community with
 
     ethnic-centered programming.
        The comments suggest that one possible element influencing the
 
 distribution of survey scores in the evaluation of forces is the mission or
 goals of each station.  Lewin stated that change is movement from a
 
      current condition to a desired condition.  The researcher suggests that
one
 component not considered in the study is the radio station's current point
 of equilibrium and what, if any, is the desired point of equilibrium.  The
 desired equilibrium in the example of a radio station may be defined as
 
          its mission or goals.
        The goals may range from a level of profitability to serving the needs of
 
          a specific listening audience with specific information and
entertainment.
 The respondent with the ethnic-centered programming served the ethnic
 
        community.  This station's mission was to serve this specific audience.
No
 factor, according to the participant, would lead the station to change its
 format except if it is sold.  Another radio station general manager may be
 influenced to change a station's format if its level of profitability
 
        dropped below a certain point.
        An additional explanation for the results of the survey questionnaire was
 
          that participants were asked to evaluate and rate potential motivating
and
 
          opposing factors individually.  One respondent commented that "it's a
 
       combination of things that lead a radio general manager to make a station
 
          format change.  A participant from the depth interviews stated that
the
 
         dynamics of radio station format change are complex.  Lewin observed
that
 
          forces have various strengths and that the sum of these forces
maintain the
 equilibrium.  Thus evaluating and rating each factor separately may be
 
         unrealistic and out of context.
        While this study did establish that a competitor's format change as a
 
        possible motivating force among the participants in the research, the
 
       strength of this factor is still unknown.  A better question would be:
when
 is a competitor's format change a significant force in influencing a radio
 station manager to consider changing a station's format?, and what is its
 
          strength in relation to other factors?
        The implications of this study: the presence and strength of forces that
 
          act on radio station managers are dynamic and complex.  The findings
 
      suggest that station managers do not have identical forces with identical
 
          strengths acting on them.  There appears to be other variables that
 
     determine the forces which create equilibrium for a station.
Limitations
        There are limitations to this study that need to be noted.  First, the
 
         results of the depth interviews cannot be generalized.  The nature of
 
       qualitative methods makes it difficult to generalize results.
Naturalistic
 inquiry is excellent for observing and gathering information on the
 
      experiences of participants.  Patton observed that the term generalization
 
          in qualitative research gives way to extrapolation.  Extrapolations
are
 
         mild speculations on the likely applicability of results to other
similar
 
          situations.  They are thoughtful,logical, and useful when based on
data
 
         collected from information-rich sources (Patton, 1987, 168).
        Data collected by the survey questionnaire is limited in its ability to be
 generalized.  A census of radio station general managers in Akron, Canton,
 Cleveland, and Youngstown was surveyed.  Their input provided a better
 
         understanding of the topic.  It is unknown how this census reflects the
 
         attitudes of radio station general managers in the U.S.  Thus, the
results
 
          can be generalized to the population of the census, but nowhere else.
        The final limitation concerns the questionnaire used for the survey.  The
 
          questionnaire did not use established measures and was untested.
Although
 
          it had face validity, there is no way of evaluating the reliability of
this
 questionnaire.
Recommendations
        This research serves as a pilot study for gaining familiarity with the
 
         subject of radio station format changes.  The results indicated that
the
 
          dynamics of radio station format changes are complex.  The researcher
 
       recommends that future studies investigate how the  station mission or
 
        goals determine which motivating and opposing forces influence a station
 
          format change.  In addition, other variables such as market size, type
of
 
          ownership, and the general manager's experience should be examined to
 
       determine if there are any significant relationships that decide the
forces
 influencing or opposing radio station general managers to consider a
 
       station format change.
        Future research needs to be conducted concerning the second part of
 
      Lewin's force-field theory of change in relation to station format
changes.
  The first part of Lewin's force-field theory requires managers to analyze
 the current situation and identify which forces can and cannot be changed.
   The second component, which involves Lewin's three stage process of
 
        change, was not within the scope of this study.  However, during the
depth
 
          interviews the researcher did query participants on how station format
c
 
         hanges were implemented.  Information collected did indicate support
for
 
          Lewin's three stage process of change, but further research is needed.
 
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