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Radio Station Formats
Active Rock Active Rock stations that are more current and play new music from artists like Nirvana, Slipknot, Limp Bizket, System of a Down, and the like. Also can play some hard classic rock - aka Billy Squier, Ozzy, Van Halen, etc... Station may also be classified as Hard Rock. See Rock.
Adult Alternative A station which plays primarily current music which tends to appeal more to adults than to teenagers. Playlists depend on album tracks as well as on music released or designated as singles. Stylistically, such stations may play rock, folk-rock, country-rock, modern rock, blues, folk, and world music.
Adult Contemporary 
A station playing commercial popular and rock music released during the past ten to twenty years, designed for general listeners rather than for listeners interested in hearing the current hits. See Soft AC, Modern AC, and Hot AC.
Adult Hits A station that plays a variety of different music programmed towards adults.  The format and playlist is suppose to imitate what people would hear on their iPod or MP3 players.  Most stations that play this format usually call themselves by a name like "Jack" or "Sam"  and uses the slogan "We Play Anything" The station is typiaclly jockless.  Format is also reffered to as Variety Hits.
Classic Hits A station that plays pop and rock hits from the 60's, 70's, 80's, and possibly the early 90's. Can Be considered a cross between Classic Rock and Oldies.
Classic Rock A station which plays rock music released during the 60's, 70's, 80's, & 90's. These stations appeal mainly to adults rather than to teenagers. Some Classic Rock stations play a very limited amount of current releases stylistically consistent with the station's format.
Contemporary Hit Radio
A station which plays a significant amount of current popular music, whether singles or album cuts. As it is no longer unusual for a single to remain on the charts for 30-40 weeks or longer, "current" refers to music released within the last year.

Some CHR stations tend to concentrate on specific music styles, such as Rock or Urban, or a range of styles, such as Rock/Pop/Dance or R&B/Rap/Dance. Some CHR stations may play a significant amount of hits released during the past ten to twenty years, particularly if there are insufficient current hit releases which fall within the station's stylistic range.

Country A station which plays country and western hits by artists like Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, etc. Some country stations program themselves like CHR stations and plays mainly current hits; while others may program themselves like AC or Hot AC stations and play songs from ten to 15 years ago as well as the currents. "Classic Country" stations play country hits from the 60's, 70's and 80's.
Rhythmic CHR A station which plays current popular music with and emphasis on Urban or Hip-Hop titles.
Hot Adult Contemporary
(Hot AC)
A station which plays commercial popular and rock music released during the past ten or fifteen years which is more lively than the music played on the average Adult Contemporary station, but is still designed to appeal to general listeners rather than listeners interested in hearing the current hits. Hot AC stations are sometimes reffered to as Adult CHR.  There is no strict rule as to how much new material a station needs to play in order to be considered "CHR" rather than "Hot AC." See AC, Modern AC, and Soft AC.
Gold AC A station which plays music from the late 60's through the early 80's. Most gold AC stations were once Oldies stations that transitioned to this hybrid Oldies/Adult Contrmporary format.
Soft Adult Contemporary
(Soft AC)
A station playing particularly easy-going popular and rock music released during the past ten to thirty years designed to appeal to general listeners. This format is the descendent of the  "Easy Listening" format of years past. See AC, Hot AC, and Modern AC
Modern Adult Contemporary
(Modern AC)
A station station that is essentially a cross between a Modern Rock and an Adult Contemporary. Modern AC stations generally play more modern rock hits rather then pop.
Modern Rock A station which plays mostly current rock music performed by artists which have become prominent during the past five to ten years. Can also be called Alternative. See Rock.
Oldies A station which plays popular, rock 'n roll, and rock music released during the 50's, 60's and 70's. These stations recreate the sound of popular AM stations of the period and tend to be popular with listeners who grew up during that time and their pre-teen children. 

Most oldies stations have stopped playing 50's and concentrate on music from 1966 thru 1978*.  Over the past couple years oldies stations have disappeard on the FM band only to reappear on the AM band.  Those stations returning to AM usually concentrate on music from the mid-50's thru the 60's as oldies stations originally did.

*Some stations play music through the early 80's also, as long as it falls within the station's stylistic range. See Gold AC

Rock A station which plays mostly current rock music, with classic rock mixed in, whether single releases or album cuts. Due to the diversity within rock music today, the playlists of different rock stations may fall within different stylistic ranges. See Modern Rock, Active Rock, and Classic Rock.
Smooth Jazz A station which plays easy-going popular music with a "jazzy" feel, designed to set a mood rather than to invite critical listening. "Smooth Jazz" is often set to a medium-tempo or "hip-hop" beat.
Sports A station that airs live sporting events and talk shows with sports related topics.
Nostalgia A station which plays popular music recorded by the Big Bands of the late 30's and '40's, music recorded by Big Band-era singers during the 40's and '50's, and/or interpretations of the "standards" of that period, including recent interpretations. This format is primarily aimed at older adults and is sometimes referred to as "Adult Standards." Some stations of this type will play any non-rock popular music of the past 60 years.
Talk A format or program which features one or more hosts discussing current events and other topics, often in the context of a particular political ideology. Talk programs frequently feature in-studio guests and calls from members of the public, representing varying degrees of expertise. Health, medical, and financial topics are especially popular. 
Urban Stations or programs which plays music, such as rap, hip-hop, r&b, and soul, in the styles which are the descendents of rhythm & blues music of past decades. Some of the more dance-oriented genres include club, house, jungle, and trip-hop. The mix favored by any given station depends in large part upon the age of the station's audience. Many Urban stations which appeal to adults rather than to teenagers include soul/r&b hits dating back twenty years or longer, and are sometimes characterized as "Urban AC" or "Urban Contemporary."