Contact Us

How the ‘Nelly 1057′ Stunt Proves Radio’s Lasting Importance [OPINION]

Nelly 1057
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images Entertainment

Let’s put this out there right up front, you’re reading this on the website for a terrestiral radio station written by someone who hosts a daily radio show, so, yeah, I’m biased toward the industry that I love and has employed me for over twenty years.

A California radio station, Latino Mix 100.7/105.7(KVVZ San Rafael/KVVF Santa Clara), set the internet ablaze by playing ‘Hot in Herre’ by the rapper Nelly on repeat for more than 24 hours.

What’s it all about? It’s what’s known in radio jargon as a ‘stunt,’ attention-getting programming that leads up to a format flip. In this case, the radio station is flipping to a Rhythmic format, Hot 100.7/105.7. Format flips, and the stunts that accompany them are not uncommon. In fact, an entire website is devoted to the art of changing a radio station from one flavor to another.

"When was the last time a Spotify playlist or custom-crafted Pandora station elicited this level of attention?"

So what’s different about Nelly 1057? The radio station’s stunt has gone viral, with #nelly1057 becoming a top trending topic on Twitter and Facebook. I suspect the viralality has to do with the fact these stations broadcast in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area – you know, the hot bed of tech where everyone has their ear buds plugged into an iPod or listening to Pandora or Spotify. Except Friday March 14, 2014 apparently, when a terrestrial broadcaster captured first the city’s, then the world’s attention via social media.

The fact that a station’s stunt has garnered so much attention shows radio’s lasting importance to the communities they serve and our culture in general.

Peruse this reddit thread on /r/music called “A Latin radio station out in California has been playing “Hot in Herre” by Nelly since 3 PM for some reason and nobody seems to know why,” and you’ll see hundreds of comments filled with recollections of other memorable broadcasts from across the country. When was the last time a Spotify playlist or your custom-crafted Pandora station elicited this level of attention?

Critics of broadcast radio like to point to the ‘faceless corporate overlords’ who dictate homogeneous playlists and stifle all fun and creativity from the industry, yet this wildly viral stunt was pulled off by one of America’s major broadcasters, Univision, which owns television and radio stations in dozens of cities.

Does the radio industry need to find a way to address the on-demand ‘I want to hear what I want when I want’ pull of new technology? Of course. But, the attention garnered by Nelly 105.7 shows there’s still plenty of magic emanating from those transmitter towers that dot the landscapes of America.

Listen: Creepy WKCR Signal Hijacking Incident

More From Lite 98.7

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://lite987.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on LITE 98.7 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on LITE 98.7 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!