Adult hits (sometimes also called variety hits) is a radio format that draws from a wide variety of different musical genres. Most adult hits stations play a mix of rock, pop, pop rock, soft rock, classic rock, adult contemporary, and new wave hits as well as select oldies hits, predominantly drawing on music from the late 1960s through the present day. Adult hits is akin to classic hits, although the classic hits format uses a slightly older and often narrower playlist (1960s to 1980s).
Companies associated with the format in Canada include NewCap, Rogers, Bell Media, Corus Entertainment, and other various companies. Companies in the United States include Clear Channel Communications, CBS Radio, Cumulus Broadcasting, Newsweb radio, and Entercom.
Forerunners of the adult hits format appeared on radio during the 1970s. At the time, enough of a backlog of popular music from the rock and roll era had developed to support a format based on them; oldies stations, however, were still very rare, and instead, stations that did not want to bind themselves to the current top 40 playlist would mix in current hits with the hits of the past two decades. This hybrid format began to fall out of favor in the 1980s as self-contained oldies stations rose to prominence.
Male first name FM brand
The adult hits format as it is known in the 21st Century rose to prominence in the early 2000s (decade), with the “Male First Name” FM format. One of the earliest was BOB FM; originating in Canada, BOB was intended to be an acronym for “best of the best.” Following Bob was Jack FM, a proprietary format from the U.S.-based company Sparknet Communications. Jack FM, which originated from an Internet radio station, became widely popular as a “flavor of the month” format on a number of U.S. radio stations in the mid-2000s. The popularity (and significant media attention) Jack FM drew soon led to a litany of imitators, as stations that did not want to pay Sparknet for format rights adopted brands with other male first names, including but not limited to "Frank", "Joe", "Mike", "Ed", "Max", "Mac", "Dave", "Giant", "Simon", "Sam", "Charlie", "Ben" and so on.
Adult hits stations often go under monikers that consist of "(Male Name) FM", but there are some that use another name such as "Playlist FM" and "Jill FM" in Los Angeles, "My FM", "Rewind," or call themselves "Adult Hits 92.7" after the format itself. Adult hits stations target adults 25-54, and more specifically at 35- to 44-year-olds. (When the format originally rose to prominence it was intended to be targeted at women, but this distinction is no longer followed.)
A variation of adult hits, known within the industry as Traditional Country, has made inroads into the country format, typified by the "Hank FM" and "Nash Icon" stations. A Spanish-language version, "Jose FM", is syndicated by Entravision.
The adult hits format draws from a wide playlist of broad appeal, consisting primarily of adult contemporary, pop, and rock hits spanning from the 1970s to present. The size of their music library and their focus on older music provide a contrast to other stations, which may heavily play certain popular songs throughout the day.
As the format can be easily automated due to its relatively free-form nature, Adult hits stations often have fewer on-air personalities and disc jockeys than other radio stations, or even none at all. This characteristic can be beneficial for the station owner, as they do not have to hire as many staff members beyond those needed to perform internal tasks such as station operations, advertising sales, and promotional presences. The station may also openly promote the fact that it features "less talk" and more music than other stations in their market.
Note: the below listing of radio stations is subject to change.
|Location||Call sign||Frequency||Brand Name|
|Belleville, Ontario||CJOJ||95.5 FM||"95-5 Hits FM"|
|Brockville, Ontario||CJPT||103.7 FM||"Bob FM"|
|Calgary, Alberta||CJAQ||96.9 FM||"Jack FM"|
|Chatham/Windsor, Ontario||CKUE||95.1 and 100.7 FM||"Cool FM"|
|Edmonton, Alberta||CKNG||92.5 FM||"Joe FM"|
|Espanola, Ontario||CJJM||99.3 FM||"Moose FM"|
|Halifax, Nova Scotia||CFLT||92.9 FM||"Jack FM"|
|Kawartha Lakes, Ontario||CKLY||91.9 FM||"Bob FM"|
|Kelowna, British Columbia||CJUI||103.9 FM||"Juice FM"|
|London, Ontario||CHST||102.3 FM||"Jack FM"|
|Montreal, Quebec||CKDG||105.1 FM||"Mike FM"|
|North Bay, Ontario||CFXN||106.3 FM||"Moose FM"|
|Ottawa, Ontario||CKKL||93.9 FM||"Bob FM"|
|Parry Sound, Ontario||CKLP||103.3 FM||"Moose FM"|
|Red Deer, Alberta||CKRI||100.7 FM||"Cruz FM"|
|Regina, Saskatchewan||CKCK||94.5 FM||"Jack FM"|
|Saskatoon, Saskatchewan||CFWD||96.3 FM||"Cruz FM"|
|Smiths Falls, Ontario||CJET||92.3 FM||"Jack FM"|
|St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador||CKSJ||101.1 FM||"Coast 101.1"|
|Timmins, Ontario||CHMT||93.1 FM||"Moose FM"|
|Toronto, Ontario||CHBM||97.3 FM||"boom 97-3"|
|Vancouver, British Columbia||CJAX||96.9 FM||"Jack FM"|
|Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec||CJVD||100.1 FM||"CJVD 100,1"|
|Victoria, British Columbia||CHTT||103.1 FM||"Jack FM"|
|Wainwright, Alberta||CKWY||93.7 FM||"Wayne FM"|
|Winnipeg, Manitoba||CFWM||99.9 FM||"Bob FM"|
CKGD 105.1 Mike FM only uses adult hits format during drive times. All other times the station serves as a multicultural radio station.
|Location||Call sign||Frequency||Brand Name||Website|
|Mexico City||XHDFM||106.5 FM||"Mix 106.5"|
- Oxfordshire, England – Jack FM
- Cambridgeshire, England – Affinity
- West Leicestershire, England – Oak FM
- Coventry, England – Touch FM
- The Netherlands – Jack FM
- Gdynia, Poland – Jack FM
- Berlin, Germany – Jack FM
- Vienna, Austria – Radio 88.6
- New Zealand (Nationwide) – Classic Hits FM
- Billy Anderson's Jack & Bob FM Guide - A comprehensive listing of all U.S. stations that currently use the adult hits format (Archived 2009-10-24)
- VarietyHits.com - Information about the adult hits format and the stations that carry it
- List of adult hits radio stations from radio-locator.com