Just look at the example I provided above with WQHT, WWPR, and WLTW. CC converted WWPR into an urban format to directly try and pull listeners away from WQHT so that WLTW would remain #1 with little competition.
WWPR was a good move into a sector that Clear was not part of. As a station, it is reasonably successful.
Since WWPR did not take listeners away from WLTW, it expanded the cluster "reach" which is important to advertisers. And since advertising is sold based on Cost Per Point, rates and buys are audience-size based, not 12+ rank based.
And since WQHT appeals to 18-34, and WLTW to 35-54 or 35+the sales aspects of your argument just don't work.
A #1 WLTW means big bucks for CC.
No, a high AQH persons WLTW means big bucks. WWPR, WQHT, etc. don't directly affect the AQH persons of WLTW.
You're kidding yourself if you think this type of maneuver was for the best interest of the listeners.
Any move that attracts more listeners benefits the station's ad rates. And if the move did, in fact, bring in more people to listen, it very obviously benefited listeners.
It's all about fragmenting the audiences of one station to protect the interest of other stations.
No, it is all about attracting the most salable audience for each station and for the cluster. Competing with a station that has lots of audience where, even split, there is a probability of top ratings, is just logical.
Putting on a format that has little probability of getting enough listener support to be attractive to advertisers serves nobody and it will not last.
Same type of deal with putting NOW on 92.3...to try and pull listeners away from Z100 and KTU. It's not about giving people more choices for CHR (do we really need 3 stations rotating the same 10 songs?).
Actually, CHR's tend to have several hundred songs in rotation, although they put high rotations on the hits. And tose "hits" are called that because people who like the format want and expect to hear the big songs every time they tune in.
If you think WKTU and Z100 are the same format, I suggest you actually listen and compare playlists. They are totally separate formats. And NOW came on because there is enough CHR listening to produce several successful stations... as we have seen in other major markets like LA and Chicago.
It has actually given them fewer overall choices (no more rock music) and has caused more homogenization of the radio dial.
"Choices" is a meaningless term if you include formats that can not support themselves with advertising. No AAA? That's due to the small audience core and poor sales as a result. No country? That is the lack of a lifestyle group, poor historical results and changing demographics... all resulting in an inability to sustain profitably a country station.