FMQB Plans to Can Longrunning ‘Metal Detector’ Chart
FMQB, the radio trade magazine, collects chart/airplay data from radio stations nationally. For years, it has featured the Metal Detector chart, which compiles spins from a select panel of taste-making commercial and college radio stations that play metal releases. In a shocking move, the magazine was planning to can that chart. This week's chart, published on Wednesday, was rumored to be the magazine's last. One can only speculate that low advertising revenue and constant music industry cutbacks are responsible for the chart's proposed cessation.
WeIl, Wednesday has come and gone and it seems that the chart might get an eleventh hour -- and yes, we're hearing the Lamb of God song of the same name in our heads right now -- stay of execution. Let's hope that's the cause, because if there is no reprieve, it will be a blow for all the stations that have metal specialty shows on commercial radio and all those long-running college radio shows.
The metal radio format is still a viable source of exposure for new and established bands. While the chart simply acts a quantifier of the airplay, that doesn't mean the shows will go away or should be ignored! There are still plenty of bands that need airplay and labels that need the format to expose their acts. It's just worthwhile to have a chart that collects airplay and spin data, since record companies are businesses and businesses like numbers, charts and analysis.
I'd like to disclose that I interned at FMQB while in college, and when I graduated, I was hired to be the Metal Detector editor's assistant, so this news hits particularly close to home. I also worked in radio as a promoter for six years, and I worked incredibly closely with this chart and trade magazine and it would be a crime to see it sent off into the sunset. There are tons of metal radio shows out there that this chart serves. Don't take it away.