^^You're welcome HF & INeedCoffee.
Do most radio stations have the music programmed into a computer type system that dictates what songs are played? The actual radio personality has little or no control I assume.
Correct, although it is a person--the station program director--who programs the playlist; it's not just a random assortment picked by a machine. Songs are organized into eras (i.e. early 70's, late-70's, early 80's, etc.), themes (rock, disco, pop, teen idol, etc.) and categories. For a station like WRQN, you'd have "power" song categories are played most often, "secondaries" fill in the gaps, "spice" category pops up with a song every hour or two, and then there are "evening" or "overnight" songs which are the deeper cuts that are played when fewer people are listening, but give the station a little more variety (and also help to rest the "power" songs). Top 40 or other current formats tend to be organized into "currents", "recurrents", "breaking/debut", and "goldens". The program director has a computer program which can spit out a 24 hour music log in about 3 seconds based on a "clock"--a schedule of how many of each type of song the PD wants in one hour.
Unless it is a "request" show where the person on-air is given a little more latitude, the personality is not allowed to alter the playlist in most circumstances.
The main problem I see now with WRQN is the jarring segueways of songs that do not fit together--I don't care what the research says. If you researched me, you'd find that I really like chocolate. You'd also find that I really like enchiladas. However, I don't want the two on the same plate at the same time. Same thing here. Take a look at these two "screeching-to-a-halt" back-to-backs during the 10AM hour this morning:
Prince - 1999
Bread - Baby I'm A-Want You
Madonna - Dress You Up (In My Love)
Prince into Bread???? That's a new one. BTW, the Madonna song would be the epitome of a "spice" song--it certainly was not one of her huge hits. But, it hopefully gives you (the listener) the impression of a station that plays "deep" cuts.
Steppenwolf - Magic Carpet Ride
Rick Astley - Together Forever
<sarcasm> Just the two audiences I think go together...hard core bikers & rockers followed by 80's teeny-bopper pop (to paraphrase Brian from "Family Guy"-- "...and here's a song by a gay guy".</sarcasm>
The station sounds really schizophrenic right now...like it doesn't know the audience. Stations with "split personalities" like this tend to lose everybody because you can't please either side.