Acadiana’s #1 Show M – F, ‘The Polyester Power Hour’, Was Almost Canceled
The Polyester Power Hour (PPH) show on KTDY, an all request retro feature on the morning show that embodies 70s and 80s music (except during an anything goes version), continues to be the number one rated show in the market Monday through Friday consistently now for almost 18 years. But it was almost canceled.
The PPH originated from my love of old school funk. Growing up in Verdunville, La., the deep south, the influence of funk was embedded in my veins. After only a short time of being on the air at 99.9 KTDY, I realized that the station needed something to make it stand out, a hook, and so the PPH was born.
The show had been on the air long enough for it to show up in the ratings, but at the time, I didn’t have the numbers so I didn’t know if people liked it or not.
One day we had a bunch of broadcast executives come into town to pick apart the radio station piece by piece to find out what was working and what wasn’t. They held a meeting at the Hilton which I attended nervously. Debbie Ray and I had just hit the air together and we had also changed the entire line-up of the station, so I didn’t know who, if anybody, was listening.
It was about lunch time when one of the execs suggested we discuss the PPH. At the time the show was only an hour long. It received the name Polyester Power Hour from a part-time announcer with whom I shared my idea. Most of the VIPs in the meeting that day were not hip on the idea of an hour long retro show at all. Many thought it was foolish. But the decision boiled down to one man, THE guy, who happened to be sitting next to me. They wanted it gone, and I have to tell you, it was headed in that direction. I could feel myself sweating, because in my heart I knew it belonged on the radio in Lafayette.
It was right before lunch and I don’t know what made me say this, but I said to the decision maker, “Hey, let’s break for lunch and while at lunch check the ratings on the PPH and make a decision when we return, what do you think?” He said, “Fine.”
Not having a clue what the ratings were on the hour long retro show, I was very concerned that it had not been on the air long enough to have the audience needed to save it. And remember, I didn’t have access to the ratings during that meeting.
We all return to the meeting room, we all sat down, and the first thing out of the top executive’s mouth was, “The Polyester Power Hour Stays”. And we never spoke about it again.
Shortly after, we extended the PPH to 3 1/2 hours on Friday mornings starting right after Debbie Ray’s 6:30 news. The PPH has consistently been #1 M – F in the market for almost 18 years. On Friday mornings, the online streaming ratings triple as it is heard in over 30 countries. Many troops serving in the military have sent word to us that it is the one thing that reminds them of home. The show has been taken live on cruise ships, and has a party devoted to it (that happens to be this Thursday evening at The District).
Thank you Acadiana for listening to the show that almost wasn’t. And, use it as a reminder that if you have a passion for something, never give up or give in.