One of the best ways to glean the inner workings of an industry is by perusing trade publications. Radio has no shortage of such publications, ranging from the daily fax-delivered Inside Radio to the Radio Business Report to music "tip sheets" such as the Friday Morning Quarterback.
Perhaps the most fascinating of them, though, is Radio & Records, celebrating its 20th anniversary. Better known as R&R among industry nabobs, the 10,000-circulation, Los Angeles-based weekly is aimed primarily at music stations and record companies. About a third of its pages are devoted to detailed music charts and "playlists," which allows one to track who's playing what. If you want to know whether WLQR in Toledo is playing Cyndi Lauper's "Who Let In the Rain," R&R is the bible.
The issue's most interesting column is the lengthy salute by urban contemporary columnist Walt Love to 10 stars of black radio. Among them are WVON Chicago veteran Herb "The Cool Gent" Kent, now doing weekends on WVAZ, and another former WVON mainstay, E. Rodney Jones.