Open House Party
The Current Open House Party logo
|Running time||5 hours|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Created by||John Garabedian|
|Original release||September 5, 1987 – present|
|Website||Open House Party|
Open House Party (most of the time, shortened to OHP) is an American radio show hosted on Saturday and Sunday nights by Kannon. The show promotes itself as "the Biggest Party on the Planet". It focuses on playing contemporary hit radio (CHR) music, also known as Top 40. OHP quickly became popular with its all-request format, along with a heavy rotation of dance music and remixes that differentiated itself from most Top 40 stations or shows. The show started in 1987, and was hosted by John Garabedian from September 1987 to January 2017. Garabedian created the show, and hosted both Saturday and Sunday night for a long period of time. At the height of the show's success, around the year 2000, Open House Party was heard on over 175 stations and became the world's most-listened-to radio program. Today, it is broadcast on nearly 50 stations.
Open House Party is currently voiced by Doug MacAskill. MacAskill has been the voice-over for OHP since 2006. Before this, Mike McKay was the voice-over artist from about 2001 to 2006. For a short period of time in the 90s, it was voiced by the legendary JJ McKay. The original OHP voice-over artist was Mark Driscoll. Many of Driscoll's and McKay's old pieces are still heard today on the show.
The show typically airs on most affiliates from 7 PM to Midnight local time on Saturday nights and Sunday nights. The Saturday and Sunday night shows are distinct, though both are hosted by Kannon. Many stations rebroadcast OHP from midnight to 5:00 a.m. (in Eastern and Mountain time) or 11:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. (in Central and Pacific time). Open House Party is owned by United Stations Radio Networks.
In 1955, the original Open House Party was created as the afternoon show on radio station WORC in Worcester, Massachusetts. Garabedian would often co-host the show, and throughout his career at WORC, he worked many different positions including one of the key people to bring up ratings and create major success for the station. The show didn't go into syndication until 1987. A few years later, then 17-year-old John Garabedian was hired to DJ on Saturdays and Sundays. One night in 1987, Garabedian went to a party in Boston. There he bumped into Sunny Joe White, legendary radio programmer of Boston's WXKS-FM "Kiss 108". White asked Garabedian if he would do the weekend shift. The following week, the two of them met to discuss it at dinner, where Garabedian proposed the idea for a national interactive weekend party show. White loved it, and agreed to put it on Kiss 108 after Garabedian created a studio to do the show. After looking into various office buildings, Garabedian decided to do the show from his basement. He and his friends strapped a 50-foot pole to his chimney to hold up a little microwave antenna aimed at the Prudential Tower, 27 miles (43 km) to the east, in downtown Boston.
On September 5, 1987 at 7 p.m., Open House Party hit the air for the very first time on Kiss 108. Within six months it became the most-listened-to radio program in Boston on Saturday night, as well as the most listened to radio program every week in the Boston radio market with a 14.8 share.
By the following April, stations across the country had heard about Open House Party's success and were signing on. The 50-foot pole was taken down and was replaced by a satellite dish. By 1990 over 100 stations were carrying Open House Party in the United States and another 40 in Canada. In the 1990s, the Sunday night show underwent a name change to Sunday Night Street Jams, which was a rhythmic oriented show that only lasted a few years until Garabedian decided to put Open House Party back on on Sundays. Sunday Night Street Jams was hosted by Paco Lopez, and distributed by Superadio Networks.
Garabedian continued to DJ on both Saturday and Sunday until March 2004, when WFLZ-FM afternoon DJ Kane took over the Sunday night show from his house in Tampa. Kane later moved to Washington, D.C. and is now the morning host on WIHT. Kane now has his own syndicated program titled "Club Kane". In December 2007, Kannon, the former morning personality on Dallas 103.7 KVIL (now ALT 103.7) became the new host of OHP Sunday, and broadcasts the show from his house in Dallas.
On April 16, 2016, Garabedian announced live on the air that he has a book titled "The Harmony of Parts" which was released on October 3, 2016. The book spans his whole life, from his childhood to creating 4 stations on Cape Cod in 2014. Along with an inspirational message that talks about life and being your dream.
In May 2016, it was actually confirmed that Open House Party would have its own documentary, titled Super Radio FM: The Story of Open House Party. A former Open House Party employee and long time fan, Darren Rockwell is in charge of the project and says the movie should be out in 2017, which would mark the 30th Anniversary of Open House Party. The title of the movie is a play on words that hints to Open House Party's original syndicator and creator, SupeRadio, which was a company founded by Garabedian in 1988 to distribute and produce Open House Party. Since then, Open House Party has moved to Westwood One, then Garabedian attempted to move the show to Premiere Networks, (but inventory was full) and is now fully owned by United Stations Radio Networks as of 2012.
On October 25, 2016, it was released in a media article that John Garabedian would not return as the host of Open House Party in 2017. Having hosted the original show since 1987, Garabedian sold the show to United Stations in 2012 and wanted to do something new. Garabedian said in a press release, "When I sold 'Open House Party' to United Stations four years ago, they required me to host for four more years. That expires at midnight this New Year's Eve. Though they were surprised I declined to renew, I explained that I had one major life achievement I had yet to accomplish and needed space to do it.” On December 17, 2016, John announced at the closing of the show, that United Stations had not found anybody to take over Saturday nights yet, and wouldn't have anyone for a while. United Stations asked Garabedian if he would stick around until the end of January, to which Garabedian agreed to do. His final show aired on January 28, 2017 and after that, Garabedian would not return.
On January 5, 2017, it was announced in a press release and on the official Instagram page that Kannon would presume the hosting responsibilities of Saturday night. Kannon now hosts Saturday and Sunday nights.
These are a few of the segments that have formerly, or still air on the show each week:
- Make It or Break It? (also called "Rate the Record"): Garabedian plays a new song each week and listeners call in to say what they think of the song. The votes are tabulated and, based upon the final vote tally, the listeners decide to either "Make It...or Break It!" Open House Party fact: Only one song has ever "Made It" by 100%—that was "Friday I'm in Love" by The Cure and was announced on air by Open House Party's Jeff Docherty back in 1992. This segment is no longer featured on Open House Party, except for one occasion, when on September 10, 2016, Garabedian revisited "Rate-Rate-Rate the Record" for the first time in many years. He played "Perfect Illusion" by Lady Gaga, which was her first single in nearly 3 years. Listeners were asked to rate the song on a scale from 1 to 5. 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. The results were announced on air by two phone screeners for OHP, Matt and Alex, and the song finished with a score of 2.8 out of 5.
- Who Sings It?: Always the 4th song of the show, Garabedian plays a "hard to remember" song and listeners call and guess the artist in order to win a prize pack. People who have won must wait another six months before winning again. This segment was only on the Saturday show. No longer featured on the show.
- Lewis Online: Featured on the Sunday night show in the 1990s when Garabedian hosted it, Reed Lewis, the show's tech guy, who is famous for making many of the live broadcasts from national events possible, would go on-air and give listeners tech tips about computers and other technology which was vastly evolving at the time. The exact years of when this segment started and ended is unknown.
- Satellite Mega-Mix: Garabedian talks to one of the world's top club DJs. Then a dance mega-mix of up to three songs is then played. This segment was only on the Saturday show. The last time this segment was aired was on the July 17, 2010 broadcast. On March 28, 2015, OHP talked to dance group Cash Cash and the group made a mix for the show. Garabedian made a minor reference to the old segment, then after the interview, Garabedian played the Mega-Mix Cash Cash had made for the show. This was the only time after the segment was cancelled that Garabedian had made a reference to the Satellite Mega-Mix.
- Research Rich: Mediabase creator, and former-president Rich Meyer gives a list of the week's top 5 songs (based on radio airplay) and then Garabedian plays Meyer's pick for the "Hot New Song of the Week". Kannon continued to do the segment for a short period after taking over as host, but it is no longer featured. Formerly on Saturday nights only.
- The Big 3: Kannon plays the three most requested songs of the night. After this, there is usually one more song played afterwards and then the show ends. This segment is only on the Saturday show. In this case, Long Distance Nighty Nights, would be airing at this time, on the Sunday show.
- The Purple Chamber of Gold: This segment is on both the Saturday and Sunday show for the first 30–45 minutes of the final hour. The DJs play "throwback" songs. Otherwise, just songs from at least five months or later. In the 1990s, when Open House Party Sunday was Sunday Night Street Jams for a short period, the Purple Chamber was a dedication/shoutout segment where listeners would call in and request a song that has special meaning to them. The Purple Chamber was revived in 2010, with a new concept. It replaces the time slot of Satellite Mega-Mix. Immediately after the Purple Chamber ends, The Big 3 starts (Saturday) or the Long Distance Nighty Nights (Sunday).
- Long Distance Nighty Nights: This segment is always immediately after the Purple Chamber ends. Ed Sheeran's song Thinking Out Loud is played with an extended instrumental intro. Over the intro, Kannon plays phone calls from listeners saying a special "Nighty Night" to their loved one. Multiple songs have been used for this segment over the years, such as Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars, "Heaven" (Candelight Mix) by DJ Sammy, and the original 1988 Nighty Nights song, "Two Occasions" by The Deele. On April 19, 2015, "Heaven" was played again, for the first time in 4 years, by a listener request. The last time this song was used as the normal Nighty Nights song, was the broadcast on January 9, 2011. After the Nighty Nights play, Kannon makes his final statements of the evening, and the song plays, followed by advertisements, then the show concludes. This segment is only on Sunday nights.
- Breakthrough: This segment is featured on both the Saturday and Sunday shows. The DJ plays one or two new songs that are doing very successful on the radio and charts. This segment is at random times throughout the show.
- Shout-Outs: Listeners call-in and just make a simple shout-out to a friend, family member, or a close acquaintance. About 1–3 minutes are used for this segment. This segment is only on the Sunday show.
- Rant Room: Listeners call in and "Rant" about something that is bugging them or upsetting them in life, whether it be a person, place, thing etc. This segment used to be called the "Bitch Box", until multiple radio stations began to complain about the name. It was then changed to the "Rant Room". This segment is only on the Sunday show.
- Kannon's Turbo-Mix: Towards the end of 2016, John Garabedian began to play 20 minute mixes done by Sunday night host, Kannon. The first mix was played in October, and was made by Kannon while he was at a rave in Amsterdam. He sent one of his mixes to Garabedian who played it on the show. Garabedian played another one of Kannon's mixes the following week. Listeners on social media and callers on the show have expressed a strong liking to the segment, which was featured on Saturday nights in the fourth hour.
- "Open House Party's History Page". openhouseparty.com. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- "Open House Party ~ The Biggest Party on the Planet!". openhouseparty.com. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- "Open House Party MySpace". myspace.com. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- "Open House Party ~ The Biggest Party on the Planet!". Open House Party. Retrieved 22 April 2017.