Top 10 Format Changes Of 2014

For our review of 2014 we decided to focus on what we know best. Let’s look back at the ten most influential format changes and rebrandings of 2014. 10 106.9 WCCC Hartford hasn’t been a powerhouse in quite some time. But it was one of the few remaining relics to a previous era. The longtime Rocker and its AM sister operated up against three big clusters, but couldn’t keep up in the end. It was quite appropriate in a way for its end to come with a sale to Educational Media Foundation and flip on August 1 to the Christian AC “K-Love” network. The first station to give Howard Stern a job in mornings back in 1979, was now at the opposite end of the programming spectrum. With no terrestrial signal to fill the void, a few former WCCC staffers launched a webcaster to...Read More

Songs That Made a Difference In 2014

Article appears courtesy of Complete Station Branding on Barter. When you log-in everything is branded with your VO, ready to go. It has been a long time since Mainstream Top 40 sounded as homogenous as it did in 2014. There was one dense, mid-tempo groove that was present at the beginning of the year (Ellie Goulding’s “Burn”) and at the end (Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space”). In between, there was “Dark Horse,” “Team,” “Talk Dirty,” “Turn Down for What,” “Fancy,” “Bang Bang,” “Chandelier,” “Boom Clap,” “Black Widow,” “Habits (Stay High),” and Maroon 5’s “Animals.” Not all those records were exactly the same – some had noisy builds-and-drops, some just loped along for a few minutes. I liked some (“Boom Clap,” “Habits”) a lot more than others (“Black Widow,” “Chandelier”). They could ...Read More

Let’s Have An Auction!

Let me preface this by saying there is a better chance of any station license being handed to me as a gift than for this to actually happen. With many broadcasters looking to cut or redistribute their broadcast assets, let’s setup a system for them to maximize the return for buyers and sellers. Our hypothetical system would work as such: February 2015: A private auction database is setup similar to the one the FCC uses for new allocations. Group owners place which stations/clusters they are willing to divest in the database. Owners agree to not sell any asset that is placed in auction until after auction is completed. March-July 2015: Potential bidders register for the auction and sign confidentiality agreements for the stations they are interested in and gain access to the books. Th...Read More

Examining The Entercom Lincoln Financial Deal

This morning Entercom shocked the industry with their acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media for $105 million. Entercom acquired fifteen stations and a translator for less money than Steel City Media paid for Wilks four station in Kansas City earlier this year, a smaller market than any of the Lincoln stations. To show how much station prices have dropped, the price is nearly equal to the amount Greater Media paid for Lincoln’s three stations in Charlotte, NC in 2008. Denver This deal is all about establishing Entercom’s dominance in Denver. Entercom has yet to reveal which station will be divested to satisfy the ownership cap limits. Using the November 2014 Nielsen Audio PPM Ratings, Entercom’s four stations combined for a 14.1 share and Lincoln’s six combined for ...Read More

Are We Ready for the ‘80s Again, Again?

Article appears courtesy of Complete Station Branding on Barter. When you log-in everything is branded with your VO, ready to go. It’s been almost 15 years since the idea of an all-‘80s format generated any excitement among broadcasters. The format went through a quick boom/bust around the turn of the century – one entirely expected by programmers who had seen the short-lived all-‘70s format seven years earlier. Now, according to Radioinsight’s Lance Venta, an all-‘80s format exists only on four U.S. broadcast stations—two of which are translator/FM combos. Only one, KRKE Albuquerque, N.M., is in a top 100 market. The ‘80s as a format was rife with challenges. Hot ACs hadn’t relinquished the biggest ‘80s hits. The 10-year window was narrow chronologically, but too broad stylistic...Read More

What Radio Can Learn From Radio

Article appears courtesy of Complete Station Branding on Barter. When you log-in everything is branded with your VO, ready to go. What can radio learn from a radio blogger? Often, it’s how to be anybody else. Every few weeks, at least, broadcasters are urged to follow the lessons of some hot company or industry, usually one generating positive headlines of the sort that radio can only envy. Apple has been a frequent topic of these articles. Last Wednesday morning, my inbox had an article about what radio could learn from Apple Pay. But there have also been articles on what radio can learn from the Super Bowl (two different ones), Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, YouTube’s viral media stars, Pixar, Domino’s Pizza, Halloween, TV in general, and Australian radio. And that’s just...Read More

Two Major Internet Fails For Radio

A big story making the rounds of the radioverse this week is the story of the Louisiana radio station “taken down by hackers“. Stannard Broadcasting’s cluster of “Today’s Country 105.7” KVVP Leesville, Rock “Channel 95.7” KROK South Fort Polk, and AC “Mix 106.7” KUMX North Fort Polk originally claimed they were “hijacked” last Friday with their systems being held for ransom. In reality, the station’s computer systems were not protected. The stations were running the no-longer supported Windows XP or any virus protection being kept up-to-date and hit by the Cryptowall Ransomeware that encrypts every file on the system and is not released unless they send money via bitcoin to the virus distributor. Having outdated ...Read More

How News Bias Limits Potential Audiences

In a year-long study on political polarization published today, The Pew Research Center has released data on how American’s receive and trust news sources. Among the takeaways from the study, Pew states that the 20% of the population who label themselves as “Consistently Liberal” or “Consistently Conservative” are the most likely to vote, donate to campaigns and participate directly in politics. The other 80% are classified as “Mostly Liberal”, “Mixed”, or “Mostly Conservative”. Among radio brands included in the study, NPR is considered the most used news source by 53% and most trusted by 72% of those at the extreme left of the political spectrum. Not surprisingly Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck are trusted by 0...Read More

Fox Sports Radio Bringing A Blueprint For A Revamped Talk Format

When iHeartMedia’s “Fox Sports Radio” debuts its new lineup on November 3, the network will have ten hours of its daily lineup that will be dedicated to general entertainment Talk as opposed to just sports. Rich Eisen’s first guests on the show that will add the radio simulcast on 11/3 were actor Paul Rudd, San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York and “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan showing an ability to stretch the format beyond just Sports Talk. The show’s producer Ted Mulkerin, comes to the program from CBS’ Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson bringing late night television sensibilities to a radio program. Dan Patrick has always had a pop-culture lean on his program, and Jay Mohr came to the program following a long run as a regular guest on the Opie ...Read More

First Listen: Hot 104.5 San Antonio

Article appears courtesy of Complete Station Branding on Barter. When you log-in everything is branded with your VO, ready to go. Anybody who has launched a new radio station in the last few years will tell you that it’s harder to get the market’s attention. The marketing money that used to guarantee sampling isn’t there for most operators. In Urban and Rhythmic Top 40, where word of a new station used to travel quickly, listening is diminished. And the sure-fire tactic of showing up with a handful of gold titles that people haven’t heard in a while is less potent in a world where any song is readily available. So the initial success of the recent slew of gold-based rhythmic top 40 stations has been encouraging. Entercom’s KHTP (Hot 103.7) Seattle eventually tapered off, but not ...Read More

Your Station’s Website Sucks

It doesn’t matter how they’re designed or what content management system it uses, the commercial radio industry has come to accept that their online home is going to suck. Where else can you go if you want to be bombarded with advertisements, promotional graphics, and rehashes of articles posted on TMZ a couple hours before with poor SEO to ensure nobody ever finds the posts? Just head over to your hometown radio station’s website and you’ll be all set. Where else are there bios of hosts telling all about how they’ve moved from town to town to town without establishing roots anywhere and how they’re favorite sports team and musicians have no connection to their current station? Give it up for that guy Otto Mation working simultaneous shifts across the co...Read More

Examining The CBS/Beasley Deal

The biggest radio deal in years is now on the books as CBS and Beasley are exchanging nineteen stations in four Top 25 markets. How will this affect each cluster? Philadelphia Philadelphia is likely the lynchpin of this entire exchange. CBS has been attempting to add an additional FM in the market for years, twice being outbid for what is now EMF’s 106.9 WKVP. With this deal CBS doubles the amount of FMs it owns in the market as it adds Country 92.5 WXTU and Rhythmic CHR “Wired 96.5” WRDW-FM to its Sports 94.1 WIP-FM and Classic Hits 98.1 WOGL. CBS drops an AM in 610 WIP, but still retains News 1060 KYW and Conservative Talk 1210 WPHT. CBS is now maxed out at six radio stations in Philadelphia as it also owns CBS 3 KYW-TV and CW “Philly 57” WPSG. If there were...Read More