Blogs

Thoughts On Merlin Media’s FM News

Merlin Media has finally completed its process of launching its “FM News” brands in Chicago and New York. With that comes the point where we can now play armchair PD and begin to analyze the current product. The biggest key is that it doesn’t sound like any other All-News programming block on any other radio station in the country. That will either become its biggest strength or lead to its downfall. The closest comparison is to a local television morning show with a very conversational and light-hearted approach to delivering the news. That includes more of what would be identified as “fluff” pieces. In the aircheck we featured on Friday there were stories about The Go-Go’s getting their Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, New Jersey’s Governor ge...Read More

Clear Channel’s Gift To The Rest Of Radio

At first glance Clear Channel’s announcement this morning of The IHeartRadio Music Festival looks like another in a long line of over-hyped national contests and events from Clear Channel. While the mega-concert taking place in Las Vegas on September 23 and 24 will generate much of the early attention, Clear Channel has just produced a two month long promotional campaign centered around two important issues facing the radio industry. Two things that the remainder of the industry has the ability to capitalize on. 1) Streaming. The entire purpose of the IHeartRadio Music Festival is to promote Clear Channel’s mobile streaming suite featuring their hundreds of radio stations and a new platform with Pandora-like custom playlists that will launch at the concert. With listeners becom...Read More

The Dumbest Quote By A Radio Station Owner Ever

“Pandora is Web streaming, not radio. Satellite programming is called Digital Audio Broadcasting by the FCC; it is not radio. Radio should take steps to educate the consumers (and media) as to this fact. Radio is what comes out of a radio, not a computer or smart phone from the Web.” In an interview with Richard Wagoner of DailyBreeze.com, Saul Levine, owner of “Go Country 105” KKGO Los Angeles and a few other AM’s in Southern California bestowed up on us that doozy of a statement. It is that line of thinking that will make traditional AM/FM radio obsolete. This is like saying that music played off of CD’s or MP3’s is not music. AM Radio is a century old technology. It should’ve been replaced with an improved technology years ago. Actually th...Read More

K-Hits Is Fine But What About CBS-FM?

Today brings the relaunch of 104.3 WJMK Chicago as Classic Hits “K-Hits 104.3“. Yet again CBS is leaving its biggest branding solution on the sidelines. CBS Radio has three letters in its portfolio that no other company can possess, CBS itself. Outside of 740 KCBS San Francisco, 880 WCBS and 101.1 WCBS-FM New York the company does not use its name in the branding of any of its stations. KCBS-FM Los Angeles only uses the calls in its legal id. CBS has an advantage none of its television brethren have. ABC and NBC have long sold out of the radio business. Fox licenses its name to Clear Channel for News and Sports radio networks and there are plenty of “Fox” branded stations nationally, but they have no connection to the television outlet. The Classic Hits format that ...Read More

Celebrating 15 Years Of WKTU

On this date fifteen years ago Evergreen Media dropped Country on 103.5 WYNY New York and made history relaunching the station as Dance CHR WKTU. Although the change came as the New York market was going through its greatest upheaval, the impact was swift. WKTU quickly jumped from 21st in the market with 1.9 share of the audience in its final book as Country to the top of the pack with a 6.7 share in its first full ratings period in the new format as well as every key demographic. It would settle into a solid top 5 position for much of its early history until it hit a rough patch in the mid-2000’s due to CBS’ Classic Dance “Mix 102.7” WNEW. In the PPM era, WKTU has rebounded back as a Rhythmic Hot AC that has a unique New York sound in an era of many homogenized sta...Read More

Adam Carolla Takes Podcast To New Outlets

The demise of CBS’ “97.1 Free-FM” KLSX Los Angeles in February 2009 has led to some of the most innovative attempts at online broadcasting. While Tom Leykis has used his remaining time on his CBS contract to build a network of podcasts and unique music streams and Heidi Hamilton & Frank Kramer, part of KLSX’s midday show are getting some publicity for their site, it’s been former morning host Adam Carolla making the biggest inroads in using his daily podcast to bring himself to new mediums. Carolla, picked in 2005 as one of the regional replacements for Howard Stern, will be getting a one-week tryout on Stern’s “Howard 101” channel on SiriusXM the week of January 24. His daily podcast will be simulcasted live with the addition of live co...Read More

End Of The Year Thanks

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made 2010 such a great year for us at RadioInsight.com. We’ve broken many of our previous traffic records, continue to see an increase in our Twitter followers, and have had more fun reporting on the industry than we did in a long time. We’ve seen many stations come and go this year, but the biggest trend for much of 2010 was the shift of spoken word Talk and Sports formats from AM to FM. We’ve seen some unique stations like Live 100.5 Birmingham go and a slow death march for Smooth Jazz nationwide. But if 2010 cab bring a new Easy Listening station to a major market, I’d say that radio is still finding ways to develop new and compelling programming. We’re putting the finishing pieces on evolving our ...Read More

Apple Is NOT Banning All Radio Apps

Update 11/30: Time to put the nail in the coffin of this story. Airkast CEO Larry Leung has stated how it has adjusted to Apple’s requests towards future radio apps. To the best of our knowledge, Apple has not formally published a position to reject apps for single radio stations. In October, the Apple iTunes App Store team approached us regarding the subject of radio apps. We want it to be clear that Apple has not rejected any of our radio apps. However, in respecting the direction Apple wants for future iPhone apps, it was recommended that we work closer with our customers to: a) add more variety to the look-and-feel of individual station apps; and, b) distribute apps through our customers’ own Apple Developer Program accounts. Apple’s PR department has gone on the offe...Read More

Where’s The Website? Where’s The Listeners?

I’ve been noticing a horrible trend the past few weeks with some recent format changes. Many new stations are launching with either no web presence or simply retaining their former one. By no means is it expected to see a full-fledged website just as much as we don’t expect most new stations to launch with a full airstaff. For there not to be some sort of splash page with a logo, basic contact info, and streaming audio (if available) is just making it that much harder for word of mouth to generate about your station. Or you can just keep sending your potential new listeners to us (or your competition). Let’s take a look at some examples with the help of Google.

The Strange Saga of Chicago Sports Webio

You may have seen ads on RadioInsight over the past few months for ChicagoSportsWebio.com, the internet sports talker founded by former WSCR morning host Mike North and David Hernandez. Early last week rumors started swirling that the webcaster would soon add a traditional AM simulcast. By Friday, North, his wife, and Jeff Schwartz another partner in the site were fired by Hernandez after North questioned why paychecks were bouncing. The story got stranger over the weekend as the FBI and SEC announced that Hernandez had prior convictions and was under a criminal investigation that led to the discovery that Hernandez was running a Ponzi scheme. As of this writing he is reportedly missing and ChicagoSportsWebio will shut down later today, while North’s morning show will continue its TV...Read More

New York Shuffle

Not since 1996 has there been a shakeup in New York City radio much like we’ve seen so far in 2008. New PD’s have been installed at WBLS, WLTW, WWPR, and WRKS. The PD’s at WXRK, WCBS, and WWFS have been let go with no replacements named as of yet. The GM of WXRK resigned. WKTU and WCAA have new morning shows. WQCD flipped. A Low-powered TV signal will debut as a full-fledged radio station this week with some well-known names in the market. In 1996, the format changes at WAXQ, WPAT, and WYNY were brought on by station sales as consolidation took hold. Now, we’re seeing the effects of consolidation’s wrath. Having to answer to stockholders more than listeners as radio became big business, costs were cut. The days of one staff per station have given way to one pe...Read More

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