Blogs

Timeline: NAB Panel On Future Of AM

Day one of the 2013 NAB Convention kicked off with a panel led by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai to discuss the issues facing the AM band to remain relevant. Among the ideas discussed include going all-digital, power increases, or additional use of FM translators. And now the FCC tells us how to save AM radio. #NABShow #NAB2013 — NorthEastRadio Watch (@NERadioWatch) April 8, 2013 @AjitPaiFCC moderating #NABShow "Revitalizing AM" session: “When you talk about AM #radio, you evoke a lot of memories.” — Holland Cooke (@HollandCooke) April 8, 2013 @AjitPaiFCC in #NABShow "Revitalizing AM" session: "AM radio still matters," though only 17% of Time Spent Listening is now on AM — Holland Cooke (@HollandCooke) April 8, 2013 Commish Pai sees intereference ...Read More

How Not To Handle A Format Change

Among the many format changes that took place on Monday one has stuck out to as a template on how not to manage your audience before, during, and after the change. On Thursday, American General Media announced it would be moving Rhythmic CHR “Power 106.3” KAGM Albuquerque on Monday at 8:00am to the 106.7 frequency that was home to CHR “OMG Radio” KDLW, while being quiet about what was happening on the other side. The “Power” side of things was handled perfectly. The station hyped its move on-air all weekend. The station’s website and Facebook page were updated with the new logo and dial position on Thursday well in advance of the actual change. Their morning host Double J was very active in hyping the change and ensuring the audience knew what was ...Read More

More Fun Lying To Your Audience

There are just a handful of sporting events that capture the casual observer like the NCAA Basketball Tournament. For a television station to preempt a portion of today’s games, you would think that something important was taking place locally. Or in the case of KFMB-TV San Diego, they simply thought more viewers needed to see a pair of episodes of the education children’s series Liberty’s Kids rather than the first hour of the Michigan/Virginia Commonwealth game. Only one official statement was made regarding the programming decision as KFMB producer Louis Weiner insinuated to his followers that the FCC required the station to miss the start of the basketball game. https://twitter.com/NewsManLou/status/315495067039174656 What FCC mandate would that be exactly? Every tele...Read More

Coming Up Tomorrow Morning… Suicide

Its a little disheartening to see that some radio stations have decided to use their social media accounts to turn their reports on the suicide of singer Mindy McCready into a way to tease their morning shows. Several news sources are reporting that singer Mindy McCready has committed suicide. The Zoo will update you on this sad story tomorrow am. — The New 93Q (@TheNew93Q) February 18, 2013 #breakingnews Singer Mindy McCready has reportedly committed suicide. More details on tomorrow's Goober Club — Goober 95.1 (@Goober951) February 18, 2013 BREAKING NEWS: Mindy McCready has died of an apparent suicide. Details Monday morning with the Morning Showgram. RIP Mindy McCready… — Kixx 1005 (@kixx1005) February 18, 2013 Mindy McCready dead at age 37. More tomorrow mor...Read More

How To Easily Dispose Of Your Audience In One Easy Step

Earlier today, Clear Channel broke its AM/FM simulcast in Tucson to launch “Wild Country 97.1“. The News/Talk format remains on 790, yet as I write this ten hours after the format change the station is doing is hardest to keep the information about the change secret. There was no advanced notice of the change on-air which is par for the course these days. However, if you were to go to KNST.com you won’t see any information in regards to the disappearance of 97.1 from the simulcast. In fact you’ll still see 97.1 included in the station logo as do the on-air promos still running on the station. The KNST Facebook page (and all of its Clear Channel Tucson sister stations) has a generic promo banner for the new format yet nothing explaining the changes to the existing li...Read More

And We Wonder Why People Look Down On Radio

The past few weeks have not been very kind to the job of radio air talent. On-air prank leads to suicide. Becomes huge story globally. Check. Trial involving two high profile hosts. Check. Host gets suspended for making fun of caller with mental illness. Check. And now today word comes out of a Program Director/Afternoon host fired in Springfield, MO for lying about serving in the military. When’s the last time there was a positive story about radio talent? We wonder why listeners are abandoning the medium for Pandora, podcasts, or whatever other alternative they’ve found. But it’s ok. The industry has found its salvation. They’re going to give Sprint millions of dollars in free advertising in exchange for activating a chip to put FM on cell phones. How about they f...Read More

Do Social Media Likes Lead To Ratings: Part 1

One week after the launch of Country “94.7 Nash-FM” New York the first thing we noticed were the amount of people that quickly began following the station on social media. Seven days into operation WNSH already has 8894 likes on Facebook and 2356 Twitter followers*. To put it into comparison, top rated AC “106.7 Lite-FM” WLTW has just 18,442 likes. The most liked New York radio station on Facebook belongs to “Hot 97” WQHT with 275,516. While we are unable to parse any demographic info from the amount of likes, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that a younger skewing station has 10 times as many followers as an office friendly background station. We’ve selected eight stations that launched new formats in PPM markets over the past month. Some ...Read More

What’s Next For NashFM

The more we learn about Cumulus’ Country “NASH” initiative the more questions are coming through about what happens next. In an attempt to slow down the influx of messages to our inbox let’s answer some of the most common questions we’ve been getting about Cumulus’ launch of Nash-FM. What Is Nash? At this point the only active property with the “Nash” branding is 94.7 in New York. The station is still licensed with the WRXP call letters, but Cumulus applied today to move the WNSH calls it parked in Minnesota to 94.7. The station is branding itself as “America’s Country Station” and “The World’s Biggest Country Station” to show that it will be prevalent in more places than just New York. What Will Nash Be? C...Read More

Our 2013 Radio Industry Trend Watch

Now that the news cycle has slowed down we can finally look forward to our expectations of the stories we’ll be seeing regularly during 2013. More Deregulation The FCC is currently deliberating on whether to lift the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule. Such a move would count each type of media a company can own separately and eliminate waivers to retain newspapers and broadcast properties in the same market. Cox would be able to keep The Atlanta Journal Constitution, WSB-TV, and add to to its 1 AM and 4 FM’s in the Atlanta market. CBS would no longer have to count its two television stations in Philadelphia alongside its 3 AM’s and 3 FM’s potentially paving the way to add as many as two more radio stations in that market. The greater impact will be felt in th...Read More

Looking Back At Our 2012 Predictions

As 2012 comes to a close lets look back at our predictions we had coming into this year. Nationalized Brands We haven’t reached this point yet, but we continue to head on that path. The culmination would be the late-December launch of Clear Channel’s EDM “Evolution 101.7” Boston. This marked the first time Clear Channel brought one of its IHeartRadio.com web channels to a traditional FM signal. Clear Channel was not alone as Townsquare Media converted WQSH Albany, NY and KMAX-FM Fort Collins, CO to use the branding of their PopCrush.com and Loudwire.com web brands respectively. Less Localization / More Localization The staff cutting continued in 2012 with more and more dayparts going jockless or coming from another market. There doesn’t seem to be an end in si...Read More

The Radio Industry Needs A Publicist

Morning show prank leads to suicide; massive layoffs at the largest group owner; listeners upset about pending format change. Just another week of headlines about radio from the non-industry press. Most of the headlines about the radio industry that make it to the mainstream press are usually negative in nature these days. Outside of a handful of columnists, most newspapers have no regular coverage of the personalities and programming in radio. We live in a world where publicists have turned people who gained notoriety for a sex tape into international superstars. The NAB or some other consortium of broadcasters need to get together and spotlight the good things being done at radio. Turn your personalities into local superstars. When you’re doing what was your ho-hum annual Christmas...Read More

Gift Ideas For The Radio Obsessive

For the benefit of those looking for a gift for their fellow radio-geek or themselves, we’d like to point out two possible options. First up is James Van Osdol’s “We Appreciate Your Enthusiasm: The Oral History Of Q101“. The book is recap of the 19 year run of Chicago’s WKQX as an Alternative Rocker from 1992 until the sale to Merlin Media in 2011. Van Osdol, who worked at the station on and off for much of its run recaps the ups and downs of the station through interviews with 75 fellow former staffers. As we await the arrival of our copy, WBEZ’s Jim DeRogatis has a thorough review here. The book is available in paperback on Amazon for $15.99 and in a Kindle version for $7.99. Scott Fybush, the mastermind behind Northeast Radio Watch, Tower Site Of The ...Read More