Lance’s Line

What Does Last Week’s Format Action Mean For The Rest Of 2017?

The Christmas/New Year’s season is normally busy for format changes, but with the amount of action (including five PPM market changes in one day) has put the entire radio industry on notice. While the circumstances behind every change were different, there was one noticeable similarity about many of the new format launches. Escaping younger demographics for older. We all know that reaching the 18-34 audience has become more difficult for broadcast radio, especially if you are not the heritage player in a market. Lots of words have been written elsewhere about the struggle for radio to reach millennials but has finally come back to hit radio in the wallet where it hurts most. New AC’s launched in Philadelphia and Tampa. Gold leaning Urban AC in Boston. Adult Hits in Houston. Onl...Read More

Who Gets Hurt The Most By A KDND License Revocation?

The incident that led to the potential license revocation of Entercom CHR “107.9 The End” KDND Sacramento took place nearly a decade ago. The employees responsible for the “Hold Your Wee For a Wii” contest and death of Jennifer Strange have mostly moved on to better jobs following their terminations from KDND. Even if the station’s license is revoked, the CHR format and “End” brand will likely just move to another one of Entercom’s stations in the Sacramento market. So what is really to be gained by revoking the license? Yes Jennifer Strange died pretty much at the hands of the radio station. Entercom was found guilty in civil court and paid $16.5 million in compensation. No criminal charges were filed against the employees responsible for th...Read More

Nearly Instant Insight On Today’s Big Moves

There are plenty of days when there is little news to report which then gets balanced by days like today when you get flooded with big stories that have the potential to have repercussions for many months and years forward. Starting with Entercom’s purchase into Charlotte via the mandated Greater Media divestitures and WFNZ, you have to first start with noting how much was paid compared to what Greater Media acquired WBT AM/FM and WLNK in 2007. Entercom will pay less than a quarter of the $100 million Greater Media forked down for one less station nine years ago. The debt taken on just before the economic collapse eventually led to Beasley acquiring the company. With Entercom bulking up lately on sports play-by-play rights and Beasley shying away from the format (Selling WQAM Miami a...Read More

A Tale Of Two Launches

Two format changes took place this week in the South Bend market. Midwest Family Broadcasting launched CHR “Live 99.9” WQLQ Benton Harbor MI following a weekend of stunting with television theme songs. Across town Artistic Media Partners broke off the simulcast of Classic Hits “The Stream” to debut Classic Rock “Rock 97.7” WYXX Goshen. WQLQ’s launch was the closest to having a fully fledged station ready at birth we’ve had in years. Unlike most launches that go for the jockless 10,000 song commercial-free debut, “Live 99.9” had a clear plan of attack against Artistic’s “U93” 92.9 WNDV. Unlike most format changes that are kept secret until the second it goes live, WQLQ announced its intention a week ahead of time ...Read More

Moving Past Call Letters And Dial Position

If there is anything lacking in my knowledge of the radio industry, it would be the lack of attention spent listening to the national and regional Christian music networks. In the part of the New York market I reside only Educational Media Foundation’s “K-Love” is available in any nearby market. But after two trips to the Midwest this summer including a week traveling through Michigan and from here in Nashville at the 2016 Radio Show one thing in particular caught my ear. Some of these brands are more prepared for our digital future than any commercial radio station as they have moved beyond reliance on the frequency and call letters. It doesn’t matter what frequency Educational Media Foundation’s “K-Love” or “Air 1” are on as the branding is the same whether its Chicago, Charlotte or Chat...Read More

Tell Your Listeners They Don’t Matter And Win?

On Monday, morning host Joe Volk was missing from Cumulus Rock “Z93” WKQZ Midland/Saginaw MI after over two decades as host of the “Joe And The Poorboy” morning show. Co-host Adam Shilling announced on the air yesterday that Volk was no longer employed at the station, but when pressed online things turned a little ugly. When a listener, who also claimed to be an occasional advertiser asked why Volk was gone the station responded “Yes, you do deserve an explanation and if you were listening this morning you would have heard one. Oh but wait, you weren’t listening.” Is that really how you want to treat a listener? Even if he wasn’t a one-time and potentially future advertiser why throw away the chance to make one? With the technology available ...Read More

Looking At The Beasley/Greater Media Deal

For those following closely the writing on the wall for Greater Media was after their drastic layoffs a couple weeks ago along with the format change of “Detroit Sports 105.1” WMGC to the more cost-effective Classic Hip-Hop. Still while rumors were simmering for a few weeks prior to that about something potentially happening in Charlotte, nobody can say they saw Greater Media’s complete exit coming in one fell swoop ahead of time. And Beasley was the company that mostly exited its two largest markets a few years ago and now here they are returning to Philadelphia and entering Boston and Detroit’s FM band in a major way. CFO/Interim CEO Caroline Beasley is clearly seeking to lay her mark on the family-run company founded by her father George in 1961. But what could b...Read More

A Movement Leading To A Revolution

Since I started traveling to radio conventions a few years ago never have I seen a group as energized for the audio medium as those here at the 2016 Podcast Movement in Chicago. The group of aspiring and established podcasters, marketers and network sales are all here for one thing. Their love of creating audio content regardless of format. That’s not to say they’re not looking to be commercial operations. The most packed rooms were those directed towards growing and monetizing your audience. The morning started with three keynote addresses. Two of the speakers came from the public radio podcasting space: Snap Judgment’s Glynn Washington and Death, Sex and Money’s Anna Sale. Washington’s first words were clear about his motives, “I don’t care about...Read More

Random Ramblings On Social Audio, Lack Of Quality Control, & Dan Daniel

How can radio put itself on equal footing with this? With television stations able to put their live feed directly on Facebook and other social media platforms during major events, where is the ability for easy embedding of audio? Facebook removed its embeddable audio function in 2012 and has yet to come up with a new solution. Two public media tests have been made this year as NPR worked with Facebook on a player, while WNYC used the video player with a static image to create a way to share recorded audio. But there still is nothing being done to get live audio to the masses as it is being broadcast. How much more reach could a station’s morning show have if their celebrity guest and the show publish the live stream? Between the growth of the podcasting industry and social audio pla...Read More

Where Do They KGO From Here?

Following last week’s massive cuts at Cumulus News/Talk 810 KGO and AAA 104.5 KFOG, I was willing to give the company the benefit of the doubt pending the reveal of the new lineup. After seeing what Cumulus has come up with for KGO, it is very easy to see what this is. A way to cut costs and let the station continue on the path to irrelevance. KGO was the longtime powerhouse in the Bay Area holding the top spot in the Arbitron ratings for 27 years straight until 2010. While many pundits will quickly point to owners Citadel and later Cumulus Media as the cause of the demise of KGO, the chips in the armor could begin to be seen as Talk Radio aged in the later days of ABC’s ownership of the station as the station dominated with audiences out of the sellable demographics. The true ...Read More

Focus On The Mainstream; But Support The Niches

Earlier today CBS Radio killed off the Freeform Rock “Freeform WBCN” of 100.7 WZLX-HD3 Boston and the company’s streaming platform/app replacing it with Adult Standards as “The Lounge“. The format was programmed by Sam Kopper, who was 104.1 WBCN’s original Program Director and Morning host when it flipped to Rock in 1968. He was joined by a team of part-time DJ’s who kept the station live for 6-8 hours daily from their home studios. The WBCN branding is also used for a jockless Modern Rock format on 98.5 WBZ-HD2 focusing on the format the original WBCN carried in its later days through its demise in 2009. The two channels shared a non-descript sub-page on that hadn’t seen a new posting in nearly two years and a now-deleted ...Read More

Causes And Effects Of iHeart’s Seattle Shuffle

The four station format shuffle that iHeartMedia pulled off yesterday may have caught many off-guard but the pieces started coming together over six years ago. In 2009, then Clear Channel rounded out their Seattle cluster with the acquisition of CHR “Kiss 106.1” KBKS Tacoma/Seattle as part of a seven station swap with CBS Radio. That deal at the time gave Clear Channel full control of the younger demographics in the market as KBKS joined Rhythmic CHR 93.3 KUBE in their holdings. That monopoly ended up leading to the demise of both stations as they were known. In 2010, Sandusky (now part of Hubbard) flipped “Movin 92.5” KQMV to Rhythmic leaning CHR and the station quickly became not just the dominant CHR in the market, but the dominant station in the market. In the l...Read More

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