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A Three Hour Stunt

Radio Stunt Format Change TV Theme Teaser

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a station stunt
That started in Syracuse
After Bob & Tom.

I’ve always been under the impression that the purpose of stunting before a format change is to generate attention and outside publicity to boost interest in the coming formats launch while helping to purge the previous audience. Yesterday’s stunt in Syracuse seemed to go against that purpose.

After the end of the syndicated Bob & Tom show at 10:00am, “105.9 The Big Talker” dropped its Talk format and began airing television theme songs billed as “TV 105.9“. Nothing wrong with that, but just three hours and five minutes later the station debuted its new Classic Rock format as “The Rebel“.

There’s nothing wrong against the execution of the stunt in general, but is three hours long enough of a stunt to make an impact? Very few were listening to the previous format. It reportedly generated a 0.8 share in the embargoed fall book. Anything to generate more ears for the new format should’ve been considered. We found one tweet from a listener about the stunt, that happened to be made after the new format launched.

This is all trivial once the new format debuts. It just seems baffling to leave money on the table if there is an opportunity to do something to generate attention out of the gate. Either go directly from the Talk format featuring Bob & Tom in the morning into the Classic Rock format featuring Bob & Tom in the morning or draw out the stunt for a few days and see if you can get some buzz going. Otherwise you may be stranded on an island away from the potential audience.

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Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

2 Comments


  1. Sometimes stunting is done for technical reasons, such as switching over the studio, loading music, scheduling stuff


  2. IMO, they could’ve stunted at least through the weekend to generate some talk. But I do agree with Jeremy; they were owned by Citadel before the Cumulus takeover, and probably needed time to either get the songs loaded up, or to move to a new studio.

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