Lance’s Line

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 Radio.com 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 WZLX.com 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

Never Settle For Mediocrity

Welcome to the new and improved RadioInsight.com. It has been less than a year since our last redesign, but quickly the flaws became apparent. We aspire to put forth a professional appearance and the old design was anything but. With the tenth anniversary of the site coming in April, I wanted something that proudly conveyed our legacy and our future. And this is just the beginning. Next week we’ll begin integrating the new layout into our Community along with a major upgrade to the system that powers it. We’ll also be debuting a new monthly feature this week looking back at 1996 and its affects on the industry today. After that comes the launch of PodcastingInsight. If you’re not happy with the presentation your brand do what you have to do to change it. Even a slight mod...Read More

Radio 2016: What We’ll Be Talking About

As we enter the new year the list of stories that will dominate the talk of the radio industry in 2016 is already filling up. Sure there will be format changes, layoffs, and sales that fill up the daily news, a few topics will overshadow everything in 2016. The B Word Will this be the year Cumulus or iHeartMedia finally break and file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection? New Cumulus CEO Mary Berner continues to claim that they won’t need to file for bankruptcy but with $2.5 million in debt due in a couple years and the stock price stuck around 33 cents a share and being threatened with delisting is there any alternative? iHeart’s debt is around $21 billion. The company’s stock dropped over the past year from a high of $8 to it’s current 90 cent value. They sold man...Read More

Why Is It So Hard To Say Goodbye (To Old Formats)?

Radio stations have been on the internet for two decades now. They’ve been changing format for nearly a century. How after all of this time has the radio industry failed to understand how easy it is to use the internet to communicate with their past, present and future listeners. When Wilks sold two of their Columbus OH properties to Radio-One and saw Classic Country “K107.1” WHOK-FM flip to Gospel, we received plenty of searches for keywords along the lines of “Where Did K107.1 Move?” and “Columbus Classic Country”. The format change took place on November 16, yet as I write this nine days later, the website for the old format remains online with no reference to the format’s demise. How hard would it have been to put up a post thanking the a...Read More

Suggestions For Cumulus’ National Platforms

This is Part Two of a series of suggestions for how to turn around some of Cumulus’ most-struggling platforms. Part One can be read here. Cumulus under the Dickey Brothers had a habit of launching a new content strategy and then quickly putting it on the back-burner after it failed to meet expectations. In the past few years we’ve seen Sweetjack, CBS Sports Radio, Nash, Rdio and Westwood One all have their turn in the spotlight. We checked on Nash last week and Sweetjack and the Daily Deals industry is more or less dead at this point. What about the others? CBS Sports Radio Thanks to the CBS and Cumulus owned stations that picked up the network, CBS Sports Radio at launch was established in the #3 slot of the five national 24/7 sports radio networks. ESPN Radio and Fox Sports R...Read More

A Plan To Fix Cumulus Part 1

As Mary Berner gets settled into her office at Penn Plaza, I thought I’d give her a hand with some suggestions to help get her started on where to place her focus as Cumulus is rebuilt without the influence of the Dickey Brothers. Talk As the 2016 Presidential Election season kicks into high gear, the former core ABC owned stations will be looked upon to increase revenue. In the October PPM ratings released this week the big Cumulus stations pulled the following shares: 770 WABC New York 1.6, 790 KABC Los Angeles 0.5, 890 WLS Chicago 1.9, 560 KSFO and 810 KGO San Francisco 1.9 each, 820 WBAP Dallas 2.8, 570 KLIF Dallas 0.3, 630 WMAL/105.9 WMAL-FM Washington 4.5, 106.7 WYAY Atlanta 1.4, and 760 WJR Detroit 5.0. The Dickeys spent lots of time tinkering with their Talkers over the past ...Read More

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