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 will be used on WJMK dovetails perfectly with the demographics that have CBS at or near the top in the television ratings. The cross-branding possibilities between the network and the radio stations, not only in Chicago but in other markets where CBS owns television and radio properties could be exploited much more than they are. It helps that their Classic Hits stations are personality heavy and can be used to highlight programs on the network.
Right now most of Chicago has no idea what a K-Hits is. They very well know what CBS is and the target audience is likely going to be watching CBS programming. Seems like too logical a solution to expand that brand back to radio.