Blogs

The Inevitable New York Sports Radio War

Even before Family Radio’s application to convert 94.7 WFME to commercial status in preparation of a sale, it was looking more and more inevitable that CBS’ 660 WFAN dominance in New York would soon be challenged. While ESPN has been known to be on the lookout for a more competitive signal for 1050 WEPN there are three other entities that have a lot to gain by making a play for 94.7 or any other New York FM that may come on the market. The first All-Sports radio station, WFAN will turn 25 on July 1. By the end of 2012, four of their most vital assets could be in play for competitors. WFAN has been the flagship station of the New York Mets for all 25 years of the station’s existence. Their current rights deal expires at the end of the coming season. Sister 880 WCBS has pos...Read More

A Three Hour Stunt

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 ...Read More

Some Predictions For 2012

As we enter 2012, we’re seeing commercial radio broadcasting fracture in opposite directions. The biggest groups are heading in one direction, while smaller groups and independent operators are heading in another. Many of the trends we will see develop or continue will all come from this fracture. The largest groups, Clear Channel and Cumulus are leading the charge on one end. Some of the things that I predict we will see from these groups in 2012: Nationalized Brands – We’ve been expecting this for almost a decade since Clear Channel began launching many similar “Kiss-FM” CHR’s in the early 2000’s. Now as Premium Choice expands into larger markets, is it time to consolidate the remnants of local brands into stronger nationally known brands. This h...Read More

Fool Me Again & Again

One of the running gags of the Twitter era is the celebrity death hoax. Its happened so much that any mention of a celebrity death online should wait for validation by a credible news source. To many radio is that credible news source. Today, a “news” source named DailyNewBlogInternational reported that Jon Bon Jovi had died. This article happens to be the only thing on that site. Yet that was enough for some radio stations, let alone what is considered one of the flagships of Clear Channel’s operations to decide that was enough to post to its social media accounts. KIIS’ 161,482 Facebook subscribers and 88,638 Twitter followers were left to believe a poorly written blog post was fact because of the credibility of the KIIS brand. KIIS quickly pulled the tweet as wel...Read More

Follow Monday #1

First in a series… A few weeks ago on Twitter, @HeAintReally suggested that the radio industry adopt Monday’s for the day to spotlight others of note in the radio industry for its easily noticeable #FM hashtag. While this series will not be directly focused on Twitter, we think its a perfect way to focus the light on others who deserve it. This week we’re focusing on blogs and podcasts dedicated to the future of radio and related fields that you should be following on a regular basis. RAIN – Radio & Internet Newsletter is well known for constantly being ahead of the curve on the trends facing the digital shift in radio. James Cridland – The self claimed “radio futurologist” is flat out one of the smartest people online. Lost Remote – Focu...Read More

Why Domain Registrations Matter

Rumors have been spreading for a few months that CBS was looking to purchase stations from Harold Camping’s Family Radio. Hubbard Radio, owners of WTOP the station that will now be directly attacked by CBS’ new News station on 99.1 made a much cheaper acquisition that will be just as effective in the coming battle. A domain squatter had the domain listed for a mere $280. The domain was transferred to Hubbard on October 24. CBS, which in 2010 moved all its spoken word formats and television stations to a series of CBSMarketName.com domains, uses CBSWashingtonDC.com as the web portal for Talk 1580 WHFS and Sports “106.7 The Fan” WJFK. It too will be the online home of the News station on 99.1. Every time a host or reporter mentions CBSWashingtonDC.com on the air there...Read More

How Radio Failed State College, PA

As I write this it is currently 12:30am in State College, PA. Joe Paterno was fired as head coach of Penn State University for his failure to act on the rape allegations brought against one of his former assistants by multiple young boys about 2 hours ago. Students have begun rioting at the university, yet a scan of the local stations via their websites, Facebook pages, and the few that stream shows a complete lack of coverage by the radio stations in the market. There’s the station that brags about being “Full Service” with no mention on its website, Facebook page, and playing an automated AC format on the air. There’s the CHR, showing the station staff partying with the students, but yet again no news coverage. There’s the station with no mention whatsoever....Read More

Thoughts On Merlin Media’s FM News

Merlin Media has finally completed its process of launching its “FM News” brands in Chicago and New York. With that comes the point where we can now play armchair PD and begin to analyze the current product. The biggest key is that it doesn’t sound like any other All-News programming block on any other radio station in the country. That will either become its biggest strength or lead to its downfall. The closest comparison is to a local television morning show with a very conversational and light-hearted approach to delivering the news. That includes more of what would be identified as “fluff” pieces. In the aircheck we featured on Friday there were stories about The Go-Go’s getting their Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, New Jersey’s Governor ge...Read More

Clear Channel’s Gift To The Rest Of Radio

At first glance Clear Channel’s announcement this morning of The IHeartRadio Music Festival looks like another in a long line of over-hyped national contests and events from Clear Channel. While the mega-concert taking place in Las Vegas on September 23 and 24 will generate much of the early attention, Clear Channel has just produced a two month long promotional campaign centered around two important issues facing the radio industry. Two things that the remainder of the industry has the ability to capitalize on. 1) Streaming. The entire purpose of the IHeartRadio Music Festival is to promote Clear Channel’s mobile streaming suite featuring their hundreds of radio stations and a new platform with Pandora-like custom playlists that will launch at the concert. With listeners becom...Read More

The Dumbest Quote By A Radio Station Owner Ever

“Pandora is Web streaming, not radio. Satellite programming is called Digital Audio Broadcasting by the FCC; it is not radio. Radio should take steps to educate the consumers (and media) as to this fact. Radio is what comes out of a radio, not a computer or smart phone from the Web.” In an interview with Richard Wagoner of DailyBreeze.com, Saul Levine, owner of “Go Country 105” KKGO Los Angeles and a few other AM’s in Southern California bestowed up on us that doozy of a statement. It is that line of thinking that will make traditional AM/FM radio obsolete. This is like saying that music played off of CD’s or MP3’s is not music. AM Radio is a century old technology. It should’ve been replaced with an improved technology years ago. Actually th...Read More

K-Hits Is Fine But What About CBS-FM?

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 ...Read More

Celebrating 15 Years Of WKTU

On this date fifteen years ago Evergreen Media dropped Country on 103.5 WYNY New York and made history relaunching the station as Dance CHR WKTU. Although the change came as the New York market was going through its greatest upheaval, the impact was swift. WKTU quickly jumped from 21st in the market with 1.9 share of the audience in its final book as Country to the top of the pack with a 6.7 share in its first full ratings period in the new format as well as every key demographic. It would settle into a solid top 5 position for much of its early history until it hit a rough patch in the mid-2000’s due to CBS’ Classic Dance “Mix 102.7” WNEW. In the PPM era, WKTU has rebounded back as a Rhythmic Hot AC that has a unique New York sound in an era of many homogenized sta...Read More

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