1280 WTMY Post Mortem

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  • Posted In: Tampa Bay


  • Participant
    #147356

    According to an announcement first heard on Friday March 11, WTMY will pass to another format sometime Sunday evening March 13.  I for one, will miss the truly unique programming they offered with the great American Songbook.  I would be interested to hear from Real radio people on what could have been done to make this a go, and I hope any comments won’t be of the standard “no one listens to music on AM radio anymore” variety.  There are several standalone (read no FM translator) AM stations I can think of that are running music for some significant portion of their broadcast day.  Unless they are running those stations as a tax write-off or as a charity or as an expensive hobby, they must be doing something right.

    Right in Sarasota is the WSDV/WDDV combo playing easy listening music.  I don’t really listen to them, as similar music (WDUV) is readily available.  How do 1450 /1320 stay on the air and in business?  Are they there just to take up two frequencies so no one else can have them?  Is the fact that I Heart owns them the difference?  It can’t be that I Heart is trying to counter program Cox’s monster signaled WDUV-FM can it?

    In Sebring, the Cohan radio group has at least two AM stations, WITS and WJCM playing oldies type music, one skewing heavier to the 50’s.  They have enough money apparently to afford to run some FNN news (or are they paid to do this?)  The group also has FM stations, but they wouldn’t run money losing stations just for the heck of it would they?

    In Leesburg, WLBE runs community service talk and swap shop type programming in the morning and early afternoon, and then runs live DJ’s for about 6 hours with oldies music.  They have been doing this for some time, so they must be doing more than breaking even, correct?

    In the Villages, WVLG runs oldies music with live DJ’s all day.  I think the station is owned by the community developer in the Villages, but still, they wouldn’t run a money losing vehicle, would they?

    What could have made WTMY a success?  The music was unique 1930’s to 1950’s pre-Rock and Roll.  For the most part it was without a DJ.  Because the music was so old, did they need to have a DJ introducing the music to virgin ears?  The programming seemed to be in 4 hour blocks – if you listened all day, you would hear the same jockless music playlist repeated.  “Swing Street” was repeated at least once a day, but that program had a DJ announcing the tunes.

    The station apparently started up cold, switching from sports talk in October 2013 to Swing.  Those early months were delightful, with no commercials at all it seemed.  Would a better approach have been to line up advertiser / sponsors before going to air?  There must have been some thought as to who would listen to Swing music before they bought the station.  Could people like the Sarasota Jazz Club and other similar groups have been contacted to either sponsor or help find advertisers prior to going to air?

    I would have hated to tune out when infomercials might have been run, but would that unfortunate reality have been a savior?  Or are there only so many infomercial programs available?  When Cincinnati’s WSAI was running oldies, they used to have infomercials/preachers on during the overnight hours.  However, even those didn’t save 1530 from going to sports talk.

    Was 1280 too much under the radar?  Had WTMY done something similar to WLBE with their swap shop community interest programming, would that have been an idea to get people listening in the first place?  Would a blanketing of the city streets and by-ways with campaign yard-type signs been idea?  Those are pretty cheap, and even though they might get removed fairly quickly, they would get the word out.  Similarly, bumper stickers passed out at Jazz type gatherings are cheap and might have got the word out.  How much does remote broadcast equipment cost?  Would a routine of setting up a table at any community gathering or ribbon cutting been an idea?

    Finally, and this is ugly for a commercial station, would a listener appeal for sponsorship/donations been an idea?  People plunk down money to listen to Classical Music on WSMR.  If push came to shove, what would be the ramifications of asking for donations to keep Swing/Jazz alive on the SunCoast?

    I am not sure what Sunday Evening means in terms of when precisely 1280 concludes, but the radio dial is poised to revert back to more of the same old overdone music formats, or yet again another sports talker.  WTMY – you will be missed.

     

     


    Participant
    #147379

    WTMY is 300 watts by day and just 100 at night on a high dial position of 1280. It delivers in daytime hours a usable signal to less than a third of the SB market, and at night to nearly nobody. It was not getting ratings, and while they might not sell by those numbers, if the ratings did not indicate any listenership sponsors likely got no results.  And it was billing less than $10,000 a month so it probably lost money.

    Standards is hard to sustain on a stand-alone facility. It may work marginally when part of a cluster that shares expenses, but alone it is really hard.


    Participant
    #150094

    It took some time, enough for me to think that maybe WTMY might have found some anonymous source of money to stay on the air, but sometime between Sunday and Wednesday Spanish music has replaced the Standards at 1280.  I realize that Spanish is a language and not a format, but who is the target audience for a station like this in 2016?  It certainly can’t be the kids, because they apparently are not going to listen to music on AM no  matter what.  Even adults have WBRD 1420 with a better signal and anyway, do they listen to music on AM any more than anglos do?  Haven’t CD’s and Ipods’s replaced the notion that foreign language listeners have “nowhere else to go”?  Not understanding which brand of spanish is on 1280 now, how does that stack up against whatever is on 92.5 WYUU?  What advertiser or agency buy will flock to 1280 now that wouldn’t before?  To put it another way, what is the desirable demo that can be successfully sold now?


    Participant
    #150584

    It took some time, enough for me to think that maybe WTMY might have found some anonymous source of money to stay on the air, but sometime between Sunday and Wednesday Spanish music has replaced the Standards at 1280. I realize that Spanish is a language and not a format, but who is the target audience for a station like this in 2016? It certainly can’t be the kids, because they apparently are not going to listen to music on AM no matter what. Even adults have WBRD 1420 with a better signal and anyway, do they listen to music on AM any more than anglos do? Haven’t CD’s and Ipods’s replaced the notion that foreign language listeners have “nowhere else to go”? Not understanding which brand of spanish is on 1280 now, how does that stack up against whatever is on 92.5 WYUU? What advertiser or agency buy will flock to 1280 now that wouldn’t before? To put it another way, what is the desirable demo that can be successfully sold now?

    Quote I too miss the old format, it was a very unique niche, other than the music, I like the old radio programs they would broadcast.  True their wattage is low, but with the tower on City Island, the skip made (and still does) a listenable signal in parts of Saint Petersburg day and night.
    As far as WVLG 640; they are mainly an advertising tool for “The Villages Real Estate” unit and also a promotional tool for the Villages Daily Sun, so I don’t think they care if they make money for the radio station, as long as the radio station can help sell homes and property in the Villages.  If you listen to them any length of time, you will notice that “Properties of the Villages” seems to be at 2/3rds of the ads.
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