WAVO asks for donations to maintain radio format

RadioInsight Community Forums Southeast Charlotte WAVO asks for donations to maintain radio format

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This topic contains 32 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  vchimpanzee 2 weeks, 6 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 33 total)
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  • #114942

    James C. Woods
    Participant
    #114947

    MattParker
    Blocked

    It’s a standards station. The article makes clear: (1) The station manager is full of it. And (2) a hack newspaper writer bought it.

    Manager Tom Gentry trots out all the lame old excuses why standards (and oldies) stations can’t sell air time. Nobody wants old people. It’s so unfair. Old people have all this disposable income.

    Fact: Older people have income and are at point in life where saving for retirement is a priority. They don’t have kids to feed, clothe, educate and raise and their homes are furnished. Their brand loyalties are established. All that adds up to stuff they don’t need or want to buy.

    But there is stuff they do need and want and there are advertisers who want to reach them. Those advertisers just don’t buy radio. There are half a dozen oldies TV cable channels and HD sub-channels running with full spot loads – targeting the same audience as this radio station. And various magazines (remember them?) targeting older people with lots of ad pages.

    Whatever the problem is it’s radio’s problem – not old people and not advertisers.

    This guy could always go non-commercial and get CPB money.

    The Observer used to be a good paper. It’s shame to see such hack work in it.

    #114994

    Goat Rodeo Cowboy
    Participant

    Got a bee in your bonnet today, Matt? 🙂

    You and I walked up to the same bush (the Original Post) and you saw the thorns, and I saw the rose petals. No offense to the residents of the communities involved, but the guy is operating a small cluster of stations in some (pardon me) rag-tag Southern rural suburban communities where he is competing with the media of a rather lively “Queen of The South” metro market: Charlotte.

    I haven’t taken the time to track down all the markets under this ownership but it is owned by the estate of someone. Is it a thriving organization as a whole, or is the entire operation a candidate for liquidation? What options does this local market manager have available to him from his ownership?

    It looks like he has been running a religion-station for close to 40 years in the market. He has another religion station in his cluster. I haven’t really tracked down the other station yet.

    It dawned on me that he may be able to actually pull off something that other people have thought about… but don’t know where to begin. How many suburban and rural A.M. stations with daytime only, or good daytime power and mouse-power at night, have wondered if they could supplement traditional advertising income with some kind of auxiliary income sources. I talked with an owner a few years ago who published an annual wall chart/calendar based on sports of his local high school. It was a once a year project that didn’t gross much (compared to his station) but it was almost all profit!

    So the guy in the article runs a couple of stations that are listener-supported religion stations. That means he probably already has some mechanisms in place to make fund-raising work. (Donor lists, mailing facilities, maybe a phone-bank in a studio, and after 40 years, maybe a good understanding of what to say and DON’T say to listeners and potential donors. Plus, a lot of people will listen to religion radio part of the day, but “get their tank filled” after ‘x’ number of hours. They are prime candidates to spend the other part of their day listening to a mild set of Oldies on a companion station.

    I think the guy may have a “synergy” opportunity in his grasp.

    Now, Matt… tell me the answer to something. Have you ever sold advertising at the retail level for a station that reaches the mature listener? Are you sure that if the guy that was interviewed just stiffened his upper lip and got on with his task he could really make this thing work YOUR way?

    #115003

    MattParker
    Blocked

    GRC: Please note, my objection was not to his format or even to asking for donations (although if he resorts to public radio style begathons, I hope people would object to that). It’s to the same old, same old BS he fed this newspaper writer.

    I wish people like this guy would start looking at the basic and essential issue: Why don’t advertisers who want to reach post 50 consumers (and there is such an animal) use radio? Stop blaming advertisers who target the so-called “money demos” for their products; they know who their customers are.

    I also find it curious that we don’t hear this same kind of whining from operators of right-wing talk stations, which have similarly aged audiences.

    And I have no problem with radio stations looking for other types of revenue. God knows they are needed.

    Since this guy also operates a preachers’ pay to play station, and WAVO is a computer in a closet running Music of Your Life, his exit from the biz would be no great loss in my book. Preachers like cockroaches always find a place, and MOYL can be heard online.

    #115026

    Goat Rodeo Cowboy
    Participant

    I also find it curious that we don’t hear this same kind of whining from operators of right-wing talk stations, which have similarly aged audiences.

    I think I have read comparable observations about right wing talk radio written by David Eduardo and TheBigA. It seems to be part of the role you are expected to play if you are part of right wing talk to pretend everything is going very well, thank you.

    Since this guy also operates a preachers’ pay to play station, and WAVO is a computer in a closet running Music of Your Life, his exit from the biz would be no great loss in my book. Preachers like cockroaches always find a place, and MOYL can be heard online.

    Tell me what CAN’T be moved to online these days.

    I must tell you that I take a bit of personal offense at your observation about roaches and preachers…. but this isn’t the venue to hash that one out. 🙂

    #115046

    MattParker
    Blocked

    Not all preachers, GRC. Just those buying brokered radio time with other people’s money to put themselves on the radio to collect even more of other people’s money.

    #115057

    musiconradio.com
    Participant

    Couple of things. MOYL has a small but loyal following. Is his market the right place to feature it? How much local is he doing? I would look at local sports as a major revenue generator, and any regional or college sports. I don’t think I would go the MOYL route, at least I would modify it to a True oldies type format (on a local hard drive) so I could mention every town and city, and as much local information as I could squeeze in.

    We had an AM a few years back. It carried MOYL. My mother who was 63 at the time said it was too old for her. I did make some money, but were in very upscale market with a bunch of snowbirds.

    5000 watt daytime in that market would be a tough sell, but not impossible. I would get online. I think even getting a translator would be tough.

    Once again: I would reevaluate the format.

    #115062

    Goat Rodeo Cowboy
    Participant

    The Internet can be your friend.

    Where did MYOL get into this thread. The interview indicated that station is carrying “standards” which is a term that can cover a lot of ground.

    If you dig around the other stations managed by the man being interviewed, you will find that he has been the manager of WHVN for 41 years now. Maybe he knows a little bit about his market.

    He is operating stations in the urban/suburban sprawl of the nation’s 37th largest market. If there are big, obvious programming “vacuums” in the market, maybe he is aware of them.

    Now, here is the factoid that just totally changes how we might want to look at WAVO. The owner of a group of 11 radio stations died last year. (The most recent FCC filings show them moving the licenses to an Executor, and now moving them to that person as Trustee.) The man who died was virtually a life-long buyer of record companies and music copyrights, specializing in Jazz. (He apparently chose to live in New Orleans.)

    So is it possible that this ‘stray child’ of a radio station was the pet project of a man who enjoyed seeing the music he had owned and nurtured over the last 60 or 70 years had at least one radio station in America that play some of it?

    Is it possible that now the Trustee (and surviving family members?) have said to the manager in Charlotte: See if there is another way to operate this station. Do something innovative.

    I am fascinated with all the unknowns in this drama.

    #115064

    Goat Rodeo Cowboy
    Participant

    Not all preachers, GRC. Just those buying brokered radio time with other people’s money to put themselves on the radio to collect even more of other people’s money.

    Just for grins, I also did a bit of Internet research on the station manager interviewed by the newspaper guy. You can tell a lot about someone by the church they select as their connection to the world of faith. It is NOT the church I would affiliate with if I moved to Charlotte, but it is one that I would respect. Their credentials appear to be “roach free”. 🙂

    #115068

    MattParker
    Blocked

    The Radio-Locator entry specifically mentions Music of Your Life.

    Sounds like this is one of those “closely-held” companies Roberts says doesn’t have to provide contraceptive coverage.

    #115074

    Goat Rodeo Cowboy
    Participant

    The Radio-Locator entry specifically mentions Music of Your Life.

    In my attention and frustration with a web link that doesn’t work… I looked right past that!

    Thank you.

    #115080

    MattParker
    Blocked

    I went to the wayback machine and found their website from last April. Back then the station schedule did not mention any specific branding (“Music of Your Life,” “Original Hits,” etc) just a list of artists. The schedule said Bill Bennett (Salem talk) in morning drive) and then “music” 9am to midnight. The last time I listened to MOYL they had slid from standards to more like AC Oldies from the 60s and 70s (as had Dial Global/Westwood) – not the standards artists on the station website. Still the lack of specificity still sounds like a computer in a closet. Its signal’s coverage of the market appears limited, at best. I also bet that when WBT has their IBOC on it can cause havoc for them. A down website is not a good sign (websites are a great way for people to donate).

    #115081

    davideduardo
    Participant

    Whatever the problem is it’s radio’s problem – not old people and not advertisers.

    No, it is local media’s problem. Those advertisers who target seniors tend to buy national, with a focus on cable TV and national print. Local stations can’t get at this revenue, and there is little equivalent local money to be had for reaching 65+, where most standards listeners are.

    The issue even affects the traditional TV nets. CBS has had a campaign for the last several years focused on convincing advertisers and their agencies to look at 35-64 as well as the traditional 18-49 that they follow.

    One of the reasons that print and cable nets are used for senior-specific campaigns is the ability to reach seniors with little spillage by selecting the titles and programs that deliver them efficiently. And, in many cases, senior targeted ads are PI, not cash… cable nets use them to time out hours that are not sold out.

    #115082

    davideduardo
    Participant

    The Radio-Locator entry specifically mentions Music of Your Life.

    Radio-locator is consistently wrong on perhaps 20% of formats.

    Sounds like this is one of those “closely-held” companies Roberts says doesn’t have to provide contraceptive coverage.

    I wonder if they even have 50 or more employees and thus have to provide health care or pay penalties. In any case, of their 11 stations, most are not Christian or Gospel. Heck, one is even Regional Mexican.

    #115106

    Mike704
    Participant

    WAVO has 5000 watts day and flea power at night, basically a daytimer. The signal isn’t great. It’s a computer in a closet. The music was obtained from Dial Global, they used to be on the bird but when Dial Global went more contemporary they got off. I don’t know what they are doing now but it’s not very hit oriented. I know a bit about the music having worked for standards stations and MOR stations for much of my career. I usually enjoy the format but I pass on what they are doing.

    Facing retirement age in a few years myself, I know that I won’t have money to throw away on a down and out radio station. I doubt anyone else will either. The article may serve another purpose. To let everyone know the format is going away. They have done the simulcast with WHVN before. I’d give it a couple of months at the most.

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