What Should Be Done to Turn Around WABC's Ratings?

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This topic contains 113 replies, has 35 voices, and was last updated by  John Basalla 5 days, 1 hour ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 114 total)
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  • #142596

    Bill
    Member

    It might be because of “Election Season.” But WABC’s ratings increased in all three markets (New York City, Nassau-Suffolk, and Middlesex-Sommerset-Union.

    I know this thread isn’t about WOR’s ratings. But I notice their ratings were pretty much flat in the same three markets; despite “Election Season” and having the Mets postseason games.

    #142598

    davideduardo
    Member

    It might be because of “Election Season.” But WABC’s ratings increased in all three markets (New York City, Nassau-Suffolk, and Middlesex-Sommerset-Union.

    That is really only one market. Both the Middlesex-Somerset-Union and Nassau-Suffolk counties are in the overall New York City MSA. Nielsen does “break out” embedded market books because they can make money selling the pieces to stations that only cover parts of the bigger MSA.

    #142602

    Nathan Obral
    Participant

    Let’s wait for another few books before popping the champagne corks. I have a hunch that this “ratings increase” for WABC may amount to no more than a dead cat bounce (I didn’t come up with the term, and whomever did obviously is a dog person).

    WABC’s lineup is still as disjointed and as dispiriting today as it was last month.

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    #142603

    davideduardo
    Member

    Let’s wait for another few books before popping the champagne corks. I have a hunch that this “ratings increase” for WABC may amount to no more than a dead cat bounce (obviously, I didn’t come up with the term, and whomever did obviously is a dog person).

    The fact is that WABC moved from a 0.8 to a 0.7 in 25 to 54. That is down from a 1.0 two months prior.

    #142606

    Nathan Obral
    Participant

    The fact is that WABC moved from a 0.8 to a 0.7 in 25 to 54. That is down from a 1.0 two months prior.

    A-ha! My instincts proven correct.

    This is why the 12+ topline is worthless with regards to discussing specific stations. Essentially, if any ratings increase took place at WABC, it was almost completely within the undesirable 55-dead demo.

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    #142614

    Bill Recto
    Participant

    The fact is that WABC moved from a 0.8 to a 0.7 in 25 to 54. That is down from a 1.0 two months prior.

    A-ha! My instincts proven correct.

    This is why the 12+ topline is worthless with regards to discussing specific stations. Essentially, if any ratings increase took place at WABC, it was almost completely within the undesirable 55-dead demo.

    How is WABC or any Cumulus O&O supposed to do talk radio if the local NPR News/Talk stations in some parts of the country are grabbing the younger demographics via FM, apps and podcasts.

    Talking about WABC 770 or KGO 810 is basically talking about the horse and buggy industry in 2015.

    #142615

    RadioGuy305
    Member

    But… you know, it might not be such a far-fetched idea for WABC.

    There are only a few things you can do on AM radio any more, and even fewer that will attract anyone under 50. The Dickeys missed their opportunity to grab the Mets or put a competitive sports-talk format on the air that might attract a younger audience. CBS Radio obviously has all-news locked up in NYC, and conservative talk has proven to be an expensive failure for WABC.

    Of course 60s-70s oldies would attract an aging audience too, but maybe they’d get enough under-60 listeners to make it worthwhile. I’m younger than that, but old enough to remember AM music stations in the 70s and 80s, and I get a kick out of hearing 60s and 70s music on a station like WMTR out in Morristown NJ when I get out that way. There’s a real nostalgia factor in hearing those songs on AM radio that I think WABC could capitalize on, now that WCBS-FM doesn’t touch those songs any more. The 770 signal booms in the tri-state and they could simulcast it on one of PLJ’s HD Radio subchannels too. I really think they could reach some in their late 40s thru 50s who grew up with AM radios and hacked around with Radio Shack gear who would get it, who would like the music and who could even understand the HD Radio part of it.

    Would it pull in much more than a 2.x share? Maybe not, but I’ll bet it would beat the 1.x WABC has now, and it would be cheaper to program.

    A few years ago I’d have said no way, you can’t put music on AM. But all the FM sources for that genre are gone now, nostalgia done right can be cool, and I think WABC has the signal and the heritage to pull it off.

    Again…what else can they do at this point?

    They could dip their toes in the water and do what WKXW Trenton does — oldies on the weekend. If they see any rating blip to the crap they program on the weekend, then they could make the argument to switch the entire station over to oldies. The only bad thing, I’m guessing, is that the weekend for talk stations is typically a money maker with paid brokered programs. But I’m not familiar with what WABC does.

    #142616

    Bill Recto
    Participant

    What about a first Oldies station on the AM Dial blanking 50,000 Watts of Oldies ?

    Can’t happen because WCBS-FM has a grip on that.

    #142622

    davideduardo
    Member
      Can’t happen because WCBS-FM has a grip on that.

    CBS-FM is a classic hits station, playing mostly later 70’s and 80’s music now. About 85% of spins are from 1973 to 1989, in fact, with the pre-73 and post-89 groups each having about 7%.

    Oldies is a 60’s core format, with a little later 50’s and a bit of early 70’s. Its appeal is to a different age group of listeners. AM or FM, in a market driven by agency sales like NYC, there is little if any revenue to be had with a listener group that is all over 55 with many over 65.

    #142629

    Bill Recto
    Participant
      Can’t happen because WCBS-FM has a grip on that.

    CBS-FM is a classic hits station, playing mostly later 70’s and 80’s music now. About 85% of spins are from 1973 to 1989, in fact, with the pre-73 and post-89 groups each having about 7%.

    Oldies is a 60’s core format, with a little later 50’s and a bit of early 70’s. Its appeal is to a different age group of listeners. AM or FM, in a market driven by agency sales like NYC, there is little if any revenue to be had with a listener group that is all over 55 with many over 65.

    Thanks! I knew some stations that carry Classic hits as in the late 1970’s to Y2k were calling their format old school and throwback in some parts country though.

    #142644

    I have a strong feeling we’ll see a format change before the end of the year on WABC.
    The question is what will WABC pursue ?

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    #142651

    davideduardo
    Member

    I have a strong feeling we’ll see a format change before the end of the year on WABC.
    The question is what will WABC pursue ?

    What could they possibly do other than talk? There are no other viable formats for an AM, as news and sports are both populated two-deep with major signals.

    #142678

    Steve Green
    Member

    I don’t listen much to AM radio anymore except for baseball (with AM KYW having taken the biggest TSL hit here the past several years) ….. and I was never a morning-radio person (so Harry, Imus et al never got tuned in).

    So, in short, I don’t know what the station does ; what programming can be moved, if any, etc.

    But since sports is so huge and so year ’round now, plus with nine metro area pro sports teams, might WABC be the loudest place for some of those spillover games we hear so much about?
    It’s certainly wouldn’t be a calendar-year solution or a ‘format change’. But with so many night games and such big sports money and with so many teams — not even counting college games — WABC probably is the biggest megaphone around for that sort of second-hand sports exposure.

    #142773

    Bill Recto
    Participant

    WABC? A format change before the end of 2015? With the 2016 Presidential election just ahead — including a former Senator from the state of New York as the presumptive Democratic candidate?

    Care to rethink that idea?

    No Flip changes in 2016? But whats your bet that WABC and other Cumulus O&O’s change its model that dependent on broker programming as some have suggested? something similar to Salem Broadcasting where most of the stations are dependent on brokered programming.

    #143592

    MTN Productions
    Participant

    And speaking of WABC, Geraldo Rivera is now gone from WABC for good after a couple of years of doing his 10 AM to noon shift, and there is no talk show host at all, but they’re going to run 2 hours of brokered programming on WABC to take over Geraldo’s time slot. Is this going to be the end of talk radio on WABC after 3 decades of bringing talk to New York City since it launched back in 1982? Or is it going to flip to oldies coming 2016? Tune in again next time, same bat time, same bat channel!

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