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 ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 114 total)
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  • #143595

    Bruce
    Participant

    Assuming that Geraldo Rivera is gone for good at WABC, I would like to see Dominic Carter get that slot permanently. He has been filling in this week. I enjoyed watching him when he was on NY1.

    #143610

    Nathan Obral
    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!

    Quit dreaming about a flip to oldies… it’s not going to happen in any way, shape or form to ol’ 77. Over 99% of those bothering to listen to the NYC radio dial are not listening to WABC, and the number is significantly higher with the general NYC population at large.

    Brokered programming is the only way to go for WABC now.

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    #143625

    ksradiogeek
    Member

    Put Johnathon Brandmeier on for some reason! (Kidding, of course.)

    #143629

    Nathan Obral
    Participant

    Put Johnathon Brandmeier on for some reason! (Kidding, of course.)

    I’m laughing at that because the washed-up Johnny B is tanking badly in his home market.

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    #143634

    If WABC was to flip to another format..why not a music format ? They are over due to return to their heritage format. Why not All 70s.

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    #143644

    Steve West
    Member

    Not sure there is anything that can be done at this point. Cumulus isn’t going to spend money on WABC unless they have something they can syndicate and generate cash. Have to agree to a point, brokered programming will do it for now. WABC’s best chance to improve ratings is to get more Sports programming on.

    You guys need to quit even suggesting they bring back music in any form. It isn’t going to happen and they’ll never hire a jock to do it. BTW, to illustrate how long it’s been, ALL the remaining MusicRadio 77 jocks are in their 70s. Even Imus, their former main competitor, is not just old, he SOUNDS like a retiree in an old folks home.

    I’m not a programmer, just a guy who has a few ideas. I’d really like to see a real programmer come in here and drop a few suggestions as to what to do with WABC. Would be interesting reading.

    #143684

    Barry
    Participant

    As has been widely reported, WABC late morning personality Geraldo Rivera has stated online that despite the fact that his contract with the station runs till December, he has been “locked out” of the studio effective last Friday, and will not be returning. It seems odd that they would not let him continue on air till the end of next month. Geraldo indicated that he believes Cumulus is letting him go to save money.
    Geraldo was originally on other Cumulus talkers beside WABC. But he ended up being just on the one station. So perhaps they did feel the personality was being paid too much for just being broadcast on WABC. Any guesses who will be brought in for late mornings, come January?

    #143691

    Bill Recto
    Participant

    How is WABC supposed to exist anything they do will kill them off at this point. Also younger listeners preference for talk radio would be via a podcast or via WOR or Via WNYC

    http://ratings.radio-online.com/cgi-bin/rol.exe/arb001

    If the Audience wants news its via WINS or WCBS. In other words WABC has no relevance at this point since they lost the ABC affiliation.

    #143694

    johndavis
    Participant

    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.

    NPR has its own problem with greying demos. That’s why they keep fiddling with Morning Edition and All Things Considered as the entire NPR talk lineup is heavy on 55+ and there hasn’t been a bona-fide new hit show on NPR in 20 years unless you count recycling TED talks.

    Serial is a hit with young audiences, but it’s one podcast produced by one member station. NPR has been aggressive with digital, but they by no means have figured out how to make non-sports talk relevant to 25-54 persons or younger.

    But maybe we’re focusing too much on the delivery method and not the content. Somebody needs to make the next Serial, period. The task isn’t how to make young audiences interested in their grandfather’s talk format, but to make interesting things for younger audiences.

    Back to the original question of what to do with WABC: at some point you need to do what CBS-FM did to the geezers and just let them go. If you want 25-54, then be relevant to them. But you can’t serve both masters.

    #143705

    johndavis
    Participant

    I’m laughing at that because the washed-up Johnny B is tanking badly in his home market.

    Johnny B was touted as the next generation of talk radio when Cumulus trotted him out.

    Yeah, about that. In 1995, Johnny B was the next generation of talk radio. (And he always tanks outside of Chicago.) So Cumulus takes him and turns him into a right wing radio host. The guys who listened to him on The Loop are a) old b) not tuning in to hear him talk about Obama. So you a) don’t help your demos and b) you don’t keep the old Loop audience because they want Johnny B on The Loop and not Johnny B talking Benghazi. And for the culture warriors, just wait until he does the Buzz’s Porn Emporium bit…

    The answer to the demo question probably isn’t FM Talk circa 1997 or Free FM. But you have to at some point blow up a station somewhere and start throwing new concepts at it until you find something that resonates. Most of it will probably suck. But we know that the only talk that works 25-54 right now is sports, and if somebody else owns that position, you either have to beat them, ride your existing dinosaur into the sunset, or invent something new. Maybe trying something new is career suicide in market #1. But can it be worse than a sub-1 share 25-54 now?

    #143721

    semoochie
    Member

    I’m laughing at that because the washed-up Johnny B is tanking badly in his home market.

    Johnny B was touted as the next generation of talk radio when Cumulus trotted him out.

    Yeah, about that. In 1995, Johnny B was the next generation of talk radio. (And he always tanks outside of Chicago.) So Cumulus takes him and turns him into a right wing radio host. The guys who listened to him on The Loop are a) old b) not tuning in to hear him talk about Obama. So you a) don’t help your demos and b) you don’t keep the old Loop audience because they want Johnny B on The Loop and not Johnny B talking Benghazi. And for the culture warriors, just wait until he does the Buzz’s Porn Emporium bit…

    The answer to the demo question probably isn’t FM Talk circa 1997 or Free FM. But you have to at some point blow up a station somewhere and start throwing new concepts at it until you find something that resonates. Most of it will probably suck. But we know that the only talk that works 25-54 right now is sports, and if somebody else owns that position, you either have to beat them, ride your existing dinosaur into the sunset, or invent something new. Maybe trying something new is career suicide in market #1. But can it be worse than a sub-1 share 25-54 now?

    When WABC jettisoned music for talk, it was the beginning of the end for music on AM. I can’t help but think that if they should sell out to a religious concern(and I don’t really see any other option), it will be the beginning of the end of AM as a viable medium.

    #143726

    Steve Green
    Member

    Wow .. when it virtually gets to the point when WABC is considered just one of too many stations on the dial …..

    People have been saying for a decade that sooner or later radio is going to have to deal — efficiently — with the older audience it has been avoiding for too long. Heck — it’s all AM radio has left!
    That’s not just an ignorance on Cumulus’ part, of course. It’s nationwide. But Cumulus owns a lot of stations. Somewhere in one of those outposts there must be a personality or a programmer willing to investigate the possibilities of programming and selling TO that retiree audience rather than away from it.

    MusicGoodAsGold might be pretty much on target with his 70’s music suggestion. It’s not my money, but I’d look into a full-service format and steer it away from the piling-on formatics of modern radio (spot clusters, ten in a row, cookie-cutter sweepers, lame jingles, ten-person morning zoos et al). Seniors did not grow up with that stuff.
    The theory here is that it might not even have to be a format peculiar only to WABC. Some hours could be syndicated. There must be enough demographic lepers in LA or Chicago or Boston who have similar sentiments and tastes, and from which a similar idea would click nationally.

    Well, just a thought, at any rate. It’s either take a chance like that or replace the control board with a pulpit tomorrow.

    The guess here is that WABC is waiting another eleven months to see how the election goes. If that don’t work favorably, get out the kerosene cans.

    #143727

    Unfortunately, the various types of religious formats are already spoken for on the AM band in NYC. Catholic on 1430, English Evangelical on 570, Spanish Evangelical on 1330, Sacred on 1560.

    When Radio Disney put 1560 up for sale I argued that facility should go to a South Asian broadcaster, given the sizable Indo-Pak diaspora in Greater New York. Do not be surprised if a South Asian entrepreneur waits for Cumulus to go Chapter 11 and then gets 770 for a dirt-cheap price.

    #143731

    Bill Recto
    Participant

    You are correct PRX actually owns Serial Podcast not NPR. Also PRI (Owners of WGBH) and APM (The owners of KPCC Los Angeles) have been supposedly attracting younger audiences to their podcasts not just PRX. But Back to WABC and to a certain extent other former ABC Radio Affiliates. Disney already ended the contract with Cumulus last year. Now ABC radio does exist but this time only on Slacker Radio app/site this time and the ABC radio site. ABC Disney saw the writing on the wall on Cumulus last year. ABC Radio this time does its All-News Operation similar to Ihearts 24/7 News Network for Slacker apps.

    http://www.iheart.com/live/247-news-6043/
    http://abcnewsradioonline.com/
    http://www.slacker.com/station/abc-news

    NPR has its own problem with greying demos. That’s why they keep fiddling with Morning Edition and All Things Considered as the entire NPR talk lineup is heavy on 55+ and there hasn’t been a bona-fide new hit show on NPR in 20 years unless you count recycling TED talks.

    Serial is a hit with young audiences, but it’s one podcast produced by one member station. NPR has been aggressive with digital, but they by no means have figured out how to make non-sports talk relevant to 25-54 persons or younger.

    But maybe we’re focusing too much on the delivery method and not the content. Somebody needs to make the next Serial, period. The task isn’t how to make young audiences interested in their grandfather’s talk format, but to make interesting things for younger audiences.

    Back to the original question of what to do with WABC: at some point you need to do what CBS-FM did to the geezers and just let them go. If you want 25-54, then be relevant to them. But you can’t serve both masters.

    [/quote]

    #143737

    Steve Green
    Member

    From Charles Everett:
    >> ‘When Radio Disney put 1560 up for sale I argued that facility should go to a South Asian broadcaster, given the sizable Indo-Pak diaspora in Greater New York. Do not be surprised if a South Asian entrepreneur waits for Cumulus to go Chapter 11 and then gets 770 for a dirt-cheap price.’ <<

    You do bring back the recall of the time four separate branches of our family (plus friends) from three separate locations in Florida all met at Pappa’s Restaurant in Tarpon Springs around March of 1997. All the adults remained inside Pappas’, eating gryos and catching up, while my wife and I walked up and down the souvenir shops and the sponge docks for a few hours.
    My one good ear detected Greek music from at least three different sources on our tour of what must’ve been twenty different shops. One music source was from an actual radio station — 1470, iIrc. That station was a daytimer.
    Now this was Tampa/St.Pete/Clearwater, and centered on the traditionally-Greek Tarpon Springs. That market is 1/8 the size of New York’s metro.
    And of course there are many forms of what we in the US would call ‘Asian’. But if there were some possible consortium or mass-appeal composite of an ‘Asian’-culture blend insofar as New York City was concerned ….. probably a dayparted hybid ….. you yet still might be proclaimed a prophet.

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