With a report on the front page of this website announcing that the format of KEZK-102.5 will be changed this coming Tuesday (May 26th, after an all-1980’s weekend), there’s speculation in and out of St. Louis as to what that new format will be.
I’m going to, at the risk of getting flamed, give my guess: All-Sports.
CBS, if my memory serves me correct, has radio play-by-play rights to two of St. Louis’ three teams in the “big four” sports (St. Louis hasn’t had an NBA basketball team in over 45 years), the baseball Cardinals and hockey Blues, both of which are currently broadcast on KMOX-1120.
KMOX also has a nightly local sports talk show, “Sports Open Line”.
Moving the Cards (although their games may still have to be simulcast on KMOX for the rest of the 2015 season), the Blues, and “Sports Open Line” to 102.5 would make a nice cornerstone for an all-sports format, along with CBS Sports Radio and local drive-time sports talk shows.
True – but an existing all-sports station in the market with significant play-by-play rights didn’t stop CBS from the very successful launch of Sports Hub on WBZ-FM, did it?
That said, KEZK is one of just two FMs in the CBS stable in St. Louis, so they have a little more at stake with this flip. (And arguably less, too, since St. Louis is now one of the company’s smallest markets.)
I don’t see a flip to a talk-based format in the offing for 102.5. Seems to me that they’re more likely to try to take the place of 96.3 K-Hits. Granted, KLOU has tried to take over for K-Hits while keeping it’s existing audience (and has largely been successful), but that almost 9 share is way too attractive for a company that already seems to like classic hits to ignore.
Not while CBS is reportedly trying to sell the cluster. While moving KMOX to FM will probably be necessary at some point to keep the audience from aging out, you don’t want to go from three stations’ worth of revenue down to two right now if you can avoid it.
KMOX is #2 in the market per the latest PPMs. No way does CBS put something on FM that’s going to dilute their AM station doing that well.
My guess is Classic Hits. KLOU is sitting at the top of the heap with an 8.9 in the latest PPMs. I’m sure CBS wouldn’t mind a piece of that pie, and they’ve proven they know how to win with that format.