|Portrait of a Diary User
“Who listens in medium and small markets?” – Nielsen has answers.
After focusing on the 48 electronic measurement markets covered by PPM, Nielsen turns to the 215 diary markets, providing fresh sales ammunition to sellers and marketers. Some key points - Weekday listening in medium and smaller markets rises to its highest point in the 7am hour, with a nearly 18 AQH rating for age 12+ listeners. That means about 18% of all Americans in those markets are tuned to local broadcast radio, in an average 15-minute period. There’s an afternoon peak in the 3pm hour at roughly a 15 AQH rating, The strongest daypart is (you’ve no doubt guessed) mornings 6am-10am with an average AQH rating of 14.6. But midday is nearly as strong, at 14.2, followed by afternoons with a 12.8. (Evenings drop to a 4.4.) Broken out by demos, radio reaches 86.5% of age 12-34 Millennials in an average week, and that cell gives medium and small market radio a weekly average of 12 hours and 30 minutes. Nielsen calls Generation X (35-49s) “medium and small market radio’s workforce” – because 68% of them are employed full-time. Radio reaches 90% of that group every week, and they give it 16 hours of listening. Nielsen labels boomers (age 50-74) as “radio’s most engaged generation,” for their 16-1/2 hours a week of listening. And 44% of them are still working full-time. For all three key demos, the gender breakout is almost exactly 50-50.
Most popular formats in medium/small markets – Country and News/talk.
Based on Fall 2014 data for age 12+ listeners, Nielsen says country is the #1 format with an average 15.9 share. (Nielsen keeps classic country separate, and it was good for a 1.3, all by itself.) The stations Nielsen lumps together as “news/talk” are second at 11.1, followed by Pop CHR at 8.6 and AC at 7.2. The #5 spot is a “classic” tie – between classic hits and classic rock, both at a 5.4. The #7 format might surprise you – contemporary Christian (CCM), at a 4.2. That’s better than hot AC and urban AC, tied at a 3.9. Rhythmic CHR and urban are tied at 3.7 shares, and all-sports is at 2.9. What Nielsen categorizes as “Active rock” is a 2.6 share, and Mexican regional is a 2.1. Again using Nielsen format definitions, “AOR + Mainstream rock” is an average 2.1 share. Viewed by broad demos, country is the most popular format for Millennials and Gen X, while news/talk is tops for boomers. The new “State of the Media: Audio Today/Focus on Medium and Small Market Radio” report is on the Nielsen site here.
Familiar names and voices are about to vanish from the Westwood 24/7 formats.
NOW readers using the classic rock format say they’ve been told that Tony Scott and McKenzie Rae will be gone by this weekend. “Real Country” personality Kris Wilson is being riffed after more than 25 years with Westwood and its predecessor syndicators. Based on what we heard a month ago, there will be more vanishing voices – to be replaced by jocks from Cumulus-owned stations. Cumulus paid $260 million for syndicator Dial Global in 2013, selling many stations to Townsquare to help finance the deal that let it further consolidate the syndication and 24/7 format space. In hindsight, it might like a do-over on that deal. Cumulus stock managed to avoid any further erosion yesterday, holding unchanged at a nearly six-year low of $1.26 a share.
A warm-and-fuzzy community-rescue story in Princeton, Kentucky.
A local group that includes the operators of some McDonald’s restaurants and a Chevy dealership responds to the imminent loss of local programming - and buys the station. The July 28 NOW carried the story of Commonwealth CEO Steve Newberry saying that for the past three years, he tried to find a buyer for WPKY/1580 and WAVJ/104.9. He recently put them into a simulcast with his out-of-market country WWKY Providence, Kentucky/97.7 – but the publicity and the fear of local service disappearing galvanized some local businesspeople. WPSD-TV has the sentiment from the future owners – “We realize how important tuning in for the local news and weather is for the whole community. We understand how much the community enjoys listening to the live local events, especially the sporting events. Most importantly, we know how much the community depends on the radio station when it comes to emergencies and disaster relief.” So they’ve done what Newberry hoped somebody would – banded together to buy the AM. Steve tells NOW that he's selling them the 1580 AM and helping them get a translator. Steve says “the plan lowered their costs of getting into the radio business, and worked well for everyone.” He’ll move WAVJ/104.9 to his operation in Madisonville. For the new group named Tiger Media, GM Caroline Garcia will re-christen the station as “The Tiger.” They’re doing this just in time to keep local high school football on-air, even promising “The Tiger’s Eye...a webcam that will provide online viewing of the games.”
Chicago’s talk WLS/890 sues former weekend “Law Show” for non-payment of $112,000.
“Paid programming” is supposed to involve payment by the client, and in this case Cumulus alleges that the Dailey Law Firm owes money going back to late 2013. Dailey used to buy time for the 11am Saturday “Law Show,” and the Cumulus suit includes detailed billing for spots, promos and “dedicated webpage.” Occasionally the show was bumped by a Notre Dame bowl game (December 28, 2013), but most weeks it ran in the 11am-noon slot that’s now occupied by “Home Sweet Home Chicago.” What’s interesting is that it appears the Michigan-based Dailey Law Firm still airs a 10am Saturday show on WLS-AM’s sister in Detroit, talk WJR/760. That program is “broadcast live from the firm’s office in Royal Oak, Michigan.” Cumulus originally filed suit over its claimed $112,000 (plus costs) in Oakland County, Michigan, but Dailey got it moved to federal court. No response filed yet by Dailey - which has retained another law firm to defend it.
American Tower sues to evict Mississippi tenant Urban Radio Broadcasting.
The AMT conglomerate says it’s owed about $90,400 for “several years” of unpaid rent on a tower in West Point, Mississippi. Even more expensive for Urban Radio Broadcasting and two sister companies is the contractual ability to accelerate payment of “all future amounts of rent” – over $170,000. (The station’s not named in the suit, but the antenna appears to be for urban AC WACR/105.3, in the Columbus-Starkville market.) Urban inherited the tower lease when it bought some Mississippi stations from Clear Channel a decade ago. AMT says it sent notices of “monetary default from failure to pay rent” in February 2010 and then again on March 2014 – but now its patience has worn thin, and it’s suing in federal court in Jackson, Mississippi. This is not only a suit alleging that one party is a deadbeat. AMT also asks the court to make Urban Radio “surrender and vacate the premises and remove all property and equipment without any further delay.” But as one expert tells NOW, “It’s hard as hell to evict an FCC-licensed operation off a tower.”
FCC wipes out the invisible KXOL/1660 in the Salt Lake City market. If you don’t broadcast during a 12-month period, your license can be stripped, and the Commission’s becoming more aggressive about it. Radio Insight says the agency “has deleted the license for Inca Communications regional Mexican KXOL Brigham City on the grounds that it was silent for more than 12 months.” That follows the November 21, 2013 request for Special Temporary Authority on the grounds of signal interference and then later the health of owner/general manager Nicolas Vicente. Inca now says it got KXOL back on the air in March of this year – but it’s too late. Vicente has LMAs-to-buy with KMRI West Valley City (1550) and KEGH Woodruff (107.1).
Kim Guthrie of Cox Media Group is awarded the MIW “Trailblazer” honor, for her work in creating opportunities for other women in radio. This is the seventh year the Radio MIW group has chosen a recipient, and in 2012 it named the accolade the “Frances Preston Trailblazer” award, after the longtime President/CEO of BMI (and MIW member). Kim Guthrie’s put 32 years into the broadcast business, and until June was EVP/Radio for Cox Media Group. Now she’s been promoted to EVP of National Ad Platforms and President of Cox Reps. Radio MIW Spokesperson Kay Olin says “Kim’s been a passionate and enthusiastic ambassador for radio throughout her career.” She’ll get the applause of the room at the upcoming NAB/RAB Radio Show in Atlanta, at the Friday, October 2 “Music & Mimosas” morning event.
Entercom-Sacramento begins a new partnership about food, to help Californians “find the freshest food in the Sacramento Valley, America’s farm-to-fork capital.” Entercom’s contributing the website – “EatFarmToFork” - and signs a three-year deal with the Raley’s family of 123 food stores. They’re collaborating with the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau to “educate the public on the food scene, rich agriculture and local breweries and wineries.” Entercom GM Lance Richard says they hope to “elevate the farm-to-fork conversation” – and no doubt harvest some revenue, too.
More Eastlan markets from the Spring survey –
Gainesville-Ocala, Florida has Dix Communications’ “K Country” WOGK at the top of the Eastlan age 12+ AQH total-week rankings. That’s different from the Nielsen Spring book. Dix, which just announced it’s looking to sell its radio cluster in western Maryland, has apparently quit subscribing to Nielsen in Gainesville. So Eastlan shows us WOGK, but it’s invisible in the Nielsen Spring survey (unless you subscribe to Nielsen, in which case you see everything). “K Country” improves from a 9.6 share in Eastlan’s Fall 2014 book to a 9.9 share in the Winter and now a 10.3 in Spring 2015. Second is Entercom’s news/talk WSKY (9.5-8.4-8.8) and third is the Dix-owned classic rock “K-Wind” trimulcast of WNDD/WNDT/WNDN (6.5-7.5-7.6). Entercom’s got fourth place with AC WKTK (6.8-5.8-7.3) and the University of Florida’s non-com news/talk WUFT is fifth (6.4-7.4-5.8). Want to keep going in Eastlan? #6 is Marc Radio’s urban “Magic” WTMG (5.7-5.5-5.0), closed trailed by Gillen CHR “Kiss 105.3” WYKS (5.1-4.6-4.9). If you think Gainesville is mainly a youth-oriented college town, check your assumption – Arroyo’s newish soft oldies “Gold 99.5/99.7” WGMA/WGMW is a player (4.3-5.9-4.3). Contemporary Christian non-com “Joy FM” WHIJ/WAQV, owned by Radio Training Network, is #10 (3.4-2.4-3.5). The University of Florida’s commercially-operated country “103.7 the Gator” WRUF-FM slips, 4.0-3.6-2.5. Eastlan’s Spring survey, based on “random stratified telephone-recall sample and daily e-surveys,” was in the field March 26-June 3.
Odessa-Midland ratings show Townsquare’s urban “B93” KZBT in the lead, moving from a 9.6 share last Spring to an 8.5 last Fall and an 11.1 share this Spring. (This Texas market gets two books a year, Spring and Fall.) Second is ICA Media’s news/talk KCRS and its translators (9.2-9.9-9.6), followed by ICA sister top 40 “103.3 Kiss FM” KCRS-FM (7.4-9.2-8.9). Fourth is a station that just got sold, because it’s in a TV combo with a Drewry station being sold to Ramar. The radio station is regional Mexican “La Ley” KTXC (6.8-5.4-7.0). Fifth place is a real traffic jam, with three stations at identical shares - Brazos Communications’ oldies “97 Gold” KMCM (3.6-5.7-5.3), Townsquare’s country “Lonestar 92” KNFM (4.5-5.4-5.3) and Permian Basin’s regional Mexican “La Caliente” KMMZ (4.0-3.2-5.3). There’s a K-Love outpost here, and it’s EMF-owned contemporary Christian non-com KLVW (4.3-4.7-4.6). “Air1” Christian rock sister KFRI scores further down, 1.9-1.9-1.7.
South Bend – Top 40 “U93” is Artistic Media Partners’ longtime CHR, and it moves from a 12.3 share last Spring to a 13.5 last Fall and now 13.6. Second is Schurz-owned AC “Sunny 101.5” WNSN (10.2-9.1-10.1). Then we’ve got two Federated Media stations - country “B100” WBYT (10.4-10.8-9.6) and rock “103.9 the Bear” WRBR (8.8-7.8-8.1). Fifth is news/talk/jazz non-com WVPE, licensed to Elkhart Community Schools (7.9-8.0-8.0). There’s a local contemporary Christian non-com, WHPZ/WHPD, gaining 1.0-1.0-1.8. Eastlan shows us the out-of-market stations like Chicago’s talk WGN (2.0-1.3-1.1) and CBS Radio’s all-news WBBM (0.2-0.5-0.6). So to compare - the Eastlan top three is CHR WNDV, AC “Sunny” and country “B100.” Nielsen only releases the shares of six stations total for South Bend, and its top three are “Sunny,” top 40 WNDV and classic hits WZOC.
"The competition is beating up on us - We need to defend ourselves."
Charlie Sislen, a partner at Annapolis-based Research Director Inc., reacts to yesterday's story about the "major gap" Lew Dickey spots in the perception of radio, revealed in a new set of studies from Nielsen, Edison and Advertiser Perceptions. Charlie says "When I go out and talk to advertisers and agencies, they are shocked to see how strong our industry remains in 2015. I was in Birmingham two weeks ago and in Chicago before that, two very different marketplaces, and the competition is beating up on us. When I show people the weekly cume and the daily cume of radio, they're surprised. They say they haven't heard about it. The radio industry has not done a good job of broadcasting its benefits to advertisers and agencies. What I'm saying is, we have got to tell the story to the buyers, the planners and the advertisers. Because nobody else will."
In Lubbock, it’s like two local store owners agreeing to swap locations, so one can pay off the debt he owes the other. Make sense? It does to Ramar Communications and Ernest Barton, who owes past-due lease payments to FLP Ramar Ltd. on a note they signed in 2006. The money is owed for a tower and transmitter-building lease, and Barton’s getting great terms on the 44-month loan at the face value of $44,779,96 – unless he falls behind. In that case, the interest rate would zoom from zero to 18%, on all payments from the beginning of this new note. What the deal means for listeners is that Ramar’s all-sports KTTU “Double T” format relocates from Brownfield-licensed 104.3 to Lubbock-licensed 106.5. They’re both class C2’s, but Ramar obviously thinks 106.5 is a better home for “Double T.” (He gets the better store location, in other words.) The opposite occurs to Barton Broadcasting’s Tejano format with calls of KEJS. “Power 106” migrates from 106.5 to 104.3 – probably sometime in early December.
A mother-daughter sale in south-central Kentucky, where Judy Crabtree sells “River Country” WKYR-FM/107.9 to daughter and general manager Connie Crabtree. Judy’s Cumberland Broadcasting bought the Class A licensed to Burkesville back in 2007, paying $153,375. The station’s appreciated since then, because the 2015 sale price is $450,000. Terms are a $50,000 down payment that’s financed in a no-interest 36-month loan, and the rest in a 15-year note at 4% simple interest. Connie Crabtree’s company is River Country Communications, and WKYR will be its only station.
“You may not be listening now [to podcasts], but you will be,” is the opinion of iconoclastic audio/music blogger Bob Lefsetz. Steve Goldstein at Amplifi Media (who specializes in podcasts) alerts us to Bob’s new post about “The Podcast Revolution,” and picks out this Lefsetz quote – “There’s the intimacy…in a world where you’re constantly told you’re inadequate and don’t count, you feel close to podcasters…It’s akin to FM radio back in the mid-60s. It’s a small club and you’re thrilled to stay up all night, listening.” More from Steve (with a link to Lefsetz) here.
Major League Baseball “is where a Voltair should really shine if there were any issues with a station not receiving proper credit due to encoding issues,” says consultant and blogger Randy Kabrich. He spent several days lining up the stats for MLB flagship stations, and finds “only three stations that were outside of a 0.1 AQH rating change” between June 2014 and 2015. Kabrich (“KAY-brick”) says Entercom’s all-sports KCSP wasn’t using a Voltair this year, but its 0.4 AQH rating hike was probably due to a “red-hot Kansas City Royals” team.” It had the biggest year-to-year gain of any station on the list. Whether you’re a “skeptic” or “believer” when it comes to the Voltair audio processor in PPM markets, there’s some interesting research here.
Matt Sammon offers Part 6 of his series about building a streaming station from scratch – something he did last year, and which is entering Season 2 soon. Matt’s the Director of Broadcasting/Programming for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and creator and PD of the Lightning Power Play service. Learn more here.
Chris Martin is chosen by Centennial as the successor to Steve Davis in Winchester, Virginia. Steve resigned after four years to work closer to home, as Saga’s market manager for the cluster it’s assembling down the road in Harrisonburg (July 10 NOW). Martin’s bio includes work as Eastern Regional Director for 18 markets of Radio Disney, and being a senior AE for a decade at the CBS cluster in Charlotte. Centennial boss Allen Shaw says “Chris was the top biller of the Charlotte cluster, and created and executed many innovative promotional and NTR revenue-producing concepts.” He served in the Army – and was part of the Presidential Honor Guard. The Centennial cluster in Winchester includes AC WINC-FM/92.5.
Kenny Wallace gets to be the driver who replaces Buddy Baker - another driver-turned-SiriusXM NASCAR host. Buddy had co-hosted the “Late Shift” program since it started in 2007, but told listeners last month (July 9 NOW) that the docs had found a “huge tumor” on his lung that was inoperable. He died August 10, having left a memorable quote – “Do not shed a tear. Give a smile when you say my name. I’m not saying goodbye. Just, talk to you later.” Now Kenny Wallace, who retired earlier this month after more than 900 National-series career starts, takes over Buddy’s role on radio. He’ll continue working for Fox Sports 1 and other jobs, but he’s now a permanent part of the Monday and Tuesday evening Late Shift (with Brad Gillie), 7pm-10pm Eastern.
The mystery of the missing tower - Frank Hammon, now the PD at WNTX Fredericksburg and news director for the Alpha Media cluster, says “This week’s story about the WAIT tower falling in Chicago reminds me of when I worked for the Mann Media station in Greensboro, WCOG. The towers were then on Muirs Chapel Road at Tower Road, and one day we received a call that one of our towers was down. When the engineer checked, it appeared the tower was deliberately taken down in a direction so as to not cause damage to the other towers in the array. Talk around the station was it might have been a person with knowledge of how to do that, and an on-air person had been recently let go who carried a First Class License. The tower was never replaced, as the company was looking to relocate to a site northwest of the city, which it eventually did. We never found out who took out the tower.” Do you have a favorite tower story, or sales story, or programming story you’d like to share with the industry? Email “You Can’t Make This Up” – Tom@RTK-Media.com.
“In 10 minutes each morning, I feel like I’ve got my finger on the pulse of what’s happening,” says new KNHC Seattle GM June Fox. Like what you’re learning every day? Share this copy of the Tom Taylor NOW Newsletter with a friend or co-worker, and help us grow. (It’s a nice feeling.) See you back first thing tomorrow - Tom