Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Radio Waves Podcast #178

Radio: June 23, 2017
 
As the Entercom/CBS merger continues, rumors have been running rampant regarding which station the combined company will have to sell to get within the limit of the number of stations allowed to be owned by the FCC.
 
The two stations already in a trust -- and thus the two stations seemingly ready to be “disposed” -- are KCBS-FM (93.1) and The Sound (KSWD, 100.3 FM). Observers are (mostly) betting on The Sound.
 
But that would be a horrendously bad idea.
 
First off, while I would loathe the idea, it is very likely that the already impotent FCC will be weakened further by the Trump administration, and the caps on ownership will be changed or lifted. That would mean that no station should actually have to be sold. CBS itself was counting on the idea when it kept KFWB (980 AM) in a trust for a decade as it feigned looking for a buyer.
 
Secondly, between the two, The Sound is the bad choice for a sale. KCBS-FM, also known as Jack-FM, is an established hit, currently at its peak in the ratings. It basically has nowhere to go but down, and the format has gone down in every city outside of Los Angeles. While I don’t expect that to happen here necessarily, holding on to Jack is like holding on to a glass vase with cracks ... looks good now but has the potential to fall apart. It also has little room for growth either in revenue or ratings
 
The Sound, however, is a solid station well-programmed with little direct competition. It’s been holding steady over the past year or so, and in the May ratings hit one of its best ratings points ever: 2.9 overall for listeners aged 6 and over, for an 11th place tie; in the top 10 among listeners aged 25-54 and even stronger among men in that age group. The growth potential is there, and there is room for more especially in revenue, as revenue follows ratings.
 
The above only applies if you are hell-bent on selling two of your best signals. Both Jack and The Sound are “grandfathered” into power levels and effective signal strength that would not be allowed if the stations were being built today. KROQ (106.7 FM), on the other hand, has a much weaker signal emanating from a mountain top lower in height than the Mount Wilson location for Jack and The Sound. 
 
KROQ has been hit hard by competition from Alt 98.7 (KYSR) as well, and both are running a format that has declined nationwide. So from a purely technical and business standpoint, KROQ is the station to sell, unless you want top dollar. Then it’s Jack. 
 
But as I said, if I were Entercom, I’d hold them all with a good poker-face ... I think they will be allowed to keep them for a long time, even though I disagree with the premise.
 
Problems at Disney
 
Remember that story on Radio Disney Country (KRCD, 1110 AM) adding a little FM translator on 99.1 FM in Irwindale? Seems that they may have jumped the gun a bit and might just be operating that translator illegally.
 
You may recall I mentioned KGGI from Riverside broadcasting on that same frequency. Well, KGGI owner iHeart says that the translator was modified without authorization and is now causing interference to KGGI within its protected signal area. The company has asked the FCC to stay any action approving any changes to the license of the translator until an investigation can be completed.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Radio Waves Podcast #177

Radio: June 16, 2017
Ever since Cumulus Media stock hit the proverbial toilet -- the stock is currently sitting at just over 50 cents per share even after a reverse stock split designed to keep the price above $1 ... and is far from it’s (reverse split equivalent) peak of $406 per share in late 1999 -- I’ve been suggesting a way to save the company-owned stations and save radio at the same time.
Cumulus owns over 400 stations nationwide including KLOS (95.5 FM) and KABC (790 AM) locally, along with Westwood One and other content creation companies.
The idea is simple: Buy Cumulus and dismantle it. The current market cap of $14.94 million means the entire company is worth less than one Los Angeles station alone; my plan involves buying the company outright, selling off the vast majority of the stations, and pay off the $2+ billion in debt that the company owes from past ill-advised mergers and acquisitions. 
Even estimating a low average selling price of $11 million per station for those I’d sell, I figure I’d be left with about $4 billion to run my ten stations, ten being the total number of stations any company should be allowed to own if I had my way. I could hire the DJs, programmers and support staff, run the best promotions, and destroy my competition.
People said I was crazy ... except that they couldn’t explain why. But a recent move by Cumulus itself proves the worthiness of the plan: the company adopted a “poison pill” triggered when anyone or anything purchases more than 4.9 percent of the company in the open market. According to InsideRadio.Com:
“Once activated, Cumulus’ poison pill would award shareholders with incremental shares of stock or give them the option to buy shares at a significant discount if the company becomes a takeover target. Either action would effectively dilute the acquirer’s position to 50% or less of what they’ve acquired.”
So that’s that ... unless I can work with the Board of Cumulus for a friendly takeover. The question becomes: why did they do that? Well ...
Lew Dickey’s Back
The man who helped create Cumulus Media through mergers, acquisitions and (in my opinion) horrendously bad skills at running a radio company, who was forced out of Cumulus about 18 months ago, is back. Backed by the same company that gave him the money to build Cumulus into the dying company it is today.
Why Macquarie Capital would give Dickey any financing at all is a true mystery, but they did. And now Dickey has $207 million to play with using his new company, Modern Media Acquisition Corp. The purpose? To acquire and run a company in media, entertainment or related marketing.
Could that be why Cumulus suddenly instilled a poison pill? To keep Dickey out? I’m not a betting man, but ... you can bet on it.
Better Signal
Listened to KABC lately? You can hear them. Better than in years.
When they moved from the longtime transmitter site on La Cienega to a location that now shares -- triplexes -- with two other stations not far from Dorsey High School, the signal seemed to disappear. Vastly inferior to the La Cienega location, at least initially.
It seems the engineers have worked some magic, though, via a power increase from 5000 watts to 6600 daytime and 7900 nighttime. KABC is now coming in loud and clear throughout the area I live and travel even at night, better in San Pedro than in years ... maybe decades. Sound quality for analog is vastly improved as well. Hopefully this will allow the station to better compete; there is some great content that in the past was prone to interference ... of the electronic kind.
Disney Country
I can hear you now: Why doesn’t Radio Disney play country music? Wait ... you mean you didn’t? Well, you’re in luck anyway: KDIS (1110 AM) has changed to KRDC: Radio Disney Country. Country music sanitized for the family.
I like country music. It’s all about trucks, women, drinking and fighting. I’m not sure what Disney can actually play here.
Regardless, they are doing it. They even added an FM translator, which is a fancy word for a low-powered FM transmitter that helps extend the AM signal to parts of the city not covered well by the AM signal. In this case on 99.1 FM in Irwindale. Meaning, due to the strong signal of KGGI/Riverside (99.1 FM), a few blocks near the translator site in Irwindale and nowhere else.
I don’t see Go Country (KKGO, 105.1 FM) being affected at all.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Radio Waves Podcast #176

Radio: June 9, 2017

If you play it, they will come ... for those who doubt the viability of AM radio, I have received more mail on the new LA Oldies format of K-SURF (1260 AM) than almost any other topic over the past few years...

... from a station that is licensed to Beverly Hills, has a signal that doesn’t even cover the entire metro Los Angeles area, and is in a part of the band that is crowded, to say the least. THIS is true AM revitalization ... play what people want. And right now they want oldies.

The question at hand is what oldies? Purists believe that oldies are from the 1950s and ‘60s. Yet when KHJ (930 AM) was playing oldies as “goldens” in the Boss Radio days of the 1960s, those songs were ten years old or so ... even newer than the ‘80s and ‘90s hits that KRTH (101.1 FM) plays today.

But there certainly is a market for them, at least judging by the responses to my survey question: what era should K-SURF play? You want what is missing from the dial: songs from the 1950s and ‘60s.

By an overwhelming majority. of all the responses, 91 percent said stay with the 50s and ‘60s. Only nine percent said they liked the ‘70s, though there were a decent number who said they would accept songs from the ‘70s if there were not too many of them and they stopped by the era of Disco.

For those who gave a cutoff year - only a handful actually gave a year - the majority went with 1964, a few with 1969 an one said 1975. As long as it stopped before Disco ...

Here are a few of the comments:

“As far as reaching for songs in the 1970s, all I can ask is ‘why?’ There are so many songs from the ‘50s and ‘60s that can fill the programming.” -- John Wong

“Most of the ‘70s music sounds out of place. (Instead) they should play lower charting songs (from the 1950s and ‘60s): Johnny Cash, Four Aces, Moonglows, and hundreds of other artists.” -- Steve Thompson -- Glendale

“The creeping in of ‘70s era music is annoying. Just leave the ‘50s and ‘60s format” -- Debbie and Robert Ryan

“I would defnitely prefer to have only songs from the ‘50s and ‘60s.” -- Jim McDonald, Van Nuys

“I can get ‘70s music on other stations. Why do they want to mess with a good thing?” -- LonnyS9970

“Please keep it ‘50s and ‘60s oldies. Please! I have more than 100 family and friends tuned in to 1260 because of the oldies.” -- Merappok1

“The music from the ‘60s had an iconic sound; leave well-enough alone. Let the ‘70s stand on its own.” -- Jeff

“Just to follow up on K-SURF: Yes, the songs should only be from the ‘50s and ‘60s.” -- Ken

“I love the format and most of the choices. I never really cared for Carole King or Steely Dan, among others, but I turn the sound down rather than changing stations. But the 1970s have some songs that are carryover from the ‘60s and should not be ignored.” -- Cheri Pratt

If they start playing music from the 1970s, I’ll stop listening” -- Margie Schuler, Glandale

“Cruising oldies from the ‘50s and ‘60s please ... we old folks need our music ‘fix’ too!” -- Cathy Pallitto

Don’t mind a song from the ‘70s once in a while ... but not too many” -- Marie Mull, Glendale

That’s just a sample. What struck me most in the full original letters and emails is the passion people have for the format and the willingness to find and listen to the station in spite of its limited signal. A few letters mentioned buying an HD Radio in order to hear the station in stereo via the HD simulcast on 105.1 HD2. Those living in San Fernando can tune in the station via HD AM once work is done on the transmitter, according to station owner Saul Levine.

So here you have a weak AM station generating more buzz than most of the other stations in town ... AM or FM. Lesson? Just play what people want. Amazing what happens when you do that.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Radio Waves Podcast #175

Radio: June 2, 2017

As reported in the Orange County Register, longtime KROQ (106.7 FM) DJ Rodney Bingenheimer will host the last edition of his groundbreaking show, Rodney on the Roq, this Sunday night (officially Monday morning) from 12 midnight to 3 a.m.

The announcement was made May 25 by Bingenheimer himself on his Facebook page, stating,

“It has been an amazing run, and I will be thanking all of you when I say goodbye to KROQ next week (June 4/5). I am planning on some special callers and special music as I say a proper goodbye.

“As this chapter closes, I will be opening another chapter of my rock life soon. I may be done with KROQ, but I am not retiring.”

Not retiring? That means he’s being let go after more than 40 years? Yes, you could say that. Of course he had one heck of a run -- perhaps the longest in radio history. Bingenheimer later posted an update confirming:

“I didn't leave KROQ, in fact KROQ is really leaving me. I was informed that with new management coming in, KROQ would be making some changes and as such, they no longer needed me to do my show on Sunday nights ... I have nothing but respect and love for the people of KROQ. But it's time for me to move on and I will be able to report on that soon. For now, let's say a proper goodbye to my time at KROQ, and I welcome everyone to join me on the next adventure.”

New management is a bit misleading; KROQ is in fact getting new owners as CBS’ radio division merges with Entercom. Entercom has stated that management will remain essentially the same and Kevin Weatherly is expected to remain as KROQ’s programmer (and continue as PD of sisters KCBS-FM 93.1 and KAMP 97.1 FM). It most certainly isn’t ratings, since Bingenheimer’s shift isn’t even rated by Nielsen. So what is the reason?

Most likely cost-cutting. KROQ has been in a downward spiral for the past few years, and had already lost its direction by the time it let go of morning newsman Doc on the Roq (Boyd R. Britton) and traffic reporter/sidekick Lisa May two years ago. It’s gotten so bad that a competing station owned by iHeart -- Alt 98.7 FM -- is currently beating KROQ at its own game.

This latest move shows that KROQ has totally lost its soul and is likely doing Bingenheimer a favor by letting him go. It is also more proof that KROQ is the station that should be sold (rather than the rumored KSWD - The Sound) due to the CBS/Entercom merger placing the combined company over the legal limit of FM stations.
Sell KROQ to an owner that will give it the support and respect it needs rather than continuing the attempt to make it a cheap commodity. KROQ has been living on it’s past reputation and borrowed time for years through inept management and the corporate “do it cheap” culture that is legendary CBS. And for gosh sake stop assuming one person can program three stations at once. Weatherly is either over his head or out of his league.

Influence

While his program was on only once a week, Bingenheimer was instrumental in the success of KROQ: he broke many of the bands and found much of the music that was played on the alternative rock station ... before alternative rock was even considered a format. And not all of it was alternative; Bingenheimer was open to any music he considered good:

Blondie ... Duran Duran ... The Sex Pistols ... Sublime ... The Red Hot Chili Peppers ... Cheap Trick ... Van Halen ... The Runaways ... Joan Jett ... The Ramones ... the list goes on and on ... all acknowledge the effect Bingenheimer had on their careers by playing their music and supporting their efforts before anyone else.

The fact that he lasted as long as he did on KROQ -- perhaps his shift allowed for an out-of-sight-out-of mind effect on management -- is a testament to his influence. I sincerely hope he lands at another station that will put him back at a time when people can actually listen.

This could be a great time for a competitor to strike hard.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Radio Waves Podcast #174

Radio: May 26, 2017

Years ago when AM radio reigned supreme -- with a few exceptions -- the competition among top-40 stations was intense. KHJ (930 AM), KTNQ - “Ten-Q” (1020 AM) and KFI (640 AM) were battling it out in the mid to late 1970s locally, all of them essentially playing the hits in their own way.

Ten-Q was the adventurous one with an expanded playlist, it and KFI both presenting a high-energy on air approach, while KHJ tried a softer style to try to attract and keep listeners who had already ventured over to the FM dial.

Ten-Q was the first to sell out ... literally. A station sale meant that Ten-Q was the first to abandon music in the Summer of 1979; for a time the high-energy format was moved to FM on KHTZ (now KAMP, 97.1). On the last day of top-40 Ten-Q, the format was broadcast on both KTNQ and KHTZ to help launch the format on FM.

And if you happened to miss that last day, ReelRadio.Com has come to the rescue ... “hour zero” of the last day of Ten-Q was just added to the exhibits -- named “zero” because it was just recently found and is a recording of the hour preceding the previously available “hour one.” It is the 5-6 a.m. hour of Charlie Tuna’s show; Reelradio has a total of four hours of that last day ending with the switch to Spanish on AM and the Ten-Q jocks relegated to FM.

It’s a fun listen and just slightly ahead of its time, as KHJ and KFI controlled hit music radio just a little longer, (KHJ realizing the mistake it made and going high-energy again) while KHTZ moved in a more mellow direction and proved temporarily that FM was not quite ready to dominate as it would just a short time later.

While you are at ReelRadio.Com, check out the many different exhibits ... it’s a great way to pass the time.

Survey Says!

“Lately, KSURF (1260 AM, 105.1 digital HD2) has begun mixing in ‘70s songs from artists like T Rex, Steely Dan, Carole King, etc. Personally I wish KSURF’s format was “Cruisin’ Oldies from the 1950’s and 60’s” and keep their playlist limited to songs released in 1969 and earlier to keep the format more pure and focused.

“I was perfectly content with KSURF before it recently started playing 70’s songs which dilutes its uniqueness. I can hear T Rex and Steely Dan on KLOS and The Sound (100.3 FM) and Carole King on Mimi Chen’s “Peace, Love, and Sunday Morning”. KSURF is more unique if it sticks with artists you would typically never hear on those other stations (well apart from Mimi Chen’s show anyway). When I turn on KSURF I don’t want to have to look at the dial twice to make sure I am on the right channel and not a Classic Rock station instead which happens when I hear some of the recent songs they added. 

“How about if you take a survey on your radio column of what year KSURF listeners would prefer as a cut-off for song releases. I would like to know if I am in the minority or if other KSURF listeners agree with me.” -- Rick Koenig, Torrance.

I’m game, though I have to admit I haven’t heard many songs outside of the ‘50s and ‘60s on KSURF. What do you think ... if you programmed the station, what would you do? Drop a quick note to rwagoner@cox.net and let me know what you think.

Summer Nights

KCRW’s (89.9 FM) 2017 edition of Summer Nights starts next week ... 7 p.m. June 1 to be exact, with station DJ Mathieu Schreyer playing music at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santa Barbara. Yes, Santa Barbara ... a quick getaway if you want a short vacation.

Closer to home, on Saturday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m., you can head out to Pasadena’s One Colorado to see Chico Mann & Captain Planet live with KCRW DJ Marion Hodges.

As always, Summer Nights offers dozens of fun, free, all-ages outdoor music shows over the course of the summer throughout the greater Los Angeles area, Santa Barbara, and Northern Orange County. For a full schedule, head over to www.tinyurl.com/SummerNights17.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Radio Waves Podcast #173

Radio: May 19, 2017

Power 106 (KPWR) -- a part of Emmis Communications since the company bought then-Magic 106 from Century Broadcasting in 1984 -- has been sold to Meruelo Group for $82.75 million.

The move takes Emmis out of a bitter ratings war with competitor Real 92.3, and allows the company to focus its resources in cities where the company owns more than once stations ... and can combine resources more easily. But I agree with CEO Jeff Smulyan when he calls the sale “bittersweet.” And the sale actually highlights a stark contrast in how Emmis operates compared with its much larger rivals iHeart and Cumulus.

Emmis is using the funds to pay down debt. Had the company not had debt, I sincerely doubt it would have sold. The $80 million will pay off about 60 percent of its debt and leave the company with a solid footing. 

Compare that with iHeart and Cumulus, both of which own hundreds more stations than Emmis’ remaining 18. The big boys owe billions -- with a b -- in debt, which they continue to try to restructure instead of selling properties to pay it down. Perhaps this is yet another reason to keep radio groups small ... the executives know how to play grown-up and handle their own finances.

"Power 106 has been part of the Emmis family for more than 32 years, so this day is bittersweet, but I am confident that the station and our team are in good hands," Smulyan told Billboard Magazine. "The Meruelo Group will be great owners of this historic brand, and take it to even greater heights."

Rumor has it that as part of the deal Meruelo will keep the vast majority of the current staff on board. For its part, Meruelo -- which also owns KDAY (103.5 FM) and KWHY-TV Channel 22 and is diversified into numerous other industries -- seems to have no plans for major changes anyway.

Still, that Emmis -- the company that let me intern at Magic 106 and the early months of Power 106, treating me well and teaching me much about the industry itself as well as giving me the chance to work directly with numerous true professionals both in front and behind the microphone -- will always be a special company to me, and I hope that they consider a return to Los Angeles when iHeart and Cumulus go bust.

Short Takes

I have to pull out my Carver TX-11B tuner out of the attic: rumor has it that KFI is indeed broadcasting a full audio bandwidth (translation: good-sounding analog audio), even though radios that can play full-bandwidth AM are few and far between ...

I happened to stop by a local Radio Shack store the other day, just a few days after the store put up signs announcing that it was closing. Kind of sad and ironic: not one radio in the store. I think I know part of the company’s problems ...

Oldies are here to stay on K-SURF (1260 AM), says owner Saul Levine. Unfortunately it appears that there will be no DJs on the station, a change of heart for Levine. The reason: the songs appear to be selling themselves and listeners are digging the sound. Still it would be nice to hear some announcers who could tie the songs together and add some more reasons to listen. Johnny Hayes comes to mind ...

Speaking of oldies and K-SURF: notice how even a station that barely covers metro Los Angeles can still attract an audience playing music instead of the typical fare found on the dial? A 0.4 share is pretty impressive for a station that barely makes it above the static where I live. Can I say “I told you so?” I will anyway; imagine what could be done with a real signal like 570, 710 or even 790 ...

I read it on a Facebook meme so it must be true: Congratulations to the busiest man in media, Ryan Seacrest, for being chosen as the next Director of the FBI ...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Radio Waves Podcast #172

Radio: May 12, 2017

Seacrest Movin’ On Up

KIIS (102.7 FM) morning man Ryan Seacrest has been selected as the permanent host for television’s newly-named Live with Kelly and Ryan. In joining Kelly Ripa on the ABC-TV show, the busiest personality on earth will be moving to the East Coast. 

In a related move, iHeart Media announced that it is extending the contract with Seacrest ... for an estimated $73 million over three years.

He better get the majority of those iHeart bucks in the first year ... most observers doubt the company will even make it a year, let alone three, especially with deals like this. But I digress. The contract means Seacrest will continue hosting the morning show on KIIS along with a syndicated version of it that airs on iHeart stations nationwide.

Now let’s analyze this ... On Air with Ryan Seacrest airs on KIIS from 5-10 a.m. weekdays Pacific time. Live with Kelly and Ryan airs on WABC-TV/New York from 9 - 10 a.m. Eastern time ... 6-7 a.m. Pacific. Do you sense a conflict?

Yes, a local studio will be built in New York so that he can just “go up the elevator and do his radio show,” as a Seacrest spokesman said, but it will still take some time to end the television show and just get to the radio studio. And that is still two hours past the KIIS morning show start time.

This means Seacrest is either an amazing human being ... time traveling and doing both shows at once, or more likely, he is no longer live on the morning radio show. Or at least not a large portion of it. Will anyone notice?

I had a professor of Economics at UCLA explain that you can make some big money by taking advantage of opportunities at dying industries or companies ... grabbing as much as you can just before the company goes under. Seacrest must have been in my class.

Readers Write Back

“My name is Ray Lisman, San Pedro High class of Winter 1970. I enjoy reading your column in the Daily Breeze because whenever you reminisce about the music scene of your youth, you strike an emotional chord with me.

“My all time favorite DJ from my teenage years is Robert W Morgan from 93 KHJ. I'd listen to him daily while getting ready for school because he had this way of bringing joy and laughter to his listeners. He connected with me. I remember the time that he'd found several other DJ's named Robert W Morgan throughout the country and tried to get them all on the phone at the same time to share them with us.

“Maybe you can shed light on another memory. As a teen I enjoyed watching Sam Riddle's Boss City television show that came on late afternoons after school. One of his shows stands out in my mind, probably in 1969. 

“As I remember it, he was introducing a new rock group that was becoming very popular at the local clubs. As he was about to introduce them, he had a ‘brain fart’ and couldn't remember their name. After an embarrassingly long moment of silence, Jim Morrison glared at Sam and said, ‘The Doors’. If looks could kill, Sam would have been ashes on the floor. I had never heard of them, but that moment burned the group into my mind, and the rest is rock history.

“Do you think there is any recording of that show on the internet? Did it occur as I remember it?”

Your memories prove that when radio is done right, people do connect. There are few things that can connect as well as good radio with a dedicated listener. Too bad it’s been lost on so many modern programmers.

Regarding Boss City, I don’t have any source for recordings of the program, but I’m hoping someone else does. Any ideas?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Radio Waves Podcast #171

Radio: May 5, 2017

Anniversary

May 5, 1965 was supposed to be the launch day of the all-new “Boss Radio” KHJ, a high-energy top-40 replacement for the well-respected but low-rated middle of the road programming KHJ had been running previously.

It was supposed to be May 5th. But about a week before, new morning man Robert W. Morgan happened to tune into KFWB and was hearing things he should not have been hearing ... like the term “Boss Radio” itself, along with other stolen KHJ ideas. It seems one of the newsmen thought he was going to be fired from KHJ and went to KFWB with the inside information in order to land a job there. We pick up the story from Ron Jacob’s book, Inside Boss Radio (available for $9.30 on Amazon.Com). Jacobs is discussing the situation with consultant Bill Drake and station manager Ken DeVaney.

“We discussed our limited options. Drake proclaimed, ‘We’ll start today with the new format. Today.’ 

“‘We can call it a ‘Sneak Preview’ of the new format,’ I added.

“‘Can we do it and when?’ DeVaney asked.

“‘Three o’clock,’ I said, faking the confidence of Eisenhower on D-Day. ‘Boss Radio 93/KHJ debuts with The Real Don Steele Show at 3 p.m.’ It was about 11:15 in the morning.

We had 3 hours and 45 minutes to do a week’s work.

“Responsibilities were assigned: I’d stay on the first floor, where the studios were. Drake stationed himself close by the traffic people, convincing them that they could have a Boss program log ready in time. DeVaney returned to the executive offices and played free safety. We sent out for two dozen Nickodell’s hamburgers with French fries.

“By then the jocks were back from their session. The Real Don Steele was in the production room rehearsing. That was part of our countdown drill, two weeks of practice before going live. Steele had just done one of his patented manic intros to the Supremes’ Stop in The Name of Love when I walked in.

“‘Don, uh, you know KFWB’s on with all our stuff.’ 

“‘Yeah, Morgan told me.’
 
“‘Well, ah, we — Drake, DeVaney and me — we decided we gotta go a little earlier, or they’ll cop our whole trip. And you’re the guy to kick off the real Boss Radio.’

“‘When?’ asked Steele, casually.

“‘Oh, ah, you know, your regular shift. In about three hours.’ 

“He said, ‘OK, let’s do it,’ and cranked up his monitor until Diana Ross nearly blew out the studio windows.

“This would be the last day Don Steele would be an unknown disc jockey born several blocks away from that very spot.”

The Sneak Preview began April 27th. And the rest, as they say, is history.

My FM’s Success Story

Last week I wrote of My FM (KBIG, 104.3 FM) dominating the local ratings. The backup story to that win reveals just how dominant.

The ratings published last week include all listeners aged 6 and over; that rating is an estimate of the percentage of that overall listenership tuned to a station between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 midnight. It’s more of a “bragging rights” ratings ... most stations don’t really care about this overall rating since it isn’t what they are selling when they try to attract advertisers.

Depending on the format, many stations will focus more on other demographics. Unlike stations of the past, mass appeal isn’t necessarily the goal today. But My FM manages to do just that in many areas. Consider that My FM is:

• #1 with all listeners 6 and over, as already mentioned.
• #1 with listeners 25-54
• #2 with listeners 12 and over

In mornings, (Sean) Valentine has things pretty well sealed up: 

• #1 with women 18 and older
• #1 with women 18-49
• #1 with women 25-54
• #1 with women 45-54
• #1 with women 36-64
• #1 with all listeners 18-49
• #1 with all listeners aged 25-54
• #1 with all listeners 35-64
• #1 with all listeners 6 and over, 12 and over, 6-11, and teens.

It almost seems as if My FM is becoming the KIIS-FM of the modern time, using a format that might be more like KIIS-FM was in the 1980s than it is now. Could this signal the return of mass appeal top-40? And since Valentine was once at KIIS-FM ... is there some sort of cosmic connection to high ratings?