Category: Media

Why WLS in Chicago has a 1.9 Share

50,000 watts.  Major League Baseball.  And the ratings are shit. You might ask why?  I believe I have the answer. When breaking news (or weather) happens, people are looking for information.  People that may never have listened to a station are tuning in wanting to know what’s happening around them. Think back almost 15 years…

What Happens to Talk Radio in November?

Translation: If you’re going down, you might as well go down in a memorable way. Donald Trump sure is memorable and the same could have been said about talk radio some 20 years ago. Conservative talk radio and the Republican party are connected, once again trying to energize their common “base.”  Each are equally disconnected…

AM “Revitalization” Destroying AM Radio

Bob Pittman, the head of iHeart Media, said this when announcing the company’s name change from Clear Channel Media + Entertainment. I can’t imagine former Clear Channel CEO Randy Michaels ever saying something like this. Ouch. It’s going on three years since the Federal Communication Commission (F.C.C.) announced plans for “AM Revitalization.”  Then, late last year, the…

Radio’s Big 20th Anniversary (of Being Sold Out!)

February 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. There are no planned celebrations.  No parades.  No planned parties.  You’d think someone, somewhere would have popped open a bottle of Dom Perignon by now.  But, nothing.  Not even from those who lined their pockets and are clearly to blame for tearing the…

Black Radio Stations Matter

The immutable “Rule #1 – It’s about ratings and revenue.”  If you don’t accept this, you’re doomed. Each fall, the big media companies go through budgeting for the new year.  The companies look to see who they can fire even at their successful stations.  A standard exercise is being asked to “rank” employees.  Thinking managers…

Wanna Buy a Radio Station Really Cheap?

It’s been almost 20 years ago since the Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.), the National Association of Broadcasters (N.A.B.), Congress and then President Bill Clinton all teamed up to reinvent broadcasting with the historic Telecommunications Act of 1996, the first major rewrite of regulations since the 1930’s. With this combined brain power and political and business…

F.C.C. Acts To “Save” AM Radio (and does something else too)

You can imagine my surprise last Friday night when the Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) announced it was moving forward with its plan to help AM radio survive.  “Ratchet Rule?”  Marconi must have come up with that.  Change it. Transmitters that decrease carrier levels when low or no audio is present to save electricity?  Sign us…

Idea? “Local” Morning News from Another City. Brilliant!

I’m sure you’ve read the media trades where consultants and experts say listeners, viewers and readers want authenticity, they want “real.” The unbelievable claims of being “the best” or “the most” doesn’t cut it with media savvy consumers anymore. But, radio? It just keeps on keeping on, ignoring consumer needs, wants and demands and continues…

The Business of Being Rush Limbaugh

After news broke about the Rush Limbaugh Show getting kicked to the curb by WRKO-AM in Boston, Nielsen radio market #10, I received about a dozen emails asking when I was going to comment.  So, here goes. First, understand the “business of business is business” and the “business of money is money.”  And it’s money…

Radio’s PPM “Voltair is not fair!” Or is it?

I’ve been reading a lot about the Telos/25-7 Systems’ Voltair “black box” that some claim gives an unfair advantage to radio stations trying to game Nielsen’s PPM methodology.  The box allegedly increases the chances the embedded PPM “watermark” on a station’s signal will be detected on a panelist’s meter. Is the Voltair unfair?  I guess…