Friday, December 12, 2014

RETRO FRIDAY: KUNM FIRES A VOLUNTEER LIVE ON THE AIR



Today KUNM, Albuquerque airs freeform music every weekday afternoon.  One reason this artifact from the past lasts on KUNM is what happened in May 1987.  Management announced big changes in programming and all hell broke loose…

video


GM Tim Singleton (who retired from managing WBAA at the end of 2013) and PD Patrick Conley, wanted to improve KUNM’s standing in the community by presenting more appealing programming. 

They had the right idea but they were in the wrong place at wrong time.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

COLORADO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA FIRES ITS RADIO STATION



A public dispute between the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Colorado Public Radio (KVOD) is flaring in Denver.  KVOD has broadcast CSO concerts for 15 years.  Now CSO is insisting KVOD cede editorial control of the broadcasts and air extra promotions.  KVOD said “no, way” and the CSO is looking for a new broadcast voice.

To me, this is an amazing stupid move by the orchestra. CSO CEO Jerry Kern formerly worked in the cable TV industry.  Kern wants to leverage the power of his content – a good idea – but he has an inflated view of the value of live broadcasts by CSO to KVOD.

Colorado Public Radio has been a vital force in classical radio programming since the 1990s. Back then it initiated “the Denver Project” – research about the way people listen and value the music.  The result was termed “modal music” because it set a mood with seamless transitions.  Some people hated “modal music” but no one can doubt the impact it has had on classical music radio.

KVOD had a 3.2 AQH share in the October Nielsen Audio PPM ratings – not a bad showing in the very competitive Denver/Boulder market. Symphony orchestras need all the friends they can get.  It is too bad  CSO turned a cold-shoulder on KVOD.

David Roden of WKSU summed it up on the AMPPR list:

There's an argument for traditional concert programming, but when you air a
concert programmed by an orchestra's music director, you're airing music
that's pretty much out of your control.
I speak as an outsider, but it appears to me that for years the CSO has been handed a nice, juicy block of valuable CPR time.



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

NEW NIELSEN REPORT SHOWS AUDIENCE REACH FOR RADIO NETWORKS



This week Nielsen released a radio ratings report that folks in noncommercial media probably won’t hear about.  This report tabulates listening to commercials.  The report is called RADAR – Radio All Dimension Audience Report.  What a name – I’ll take the 5th Dimension!

The report – December 2014 RADAR Radio Network Ratings – says that more than 177 million Americans (66.6%) 12+ heard a network radio commercial during an average week.  Keep in mind “network commercial” is not total listening. Here are the topline results:

DEMOGRAPHIC
HEARD NETWORK
RADIO COMMERCIAL
Persons 12+
66.6%
Persons 18-49
69.5%
Persons 25-54
70.3%
African Americans 12+
73.8%
Hispanics 12+
61.5%

Ken’s Analysis:

The reach of network radio shown in this report seems surprisingly small to me.  I am going to get the report because I want to see how individual networks perform.  Stay tuned.  Also, I wonder how network underwriting credits on NPR would compare to the commercial networks.

Monday, December 8, 2014

MY BACK PAGES: WCCO-FM October 1973


In fall 1973 I started working on-air at WCCO-FM in Minneapolis. The station was located on the top floor of the Pick Nicollet Hotel. There was an amazing open deck that overlooked the city skyline.


My friends and I called the deck “the weather room” because we liked to spend our idle time out there admiring the sky.  I worked the 8pm to 1am shift.  WCCO-FM played what was known as Eclectic Oriented Rock (“EOR”) – artists like Joni Mitchell, the Crusaders and John Haitt.

One of my duties was to read the Midnight newscast.  Here is how it sounded:
video

NIELSEN: DIGITAL MEDIA USAGE CONTINUES TO GROW AT THE EXPENSE OF TRADITIONAL MEDIA


KEN'S ANALYSIS:

Last week Nielsen released the newest edition of their Total Audience Report. The report compares media consumption on various platforms measured by Nielsen.  Nielsen’s goal is establish common metrics for all platforms.  The chart below shows the trend from the Third Quarter of 2014 to the Third Quarter of 2014.

“Watching/Listening to Media on a Smartphone” is by far the fastest growing platform but it still trails traditional TV and AM/FM Radio. “Old School” TV and Radio are dominant but their shares of the consumer’s day continue to erode.

AVERAGE DAILY TIME SPENT CONSUMING MEDIA ON VARIOUS DEVICES (Persons 18+)

ACTIVITY
2014 Q3
Hours/Minutes
2012 Q3
Hours/Minutes
TREND
Hours/Minutes
Watching/Listening to Media on a Smartphone
1:33
0:53
+ 0:40
Watching Time-Shifted TV
0:30
0:24
+ 0:06
Watching/Listening to Media via a Game Council
0:12
0:09
+ 0:03
Watching/Listening to Media on Internet on Computer
1:06
1:04
+ 0:02
Watching Traditional TV
4:32
4:50
- 0:18
Listening to AM/FM Radio
2:44
2:51
- 0:07
Watching a DVD/Blu-Ray Device
0:09
0:09
0

DEFINITIONS

Watching/Listening to Media on a Smartphone” refers to consuming mobile media content through a web browser or via a mobile app. It does not include other types of activity such as making/ receiving phone calls, sending SMS/MMS messages etc,

“Watching Time-Shifted TV” is playback primarily on a DVR but includes playback from video on demand, DVD recorders, server based DVR’s and services.

Watching a DVD/Blu-Ray Device” and “Watching/Listening to Media via a Game Council” are based on when these devices are in use for any purpose, not just for accessing media content.

“Watching Traditional TV” includes real-time usage plus any playback viewing within the measurement period.

“Listening to AM/FM Radio” are audience estimates for 48 large markets are based on a panel of people who carry a portable device called a Personal People Meter (PPM) that passively detects exposure to content that contains inaudible codes embedded within the program content.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR RADIO?

My friend media guru Mark Ramsey http://www.markramseymedia.com/ says traditional radio folks should:

• Recognize that [we are] in the content business, not only the distribution business
• Consumers are in control: Give them what they want, when they want it, where they want it
• Invest in unique and compelling content you can own

• Satisfy the desires of consumers and spark their passions

• Leverage your content across multiple platforms in forms which fit the platforms

• Partner with other media platforms to leverage their strengths against your weaknesses
• Recognize that the market for audio entertainment and information is growing even as the market for traditional FM and AM is declining

Plan for a future which leverages the attention your brand enjoys with audiences and the relationships you have audiences and advertisers
• [Remember] you’re not really in the “radio” business, after all. You’re in the business of connecting consumers and clients via your megaphone across all platforms