Friday, December 11, 2015

NONCOMMERCIAL MARKET PROFILE: AUSTIN


Austin is more than the Capitol of Texas. It is a heart, soul and economic engine for education, music, film, culture and innovative ideas. What happens in Austin doesn’t stay in Austin – it often reverberates around the globe.

SIXTH STREET IN AUSTIN
 According to data from the Federal Census and the City of Austin, the metro population now tops 1.2 million people. Residents who identify as Hispanic or Latino are 35.1% of the metro population, Asians are 6.3% and LGBT are 5.3%

Life-long learners thrive in Austin. One recent survey ranked Austin the 16th most literate city in America. Viewers of the travel channel voted Austin "America's No.1 College Town." Over 43 percent of Austin residents age 25 and over hold a bachelor's degree, while 16 percent hold a graduate degree.

Austin is also a great place for noncommercial media, particularly noncom radio. There is a very diverse choice of stations plus some rather odd noncoms that qualify as “only in Austin.

AUSTIN NONCOMMERCIAL RADIO DIAL
Nielsen Audio Market Rank: 35

FREQ
CALLS
FORMAT
NOVEMBER 2015 AQH %
NOVEMBER 2015 WEEKLY LISTENERS
ESTIMATED ANNUAL BUDGET
88.1
KNLE
CCM
Na
Na
See Below
88.7
KAZI
Urban Hits & Gospel
Na
Na
$310,000
89.5
KMFA
Classical
1.8
76,900
$1,406.496
90.5
KUT
NPR News
4.8
193,600
$9,413,112*
91.3
KNCT
Big Band & “Beautiful Music”
Na
Na
$387,000
91.7
KOOP
(time share)
Local political & music programs
Na
Na
$273,722
91.7
KRVX
(time share)
College Rock
Na
Na
32,000
92.1
KYLR
CCM
Na
Na
Na
98.9
KUTX
Triple A
1.6
97,600
$9,413,112*
100.1 &
103.1
KDRP
Americana & “Roots Rock”
0.5
45,400
$300,000
 * KUT & KUTX combined

DESCRIPTIONS OF AUSTIN NONCOMMERCIAL STATIONS

88.1 KNLE is a mystery and perhaps it is in transition. According to one of my IRS information sources – Guidestar.org says: This organization's exempt status was automatically revoked by the IRS for failure to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for 3 consecutive years. Further investigation and due diligence is warranted. The most recent information on file is from 2004 when KNLE’s annual revenue was around $315,000. The station’s website [link] is equally oblique.




 88.7 KAZI is a center of the African-American community in Austin. According KAZI’s website [link] the station “was the dream of the late Dr. John Warfield, professor of African-American Studies at the University of Texas. With generous funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and loaned tower space from LBJ-S Broadcasting, KAZI began transmitting on August 29, 1982.”  




89.5 KMFA has been the voice of classical music in Austin since 1967. KMFA [link] is known nationally for programs such as Classical Austin, Film Score Focus, and Classical Guitar Alive









90.5 KUT is the oldest and largest noncom FM in Austin.  It was founded in 1958 and has become one of the most successful and influential NPR News stations in the nation.  KUT, combined with Triple A sister KUTX, has annual revenue close to $10,000,000. Support from members is over $3,000,000 and underwriting brings in almost $3,100,000. Read more at [link].


91. KCNT is a radio antique – one of the last so-called Beautiful Music stations aka “elevator music.” Back in the 1960s and 1970s there were automated Beautiful Music stations in every market.  By the 1980s they began to fade away with the rise of the Soft-Rock format. If you like The Living Strings, tune in KCNT [link]. 




91.7 KOOP shares its broadcast time with KRVX. From 9am until 7pm on weekdays and 9am until 10pm on weekends KOOP [link] programs shows by local volunteers specializing in political discussions, offbeat music and public affairs for several smaller ethnic communities. 







91.7 KRVX is a student-run station broadcasting 7pm until 9am weekdays and 10pm until 9am on weekends. KRVX is also online at [link]. It promises listeners none of the hits, all of the time









92.1 KYLR is a satellite-fed repeater of Educational Media Foundation’s K-Love CCM format. Sort of like Walmart, every town has one.



 



98.9 KUTX, owned by KUT, signed on a few years ago and has quickly established itself as Austin’s Music Discovery station [link].







100.1 & 103.1 are part of a small consortium of stations using the name Sun Radio [link], because some of the stations operate with solar power. These spunky noncoms are beyond cool and feature alternative country and rockabilly tunes and events. Locals say it is essential Austin.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

NEW CONCERNS ABOUT DRIVERS WHO ARE DISTRACTED BY DEVICES


NBC Nightly News on Wednesday 12/8 had a story [link] about new results of an annual survey conducted by State Farm Insurance about driver’s use of cellphones, accessing the internet and other “connected car” features. The survey concludes that driver’s eyes are on lots of stuff other than the road. 

Since 2009, State Farm has surveyed consumers regarding their attitudes and behaviors regarding driver distraction. The survey is conducted online. The survey includes responses from approximately 1,000 licensed drivers ages 18+.

Use of the Internet and interacting with navigation devices were up sharply from 2009 and 2015. Several new common driver activities were added in the 2015 survey.

 DRIVER ACTIVITIES MEASURED BY STATE FARM SURVEY
ACTIVITY
2009
2015
Talk on hand-held cellphone
65%
51%
Talk on hands-free cellphone
42%
55%
Access & Listen to Navigation Device
41%
73%
Access the internet
13%
29%
Read Social Media
9%
21%
Talk with passenger(s)
--
95%
Take photo with phone
--
19%
Record video with phone
--
10%
Attend to pet in vehicle
--
22%

MOST DANGEROUS ACTIVITIES: TEXTING & ONLINE BROWSING

According to the survey, drivers are becoming more distracted while driving, particularly because of the increased use of the Internet (such as email) and texting.  These activities often require intense concentration taking the driver’s eyes off the road.

Research by the AAA Foundation says it takes drivers up to 27 seconds to return to full attention after using in-car devices. A vehicle traveling at 25 miles per hour covers over 100 yards in that time.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that almost 40% of distracted driving accidents happen at intersections when traffic has stopped at a red light. The NHTSA said 3,179 people died in 2014 in accidents where the driver was distracted. Many of those victims were the drivers themselves.

State Farm calls the results are “worrisome.” They attribute the rise in distracted driver accidents, in part, to the increased use of smartphones. 88 percent of the survey's approximately 1,000 respondents owns one of these devices. Over five years the most dramatic increase has been among drivers over 40 years of age.

PERCENTAGE OF DRIVERS WITH CELLPHONES THAT ARE SMARTPHONES


2011
2015
Ages 18 - 29
78%
99%
Ages 30 - 39
65%
97%
Ages 40 - 49
47%
92%
Ages 50 – 64%
44%
79%
Ages 65%
23%
69%

Researchers say the most distracting dashboard is in the Mazda 6. Mazda's system requires multiple steps, has poor voice detection and take longer to complete tasks.

2014 Mazda 6i

NEW LAWS & INSURANCE RATES INCREASE

State and federal governments have made it illegal to hold a phone to talk or text while driving. Now being discussed is making access to the Internet illegal when a vehicle is in motion.

Vehicle insurance rates continue to rise in part because of distracted drivers. One of the nation’s top insurers, Allstate, is increasing rates in some states by five to seven percent. Repair costs are also rising in part because of the cost of distracted driving devices.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

NONCOMMERCIAL STATION NEWS


PROTEST DELAYS KUNV’S PROPOSED CONSOLIDATION PLAN WITH NEVADA PUBLIC RADIO

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that a protest by University of Nevada – Las Vegas (UNLV) students and community volunteers has caused UNLV to delay a decision on pending consolidation of KUNV-FM 91.5 FM with Nevada Public Radio (NVPR). See our previous story at [link].

At a meeting last Friday 12/4 of the Nevada Board of Regents about a dozen critics of the proposed plan complained calling it a “takeover” that will decrease student broadcasting hours on the station. The role of students at KUNV has been a hot-button issue in the past at UNLV.

UNLV President Len Jessup asked the board to reconsider the proposal at a future meeting. Jessup told the board the delay was necessary because of the concerns because "several other alternative suggestions" have emerged regarding the proposed plan.

Flo Rogers, president and general manager of Nevada Public Radio, said "Twenty intense months of evaluation" went into the agreement, arguing that the consolidation would bring financial stability to KUNV. Rogers also said "I think our proposal is strong. We're really optimistic we're going to be having more conversations. I think it's a really great path forward for KUNV, and if there are other alternatives, I'm sure the university will make the best decision."

WBEZ CONSIDERS BUYING WKCC-FM KANKAKEE

Chicago Public Media, owner of NPR News station WBEZ is exploring the idea of buying noncom WKCC 91.1, licensed to Kankakee, Illinois. Kankakee is located about 50 miles south of Chicago and is a growing exurban area.

Kanakee Community College has operated WKCC since 1992. The Community College will pull the plug on WKCC on December 18, 2015. The station features news programming from BBC News, classical music and locally-based volunteer shows. The Community College said it could no longer afford to operate the station and put the license up for sale for a reported $400,000.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune Chicago Public Media is investigating the acquisition of WKCC. WBEZ says they will make a decision by the end of 2015. Religious broadcasters are also though to be considering purchase of the license. 






WKCC’s FCC coverage map shows why there is interest in 91.1 FM. The current facility puts a decent signal into the southern portion of the Chicago Metro. With a new tower site and other modifications 91.1 FM could reach even more of the market.








NEW TWIN CITIES NONCOM WEQY 104.7 FM SIGNS ON


LPFM station WEQY is now serving St. Paul’s Dayton’s Bluff and other east side neighborhoods via 104.7 FM and online at [link]. 

WEQY Station Manager Kathryn Harris is in the process of building the station’s schedule:
We are looking for programming that will be of interest to our growing immigrant populations as well as others who have made the East Side their home. If you have ideas or want to do your own show, we want to hear from you. We need DJs, talk show hosts and more. Shows can be live or prerecorded; you could create a playlist for a music show or suggest syndicated content.