Noncommercial Triple A music is generally considered to be a large market format. However, there are quite a few excellent Triple A stations in Nielsen Audio’s Diary markets. Now that RRC has released data for all of the subscribing stations, we have compiled two charts of stations: full-time music and dual format with NPR Newsmagazines. We are comparing Nielsen’s estimated weekly cumulative listeners for Fall 2016 and Fall 2015.
STAR PERFORMER: WNCW, SPINDALE, NORTH CAROLINA
WNCW [link] is a cultural heritage icon that embodies the soul of the Appalachian Mountains. Its signal from Black Mountain, one the highest points east of the Mississippi River.It is a factor in at least four measured markets: Asheville, Charlotte, Greenville and Knoxville.
The station plays current Triple A favorites, blues, rockabilly, alt-Country and bluegrass. The ultimate WNCW artist is probably Gram Parsons. Other local favorites include Little Milton, Derek Trucks, and Susan Tedeschi.
WNCW began in the late 1980s and became nationally known in 1993 for its daily lunchtime tribute to Frank Zappa. WNCW still features Zappa’s recordings every week with Frank on Friday feature segments.
WNCW is licensed to Isothermal Community College in the town of Spindale (population around 5,000). There has been peace between the station and the college since WNCW became financially self-sustaining.
According to disclosure documents on WNCW’s website, in 2015 WNCW operated with a cash budget of around $1.3 million. Isothermal Community College provides WNCW in-kind facility and administrative support.
In 2015 WNCW received approximately $576,000 from members, $569,000 from underwriting and $131,000 from CPB. The station's call letters “WNCW” stand for “Western North Carolina Window,” an apt description of the station’s mission.
KEN’S COMMENTS ABOUT OTHER STATIONS ON THE CHART
Of the 12 full-time music stations four increased their estimated weekly listeners, at seven stations weekly listeners declined and WFPK’s weekly listeners remained the same.
WNRN: WNRN lost 22,000 (28%) of its estimated weekly listeners between Fall 2015 and Fall 2016. Losses occurred in three of the four markets they serve.
WMVY: In a recent comment, Aaron Read said that part WMVY’s gain may be due to an upgrade of the station’s transmission site.
KUMD: The steep decline is weekly listeners to KUMD may be due to new competition in the market. 89.3 The Current added a translator with nice coverage of Duluth and Superior. The Current has heavily promoted their presence in the market and originates a few Duluth area programs.
STAR PERFORMER: KCRW, LOS ANGELES EXURBS
KCRW has always paid attention to reaching folks near Los Angeles. These markets outside of the LA metro in cities such as Palm Springs, Santa Barbara and Ventura.
KCRW stresses the regional reach as an advantage for underwriters.
According to Nielsen Audio PPM estimates, KCRW had 616,000 estimated weekly cumulative listeners in the LA metro.
The map on the left shows the many repeaters and translators KCRW uses to reach as much of SoCal as possible.
KCRW is adding another full power repeater in a Nielsen Diary market: San Luis Obispo. A commercial operator, El Dorado Broadcasting, donated KJRW, 101.3 FM to KCRW in 2016.