Friday, January 17, 2020

MEET THE “DISLOCATEES” • MISSING LISTENERS IN IOWA





Last Tuesday (1/14/20), iHeartMedia announced a new internal operating  structure.

The goal of is to save money by cutting expenses including eliminating jobs. 

Now the toll of the “fallen” has begun to appear...


iHeart calls this process “employee dislocation.”

iHeart’s move has cost more than 100 people their jobs.

This is bad news for radio.


The leadership at iHeart seems to want broadcast and audio centers that operate with the fewest number of people possible.

For instance, one of the new divisions, called the Community Division, will lump together stations in smaller markets that are geographically close and are “culturally similar.”

Here is iHeart’s goal in, their own words:

We want to provide a better experience for listeners and business partners and a more efficient process for all of its employees."

LET’S MEET SOME OF THE “DISLOCATEES” THE MAKE IN NONCOM PUBLIC MEDIA

Check RadioInsight.com for updates here.

NEW ORLEANS

• ANGIE BERLIER, Producer/On-air Talent Sports WODT (1280)and WRNO (99.5)/NEW ORLEANS  angela.berlier@yahoo.com (504) 782-5633  FACEBOOK.com/producerangie

LOS ANGELES

• JULIANNE MILLER, KYSR/LOS ANGELES, THE WOODY SHOW Phone Screener/On Air Talent SATURDAY Nights 7p-12a, Jewels2784@yahoo.com, (951) 809-1281, IG & TWITTER: @damnJulianne

MINNEAPOLIS

• MOLLIE KENDRICK Morning co-host Triple A KTCZ (CITIES 97.1)/ (with CHR and country experience) mollieonair@gmail.com (970)980-4940 @mollieonair

MEMPHIS

• PAUL “BRODEE” SCOTT APD/Creative Services Dir./Digital Content Coordinator/Afternoon Drive, Top 40 KWNW (101.9 KISS FM)/MEMPHIS
pmjscott1@gmail.com  (901) 634-7902 @brodeescott

ALBANY

• Joe Gallagher departs as weekend host at News-Talk 810/103.1 WGY. Gallagher started at the station as afternoon host in the 1980s.
Cluster operations manager Randy McCarten and production director Dan “Duke” Mussman also lost their jobs.

ASHEVILLE

• Morning co-host Sharon Green departs Country “99.9 Kiss Country” WKSF.

• Afternoon host Pete Kaliner departs News/Talk 570 WWNC Asheville NC.

Tank Spencer departs WWNC as news anchor, producer and sports talk host.

BOSTON

• Morning anchor Deb Lawler departs News 1030 WBZ just weeks after celebrating her 35th anniversary at the station.

• WBZ also cuts ties with overnight talk host Bradley Jay, commentator Jon Keller and sportscaster Tom Cuddy.

CINCINNATI

• Weekend hosts Marilyn Harris and Dale Donovan depart Talk 550 WKRC along with producers Mark ‘Ranger Bob’ Erickson and Dave Cuddohy and a number of unnamed board operators from the cluster.

GRAND RAPIDS

• Rick Albin, political reporter for WOOD-TV will no longer contribute to the morning show at News/Talk 1300 WOOD/106.9 WOOD-FM.

HARTFORD

• Cameron Hendricks is out as News Director at News/Talk 1450 WKIP/1370 WJIP.

• Dianne ‘Dee’ Zanin exits as News Reporter for News/Talk 1450 WKIP/1370 WJIP and weekend host at Country 107.3 WRWD.

LOUISVILLE

Leland Conway is out as 9am-12pm host at News/Talk 840 WHAS Louisville after six plus year

MARION, OH

Randy Bigley exits mornings at News/Talk 1490 WMRN and News Director for iHeartmedia Mansfield/Ashland and Marion.

NEW YORK
Joe Concha exits as host of the “WOR Tonight” evening show on 710 WOR.quad c

QUAD CITIES

• Morning host Dave Levora and afternoon host Jim Fisher depart News/Talk 1420 WOC.

SUSSEX, NJ

• Tony Dee exits as Chief Engineer for the cluster.

NIELSEN “FALL QUARTER” RATINGS FOR RICHMOND, DES MOINES, MONTEREY-SANTA CRUZ, SPOKANE



The Nielsen numbers for Fall 2017, 2018 and 2019 for Des Moines need to be questioned. 

It just doesn’t make sense that all three Iowa Public Radio stations/formats lost such big chunks of listeners.

The dip by WOI-AM is unrealistic.






Good news for radio in Richmond. After splitting WCVE into two stations with distinct formats.

It’s the same pattern in Roanoke. WVTF split into two stations around the same time.








There are two noncom stations in Spokane that aren't rated but they matter:

Classical KAGW, from Gonzaga University and Jazz KEWU are both players.







Whenever we see the ratings for Monterey-Santa Cruz, we think of KUSP.

Once it was a proud NPR-member News station. 

Unfortunately it was operated by fools who cared more about politics than the listeners and supporters









Thursday, January 16, 2020

STREAMING AUDIO ACCESS DECLINES AS NPR STREAMS ARE THRIVING






The November 2019 Triton Digital Webcast Metrics showed declines, compared to October. 

Drops in Active Average Sessions (AAS) happened at 8 out of the top 10 publishers.

Cumulus Radio had the biggest drop: 10.3%

Meanwhile, AAS for streaming audio from an NPR member stations, was up 2%.




Nielsen says this is the way to get
headphone audio into your PPM meter




Some insiders think the holiday season might have triggered sluggish listening.   

This is ignoring the fact that Nielsen can’t measure headphone/ear bud listening.

Check out that story here.

Here is a telling quote from that report:

“There's the near-impossibility of getting PPM credit for listening done via wired headphones and the true impossibility of getting PPM credit for listening done via Bluetooth or other wireless headphones.”





NIELSEN “Fall Quarter” RATINGS FOR AKRON, ALBUQUERQUE & FORT MYERS-NAPLES





If I could live anywhere in America, I’d live in college town, particularly if the town had an NPR station like WKSU.

WKSU is in the league with KUNC, Fort Collins-Greeley and KLCC in Eugene.








In Albuquerque either KANW or KUNM could change to a 24/7 NPR News format and own the noncom news market. They haven't done this because other matters are involved.

KANW continues to air major block of Spanish language pop music that interests a very different group of listeners.

KUNM is still searching for middle earth.











RADIO TRIVIA: Fort Myers is the scene of the birth of CCM Music. The format began at WSOR on Saturday nights. Then it became the first WAY-FM station.



Wednesday, January 15, 2020

iHeartMedia’s NEW OPERATIONAL STRUCTURE IS GOOD NEWS FOR PUBLIC RADIO • IMAGINING WXXI-FM AS A NEWS/TALK STATION


Screen shot from iHeartMedia website
Never has the nature of commercial radio and public radio been so different. 

While public radio thrives on its heavy investment in news and its engagement with listeners, commercial radio’s top company – iHeartMedia – announced a new internal game plan that embraces shareholders at the expense of local service.

According to Nielsen, iHeart is the number one audio company in America as measured by their audience reach. In 2017 iHeart reported total revenue of $6.2 billion dollars and operates 858 radio stations in more than 150 markets in the U.S.

But they still have trouble turning a profit.

After emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2019, iHeart has invested big bucks in digital platforms such as podcasts to create new revenue streams. Most of their income still comes from radio stations.

On Tuesday (1/14/20), iHeart announced a new organizational structure that puts markets into four divisions, creates new hubs to further consolidate programming and establishes new sales hubs that sell commercials for radio and digital services.

According to a press release, iHeart says they are “modernizing” the company by making use of new technology, artificial intelligence and leverage its gigantic size to keep its leadership position in the audio marketplace.

One of the new divisions, called the Community Division, will lump together stations in smaller markets that are geographically close and are “culturally similar.”

The new plan also creates Centers of Excellence using artificial intelligence and other technology into hubs that iHeart (quoting from the press release) will "provide a better experience for listeners and business partners and a more efficient process for all of its employees."

THERE WILL BE “EMPLOYEE DISLOCATION”

A stated goal of the new plan is to cut expenses by “dislocating” certain employees. Most people know this means layoffs, firings, ending redundancies and the need to spend more time with the family.

iHeart CEO Bob Pittman said in the press release:

Bob Pittman
"There will be some employee dislocation -- some by geography and some by function -- which is the unfortunate price we pay to modernize the company.”

“We have had to make some tough decisions, and in the process some employees have been affected.  Please know we were thoughtful in this process and have provided enhanced severance benefits as well as outplacement assistance for any impacted employees.”

“We want to thank them for the valuable contributions they have made."

Missing from the iHeart plan is any improvement to local service, increasing value for listeners, investing in new employees or presenting programming that benefits society. Meanwhile, public radio is increasing its reach on several platforms.

iHeart’s new plan reminds us of a restaurant where the owners remodel the current space, buy a groovy new sign and design a new, beautiful menu. Then the owners fire the head chef and lays off half of the wait staff.

NIELSEN AUDIO “FALL QUARTER” RATINGS FOR SYRACUSE, ROCHESTER & BURLINGTON

Please note: The Nielsen data we use comes from two sources and this may affect comparisons between Fall 2019 and Fall 2017 and Fall 2018.

The 2017 and 2018 data came from the Radio Research Consortium (RRC) and is mediated by them. RRC used to aggregate listening to multiple frequencies an assign it to a single station. Spark News does the same thing but there may be slight differences in the methodologies.

RRC no longer makes Nielsen ratings available to the public. Only paying customers can know the Nielsen numbers from RRC. Spark News now republishes data directly from Nielsen.


Things haven’t changed lately in the ratings for Rochester, New York.

For many, many years WXXI-FM has aired a full-time Classical music format. 

NPR News programming is on WXXI-AM. NPR news magazine are heard on WRUR and WEOS. All of the stations listed on the chart are operated by WXXI.

This means that NPR News in Rochester is on inferior frequencies and does not reach a listener base that other NPR News/Talk stations enjoy.






The map on the right shows WXXI-FM’s projected coverage area. 

91.5 FM covers a remarkable area from Buffalo to almost Albany. 

If NPR News/Talk programming aired 24/7 on WXXI-FM would have double-digit AQH share and perhaps 200,000 estimated weekly listeners.

Of course, the folks who run WXXI know this but for some unexplained reason, they don’t act on it. 

Just down on I-90 from Rochester is Syracuse where two stations typically out-perform WXXI-AM. 

WRVO is the established noncommercial market leader but Syracuse University’s WAER is now a player. WAER’s schedule during peek listening hours is now all news and information. Jazz music airs later at night.





Vermont Public Radio News, which is heard on several signals in the Burlington-Plattsburg metro, is an indication of the listening impact WXXI-FM might have if they switched to all news.