Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Whats New With da Cume?

84° - sunny at 12:15pm
Update: 96° at 6:25pm

My lawn is brown. We need some rain here in mid-Michigan!

Most stations run listener panels with email clubs and various music and perceptual research services. Typically these are your P1 listeners who have made the effort to register with your station.

As we approach fall - review when you last surveyed your participants. Many stations only do this once as part of the sign-up process. Its good to do at least twice a year; perhaps more often depending on your market.

Survey those P1s again - especially if there's been any changes in your market - like format flips and new signals; if you've made some significant formatic or music changes; or simply if its been a long time.

Your database is a great asset - and an excellent way to look for shifts in your market.

Just one more thing to do before the fall book begins (9/20)!

Added: Tom Snyder (one more time) - a great story about a high level corporate lunch meeting from Ken Levine.

Read here along with a bunch of wonderful reader comments and memories.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday Monday

80° - sunny at 1pm
again: so long Tom...and thanks.

Good afternoon from Michigan...

PPM Troubles. Arbitron reveals (via Inside Radio this morning) that the churn rate for meter participants is high - with many simply leaving their meters docked after being on panel for several months.

Consultant Jaye Albright weighs in on the issue

Me: I'm just wondering how many electronic "things" the typical consumer wants to carry around with them.

Dave Lange:
Some Good Signs For Rock Music/Radio. Read here. At the end of that piece Dave writes about his son and "Guitar Hero" - and says: "I bet we'll see even more teen and 18-24 number for Classic Rock formats over the next few years and we'll happily have Guitar Hero to blame."

Fred Jacobs on Guitar Hero:
"...for radio stations doing too many promotions as it is, "Guitar Hero" is a great way to inject a little consumer-generated fun." Read more here.

A Broadcaster's Broadcaster

Tom Snyder
May 12, 1936 - July 29, 2007

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday Morning Odds & Sods

75° - sunny at 11am
left: taken on bike ride this am

Good Morning.

Traveled to Michigan's "West Coast" yesterday to do a remote for
WWKR. Big car show in downtown Hart. Nice drive. Nice people.

Also checked out classic rock
WBFX/Grand Rapids - sounding pretty good these days under OM Doug Montgomery.

Listening this morning
to Bob Stroud on Chicago's
WDRV (surprising, eh?). Bob's featuring his third installment of "the summer of love" - the summer of '67. Bob's done at 11 eastern; we then surf over to Steve Palec on Milwaukee's WKLH.

Speaking of WDRV - noticed
this late night...perhaps early morning feature on the station's website.

Sean Ross writes about
placing great radio stations from another market (or a great internet radio station) on HD2 channels. Lots of companies have some great brands they can import into another market. Read here.

In this week's FMQB, Arbitron's Pierre Bouvard talks about how PPM will change the way you program your radio station. In PPM markets this might mean no more "big money Thursdays” because there is no more “first day” of the diary. Lots more to read here.

Cara's Basement. In a new podcast, Cara Carriveau talks to Ratt's Stephen Pearcy. Great interview! Listen here.

Have a great Sunday.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Weekend Classic Rock FM

76° - cloudy at 10am; smells like rain - love it!

Welcome to the weekend.

Yours truly traveling to Hart, Michigan tomorrow to be on the radio - again!

Spring book:
Seeing most classic rockers up - or flat - in the new numbers. KSAN/San Francisco, WZLX/Boston, KSEG/Sacramento, KUFX/San Jose, WRSR/Flint, WZXL/Atlantic City - and WWVR/Terre Haute among the big gainers in yesterday's 12+ releases. Congrats to all.

HD Radio.
Both Fred Jacobs and Mark Ramsey wrote this week about HD Radio's difficulties. Fred blogs
about the lack of awareness of HD from his research. Here.

Mark writes
a change coming soon for HD Radio's marketing efforts - here - though it remains very unclear what that change might be.

Just my two cents: I believe this is much of a chicken or egg dilemma; hard for companies to justify investments in programming when there's a lack of receivers (and lack of interest in those receivers) in the market.

Detroit is mission critical -
before more dollars are spent on consumer marketing and promotion.

As Mark Ramsey observed some time ago - people buy things that include radios.
Like cars.

Sean Ross points us to CNET and and this article and author Steve Tobak - writing "HD Radio - what's the holdup?"

Finding wireless in a small town. In a few weeks I'll be joining my siblings and their families for a few days of camping in northeastern Iowa - Backbone State Park.

With some prior obligations (beyond this blog), I may need a few moments online during our visit.

Unable to Google any nearby wi-fi
- a fast email to the local economic development/tourism people resulted in a quick response - and a location close where I can fire up the laptop. Nice!

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

More Winners..

85° - cloudy at 5:30pm

Late day post today;
busy day catching up on a few things including PC maintenance - plus starting a new outside project.

Spring numbers:
12-plus numbers released yesterday. Lots of wins in the classic rock world.

In Harrisburg:
classic rock WTPA is up over a share and a half. In the same market -classic hits WRVV is up more than a point.

In Peoria: classic hits WPBG (using "The Drive" moniker) up almost a point and a half - good enough for second place. Great sounding radio station I heard a few months back on a trek to Missouri.

Classic Rock also up in South Bend:
WAOR moves up from 6 to a tie for 4th 12+. Across town, WZOW - playing "whatever rocks" - is also up nearly two points.

In Ventura County: KOCP scored big - up over two points and their best performance in recent history. More numbers today in the usual places.

David Martin.
Dave blogs today about a great radio station food drive in St. Louis. "Christmas in July" - a fabulous idea!

Scroll down on Dave's blog for a great piece on Chicago's Steve Dahl - who alone keeps one Chicago FM station alive with incredible numbers. I get something/learn something from David's blog almost everyday.

More tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wednesday Blogs & Promos

78° - cloudy at 12:30pm

Good Afternoon.

From my blogosphere:

Alan Mason.
Alan blogs about chasing dreams - writing: "I can sometimes get so focused on the day-to-day details that I forget to dream." Yup! Read Alan's piece here.

Seth Godin. A job for the future: building website communities. Seth: "What if you want to hire someone to build an online community? Somebody to create and maintain a virtual world in which all the players in an industry feel like they need to be part of it?". Read more here.

Websites - a tool to use in establishing the "community" of listeners a station should strive for.

And: David Martin writes about the radio talent pyramid - at the top are the true stars. Below them are the personalities and voice actors. And so forth.

Dave on talent: "experience has taught me the popular notion that "there is no one out there" is totally false."
A great read on his blog here.

Cool Promos:

WAXQ/New York is offering listeners a chance to "jam with legends" at Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp during Labor Day Weekend. The camp includes Ted Nugent, Mark Farner, Leslie West and Paul Stanley.

Entry is by submitting video. Details from Q104.3

And: WMGK/Philadelphia is giving away a performance by Foghat at a listener block party. Very cool.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Late Tuesday Update

88° - Mostly Sunny at 5:10pm
Left: oops..they don't print them anymore.

More Spring numbers - and some Classic Rock highlights:

In Chicago: WDRV jumps more than a half a point 12-plus. Added: WDRV moves #9 to #7 A25-54 - and rebounds #9 to #2 M25-54. Monthlies show third phase "A to Z" feature significantly boosted all demos - bolstering both females and 35-64.

In Stamford-Norwalk, Cox's WFOX leaps close to two shares 12+. More at All Access.

Meanwhile - Tomorrow in Denver: KRFX Morning Drivers Lewis & Floorwax take advantage of a story currently in the news:

Spring Book, PPM and Special Programming

73° - partly cloudy at 10:20am

Spring Arbitron:
Yesterday's New York City numbers showed classic rock WAXQ flat 12+ from winter - but dropping #4 to #6 A25-54 and from #1 to #2 M25-54; likely affected by revived rocker WXRK.

David Martin noted on his blog that the "new" WXRK moved from #14 to #5 A25-54. PPM hits NYC starting with the fall survey - should benefit both WAXQ and WXRK.

Will classic rocker WAXQ soon feel the squeeze from the other side? Tom Taylor rightfully speculates "
that the new classic hits/oldies incarnation of CBS-FM will be the most-watched station of the current Summer Arbitron." Read Tom's newsletter here.

Added: (Speaking of CBS-FM) - Sean Ross emails a link to his latest piece - talking 80s with oldies - classic rock - and even AC/Hot AC. Read here.

Back to Monday Arbitrons:

In Allentown - classic hits WODE maintained a solid #2 position 12+. In Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - classic rock combo WEZX/WPZX jumps from #4 to #2 12+. More markets released today include Chicago, Milwaukee, LA - after 5pm in the usual places.

More special programming:
Fred Jacobs writes today about PPM and programming - and why things like "Top 500" countdowns continue to pull for radio - even though
"many programmers have come to dislike these "evergreen events" because they often sound essentially the same year after year."

Fred offers some thoughts on keeping them fresh.

Yours truly has been (and continues to be) a fan of these programming staples. They seldom fail - and I believe the audience comes to expect them as part of the "classic rock experience".

Not long ago
I stumbled across an on-line discussion room - archived from Memorial Day Weekend 2006 - where listeners were discussing the countdown that was on my station - arguing over the rankings of various songs. They were so into it. Very cool to read - even a year later!

Fred also notes that "people love lists" and "A look at VH-1 shows you the importance of "List Programming". Fred's entire piece is a great read - here.

Meanwhile - a few months back I compiled a "list of lists" from various CR outlets; perhaps this can be the start of some brainstorming at your station. Find that

Morning Show Topics

The latest issue (August) of Wired Magazine has some great ideas for morning show topics. All in a special section called "How To". How to work. How to live. How to play.

Examples: How to get promoted. How to get fired. How to outwit a mechanic. How to get 50mpg in a Buick.

More: How to get backstage at a concert. How to order a drink (and how to get a free drink) from a bartender. Lots of great ideas.

Most of the content also available on the Wired website here.

And - who can ignore Hollywood's latest train wreck:

More on that topic at TMZ.com.

Just trying to help.

Monday, July 23, 2007

More Houston PPM

I added this to the discussion of Houston's PPM numbers posted yesterday (below) - but thought I'd also post separately:

On All Access today, consultant Anthony Acampora reviews the new Houston June PPM numbers and notes the following:

Classic rock KKRW jumps from #7 in the last paper book to #1. Classic hits KHTC moves from #16 to #11t. Ranks are AQH A25-54.

What a great time for classic rock radio!

Who Are You? 97 Rock Does It Again!

77° - sunny at 10:30am

Happy Monday!

Just last week - I wrote
here about sharing listener stories; mentioning Buffalo's WGRF.

WGRF (97 Rock) has taken this to yet another level. Check out this listener email forwarded from "Dave" this morning:

What a great way to get your listeners involved with your product in this "consumer generated media" age.

As I've written before, things like this give them ownership - makes the station theirs - and brings the station loyalty that a line item on your A&P budget can't buy.

Here's a peek at the feature on the station's website (see more here):

Think your sales department could use this too?

First spring numbers out today...after 5pm ET in the usual places.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Morning Odds & Sods

74° - mostly sunny at 11am
Left: just off golf course down the street.

Good morning from Okemos.

Listening to WDRV/Chicago's Deep Tracks HD2 as I write. Steve Seaver on the air - playing Fleetwood Mac's Sentimental Lady; plus a great 1968 track from the Moody Blues "In Search Of The Lost Chord". I mentioned that album last Sunday.

Rock far from dead: Format PDs have to be psyched by the PPM numbers that have been rolling in - first from Philadelphia and now from Houston.

Lee Arnold
reviews the latest Houston 6+ AQH numbers on his blog
here. Lee sez: "Get ready for some interesting days ahead. Rock Radio - It’s like you never left!!!"

Added Monday 7/23:
On All Access today, consultant Anthony Acampora reviews the new Houston June PPM numbers and notes the following:

Classic rock KKRW jumps from #7 in the last paper book to #1. Classic hits KHTC moves from #16 to #11t. Ranks are AQH - A25-54.

More PPM. Arbitron's Thom Mocarsky notes in Radio Daily News: "According to the June 2007 PPM radio ratings in Houston, Friday had the largest average quarter hour radio audience among persons, age 6 and older."

"It's also interesting to note that the bigger "lift" in Friday listening starts at 3:00pm and peaks in the 10pm to 11pm hour."
This makes your weekend programming strategy all the more important.

PPM market or not - take advantage of that heavy Friday cume and carry it through weekend. Think something special - could be as simply as a "block party weekend". Kick it off early - Friday at noon or 1pm.

Classic rock is perfect for something special - every weekend. We've posted examples of other efforts here before.

- caught this radio story in the Detroit Free Press yesterday: "Stations divide along strategic lines when it comes to grabbing your ear on Saturday and Sundays."

"Some stay with the same approach that brings in listeners all week long. Some change to reflect that people's habits aren't the same on weekends."

"As classic rock WCSX-FM programmer Bill Stedman put it: "Do you do on the weekends what you do Monday through Friday?"

Read the entire Detroit Free Press article on weekend radio here.

Radio Stories.
Every radio geek loves inside stories. This one from Chicago's Rick Kaempfer - concerning the Dixie Chicks and a directive from a major market program director. Read here.

Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

When Satire Becomes Reality...

Jim Bartlett - who writes the awesome Top 40/Classic Rock blog The Hits Just Keep On Comin' - and also does weekends on classic rock WHLK/Madison - recently pointed to a 2002 story in the national parody newspaper "The Onion".

See anything familiar here?

"....the radio stations acquire copies of RIAA artists' CDs and then broadcast them using a special transmitter, making it possible for anyone with a compatible radio-wave receiver to listen to the songs."

"....these radio stations often play the best, catchiest song off the album over and over until people get sick of it. Where is the incentive for people to go out and buy the album?"

Read the full 2002 Onion "story" here.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Weekend Classic Rock FM

68° - sunny at 12noon

Explain those things to the new intern in promotions......

Welcome to the weekend.

WCBS-FM. One week into the revival of New York's "oldies" station, McVay Media's Mike McVay offers his take:

"WCBS-FM is using the positioning statement The Greatest Hits of the 60s, 70s & 80s. This is an excellent statement in that it clearly explains to the audience WHAT it is that they play, and it expresses a quality statement."

"The word “Greatest” indicates quality. “Hits” indicates popularity."

"Using three decades of music to explain what you play signifies "Quantity" as well as "Variety."

And: Is it "classic hits" or "oldies"? Read Mike's piece here.

Plus - via the McVay website: Consultant Jaye Albright here on 70s oldies with analysis of the music on WCBS-FM - and comparisons with past efforts. Worth your time.

Mark Ramsey: "All stations need to understand that a "position" is not a set of words, it's a destination in the minds of the audience." Read more.

Beer lessons for radio. Fred Jacobs relays the story of Narragansett Beer - how it lost its way - and is now on the road to recovery.

Read Fred's piece
here; and be sure to check out the original WSJ article too.

More here Sunday Morning. Have a terrific weekend.