Thursday, June 29, 2006

UPDATED: Liberal Talk in Last Days in Queen City?

AllAccess reports a Clear Channel press release out of Cincinnati - the cluster's sports outlet, WSAI/1360 "1360 Homer, The Sports Animal", is reportedly moving to the 50,000 watt signal at 1530...currently occupied by liberal talk WCKY "The Revolution of Talk Radio".

The "Homer" move is set to take place July 7th.

UPDATE (10:01 AM 6/30/06): OMW hears from at least two sources that at least for now, the liberal talk format will make the move to 1360 AM when sports moves to 1530 on July 7th. We're not altogether certain that the move will be a long-term one, for the reasons we state below from our earlier item. The following, as we remind you again, is just our own speculation...


Enquirer radio/TV guru John Kiesewetter quotes Jones Radio syndicated afternoon host Ed Schultz as sounding a warning for the future of WCKY's liberal talk format.

"Republicans and conservatives ... are trying to get WCKY-AM in Cincinnati to take us off the air," Schultz wrote in an E-Mail to members of the Hamilton County Democratic Party a few months ago. "Sources inform us right-wingers have even gone so far as to call local advertisers and tell them they will not do business with them because they buy advertising during 'The Ed Schultz Show'"

But the more important wording in the article comes from Clear Channel Cincinnati AM programming chief Darryl Parks, who tells the Enquirer that WCKY's liberal talk format "could be dropped" if anemic ratings are not improved.

Quoting the article:

"We're not happy with the (ratings) results. We're always looking for a way to improve our product (stations)," Parks says. "This isn't about any political ideology. This is all about ratings and revenues."

It always is about ratings and revenue in commercial radio, and though we don't know the revenue side of the equation, the ratings have been pitifully low for "The Revolution of Talk Radio".

The 50,000 watt blowtorch - in the latest 12-plus numbers in Cincinnati - was even beaten by WDJO/1160 Florence KY, which flipped to the "real oldies" format that was featured on 1530 before liberal talk showed up...complete with 1530's former morning host Dusty Rhodes. (We don't have in-demo numbers in the Cincinnati market, but that picture couldn't have been much better for WCKY...if it was, you wouldn't see that quote above out of Mr. Parks.)

And Springer's show is on its last legs as well. Not only is it not popular in doesn't seem to be catching on anywhere. Cleveland CC sister talker WTAM/1100 dumped Springer for a local show hosted by Bob Frantz. Even within the liberal talk format, Springer just lost another big market - Miami - to Jones Radio's Stephanie Miller.

Liberal talk was a gamble in mostly conservative Cincinnati, and we don't think the company would have even mounted the format without a big local name to anchor it - that name being Springer...the former Cincinnati mayor and TV news anchor...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does this mean some of the sports programming (Reds, Bengals) may get moved from WLW to the new sports station on 1530? Or does the Big One hang on to these and simply do call-in shows & pregames and the like on the 1530 signal?

It almost looks like Cleveland, where WTAM has all the major sports team contracts, while WKNR runs sports programming around it. The big difference is that Clear Channel owns both WLW & 1530, where as up here WKNR is still under Salem's helm...

Any recent ramblings that Clear Channel may buy 850 or another AM signal for sports? Could we see some more signal swapping on the fifth anniversary of the great signal swap of 2001?