Saturday, March 24, 2007

WHBC's Early Talk Debut

UPDATE 3/26/07 1:35 PM: As reported and expected, the WHBC talk format has launched. We'll keep the item open for comments until later tonight, as opposed to starting another item... --The Management

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OMW hears from numerous sources that the debut of the talk format on NextMedia's WHBC/1480 Canton will happen on Monday.

The date that had been floated out of the building for the debut was April 2nd.

But WHBC is apparently ready at the starting gate for March 26th - perhaps because they signed on the dotted line with FOX Sports Radio to fill the remaining hours of non-music programming, starting this Monday.

Monday is also the start of the much-aforementioned syndicated program hosted by Dennis Miller, who will be heard noon-3 PM on 1480. And OMW also hears that local 10 AM-noon host Ron Ponder will debut that day as well.

And in answer to one question - no, morning drive hosts Fred Chenevey and Pam Cook aren't going anywhere. Their information-based local morning show is quite typical on such a news/talk station.

We say "news/talk" because of that, and because of the continued presence of the station's local news staff...it's a very standard format move.

Anyway, if you're hoping to catch the last gasp of oldies music on WHBC, we'd assume that would be sometime late Sunday evening...

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

WHBC was being blasted on here for going to talk and Dennis Miller and now you're telling us Miller is being heard in 80 markets and WNIR may pick him up. Gee, was this a smart move after all? Ron Ponder will stir up the audience. Brady Russell needs to become the person that got him fired on the FM side or he will fail miserably and another syndicated talk show will take his time slot. And why are there so many mentions about Jim Albright on here? His claim to fame died years ago. Good luck to WHBC. It still needs a hip controversial morning show host, but hey Fred has to retire soon. Maybe he will follow Jim Johnson out to pasture.

Anonymous said...

I love how people come on here with all the answers. Hey hire anyone, open the mic, and magic will poor out. Your answer is simply to be more controversial.

You've got WNIR, WHLO, WARF, WCER and WTAM already doing mostly controversial talk with all very experienced talk show hosts. Is WHBC with all rookie shows going to out-controversy those other stations? No.

The whole problem with what WHBC is doing is the extremely poor planning. They think, like you, if you put people on the air live with a telephone it will succeed.

Look at WKNR and what Karmazin is doing. It seems like it has been a VERY long drawn out re-imaging and shuffling of hosts. It has been long and drawn out but it is very strategic planning to make it a great sports station again.

The reason Jim Albright keeps coming up isn't his fame of the format of the radio show he hosted, it is the fact that anyone who can do 5 hours of talk per night, 6 nights per week, for 22 years and get good ratings at it should be looked at before a rookie. Simply logic.

I think Brady could be a good talk host. Problem is there is no engine running the ship. The GM, Pam Cook, nobody has the experience programming a talk station. Do you let them simply fly blind and hope they do well? That brings me back to my point that it is being done very non-strategically which typically is a recipe for disaster.

Anonymous said...

Radio Cardinal Rule # 1

Serve the community with
consistent local programming and no one will beat you.

Anonymous said...

Well almost. I will ammend it just slightly.

Serve the community with consistant local programming that is entertaining, professional, thought provoking, stimulating, emotional, humorous and dynamic and no one will beat you.

WGN in Chicago is all live, local, consistent and they have been dropping in the ratings over the past five years. Why? It is boring talk.

WLW is quite the opposite.

Anonymous said...

Plus, we must not forget about the market study done in Canton. It said, a News/Talk station that caters to Canton and talks mostly about Canton is what Canton listeners want.

Clear Channel has never understood why Canton Listeners are having a hard time grasping listeners. Canton/Akron???? What??????

Canton, likes Canton. Plus remember the sore thumb here. A county to the South East of Canton that happens to make up part of the book. You think they care about Akron?

Akron/Canton news talk doesnt work as well as CANTON NEWS/TALK...in...CANTON!!!

As for WHBC, I think it was a great move for both stations. Even if WHBC-FM went Polka Russian infused Dance and Hip Hop it would remain in the Top 5. The call letters are so engrained into locals heads that they think WHBC while they sleep. Its music is a little harder, but offices arent going to jump ship.

Remember this. WE ARE IN RADIO. The people who get books and fill them out are women mostly between 18-48. The average listener as a fifth grade listening comprehension when it comes to radio. As long as they hear these magical words "MIX" or "WHBC" thats all that matters.

Not over 60% of Canton was listening to WHBC AM for Oldies!

Mason Meyer said...

Anonymous stated...

>>The people who get books and fill them out are women mostly between 18-48. The average listener as a fifth grade listening comprehension when it comes to radio.

That is not true. You can look at any Arbitron quarterly report for any market and the first few pages show the proportionality reports. It shows by age group Arbitron's performance of measurement and then the weighting involved to make the demos match the market proportionally.

Older demos tend to over deliver and thus are weighted down to match the market percentages of demo. Why older demos? Older people are more likely to be retired thus less busy and more easily reached. The long time problem for Arbitron and other research firms is measuring the 18-24 year old and 35-44 demos traditionally. Women 18-49 are not the only people filling out surveys and sending them for reporting.

In addition, I have no idea where you find your information but again look at the market data in Canton to see the education levels. In the Fall survey for Canton 289,154 people 12+ have HS educations or higher out of a population of 349,084. That is nearly 83% with HS education or higher. Remember, this data comes from people filling out diaries.

Anonymous said...

I agree the talk has to be thought provoking and entertaining. Not all sweet and thanks for calling maam type stuff and thatis what Pam, Fred and Brady no. It is not good radio at all. Maybe they will learn to go out there and take a chance while talking and risk not being liked. True pro talk show hosts don't care about being liked.

Anonymous said...

''And why are there so many mentions about Jim Albright on here?''

Having been able to spend a few years working with Mr. Albright, I can tell that he is a professional in every sense of the word..when WHBC was still trying to do their version of ''Oldies'', his was the only shift worth listening to..

His knowledge of Northeast Ohio, and Radio in general, is unmatched..why WHBC/NextMedia is not utilizing his skills at the launch of a new format is something Pam Koch and the Suits in Denver will have to explain, and defend, at some point..I wish them luck..

And I wish someone would explain the concept of ''Streaming Audio'' to anyone on South Market..I'd love to hear what Monday sounds like..but I live in the wrong time zone..Streaming and an 800 number could involve folks who used to live in the area, and have something worthwhile to contribute..like calling their talk hosts..

But since I've never run up a 300 million dollar sea of red ink running once profitable radio stations into the ground, I guess my point is moot..

Anonymous said...

It was never said that only Canton people have a 5th grade LISTENING COMPREHENSION in radio.

Once again, go back to your roots. What was one of the first things you were taught when becoming a disk jock. Never say more than 2 things before going on to the next item on deck. It was never meant for music quantity, if you think that....wow, your way off. Its due to the fact that the average listener only can absorb so much and then move to the next thing. Hmmm.

I could go on and on.

Listeners DID not tune into HBC-AM for the oldies. While Canton is slightly an older market, I dont know how many 35 year old women listen to HBC-AM for the best hits of the 1960's. They listened to it because... ITS LOCAL, ITS CANTON, AND ITS STABLE. HBC has always been around and its what people know.

Once again, when you constantly say AKRON or your AKRON/CANTON, or AKRON, AKRON, AKRON and then GREEN, KENT, CANTON...it makes you say, "what about me in lonely little Massilon".

Canton hates playing second fiddle to Akron. They always have, and always will.

Will HBC AM be affected? I would say so, but will HBC FM be affected? It might loose some cume, but really in the end..it wont fall far from the top. Dont expect RQK, KDD, HLO or HOF to ever be in the #1 position, its just not going to happen.

I really see this as a battle between QXK, ZKL and HBC FM to fight for.

Anonymous said...

here is another food for thought. Beaverkettle helped build a strong brand in the HBC name.

I understand that Arbitron weighs out numbers. I used to work for them. But, the average diary return is from a Woman 32-40. HBC is and was #1 for a reason. Its not because it was spinning all the hits of the 1950's or 60's. Its because Beaverkettle and everyone else made it an EMPIRE!

Its called MARKET RESEARCH. Something Nextmedia paid big bucks for. They know what their doing. Do I know how it will end up? No, but you dont commission a report if your not going to do what it says.

Anonymous said...

hello, iraq study group ring a bell?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to be failing as well as anonymous #4 claims WGN is. Let's see...#1 in the market in revenue, #1 12+ last spring and summer books. Yeah, that's one pathetic, declining radio station right there.

Anonymous said...

WGN used to ALWAYS be #1 12+. Recently in the Fall book they fell again to #2 12+ beaten by WGCI. 5 years ago that never happened. They actually saw #4 12+ once late in 2005.

But more importantly is the Persons 25-54. They were ranked 20th in the Fall book beaten by WLS, WBBM, WSCR and WMVP. That is big challange they are having. If they didn't have the Cubs broadcast (25% of their total revenue) they would be even lower.

Anonymous said...

''Its called MARKET RESEARCH. Something NextMedia paid big bucks for. They know what they're doing.''


Really?

Then why did it take NextMedia nearly SEVEN YEARS to figure out what they needed to do?

Why was the move to talk, which was inevitable, not made in 2000 or 2001, when plenty of syndicated shows were still out there to be signed up?

Why did NextMedia not jump on the Air America bandwagon when it was readily avaliable?

Whatever research NextMedia may have sprung for is a smokescreen for their sales department--what's left of it--to try to convince clients to hang on through the transition..

What is ''Plan B'' if Ponder, Miller and Russell fail to generate ratings and revenue once ''Fred and Pam'' have left the microphone?

Here's a prediction..

WHBC will be All Sports within 18 months to two years..with a local morning show..Jim Rome..and Fox Sports..all day..every day..

Anonymous said...

If they go all sports, thats fine. Let them go all sports. If you dont believe in a MARKET RESEARCH STUDY, once again, thats fine.

STUDIES cost a LOT of money and 99.7% of the time, they are RIGHT! You just have to suffer the initial consequences and reap the rewards about 4-5 years down the road.

The biggest and best radio stations in the world do these things, and guess what. They are the biggest and the best for that reason. B101 in Phila does a Market Research Study EVERY MONTH.

I hope the best for Nextmedia and their Canton cluster. Will their be an initial blow to the station? Thats for all of us radio junkies to ponder. But in the end, what are you in radio for.

Listeners know what they want. You think they are going to all get together in a meeting hall and say "when these market study folks come around, tell them you want talk so we can skew the report to make it look bad". Thats crazy!!!!

In the end, they dont care if its Talk, Oldies, Russian Polka or Sports. It to them has been and always will be 1480 WHBC.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I am guessing the answer to the question, "What station do you listen to?" will become, "Well, I used to listen to 1480 WHBC, but now I listen to..."

Ohio Media Watch said...

Not really worth another item, but...

We heard WHBC running a Dennis Miller promo tonight.

"...from noon to 3, exclusively on NewsTalk 1480 WHBC."

So, it's finally "out there" as far as listeners (listeners who don't read OMW) go.

-The Management

Anonymous said...

Well, Midnight Sunday/Monday and the switch has been made. Fox sports kicked things off, probably last time I will listen to WHBC-AM.

raccoonradio said...

New schedule is posted at
their
site

Anonymous said...

''You just have to suffer the inital consequences and reap the rewards 4 or 5 years down the road''

WHBC and NextMedia don't have that kind of time..far from it..they have three books..tops..unless Denver can find a buyer..fast..

Noting their new schedule..

News is not even mentioned..anywhere..after morning drive..interesting..

Anonymous said...

Hopefully that's just an oversight.....news is the only thing that will still hold it together, because that's what 1480 has really been about anyway.

Anonymous said...

DING!!!!!!!!

Why do people listen to 1480 WHBC. News. Who ever thought of that idea? This is why WHBC will do okay still. Dont tell me that WHLO even has a chance to be in the top 5, if so your crazy.

NEWS...NEWS...NEWS. Once again, Canton folks could care less about AKRON NEWS, CLEVELAND NEWS, YOUNGSTOWN...I could go on and on. They care about Canton. And while WHLO is a fantastic station, they want the big boy toys, so do they care a darn about Canton?

WHLO AM will and always will be noted for its NEWS. Guess what, RESEARCH PROVES IT! You think CC brought in a reasearch company for WHOF? Nope, CC wont throw around that kind of chump change. Thats a LOT of money!

Anonymous said...

wow...listening to Ponder and I can tell in the first 15 seconds..



this is going to really blow.

Anonymous said...

You guys and gals make me laugh. Radio has been researched to death and you're calling for market research in a market the size of Canton. All this to see if a dying AM should drop music and pick up talk? Duh!


I'd question the need for WHBC/Nexmedia to do any market research. All it would take is listening to the market for a few days, perhaps just even hours.
A GOOD pd, something they've lacked with the turnover, would know just by listening this was the route to go.
This is just a guess and only a guess...I'm sure they'd much rather have Limbaugh.

Why did WHBC not get Dr. Laura? That would have been an easy pull from WCER.
Dave Ramsy? Same thing.

Clear Channel OWNS Critical Mass Media, the company that DOES all or almost all of their market/music research.

Getting the $$ for a market study or an AMT is not all that hard. It's just moving dollars around.

I'd question the need for WHBC/Nexmedia to do any market research. All it would take is listening to the market for a few days, perhaps just even hours.
A GOOD pd, something they've lacked with the turnover, would know just by listening this was the route to go.
This is just a guess and only a guess...I'm sure they'd much rather have Limbaugh.

Why did WHBC not get Dr. Laura? That would have been an easy pull from WCER.
Dave Ramsy? Same thing.

Anonymous said...

So far the small amount of "news/talk WHBC" I've heard is dull as hell, BUT — it is local. If it becomes another wall-to-wall syndication outlet, it will fail. Local and dull trumps syndicated and flashy. This is Canton, after all. Plenty of other stations flood the market with slick, professional talk radio. Local focus, more than any specific form of content, is WHBC's unique selling proposition.

Anonymous said...

''Don't tell me WHLO even has a chance to be in the top 5..if so you're crazy''...

Perhaps if you'd get your nose out of the ''Market Research'' you hold so dear, and look at actual Arbitron numbers for the last three years, you'll see all you need to know about why WHBC-AM has gone talk..

Limbaugh and Hannity on WHLO-AM were either beating WHBC-AM or tying them in Middays and Afternoon Drive in P25-54 and Men 35-64..it had become a trend, and somebody in Denver finally noticed it..

The real test is going to come on weekends..since it would seem on the surface that WHBC-AM will shift from local talk to national sports--with no local news or local content, other then high school sports, to speak of..

This is the other part of the overall equation..will Fox Sports deliver 18-34 and 25-54 Men..if it can..then all to the good..if it can't--listen for the alarm bells coming from South Market..

Anonymous said...

"Will HBC AM be affected? I would say so, but will HBC FM be affected? It might loose some cume, but really in the end..it wont fall far from the top. Dont expect RQK, KDD, HLO or HOF to ever be in the #1 position, its just not going to happen.

I really see this as a battle between QXK, ZKL and HBC FM to fight for".



LOL, LOL, LOL. Now that's comedy!

Anonymous said...

My biggest suprise with WHBC-Am is not doing local news/local talk at least on Saturday mornings from 6am to noon or 1PM when the Indians, Ohio State, etc. primarily play. It wouldn't cost much (two hosts) and would have nice cume and ratings. National sports talk on Saturday mornings? A 0.2 share Men 25-54. Not a way to win.

Anonymous said...

WHBC AM and FM......R.I.P.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, did some listening today. Yikes. Somebody tell Miller how to say "W" Dennis Miller here on 1480 Duby-a HBC.



Turn off the lights the, party's over.

Anonymous said...

Lest we forget..this is Day One..

Save your dirt throwing for July or January when the first books come out..one day does not a conclusion make..

Anonymous said...

The last poster is absolutely correct. Look at the strides David Lee Roth has made since he took over for Howard Stern a little over a year ago. When he started, he was horrible! Today, well, NCX hasn't really recovered. I guess they should have given him three years to "find his audience". Anyone want to bet there will be a "new" format on 1480 this time next year? I am calling my shot (these posts are archived, right?): WHBC-AM goes to a 6 share 12+ (from a 10.7) in the Spring '07 book. Somebody get me a doctor (Van Halen reference)! But they'll be number one in their demo (55+).

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the audience was saying the same thing today, Wait until the book comes out.

LOL.