Friday, June 30, 2006

"View skeptically any show whose concept takes longer than ten seconds to explain." Brandon Tartikoff

What if...you examined the national ratings performance of one radio format and found fewer than ten stations had achieved, sustained significant ratings success and discovered only three of those stations were rated #1 25-54. Can it be called a "successful" format? That's one of the topics being discussed as station and group execs begin the annual budget dance. The Edison Research guys have reviewed the ratings data for the so-called Adult Hits format and their findings are interesting. Recently celebrated as the ratings panacea of choice, Adult Hits is beginning to look a lot like a reboot of oldies rather than the game changing innovation its proponents once brashly suggested (e.g., "you don't want to be across the street, there is no way to defend your station, prepare to be destroyed"). It is good to see Bonneville getting their well deserved props. Two of the three Adult Hit stations rated #1 - KPKX and WARH - are well programmed live and local Bonneville properties. Kudos to Sean Ross on another well written brief "What Are Adult Hits' 25-to-54 Winners Doing Right?" here

Your comments and observations are always welcome. Have a wonderful, fun, safe holiday.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

dave, good call, at best it is a well executed oldies format. this is beginning to smell like the ARROW format remember that another oldies format using classic rock. ironic that kcbs was an ARROW success and now a success with JACK.

Anonymous said...

David

As a group exec I enjoy reading your blog and my opinion is yours is must-read writing for anyone serious about media. However, not able to agree with your take on KCBS. Honestly, you seem to show a consistent penchant for cutting CBS Radio a break. Sean Ross writes that KCBS fails to reach the top thirty in TSL yet you single out that station for praise and claim the station is a success. You also softball the WCBS-FM mess with your assertion that it may not be a success but it may also not be a failure. Huh? What is it then? Please don't take this feedback as anything but constructive critique and keep writing, you're making us think and that is a very good thing.

Dave said...

Thank you for your comments, appreciate the conversation.

Yes, I recall KCSB as ARRO (sic - All Rock and Roll Oldies), a collaboration between Tommy Edwards and Bill Moyes. You may also remember the advocates of ARRO making the case that it was a "new product ladder" a reference to the earlier Trout and Ries construct. As Larry Bruce said back then "ARRO could take a quiet place in the Classic Rock format room but instead wants its own genre."

"a consistent penchant" seems a bit harsh to me but let's take your observation at face value. The facts of the matter are 1) I have served as a consultant to Viacom and CBS 2) I once served as a GM for Mel/CBS/Infinity 3)I once worked with Joel Hollander and on the record as a fan of the man. The evidence or basis of my comment on KCBS is anecdotal. That said, the station is, according to Sean Ross, #2 in cume, this achievement alone is not insignificant success. Discussions of WCBS-FM are often clouded with emotion and rightly so but I have chosen to compare where the station is now compared to the market rather than where the station is now relative to its previous format. Did I/Do I give CBS the benefit of the doubt on these two stations? Perhaps but not without some foundation in logic and fact. Please permit me to remind you this is, after all, my commentary and readers always have the option to respond (just please keep it clean).