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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Radio Ratings Are In

Yes, I know this is the "Television" blog… but it’s also my blog, and today we’re gonna talk radio. I can tell from your postings that many of you are interested in local radio. Arbitron ratings for spring quarter have arrived, and delivered a big kiss to WARM98, WUBE-FM and Dusty Rhodes’ new WDJO-AM.

WLW-AM again was No. 1 for all listeners (ages 12 and older), as it has been since January 2000. It also was No. 1 in the 25-54 demo that advertisers want.

Soft rock WRRM-FM (WARM98.5) was No. 2 for all listerners and 25-54. It was No. 7 a year ago, and No. 5 the previous (winter) quarter.

Country WUBE-FM (B105.1) was No. 3 for all listeners and 25-54, as it was a year ago.

Rocker WEBN-FM (102.7) dropped to No. 5, from No. 2 a year ago.

On the other end of the list – and we mean the bottom – was WCKY-AM (1530). The Air America liberal talk format was No. 24 of No. 27 stations in the market, with a 0.6 audience share – less than half of the format’s high-water mark (1.3) last summer and fall. Dayton and Middletown stations beat liberal talk in the rankings. That explains why Clear Channel moved Jerry Springer and liberal talk to weaker WSAI-AM (1360) earlier this month, and put the Homer sports talk format on 50,000-watt 1530. Homer drew a 1.3 share (tied for 15 with WAQZ-FM), up slightly from 1.1 a year ago.

So far, Dusty Rhodes gets the last laugh. Clear Channel ditched the oldies format for Springer and liberal talk in January 2005. Well, Rhodes took the format last February to little WDJO-AM (1160), and it’s doing OK. It scored a 1.2 share in spring, its first full quarter on the air – nearly matching the best that liberal talk ever did on WCKY-AM.

Haven’t had time to look at all the ratings breakout, but did see one thing interesting: In morning drive 25-54, the syndicated Bob & Tom show WOFX-FM (FOX92.5) was No. 1, followed by Bill Whyte and Amanda Orlando on country B105, Dean and Randi on WARM98 and Jim Scott No. 4 (after being 1 or 2 for the past two years).

Here are the 12+ rankings for the top 25 stations:

1. WLW-AM, 9.9

2. WRRM-FM, 7.0

3. WUBE-FM, 6.7

4. WKFS-FM, 6.5

5. WEBN-FM, 5.6

6. WGRR-FM, 5.2

7. (tie) WIZF-FM, WOFX-FM 4.9

9. WMOJ-FM, 4.0

10. WKRC-AM, 3.7

11. WKRQ-FM, 3.6

12. WYGY-FM, 3.5

13. WVMX-FM, 3.1

14. WAKW-FM, 1.8

15 (tie) WSAI-AM, WAQZ-FM, 1.3

17 (tie) WDBZ-AM, WDJO-AM, 1.2

19. WPFB-FM, 1.1

20. WTUE-FM, 0.9

21. (tie) WCIN-AM, WHKO-FM, 0.8

23. WOXY-FM (simulcast with Georgetown FM stations), 0.7

24 (tie) WCKY-AM, WGTZ-FM, 0.6\

I'm interested in your take on the ratings. Fire away!

Colbert reports on The Enquirer

Caught this one on the repeat Tuesday night of Monday’s "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central. Stephen Colbert cited an Enquirer story last week about Camp Quest in St. Clair Township, north of Hamilton, for atheists and agnostics.

Joked Colbert: “The campers are also given other untenable philosophical challenges, like proving tetherball is fun…. How about canoeing on a lake of Hell fire for eternity?”


at 7/26/2006 9:56 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a life-long listener to WLW (yes, I remember JFPO in the mornings) Jim Scott is getting boring and repetitive, especially if you are in earshot of the radio for his entire shift. You can tell when "live" conversations are canned (because of awkward transitions) and repeats of his interviews are annoying. They spend entirely too much time on self-promotion during the news. And frankly, their traffic coverage sucks. I have yet to be in a morning traffic jam that they have actually reported before I am in the middle of it.

Still love "good old Jim Scott" but the morning show needs some major changes. Me? I'm spending more time listening to info on Sirius because WLW becomes more irrelevant every day.

at 7/26/2006 10:08 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps now that the WLWT/WLW teaming has occurred, how about sending John Phillips back up in the air.

The true difference in the traffic reports rings loud:
1) He can see beyond what Artimis is showing...and giving you a quick way around the mess

2) The conversationalism of John and who ever is on the air, at the time, has worked. In the past.

But when WLW canned the copter...the quality and uniqueness vanished. That and how many stations was/is John doing reports for? I think the only stations he didn't do were WAIF and WMKV.

The WLW morning show is way too over-produced. I agree with the previous poster....I switched to Jerry and Craig because of his format. It's too "Clear Channel" robot programmed. Self-promotion beyond the "if you have news we can use".

at 7/26/2006 1:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

is there now no oldies station in the tristate? i remember some 10-15 yrs ago, i used to listen to 103.5 to the dismay of my peers. i usually listen to warm 98 now since it does seem to be family friendly compared to 107.1--this was a nice post today mr. kiese. thanks for the glimpse into radio!

at 7/26/2006 3:16 PM Anonymous js said...

Yes I have also switched over to warm 98. Its alot better than listening to 100.9 the wiz and the rest of that junk they call rap

at 7/26/2006 3:18 PM Anonymous Dave in Atlanta said...

I am a life-long WLW junkie and even bought an XM Radio to listen to it here in Atlanta, but I will totally agree with Mr/Ms. Anonymous 1 and 2. Jim Scott in the morning is boring. Sure you get the information you need, but if you listen to the program for more than an hour, it just repeats itself and has way too many commercials and self promotion. And, as earlier mentioned, the "live" chats with some movie star or athlete are so fake and cut and spliced to make it seem 'live'. Louds of sound effects too.

WLW should try something like the flagship AM here in Atlanta. 750 WSB has Atlanta's morning news with Scott Slade. Sure it's the weather and traffic every ten minutes and most of the news gets repeated but there are one or two other personalities on the show. It doesn't sound canned and doesn't sound like they are reading a teleprompter. They talk about the news, other Atlanta happening and tell the stories but they don't interject useless opinion like some reporters have started to do on the radio and TV. I know the failed project with Jim Scott and Kathy Leher but perhaps it's time to try it again with someone else and retool. The ratings show that they are not the top in the morning. Perhaps the public is trying to send a message.

Something totally unrelated: As Jim said, there a lot of radio junkies that post on this blog. I've also seen a few of the same names here as I do on How come no one uses that? The Cincinnati board over there hardly has any traffic. Very boring. Check it out and liven it up. If this blog gets 150 rants and ravs back and forth while Jim is gone, how come radio-info is so dead? Of course, you can't be anonymous there so maybe that is it……

Have a nice day all!
Dave in Atlanta.

at 7/26/2006 4:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

umm i'm pretty sure that there are 2 oldies stations, not sure what you're talking about.... and it gets extremely annoying hearing about how much people hate rap. some people prefer it. get over it

at 7/26/2006 6:05 PM Anonymous B.D said...

yea the only people that prefer rap are living in over the rhine and avondale and causing all the violence in cincy. That is a fact. Yea I like sir mixalot, but I dont like any other rap artists. And why do they call themselves artists! the real artists are on 103.5 not the wizz. In the ratings the wiz ranked 7th. And All those demographics for the wiz are from avondale and over the rhine and walnut hills.

at 7/26/2006 6:15 PM Anonymous radio guy said...

hey kiese philly doesnt have a fm spanish station and philly is number 10. Cincys numba 35 and falling fast

at 7/26/2006 11:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow radio talk, thanks John. Too bad you can’t post more than summary info on ratings. I understand space limits in the paper but the blog could show head to head match ups.

I’m surprised your interested in radio, since you mention it so seldom. Stories I’m waiting on include: so why did Jay Love leave WDBZ; will Mike McConnell’s weekday syndication mean even fewer local topics on WLW; why does Darryl Parks love Sloan and Sterling for fill-in’s instead of local personalities who have done so in the past? Is Cunningham’s shtick wearing thin yet? Will 1360 go back to oldies after contracts expire with Springer and Air America and be replaced with the King?


Anyone who listens to Jim Scott for more than 15 mins and has a brain hears the splices and fake lead-ins to the interviews. They’re more evident when Phillips fills in. Jim is a pro, his show could continue well after his death with generic cuts. “How bout them Bengals” “It’s a mess on 75” “It’s gonna be a great weekend here in the Queen City”

at 7/27/2006 12:49 AM Anonymous JeffDavis said...

To radio guy: Cincinnati is radio market #28 and NOT falling. The market is getting bigger. It's the central city that is losing population. The market has fallen in rank (as have many others) due to Puerto Rico being added, as well as other southern and western markets gaining more population. In fact, Boston is no longer a top 10 market because Atlanta pushed it out. Philly has an AM Spanish station, WEMG which is a Tropical Spanish station. They're also owned by Davidson Media, the new owners of WCVG.

at 7/27/2006 9:41 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone answer this one? Now that we have established that Jim Scott is over-produced, how much of his morning show is actually live? Does he really show up for work at 5 am or does he record it the day before?

at 7/27/2006 9:45 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guess....intros and outros and hitting the top and bottom of the hour.

It's too polished and it sounds fake. It reminds me of Jim Labarbara's "interviews with the stars" in the 70's and 80's...aka the Playboy tapes, where the local dj would insert the questions and play the pre-recorded answers of the stars. Peter, Paul and Mary comes to mind.

I do love hearing obvious edits at times.

at 7/27/2006 10:14 AM Blogger dmdavis said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

at 7/27/2006 10:18 AM Blogger dmdavis said...

Who is winning the Hannity vs. Burbank time slot? Now that Harold Reynolds has been fired by ESPN for sexual harassment, it made me wonder how Cunningham survives. Yeah, he's funny, but I'm just waiting for a woman to become offended and go after him. I can't believe he can get away with talking to those channel 5 newsbabes the way he does.

at 7/27/2006 10:40 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, you're right! cunningham does get a bit "unique" when he talks about the newsbabes at channel 5. but cunningham is cunningham, what can ya'do?

at 7/27/2006 11:38 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sterling and Sloan are soooooo boring they could be sold over the counter as a cure for insomnia.

When was the last time either one of them got a phone call?

They are perfect for the Clear Channel plan. They work for $8.00 an hour (and are overpaid if you ask me).

Scott has gotten stale, with a little help from his bosses. Do you really think he wants to spend half his air-time replaying bits from Cunningham and McConnel from the previous day.

Speaking of stale. Burbank hasn't been funny since 1988.

DJ's inserting their own questions into a canned interview with some star. Those were the days. (still are the days at WLW).

at 7/27/2006 4:35 PM Blogger BMurdock said...

I used to be a WLWaholic but outside of McConnell and Reds I don't listen much anymore.

I've never been a fan of Jim Scott. In his defense I think he was actually trying to break out of that rut when he jumped to Wink 94.1 but that didn't last long (didn't even qualify as a cup of cofeee).

I liked Bill Cuttingham when he was Bill Cuttingham not "Willie." He's just too over the top anymore to the point I can't take him seriously anymore and if Ferman comes in the studio forget about it.

Burbank - I used to listen to him religously but can't really bare to listen to more than a few minutes at a time anymore. Although I still love Gilbert Gnarley.

Furman - he's an over rated blow hard. I used to think WLW sports talk was the end all be all of sports talk radio until I started listening to 1160 then 1360/1530. Any one of they guys from the the old 1160 Bob or Sports Animal could blow Furman away. Lance McAllister is the best sports talk show host in town hands down with the 2 Angry Guys coming in a close second.

Anyone know what happened to Paul "the Fish" Stergeon or Marc Amazon?

at 7/27/2006 5:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burbank jumped the shark when Kevin Wolfe left. Doc made an impact.

I miss hearing a female voice. The Marge skit is funny every now and then.

Frankly, I like it when they do Stump The Band. The comradie presented is enjoyable and very listenable (if that's a word!) too.

Get rid of the Bob and Ray bits.
I do enjoy the fake hillbilly band from Hyde Park.

(MISSING the days of Rich King, Boris Butkovich and Fred Geschnantand (or how ever you spell it), Don Webb reading from the phone book, etc. When radio was fun to listen to. Oh yeah, Elder 6 Beerman 4.)

at 7/27/2006 8:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is not a fact that listening to the wiz produces crime. and how can you say the only artists are on wgrr? some would have been on the wiz years ago...

at 7/27/2006 9:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terrestrial radio is dying and it’s a shame. Three of the most talented and entertaining people I’ve heard are no longer on the radio: Howard Stern, Art Bell (I know he’s trying to do weekends) and Phil Hendrie. Now we have Sean Hannity, Jerry Springer, Scott Sloan and Randi Rhoads.

It reminds me of what happened to country music, NASCAR, amusement parks and good old greasy fast food before the marketing/ad agency/focus groups azzholes descended upon.

To echo some other comments…….

Burbank has sucked since Doc Wolfe left.

Jim Scott is Mr. Cornball.

McConnell has so few calls from intelligent people who disagree with him he thinks he is Oliver Douglas. Listen to him when something math related comes up, it’s amusing. One time some dummy called in and convinced him that you would spend a million dollars for oil changes if you kept your car for 20 years. They both had their decimal places off by a few.

Andy Furman doesn't talk sports. He baits people constantly and since rabid sports fans are as a group the dumbest people on the planet, his phone rings. At least he takes calls.

It’s so sad. Don’t you wish there were several stations in each category (talk, top 40, country) battling for listeners by quality programming. Consolidation has changed the rules and game.

I have found broadband and podcasting my escape from the clutches of local lousy radio, it’s a shame.

at 7/28/2006 8:30 AM Blogger BMurdock said...

Lack of competition has just killed radio. Remember the feuds between Q102 and WEBN, WEBN and 96 Rock, ZRock and "The Power Pig," 55Krc, WCKY and WLW? Those were the days... Now everything is so predicatable and boring.

at 7/28/2006 2:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's Randy when you need him?

at 7/28/2006 2:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that Burbank is painful to listen to. I honestly never thought he was funny. Silly and goofy, but not funny....

I also agree with the poster who wants subs other than Scott Sloan and Sterling... I like Scott; I detest Sterling.
I would like to see Carla Wren at 610 WTVN in Columbus come down and sub. She is a fabulous conservative woman. She used to sub here--don't know why she doesn't anymore...

When Scott Fitzgerald fills in for Gary Jeff Walker on Saturday early mornings, it is such a non-fit. Scott is like his Dad, Jim Scott--just seems to "pre-programmed" and radio "voicy" and smooth. Not at all why I turn on WLW on Saturday mornings...

Darryl Parks on Saturday mornings is a reason to invest in a radio. Just doesn't get any better. The best three hours of talk radio of the week!

at 7/28/2006 5:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Carla. She’s a real person. She’s not arrogant, scripted, a race baiter, motormouth and freely admits when she doesn’t know the answer/solution to something.

WOW, someone like that on radio, we can’t have that! She’s someone you would meet at a cookout and have fun talking to. I’m not sure why she doesn’t sub anymore on WLW.

Get rid of Alan Cutler on Saturday and put on Carla 3-6.

Do Sterling and Sloan voice legal disclaimers for car dealers and cell phone companies when they’re not on the air??

at 7/28/2006 6:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man O Man, I didn't think anyone but me is a huge fan of Carla... She is absolutely fabulous!
Please Darryl Parks, bring Carla back to Cincinnati!!

And yes, please, if there is a God, send Alan Cutler back to Lexington... When he comes on, I leap for the radio dial and can't change the station fast enough... What an ungodly boor!!

at 7/28/2006 11:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sterling I wrote a show for you...........


Sterling here, in for Cunningham, wow, great to be here on 700WLW.

What's up with Ketchup?? On 700WLW. I mean is it Ketchup with a K or Catsup with a C? 513-749-7000, 1-800-THE-BIG1, *700 on your Cingular wirless phone, on 700WLW.

I mean on 700WLW it's something I think people are thinking about on 700WLW.... When you go to the store, when you write your grocery list, when you write your congressman or is it person, when your at a cocktail party. Is it Ketchup or Catsup?? 513-749-7000, 1-800-THE-BIG1, *700 on your Cingular wirless phone. Let's hear from the American people on 700WLW.

If your in Westwood, Newport, Columbus, on 700WLW, Mason, 1-800-THE-BIG1, *700 on your Cingular wirless phone, on 700WLW. Dayton, Louisville let's hear from you. (Hitting all the demos, Darryl is listening). 513-749-7000, 1-800-THE-BIG1, *700 on your Cingular wirless phone on 700WLW. Men, women, kids, illegal immigrants, space aliens 513-749-7000, 1-800-THE-BIG1, *700 on your Cingular wirless phone. I mean really, what's up with Ketchup??? Come on people...

What do you put Ketchup on? Hamburgers, hot dogs, hash browns, scrambled eggs?? I mean come on... 513-749-7000, 1-800-THE-BIG1, *700 on your Cingular wirless phone, on 700WLW. It's crazy here on 700WLW. I mean do people in Louisville use ketchup on hot dogs and people in Columbus don't? What about Cincinnati, we can't forget them. 513-749-700, 1-800-THE-BIG1, *700 on your Cingular wirless phone, on 700WLW. It's amazing, do men and women use ketchup differently, do they spell it differently? Let's hear from the ladies, we always like to hear from the ladies, 513-749-700, 1-800-THE-BIG1, *700 on your Cingular wirless phone, on 700WLW.

..... end

at 7/29/2006 9:10 AM Blogger ohio said...

Wow, I see I'm not the only person who wants to vent about local radio. Especially WLW.

For one thing...wasn't clear channel supposed to eliminate one minute of commercials per hour? I was wondering which minute they took out. Certainly wasn't that annoying segment that immediately follows the news (thats just enough time to push the button to listen to someone actually already out of the news and into broadcasting).

Jim Scott: Jim is great. But I gave up on his show years ago as they just inserted too many commercials. My guess is its just a Clear Channel Cash Cow now.

McConnell: Has been losing his edge for a couple years now. He used to actually listen to callers, and we all had fun. Now, probably because he went national with that Weekend show, all he does is argue with callers and 'prove' that they're wrong. (Pat Barry Syndrome?) My guess is that its the "I'm A National Host, So I Can't Ever Not Already Have An Issue Sorted Out Better Than You" Syndrome.

Willie: He is still just Willie. His schtick is still the same, no complaints. He's a great resource to have when he WANTS to intelligently discuss a matter. Such as a legal decision like the Norwood Eminent Domain Case.

Burbank: His show is easier to listen to now that his competition is so annoying.

Sloan: Thatguyneedstostoptalkingsofast. He's just a motormouth that says essentially nothing. Zero evident rapport with callers, guests, and in my case, listeners.

Sterling: Used to like him when he started. For some odd reason he wants to emulate Sloan. Larry Arnette would have been a better rookie to add to the staff if you ask me.

I feel better now.

The Saturday Morning lineup I will deal with later...

at 7/29/2006 9:24 AM Blogger ohio said...

Darryl Parks Show:

White Man Whining

Why does he think he is a good talk show host? He's another one who has to always 'try' to be better or know more than his callers and never lets them make a point.

I agree with someone else who made the point that the callers selected to get on the air seem to be purposely selected as idiots as the hosts couldn't hold up after 30 seconds with a halfway intelligent called that had an opposing point of view.

With hosts like this you wonder why they still call it Talk Radio. The hosts nowadays are simply becoming Talk Thugs. The future is looking bleak, at least with any Clear Channel stations.

at 7/29/2006 11:49 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Radio Talk Show Trick #1

How is it that Ken the racist seems to get on the air several times a week to talk about the war?

And think about this. If you want to discredit an opposing point of view, choose a spokesman who has very serious flaws unrelated to the point. And let that person talk freely. We assign credibility to people based on a persons overall character or perception of character.

It's the same thing as someone missing teeth selling toothpaste. The product may be superior but the spokesman is fatally flawed.

Is Ken a setup? No. Is he a useful idiot WLW is more than happy to exploit, YES. Fake radio.

at 7/29/2006 1:33 PM Blogger ohio said...

How do you know what Ken actually thinks? They never let him make a point.

He might actually have some partially valid points. They never let him finish a statement. If they did, they might then actually have to address a valid point.

Who wants to hear anything like a discussion anyway? We all tune in to hear hosts insult callers, don't we?

at 7/29/2006 11:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember when John's title was Radio/TV Columnist? Perhaps it's time to return to the golden day of yesteryear.

at 8/23/2006 1:08 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

All Oldies all the time, thank you Wdjo. from Brooklyn N.Y. now living in Monroe Oh. John Chesnowitz

at 10/26/2006 5:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love WDJO and listen to it over the internet all day long. I live in central Illinois!

at 9/09/2007 7:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Scott's show can be hard to follow with the "live" interviews that are anything but - however, the airport reports wtih Jay Ratliff can be funny when some of the crazy stories are talked about.

How often is he on WLW? I hear Jay on with Willie and McConnell - he's kind of cute when you look a the picture on the travel tips page on the CVG airport page!

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