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Television
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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Friday, August 10, 2007

Spring Radio Ratings Recap

WLW-AM (700) continues to rock, but not most of the rock stations, in the spring quarter Arbitron ratings that came out last week during my vacation. (Sorry, still catching up to stuff.)

The 50,000-watt news-talk-sports station extended its No. 1 streak to 7-1/2 years, with what operations manager Darryl Parks called "our second-best book since 2002."

Setting the pace was strong April-June evening ratings April-June for the Cincinnati Reds. The station had heavily promoted "Brennamania," the new Reds radio father-son team of Marty and Thom Brennaman, with billboards, banners near Great American Small Park, and online vidoes. (As great as Marty & Thom are, should some credit for increased ratings go to Jeff Brantley's candor in the booth?)

Most of the rock stations, however, lost listeners compared to a year ago. Classic rock WOFX-FM (92.5 The Fox) fell from No. 7 to No. 11, while contemporary hits WKFS-FM (Kiss 107.1), soft rock WRRM-FM (Warm 98.5), rocker WEBN-FM (102.7) and WVXM-FM (Mix 94.1) also dropped. Even newcomer progressive rook WSWD-FM (94.9 The Sound) slipped in only its second quarterly report.

A notable exception was the "Cincinnati's greatest hits" format on don't-call-us-oldies WGRR-FM (103.5), which jumped to No. 4 from No. 6 in the overall rankings and to No. 3 in the 25-54 demographic bought by most advertisers. The classic rock on WOXY-FM (MAX 97.7) also jumped from No. 21 to No. 15.

The area's new FM talk station, WFTK-FM (SupertalkFM 96.5), also lost momentum in its second quarter, falling from No. 19 to No. 21. Andy Furman, the former WLW-AM "SportsTalk" host who does 4-7 p.m. on SupertalkFM, attributed the ratings drop to "growing pains.” Most new formats need 15 months (five quarterly ratings surveys) to establish listener habits, he says. Things should pick up when the station adds the "Two Angry Guys" morning show (in late November, I hear). Morning is prime-time for radio, and the Two Angries will give the station a strong local morning presence and a fighting chance. (Question: Will the Two Angries just talk sports, as they have on Clear Channel, or will they do general talk, to fit the station's format? What do you think?)

Below are the rankings and audience percentage for listeners ages 12 and older in April-June. You won't find WSAI-AM (1360) on the list, which is why Clear Channel dropped the talk reruns and picked up ESPN Radio in June.
1. WLW-AM (11)
2. WUBE-FM (6.9)
3. WRRM-FM (6.4)
4. WGRR-FM (6.3)
5. WIZF-FM (5.1)
6. WEBN-FM (4.9)
7. (tie) WMOJ-FM, WKFS-FM (4.0)
9. WKRC-AM (3.7)
10. WKRQ-FM (3.6)
11. WOFX-FM (3.1)
12. WSWD-FM (2.8)
13. WAKW-FM (2.2)
14. WVMX-FM (2.1)
15. WOXY-FM (1.4)
16. (tie) WHKO-FM, WPFB-FM (1.3)
18. WDJO-AM (1.2)
19. WCKY-AM (1.0)
20. WYGY-FM (0.9)
21. (tie), WDBZ-AM, WFTK-FM (0.8)
23. (tie), WGTZ-FM, WLQT-FM (0.7)
25. (tie) WMMX-FM, WTUE-FM (0.6)
27. (tie) WCIN-AM, WFCJ-FM, WIOK-FM (9.4)


46 Comments:

at 8/10/2007 11:17 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, what are the ratings for boring Tim Lewis and the two morons who follow him on 1530am?

 
at 8/10/2007 11:26 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always get disappointed when 700 comes in first. This year it seems the announcers doing the games are bigger than the game itself. Marty and that HUGE ego of his must be loving it. It is also a stretch to call 700 a news station. What the hell does "in depth team coverage" mean? Just another person reading an additional sentence about a story. This market needs an all news station in the 5-9 am period. Nobody in this cheap conservative market will doing because of $$$$ and people. Clear Channel is shedding , not adding. As for the other stations falling in the ratings. Its all crap which is why they are dropping. Then you got WARM 98 calling itself the soft rock station and all you are starting to hear is clang clang noise. What is the point to all this? The point is Cincinnati is a vast radio wasteland!!

 
at 8/10/2007 11:42 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WLW news has hit an all-time low as far as content. I can't tell you how many times I hear a story tell me, " for more information on this, check out our web site at blah-blah-blah.com, search word news". First off, I am only listening to the station for one thing, the news. A broadcast version of the news. The last place I am going to go to get more on the story, is a radio station web site. The end all was just last week, a story about a critical missing person story who drove off in a car. Keep in mind, I to, was in a car, driving and listening to the news cast. The news reader (that is all they are now) say's "the missing person drove off. For a description of the car, go to our web site..."

Are you kidding me? How can I look for the car, when the moron couldn't even give me one sentence description of the car. But in the time-pressed world of clear channel, with the commercial smack dab in-between traffic and weather, I guess they could not be bothered.

Why then do I listen you ask? The sad part is, that is the best this town has for radio news. What a disgrace!

 
at 8/10/2007 12:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to veer off topic, but does anyone know anything about this video clip on you tube?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXKP_FOrlSA

It is from a 1970 Cincinnati Mid-summer rock fest telecast live. Which station is it and who are the announcers? It is vintage and pretty cool.

 
at 8/10/2007 12:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

JK, you asked if the two angries should talk exclusively sports, or take on other subjects when they arrive at supertalk. The truth is, when they were on the air with WBOB and with Clear Channel, they would talk about news and politics. So, I don't see that changing. Too bad, because I really respect their sports knowledge and commentary, but when they start talking politics (especially Tom Gamble) it's very apparent that they have no clue.

In the past I've turned their show off because they would go on these wild political tangents that were neither funny nor meaningful.

Hey guys, I can't wait to hear you again, but please stick with what you know!

 
at 8/10/2007 1:35 PM Blogger Kevin LeMaster said...

WLW is just about the last place I'd go for news coverage.

94.9 The Sound is losing listeners because they still seem to think that bands like Nickelback are "alternative". For every good song they play they play three bad ones.

 
at 8/10/2007 1:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please continue to pass on news about the Two Angry Guys and the current state of the 1530 Homer morning shows. I used to love listening to Homer but cannot stand the antics of their morning guys. I cannot wait for the Two Angry Guys to come back!

 
at 8/10/2007 2:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon 11:26...Warm 98 hasn't used "Soft Rock" in over a year. You might want to pay close attention.

The Rock stations lost audience due to the lack of response from 25-54 year old men. Bob & Tom lost more than HALF of their sudience in that demo. Do you think that REALLY happened?

 
at 8/10/2007 2:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John - a very important question about the dip in ratings:

Is actual listenership down???

It would be one thing for listeners to be shifting from one station to another - and another think if they're just dropping out of the books.

It could be a sign they are turning off terrestrial radio in favor of satellite.

Never had an arbitron book - but I would certainly be one of those listeners. Cincinnati radio is unlistenable. What a waste of commercials and talk.

 
at 8/10/2007 3:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

700 and its lack of news even though they claim they are the tri-state's news leader. what a hoot! Whenever there is a baseball or football game, you get no news during the game. Also, try listening from Sunday 6am to 9am. Talk about a waste! Some clown talking about colon irrigation. Can hardly wait for football season and those two yelling nuts on the broadcast which is not on one, or two, but three local stations. What a waste of frequencies locally. How about the 5-9am slot on 700. Jim Scott talking loud and talking 100 miles an hour. Ever notice how he never says hello or good bye or thank you to the people he interviews. Jim , please retire, rock n roll died years ago. Go help Emerson Rhoads over on 1160 and that tired old music.

 
at 8/10/2007 4:12 PM Blogger liz said...

If you listen in the morning to Jim
Scott half of his program is just repeated from early segments on the same morning.

I would like to listen to the news on Sunday Morning also. No such luck with the stations in Cincinnati.

 
at 8/10/2007 5:24 PM Blogger bmurdock said...

The 2 Angry Guys might have been on a sports talk station but they used to work in some general pop culture stuff too. I doubt they'll stray much from that template. It worked on 1160BOB and 1360 Homer. I can't wait it will be nice to have some variety in Cincinnati radio again...

 
at 8/10/2007 5:28 PM Blogger bmurdock said...

Good point on "The Sound." I was excited when they first changed formats. You are right they have more crap than quality which was pretty much the way 97.3 was before they cleaned house, sold the station etc, etc, you know the story ....

 
at 8/10/2007 5:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant wait for the 2 angry guys to get back on the air. What are the rating for the show that replaced them?

 
at 8/10/2007 6:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny everytime these ratings are released, the same old hate-700 crowd whines and cries. You may not like them but apparently alot still do.

Get over it.

 
at 8/10/2007 6:08 PM Blogger SophiaZ123 said...

WLW ..where do I begin...except for Burbank and his show, the station is a joke...for young kids, Burbank may be worn out..but I still love Sports or Consequences after 20 some years (THANK YOU Andy Mac!!) and like TOP Six and Stump the band.

Also Rob Ervin is GREAT and should be used ON AIR ALL THE TIME when Gary or Duke is sick. He was very funny.

THe news is a JOKE on WLW..same old crap repeated EVERY 30 minutes. Also I HATE BEING TOLD TO GO ONLINE.

WHAT IS WHAT A RADIO IS FOR.

NOTE TO MEDIA TV/RADIO: STOP PROMOTING YOUR WEBSITES. THey are way OVER RATED, REDUNDANT and NOT PRACTICAL when folks have no access or are not near the computer. Whew, I feel better.

Regarding Brennamen..at first I thought Marty and Tom would be fun but the NOVELTY has worn off QUICKLY. They seem so smug and complacent I can't bear to listen.

JEFF BRANTLEY is the best thing to happen to REDS BROADCASTING IN THIRTY YEARS!! I do not follow the REDs but will LISTEN IF JB is on the air.

I am truly surprised Marty's head fits thru a doorway with his sense of self importance. They need to rein him in with his opinions.

Then again, WLW let McCONNELL become an ARROGANT SPOILED BRAT who thinks he is all that AND a bag of chips..he is NOT.

Willi is bipolar and sometimes can be entertaining and FUN..other days so obnoxious I turn him off.

I love SEG but his STOOGE report is insipid and PLEASE, somebody get SEG some voice coaching for his worsening STUTTERING PROBLEM..never noticed that years ago.

I think Jim SCOTT is TOLD to do his show in the "can" and pre taped and is probably not happy with what TPTB tell him either.

Just like instead of reruns of Burbank when Gary is on vacation, PARKS DECIDES to run more angry political rantings or the idiot SCOTT SLOAN in Gary's time slot.

BAD IDEA. Put Rob Ervin on with repeats and games and 3-6 would much more fun.

TOO BAD Gary can't be talked to staying on the air and go to SUPERTALK FM and move Andy on later or earlier.

Just my two cents.

 
at 8/10/2007 7:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a hoot to see tiny WDJO ahead of 50,000 watt WCKY and their great lineup of hosts. Ha Ha

 
at 8/11/2007 6:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WLW can claim to be the "news leader" because CC bought up most of the other stations that had legitimate, enterprising news departments (WKRC, WSAI, WCKY etc..)

Even as far back as the 1980s, WLW was notorious for stroking itself, with more time inside the 5-minute newscast spent on self-promotion and commericials, than actual news.

Now, thanks to multi-ownership, 700 doesn't need "broadcast journalists" just news readers being paid $7.00 to rip off stories and sound bites from its TV partner. They are too busy recording newscasts for out of town markets (Lima, Chillocothe, Lexington etc..)to work a real story in their own market. 1530 even aired an recorded sportscast like week that was 3 DAYS OLD.

The critical missing referred to above, is one of many examples. How about the news readers mispronunciations and bad grammer. They almost sound like our college station in 1970, only worse.

If you are beginner, looking for your first job, willing to work cheap, proper grammer and diction are not necessary, please apply.

 
at 8/11/2007 1:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am one who will miss Mancow. He is much better than the angry dudes. I'll probably abandon talk radio when those 2 are back.

 
at 8/11/2007 5:06 PM Blogger Jackal said...

The ratings for the town's rock stations went down, eh?

www.classxradio.com

Hmm..I wonder why.

88.9 ClassX

;-)

 
at 8/12/2007 7:46 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't look for WLW to change anything unless their ratings begin to tumble. It's that simple. What they are doing now is getting them the ratings they want - whether anyone likes it or not.

 
at 8/12/2007 4:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 7:44: WDJO has HALF the listeners of WCKY. The share means they listen longer.

To Jackal, aka DJ Jack: Your post shows why you work at a NON-COM station with no signal.

The rock stations lost share because Arbitron's sample was completely screwed up. Do you really believe that Bob & Tom lost 60% of their audience with Men 25-54? This book was a slap at any station that appeals to that demo. The sample was completely wrong.

Not an excuse. The truth.

 
at 8/12/2007 4:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seeing how Warm98 is no longer "soft rock" (which used to be my favorite station) and is now "hard rock" and plays music from people like Gwen Stefani, Akon, Nickelback, Fergie, Christina Aguilera and the rest of the junk my teens listen to on KISS-107 FM,,,, I have now switched from Warm98 to Lite 99.9 FM. It's a Dayton station I think, but they play "lite rock favorites", which most resembles the stuff Warm98 USED to play, back when is was a great "soft rock" station, and I can be assured when I listen to Lite 99.9 FM I won't hear music from the likes of Akon, Gwen Stefani, or any other hard rock!!!!!

 
at 8/13/2007 6:55 AM Anonymous Vito Corleone said...

Any coincidence that GRR's rise in the ratings happened after they fired laBarbara? His schtick was old, very old.

 
at 8/13/2007 10:44 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know nothing willl change at WLW since the ratings are so high. That is a problem. The narrow minded people who live here dont get it because if they ever left the inner loop of Interstate 275 they would realize there is so much more than Parks, Cunningham, Burbank, Scott (whatever his real name is) and Randy Furman, who is a terrible act for Scott Sloan. Get Sirius or XM and you will stop moaning, guaranteed!!! I would miss Seg Dennison and his stuttering. God that is awful!!

 
at 8/13/2007 10:51 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - you think Gwen Stefani, Nickelback, and Fergie are HARD rock?? Or in the case of Fergie - rock at all?? It must be a very dangerous world for you.

 
at 8/13/2007 11:32 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

to Anon 8/12 4:51.
Thanks. 99.9 is a wonderful station. You prove my point. Leave Cincinnati and there is a nice radio market outside of here. I think , for example, Clear Channel has a 50,000 watt station (WCKY) sports talk and that dull monotone guy Tim Lewis in the morning gets about , what - 5 calls a day in 3 hours? I cant believe this is not someone's worry. He does news overnight, then talks sports. ha typical cut to the bone Clear Channel. Leave the Cincy radio market, its nice out here!

 
at 8/13/2007 11:35 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does "in depth team coverage" mean? Also, dont you love "Artimus reports no tie ups" when you are sitting in a line of traffic as far as the eye can see????? Can hardly wait for football season to start when the games are on 3 radio stations and there is Bengal talk from 8am until 9 pm. Thats fresh!

 
at 8/13/2007 11:41 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question--- WLQT 99.9 is a soft music station in Dayton/Kettering. It happens to be a Clear Channel owned operation. If that is the case, why cant there be similiar programming in this market. CC has a radio station in every cubicle in that glass building in Kenwood, you would think they would do that. But know, we need 2 full time sports talk stations. Go figure!! WRRM used to be nice, but now, its just teeny music. TYUK!

 
at 8/13/2007 12:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

My first question to the Warm 98 bashers: How old are you? Do you really think Warm 98 - or any other AC station - is going to remain relevant by playing soft elevator music? It's 2007, not 1987. The days of "Soft Rock" stations playing Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand are over. The soft rock station in Chicago is also a Clear Channel station and they play the same music as Warm 98 here.

I love it when the posters start talking down to us about "getting outside of I-275." That's so tedious. get real people. You're the ones that need to get out and see that the world is moving forward and you're not.

By the way, Warm 98 continues to do very well in their female 25-54 demographic. Doesn't seem like the changes in their music is affecting their ratings.

 
at 8/13/2007 12:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 11 41 AM

WRRM is not run by CC and that is why there are differences. The bigger picture to look at here is that WLW is the only CC in the top 5. This should be cfonsidered a blow to CC and that they are failing.
An infusion of new blood would help at all stations and especially at the rock stations. The problem with that is that since everything in radio is now sindated good luck on getting anyone local or national to come in and work one market. It will not happen.
Since that is the case, we are stuck with the Eddie Fingers, Jim Scotts and all the rest. Cincy radio is not pretty and may never be until we have forward think ing people who are willing to take a risk chamge things up.

 
at 8/13/2007 5:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO Anon 12:28:

I'm not talking about Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand....I never even heard Warm98 play that! I'm talking about Jim Croche, Eagles, Paul Young, more Phil Collins, Huey Lewis and the News, Kenny G, Starship, Amy Grant, The Little River Band, Foreigner, Cher, etc.

And no, not "elevator music"...I don't think even Warm98 has ever played "elevator music." In fact, the only music I like that's similar to "elevator music" is Kenny G.

My point is Warm98 used to be a great "soft rock" station playing music from artists like the ones I mentioned above. Now they have CUT OUT a lot of the music from the artists that I mentioned above and play too much teeny junk, such as Fergie, Nickelback, Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5, etc. Artists like Celine Dion and Amy Grant are on the BACK BURNER, if not gone from the burners completely!! Lite 99.9 is much better.
If I want the stuff that Warm now plays, I'll listen to Q-102!!!

 
at 8/13/2007 9:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

to 8/13 at 12:39pm.
Thanks for explaining all the ins and outs. Now all we have to do is find that forward thinking person who can get all this mess fixed. Another way of maybe saying what you are saying is that corporate radio killed radio as we onces knew it. We have no news competition so thus, we have WLW and their silly in depth team coverage and they continuous team coverage and just young bucks ripping and reading stories.

 
at 8/14/2007 9:28 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is REALLY neat about this ratings list is that Cloudy Channel only had one station in the top 5. Could changes be coming. We can only hope!!!

 
at 8/14/2007 9:30 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had not listened to 550 WKRC for several months, so the other day I tuned in. OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!1 what a horrible morning show and all those tight ass conservatives calling in. You might say its a Georgie Bush love in.

 
at 8/14/2007 9:30 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

$64,000 question. Will the Tim Lewis morning sports show get 10 calls in a week!!

 
at 8/14/2007 10:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does a clown like Darryl Parks keep his job? The sad part of only 1 CC station making the top 5, those other stations are sacrificial lambs. They jump on the grenades of other stations, to protect the so-called big stations like 700 and 102.7. The others are throw aways. That is the nature of corporate radio and as long as there are pathetic "yes-men" like Darryl Parks and his sad-ilk, the sorry state of terrestrial radio continues and none worse than Cincinnati.

 
at 8/14/2007 10:22 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corporate radio is what killed radio as we knew it. There no longer is development of talent like there used to be. One used to work in small markets to establish himself before moving on, now these small markets run more sindaction because it is cheaper to do that than to hire someone who would eventually leave.

Without the develpment of talent, radio has become stagnant and the results are the same lame people at the same station for years. Jim Scott can't leave because what would be the alternative. I will tell you. Syndication.

I can only hope someone with vision does come along because it is sorely needed.

Philmann

 
at 8/14/2007 10:25 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

nobody seems to be able to answer the age old question ----
what does "in depth team coverage"
mean?

 
at 8/14/2007 11:02 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sick of naysayers. In every radio market in the country, you can find a message board with worn-out people, who have no creativity themselves, bashing people who go into these radio stations everyday and work hard to make three polar opposites (radio station management, advertisers and listeners) happy. And so far, considering the miniscule share of listeners "stolen" from terrestrial radio by satellite (broadcast radio's supposed death-sentence), and by the fact that radio still makes enough money to keep the doors open (though in some cases it is, admittedly, dropping a bit), radio in Cincinnati is still serving the vast majority of Cincinnati listeners.
700 is a ratings and revenue monster, and now you want to bash it more than ever. The town is conservative. Why is it a shock to you people that a conservative station that hasn't progressed in some time is winning over an audience who wants that sort of thing? WEBN and The Sound are both unique in their images and appeal to the local audience they serve, and you want to discount them after one book in which males were vastly under-sampled. Above, someone labeled The Sound as "alternative." The station itself never has taken that position. It's a hybrid format, and that has been written time and time again. It's unique; just what you keep saying someone needs to create.
Kiss and Q have two completely different takes on Top 40, and have very faithful listener bases comprised of just the women they each are targetting.
Not one of you has answers, just an endless list of complaints with nothing concrete to back you up. If you don't like a station, it's because you're not the audience. And this isn't the "best" radio market in the country because it doesn't have the resources a market like Chicago.
It isn't Clear Channel, Bonneville, or Cumulus you hate. It's the fact that you have nothing to contribute that makes you angry.
There are many answers to programming questions, and not one of us can answer or even understand them all.
And to answer the pathetic attempt to discount the "in-depth team coverage" positioner; it's a positioner. Just like "Today's Best Music." What exactly does that mean? NOTHING. It's just an image that its user is trying to cling on to.

 
at 8/14/2007 1:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

who says Darryl Parks doesn't read these blogs???

 
at 8/14/2007 2:06 PM Blogger Kevin LeMaster said...

"Above, someone labeled The Sound as "alternative." The station itself never has taken that position. It's a hybrid format, and that has been written time and time again. It's unique; just what you keep saying someone needs to create."

And what is it a "hybrid" of?

"...a blend of alternative, mainstream, and adult album alternative rock"

 
at 8/14/2007 8:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and the post was referring to an earlier statement about The Sound playing Nickelback, while Nickelback isn't alternative. But they certainly fit into the mainstream.
Thanks for finding the quote for me to help prove the point.

 
at 8/15/2007 1:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

An example of just where radio is in Cincinnati. This morning at 6:40am or so, there was a traffice report on 1530 WCKY and at the end of the report, the reporter said,,,,, "thats traffic from the traffic center on oldies 1160 WDJO".
Enough said.

 
at 8/16/2007 1:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

And why oh why are 700's reporters doing video reports?

 
at 2/27/2008 7:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"An example of just where radio is in Cincinnati. This morning at 6:40am or so, there was a traffice report on 1530 WCKY and at the end of the report, the reporter said,,,,, 'thats traffic from the traffic center on oldies 1160 WDJO'."

John Phillips used to slip up once in awhile when he was doing traffic from the helicopter. Many times, he'd be on WLW and say "This is John Phillips airborne...and doing traffic" (he started to say "airborne in Skyfrog", which he always said on WEBN).

 
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