Station "Suicides"
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Thread: Station "Suicides"

  1. #1
    Jonathan7157's Avatar
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    Station "Suicides"

    I think there has been some stations that have "committed suicide" here and there. This year, it was Richmond. What I mean by "suicide" is that the format or name changes, despite being near or on the top of the radio station rankings (either by Nielsen or by an other rating company.) 98.1 WTVR just did that as they switched from Lite to Christmas Music. Sure it's usual for them, but it's unusual when they ditch the Lite branding permanently, because they are 6th in the Richmond ratings with a 5.4 overall. Have you experienced any radio station "suicides" that you've heard of.

  2. #2
    Darth_vader
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    KKSN-FM -> KYCH. Think that about says it all.

    As far as I am concerned, KKCW deep-throated a couple sticks of dynamite and lit them when it ditched its decent soft-rock format for its present teenage-pop crap "format". IHateRadio hasn't helped the situation any.

  3. #3
    In the Miami market, Entercom flipped the simulcast of 790 The Ticket on 104.3 FM to Alternative Rock The Shark 104.3. Before Entercom purchased the station from Lincoln Financial Media, they were actually calling themselves 104.3 The Ticket and were pulling a 4 rating, the best for Sports Talk in the market. Since then, they barely are pulling a 2 and 790 is pulling less than a 1 by themselves. 104.3's signal is one of the best in the market and was one of the few reasons the Miami Heat made them their flagship station after canceling their contract in mid-season with their previous flagship, WIOD.

  4. #4
    I'd consider several CCM stations in my area that sold out to new owners with other formats to be suicides. A few examples:

    WMSO AM 640 sold out to Bott Broadcasting, who changed the station to all Christian talk in 1986.
    WAJJ FM 89.3 in McKenzie, TN sold out to a KJV Only anti-CCM group who changed to all utra-traditional music and preachers in 2005.
    WNAZ FM 89.1 in Nashville sold out to Bott in 2011.

    In all 3 cases the previous owners sold out to groups they knew had no intention of keeping a CCM format. Lack of support was a common excuse for all of them, but none of them made any effort to sell to anyone that would keep a CCM format. WMSO's previous owners made up for their sellout though by starting WYLT FM 94.9, which became the first K-LOVE station in Memphis, and was the beginning of the K-LOVE and Air 1 stations in TN, MS, AR, and MO.
    Last edited by anotherguy; 11-23-2015 at 11:39 PM.

  5. #5

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    I am guessing here. I suspect the CCM format was not working for them, so they put their respective stations up for sale. I can see no reason why they would sell if CCM was a cash cow for them nor why they would try to sell only to a group that would keep CCM.

    If I had a burger restaurant and it wasn't working for me, I might try to sell the restaurant but I sure wouldn't limit it to people that only wanted to sell burgers because, at least in my mind, burgers was not a really successful choice.

    I've listened to WNAZ back in the day before WAY FM covered all of Nashville. They did a nice job.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TC99 View Post
    In the Miami market, Entercom flipped the simulcast of 790 The Ticket on 104.3 FM to Alternative Rock The Shark 104.3. Before Entercom purchased the station from Lincoln Financial Media, they were actually calling themselves 104.3 The Ticket and were pulling a 4 rating, the best for Sports Talk in the market. Since then, they barely are pulling a 2 and 790 is pulling less than a 1 by themselves. 104.3's signal is one of the best in the market and was one of the few reasons the Miami Heat made them their flagship station after canceling their contract in mid-season with their previous flagship, WIOD.
    The highest the Ticket got in 12+ was a 2.2 in July and a 2.6 in the same month in 25-54. That was good for 22nd in 12+ and 18th in 25-54.

    Since the station was a simulcast and qualified for Single Line Reporting, those numbers included the AM listening, too. Based on the months since the separation, likely about 0.5 of the simulcast was going to the AM, meaning about a 2.2 in 25-54 which would have been around 25th for the FM part.

    By the way, nearly all the Miami MSA FMs are on 1000 foot towers at the Dade Broward line and they are, for all practical purposes, "one of the best signals" in the market. Only WRTO, WRMA, WRAZ and WCMQ are significantly different signals and all the others are just about the same in coverage.
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  7. #7
    Jonathan7157's Avatar
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    Could there be another station "suicide", brewing up in SLC? IDK, but it's regarding pop station KUDD-FM. It's being sold to KPCW, so yeah. But good news is KUUU-FM U92 is moving from 92.5 to 92.3 and boosting it's signal at the same time! YAS to that, despite being rhythmic, but they don't pitch. Oh well, they started like that so in this case, I don't care about U92, but YES for Mix 107.9. I want it to move to Mix 105.1 and not rename itself to KISS 105.1/103.9, that would be bad (to iHeart, especially when they have a competing pop station, KZHT-FM, but ZHT isn't going anywhere).

  8. #8
    CHR KOFM 104.1 in Oklahoma City went AC as KMGL after the book closed but before it was released only to find it was number one.

    WAVA 105.1 was handily beating WRQX in Washington DC only to be sold to Salem during Emmis's financial crunch in the early 90's. Salem flipped it to religion the second it got the keys.

    KLZ 560 in Denver was country and routinely clobbered KYGO only to flip to Z-Rock after a single off book.

    It may not be quite what you had in mind, but KHYI 94.9 in Dallas won 75% of its books against top-40 competitor 97.1 KEGL only to go on a mudslinging campaign that ultimately forced both of them out of the format.

    There are also countless full service AM's that did well only to ditch the music for talk about 25 years ago.

  9. #9
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    Once again -- and the example is TC99's example, as debunked by David E. -- if one is going to define "suicide" by a station's performance in 6+ numbers, one is going to be ignoring a station's performance in its target demographic, as well as whether or not it was billing well compared to the other station's targeting the same demo.

    There are always good reasons for stations to change formats, branding, etc. and those reasons generally have to do with facts that station management has access to but the average listeners and armchair quarterbacks do not.

    Before you all give further "examples" or make "predictions", keep that in mind lest you be similarly embarrassed to have the flaws in your logic pointed out to you.

    (Okay, everyone form a line now for your turn to tell me how "the professionals" always "put down" the non-pros.)

  10. #10

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    There's a few things I have learned in radio:

    1) #1 does not mean sales. #1 does not always spell financial success
    2) a seemingly small audience (a healthy percentage of the right demo) can be huge in revenue
    3) some formats work well because of what they are even though the overall all audience is tiny compared to the whole market
    4) no successful station (always measured financially) stops the forward motion. Simply, if it ain't broke, they don't fix it.
    5) When a station is bought, format normally changes because the new buyers have a way to monetize the station and it is always a plan they know that works for them

    I worked for a Top 40 in the mid-1980s that was solidly #1. The station sold and the new owners went adult contemporary. Why? They could own the demo, attract more agency dollars and increase overall spot rate instead of constantly trying to stay ahead of the cross town rival. They actually had fewer overall listeners but the better demo and nearly had to hire somebody to take all that money to the bank because they were so busy. This is where #3 or #4 in listeners meant being a top biller or chose to it. I got lucky and saw the writing on the wall. The jocks got canned 8 days after I started my new job. My point, the new owner had a much better plan for the station and was a huge success.

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