Philly's AC Battle
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Thread: Philly's AC Battle

  1. #1

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    Philly's AC Battle

    With 96.5 flipping from CHR to AC, and 106.1 putting a little more emphasis on 80s music, Philly's Adult Contemporary battle got a little more crowded. The question is, how long will it stay the current status quo?

    Not counting rimshot signals like WJBR, WSTW, WLEV, WRFY etc. we have:

    WBEB- 101.1 More FM- Eternal winner, longtime AC that people tune to and leave the dial set. Any competitors previous have been disposed of handily and the station isn't afraid to morph and tweak to fend off potential competition.

    WTDY- Today's 96.5- The newcomer. Still finding their way, and their airtalent, the station signed on with a more 90's-Now approach at the very onset, and since has heavily added 80s into the playlist. Only has a middayer and an afternoon air talent. Running a buttload of commercials on co-owned CBS3 and KYW 1060. SLIGHTLY wider playlist than WBEB, but otherwise, nothing to really make it stand out from More FM.

    WISX- Mix 106- The...kinda there station. Has floated through various forms of Hot AC. Focused on 90's-Now for a while, but has added in and emphasized the 80s portion of their library. Run fairly cheap... local morning show, middayer VT'd from NYC, Seacrest Afternoons (dumped on them from Q102), Mario Lopez evenings and the "Rendezvous" late nights.

    The thing is, I don't see any of these stations flipping anytime in the near future.

    101.1 will surely stay the course nearly forever. The first few months of 96.5 (and several years of 106.1) have shown that they are steady and solid.

    106.1 makes bank for iHeartMedia. Their ratings are mediocre, but they make more money than sister station Radio 104.5 makes with solid ratings. I can only see them flipping to either 1.) A new format du jour, but nothing is striking hot right now or 2.)If they think they can do better by taking shares away from a top rated competitor to boost one of their sister stations.

    96.5- Too new to make a flip yet, obviously. Station is still building, albeit slowly. Would some local talent help, or does running it mostly like a jukebox help them in the battle?

    Considering the rest of the dial is pretty damn quiet, this ripple of a battle might lead to our next change on the Philly dial. Somewhere down the line.

  2. #2
    I believe a second AC, run super-cheaply, can survive in the market and I think that's the idea behind WTDY. I haven't seen any ads for the station but apparently, what promotion there is airs on sister stations. For all we know, the jocks they have may only be there because they were under contract--and when the contracts end...who knows? CBS could end up running the station and paying for research, a music director, and not much else.

    WBEB will of course be relatively unscathed by WTDY but CBS is doing the format to make money; not in attempt to harm More-FM. Mix 106.1, however, is probably in for a pretty bumpy ride. They seem to have always been, you know, kinda "there on the dial too," but not really anyone's favorite station. They're likely gonna get squeezed pretty tight now. In the AC space, I don't really see a lot of options for them. They can't go hotter without competing with their own Q102 and they can't go softer because their audience would be made up of folks who may as well already be dead as far as advertiser are concerned. (Though it would be pretty amazing to see iHeart shift WRFF's format to 106.1 and give the market a third incarnation of Sunny 104.5.) The only thing I can see them trying is being a Classic Hits jukebox or a Classic Rock jukebox and hoping to share some audience with WOGL or WMGK, respectively. A couple years ago, folks speculated that they may try Country but nowadays, that looks like a deathwish.

    I'm interested to see what CBS decides to do with WTDY once the holidays roll back around. Do they flip to Christmas on November 1 in an attempt to really put themselves on the map? (What was the holiday book like back in '08 when Now 97.5 tried that play?) Or do they sit out Christmas entirely to answer the question of whether there are a good number of WBEB listeners who spend the last six weeks of each year wishing there was a station playing the music they're used to.

    Regardless, I can't believe they named the station Today's 96.5. It's like they put absolutely no thought into it. The strategy is questionable considering how More-FM knew exactly how to respond on-air...and began doing so within literally hours. I doubt they'll change the name of the station though because it would come with a price tag and I really do think they know the only chance they have of surviving is to spend as few pennies as possible.
    Last edited by Miguelito; 04-17-2017 at 12:48 PM.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miguelito View Post
    I believe a second AC, run super-cheaply, can survive in the market and I think that's the idea behind WTDY. I haven't seen any ads for the station but apparently, what promotion there is airs on sister stations. For all we know, the jocks they have may only be there because they were under contract--and when the contracts end...who knows? CBS could end up running the station and paying for research, a music director, and not much else.

    WBEB will of course be relatively unscathed by WTDY but CBS is doing the format to make money; not in attempt to harm More-FM. Mix 106.1, however, is probably in for a pretty bumpy ride. They seem to have always been, you know, kinda "there on the dial too," but not really anyone's favorite station. They're likely gonna get squeezed pretty tight now. In the AC space, I don't really see a lot of options for them. They can't go hotter without competing with their own Q102 and they can't go softer because their audience would be made up of folks who may as well already be dead as far as advertiser are concerned. (Though it would be pretty amazing to see iHeart shift WRFF's format to 106.1 and give the market a third incarnation of Sunny 104.5.) The only thing I can see them trying is being a Classic Hits jukebox or a Classic Rock jukebox and hoping to share some audience with WOGL or WMGK, respectively. A couple years ago, folks speculated that they may try Country but nowadays, that looks like a deathwish.

    I'm interested to see what CBS decides to do with WTDY once the holidays roll back around. Do they flip to Christmas on November 1 in an attempt to really put themselves on the map? (What was the holiday book like back in '08 when Now 97.5 tried that play?) Or do they sit out Christmas entirely to answer the question of whether there are a good number of WBEB listeners who spend the last six weeks of each year wishing there was a station playing the music they're used to.

    Regardless, I can't believe they named the station Today's 96.5. It's like they put absolutely no thought into it. The strategy is questionable considering how More-FM knew exactly how to respond on-air...and began doing so within literally hours. I doubt they'll change the name of the station though because it would come with a price tag and I really do think they know the only chance they have of surviving is to spend as few pennies as possible.
    It's funny, you look at the "Battle For Christmas".. WOGL flips to All-Christmas, and their ratings are essentially stagnant. WISX holds their Hot ACish format and DOESN'T flip to Christmas, and their ratings stay about the same too. It's a coin toss as to whether WTDY makes the flip or not... depends in cluster if WOGL does or not.

    As for the "Today's" name? Not TOO surprising. CBS uses it on their AC in Baltimore. As for MORE-FM adding "Today's" to everything? Just good trolling from the market leader. WTDY does have some liners emphasizing "More" like "More More MORE 80s! on Today's 96.5" Something I doubt the regular listener would really notice, but geeks like us do.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by atthestars View Post
    It's funny, you look at the "Battle For Christmas".. WOGL flips to All-Christmas, and their ratings are essentially stagnant. WISX holds their Hot ACish format and DOESN'T flip to Christmas, and their ratings stay about the same too. It's a coin toss as to whether WTDY makes the flip or not... depends in cluster if WOGL does or not.

    As for the "Today's" name? Not TOO surprising. CBS uses it on their AC in Baltimore. As for MORE-FM adding "Today's" to everything? Just good trolling from the market leader. WTDY does have some liners emphasizing "More" like "More More MORE 80s! on Today's 96.5" Something I doubt the regular listener would really notice, but geeks like us do.
    Christmas seems to be the only time radio does anything interesting around here anymore. I mean, people recently got mildly excited about KYW changing traffic service providers. Yawn!

    I'm just interested to see how Christmas will play out this year considering CBS already has WOGL doing it but now they'll also be in control of a second Mainstream AC in the market. I actually think it'll be an interesting experiment because I suspect WOGL will still do the Christmas format and for the first time, we'll have a Mainstream AC playing Mainstream AC when WBEB isn't. (And no, I don't consider past-year performance of out-of-town rimshots as an indicator.) It also makes me wonder if WBEB will wait longer this year to flip the switch. I mean, they obviously won't let WOGL flip first but they may stay in the regular format for an additional week since 96.5 plays an almost-identical library.

    And yes, also because we're radio geeks. haha. When I hear about More-FM using the word "Today's" on their air and WTDY using the word "More" on their's, I think, 'Well, they're just advertising for the competition' before remembering that normal listeners' brains don't operate that way.

    Oh! Also, I've always thought that WOGL flips to prevent too many of their listeners from abandoning them for 101.1's Christmas music. I never really thought they were expecting a bump; more like they wanted to stave off an exodus of target listeners. If they were really hoping for an increase and repeatedly not getting it, I'd think they would have stopped doing the Christmas format by now. Hell, maybe that's their strategy this year: Maybe WTDY will flip on November 1 and WOGL will act like they've never done it!
    Last edited by Miguelito; 04-17-2017 at 03:50 PM.

  5. #5

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    It looks like WTDY is already having SOME effect.

    In the beauty pageant numbers, WTDY only inched up 2.7--3.0, but WBEB dropped 7.9--7.0, allowing WTDY's sister WOGL to take over #1 holding steady at 7.3.

    Otherwise, WISX continued their gradual slide, dropping to a 2.2. Does anyone know what WISX's 6+ High was as "Mix"? I want to say they inched into the low 4's at one point.

  6. #6

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    Also, would anyone consider K-Love a "competitor" to WBEB/WTDY? I'd be curious to see how much audience crossover there is. They're pulling a respectable 3.0 on 106.9

  7. #7
    I'd say that K-love is a competitor, in the south it is this Christian Ac format that has taken out many mainstream ac outlets over the years, it's a nibler in Philly. The Christian AC in Dallas is among the top billers in the market, obviously with juicy adult female numbers that practically sell themselves, k-love is a different animal in that department.
    Thank god for them in this Philly market they go by donations, many liberal Democrats own businesses/run agencies and hate against Christians and this Christian format 100x's worse than the rednecks with their hate of hip hop and their associated boogiemen attached to that format, just like radio 1045 has with this fictitious Kurt Cobain like character in their minds that you only find on tv, not in read life.

  8. #8
    Also, 96.5 SHOULD NOT GO XMAS this year. It is the perfect chance to introduce their format to the 101.1 listeners who may tire of xmas or want to take a break from xmas music for a bit. I think that you do what you do best when their is a variation on at your competitor. They will not win the xmas war against 101.1 any way.

  9. #9
    In Atlanta, Salem's "The Fish" Christian AC does very well. Usually top 5. In fact, this last book, 6+, it beat traditional AC (although it's more like a Hot AC) WSB-FM

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by DOB View Post
    Also, 96.5 SHOULD NOT GO XMAS this year. It is the perfect chance to introduce their format to the 101.1 listeners who may tire of xmas or want to take a break from xmas music for a bit. I think that you do what you do best when their is a variation on at your competitor. They will not win the xmas war against 101.1 any way.
    I agree that they should not go Xmas, but for a different reason. WOGL already does it and CBS probably doesn't want to cannibalize it. Only time will tell, though.

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