Dallas City Council meetings are killing WRR's surprisingly good ratings
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Thread: Dallas City Council meetings are killing WRR's surprisingly good ratings

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Solano County, California

    Dallas City Council meetings are killing WRR's surprisingly good ratings


    The article cites that Dallas City Hall meetings can be seen in other places though as reason to cut City hall meetings from WRR-FM.

    Here's something that caught me off-guard: WRR-FM the classical-music station you and I and every other Dallas taxpayer owns is a ratings juggernaut. Well, OK. Not quite. But it is a Top 25 radio station in this very competitive market.

    According to the latest Nielsen trend reports, the City Hall-owned station one of the few like it anywhere in the country pulls in more listeners than ESPN's FM talk station, KERA's all-music offshoot KXT-FM or KLIF-AM's right-leaning talk-talk-talk.

    That is, until the Fair Park-based, 100,000-watt station swaps Mahler for the mayor at 9 a.m. every other Wednesday. And then nobody's listening. Close enough, anyway.

    According to station officials, in October alone, an average of some 11,300 people listened during any random 15-minute period every weekday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. That doesn't seem like a lot compared to top-rated KISS-FM, which garners tens of thousands of pairs of ears during the same time period. But WRR's idea of a hit-maker is Sergei Rachmaninoff, not Post Malone. Kids today.

    But on those every-other-Wednesdays when WRR broadcasts Dallas City Council voting meetings, ratings fall off a cliff to just 1,900 listeners.

    "We lose about 80 percent of our audience," said the station's interim general manager Mike Oakes. For those, like me, who are bad at math.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Plus they don’t have ANY commercials during the council meetings so that’s more lost revenue.

    I get that, as a city-owned station, the council meeting coverage is their main public service. But if hardly anyone’s listening, is it really a public service at all?

    As a WRR fan, I’d prefer to have the music. Too bad they don’t have an HD-2 channel for the council. There would still be no one listening, of course.

  3. #3
    DrAkbar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Buckeye Media Hut
    Maybe they should buy back 13~Ten :-))

    City Council coverage is a real format buster, but the City calls all the shots because of their ownership. HD~Too would solve the problem...if the City actually believes there's a problem!
    Dr. Akbar 'n Nurse Jeff
    The Middle Eastern Men of the Media
    Buckeye, AZ

    Hey Alexa, call Doc & Nurse Jeff...we're really screwed up!

  4. #4
    It's one of the few city-owned radio stations left, especially in the commercial band. At one time, the City of New York owned WNYC-AM & FM, but they were spun off to a non-profit community group. WNYC-FM is at 93.9 in the commercial band, but operates as a non-commercial station. The City still owns WNYE-FM, which is at 91.5 in the non-commercial band.

    WRR is a commercial station and sells advertising, so this can be a problem.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Houston, Texas
    I would hate to be talking to agencies about buying advertising on WRR FM and after winning the fight for those dollars, having to get past the every other week City Council meeting. I could see it if meetings began at, say 7 pm versus 9 am.

    Given the presumed idea the revenue versus cost of operation is a factor, why would the meeting be aired live but rather replayed on a Sunday morning or Sunday evening when many more that might want to hear city government play-by-play could do so (as daily work would interfere on a Wednesday daytime meeting). Certainly demand for airtime from advertisers is less Sunday AM or Sunday evening. I would think this common sense reality would have already happened. I do like the idea of a government entity being open enough to do this but running what would be a very lengthy meeting in prime daytime hours in a top 10 market in today's age is insane on a commercial station.

    Anyway, it would give WRR the option to edit those parts that are not radio friendly (ie: silence such as when a speaker is coming to the microphone). A bit of editing can help just like tape delay on a church service for those ratings spiking times when the preacher asks everyone to bow their heads for a moment of silent prayer or that always exciting sounds of the offering plate being passed pew to pew.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Edgewood, NM
    And on more than one occasion the City Council started looking at the revenue to be earned by selling the station.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by K6JHU View Post
    And on more than one occasion the City Council started looking at the revenue to be earned by selling the station.
    I hope they're not too hasty about this. There are ways to retain the very unique format and also obtain a lot of revenue. But if all they focus on is revenue, this very wonderful format will likely go away. But yes the chances of the city holding on to this station are not good.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Dallas-Fort Worth
    The politics of selling this station or changing its format have proven to make either unlikely for the forseeable future.
    I think ditching the council meetings on WRR is a great thing. It's apparently already baked in to the budget.
    The station had some of the highest ratings it's had in decades in the past few months. Then the council meetings came back and they dropped back.

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