Live and local, is it all it’s cracked up to be?

This may seem like a silly question, but is there really something more than just that a jock is local that causes a station to perform well? Here are three examples that may surprise you, let’s work largest to smallest market.
In ST. Lewis, MO KSLZ, which launched its current CHR format in 1997, but has recently turned into what seems to be a growing trend at iHeart Media CHRs, only having one or two dayparts live and local. In KSLZ’s case, the station appears to be live and local between 2 P.M. and midnight on weekdays, with a couple local weekend shifts, though I’m a little skeptical about the staff lineup I see on Wikipedia because last time I listened to KSLZ, Bret Andrews was working afternoons on both KSLZ and sister Rhythmic CHR KBWX at the same time. Regardless, KSLZ still runs a lot of Premium Choice content, which is why I don’t listen. There’s a reason that mold failed in Spokane, which I’ll get to in a bit. Before we leave ST. Lewis, I should mention that another station, KNOU, flipped from Classic Hits to CHR earlier this year. KSLZ is quite a bit ahead of the new KNOU.
Now, let’s travel to Portland, Oregon. KKRZ, which has been around for over 30 years, is well ahead of KBFF, which launched as Hot AC in May of 2011 and evolved to CHR 18 months later. KBFF, like KNOU, is live and local all day. Ok they’re probably tracked at several points, but my point still stands. KKRZ isn’t on Premium Choice, it runs the other national feed that iHeart has that I haven’t come up with a clever name for yet. This feed is significantly better musically, and does not have any national jocks, instead it is either meant for jocks to either be local or customize their tracks for specific stations. KKRZ is only live 2-8 P.M. weekdays and beats KBFF by a substantial margin.
Returning to the Midwest, the last market we’re going to look at for the moment is that of Quad Cities Iowa/Illinois, and possibly the most telling example of how live and local doesn’t always work out. The incumbent CHR here is KBEA, which flipped to CHR in 2000. At the time, it was going against WHTS, which was sold and changed formats in 2006. In 2012, Clear Channel brought a competitor back to the market by flipping an oldies station to CHR. The station, KUUL, runs the Premium Choice CHR feed from iHeart Media around the clock, only having a local jock from 2-6 P.M. weekdays. Around the same time, the sme thing was tried in Spokane, and there’s a reason it failed in that market, that CHR feed is the most boring one I’ve ever heard, and the people of Spokane agreed. However, in the Quad Cities, KUUL is stil doing CHR and has even pulled ahead of KBEA, which is live and local 6 A.M. to 7 P.M. Another example is Albany Georgia, where the iHeart Media Premium Choice CHR actually caused the incumbent Cumulus CHR to flip out of the format. That being said, CHR in general doesn’t seem to do well in that market, since it doesn’t seem as if companies want to do much with it. That being said, the fact that a station is live and local doesn’t necisarily mean it will do well.

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