Category Archives: radio analysis

Looking at the Seattle market’s recent changes

If you’ve been following the industry since the beginning of the year, you know that the market has gone through a number of changes. It all started on January 19, when iHeart Media shuffled four stations. Then, it was Hubbard, … Continue reading

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2016 predictions

As 2015 draws to a close, let’s take a look at what I think we’ll be seeing more of in 2016. Cumulus With Cumulus under new leadership, by the end of 2016 we should know what the new company looks … Continue reading

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Classic Hip-Hop, a fad or the next real format?

So, what’s it going to be? It’s been a little over a year since the Classic Hip-Hop format exploded from 1 station in Albuquerque to a couple dozen. Within that year, we’ve seen the ratings for those stations jump, then … Continue reading

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How to, and how not to split commercials

One of my biggest annoyances about listening to radio stations over the internet is the fact that many radio stations air different commercials on the internet stream than they do over the air. It used to be that one company … Continue reading

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WUVA to drop Urban Monday, to flip to country.

I wanted to address the news that came out yesterday about WUVA Charlotesville, VA dropping Urban for Classic Country that is due to take place on Monday. As Lance Venta of Radio Insight pointed out, this is likely a strategy … Continue reading

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radio is killing itself!

I don’t know if I agree with this statement, but those were the words of a user on the radio info discussion boards last week. The discussion came about after Portland, Oregon’s KUFO flipped from active rock to a simulcast of sister news/talk station KXL. The change leaves Portland without an active rocker. In an earlier post, I complained that not many stations in this area had ITunes tagging, allowing users to tag songs they liked off of the radio. If everyone changes there format to talk, then what would be the use of this technology? HD might pick up a lot of the slack, but I considder myself the radio guy of the house and I don’t even have an HD radio. Do people like the talk stations? Is radio going to be worth listening to in another 20 years? It seems like most of the world thinks my generation will grow up listening to there portable music players, and I’m seeing that somewhat throughout my own school. If they do listen to the radio, it’s probably KBKS, KUBE, sometimes KQMV, or the rockers might turn to KISW. I wonder if the people on radio-info were right in saying that KISW has about 6 months left. Here, we have several stations that could pick up the slack, KLCK could pick up most of the listeners displaced by KISW with its alternative rock-leaning modern AC format, or KNDD with its alternative rock format, the two adult hits stations, KSGX and KJAQ, or even KZOK’s classic rock format. I guess the same thing could be said about Portland, but there modern AC sounds nothing like KLCK, it sounds more like a traditional hot AC. I predict that 80s classic rocker KFBW will change to hopefully fill the gap. Continue reading

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radio formats

If you have any questions about a radio format, it’s probably not answered on wikipedia.

Most formats, though hard to define, are layed out pretty well, so you can tell what they are by there sound. Most of the time, wikipedia gets the format right, but there are a few stations where they may assume based on sound or slogan. The station I’m listening to right now, 96.9 the sound, is listed on wikipedia as being an AC station, probably based off of its slogan, cool classics and hot hits. Arbitron lists them as a modern AC. In reality, they might as well be listed as a classic hits/rhythmic AC/hot AC format, they play just about everything. Actually, I got this random idea of a station I would run called mix 103.3, which is probably never going to take to the air, but this station is actually pretty close. All it needs is a few more lost classics, a few more top 40 hits, and a few country tunes, and I don’t know what else. Take a listen to my IPod, that’s probably what the station would sound like. Maybe the sound should be listed under the variety pannel? The problem I see with this though is most stations listed this way are noncommercial stations, but I’m not sure if this would make a difference.

The other thing is that KQMV has shifted to more of a rhythmic contemporary direction but taken a top 40 -sounding slogan, which is all the hits. I guess there sound has changed a bit, they’ve removed some of the AC product that used to be on the playlist, but they still don’t play some pop music heard on top 40 stations, I guess what I’d call rhythmic top 40 as opposed to KUBE’s rhythmic comtemporary format. Continue reading

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Is there a point to broadcast translators?

Well, I guess there is if you want to improve or expand coverage. There are a few examples that I don’t think use translators effectively. Our local Christian station, Spirit 105.3 has three translators, K280FF, in Chehalis, K221BG in Aberdeen, and K278BH in Astoria. These three really don’t need to be on the air.
The first two are close enough to the main station that you can recieve the main station. You may choose to listen off of the translator if you have a lower quality radio, but in some cases, you may just be traveling through the area and aren’t able to pick up the broadcast of the translator. In these cases, the translators seem to improve coverage, but to only a few square miles. The third one has a slightly more valid reason, because it is much farther away from the main station. However, shouldn’t a translator expand coverage? If I am correct, there is at least a little bit of, if not a significant gap in coverage. The other station I wanted to bring up was KMTT, which is licensed to Tacoma, with a transmittor close to the other ones in this market on Cougar Mountain. They have two translators, K281AD, and K277AE. The first translator serves Olympia, which most good radios can recieve the main station. Actually, I think it would take a pretty low quality radio to not be able to recieve the main station. The other translator is licensed to Seattle, where the main station is strong enough. I don’t know what they were thinking there, buildings might get in the way of the signal? Also, the second translator broadcasts at 103.3 fm, which if I have analyzed the situation correctly, could be used for a high powered station. This same situation arises just 80 miles to the north in Victoria, British Collumbia. Vancouver station CBU-FM put a repeater, CBU-FM-1 on the air. At the time, this probably made sense, since Victoria is a provincial capital and it didn’t have a CBC Radio aphiliate at the time, but why does it need to remain on the air now? The 92.1 fm frequency, like the 103.3 fm one, could be used for a new station. Continue reading

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streaming vs. actual listening

Something hit me recently regarding streaming. It’s kind of cool to be able to listen to radio stations across the country from wherever you are. However, it seems to me like streams sound a little different when you don’t listen to them from the local area. Maybe it’s being in the market? Portland’s k103 seems to sound different when I’m listening to it online than in the local area. Any thoughts? Continue reading

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Austin radio station flips formats

On December 20, 2005, Clear Channel Communications started a new Adult Contemporary/Contemporary Christian format called the river on KPEZ in Austin, Texas. Due to FCC regulations, Clear Channel had to sell one station in Austin. Sister station KFMK was chosen, and on May 31, 2010, KFMK and KPEZ swapped formats. On September 20, 2010, the station shifted to Spirit 105.9 and dropped the AC music when Christa Broadcasting bought the station. This in itself I see as a weird move as Christa’s other three stations are in the northwest. About 2 months before discovering the river, I stopped listening to our local Christian station, KCMS in favor of our local Hot AC, KPLZ. The River was a pleasant find, as it featured Christian music that I was familiar with from listening to KCMS for 5 years, along with the Clear Channel AC sound I have come to like. Although the response to the new station has been good, I was very disappointed when I found out about the river’s demise. Any comments? Continue reading

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