Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Format changes - Sept. 7th update

Thanks to "reader" Jeff for the suggestion that we report on as many of the radio station format change announcements as possible around the country. He makes a good point that there hasn't been another good resource which consistently offers such info.

A new format is coming any minute now in Atlanta, as "Legend 96.7" and its country music format have been replaced. For now, the station is simulcasting "Groove 105.7", but that shouldn't last long. I do mean "shouldn't". There are 2 sides to this coin. I'm sure station officials figure that people will keep tuning over to 96.7 while awaiting whatever new format, and that it is a good way to hype the "Groove" format.

On one hand, there will be some people picking up on The Groove format, but won't realize they have to change over to 105.7 for it to continue. They could wind up thinking "The Groove" is gone when the station changes over to whatever it is going to do.

On the other hand, not tipping what the new format will do keeps any possible competitors in the local market from getting a jump, while curious radio listeners will monitor from time to time to see if and when the new format kicks off.

My feeling is they should have waited and gone to the new format within 24 hours. They forget that FM and AM Radio have so much competition and that listeners are no longer hanging around helplessly dependening upon radio. The question is whether or not people will break away from their MP3 players, portable phones, satellite radios, and other technology just to sample a "new" FM station.

Near Denver, KTNI Strasburg dumped its talk format and went R & B with Jammin' 101.5. Unlike the Atlanta story, KTNI pulled the switch right after a syndicated talk show (that it now used to carry) ended and rolled out the music. Since the station is actually located east of Denver, the station is already streaming, supposedly to enhance their "coverage" of the Denver market.

I'm not sure that going for the Denver market is going to work for the bottom line in this instance. They need to spend in order to promote the online "coverage" in Denver, as if people will be interested in a regional station over a true Denver station. And that's provided they are not distracted by the hundreds of online channels they could or may already be listening to.

More format change stories later in the week............

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