Sunday, May 22, 2005

Ch- Ch- Ch- Changes

Before we start the new week, I (not the queen) thought I'd talk about changes.

In newspapers, other than a big change (Galen Barnett) on who decides the look (and content) of the editorial pages, the big shake-up was 2004 when Lora Cuykendall got the boot from the great and powerful Jaynes (threatened Dwight?), and they laid off bunches of good folks. As we've read, the Trib is now a mixed bag for folks. And WillyWeek has a new editor that most folks seem to like and look forward to his leadership - Hank Stern who watched City Hall for the O.

In radio, the changes have been formats - Charley, some personnel. The saddest one (but methinks it was good for her personal life) was when Rebecca Webb started waking up early, early again to re-join KINK, sending the very good Sheila Hamilton to afternoon drive (and probably making KINK better there).

**BTW - since I don't work in radio, it would be great if someone could post radio arbs sometime in the future. I think we'd love to see Lars vs. Franken numbers, z100 vs OPB, KINK & K103 in the am drive.

In TV, we've noted KOIN's woes (some very very good posts), and about a year ago, KPTV elevated our correspondent McCreery to News Director.

But what does change usually mean? Someone walks in the door and asks, who's been here longer, where's the (perceived) dead wood. Some changes are made for the better, some (like KOIN and FM97.1) are disasters.

Your Sunday question, when has change in your shops been good?

Enjoy (finally) the sun.

38 Comments:

Anonymous Radio Face said...

OPB *kills* in morning drive. I don't have the numbers here at home (and would get seriously busted for posting them from work--Arbitron is positively anal about the posting of any numbers except full-week 12-plus). But I did see an extrapolation from the 7 AM hour when OPB had, like, a 10 share, and everyone else was trailing. The big picture in morning drive is that K103 is #1 overall and in women, KGON with Mark and Brian is #1 in adults 25-54 (the grail), and KINK and KRSK (The Buzz) are extremely strong as well.

So at least in Portland, NPR hasn't been hurt by the sacking of Bob Edwards. Nor has K103 been hurt by Craig Walker's retirement; Clear Channel brought in jolly Benson High graduate Bruce Murdock, made sure Erickson was happy with it, and the numbers have steadily risen. KINK helped itself as well by bringing Rebecca back; to KINK's core, the world is not right without her and Les.

So those (OPB, 103, and KINK) were three stations where changes are actually turning out for the better.

Here's
the latest 12-plus numbers for Portland. Note how strong KKSN appears; this came out just days after they pulled the plug. D'oh.

Sunday, May 22, 2005 9:43:00 AM  
Anonymous dotyoureyes said...

Thanks for the numbers... I'd be curious to see NPR added to that mix. But I suppose Clear Channel, Infinity (not to mention Arbitron) would hate to see that.

Can anyone from Entercom (is there anyone still at Entercom?) explain the thinking with the KKSN format change? So bizarre.

They'd just tweaked the format a few weeks prior, spent a bunch of cash on TV spots advertising a more rock-centric oldies format, only to toss it all out the door for an entirely computerized station with no format at all?

What the f*@& were they thinking??

Sunday, May 22, 2005 10:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Radio Face said...

KOPB's overall (12-plus, Monday-Sunday) share was a 5.8, which makes it a solid #1, (KEX had a 5.4 and KKCW a 5.3). OPB doesn't subscribe to Arbitron, which is why their gaudy numbers don't get published, plus radio ratings are really nothing more than a sales tool, enabling advertising buyers to calculcate reach and frequency and all that boring stuff that OPB doesn't have to worry about.

KKSN's format change was dictated by corporate; the local management (led by Erin Hubert, former Blazer exec and a classy person) had an effective plan in place that included a morning show--they hired Tom Parker, who'd been narrowly passed over for the K103 morning job--and a younger-targeted playlist designed by Bill Minckler, who had programmed K103 until a purge about a year ago. And you're right, they'd spent a ton on marketing this format, which all went up in smoke when corporate pulled the plug.

Entercom's thinking was to preempt Clear Channel from putting this format, which is kind of a flavor of the month--on KRVO, or Infinity from putting it on KLHT.

Lots of radio info...you may wake up now...

Sunday, May 22, 2005 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey "radio face"...OPB's gaudy numbers as you put it aren't posted by Arbitron because they don't list non-commerical stations.

moron.

Sunday, May 22, 2005 5:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Radio Face said...

Bite me.

You're saying OPB's numbers aren't gaudy? Damn straight they are. They're monstrous. And of course they're not posted because they're noncommercial (and nonsubscribers).
Radio numbers are sales tools...as I explained.

Illiteracy sucks, doesn't it, turkey?

Sunday, May 22, 2005 7:16:00 PM  
Anonymous "stop it" said...

Can we make a no name-calling rule here? We're all in the same line of work, if we're lucky enough to be working. Nobody is a moron, and nobody is an illiterate turkey.

Here's the deal: Like "anonymous" said, noncommercials don't get included in reports that are available to the general public, because like "radio face" said, they're sales tools. You don't have to be a subscriber to be listed, but you do have to subscribe to use the data. (You can find noncommercial ratings on the net at www.rrconline.org/arbitron. Interesting reading).

And yeah, OPB is rocking the numbers, and their fingers are in everybody's pie. This book was a down one for them. I've seen them in the high 6's. But it's apples and oranges. They don't have 15 minutes of spots an hour. And they are NPR.

Sunday, May 22, 2005 9:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Historian said...

OK, so I took some time today to think about our mystery blogger's request to come up with examples of when change has been good.

What follows is lengthy, and you're all welcome to make fun of me for taking the time to do this. In my hour of downtime, here's what I came up with:

MY TOP 5 EXAMPLES OF POSITIVE CHANGES IN PORTLAND TV (limited to the past 20 years)

5) KPTV circa 1996 – Canceling Ramblin’ Rod and other established children’s programming to launch the costly "Good Day Oregon" was a risky and controversial decision at the time. KPTV management expected low ratings and little return on the investment early on (and they were correct), but now, 9 years later, the gamble has paid off big for KPTV.

4) KOIN circa 1998 – KOIN steals Jeff Gianola away from KATU, but what made this a great change for KOIN was how Gianola didn’t bump out any of KOIN’s other anchors. Instead, he joined Mike Donahue, Shirley Hancock, Mark Hendricks and Kelley Day to create a large team of anchors promoted as “People You Know”. Viewers responded… KOIN went from #3 to #1 at 5:00 and 6:00pm, and saw big gains for other newscasts.

3) KGW circa 1994 – Mike Rausch comes to KGW and launches Sky 8. The "helicopter wars" followed, as KOIN introduced Warren Petrie & NewsChopper 6 and KATU tried to one-up the others with 2 helicopters (remember "The Power of 2"?) More importantly, Sky 8 marked the beginning of a new energy & aggressiveness for conservative KGW. With this new momentum, KGW positioned itself to score the #1 spot several years later when KATU & KOIN both fumbled.

2) KPTV circa 2002 – With the merger of KPTV and KPDX, lay-offs and talent shuffles were numerous at the new duopoly. Among the many decisions – a significant format change for Good Day Oregon. Gone was the feature-format (like Today and GMA), and in its place: four hours of consecutive 30-minute newscasts emphasizing hard, fresh & breaking news, with just the right number of fun moments sprinkled in. Not only have the ratings exploded (to #1 status), but Good Day Oregon very well could be the most likeable news program in the market anchored by one of the finest morning show teams in the country.

1) KATU circa 1987 – Having lost anchors Tracy Barry (to KGW) and Bill O’Reilly, KATU was far behind KOIN and KGW in the ratings. Management’s gamble: hire a young, new-to-the-market female anchor… make the evening weatherman her co-anchor… and cancel "Two at Four" (with Paul Linnman and Margie Boule) in favor of airing a brand new syndicated talk show hosted by an unknown black woman. The Oprah Winfrey Show and Channel 2 News at 5:00 with Jeff Gianola and Julie Emry began a long stretch of time-slot dominance the very next year.

Sunday, May 22, 2005 11:59:00 PM  
Anonymous 0110010 said...

Thanks a lot, historian! Do you know why and when KATU lost Oprah? I know Oprah is on a lot of ABC affiliates nationwide.

Also, don't tell anyone, but the forum at pdxradio.com posts real ratings every month. (Nobody uses 12+. The reason you can see 12+ for free is because Arbitron can't sell 12+.)

Monday, May 23, 2005 2:16:00 AM  
Anonymous 0110010 said...

Speaking of good KATU lead-ins, will they be picking up Martha Stewart's new daytime show? She has the primetime Apprentice show everyone's talking about, but Mark Burnett is also producing a new daytime syndicated show featuring her. KATU's the most obvious spot for her, with a 4pm filled by back-to-back Millionaire. Or KGW could give up its 1pm Access Hollywood and infomercial block, push its 2pm & 3pm soaps up to 1pm & 2pm, and put Martha at 3pm opposite Dr. Phil. Alternately, KOIN could give Ellen to KATU and put Martha in their 4pm spot.

A little primer for folks on the syndie biz: Oprah, Martha and Ellen all want to be at 4pm because that's the hour that brings them the highest ad rates. (Dr. Phil is an exception because he's not allowed opposite Oprah and Oprah is always at 4pm.) Most stations would want one of those three in their 4pm slot, preferably Oprah, because they help bring viewers to their 5pm news, which are big profit centers.

Nobody wants Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in their 4pm slot.

Monday, May 23, 2005 3:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to see that the radio board ops who regularly post at pdxradio.com have found their way here with their immature sniping and name calling.

Monday, May 23, 2005 6:47:00 AM  
Anonymous John Erickson said...

No kidding. BTW I don't trust the numbers they post over there...they have a habit of getting them wrong. Just a heads up...

Monday, May 23, 2005 7:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not every listener thinks the changes at 97.1 are a disaster. Music radio in this town has become stale and repetitious. 97.1 is a welcome change of pace. The variety is refreshing and the lack of talent is as well.

Monday, May 23, 2005 1:03:00 PM  
Anonymous none of your business said...

If KOPB had not picked a smart but bland local host for it's mornings, it could have eaten into OPB's numbers. I know somebody who actually reads Noam Chomsky who told me he wanted Mike and Mike back.
He has a lot of facts at his command but is more boring than cable access.
OPB will continue to slide little by little. When the purge happened a couple of years ago, the man everyone fears fired his competition at the station, including the woman who built the radio side.
They have a bunch of good, comitted reporters there,and a jounalists's journalist running the place, but nobody can run it like she did, as long as Jack Galmiche is in charge, anyway.
Look for a steady decline if ANY other station in the market steps up.

Monday, May 23, 2005 2:44:00 PM  
Anonymous none of your business said...

i meant KPOJ

Monday, May 23, 2005 2:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To clarify, Galen Barnett is at The O, not the Trib.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 12:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Simp said...

I essentially quit my obsessive OPB Morning Edition addiction (and OPB contributions) when Gray Eubanks was ousted.

I much prefer someone with a bit of personality delivering substance. Anyone can read copy.

[BEGIN Derailment]
What was the scoop there. Was it management or listeners that were complaining about he wonderfully subversive "snarky" commentary?

The absolute classic was during one particularly messy morning commute and Grey refering to drivers as "boneheads"
[/END Derailment]

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 9:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm kinda likin' Harthman (sp) in the a.m. (kpoj)

Sid

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: Gray Eubanks

One person's "bit of personality" is another person's "lefty partisan crank disguised as a newsman."

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous none of your business said...

Hartman (on KPOJ) just doesn't connect with listeners. I'm the fist person to want to see the station do well (even though it's a Clear Channel property). But he isn't funny or clever, he's just bland and once-in-a-while outraged in an uncomfortable way.
Gray was snarky and pissed-off, unlike most of the rest of National Prozac Radio.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 12:58:00 PM  
Anonymous none of your business said...

p.s. Gray was never a "newsman." He was a host.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 12:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

p.s. Gray was never a "newsman." He was a host.

And how many listeners do you suppose recognized the difference? I didn't, and I listen all the time and work in local media (not radio). He read headlines, did he not? He was on the air during the news. What sort of effect do you think snarky comments about Republicans made on the air in between Morning Edition segments have on OPB's credibility as an impartial news organization?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 1:09:00 PM  
Blogger Musings Guy said...

A positive change of recent note would NRK changing into a little more listener friendly than most commercial radio. The music is still mostly repeitive but it's a laid back channel with good tunes. Much better than the shock jock days of Stern and Marconi.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 1:15:00 AM  
Anonymous none of your business said...

Gray's editorial comments had no effect on how the news was covered at OPB. None. OPB's listeners are smart enough to know the difference, even if you don't.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 6:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And how do they know the difference? Is there a secret OPB dictionary that's sent to everybody but stupid ol' me? Was there a little announcement before every break that the guy about to read the news headlines was a "host," not a "newsman" and therefore his non-headline emissions should be given no heed? (But of course the headlines are Holy Writ) Sorry. I never heard OPB explain the difference until Eubanks was gone. Haven't heard them do it since. If there's some distinction in OPB's arcane internal definitions, I guarantee you it's lost on the vast majority of listeners.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The vast majority of OPB listeners probably agreed wholeheartedly with every spin he put on stories and wished he'd go further. It's NPR in Portland, for gosh sake! Who do you reckon is listening and sending in money?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 6:51:00 PM  
Anonymous none of your business said...

i have no idea what definitions or "guidelines" as they are properly called OPB may hand out, but anybody who can't tell the difference should probably be listening to lars (and probably is). now THERE'S a real newsman, huh?

Thursday, May 26, 2005 8:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The vast majority of OPB listeners probably agreed wholeheartedly with every spin he put on stories and wished he'd go further. It's NPR in Portland, for gosh sake! Who do you reckon is listening and sending in money?

Well, probably a lot of folks like me, centrist-ish moderate folks who like intelligent, in-depth news but want it without a side of unfunny, sophomoric snark. But hey, if OPB had wanted to go that way, more power to 'em. Heck, it's worked for Fox News! Apparently, though, they decided in favor of some semblance of impartiality.

none of your business:
Hey, insult my intelligence all you like, but you still haven't answered how a listener should have known that Eubanks was a "host" and not a "newsman."

Thursday, May 26, 2005 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous none of your business said...

how a listener should have known that Eubanks was a "host" and not a "newsman."


well, it's called common sense.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 1:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I see. You're supposed to just know that the guy reading news headlines is not a journalist and therefore his ravings should not reflect on OPB's credibility. And OPB should feel absolutely no responsibility to make that clear. Because people will just know. And people say the media's out of touch with the real world! Pshaw!

Thursday, May 26, 2005 2:06:00 PM  
Anonymous none of your business said...

first of all, Gray never raved a la lars. and any fool knows a quip from a newscast. except you.
how do you feel about the fox news anchor who, while interviewing a republican about the nuclear option mess, kept referring to "we" and "us" when talking about republicans.
why don't you complain about something important?

Thursday, May 26, 2005 2:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how do you feel about the fox news anchor who, while interviewing a republican about the nuclear option mess, kept referring to "we" and "us" when talking about republicans.

If Fox News cared about its credibility as an impartial news organization, they should knock that off. They don't, apparently, as is their right. Given that Eubanks got the boot, OPB perhaps feels differently.

why don't you complain about something important?

This is a site about the local media, no? I didn't stumble into the Freeper or Kos fever swamps, did I?

Thursday, May 26, 2005 4:29:00 PM  
Anonymous none of your business said...

does fox appear on your screen? or do you have to go out of town to see it?
you have no idea why gray was fired. period. and i am not going to tell you.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 8:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does fox appear on your screen? or do you have to go out of town to see it?

Huh?

you have no idea why gray was fired. period. and i am not going to tell you.

Nope, I don't (hence the word "perhaps"). But Eubanks himself said management told him to knock off the commentary because it compromised the impartiality of the news staff.

Friday, May 27, 2005 1:04:00 PM  
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