Monday, January 24, 2005

Oldies Rule

From Steve Tarter's column in the PJ Star

The three stations - WPBG-FM Big Oldies 93.3, WMBD-AM 1470 and WSWT-FM Lite Rock 107 - finished 1-2-3 in the latest Arbitron ratings of Peoria-area radio listeners. All three stations are owned by the JMP Radio Group. For Big Oldies, it was a repeat performance atop the Peoria market. The station drew 9.9 percent of the total radio audience in the fall ratings period. The oldies station led all others last spring with a 9.1 rating.

The station making the biggest move between ratings books was news/talk WMBD, which went from 8.1 percent in the spring to 9.4 in the latest survey. JMP General Manager Mike Wild credited several station moves for WMBD's success. He said the decision to run Rush Limbaugh's popular syndicated show live from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. instead of tape-delaying the program was paying off.

"We had to move a successful noon farm show to do that, but we were losing listeners to (Chicago's) WLS who were running Rush live," Wild said. A local talk show featuring Jamie Markley and the Journal Star's Phil Luciano, introduced in the 4 to 6 p.m. slot last year, helped bring new listeners to WMBD, he said.

I've been listening to Markley and Luciano for a while now. Don't agree with everything they're saying, but I enjoy it. Although early on, I had trouble distinguishing their voices.


Anonymous said...

Markley and Luciano are strictly benefitting from having Hannity as their lead in. Their show started only a few weeks after WMBD put Hannity in the 2-4 pm time slot, thereby continuing the momentum that Limbaugh creates from 11-2.

But Markley and Luciano are not compelling to listen to. AND Luciano is excruciating. He could learn something from Dan DiOrio about how to function with a partner. Luciano just goes on and on and on and on and on about his point of view without regard to Markley's position or the caller (what few they have). And the topics they discuss are juvenile. On the day that the Rathergate story broke they were asking listeners to "what was your nickname in high school?" Stuff like that. I can't listen to them for more than 10 minutes. They give me a headache. Luciano is trying to be Roe Conn. But only Roe Conn can be Roe Conn. That's what makes him Roe Conn.

My guess is that their ratings aren't really that impressive, but the overall rating from 11-4 (Limbaugh and Hannity) is what is driving WMBD's success. Management likes to use the vague ratings success to validate the changes they've made. But you can be real strong in 75% od your day parts and horrible in the other 25% and look strong accross the board. My bet is that they are smoking from 11-4 and not so hot after that.

Edgar said...

Some thoughts on your points. Markley and Luciano are benefiting from their lead in compounded by the fact that we've just come out of a heated election. But they are also benefiting from the fact that 1470 is really the only game in town.

As for the team itself, I don’t think it’s as bad as you do, but it is a work in progress. You make some comments about Luciano, but I don't think he's ever done radio before. It's not as easy as flipping a mic on. I think he’ll grow into it. It is not much different from how TV news people grow into their style. Takes time. If we gave up on every reporter with a staccato delivery after a couple of months, there’d be a lot fewer reporters out there.

I also listened to John's show and if the station wanted to go in a different direction, they are accomplishing that. Juvenile topics. Sure, some, but not all. I'm okay with that... especially after a long day. Plus, I’m someone who asked for and got the Adam Sandler movie pack for Christmas, so maybe I’m the wrong guy to ask.

I'm wouldn't be surprised if Rush and Hannity are driving the station's ratings, but the same can probably be said for stations in similar situations across the country.

As for Roe Conn... no disagreement here. But I don't get to tune in much anymore.