One of my radio dreams is to take an AM station and program it. Not program it the way most current owners do — syndicated talk, sports or some other lame format. No, I want to take an AM station and show that you can, indeed, program an AM station to attract actual listeners. Make actual money, serving the community with either programming you can’t find elsewhere or programming done better than any station in town.
Of course I don’t have a few million dollars sitting around so until Cumulus and iHeart go under and I can pick up a station for pennies on the dollar, I’ll just have to wait. In the meantime, I live vicariously through others such as Saul Levine, who is attracting listeners to AM through LA Oldies K-SURF (1260 AM), and people who post to I Love AM Radio, a group on Facebook.
One such post caught my eye last Sunday.
“Wanted to share this with the group, said member Drew D. “KASM is a small station in central Minnesota. They’ve been around since 1950 … NOT corporate owned. Format is farm/ag, local news, sports, and a good amount of polkas! They sound the same today as they did when I first heard them about 45 years ago.
“But here’s the coolest part: they’re still live and local! Better yet, they hire young people from the area and give them their first chance behind-the-mic. Almost unheard of these days!”
A quick trip over to myKASM.Com shows a few young people on the staff, including recent high school graduate Travis Ramacher, who can be heard nightly at 5 p.m. At least two other personalities look like recent college graduates or younger.
Local radio is the future of radio. It may not happen soon, but it will happen. The problem is … will listeners driven to other entertainment sources come back?
I think they will, but it will take super-serving the community. Let’s do it.
My FM was the K-BIG (104.3 FM) winner once again in the September Nielsen ratings. While down slightly down from August’s 6.4 share, it was still up from June’s 5.8 and more importantly increased its win over second-place KTWV The Wave (94.7 FM) to almost a full point: KBIG’s 6.0 share compared to The Wave’s 5.2.
KRTH (101.1 FM) was third, followed by KIIS-FM (102.7) and KOST (103.5 FM) rounding out the top five.
All told, CBS and iHeart had nine of the top-10 stations, and overall combined control 48.1 percent of the listening audience, with iHeart at 26.1 and CBS at 22. The next highest company is Univision, at 8.8. You can make your own monopoly judgements …
While Arbitron lists KPCC separately from their online stream, the two simulcast the same programming. Combined, KPCC earned a whopping 2.2 share of the audience and would put it in the top-20 of all LA-area stations.
And while in the 1970s they were fierce competitors and of course now they are not, I did find it interesting that KHJ (930 AM) and KTNQ (1020 AM) tied. Perhaps that is the Nielsen god’s way of keeping the AM band at peace.
Ratings are an estimate of the percentage of listeners aged 6 and over tuned to a station between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 midnight.
1. KBIG (6.0) 2. KTWV (5.2) 3. KRTH (4.8) 4. KIIS-FM (4.6) 5. KOST (4.3) 6. KFI, KLVE, KRRL (3.5) 9. KCBS-FM (3.2) 10. KNX, KPWR (3.1)
12. KAMP, KLAX, KRCD (2.9), 15. KKGO, KROQ (2.8) 17. KXOL (2.6) 18. KLOS, KYSR (2.5) 20. KSCA (2.1)
21. KSWD (2.0) 22. KSUE, KXOS (1.9) 24. KPCC (1.7) 25. KCRW, KJLH, KLYY (1.4) 28. KUSC (1.2) 29. KWIZ (1.1) 30. KDAY, KLAC, KRLA, KSPN, KSSE (1.0)
35. KEIB, KFSH (0.7) 37. KABC, KFWB, KKJZ (0.6) 40. KPCC Online Stream (0.5) 41. KSUR (0.4) 42. KHJ, KTNQ, KWKW, KYLA (0.3) 46. KKLA, KLAA (0.2)
© 2017 Nielsen. May not be quoted or reproduced without prior written permission from Nielsen.