Tuesday, August 16, 2011

AM Listeners Are From Mars

... And, it sounds like New York and Chicago's newest radio stations are thinking that their FM listeners will be from Venus.

Both Arbitron and BBM offer some very helpful national perspective on why, even though we all love to cheer on a direct confrontation, it may be that everyone can coexist.

Here are three pages from BBM/Canada's 2010-2011 National Radio Data book which show how different the target audiences available on the two bands are today:

(click each chart to enlarge it in a separate browser window)

Two very nice things about radio warfare:

1, No one can take your audience away from you. You have to give it away.

2. No one dies, unless somebody ends up shooting themself in the foot.


Sean Ross (click to read it all) said...

When WEMP (101.9 FM News) New York was in its Thursday afternoon ramp-up to its new format (a five hour news block, before going back to music until the following morning), its overall tenor was far more female/lifestyle-driven than what we'd described a few days earlier on already-launched WWWN Chicago.

That feel continued when we heard the station on Friday morning--much more of what the industry had geared itself to expect from WEMP, not just a straightforward all-news station that just happened to do a few more health/hearth/home stories in place of sports or a regular business report.

David Hinckley - Daily News said...

Walter Sabo is the chief operating officer of Merlin Media, which will soon officially own WEMP, and he suggests some listeners may be wary simply because FM News 101.9 is doing news radio differently.

All-news WCBS-AM (880) and WINS (1010 AM) are "terrific stations," he says, "but we are targeting a different audience. We want to reach an under-50 audience of men and women working and raising families in the area.

"So we are redefining both the definition of news and the presentation.

"To our listener, a story on the economy is not about a trillion-dollar deficit. It's 'Will I get fired?' or 'If my car breaks down, can I afford the repair?'" says Sabo.

"We want to move every story immediately to what it means for the listener," he says. "We're sharing, not preaching."

This gives on-air stories a conversational tone in which anchors and reporters often add editorial interjections like, "Thankfully" or "Duh!"

Sabo says these are "not discouraged," but conceded, "There is a balance. It's something we're working on."