You can scope out the 12+ results over here, but I’ve compiled a quick scorecard of winners (and losers) in areas folks care about.
KSRV/96.1 Bob FM – Impact
KCIX/Mix 106 – Peak
KSAS/103.3 Kiss FM – Peak
tie – KCIX/Mix 106 – Peak
tie – KSAS/103.3 Kiss FM – Peak
tie – KXLT/107.9 Lite FM – Peak
tie – KWYD/Wild 101 – Impact
tie – KIZN/Kissin’ 92.3 – Cumulus
KSRV/96.1 Bob FM – Impact
KQXR/100.3 The X – Journal
KBOI/NewsTalk 670 – Cumulus
tie – KCIX/Mix 106
tie – KSAS/103.3 Kiss FM
KQXR/100.3 The X
tie – KCIX/Mix 106
tie – KSRV/96.1 Bob FM
A couple of other battles of note: The country battle was a bit of a split decision – KQFC won 12+, but KIZN won among women. KAWO, which was the big story in the last book fell off a bit in most demographics.
Lite FM handily topped KJOT among Christmas stations.
The story of this book might be a collapse at KKGL. As noted above, the station was topped in mornings among men by Mike & Kate on KCIX. Traditionally KCIX is strong with women in the morning and the syndicated Bob & Tom sees big strength among men – but in this book KKGL lost significant ground – with KKGL losing well more than half of its ratings points in the daypart. In another fluke, among 12+, KJOT beat KKGL – though KJOT was fueled by Christmas music, something they can’t sustain in the spring.
For the four groups, Impact and Peak have much to celebrate. Journal and Cumulus have a few bright spots but also feel like they have some work to do I’d imagine.
Call any Boise radio station’s request line after 7 p.m. and you won’t get a human being. Long a staple of radio – the evening shift is now a wasteland of musical jokeboxes and voicetrackers.
The last holdout was KSAS/103.3 Kiss FM’s Nathan Fast who held down the 7 p.m. to midnight shift for the Peak Broadcasting station for the past several years. Fast announced via social media (and YouTube) late Monday that this Friday would be his last day on the air.
But as Tuesday evening came around, the station was in automated mode – and Fast had gone largely silent on social. KSAS scrubbed (most) references to Fast Tuesday on its website.
Once upon a time, a radio personality would quit or be laid off and the audience would never hear from them again. But in the age of social media, the personality maintains a connection with the audience. Fast happens to be the most-followed local media personality on Twitter (more than at the newspaper or any TV station). That plus a robust Facebook presence gives Fast (and any jock who engages on social) a way to at least say goodbye. It appears that may outreach may have signaled the end for Nathan. It’s not clear whether the initial decision to leave was his or the station’s.
Update: For now Boise will be jockless after 7 p.m. Sources say this isn’t likely to be a long-term situation, at least at the top-rated station in the market.
Update2: Peak GM Kevin Godwin says Fast got a new job in a bigger market and the parting is amicable and wishes Nathan the best. He emphasizes a search for a new PM jock will start shortly.
Another change is coming to the Boise radio dial. KINF-AM 730 will pick up the ESPN Radio contract in the market, effective January 1, according to the station.
The lineup has not yet been announced by Impact Radio, which owns the station. The move will force some changes at KTIK/93-1 The Ticket – which currently has the ESPN contract in the market. Jeff Caves, the station’s afternoon host, said he could not comment – but Impact GM Darrell Calton told me that 730 AM will be the exclusive home for ESPN content.
KTIK, for now, still has its tentpoles: Jim Rome (syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks), and local afternoon show Idaho Sports Talk.
In October, KTIK’s owner Cumulus announced it would drop ESPN in favor of CBS Sports Radio in 47 markets.
KINF-AM currently airs news/talk programming. This move will give the Boise market three major sports stations, along with KFXD/Sports 630.
Two Boise stations have flipped to the Christmas format for 2012. KXLT/107.9 Lite FM has flipped to its traditional menu of holiday standards as of November 10th.
But the surprise entrant in the space for this year is KJOT/Variety Rock 105.1. The station, which has been home to rock music for about 30 years, is instead playing Christmas music. Owner Journal Broadcast Group has been playing musical chairs with its three rock stations (KQXR/100.3 The X and KRVB/94.9 The River being the others) for quite some time, and it seems KJOT is the odd one out. The station has not seen success in quite some time, despite transitioning from heritage rocker J-105 to the current skew a few years ago.
I would say it is likely that Variety Rock has played its last rock hit. Something new in the new year? Already hearing rumors on what that format could be… time will tell.
Related: Journal hired Susan Groves to replace Dan McColly as operations manager for its Boise stations and as program director of KRVB. The news was announced on October 2nd – and on November 18th, she had been “let go.”
It’s often said in the radio world that for a station to succeed it has to excel at the three Ms: mornings, music and marketing.
Two Boise stations that had lower-than-hoped numbers in the spring ratings book (free registration required) are working to make big changes in a couple of those areas to try and get the ratings mojo back.
The first is KCIX/Mix 106. The hot adult contemporary stalwart has seen some rough patches in its core demo and amongst total listeners of late. In the latter category, the station came in 11th – which puts it last amongst the FM stations in its cluster (behind KAWO, KSAS and KXLT, all of which also primarily target female listeners). While the demo picture is somewhat better, Mix has seen better days. One bright spot for the station tends to be mornings, helmed by Mike Kasper and Kate McGwire. The station recently dropped afternoon talent Matt Steele and filled his afternoon shift with a DJ who records his segments from a sister station in Fresno, CA.
But Mix made another major change to its programming: it has added segments from Mike & Kate across the broadcast day. Now, in addition to the traditional 5:30-10am morning timeslot, the pair are heard during middays. They announce contests, pitch to songs and more. The segments are original but likely on tape. In the evening and across the weekend listeners are treated to extended “best of” bits featuring Kasper & McGwire. The drops are usually several minutes long and include material from the weekday live version of the show.
The effect is a bit confusing at fist. The first few times you hear the segments you wonder if it is a mistake, but clearly it is not. The thought behind this might be “let’s take what is working and get the most bang for our buck.” It’s possible this will work, but is it a substitute for live, original programming? Time will tell.
The other station making big changes is KWYD/Wild 101. The Impact Radio-owned urban contemporary station picked up a new program director earlier this year and has gone about changing just about everything.
The station also had a difficult book, losing steam in both the demo and amongst total listeners. Wild burst onto the scene several years ago notching big ratings and lots of buzz in the demo. Under the direction of operations manager Mikey Fuentes, Wild saw big ratings and outstripped rival KSAS/103.3 Kiss FM and eventually helped hasten the demise of KZMG/93.1 Hit Music Now (which is now running a sports format as KTIK/93.1 The Ticket. A history of pop music stations in Boise live here).
Of late, KSAS has seen its ratings rise to the top of the heap while Wild has slumped. Part of this might be a side effect of KZMG’s transition to sports last year, as those listeners who frequented the pop hits on 93.1 may have been more inclined to gravitate toward the somewhat poppier mix on KSAS than the more urban-oriented music on KWYD.
Wild seems confident in morning man Rick Moorten. But it has gone about changing nearly everything else. The music mix has been tweaked significantly. While the station is certainly still urban-oriented, it has softened its music mix. Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock you’ve heard Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” – dubbed by many as the song of the summer. But what might surprise you to hear is how many times the song has appeared on Wild 101: 470 times this year according to monitoring by Mediabase. It peaked in July when it ran on the station roughly every four hours. That pales in comparison to Kiss FM which played it almost every 90 minutes in July, but still significant for a song that has a very pop sound.
Wild also added a number of features to the format. It now starts each hour with a pair of songs it calls “old skool,” generally R&B or hip hop hits from the early 90s through mid-2000s. Songs like Baby Got Back from Sir Mixalot, Ride Wit Me by Nelly and Brass Monkey by the Beastie Boys now get dusted off and queued up at the top of every hour. It even added a program that consists of what it calls “baby making music” each Sunday night – primarily slower R&B hits of years past from artists like Keith Sweat.
Wild also revamped its imaging (the pre-recorded stuff you hear between songs featuring the station voice) to be more pointed in some instances. It will often play a quick sample of a song that may or may not be playing on KSAS while noting you don’t have to “sit through” that song to “get to” the next song on Wild’s playlist. Wild is also assailing its competition for “speeding up songs” and playing too many commercials. To that end, KWYD is playing “101 minute non-stop” music blocks throughout the day (not all the time mind you, advertisers are still getting plenty of commercial time). Without doing an in-depth analysis, this appears to be what’s known as playing with the clock. Essentially the station goes a long stretch without commercials, plays several minutes of spots, plays a few songs then another several minutes of commercials to make up for the “missed” commercial pod or pods in the 101 minute music block.
The bottom line for both Mix and Wild is simple: if the ratings go up, these were the right moves. If they go down or remain unchanged, they weren’t. WIth the fall ratings book under way, we’ll known soon enough.