Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Few Musings about the Sound/Wolf/Rewind moves.

We continue, even now, to get comments on the moves made by Bonneville two weeks ago(!).

As a review, WYGY 94.9/Cincinnati flipped from the Country "Wolf" to an 80s format as "Rewind 94.9", WSWD-FM 97.3/Ft. Thomas flipped from the alt rocker "Sound" to the "Wolf" format, and "Sound" became an exclusive on the web and on 94.9HD2.

We've got a couple more things to say about it.

1) We're as frustrated with Bonneville as you are. Believe us, the fact that they can't stick with a format on those two frequencies irks us too, not to mention makes our heads spin over here at TSMW HQ in suburban Florence.

But...TSMW can't really do much to help change the situation, except providing the "sound"-ing board (pun intended) for you, the reader, to vent. And we like to listen to our readers' thoughts on the issue, and on all media issues.

2) We'd like to note something that Bonneville has NOT changed since it started owning the above stations, along with WKRQ-FM 101.9/Cincinnati and WUBE-FM 105.1/Cincinnati.

That something, or rather those two somethings, are the formats of...well, WKRQ and WUBE. (Let's hope this doesn't spur a change there. We don't think it will in the case of WUBE.)

WKRQ has been pumping out CHR/Top 40 hits since its first days in 1975, an astonishing 34 years! And WUBE-FM has been country for 40 years, yes FORTY years, and it dominates in the ratings for the FM side.

3) If there is anything the broadcasting business, and particularly its economics, has taught us in the last two years, it's this: Stuff happens.

Why did they make the switch? You only need to look at the economics.

Again, we're not defending the switchovers. Far from it. Nor, however, can we exactly condemn them.

Think about it. Today in the broadcast world, there's more people losing their job every day. Good, honest, talented people. (One only need look at the recent Clear Channel layoffs for that evidence.)

What the economics of radio, TV, and newspaper come to is summed up with two words: Ad Sales.

Ad sales are what makes the broadcast and media world go around. And how do they get ad sales? Ratings.

We noted this somewhat in our last post on this topic. WSWD-FM did pretty well in its last book (that we know about, anyway) as "The Sound". But...the ad sales clearly could not support "The Sound" as a regular band station or it would still be at 97.3 tonight. It just would not happen.

Again: this is not a supporting statement for the "Sound" move. Nor is it condemnation. It's just how today's business works, unfortunately...

By the way, we were asked if those who were entered in the recent "SoundPass" contest will still get their winnings.

Our answer is, we assume so. I do not believe they would completely scrap the contest, without awarding the prize, seeing as they've taken thousands of entries.

But we just don't know for sure...

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