Skip to comments.More Country in Pittsburgh's Future? (News talk 104.7 may flip)
Posted on 07/27/2014 6:04:37 PM PDT by raccoonradio
(Am on smartphone now but link is above, speculation news talk 104.7 WPGB Pittsburgh may, may, flip to country...just a heads up)
Porky Chedwick, Mad Mike and Terry Lee are spinning in their graves.
So I guess no more conservative talk?
With Beck, Rush, Hannity in a row I’d be very surprised if they made the swap because I have no idea where they’d land in the market.
They shot themselves in the foot not re-signing Quinn and Rose. I don’t know what the fallout was in the negotiations but Bloomdaddy is just so gawdawful I can’t put it into words.
When you’ve turned off people that listened to no other station on their dial morning, noon and night to just noon though I’m not exactly surprised.
Their lineup choices in the last 2 years have baffled me.
Maybe the current stuff..bro country
By going country they could then dump Rush, Hannity and Beck while keeping the facade of balance.
Curious as to the make up of the shareholders and B of D.
Convenient way to silence Conservative talk radio without revealing the jackboot of the regime.
RadioInsight RADIO Iarticle: A Country battle could be in Pittsburghs near future. We try to stay away from format change rumors when we do not have DomainInsight to back it up, but when we hear the same thing from three different sources its hard not to look away. Our sources all indicate that Clear Channel is preparing to flip FM NewsTalk 104.7 WPGB Pittsburgh to Country. Like many other Conservative Talk stations across the country, WPGB has lost its ratings luster in recent months. The station registered a 2.5 share in the June 2014 Nielsen Audio PPM ratings down from a 4.1 as recently as last November. That was the final monthly prior to the exit of Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent from mornings and being replaced by David Bloomdaddy Bloomquist syndicated from sister 1170 WWVA Wheeling. A flip to Country would put WPGB in competition with CBS Y108 107.9 WDSY. In recent months, WDSY has risen from a 6.5 share in April to a 7.6 share in June to encroach on a pair of Clear Channels stations for the market lead. Rock 102.5 WDVE currently leads the market with a 8.0 share, while Classic Hits 94.5 3WS WWSW is tied for second with WDSY. Clear Channels 96.1 Kiss WKST-FM and Steel City Media Variety Hits Bob-FM 96.9 WRRK are right behind with a 7.5 share each. There are still moving pieces in play such as what happens to the rest of the Premiere Radio Network syndicated voices currently heard on WPGB. With Clear Channel moving 106.3 W292DH Uniontown into Pittsburgh with 250 watts at 186 meters, (Coverage Map) one scenario weve had suggested is WPGBs lineup of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity moving to what is currently Sports 970 ESPN WBGG, with the Sports format moving to the translator. Another Country station does currently target the Pittsburgh market. Keymarket Communications network of Froggy branded stations circles the city including 94.9 WOGG Uniontown from the south, 103.5 WOGH Burgettstown from the west, and 104.3 WOGI Moon Township from the northwest. The Keymarket stations do not subscribe to Nielsen Audios ratings.
Sorry working w smartphone
See post #7.
20 years ago I would have said “great”. The canned ,auto-tuned lonely housewife country music of today is worse than rap.
They should hook up with Armstrong and Getty on the west coast. Two vey funny and conservative guys.
They (A and G) are my only go to radio guys. Tired of the rest.
If it’s true they may call it The Bull.They have many
Bull stations across the country; new hits
appealing mostly to younger women.The Boston
station, formerly alt rock WFNX, is commercial
free, no jocks...I joked ‘the Bull’s-Hit Country’!
I live in Boston but visit the ‘burgh twice a yr.
Next time mid Aug and who knows maybe
they’ll flip by then.Again a heads up, as
supposedly trusted sources seem to know
I guess being from the west coast in the A.M. they would have a hard time going national.
Gee, huge ratings drop after Quinn and Rose fired. Go figure.
Clear Channel has far worse problems to worry about. They’re collapse would improve radio dramatically.
*A running thread in this column over the last few years has been the rise and gradual fall of traditional news-talk radio on the FM dial. This weeks big chapter comes from western PENNSYLVANIA, where Clear Channels WPGB (104.7) was an FM talk pioneer when it launched back in 2004. With Pittsburgh DJ-turned-talk host Jim Quinn in mornings, Rush Limbaugh in middays and, for five seasons, Pirates baseball in the evenings, NewsTalk 104.7″ aimed to replicate many of the elements that had long made CBS Radios KDKA (1020) a Steel City success story.
For a time, it worked, but then a funny thing happened: even without Rush or the Bucs, KDKAs relentless local focus overcame its AM dial position, while Clear Channel budget cuts began to erode whatever numbers WPGB had started to build up. The Pirates rights went back to CBS in 2012, landing on Fan KDKA-FM (93.7), and then last winter Clear Channel abruptly pulled the plug on the Quinn and Rose morning show, replacing it with a regional show based at WWVA (1170) over in Wheeling, West Virginia. At one point earlier this year, KDKA(AM) boasted nearly four times as many listeners as WPGB, leaving 104.7 as by far the lowest-rated full-market FM signal in the Pittsburgh market. So when rumors began to swirl this summer that WPGB was due for a format change, the only real surprise was that it had taken Clear Channel so long.
As our sister site RadioInsight first reported over the weekend, the next chapter for 104.7 appears to be country, though the flip may not occur until Labor Day weekend.
Country, of course, is another CBS Radio specialty in Pittsburgh; WDSY (107.9) is usually right at the top of the ratings, often in a neck-and-neck battle with Clear Channels flagship rocker, WDVE (102.5). That makes a 104.7 flip to country a perfectly typical page from todays Clear Channel playbook: the new station wont necessarily be designed to challenge Y108 for ratings dominance, just to shave enough of its ratings away to keep WDVE as a dominant first-place player. (Two more Clear Channel FMs, top-40 WKST-FM 96.1 and classic hits WWSW 94.5, are also near the top of the ratings alongside WDSY and WDVE; the fifth, modern rock WXDX-FM 105.9, is lower in the overall numbers but attracts a young male demographic thats much more valuable than WPGBs older talk audience.)
*Assuming a WPGB flip is really in the offing and, again, theres been no official announcement yet from Clear Channel and may not be one for a few weeks yet there are plenty of questions to answer, both short-term and longer. For instance: where do the major syudicated pieces of the WPGB lineup land? Across the state in Philadelphia, CBS Radios WPHT (1210) was happy to reclaim Rush Limbaugh after Premiere moved him over to Merlins WWIQ (106.9), a much shorter-lived attempt at FM talk. Would Limbaughs former Pittsburgh home, KDKA, take him back? Right now, that noon-3 slot is home to KDKA veteran Mike Pintek, leading into the KDKA afternoon news block.
If KDKA doesnt want Rush back after a decades absence, the options grow less impressive very quickly. If Premiere wants to clear more of the existing WPGB lineup, theres Clear Channels lone AM in the market, WBGG (970 Pittsburgh), as a possible option to flip to talk with not only Rush but also Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Coast to Coast overnight. But that 5 kW facility is seriously signal-challenged, even with an impending FM translator on tap. (The translator would put the 970 programming on FM for the core of the market, but wouldnt do much to fill 970′s significant nulls in the suburbs.) And WBGG already serves a useful purpose in the Clear Channel landscape. Even as a low-rated ESPN outlet, it reinforces the strong sports image thats a secondary focus at its FM rock sisters, WDVE and WXDX, which hold the broadcast rights to the Steelers and Penguins, respectively.
Other options for Premiere become even bleaker: Birachs WWCS (540 Canonsburg) picked up Fox Sports when 970 went to ESPN. Disneys WDDZ (1250 Pittsburgh) has one of the better AM signals in town after KDKA, and its been quietly on the market for a few years now. Would Clear Channel, not generally a net buyer of stations right now, want to pick it up as a new WPGB AM outlet? And theres WJAS (1320 Pittsburgh), another pretty good AM signal that just changed hands from Renda to Frank Iorio. Its standards audience is aging fast could it be reborn as a talker?
Even if all of this turns out to be speculative, as indeed it may, its increasingly clear that stations like WPGB that try to plug into a national talk lineup with little or no local content dont have much of a future on FM, or even AM. As weve explored previously in this column, Clear Channel failed with its attempt to launch a new talker in Boston (WXKS 1200) against established players, even with Rush on its lineup. In New York, Clear Channels reborn WOR (710) runs a nearly identical signal to WPGB and remains mired low in the ratings.
You dont need us to point out the lack of vibrancy in the talk format these days, especially not when even some of the formats creators, such as former Clear Channel talk honcho Darryl Parks, are doing so far more eloquently than we can. But its worth noting in this context that Premieres very fat contract with Limbaugh is nearing an end, and thats the one event that could precipitate a huge change in the formats direction. While Limbaughs overall numbers remain stronger than any of his talk competitors, the experience of stations such as WPGB, WXKS, WWIQ and WOR (not to mention KEIB, the Los Angeles AM where Clear Channel relocated Rush from giant KFI earlier this year) would seem to suggest that the Rush Limbaugh of the 2010s cant single-handedly carry a station the way the Rush of the 1990s could. As weve noted elsewhere, theres a solid argument to be made these days that heritage stations like WHAM in Rochester, WGY in Albany or WTIC in Hartford do well these days as much in spite of Rush as because of him. Why else, after all, would we see failure after failure from stations that carry Rush and Hannity but lack all the other elements strong local news, local talk personalities, sports, etc. that the heritage stations still use to succeed?
(Those are generally the exact elements that the ill-fated progressive talkers also lacked a few years ago, which raises the question of whether it was the politics or the overall programming elements that did those stations in. But we digress )
*Back to Pittsburgh, then: if Clear Channel is indeed planning to drop a 104.7 the Bull or a B104.7″ into the market, it would be the third big country competitor in the region. In addition to CBS Radios big gun, WDSY, the new country outlet would have the potential to cut into the numbers at Keymarkets Froggy trimulcast, WOGF (104.3 Moon Township), WOGI (94.9 Oliver) and WOGH (103.5 Burgettstown). Its those signals, which primarily reach Pittsburghs southern and western suburbs, that would appear to have the most to lose from a second full-market country station in town.