Tuesday, August 8, 2017

8.8.17 Bee-otch of the Day: northern Michigan radio

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on Chuck69.com.


Name: northern Michigan radio
Age: various
Occupation: supposed entertainers and informers of the public
Last Seen: Traverse City, Petoskey, Cadillac, etc.
Bee-otched For: showing signs of deterioration
For the first time in several years, fans of northern Michigan radio are seeing the most-complete Nielsen ratings.

Throughout most of the 2000s, because one station owner decided not to buy the ratings book, the whole book was under embargo. In the past 15 years or so, northern Michigan has only been able to have access to a small handful of ratings books as a result. But since Nielsen has allowed us to see how subscribing stations are doing, plus the fact that Midwestern Broadcasting subscribes again (that's the WTCM/WCCW/Z93 people), we now know how most of northern Michigan radio stations are doing.

Except for Northern Broadcast's (WKLT/The Fox/ESPN 106.7/105.5) stations and that one station we shouldn't be mentioning on here because the owner hates my guts and theoretically, is in a whole lot of trouble right now.

Anyway, here it is:

WTCM-FM 12.2
106 KHQ and Rock 105 and 95-5: 4.9
WCCW-FM and WTCM-AM: 4.6
Big Country 102.9: 4.3
Lite 96: 4.1
The Bear: 2.9
Z93: 2.7
Bob FM: 2.2
96.7 The Bull: 1.6
Big Country Gold 1240/100.7: .5

Here's my thoughts:

*WTCM-FM is #1. No shock.

*The fact that NBI doesn't subscribe to Nielsen is a joke. I'd like to see how KLT stacks up to Rock 105/95-5 these days. Now that Omelette's gone, I'd imagine their ratings crashing. I've been told that KLT has lost a lot of sponsors and even some ad folks because of O-Man's dismissal.

*Speaking of Rock 105/95-5, it's proof that northern Michigan loves hard rock. With Shinedown's recent sell0ut at the Cherry Festival, it shows that Traverse City can support an active rock station. Twenty years ago, local radio up north - especially KLT - would never touch bands such as Tool, Rage Against the Machine, KoRn and Nine Inch Nails. Today, Rock 105/95-5 plays those bands and most other active rock bands. However, with Smitty's dismissal, I do wonder how they'll do in the Fall book.

*It's amazing that WTCM is the only AM station that has significant ratings. Then again, it's the only talker on the list.

*The Bear's at a 2.9. I guess Bob and Tom have seen better days.

*Z93 is KHQ's bitch and Bob FM's 2.2 is a head shaker. Maybe it's because of the fact that their slogan is "80s, 90s, Whatever" and they play a shit ton of 1970s butt rock.

However, the biggest surprise, IMHO is the fact that only a few years ago, KHQ was at a seven or eight share and now, they're a hair under a five. Ya know, the problem is this: I think a lot of northern Michiganders are simply switching over to satellite and internet radio. Thanks to us having smartphones and car stereos with auxiliary jacks and Bluetooth, northern Michigan radio has gotta compete and they simply don't know how to. Most radio station playlists are white bread and repetitive and in the case with KHQ and Z93, they tend to avoid anything having to do with rhythmic music a lot of the time.

But as for NBI, let's remember why they don't like Nielsen, and it's because of the infamous Todd Nelson incident many years ago where he sent fake diaries to make 106.7 (then WSRT) look good. In the end, he and his wife were fired and WSRT eventually became ESPN Up North.

The thing is, I think broadcasters need ratings to figure out if people ARE listening. I would hate to buy a product that doesn't work, so do advertisers want to buy a :30 spot on a station with less than a three share? There's several stations owned by the three subscribers that didn't make the ratings: WCCW-AM 1310, WMKT 1270 and Trish MacDonald Garber's Ticket stations were examples.

If I programmed a radio station, I would look at what successful stations were doing and follow their lead. Hell, I would be listening to Sirius and Pandora on a regular basis. People need to know what the listeners want, not what the bosses want.

When the third-most-popular station has only a 4.9 share, there's no excuse.

Got a Bee-otch to nominate? E-mail us @ chuck69dotcom@gmail.com. All suggestions (except for me) are welcome!

Bee-otch of the Day Archives can be seen on http://beeotchoftheday.blogspot.com

Bee-otch of the Day is a production of Chuck69.com, Grand Rapids' site for Stern, politics and more!


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