Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Severin-less station sees ratings decline
What a difference Jay Severin makes. Or more accurately, what a difference Jay Severin makes by not being on the local airwaves.

The afternoon host's departure earlier last month had a negative impact on WTKK 96.9, the FM talk station where he had nearly a 12-year run, according to monthly audience ratings compiled by Arbitron that were
released today.

Sunup to sundown, WTKK 96.9(it might as well be 91.1) lost almost a full point of its market share; it tumbled from an average of 2.6 percent of all local listeners to 1.8 percent during the April ratings period(March 31-April 27).

The only consolation for WTKK, which is owned by Greater Media, was that it averaged more weekly listeners than its direct rival Entercom's WRKO 680 - 329,000 vs 276,100. 

But the downward pull on the station was otherwise unmistakable. With NYC-based fill-in Mike Bower taking over Severin's 2-6pm slot, WTKK is now in the process of retooling its afternoon lineup. Former Fox25 morning personality Doug Meehan who last week joined Bower's show as a news anchor has been moved into the co-host role as of this week. 

Typically, stations that make some major programming changes must wait to see whether those make much difference in future ratings periods. But the first post-Severin ratings period offers a mixed verdict on whether WTKK 96.9 should have axed Severin.

BRW Notebook :

Radio and (almost)Summer, are so happy together : Summer/spring radio concerts have long been a surefire way for music stations to supercharge their ratings. This year is no exception with two radio-sponsored events kicking off the season this upcoming weekend. First, WBOS 92.9's which coming off an absolute monster April ratings performance has its 18th annual free "EarthFest" at the Hatch Shell this Saturday is expected to draw well over 100,000. Music on the main stage starts at 11:30 am, and the event will feature performances by Atomic Tom, Sponge, OK Go, and Ed Kowalczyk of Live.  Meanwhile, 35 miles south of the Esplanade, Kiss 108's annual Kiss Concert will feature Flo Rida, Mike Posner and Taio Cruz, among others at the Comcast Center in Mansfield. At the same location two weeks later, Kiss 108's sister station Jamn 94-5 will have its annual Summer Jam show with the lineup that includes Chris Brown, Fabolous and Waka Flock(. If modern rock and top 40 ain't your thing, WODS 103.3 has some 70's and 80's artists that you make like. The station's Free Summer Concert series has three dates at the Hatch Shell - June 18(Pointer Sisters), July 23(Eddie Money) and August 20(KC and the Sunshine Band). If you really want go retro, classical WCRB 99.5 is expected to sponsor several free outdoor concerts this summer(schedule to be announced)
A little less of FNX :  For the younger generation of radio listeners, it's all about the apps these days, I guess. Some changes in the regional FNX Radio Network as Phoenix Media/Communication Group is selling off its satellite station WPHX 92.1 in Sanford, Maine for $1 million to Andrew Hartmann who currently owns oldies WXEX 1540 in Exeter, NH. WPHX has been simulcasting Boston's mothership WFNX 101.7 since 1999. For now, PMCG company is keeping WFEX 92.1 in Peterborough, NH.

Coping without her : WROR 105.7's morning rascals "Loren and Wally" said goodbye to a longtime member of their morning team. Sue Cope who was with the show since 1999 departed on May 6th. She is relocating to Cleveland with her husband. No fulltime replacement has been named but station will be trying out some female personalities over the few weeks to fill the vacant position. Last week, Boston Herald's reporter Lauren Beckham Falcone was brought in. This week, local veteran music personality(WBOS/WROR/WBCN/WMJX) and voice-over talent Amy Brooks takes a turn at the wheel.


Anonymous said...

96.9 WTKK has been on a steady decline ever since the program manager, GRACE, and everyone else there in Management has processed that show into a stupid college radio station. No more eXtreme games. No more intellectual talk. After they suspended Jay Severing the first time, the station went straight in the toilet. Good riddance to you wtkk, you are losers.

~KMGC~ said...

The problem just isn't afternoons: Have you heard that lame overnight, new-age, feel-good, "empowering" "Celebrate life with David Stein"?
It sounds like a Sunday morning, public affairs/infomercial pitch for a self-esteem book/CD package!
Other than tuning in to their NECN simulcast at 4:30am——before I switch to WBZ at 5am——they've completely lost me for the overnights.
If they want to relegate Phil Hendrie to weekends, fine (other than the 3am news/commentary hr., I think his how jumped the shark, too)——bring back John & Jeff to weeknitghts.

Anonymous said...

I am laughing out loud at the plummeting ratings - serves them right for taking the NUMBER ONE political guy OFF the radio for the stupidest of all reasons ! It was all about TKK trying to save $$$ - it had NOTHING to do with Jay.
Jay rocks and all of his followers wait patiently for his return to radio where we will JOIN him and TKK will turn into a spanish country music station for morons!
Good move GRACE BLAXER! You'll be fired next ! lol

Anonymous said...

Did WTKK think ratings would stay the same? Dumping your #1 drive time radio show host Jay Severin right after dumping Michele McPhee and offering nothing in return doesn't seem like a good plan. Bower isn't bad ... he is just not even close to being in the same league as Jay. And come on all ready with the 6-10 To Be Determined National Syndicated Shows .... Boring!!! Management at WTKK is an embarassment! I am not sure if this would be a long term suggestion but maybe put Michael Graham on from 2-6 and Bower on from 6-10 and find some new talent for middays. Michael is more prime time and Bower might be a better fit in the evenings. Just a suggestion.

Frank said...

I for one would like to thank TKK for firing Jay Severin and replacing him with Bower. I had forgotten how much I liked listening to music and sports talk. If the hadn't fired Jay, I might never have found 98.5 is now a sports format (that doesn't only talk baseball).

So thank you TKK! The shift you are making toward boring and liberal has given me the opportunity to rearrange my presets--without 96.9. I should warn Phantom Gourmet, the only other good show, to jump ship to another station before they are fired for being worth listening to.

Anonymous said...

I have been listening to WTKK for 10 years...Doug Meehan...really? I have tuned to WRKO and will wait until Jay makes his come back somewhere else. Still love Michael but the way this station is going, firing all the "BEST AND BRIGHTEST"...I may be looking for him somewhere else soon...Wow what was the station thinking?

Anonymous said...

If WTKK wanted to shake up their line-up, this is certainly not the way to do it. Maybe instead of showing Michele McPhee the door, they could have added David Andleman, to the show, as he is a great on-air talent.

They fire Severin and bring in some bland show with Michael Bower. He fills the airtime, but that's pretty much it. In the most liberal state in the country, they have a guy like Severin to go against the grain, speak the truth, and yes, upset the liberal masses, and they can him. Great way to alienate the stations core audience if conservative listeners.

And overnights, replacing Phil Hendrie with David Stein is by far, one of the most puzzling moves. Stein's feel good, love fest of a show is not even in the ballpark compared to Hendrie's proven comedic talent. No need for WTKK working overnights thanks to the trusty iPhone, FM transmitter, dock extension, and iheartradio to listen to him on his flagship station KTLK. A bonus, get to listen to his local KFI show on Saturday evenings.

Really, not surprised by the ratings decline.