Bill Virgin's Radio Beat February 7, 2008

Includes archive of Bill Virgin's columns fromJ une 2006 - March 2009

Bill Virgin's Radio Beat February 7, 2008

Postby radiofan » Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:00 pm

On Radio: A moved-up primary means earlier presidential ads

Local radio listeners are hearing something these days that's a rarity in these parts: Advertising by presidential candidates in advance of Washington's primary and caucuses.

Granted, it's just two candidates who have purchased time so far, according to a spot-check of Seattle-area radio groups.

But that's two more than some years in which Washington wasn't a factor in the presidential nominations and candidates didn't spend money here.

"We really didn't know what to expect" with Washington's primary moved to February, said Gary Greenberg, national sales manager for Fisher Radio Seattle. "This has been a nice surprise."

What's also unusual is that some of the advertising money is going to music stations. Usually, radio executives say, it's the news-talk stations that attract most of the political advertising dollars.

The two candidates who have been active radio advertisers are Republican Ron Paul and Democrat Barack Obama. Several station groups report receiving queries from Hillary Clinton's campaign but as yet no actual buys.

Paul, for example, has bought time on KIRO-AM, KVI-AM and KOMO-AM, all news-talk stations, but also on music stations KCMS-FM and KMTT-FM. Obama, meanwhile, bought time on several music stations: KPLZ-FM, KUBE-FM, KQMV-FM (marketed as Movin) and KISW-FM.

Paul and Obama both bought time on CBS' FM music stations, said Lisa Decker, senior vice president and market manager for Seattle and Portland. Obama was particularly interested in listeners 18 to 34, while Paul was targeting listeners 35 and older. Both wound up on KMPS-FM, while Obama is also on KBKS-FM and Paul landed on KZOK-FM.

"Obama seems to be aiming his money pretty young," Greenberg said.

So far, Obama has not bought advertising time on the three local AM stations that are part of Kris Bennett Broadcasting and which serve the African-American community.

In other radio notes:

KCMS-FM/105.3 has named Matt Case its new midday host. Case had been evening host on KLSY-FM and more recently executive producer for the morning show on KKWF-FM. He succeeds Lynette Morgan, who moves over to sister station KWPZ-FM/106.5 in Lynden, where she joins the morning team.

A follow-up to last week's announcement by KIRO-AM/710 that it is canceling its weekend shows hosted by David Goldstein, Bryan Styble and Carl Jeffers. In their place, KIRO is running repeats of "Too Beautiful to Live" with Luke Burbank at 7 p.m. and Phil Hendrie at 10 p.m. Saturdays. On Sunday, KIRO is running "Handel on the Law" at 10 a.m., "CBS News Weekend Roundup" at 7 p.m., a repeat of "Meet the Press" at 8 p.m. and "Leo LaPorte -- The Tech Guy" at 9 p.m.

"Green Acre," a five-minute report on local agriculture, conservation, restoration and the environment (hence "acre") now airs during "One World report" at 6 p.m. Thursdays on KBCS-FM/91.3 The reports are sponsored by King County Conservation District and King County Department of Natural Resources agriculture program.

Jim Wilke's "Jazz Northwest" at 1 p.m. Sunday on KPLU-FM/88.5 features a recent performance by saxophonist Ben Roseth and guitarist Julian Lage.

The Sunday edition of Jim French's "Imagination Theatre," heard at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on KIXI-AM/880, includes a new Harry Nile mystery.

P-I reporter Bill Virgin can be reached at 206-448-8319 or

Bill Virgin's Radio Beat .. Thursdays in the Seattle P-I
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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