Bill Virgin's Radio Beat May 8, 2008

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

Bill Virgin's Radio Beat May 8, 2008

Postby radiofan » Wed May 07, 2008 8:22 pm

On Radio: KUBE takes over the No. 1 spot

The winter-quarter ratings book was a good one overall for KUBE-FM/93.3, while in the critical battle for morning listeners, it was very good for the market's two AM news stations.

KUBE claimed the top spot among listeners 12 and older, tuned in 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Sunday in the Seattle-Tacoma market, according to survey data released by The Arbitron Co. In doing so it swapped places with KRWM-FM/106.9, which placed first in the fall ratings book and second in winter.

The ratings don't include noncommercial stations, whose results are compiled separately and released later. In earlier surveys KUOW-FM/94.9 has rated as high as first while KPLU-FM/88.5 has been at or near the top 10. While some commercial stations may not have a high ranking in the overall numbers, they may be popular with advertisers because they do well with certain age or gender segments of the market.

In the 6-10 a.m. weekday competition, KIRO-AM nudged out KOMO-AM by a fraction of a point. They were followed by KUBE-FM, with its T-Man show, KISW-FM (B.J. Shea), KMPS-FM (Ichabod Caine) and KZOK-FM (Bob Rivers).

KRWM-FM was first for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by KIRO-AM. In the 3-7 p.m. segment KUBE-FM bested KRWM-FM, while in weekday evenings (7 p.m. to midnight) it was KUBE-FM over KVI-AM (which carries George Noory's "Coast to Coast" for much of that segment). On weekends KMPS-FM and KUBE-FM were at the top of the ratings.

In other radio notes:

Sports-talk veteran Dave Grosby told listeners Tuesday he'll no longer be doing the 1-3 p.m. weekday shift at KJR-AM/950 because of budget cuts. But he's not leaving the station. He'll continue to do "Groz With Gas" with Mike Gastineau 3 to 5 p.m., fill in for other KJR hosts and do more with the station's Web site, including a possible video blog. Ian Furness takes over the 1-3 p.m. shift; Elise Woodward will handle the 7-10 p.m. shift she had been co-hosting with Furness.

Grosby started with KJR in the early 1990s, left for KIRO-AM in 1993 and rejoined KJR in 1996.

Following up on last week's item on Fisher Communications Inc.'s annual meeting, acting Chief Financial Officer Joseph Lovejoy says the Seattle-based based broadcaster has no plans to divest its three local radio stations (KOMO-AM/1000, KVI-AM/570 and KPLZ-FM/ 101.5). The combination of the three, particularly KOMO radio and its news format, with KOMO-TV, produces efficiency in news sharing and cost savings, as well as cross-selling opportunities with advertisers.

Fisher does own five small-market radio stations that it hopes to sell. But Lovejoy notes that current conditions in the mergers-and-acquisitions market make it "not the best time to be marketing properties."

Still, deals are taking place, as demonstrated by Salem Communications' planned sale of a Spanish-language AM station in Seattle. Would Fisher have an interest in buying, especially for properties that could be combined with its growing presence in Spanish-language TV?

While Fisher does look at opportunities as they come up, and while there are "very big synergies" in Spanish language audiences between radio and TV, Fisher isn't interested in AM stations, Lovejoy says. "We're not actively pursuing radio, and we're not actively divesting radio," he added.

KTTH-AM has shuffled its weekend lineup, with Clark Howard's consumer-advice show added at 5 to 8 p.m. Saturdays. Allen Hunt, whose show focuses on issues of faith and life, has been added 6 to 9 p.m. Kim Komando's show on computers moves to 9 a.m.-noon Sunday.

Seattle Opera performs Bellini's "I Puritani" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on KING-FM/98.1.

KSER-FM/90.7 has added "Academy of Comedy," focusing on the best of spoken comedy (with some musical bits thrown in) of the last 70 years. Hosted by Ed Gasparini, the show airs 6-8 a.m. Sundays.

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.

The live studio performance by members of the Stadium High School Jazz band and trumpeter Lance Buller on KPLU-FM/88.5 has been rescheduled to 12:20 p.m. Tuesday.


1. KUBE-FM/93.3

2. KMPS-FM/94.1 and KIRO-AM/710, tied

4. KISW-FM/99.9; KOMO-AM/1000; KWJZ-FM/98.9/ KCMS-FM/105.3; KZOK-FM/102.5; KING-FM/98.1; KQMV-FM/92.5 and KBKS-FM/106.1, tied

12. KKWF-FM/100.7; KTTH-AM/770; KBSG-FM/97.3 and KMTT-FM/103.7, tied

16. KVI-AM/570; KJR-FM/95.7; KJR-AM/950 and KPLZ-FM/101.5, tied

20. KJAQ-FM/96.5; KNDD-FM/107.7; KIXI-AM/880; KDDS-FM/99.3 and KPTK-AM/1090, tied

25. KFNK-FM/104.9 and KNBQ-FM/102.9, tied

27. KXXO-FM/96.1; KCIS-AM/630; KISM-FM/92.9, KTBK-AM/1210, KKMO-AM/1360 and KGNW-AM/820, tied

Source: The Arbitron Co.

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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