Saturday, March 14, 2009

WLBY/Ann Arbor goes business

From Michiguide (Thanks Lu Cifer):

On Monday, March 16th, AM 1290 WLBY will become Ann Arbor's Business Talk Radio. Cumulus management says the new format will serve the growing need for intelligent financial and business information in Washtenaw County.

"Talk radio doesn't have to be LEFT or RIGHT...but good for all. Dave Ramsey, Clark Howard and Lucy Ann Lance will provide that platform for Ann Arbor everyday on 1290 AM", commented Scott Meier, General Manager for Ann Arbor Radio.

With the addition of The Lucy Ann Lance Program M-F from 9am to 12pm (effective Monday, March 23rd), Business Talk 1290 WLBY will serve as a media platform for local business owners and organizations. Business Talk 1290 WLBY will provide relevant information for people who want to learn more about the global economic climate.

"Ann Arbor deserves a local Business Station... to help local business men and women tell their stories! We plan on providing a media platform for the good news of our community, from SPARK, the DDA, the local CVB's Chambers and startup companies", continued Meier.

WLBY, which has carried a progressive talk format for several years, has gotten so-so ratings, considering it's weak daytime-only signal. Though overall ratings paled against other stations in the market, it did do better as progressive talk than it did with previous formats (including oldies).

The station is owned by Cumulus Broadcasting.


jvwalt said...

As someone who used to live in that market, I can tell you that no AM station does well there. Every AM station struggles. And daytime-only is death: in winter, you get about eight hours of daylight and you have to stop broadcasting at 5 pm.

Given the tiny upside for this station, I'm not sure why they're bothering with local content at all. No matter how wonderful the programming, you're not going to draw listeners.

Besides all that, business talk has been a loser in almost every market but NYC. This format sounds like a desperate attempt to draw advertisers: buy spots on our station, and we'll interview you endlessly about your furniture store. I give it less than one year.

Lu Cifer, said...

So what's up w/ Peter B.?! I can't find anything on him hanging it up ANYWHERE. Unless Malloy got some bad info. And not a PEEP on what's up with Randi! The Reichwingtards are on an all out TEAR to shut down every last liberal voice. It's really time to start fighting these bastards HARD!!!

pureprairie said...

Sure would be nice if wealthy Liberals would start purchasing radio stations and hire dedicated staff to make progressive talk become as successful as it could. Is there even one transmitter carrying progressive talk along a 50kwatt signal in America? If so, why so few? I so wish us progressive folk could light a fire under our wealthy brother's and sister's asses to get this going.. We could make this happen if we really wanted to. The wingnuts wanted/had to twenty years ago and sadly we see how they succeeded. We can't?

FSL said...

Business talk is not all that successful in the New York market with average quarter hour shares consistently at half a percent (better than WWRL, about what WLIB used to get until they flipped from lib-talk to Gospel and doubled their share). Reportedly Mayor Bloomberg uses the station as a loss leader to promote his financial news service.

WLBY's line-up, with Dave Ramsey and Clark Howard might more accurately called consumer financial advice or "money talk."
Doug Stephan will be carried in morning drive - the same daypart he held on I.E. America (the original lib-talk network).

I think the case can be made that right now sound financial advice is more pressing need and interest for many people than political rantings (right or left).

Some of you may take comfort from the article in today's LA Times that "conservative talk radio is on the wane" (in the market where it was born almost half a century ago with Joe Pyne, Bob Grant and Wally George - and where it has been strongest historically).

WWKB 1520 AM in Buffalo is a 50kw Class I-A station carrying progressive talk.

Ed McLaughlin put a local Sacramento host into syndication because he thought he could make money with him. Rush's approach was a departure from most talk radio 21 years and many stations resisted it. When Rush started in New York he was bracketed by liberals in the line-up (Alan Colmes, Joy Behar and Lynn Samuels). Rush did well and managers wanted more of the same: Enter the Rush clones. Radio is the great practitioner of the sincerest form of flattery. Granted, radio managers tend to be Babbits, so they found Rush's success easier to accept than they would comparable success from a liberal host. In fact liberals have themselves to blame for the current situation: In the early 90s good AM signals were going begging and Salem bought them up dirt cheap. Of course, Salem has always believed it can serve both "God and Mammon" (not necessarily in that order).

PlacitasRoy said...

Peter B should have replaced Lionel years ago or Randi, or??? He is first class.

RE: Peter B - Brad blog reported on Friday the 13th: Another progressive talker falls victim to the rightwing corporate stranglehold of our public airwaves...

The Peter B. Collins Show will come to an end, as of next Friday, according to an announcement by Collins on today's broadcast. After nearly five years on the air, the economic climate, and the stranglehold of rightwing corporate control over the public's airwaves has made it impossible for him to continue.

See the bottom of this article for the audio of today's hour, including Peter's announcement (and his very kind "emphatic endorsement" of us to take over the still-available 3p-6p PT daily timeslot on San Francisco's Green 960.) There's more at:

FSL said...

Excuse me, sir. You bring it up. People reply as though AAR is still the 500 pound gorilla of lib-talk.

Just what makes anyone think any program director is going to drop Steph to pick up Montel?

These is news value in running an AAR death watch and reporting each additional nail in the coffin. The surprise is people who don't get that the center of the lib-talk universe has moved.

pureprairie said...

However we got here with dominant corporate radio is kind of a moot point. My concern is whether we want to continue allowing corporate ownership and its right-slant on content. The study conducted by the Center for American Progress has numbers which indicate that corporate radio produces 91% conservotalk. I'm just asking why we continue to allow this. We have progressive formats in several markets which do fine - not great, but a viable format which almost always out-performs sports and religion (which comprise much of what we get on the airwaves). We CAN sell truth - Jon Stewart can attest to this..

PlacitasRoy said...

Two BIG disappointments with AAR: It gives the Reich-wing a nice single target to shoot at and the management has done a miserable job. When they launched the website sucked and it sucks to this day. They developed no bench of replacements & pitch hitters. But at least the hype did get a foot in the door and picked up some affiliates that, because of the strength of the new more powerful group, are strong enough to demonstrate success.

That cry of ‘media reform’ needs to be ramped up, the message polished, and grassroots lobbying and Guerrilla marketing emphasized.

I just notice a Guerrilla tactic: This Google ad: "Rush Limbaugh Forum Join the fight against socialism and chat with true conservatives “ " on the page with Mark Crispin Miller's "The End of Peter B. Collins and the Need for Media Reform" -

PlacitasRoy said...

There is a column "I've heard modern radio, and it's bad" up at the Beaufort [SC] Gazette I'm the only one to have commented so far:

"Individual tastes and preferences vary widely yet with so much media consolidation the 5 companies that control about 75% of the business have succeeded in numbing & dumbing all formats down, with the exception of liberal talk radio, which can't even get access.

It is quite obvious that Hager doesn't have access to liberal talk radio. For instance, Stephanie Miller beats Laura Ingram in the many of the 60 markets where they compete yet Ingram is on 400 stations. Thom Hartmann bests Druggie in several markets where they compete. And they typically do it on low powered, weak signaled stations.

The market is there for liberal talk radio, Unfortunately access is not. Corporate radio fail in the charge to "serve the public interest.""

newhorizon said...

I will miss listening to progressive radio in the Ann Arbor Area and called WLBY to complain about the switch on Monday morning. 1310 AM out of Detroit carries progressive radio, which I will listen to instead.

ltr said...

Excuse me, sir. You bring it up. People reply as though AAR is still the 500 pound gorilla of lib-talk.

Well, if you have to ask why I bring it up, well obviously, you don't know anything about this blog.

I still wonder why on earth you keep coming back here. I assume it's because all the radio blogs and message boards banned your ass long ago.

I swear, you're like a bad smell that lingers in an elevator.

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