Date   

bummer

Dominion Market Research <Ross@...>
 

Here's a story from VARTV.com of a job promotion you probably don't want.

Ross
71-85
==================================================================================

Tara Brown who was the primary anchor at Gray Television's WHSV
(3/ABC) Harrisonburg was moved to sister WVAW-LP (16/ABC)
Charlottesville to be that station's first ND (News Director) and
anchor the new station's newscasts. It didn't end up that way.
Instead, Ric Barrick, the ND for sister "CBS19" WCAV Charlottesville
was named to the position. Brown ended up moving back to WHSV. Now,
the station has told her is she's no longer needed. She's out...
bio's off the website and her desk is cleaned.....

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yep, even more on Charlottesville's three new TV stations from VARTV.com

A great article by Lisa Provence of The Hook. The piece sheds more
light on the new stations -- "CBS19" WCAV, "ABC16" WVAW-LP and
Independent WCVL-LP/9. CBS19 almost had the calls "WCVL" but the
"WCAV" call letters, which were originally preferred by Gray
Television's Channel 19, were available at the last moment.....
(8/30/04)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

And here's that story from the Hook...

Published August 26, 2004, in issue 0334 of The Hook

BY LISA PROVENCE LISA@...

New York is number one. Charlottesville is number 186--pretty far
down the television market list, sitting smack in between Lima, Ohio,
and Parkersburg, West Virginia.

Lima has two television stations; Parkersburg one. Even
Harrisonburg--which is six spots higher up the Nielsen chart than
Charlottesville--has just one network affiliate.

So what's Charlottesville doing with four commercial stations?

Up until this year, WVIR NBC29 was the only game in town. Now, CBS
and ABC affiliates are racing to get on the air, and an independent
station promises 24 hours of "all Charlottesville, all the time."

Why here? Why now?

The new kids on the block

The TV rush of '04 started with Gray Television. A publicly held
company based in Atlanta, Gray owns 29 stations, including WHSV in
Harrisonburg.

"The general counsel in our company knew people who'd owned the
[Charlottesville] license for some time, and one thing led to
another," says Tracey Jones, Gray regional vice president in
Harrisonburg.

One million dollars later- according to published
reports--Charlottesville Broadcasting Corporation sold its license to
Gray Television, and in March Gray announced it was coming to town
with CBS affiliate WCAV Channel 19.

"Charlottesville fits the profile of the market our company likes,"
says Jones. "The highest percentage of our stations is in college
towns and capital cities."

Even as it announced the CBS station, Gray was working to reassign
one of its existing licenses to make an ABC station, WVAW, possible,
says Jones. It successfully convinced the FCC that its Channel 64
license, previously used to transmit the WHSV signal from
Harrisonburg, would make the low-power ABC station work.

For cable viewers, after all, the broadcast power is irrelevant. A
signal is a signal.

There's a mad rush in early August to get the signals popping from
Carter's Mountain. August 15 is the drop-dead date for WCAV to get on
the air--or face the loss of its FCC license.

That's why the boss of the two new network affiliates sounds a little
harried the day a reporter calls in early August.

"It's as intense as the walking wounded," says Bill Varecha. "We're
in a trailer walking all over each other." All energies are directed
toward resolving the technical issues that stand in the way of
getting the CBS affiliate up and running.

One initial hurdle: a complaint from NBC29. A consultant for the
station tells the Albemarle Planning Commission that WCAV's tower on
Carter's Mountain will emit unsafe levels of radiation. Gray
Television fires back with its own study showing radio frequencies
well below recommended federal levels-- and claims that even apple
pickers on ladders would be safe.

"Our practice is to defer to the FCC," says Stephen Waller in the
county's planning department. The Planning Commission recommends the
tower, and the Board of Supervisors approves its construction June 2.

On May 28, the FCC dismisses objections filed by WVIR and on June 28
grants WCAV permission to construct the tower.

After a flurry of technical and engineering work-- with three days to
spare-- WCAV hits the airwaves August 12. The ABC station follows
four days later, and NBC29 has itself some competition.

Varecha, 62, Gray's choice to get the two stations up and running, is
no stranger to start-up work. The Charlottesville stations are his
9th and 10th, and he's been asked to stay through December 2005. In
1996, in Grand Junction, Colorado (the 190th largest market), he
started an NBC affiliate, which he still owns.

Varecha notes that it's rare to set up two network affiliates in a
mature market. "We're doing in six months what usually takes two
years," he says. "It's a tall order to do with just one station."

And to do it from a trailer-- in addition to overseeing the building
of towers and antennas-- well, Varecha calls that "extraordinary."

The two affiliates will share an advertising and administrative staff
but are promising separate sets and separate news teams based in the
Frank Ix building, a former textile complex just south of downtown on
Monticello Avenue.

One of the first hires is native son Ric Barrick, who'd been working
at a Salisbury, Maryland station (market 149). Barrick initially will
serve as news director for both stations.

The UVA meteorology grad will also oversee the weather departments
for both stations. "I'm comfortable with that," Barrick says. "I have
a lot of experience."

He plans to hire a news staff of 10 to 15 people for each station and
start with newscasts at 6 and 11pm, Monday through Friday, then add
weekends and morning newscasts.

By running at the same time, the two news broadcasts will compete
with each other. What's up with that?

"It's a unique thing to do," says Barrick. "Duopolies usually don't
have stories on at the same time."

Or separate news teams, for that matter. "We don't have a model to go
by," says Barrick. "Essentially, we're reinventing the wheel."

Is that savvy business?

"Nationally, we're seeing constriction in news organizations," says
Charlie Tuggle, a broadcast news expert at the University of North
Carolina. "Expansion is not something you currently see."

Staffing and equipping news operations is expensive, Tuggle says, so
companies are more likely to consolidate. Tuggle points to Fox and
CBS affiliates that share the same news staff in the Raleigh area.
"We're seeing more of that," he says, "not distinct news
organizations coming into a small market."

Barrick, however, thinks the two news broadcasts at the same times
will broaden their market share.

"We're going after two different audiences," he says, noting that CBS
attracts an older audience while ABC goes for the 18-to-40 crowd.

Barrick's first hire for the WCAV news team: Katie Graham, UVA class
of '04 and former WVIR intern. Graham is so excited about her new job
that she's been showing up for work at 7am, answering the phone and
even taking out the trash.

"We don't have enough cameras to go out and shoot," she says.
Instead, she's been crafting 30-, 60- and 90-second news spots in a
room crowded with equipment. A WCAV screen goes up in front of the
electronics crowded into the three-room trailer.

"It's impossible to do news from here," says Varecha. "We're doing
news briefs during the day and in primetime. We're just trying to
create a little bit of interest."

The current ETA for the official WCAV news debut is now October, with
WVAW following shortly. Pre-fabricated sets for both stations are
scheduled to arrive September 24, but station execs say they're aware
that construction completion will be the pacing factor.

The two stations plan to hire between 50 and 60 people, but right
now, there's no place to put them.

Meanwhile, crowded into the trailer, Mike Gamber is working on a
station promo. He's a newcomer to town but has already discovered
something: "A lot of people are glad we're here."

All Charlottesville, all the time

Denny King has an evangelical fervor about the independent station he
envisions broadcasting from the ground floor of the Market Street
garage on the east end of the Downtown Mall.

"This will become known as Charlottesville's media center," King
says. 'We're creating a little bit of Manhattan, a little Rockefeller
Center."

Right now, it's an empty 10,000-square-foot space that's been empty
since radio station WINA moved to Rose Hill Drive about two years
ago. King wants to bring a little bit of WINA back-- he wants to
simulcast WINA's morning show, "Live with Dick and Jane," from a
studio visible from the mall, a la the Today show.

But first, there's that task of raising the $2 million he needs to
get WCVL Channel 9 on the air by his self-imposed November launch
date.

Since he moved here 13 years ago from Los Angeles, King, a former
line producer for television pilots and expert in arranging hotel
rooms for movie casts, has felt underserved by media coverage of
local news.

While running for the Albemarle County School Board last year, King
met Bob Sigman, a former Spelling Entertainment Group executive and
now owner of Chuckwagon's Best, an Internet company devoted to
selling all things cowboy.

The two thought there should be more local news, and a new media
model was born: an independent station with only local content 24
hours a day. A third partner in the venture is Kirk Schroder, an
entertainment lawyer in Richmond and former president of the Virginia
Board of Education.

Were they blindsided by the two-network punch? King says he knew when
he went to the Federal Communications Commission to apply for a
license that Gray Television had plans for one new station in
Charlottesville.

"It wasn't a deterrent," says King. "It was something outside our
vision of 'all Charlottesville, all the time.' If it had been an
independent station, I'd be more worried."

King snagged the call letters WCVL from a radio station in
Crawfordsville, Indiana, although Gray Television got there first. "I
called the owner of Key Broadcasting Company in Lexington, Kentucky,"
recounts King. "He said he'd just sold them to a lady."

That would be Gray's Tracey Jones. "Our first preference was WCAV,"
explains Jones, so when those call letters became available, Gray
dropped its option to buy WCVL.

King declines to say how much he paid for the rights to WCVL. "I paid
the same amount WCAV was going to pay for it," says King.

His new company, Mediacast LLC, has a definite target market in mind:
viewers of 50 plus.

"It's the fastest growing segment of the population today, and it
controls $50 trillion in income," declares King. "God love TV
thinking the only audience is 18 to 34." He adds, "I hope they
continue to."

WCVL has the support of Gordon Walker at the Jefferson Area Board for
Aging. "The median age of our community is going up with its appeal
as a retirement mecca," says Walker. He hopes to help produce an
exercise program for older citizens or a show on what's happening in
health care.

King has other ideas for shows that play on people's love of seeing
themselves or their neighbors on TV:

* Charlottesville's Funniest Home Videos

* the Music Resource Center's Battle of the Bands, and

* City Council and other public meetings.

That last item already appears on the public access channel, but WCVL
would edit the meetings, with a public official to explain what's
going on. "It's entertaining and enlightening without being boring,"
King says.

After nearly 11 months of study, due diligence, and talking to 300
local movers and shakers, King calls the venture "a very, very
limited" risk. "I've wanted to hear negativity, to hear, 'You guys
are crazy,' and I haven't," says King. "That's frightening."

Still, others in the industry are more willing to question his
community station concept.

Jones sees no conflict between WCVL and the new CBS and ABC stations,
but she points out that the path of the indie can be a lonely one.
"You've got to have certified and qualified people to run a station
24 hours a day," she notes.

King says he plans to hire between 25 and 30 people-- and to lean
heavily on interns and the large local student base.

"I love the idea of community television and the ability to be hyper
local," says Jones. "We still aspire to do that."

But rather than a commercial station, Jones suggests another business
model: public broadcasting with underwriting. "That way, the people
who care about it can support it from a philanthropic stance."

Professor Tuggle at UNC mentions a different local news model: News
14 in North Carolina and Bay News 9 in Tampa, both owned by
Time-Warner.

WCVL "certainly doesn't match the model," says Tuggle. "This sounds
like public access."

"This is not public access," counters King. "Bob and I have almost 70
years combined experience. I'd rather do one good show than 10
mediocre ones. Because of the production values, there is just no
comparison to public access."

Not everyone is convinced.

"Are they going to cover the hard stories or just the features?" asks
Brigida Mack, a former WVIR reporter who now works for WSOC in number
28-market Charlotte.

And Mack wonders about putting radio personalities on TV. "I feel
like people go to radio for a reason," she says. "If you're suddenly
plopped into a visual medium, is it going to be Larry King Live? It's
a crapshoot. What's engaging on radio may be totally different on TV."

King disagrees and says a lot of people want to know what Dick
Mountjoy and Jane Foy look like. "I think Dick and Jane are a
hallmark of our community. They have a loyal and large audience, and
they touch on topical issues."

People questioned how radio personality Don Imus would translate on
TV, King says. "But he did, and he does that very well."

Naysayers are unlikely to dampen King's enthusiasm for WCVL. "I
haven't been this excited since I was 20 and entering the business,"
he says.

NBC29 fights back?

For more than 30 years, WVIR has held the local TV monopoly. But a
recent lawsuit suggested that it misused that monopoly. When a jury
returned last May with a $10 million verdict against the station for
airing incorrect information about a Greene County man, it was the
largest defamation award in Virginia history. Although later reduced
to $1 million, the case highlighted WVIR's unwillingness to apologize.

Despite-- or perhaps because of-- the lack of competition, the
station has long provided little or no media access to its staff,
including such luminaries as longtime anchor Dave Cupp and recently
departed weather-institution-in-his-own-right, Robert Van Winkle.
There's no sign outside the station's sizeable Market Street
headquarters indicating what's inside.

Why a siege mentality so long before the siege? For this story, the
task of communicating falls not to longtime station manager Harold
Wright but to Mike Reilly in Fort Myers, Florida, headquarters of
Waterman Broadcasting, which now owns WVIR.

"As a company," says Reilly, "we've never really been concerned too
much with what the competition is doing. We're proud of what we do,
and we're going to continue to do what we do best: serve our clients
and the local community."

In the spring, news director Cupp announced that he was leaving his
roles at WVIR this fall to join his wife, who's teaching at Harvard.
Later, there was some buzz that Cupp was postponing his departure--
he now says December is his target departure-- so his 26 years of
experience could help stabilize the station as it faces its new
competition.

Not true, says Cupp. "We had never set a date, other than to say
sometime in the fall. I will be here through December 17."

Cupp declines to discuss the new kids in town, and as for his reason
for sticking around, he sounds like soon-to-be retiring NBC anchor
Tom Brokaw: the presidential election. "I'd hate to miss that," Cupp
notes.

Whatever the hometown team's initial reaction to the upstarts, NBC29
seems to be gearing up to maintain its position as king of the hill.

The station has made a $2 million investment in equipment, including
a new graphics package.

"I think they're welcoming the competition," says Brigida Mack, who
left WVIR in July. "Reporters and producers felt this is the way it
needs to be. Nowhere else you go are you going to be in this
situation"-- being the only station in town.

Another change has already begun: more live-in-the-field reports and
less live-from-the-studio news.

"When I first got here," says Mack, "getting the live truck out was
like Christmas in July. Now, you're talking about gas prices, you're
going to be at a gas station-- not on East Market Street."

Before word of the new stations, "the competition was always the
Daily Progress," says Mack. "That's off, because they're two
different media."

Tuggle thinks WVIR is going to be able to withstand the TV
competition from all sides.

WCAV and WVAW will have to distinguish themselves with viewers, he
says. "The two stations are going to have a hard row to hoe to make a
dent in WVIR's viewership because it's so established. It depends on
whether their owners are willing to take a hit the first couple of
years."

"Once the competition gets viable, people are going to check them
out," predicts Mack, who believes the area can support the new
stations. "While we have people who love us, there are others who say
they can't wait for the other stations to come. There will be choices
for advertisers who don't like our rates. Choice is always good."

Show me the [ad] money

Can advertisers targeting Charlottesville's 70,000 viewing households
support four television stations? Are there really enough ad dollars?

Ad agency owner Susan Payne thinks so-- if the market grows. "If you
try to take the clients at 29, no," says the owner of Payne Ross &
Associates.

"I believe this market can certainly handle additional competition,"
says Payne. "One TV station cannot meet all the needs of all clients."

For instance, some smaller businesses may consider paying $200-275
for a 30-second prime time spot at the new CBS station. (NBC29's
prime time rates, by contrast, start at $275 and can climb up to $900
for spots around ER, the popular hospital drama.)

Others aren't interested in advertising in Staunton or Waynesboro,
which is part of Channel 29's broadcast area, "yet they still have to
pay for that circulation," Payne points out.

That's why she thinks even non-network-affiliated "all
Charlottesville, all the time" WCVL has a viable niche.

"Our ad rates will be very, very affordable," pledges Denny King.

With the network affiliates tripling overnight, that's a lot of
airtime, and WCAV and WVAW are selling not only on demographics but
on price.

"I don't think there's any question our intro rates are better now,"
says Jones. "If I were in Charlottesville, I would want to be an
early advertiser because you'll get more bang for the buck."

For now, all that available airtime means that a lot of public
service announcements-- underlined as "Where Community Counts"-- have
begun filling some of that space, as have national ads and a bumper
crop of ads for Jim Price Chevrolet.

In fact, all the great deals that potentially could have every
restaurant in town advertising on TV could produce a backlash, at
least initially, says Payne: "It's likely to cut into print and
direct mail."

Yikes.

Ultimately, television ad rates are dictated by ratings, and Jones is
confident the new network affiliates are going to bring in the
numbers.

For viewers, the competition should mean more and better local news
coverage. After all, there are 70,000 stories in the Naked City.

Stay tuned.



--
Dominion Market Research-mailing services for Central Virginia
309 Madison Road
PO Box 791
Orange VA 22960-0464
USA
1-540-672-2327 1-800-328-2588 fax: 1-540-672-0296
_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/


radio ratings for the statistically minded

Dominion Market Research <Ross@...>
 

For those who care about such things, the DCRTV site has a link to Radio & Records where you can find the latest Arbitron ratings for the Charlottesville and Fredericksburg markets. WJMA shows up in both.

The last Charlottesville book was Spring 04, Fredericksburg Summer 04. WOJL (formerly WLSA) does now show in the summer Fredericksburg book. The statistics don't say when the ratings were taken. I would guess they were done before the format flip on WLSA/WOJL. I didn't see WLSA either.

Ross
71-85
--------------------------------
http://www.radioandrecords.com/RRRatings/DetailsPage.aspx?MID=50&RY=2004&RQ=2&MP=0&OTHER=2&MN=Charlottesville&MS=VA&MR=224&12P=147200&UP=8/12/2004%2012:00:00%20AM&SU=C&BPER=13.5&HPER=&OPER=&NSD=&CE=0

http://www.radioandrecords.com/RRRatings/DetailsPage.aspx?MID=94&RY=2004&RQ=3&MP=1&OTHER=2&MN=Fredericksburg&MS=VA&MR=164&12P=242900&UP=8/25/2004&SU=CM&BPER=14.7&HPER=&OPER=&NSD=9/22/2004&CE=0

If these links don't work for you, you can get there from the DCRTV.COM site. Scroll down the current news until you see mention of the Fredericksburg ratings.
--
Dominion Market Research-mailing services for Central Virginia
309 Madison Road
PO Box 791
Orange VA 22960-0464
540-672-2327 800-328-2588 fax: 540-672-0296
_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/


Re: high school football, gone?

Ralph Graves
 

In a message dated 8/21/04 10:38:20 AM, russroberts@... writes:


I just read that high speed Internet now has a reach of 50% of the U.S.
population.  Technical
issues aside, how about putting the Clint Estes Friday Football Show on
the web ... then not only Gramps in Unionville, but older cousin Billy
in Iraq could enjoy the game?
Maybe 50% of the country, but certainly not 50% of our listening area! I
think a significant part of the folks who would want to listen either don't have
an Internet connection at all, or would be loath to tie up thier one phone line
for several hours with a dicey dial-up connection. The digital divide is
quite real - especially outside of Charlottesville. The other recent statistic to
keep in mind is that 20% of those with Internet access are "reluctant users."
These are the folk who got it primarily for e-mail, but only check their
e-mail a few times a month.

Perhaps someday, when the county has broadband service.

Ralph Graves


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: high school football, gone?

Clint Estes
 

Russ,
I have discussed the Internet option with the station and there was some
interest, but currently they have many irons in the fire with renovations and
the new stations. I could see a WJMA homepage with a link to the game(s).
They did not rule it out for the future depending on costs and other things.

Clint

Maybe Swap Shop can come back this way?????


Re: high school football, gone?

Clint Estes
 

Ross,
An answer to your question on feedback from ADs and on the street, I
have only spoken with the Orange AD and he was disappointed, but has so much to
worry about. On the street folks appear upset and do not understand. I have
had many approach me and I tell them to call and ask the station if my
explanation is not to their liking.

Clint
Estes

77-present


Re: high school football, gone?

Clint Estes
 

Thanks Ross,

After some discussion thre are two possibilities for the high school
football season. First are drop-in reports on WJMA and 105.5 (Louisa) 2 or 3
times per hour beginning about 7:45 until about 10:30. This would mean getting a
person at each game to call in with a score update and or highlights that Red
or I include in these updates. This option is running into trouble counting
on someone to call us at the station. The feeling was that theses "stringers"
would not be paid and there was concern on a bad weather nights (or other
reasons) they may decide not go to the game and we would have no information to
share. The second option seems to be better in that it would be a 10 minute
wrap show on Saturday mornings similar to the old DeVivi (sp?) high school
scoreboard. Both Red and I would be reporting.
Culpeper, Louisa and Orange will no longer have their games broadcast.
The station will also not broadcast Virginia Tech.

Clint
Estes
77 -
until


Re: high school football, gone?

R Roberts <russroberts@...>
 

If we are somewhat agreed that high school football may have a limited
audience and may not be profitable for a radio station to broadcast,
then it might be well to consider a narrowcast. I just read that high
speed Internet now has a reach of 50% of the U.S. population. Technical
issues aside, how about putting the Clint Estes Friday Football Show on
the web ... then not only Gramps in Unionville, but older cousin Billy
in Iraq could enjoy the game?

Make it an OCHS school project.

You want to pay for it? Sell the sponsorship to WJMA and Piedmont
Communications!

Russ Roberts

-----Original Message-----
From: Seth Williamson [mailto:orthodox@...]
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2004 7:21 PM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: [WJMA] Re: high school football, gone?


On Thu, 2004-08-19 at 06:09, @rgraves321 wrote:

What's gotten lost here, is one of the basic questions I asked (and
continue to ask) from way back when. What makes WJMA different from
the Clear Channel stations? If there's no real difference (either in
programming, or audience makeup), then why should I advertise on WJMA
when I can get a package deal with the Clear Channel stations?
Yeah--don't they call that the USP in business school, the unique
selling proposition? You've gotta have something to distinguish
yourself from the other guys.

Of course, it may be that your USP is nothing but cheaper CPM. That may
or may not be enough to make a living for you.

I continue to wonder how much "local-ness" is valued in media today. To
me, it makes a difference. I don't know how typical I am of other
people. I am probably not a typical media consumer--I haven't watched
television since 36 years ago today, for one thing.

I wonder about this question. In public radio they make a big deal
about core listeners being "citizens of the global village" and other
such phrases. I have a hard time imagining the typical public radio
listener as caring about high school football. But I may be wrong. At
any rate, that's a public radio audience and not commercial radio
audience that I am nowadays most familiar with.

Seth Williamson
Daleville, VA




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Ryegrass Rollers

Ross Hunter <xhunter@...>
 

Phil Audibert and the ladies otherwise know as the "Ryegrass Rollers" played in Taylor Park in Orange this evening as part of the ODA (Orange Downtown Alliance) "Arts Alive" summer concert series. They were in fine voice and I thought sounded even better that last Labor Day at the WJMA reunion.

Phil offered a nice tribute to Bluegrass legend Charlie Waller of Gordonsville who died yesterday. They dedicated one of their final songs to his memory.

Charlie Waller's passing was noted both locally, as Red Shipley included it in the news this morning, and Nationally when NPR did a story on "All Things Considered" this evening. No doubt it was mentioned elsewhere, too.

One of the first to know of Charlie's death was Bill Little who was his next door neighbor. And just to note how close things can be in small town Virginia, Charlie Waller showed up and sang a tribute to Leonard Cowherd when Gordonsville held a memorial service in May.

Ross Hunter
71-85


Re: high school football, gone?

Seth Williamson <orthodox@...>
 

On Thu, 2004-08-19 at 06:09, @rgraves321 wrote:

What's gotten lost here, is one of the basic questions I asked (and
continue to ask) from way back when. What makes WJMA different from
the Clear Channel stations? If there's no real difference (either in
programming, or audience makeup), then why should I advertise on WJMA
when I can get a package deal with the Clear Channel stations?
Yeah--don't they call that the USP in business school, the unique
selling proposition? You've gotta have something to distinguish
yourself from the other guys.

Of course, it may be that your USP is nothing but cheaper CPM. That may
or may not be enough to make a living for you.

I continue to wonder how much "local-ness" is valued in media today. To
me, it makes a difference. I don't know how typical I am of other
people. I am probably not a typical media consumer--I haven't watched
television since 36 years ago today, for one thing.

I wonder about this question. In public radio they make a big deal
about core listeners being "citizens of the global village" and other
such phrases. I have a hard time imagining the typical public radio
listener as caring about high school football. But I may be wrong. At
any rate, that's a public radio audience and not commercial radio
audience that I am nowadays most familiar with.

Seth Williamson
Daleville, VA


Re: high school football, gone?

Ralph Graves
 

Seth:

Now you're starting to sound like me! I think there's something else going
on, though. Local sports, and especially the Sports Broadcaster's Club, always
provided a steady income stream for the station, so that's not the whole story.
Of course, under Digby's reign, the SBC got all screwed up, and I don't know
if it ever recovered.

I think in this case, the thought is more along the lines of not whether its
making any money, but is it making enough money. If they just run music, then
the station can be automated on Friday nights - no paid staff. For the
football games, you need a staff of three (that you have to pay for) plus the phone
connection.

Also, the SBC itself is fairly labor intensive to develop (although not to
maintain - from chats with Bill I got the impression there was a lot of rollover
once an advertiser got on board). Since Digby's time the thinking has been
that one advertiser paying $1,000 a month is much better than 10 paying $100 (a
la SBC). Of course, Digby blew off all of those $100 dollar accounts before
replacing them with the $1,000 ones, and in fact never did completely replace
that lost revenue.

Its already been noted that they've let a few sales people go. So now they're
cutting loose the programming that cost them salaries and have demanded the
most attention from the sales staff. It helps the station towards doing the
most with the minimum effort and staff.

What's gotten lost here, is one of the basic questions I asked (and continue
to ask) from way back when. What makes WJMA different from the Clear Channel
stations? If there's no real difference (either in programming, or audience
makeup), then why should I advertise on WJMA when I can get a package deal with
the Clear Channel stations?

The Sports Broadcasters Club may have been a little extra work, but it was a
solid revenue stream that brought in more money than the station paid out in
programming - and bought the good will of the community besides.

Ralph Graves


Re: high school football, gone?

Seth Williamson <orthodox@...>
 

R Roberts wrote:

I'd like to hear what you all think about Turner's attack on big media.
He has a point in that specific case. But when an owner of a mega-corporation like this starts asking for the market to be reorganized or restructured, it's usually because he wants to make it harder for competitors, not easier. I haven't noticed that Turner has been notably subservient to local wishes in the past.


Seth Williamson
Daleville, VA


Re: high school football, gone?

R Roberts <russroberts@...>
 

Have you read Ted Turner's recent article about media consolidation.
I'm sure it can be found on the Internet.

Among other things, he wrote of a train wreck in, I think, the Dakotas.
Tanker cars began leaking noxious fumes. Immediate public notification
of the danger was imperative. It's too bad the radio stations were no
help. It took him hours to get someone on the phones of the several
Clear Channel radio stations in the community.

He writes that the good of the public, the owners of the airwaves, has
disappeared. As we've written here before, the only thing that matters
now is the good of the corporation.

I'd like to hear what you all think about Turner's attack on big media.

Russ Roberts

-----Original Message-----
From: Seth Williamson [mailto:orthodox@...]
Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2004 2:30 PM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: Re: [WJMA] Re: high school football, gone?


rmj142 wrote:

Dumping high school football in a market this size just does not add
up. This is a small market. In order to be viable a local station
has to give listeners in the area a REASON to listen to them instead
of one of the bazillion other options.
Agreed. You may be right about this particular decision. I don't claim

to know the economics of this programming option very well. I DO know
that local football seemed to be popular when I myself was at WJMA (and
at other small-market AMs).

There are really only two reasons to listen to one station over the
other. Content and signal strength.
Signal strength is not an issue with dozens of broadcast stations
plus the infinite options via satillite (via DishNet and for no
additional cost over my TV channels, I get 20-25 music channels) and
the Internet.
So we come down to content. Without local news, sports, public
service, and weather (and I mean real weather, not canned, updated
twice a day stuff, if there's a tornado warning tough luck) why
choose the "local" station?
This trend is all over. I was in Charlottesville yesterday and heard
a local newscast on WINA. It was either 4:30 or 5:00. The "newscast"
consisted of:
A: A remote on a traffic snafu on Barracks Road (not even a main
commuter artery) due to a cement truck overturning TWO AND A HALF
HOURS BEFORE.
B. A brief mention of a back road closing in Greene County due to
bridge repairs.
Wow! This is what we are getting from "Charlottesville's News
Leader"?
Yeah, it sounds lame. I agree. The local AM talker in my market is
WFIR. They've got Limbaugh and Hannity and Boortz and Savage and a
badly paid local news staff. All in all, I don't think their local news

effort is as lame as what you describe above from INA. But on the other

hand, they do seem to concentrate on traffic accidents and traffic
tie-ups. I think there is a certain demand for that kind of thing, but
timeliness is everything.

It seems to me there should be some hard numbers here somewhere, and
some reasoning extrapolated from those numbers, that would explain JMA's

decision to dump local football. It may be sound reasoning, or it may
be a stupid call.

With any block-programming decision, of course, it's not merely a matter

of how big the potential audience is. There's the matter of what the
format-breaking block does to core listeners in that daypart. If it
attracts a completely different audience, a programmer might still
consider it a bad move even if the replacement audience was of the same
size or even bigger. Because you drive your core listeners away to some

other station for that one night, and that might be a bad strategy,
depending on what your market segmentation is.

On the other hand, the hard fact is that nighttime numbers are tiny for
ALL radio formats compared to television. It's hard to imagine there's
much of a nighttime audience at stake no matter WHAT the format is.


Seth Willimson
Daleville, VA



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Re: high school football, gone?

Seth Williamson <orthodox@...>
 

rmj142 wrote:

Dumping high school football in a market this size just does not add up. This is a small market. In order to be viable a local station has to give listeners in the area a REASON to listen to them instead of one of the bazillion other options.
Agreed. You may be right about this particular decision. I don't claim to know the economics of this programming option very well. I DO know that local football seemed to be popular when I myself was at WJMA (and at other small-market AMs).

There are really only two reasons to listen to one station over the other. Content and signal strength.
Signal strength is not an issue with dozens of broadcast stations plus the infinite options via satillite (via DishNet and for no additional cost over my TV channels, I get 20-25 music channels) and the Internet.
So we come down to content. Without local news, sports, public service, and weather (and I mean real weather, not canned, updated twice a day stuff, if there's a tornado warning tough luck) why choose the "local" station?
This trend is all over. I was in Charlottesville yesterday and heard a local newscast on WINA. It was either 4:30 or 5:00. The "newscast" consisted of:
A: A remote on a traffic snafu on Barracks Road (not even a main commuter artery) due to a cement truck overturning TWO AND A HALF HOURS BEFORE.
B. A brief mention of a back road closing in Greene County due to bridge repairs.
Wow! This is what we are getting from "Charlottesville's News Leader"?
Yeah, it sounds lame. I agree. The local AM talker in my market is WFIR. They've got Limbaugh and Hannity and Boortz and Savage and a badly paid local news staff. All in all, I don't think their local news effort is as lame as what you describe above from INA. But on the other hand, they do seem to concentrate on traffic accidents and traffic tie-ups. I think there is a certain demand for that kind of thing, but timeliness is everything.

It seems to me there should be some hard numbers here somewhere, and some reasoning extrapolated from those numbers, that would explain JMA's decision to dump local football. It may be sound reasoning, or it may be a stupid call.

With any block-programming decision, of course, it's not merely a matter of how big the potential audience is. There's the matter of what the format-breaking block does to core listeners in that daypart. If it attracts a completely different audience, a programmer might still consider it a bad move even if the replacement audience was of the same size or even bigger. Because you drive your core listeners away to some other station for that one night, and that might be a bad strategy, depending on what your market segmentation is.

On the other hand, the hard fact is that nighttime numbers are tiny for ALL radio formats compared to television. It's hard to imagine there's much of a nighttime audience at stake no matter WHAT the format is.


Seth Willimson
Daleville, VA


Re: high school football, gone?

Mark Johnson
 

--- In WJMA@..., Seth Williamson <orthodox@n...> wrote:

I haven't looked at the numbers on programs like this, but I would
be
surprised if station owners were obtusely and out of some
perverse,
masochistic motive opting for programming that netted them fewer
listeners and fewer advertising dollars.
Seth,
My problem with this mindset is that it assumes that all business
owners know what they are doing, are asking the right questions, are
making the right moves etc.

In my business I don't intentionally do stuff that limits my profit
potential, but I'll bet you gold bars to dirt clods that I could do
better, and that some things I do are downright dumb.

Even a corporate power like WalMart makes bad decisions.

I doubt that KMart intentionally went broke.

In spite of degrees from Harvard, focus groups, and market research,
business people foul up.

Dumping high school football in a market this size just does not add
up. This is a small market. In order to be viable a local station
has to give listeners in the area a REASON to listen to them instead
of one of the bazillion other options.

There are really only two reasons to listen to one station over the
other. Content and signal strength.

Signal strength is not an issue with dozens of broadcast stations
plus the infinite options via satillite (via DishNet and for no
additional cost over my TV channels, I get 20-25 music channels) and
the Internet.

So we come down to content. Without local news, sports, public
service, and weather (and I mean real weather, not canned, updated
twice a day stuff, if there's a tornado warning tough luck) why
choose the "local" station?

This trend is all over. I was in Charlottesville yesterday and heard
a local newscast on WINA. It was either 4:30 or 5:00. The "newscast"
consisted of:

A: A remote on a traffic snafu on Barracks Road (not even a main
commuter artery) due to a cement truck overturning TWO AND A HALF
HOURS BEFORE.

B. A brief mention of a back road closing in Greene County due to
bridge repairs.

Wow! This is what we are getting from "Charlottesville's News
Leader"?

Mark Johnson
81-84


Re: high school football, gone?

Seth Williamson <orthodox@...>
 

Very old school Ross, like before calculators. Ya gotta take these factors into account:
A) Americans hate sports, especially rural folks, and especially football.
B) NOBODY cares about a bunch of KIDS playin' sports, especially their parents, grandparents etc.
C) The outrageous rights fees the school system charges are deal breakers alone.
D) Local businesses generally refuse to support such efforts.*
Add it all up and it adds up.
As much as I hate to see high school football go, I feel compelled to add that the average radio station owner or stockholder isn't likely to abandon programming that promises the best revenue stream. In commercial radio, money absolutely rules all, and Arbitron numbers = money.

I haven't looked at the numbers on programs like this, but I would be surprised if station owners were obtusely and out of some perverse, masochistic motive opting for programming that netted them fewer listeners and fewer advertising dollars.

Not really intending to play devil's advocate here--just trying to inject what I think is a bit of melancholy realism into the discussion.

Seth Williamson
Daleville, VA


Re: high school football, gone?

Mark Johnson
 

--- In WJMA@..., Dominion Market Research <Ross@m...>

I can't imagine Friday night is a very high listening time. Niche
programming could provide some nice revenue. But maybe that's old
school thinking and not viable in today's radio market place.
Very old school Ross, like before calculators.

Ya gotta take these factors into account:

A) Americans hate sports, especially rural folks, and especially
football.
B) NOBODY cares about a bunch of KIDS playin' sports, especially
their parents, grandparents etc.
C) The outrageous rights fees the school system charges are deal
breakers alone.
D) Local businesses generally refuse to support such efforts.*

Add it all up and it adds up.

Mark Johnson
81-84


*Back about 7-8 years ago I asked about being a sponsor for the OCHS
games. Nupe. Sorry. Sold out.


Re: Digest Number 351

jon kay <vacolonialboy@...>
 

--- recently, Ross (not Russ) rote:

I recall dozens of times you couldn't tell whether
the phone >caller said Russ or Ross; or whether Watson
yelling "Russ" >or "Ross"; or whether the person just
got confused and
called the first name that came to mind...When Watson
called you be last name there was no doubt who she
was
looking for or that you had crossed some line.
Wow! After all these years, I'm just now learning
that I must've spent most of my time at WJMA somewhere
on the wrong side of that mythical Watson line!

It occurs to me that Pat Watson rarely (if ever)
called me by my first name. It was always "KEAH-nin!"

"KEAH-nin! That was the whust newscast I EVAH huhd"
or KEAH-nin, why don't you play some GUUD music once
in a whal?"

Now that I'm thinking of it, I do remember her calling
Goodwin "Phil" on rare occasions, though it was
usually just "Goodwin."

But I honestly don't remember her ever calling me
"Jay."

Oh, but what a sweetheart she was! I thought the
world of Pat Watson, and I do think of her from time
to time, and I always smile when I do.

They just don't make 'em like that anymore.

jay kiernan
76-79





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Re: old wjma phone number

R Roberts <russroberts@...>
 

Ross,

Maybe the confusion between "Ross" and "Russ" is what prompted me to
start calling you "J. Ross." Of course, I was always pretty clear who I
was; I never had a blurry identity crisis even though everybody else in
town thought we were both "Ross" (perhaps we shared the experience of
identical twins). At least once I had merchants tell me about the typo
on my checks!

I think I hoped my calling you "J. Ross" would become part of the
collective consciousness (often I've had the quixotic hope that I could
change people's habits ...)

It's too bad the moniker we gave you for the big soft ball game never
stuck... "Tuna Fish Hunter."

Russ Roberts

-----Original Message-----
From: Ross Hunter [mailto:xhunter@...]
Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 2004 7:18 AM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: RE: [WJMA] old wjma phone number

Sometime in the mid 70's I received a letter from a listener addressed
to:

"Russ
Orange, VA"

Sonny Dodson and the staff at the Orange Post Office knew where it was
supposed to go; they delivered it to the station.

Russ Roberts
Russ,

You are pretty sure that was a "u" and not an "o"? :-)

I recall dozens of times you couldn't tell whether the phone caller
said Russ or Ross; or whether Watson yelling "Russ" or "Ross"; or
whether the person just got confused and called the first name that
came to mind. It was easier to just answer and sort it out later.
When Watson called you be last name there was no doubt who she was
looking for or that you had crossed some line.

I also recall lots of phone calls for "Phil" and having to determine
if the person was looking or Goodwin or Audibert. Then there were the
news calls for Phil where the person clearly had no idea how to
pronounce Aubibert. Phil solved that problem to some degree with his
license plate "O D Bear".

Then there was Big Bob (Bob Wade aka J.D. Slade) and Mad Bob (Bab
Barnett). By the way Bod Wade's email has been bouncing for at least
6 months. Does anyone on the list have contact with him?

Ross (not Russ)
71-85



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Re: old wjma phone number

Ross Hunter <xhunter@...>
 

Sometime in the mid 70's I received a letter from a listener addressed
to:

"Russ
Orange, VA"

Sonny Dodson and the staff at the Orange Post Office knew where it was
supposed to go; they delivered it to the station.

Russ Roberts
Russ,

You are pretty sure that was a "u" and not an "o"? :-)

I recall dozens of times you couldn't tell whether the phone caller said Russ or Ross; or whether Watson yelling "Russ" or "Ross"; or whether the person just got confused and called the first name that came to mind. It was easier to just answer and sort it out later. When Watson called you be last name there was no doubt who she was looking for or that you had crossed some line.

I also recall lots of phone calls for "Phil" and having to determine if the person was looking or Goodwin or Audibert. Then there were the news calls for Phil where the person clearly had no idea how to pronounce Aubibert. Phil solved that problem to some degree with his license plate "O D Bear".

Then there was Big Bob (Bob Wade aka J.D. Slade) and Mad Bob (Bab Barnett). By the way Bod Wade's email has been bouncing for at least 6 months. Does anyone on the list have contact with him?

Ross (not Russ)
71-85


Re: old wjma phone number

R Roberts <russroberts@...>
 

Sometime in the mid 70's I received a letter from a listener addressed
to:

"Russ
Orange, VA"

Sonny Dodson and the staff at the Orange Post Office knew where it was
supposed to go; they delivered it to the station.

Russ Roberts

-----Original Message-----
From: mary thompson [mailto:emmyte@...]
Sent: Wednesday, August 11, 2004 9:54 PM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: [WJMA] old wjma phone number

Arch,
Remember the time we rec'd a letter for SWAP SHOP addressed as
follows:
WJMA Radio
672-1000
Orange
Guess those addresses have changed over the years. -Mary T (now W)


From: Arch Harrison <xhunter@...> (by way of Ross Hunter)
Reply-To: WJMA@...
To: wjma@...
Subject: [WJMA] Re: old wjma phone number
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 18:09:04 -0400
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FILETIME=[52A44320:01C47F29]

Speaking of that old four-digit phone number:
When I had occasion to talk with New York Ad Agencies - not very
successfully I admit - and it came time to give the phone number, the
buyer
couldn't believe we only had four numbers!
This provoked some "Aw. c'mon. you're kidding ?" conversations.
I expect that's why we never got much national business!
Come to think of it, when we graduated to seven numbers and the easily
remembered 672-1000 nothing much changed.
a r c h
61-84
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