Wednesday, August 20, 2008

KGO in ratings trouble, or another "analyst" jumping on bandwagon too soon

Radio Equalizer Brian Maloney reports that KGO has taken a big dip in the first third of the summer ratings, now that the ratings are done by People Meters, monitors that can report exactly what people are listening to.

Regular readers of this column know that we've seen other so-called experts make big predictions based on one or two-thirds of a book, and be embarrassed when the final book came out. I'll take betting action that Maloney joins their ranks.

If he were more than a neo-Con shill, he would tell his readers that the summer book is always slower for talk radio anyway. People are on vacation; kids are out of school and dominating the family radio with music; urban stations and music stations crush talk on the beach.

Besides, KGO is in first place with the 12 and up demo, the public one that counts for its claim of being No. 1 for 30 years. As for 25-54, if the station continues its trend as he shows and ranks 18th, it really would be in some trouble for advertisers. That demo is the one they use to buy ads, figuring that people between those ages spend the most and don't have buying habits ingrained (both not true in this new age, where 60 is the new 40, I would add).

BUT, what Maloney also doesn't figure is that with the political conventions heating up this month, and school starting in August, KGO will likely get a big bump, back up to its usual high numbers. (Although I'm burning out on the election talk already. They should have rationed it earlier, and waited for the conventions to step it up.)

I think the guy has jumped the gun...and not without some real motivations (see this post to get a feel for his absolute bias). Who would call KGO and Citadel's ranks "ultra liberal?" And who would begrudge the station a good party for an unprecedented 30 years of success? (And no, I didn't get an invite, even though I hosted and guested on shows there many times, at all hours.) Although I agree that not inviting all the engineers, prodcers and rank and file is tacky, tacky, tacky on Mickey Luckoff's part.

He is right about one thing: dropping Melanie Morgan will prove to be a huge mistake for KSFO, which shows up 22nd now in the morning, when it was in the Top 10 with her. No one gets rid of a hugely popular morning host on top. It's just plain stupid or greedy. I only wish she would go to another station and make them suffer for it.

So, we'll see what happens when the monthly trends turn into the summer book. I bet Maloney eats crow.

PS: I've been saying for a long time that KGO should start thinking more about younger listeners. Most of its hosts are out of the 25-54 demo and so are their topics (Ronn Owens is a big exception. He's in touch with what's going on out there, in part because of his teenage daughters. Hell, he had Tommy Chong on yesterday and didn't make any pot jokes. Yeah, right.) Karel touches younger and cooler demos and Pete Wilson used to. (So did Bernie Ward (pun intended). But I'm not sure who else there is the least bit hip. (The news staff is.)

I appreciate their loyalty to tried and true staff. But when one leaves, maybe they should be thinking of younger, rawer talent.

When I did a tryout, my first topic was police crackdowns on San Jose nightlife, and the phones raged with younger callers. It's not a topic any of those others would know about unless it was in the newspaper first. (Enlightened self-interest alert here, but regardless, it's something Mickey should think about when he looks at filling host slots).

PPS: Thanks Pen Press Club for keeping me posted on this. You should get their daily newsletter!

(Photo: from Maloney...KGO staff gets down at party)


Rum Runner said...

What a biased piece. Only someone who is completely and blindly liberal would try and say that KGO is NOT left leaning. Ridiculous! You call Maloney a "Neo-Con shill," and that is liberal code for him being the biggoted conservative Nazi and, of course, bad guy.

Wake up and grow up. Even in Maloney's piece he's not labeling people as Neo-Com's (for communists), which is exactly what you are.

Brad Kava said...

Yo: You read as well as you think. It didn't say "left leaning." It says "ultra liberal," which this station hardly is.

Rum Runner said...

Nice Brad! Another slight to someone's intelligence because they aren't left leaning as you no doubt are.

I love how you throw in the 'Yo' like I'm some sort of yokel without the intelligence of a grape fruit.

I guess you're not smart enough to realize that for all of the so called 'open-mindedness' lefties tout, rarely are they open in the forum of listening to someone else's thoughts without attempting to annihilate their character.

I would think that if you REALLY want to have a discussion about any topic, you'd back up and listen without going on the attack when you hear something you don't like. Or in this case read, but what the hell do I know 'I not no how 2 reed or rite,' right Brad?

Anonymous said...

I mostly agree with you, but to say that KGO's news staff is hip is off the mark. The presentation is what old people believe younger people think is hip, and that's not the same thing. KCBS is killing KGO in 25-54's, at least in AM drive. NPR is also doing very well in the demo, and KQED's people-meter numbers are now published (non-commercial stations were left out of the published diary-based ratings). And KGO's trouble in 25-54 is a long-term trend that started some time ago. In large part it's because the station is on AM. Younger listeners simply do not use AM.

Anonymous said...

Brad,at least Maloney is up front regarding his political persuasion;that being said,throwing around political buzz words,does nothing for you;you're hardly being a nuanced liberal,(i mean progressive lol ).

Anonymous said...

The thing to know about Brian Maloney is that he's a failed right-wing talk show host who decided to create an alter ego for himself, just like any other failed right-winger on talk radio who wants to take it out on the "liberal" media...

Hence, the Radio"equalizer" was born. Out to destroy all liberal talk radio; not because of bad ratings, or bad economy... Simply because he doesn't agree with what they have to say.

One reading his blog might see him going on a hissy fit over what Mike Malloy and/or Randi Rhodes says on the air - but Michael Savage saying that 100 million Muslims should be sent to the gas chambers? "NO, that's freedom of speech! And you liberals are trying to stop it!"

Yeah-yeah, pass me the butter, Brian.

Anonymous said...

Brad...I think that you need to really investigate the PPM to understand why KGO will likely NOT rise in the important 25-54 demo. It would be difficult for me to summarize but suffice it to say, the new tech does not favor them. By the way, to add further, in the final diary ARB survey, KGO was 9th 25-54. Not necessarily out of the running, but just part of their continuing slip over time. An 18th to top 10 move in PPM just aint' in the cards.

Bill Bowman said...

Damn, Brad, did you jilt Rum Runner's daughter or something?

I'm not in radio, but I have read Maloney's column when he writes about Savage, and Maloney is a shill, plain and simple.

Brad Kava a communist? That explains the hammer and sickle tattoo on his forehead.