Monday, October 20, 2008

CBS Puts News in Place of Oldies at 106.9

Ever since it lost Howard Stern, CBS has been stumbling around like a drunk trying to find his way home in a blizzard. Or like moody John McCain.

It keeps trying things and dumping them (remember David Lee Roth, Stern's first replacement?).

Well, a year after beefing up KFRC-FM (106.9) as an oldies station, it will now simulcast its AM news content on the FM signal.

I give it a year.

Two years ago the signal was an FM talk station, home to Adam Carolla, the Doghouse and Darian O'Toole, which fizzled out. I liked that one. The ratings didn't.

The New York based network is moving the San Francisco oldies programming to its HD2 station, and online at

“With this announcement we are ensuring our listeners will have access to the superior news and information they’ve come to rely on no matter how they choose to receive audio content,” said Doug Harvill, Senior Vice President and Market Manager for CBS Radio San Francisco. “And not only that, having the station on the FM radio platform will afford us the opportunity to amass even more consumers of the station.

“The benefits of this move are plentiful – from improved sound quality and ubiquitous distribution, to increased brand exposure. We’ve always had a great product and we’re thrilled more people will be able to experience what in excess of one million already do on a weekly basis.”

I don't really get it. The only way I'd look for news on FM is if I was on that band for NPR and wanted to catch CBS without having to push the extra button over to AM. Not exactly a big motivator.

What do you think?

PS: speaking of Howard Stern, did you see that the New York Times chess column Sunday was about him? Check it here.

By the way: CBS was fourth in the San Francisco ratings for listeners over 12; KFRC was 23rd. If CBS combines both signals, it could possibly beat KGO, which is No. 1, in the ratings.


Anonymous said...

You really don't get it, do you? KCBS, which does a much more complete job of local coverage than KQED even attempts, is crippled by being on the AM dial, because the key demographic groups sought by advertisers no longer use AM. They don't sample it. They just don't go there. In market after market, spoken word formats are migrating from AM to FM, and when they do, their numbers in the important 25-54 group spike dramatically. That's what this is about. In Washington, D.C. (admittedly a poor AM market because of poor ground conductivity), all-news WTOP went to overall #1 after switching to FM. Now, KCBS will be on one of the biggest FM signals in S.F. Ultimately, even mighty KGO will not survive unless it can somehow find an FM signal or signals to buy -- its 25-54 numbers are dismal and revenue has been trending down for years. AM is the new shortwave.

Not Anonymous said...

What do you work for KCBS? Who cares...All radio is on the way out.
Blah Blah Blah
AM Hahaha That is funny quit crying. No One Cares get it...