The Star lazily folded the news of legendary KUDL FM’s demise into a bit about 980 KMBZ simulcasting on KUDL’s signal…
For two reasons; the first being that Star reporter Aaron Barnhart could care less about radio – he’s a TV guy. Second, because the aging newshounds at the paper are mostly white males 50 and up and the simulcast story was a bigger deal to them than a women’s music station biting the dust.
They were wrong.
The death of a half century old station is far larger than a lateral move with a 14th rated station.
So KUDL goes away at 8 a.m. today and word is KUDL’s Tanna Guthrie is planning a very special sendoff.
"I’ve got mixed feelings, KUDL’s an icon going away," says one Entercomer. "And I was surprised they’re doing it because KUDL was trending up with Star 102 out of the way. What I don’t understand is why they just didn’t blow up 99.7 (Gen X FM) and put KMBZ on there."
Parent Entercom is folding KUDL’s female format into Gen X’s 99.7 signal and calling it The Point.
"They did away with an icon called 61 Country," says the source. "They did away with an icon called KY. And now they’re doing away with an icon called KUDL. Rush Limbaugh used to be on KUDL as Jeff Christie.
"Let’s face it, (Entercom’s) track record hasn’t been great – this is the 5th format (on 99.7) in four years," says a radio insider who asked not to be named. "So you can’t say what they’re doing is brilliant, because their brilliancy has not shown in the past four years."
Entercom has taken 99.7 FM from KY to The Boulevard to Kiss to Gen X and now to The Point.
What’s more, KUDL was 8th in its demo of women 35 to 64, insiders note.
As for attempting to merge KUDL’s listeners with Gex X’s, "It makes sense except every radio station in the market is going to be going after KUDL’s women listeners," says a source. "Entercom just can’t transfer them all over to 99.7 FM."
What’s more, "KUDL and 99.7 FM used to bill $13 million annually," says the source. "Now they’re billing $3.4 to $4 million, if that. Yeah, it’s an expense reduction – they’re going to save ($1.5 million). But let’s say they have a 3 share on KUDL and a 2 share on Gen X, they’re not going to get a 5.5 share now – they’re dreaming. To me, it’s a stupid move from a revenue standpoint.
"KMBZ may pick up a share point or point and a half, but they’re not going to be able to pick up KUDL’s 3 points and go to a 6.5 share."