To riff on the old Richard Pryor movie, which way is up?
An email blast from NewsRadio KMBZ to advertisers boasts, "Today we have the facts to prove it! KMBZ AM/FM sees over 25% audience growth in just the first two weeks!"
A bar chart included in the blast shows for persons 12-plus, Monday thru Sunday, KMBZ grew from 178,700 listeners the fourth week of March on AM-only to 231,000 listeners the second week in April broadcasting on 980 AM and 98.1 FM, the former home of KUDL FM.
That’s a 29 percent jump!
And for adults 25-54. KMBZ grew from 76,300 listeners the fourth week of March to 95,000 the second week of April, up 25 percent. Impressive, huh?
Not so fast!
"I would hope that when you give up an entire radio station (KUDL) you’d get a 25 percent increase in listeners," says one radio exec. "And they’re probably going to get a ratings spike on Bin Laden from last week, too. Because news-talk stations generate growth when an event like that happens."
That said, narrowing things down to a single week does not a trend make.
"Until you see a full month’s ratings you don’t really know anything other than people are checking them out," says a radio source. "But to claim a victory at this point – to say these are the facts – give me a break!"
On further examination, KMBZ AM & FM is actually below where the station was one year ago!
"In April of last year they had a cume (listenership) of 114,400 in adults ages 25-54," the source says. "So in reality, at 95,000 listeners, they’re down."