You got it, you double it, you don’t got it…
That’s pretty much what has happened to KMBZ 980 AM, Kansas City’s so-called news-radio station. Two months into KMBZ’s plan to grow listenership by simulcasting on former sister station KUDL’s 98.1 FM signal, the local talk station has gone nowhere fast. Actually, its combined ratings have plummeted.
Check out the digits.
Among adult listeners, 25-54, Monday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to midnight, KMBZ sank from a 4.1 share in May of 2010 to a 3.5 share last month. Again, that after adding an FM simulcast. Ditto for the important demographic of male listeners, 25-54. In May 2010, broadcasting on AM only, KMBZ garnered a 5.8 share. That sank to a 4.5 share in thejust-released May 2011 ratings.
"They have a major problem with a lack of air talent," says one radio insider. "I can’t believe some of the people they have on the air."
"With the exception of Rush, their content sucks," adds another. "Most news radio stations that do well around the country have people that have been on there 20 years."
The $64 million question: Can KMBZ take the bull by the horns and bring in the talent to regain its still-profitable and once-lofty ratings perch?