Forget about Nick Wright or the current on air lineup at 610 Sports, the prevailing wisdom is that if the Entercom signal wants to take down WHB, it needs to move to FM. Period.
“Because that’s where the younger listeners are tuning into,” says one local radio insider. “Younger listeners don’t even think about tuning into AM. I would guess that 610 Sports is trying to appeal to 25 to 34 year-old men, but that is going to be very hard to do on AM.”
For ten long years, 610 Sports has fought a losing battle to overtake Kietzman, Soren Petro, Steven St. John et al. on WHB.
“And WHB’s been beating them because they were the first ones in,” the insider adds. “Because the first one in always wins and WHB was the first to go all sports.”
Which brings us to 96.5 The Buzz stationality Lazlo and his reincarnation last week of 2003’s “Save the Buzz” campaign.
“I can’t believe you guys are going to be gone,” one commenter wrote on The Buzz’s website. “I get my license next week and trust me, I was looking forward to just jamming to the buzz full blast in my car.. But who knows, things could change. Spreading the word & hopefully the ratings will go up!”
“We need another Save the Buzz Rally,” added another commenter. “I won’t ever be listening to the radio very often if the Buzz is gone.”
A little history.
And low ratings at the time caused The Buzz to worry whether Entercom would move 610’s country music programming on AM to – Smooth Jazz 106.5 or The Buzz. A grassroots campaign lead by Lazlo and other Buzz personalities resulted in Smooth Jazz taking the hit.
That was then.
Some insiders think similar worries may have prompted Lazlo to revive the campaign last week, because Buzz ratings have been lower and 610’s going nowhere fast, despite having a competitive Kansas City Royals baseball team for the first time in decades.
“Is Entercom really considering moving 610 Sports to FM?” the insider asks. “That’s really the question. I think somebody at Entercom may be thinking about putting 610 Sports on FM, but can’t make up their minds where to put it.
“The staff at The Buzz did the Save the Buzz campaign before, and it was a grassroots campaign and we let them do it because it was a good promotion and it was a good way to judge audience reaction. And it did save The Buzz.
“It may be a bluff this time and it may be a marketing ploy, but it also may be because they’re seriously considering blowing up The Buzz. Let’s say Entercom is serious about putting 610 Sports on FM – they have a huge cume with the Royals and KU basketball – the timing is perfect because of all the interest in the Royals.”
“If I were (Entercom chieftain) Dave Alpert, I’d spend $15,000 and find out how many KMBZ listeners are on AM and on FM and what would happen if they took it off FM,” the insider says.
After all, KMBZ was already one of the top billing stations in the market prior to simulcasting on FM and The Buzz is doing quite well in the billing department, sources say.
Oh, and one more thing…
“If Entercom does put 610 Sports on FM, they’ve got the Royals, they’ve got KU, they will beat WHB.”
Entercom’s Dave Alpert declined to comment for this column.