Hearne: No Joke, ‘The Buzz’ May Need Saving

mumford-sons-5This just in…

The March ratings are and as of yesterday local alternative station 96.5 The Buzz is fading fast. Really fast.

The Buzz sank to 14th place with a 2.9 share of listeners 12 and older, Monday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to midnight.

That’s down more than 20 percent from the holidays.

Granted, advertisers generally look at more specific demos and insiders say that while The Buzz has slipped in women listeners (a highly sought after demographic), it’s holding its own among men.

Still, no matter how you slice it or dice it, a 20 percent ratings drop is not a good thing. And if you factor in that The Buzz was in the mid-4s a year and a half or so ago, that’s more than a 30 percent free fall.

Which may account for the recent one day Save the Buzz talk that may have been hushed up for the time being by management.

But you know what? The way things have been trending, The Buzz may actually need saving.

MyMorningJacket102917bRight now, Buzz revenues remain strong, sources say.

The question being, for how long?

“Media buyers use the most current data they have,” says a source. “However, they place their advertising buys for three months, six months or 12 months at a time, using the most current data.

“So if a media buyer bought The Buzz six months ago when it was at a 3.7 share and now it’s at 2.9, that media buyer will demand that the cost go down by 20 percent. They do it by ratings points, and 80 percent of the radio advertising buys in Kansas City are made by advertising agencies who base those buys on the ratings from Arbitron.”

Meaning that while The Buzz may still be going strong now, its ratings plummet could cost it dearly down the road. And not very far down the road, either.

“Radio ratings go up and radio ratings go down,” the source says, “but it doesn’t make an immediate impact.”

So what the heck is happening at The Buzz?

Some say it could be to an extent the luck of the draw in the “panels” of ratings meter carriers. In the days when Arbitron diaries were kept, the turnover was far faster among the diary carriers than it is with today’s meter carriers.

The panels today change very slowly, so it could take a while before The Buzz can garner some fresh ears and mount a come back.

60386Meanwhile FM sports stations are popping up everywhere with extremely strong ratings results.

And with 610 in the shitter and The Buzz well on its way to joining it, a strong case could be made to…well, you get the picture.

Anybody up for saving The Buzz?

 

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9 Responses to Hearne: No Joke, ‘The Buzz’ May Need Saving

  1. Jess says:

    Love the Buzz’s music. Hate the on air talent.

    Sorry, just how I feel. I would rather listen to my iPhone than have to listen to them talk.

    • Libertarian says:

      Add in 15 minutes worth of viagra commercials every hour, and you arent left with much, not that there was much there to begin with.

      KKFI has been scratching my alternative itch for quite some time now.

      ‘Under the Radar’ is good show for some killer alt tunes. Thursday nights at 10pm

      • admin says:

        That’s a bad sign, if true.

        If advertisers are targeting The Buzz with manhood enhancement drugs that’s indicative that they have studies indicating an older listenership.

        Truth be known, that’s part of The Pitch’s problem.

        Too many older readers

  2. kansas karl says:

    The rates will NOT go down by 20%, the station will do “make good” spots to make up the difference between what was bought and what really happened in the ratings on long term contracts, if the points were guaranteed as part of the “deal”. The Buzz is there to protect the Rock. As Johnny himself ages out of the prime demo Entercom has to protect the younger side of the Rock, and the Buzz is that answer, plus the Rock does not have to play hipster music, keeping both stations true to format.

    All you are looking at are 12+ numbers, bullshit. Have one of your reps or I could get you demo numbers, 18-34 and 18-49, but then you could not publish them, and we could see the real story.

    • admin says:

      Actually Kansas Karl, I think you know that I’ve been publishing those rates for years now. You’ve commented on stories where I have many times.

      Right now, I do not have access to them, but feel free to email me at hearne@kcconfidential.com if you are in a position to share them. Your identity protected, of course.

      As noted in the story, I well understand the demo breakdowns, But when you fall off that much, something is amiss and I would wager that they have fallen in the demos as well.

      One major entertainment advertiser was grousing about the Buzz’s numbers to me recently.

      As for playing backdoor for The Rock, that’s long been speculated on, but the fact is they came very close to blowing the Buzz up the first go around on Save the Buzz and don’t think they wouldn’t do it again if the dollar signs and the stars aligned.

      There’s a ton of dough to be made on an FM sports station and 610 has two very Big Guns in KU and the Royals. Read about tjat Tampa station that went FM last June.

  3. smartman says:

    I travel over 100 days a year. Listen to a lot of local market radio and watch local tv to get a feel for the city I’m in.

    KC has, without a doubt, some of the worst on air talent on both radio and tv in the nation. The local shows on AM, sports and talk are Biblically bad.

  4. StillAtMyMoms says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks hipster rock sucks and Laslow and his wife are atrocious when it comes to being a radio personality.

    Just like grunge died in ’94, same with this experimental/wussy trend called “rock” in ’14. Calling it.

  5. Danke Schern says:

    It’s not just the ratings at the Buzz. Not only are the ratings bad, but 85% of the listeners are on gov’t support with little/no disposable income. The alternatives to advertising on the Buzz are endless.

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