Hearne: Can Channel 19’s ‘The Bridge’ Lure ‘Alice’ FM’s Listeners & $$$?



Going, going…

Triple A radio station Alice 102.1 FM isn’t gone yet, but the future of the Adult Album Alternative format on airwaves is soon to rest solely on the untested shoulders of a public radio station owned by public television station KCPT, Channel 19.

Which of course makes for some interesting prospects.

Because while KCPT may have borrowed and/or invested way too much ($1.7 million and $400,000) in acquiring and bringing its new baby The Bridge 90.9 FM fully into the local marketplace, the pending departure of Alice 102.1 FM certainly could help them – and maybe help them a lot. 

That’s because in listeners 6 and older Alice has been taking down a 2 share.

And while that ain’t nuthin’ to write home about, it’s a ton better than what The Bridge has been doing locally to date. Despite the vocal chorus of locals who’ve been raving about the station for years now.

Screen shot 2014-02-04 at 4.04.51 PMCase in point:

“With 25-54 adults from 6 a.m. 7 p.m., The Bridge had a 0.0 average share (unrankable) and total weekly cume of 1700 ( rank 38th) in the latest Holiday book,” says a media insider. “It means they are measured by Neilson and obviously encoded for meters, but they have VERY FEW listeners who spend almost no time with the station. KCKC (Alice) had a 2.2 share (rank 18th) and a weekly cume of 83,900 (rank 16th).”

There you have it.

Clearly The Bridge has its work cut out for it, if it is to attract the underwriters/advertisers – whatever you want to call them – and KCPT wants to operate in the black and not have the radio station become a drain on the revenues of its television property.

Make no mistake, that won’t be easy.

Selling ratings pies-in-the-sky is no walk in the park.

ktbgThen again, with Alice on the way out – not entirely though, because they’ll be clinging to listeners with all their might on their new format – it does present a significant opportunity for The Bridge.

Can or will The Bridge take advantage of Alice’s absence?

Time will soon tell. 


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19 Responses to Hearne: Can Channel 19’s ‘The Bridge’ Lure ‘Alice’ FM’s Listeners & $$$?

  1. paulwilsonkc says:

    I stream a lot of stuff in the early morning hours; WABC in Neeeeeew York CITY from 5-7:30 then switch over to KOGO in San Diego. I rarely listen to FM music in my car, that being said, since the Bridge has come to town I listen almost exclusively, as does my daughter after I turned her on to it.
    I like it a lot and it has a far more extensive mix/play list than Alice.
    I have one complaint; love that they play long strings of uninterrupted music; the downside is its impossible to IDENTIFY new artist or songs. The result? I now drive with Shazam on the home screen of my iPhone and tag what ever is playing that I want.
    I for one, want them to make it.

    • CG says:

      I am on weekly with Darren on Fridays at 8:30 AM, great guy, Darren. I enjoy the music, but who knows, it was a gamble when they did it about a year ago to start with as all formats are…radio is a tough ballgame these days. The most interesting thing you wrote Hearne was the no. 1 spot going to KFKF the old country ch. speaks in volumes on who KC is.

      • hot harley says:

        glaze…its an aberration if you would have followed my
        kfkf played 100% xmas music which is very very popular
        during the season. It affected the ratings for all the
        other country stations sending listenrs to both q and wolf.
        this is a big country market….but in December it was
        not what you thought.
        for further info read my comments on hearnes other piece
        about ratings….you’ll see theres a lot going on that
        affect those ratings………..
        your friend

        • admin says:

          Country music dominating in KC is no aberration, H Man.

          From the days of yore when 61 Country ruled the ratings roost, to continued strong showings by KFKF and Q104, this town has long been a Cowtown.

          Of course, KCFX, The Rock and classic rock has long been strong as well.

          Just add up the ratings on the three country stations and see what you get.

  2. hot harley says:

    bridge will collapse…
    guess they’re not concerned with making money so they can go on forever…
    I’m into Pandora now…its the wave of the future….watch it…its catching on
    big time.
    still small in comparison to the big dogs but its going to capture a very
    loyal audience. May never reach the big time but its being played all over
    the city………..
    may take 10 years but Pandora is here to stay….it s great..i choose an
    artist and that’s all it plays for the most part (sometimes matches other
    artists which the one I chose)

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      I’m good friends with the girl who wrote the algorithms when Pandora was a business plan. You can imagine what, behind the scenes, goes into how a “channel” is built. The whole formula for “if you like the Beatles….” how it determines what the program will offer as your next choices. Pandora will certainly stay ahead of Spotify, if not ruling altogether.

      • kansas karl says:

        Interesting the guy who matched the music to the algorithms spoke at the Linda Hall library a couple of years ago, he spoke of how he trained an army of people to classify the music based on his interpretations. He said rather than choosing an artist choose a song and see what happens.

        Free always wins, always has always will.

        • paulwilsonkc says:

          Agree totally.

        • hot harley says:

          KK….now Pandora charges $36 a year and you get
          no commercials….
          that’s a steal!
          how is that going to affect over the air free stations?

          • kansas karl says:

            not one whit, they still interupt the stream every 90 minutes to see if you are listening. the mainstream consumer won’t pay for radio, satellite is stuck at 5% and Pandora does not bump the meter at all, no mass. Free radio wins again.

  3. You can lede the public to 97k watts, but you can’t make obscure white bread-n- mayonnaise commercially viable.

    KTBG’s true competition (and better business model) is modulated 0.8 down the dial.

    • kansas karl says:

      90.1 competition for what a buzzing neon light, there are hours everyday where KKFI has NO listeners, not enough to register in the ratings 6+ or 0+. Plus those moron’s are unable to understand how a radio station should flow instead of herky jerky twerking from one lame ass talk program into music that is just the host’s favorite songs of the day. KKFI has boasted for decades it is the voice of the underserved, for almost 20 years they sat at the top of a set of stairs that excluded anyone with a physical challenge. These folks can’t agree on anything and it shows, no real money as they lurch from fund raiser to fund raiser like a burnt out junkie.

      KKFI is it’s own worst enemy.

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        Karl, I really tried to like KKFI. But you make the only point worth hearing on the topic. I don’t want one hour of Native ‘merican Chant followed by 30 minutes of Rockabilly and another hour of Inner Mongolian Rap. Then, 25 minutes of talk radio on of wheat germination.
        How can you keep a listening audience? I’m all about diversity but there has to be focus to it so you at least have enough reason to listen for a segment per day.
        KKFI is the equivalent of starting a new format that alternates rock album cuts with 70’s disco then folk. You have three distinct audiences, none of which will listen.

        • Libertarian says:

          KKFI needs to pick one avenue-music, or everything else.

          Beware of everything else.

          As the occasional co-host/co-producer on a few of their music programs, I have the same gripe. They should play music only from 6am to 6pm, and let the die-hard liberals have the night time slots. Make all the music programs 3 hours, and get rid of the programmers that play the same old tired stuff every week.

          Wait and see what the new station manager has in store. It could mean some worthy changes are on the horizon.

      • admin says:

        And sadly, it always has been like this at KKFI, Kansas Karl.

        I’ve followed the station’s long, sad trail for like ever and it just flounders from one puppet government to another.

        It’s an operation where the inmates run the asylum.

        Not that there aren’t some quality inmates in the mix. Charles Ferruzza to name one.

        But they have no captain, no game plan and any time somebody comes along and tries to put a firm hand on the tiller, it’s mutiny on the Bounty.

        Hard to imagine it ever changing – not unless a younger generation comes along and sweeps the decks clean. Because those little people cling to their little shows more than Fox News devotees cling to their guns and their bibles.

        • Libertarian says:

          Good summary.

          The programming commitee has no balls when it comes to change, and like I said, lets see if the new manager can make some changes.

          KKFI was founded on music-good music that never got airplay on the commercial stations. I am of the opinion that they need to make the music their primary focus, like they used to do. I also think the music fans are the heavy hitters come fund drive.

          I have personally seen the numbers on the board, and the music shows bring in the revenue, not sprouts, not bioneers, and certainly not psychic talk.

  4. kansas karl says:

    As long as the cabel of the union folks and talk show wanna be’s hold the power, the most votes, music and quality programming will lose everytime at KKFI, it always has. This is a personal political outlet for the extreme left, or those who think they are left, nothing more, the music is there to fund the politics of a very few people, sad really sad that so many other folks become impotent when it comes to “being” on the radio.

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