Wild gunning for piece of small CHR pieDon Day | November 1, 2008
Is there a market in Boise for three CHR stations, plus KCIX/Mix 106? Folks who like a little Akon in their musical diet are well served – with three stations playing rhthymic cuts.
KWYD/Wild 101 lit up its new transmitter this week – and is bounding out of the gates with 15,000 songs without a paid commercial. Former CHR powerhouse KZMG/Magic 93.1 also had a major change this week, when it took Dan Tooker off the payroll and re-tooled its morning show with Melissa Dawn and MJ.
KSAS/103.3 Kiss FM had a remarkably strong book in the spring, fueled by huge female demos for its Hooker in the Morning Show – and also saw strength across the board (which may have been the glow of its “Live for 175″ sutnt). The station has been well-programmed and seems to have found a niche musically that works — so it has the three Ms – Music, Mornings and Marketing going strong. The somewhat cheesy but effective “Whose House” and “Muawwww” buzzwords seem to stick with the audience and engage in a way that I wouldn’t have expected. Even if they don’t know how to spell them on a billboard.
KZMG/Magic 93.1 is having trouble on all three fronts. We’ve talked at length about its problems finding a morning show that sticks around – with an average of more than two per year over the last five years. If there’s one thing that’s consistent at 93 – it’s change. The station’s marketing position isn’t clearly defined either, and with Citadel’s cash woes, it doesn’t seem there will be much of a change. The station is understaffed and outgunned. PM dude Miggy Santos is a big bright spot for the station – but of late, he’s the only thing it has going for it.
That brings us to Wild. Impact has launched four very distinct FM stations in the past two years – oldies, Spanish-language, variety hits and now rhythmic. The station is ignoring KZMG all together and focusing in on KSAS. The news release from Impact yesterday noted that most markets in our region have a Rhythmic station – from Seattle to Spokane to the Tri-Cities and even Colorado Springs (which is in many ways similar to B-town). No one has ever tried it in Boise, though both KSAS and KZMG have toyed with the idea and even have programmed closer to that edge at times – always to retreat back to the pop middle ground. If the Wild folks are smart they’ll find a way to build buzz very fast. 40 days without a commercial can be effective – witness what KCIX/K-106’s launch as an AC station did all those years ago with 106 days of commercial free music. But they’ve got to let people know the station exists. So far there’s been no general media play, and they didn’t blow up someone’s favorite station, so there isn’t even buzz on that front. The imaging so far is pretty basic. The Mac vs. PC ad takeoff is overdone (even another local advertiser is doing it right now), and KSAS is smart to not step into the snakepit that KZMG did in the late 1990s by acknowledging their cross-town rival. It remains to be seen if Wild will pop – or be able to make revenue.
Three pop stations pulling a 2 to 3 share isn’t going to work. If however just two stations are left standing – it’s very possible that KZMG won’t be one of them without something changing. Ending the Tooker experiment early was probably the right call – the show just didn’t have the right tone somehow, and seemed entirely out of place on a pop station. MJ and Melissa could have a better go of it – but the rest of the station has to improve if they are going to last for more than six months like so many shows before them couldn’t.