KOH KO’d? Reno’s Heavyweight Champion Takes a Punch

Bad news for KOH. As predicted previously, Nielsen Audio market data released today shows that KRNO (106.9) took the top spot with a rating of 8.2. KOH slipped to 7.6. I’m not sure how long KOH has been in the top spot, but it’s been YEARS.

Is this the result of Cumulus pummeling the station? Or increased competition that Ross Perot’d their share? Will Sean Hannity’s move to KNEZ (107.3) cause further devastation next time around?

There isn’t much else to report since KNEZ and KKFT are not included in the rankings. I would love to hear other ideas about what’s happening with talk radio these days. Drop a comment or jump over to Facebook and comment (and like the page)!

A Modern-day Flood. Boo.

Previously on NevadaBrad.com: I lamented – but didn’t necessarily disapprove of – the fact that most of Nevada’s representatives are not from Nevada. After griping, I noticed that the horse was still moving so this is an attempt to give it a proper and final beating (settle down, it’s just a wild horse).

First, a quick recap: Only 36% of the Assembly were born in Nevada. Only 19% of the State Senate were born in Nevada. Quick enough? Good.

So, just another interesting note. The Republicans tend to be far more balanced when it comes to picking native Nevadans. The Republicans claim 40% natives with 60% outsiders.

What do you think the ratio is with the Democrats? The natives weigh in at 24% with 76% for the outsiders.

So, what does it mean? It’s tough to say. On the surface it seems that we’ve all but lost the state to a bunch of outsiders that do not have the best interest of Nevada at heart. Did these people flee to Nevada with the plan to overthrow a red state with a small population? I think that’s unlikely. As stated in my previous article, these people were fleeing the fruits of their labors. Someone else did to them the same thing they’re doing to us. The problem is that we’re running out of places to which we can flee.

The next logical question is this: What’s with all the outsiders in elected office? Is it because of the sheer abundance of transplants? Or because native Nevadans have a tendency to avoid office? Or is it because we’re so flush with outsiders that it’s a given that the population, now comprised of outsiders, will vote for these weaklike-minded candidates, which are also inevitably outsiders?

Here’s a few quick numbers to help you understand what we’re dealing with. The population of Nevada is currently about 2.76 million. In 2000 it was under 2 million. That’s a 38% increase in just a little more than a decade. Unless the people of Clark County were finally successful in their Lepus curpaeums-Homo sapiens cross-breeding experiments (Area 51 stuff), then it’s obvious that people are flooding into our state. Why? They long to be closer to their favorite gaming establishment? They want the freedom to visit the Circus Circus buffet when the craving strikes? It’s most likely because they enjoy sleeping in the shadow of the majestic Spring Mountains. Or it might just be the beautiful summer weather.

Roughly 2 million people now live in Clark County. That’s a 45% increase over their 2000 population of 1.38 million. In Washoe County we’ve seen a 26% increase from 340,000 (2000) to 430,000 currently.

Whatever it is, there’s some reason they came here. And they continue to come here. Whether it’s favorable business, tax, housing (or whatever) conditions, I’m skeptical that our current leadership will preserve the qualities that drew them here to begin with.

We’ve turned from a nice red color to kind of an ugly blueish-purple. Now that people are waking up to the problems on both sides of the aisle, perhaps we have a chance to take our state back. Many on the left are disgusted at the early settlers/pilgrims that “stole” land from the natives. Let’s hope that they feel similar disgust at the modern settlers that have stolen this land from the native-Nevadans. And they can go home and let us get back to harvesting wild horse meat to sell to the French.

The Great Radio Shake-up of 2013/2014

It’s a new year. A time for more nonsensical literary meanderings. I’ve disqualified myself from discussing the state of Reno radio on a couple of occasions, primarily because I don’t listen like I used to. I generally pedal to work for seven or eight months of the year and this definitely affects how I tune in to talk radio. That said, I’ve never let my lack of qualifications or knowledge get in the way so here we go!

When I originally started grunting about Reno talk radio the landscape was meh. There was one powerhouse (KOH) and a few others with negligible market share (KJFK, KBZZ and KKFT). KOH held a 10.2 share compared to a collective 4 for the other three stations. That was 2007. Things were exciting for a while until KKFT, which seemed poised to go into the ring with KOH, became so inconsistent that you hardly knew who was in their lineup from day to day. Add the fact that KKFT stopped participating in the Nielsen/Arbitron ratings and you see that there hasn’t been much to talk about.

Jump to 2013/2014 and we have a different story. Bill Manders, who moved from KOH to KKFT but then left to go to KNEZ, finally landed at Power Talk 96.7 in Fresno. KJFK was mercifully put out of its (and our) misery. Mike Huckabee’s show vanished into the ether. Of course, the big one is Sean Hannity’s move from KOH to KNEZ. Whoa! Seemingly out of nowhere, KNEZ ends up with Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Dave Ramsey. If you don’t think that’s a game changer then email me and tell me about your trip to Colorado.

So, in the tradition of previous posts, let me briefly share my uninteresting and uninformed opinion about each of the talkers.

KBZZ (1270 AM) – KBZZ always had a really weird lineup. They were a lot like a morning FM show that went all day long, all day, every day. But they had Savage for a while. You would think having Savage would affect their ratings but it didn’t seem to matter much. If anything it may have hurt them. About a year ago they switched to a sports format so they are officially off the radar. So long.

KJFK (1230 AM) – As previously noted, KJFK closed shop last year (March 18th according to their web page). Apparently a station cannot succeed if the audience is comprised solely of its own staff. They had a very stagnant share for as long as I watched them, averaging about 1.6 with a high and low of 2.4 and 1, respectively. They ended at 1.7. RIP.

KKOH (780AM) – I’ve gone from griping about KOH to feeling almost sad. Almost. KOH has had a rough time lately as their numbers show. As of the Spring 2013 review period KOH is sitting at 8.2, which is their all-time low since I’ve been keeping score. KOH is actually at risk of being overtaken by Sunny 106.9…Renoooo as the top station. KRNO 106.9 scored a 7.8, which puts them less than half a point away. Hannity’s move to KNEZ is certain to be a problem – he’s been replaced by the very mobile Michael Savage. The deal between Rush and Cumulus will be a lifesaver for the station. I think they were grooming Mike Huckabee to replace Rush, but when Cumulus realized that they were unable to advertise to a sleeping audience they pulled the plug on Huckabee. KOH is alive for now. And in position number one. For now.

KKFT (99.1 FM) – KKFT seems to be treading water. I’m still a member of their fan club, but I’m feeling a bit apathetic. Their lineup is solid: Laura Ingraham, Dennis Miller, Tom Sullivan, Lars Larsen, Andy Dean, Roger Hedgecock, George Noory… *breathe*. This is where I always get into trouble. Personally, I’d rather listen to Beck than Ingraham. I’d rather listen to Rush than Miller. I’d rather listen to Levin than Andy Dean. That said, Jerry Evans has put together a great schedule. It’s just not always my first choice. Except for Tom Sullivan and Lars, to whom I’ve definitely converted. In a Cumulus and Shamrock world, it’s great to have a local shop.

KNEZ (107.3 FM) – KNEZ is proving that they’re ready to play ball. Beck, Ramsey and Hannity are awesome. The station also has Sean Patrick and Rusty Humphries, both local favorites (even though Rusty joins us via his national show).  Travis Christensen almost reminds me of the old KOH-era Ira Hansen. I wish he had more airtime. For such a new station they’ve certainly shown that they want to be taken seriously.

The big win out of all this is the fantastic choice now available to the patriotic citizens of Northern Nevada. It seems like there is room for three great talk stations. Unfortunately, it seems like the turf wars will be an issue. I was disappointed when I heard Sean Patrick refer to 99.1 FM Talk as a “tinker toy station”. Seriously? C’mon. Competition is good, but nastiness serves no real purpose. KOH clearly has some issues to deal with. I’m sure KKFT and KNEZ do, too. If either of these stations rise to number one I’m sure we’ll see all their dirty laundry.

The numbers for Fall 2013 will be available next week. It will be interesting to see how things look. But not as interesting as the 2014 numbers when we begin to see the effect of the Hannity and Huckabee changes…

107.3 KNEWS Officially Launched – Glenn Beck Returns to Reno!

As reported several weeks ago, there is indeed a new news talk station in the Reno market. Shamrock Communications launched 107.3 KNEWS last week and the lineup looks pretty good.

Here’s the official lineup (courtesy of our friend “Ben”): Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, Michael Smerconish, Sean Patrick, Rusty Humphries, Clark Howard, Neal Boortz and Overnight America.

So, I’m excited out of my gourd over the return of Glenn Beck. People who have emailed me wondering about the whereabouts of Sean Patrick will love to see his return opposite Bill Manders and Dan Mason.

I don’t see a web page or anything on Facebook yet, so make sure you listen to the station and tell your friends. If you have a business, make sure you throw some advertising dollars their way. It will be interesting to have three right-leaning stations in Reno. Best of luck to the new station!

Glenn Beck, Sean Patrick to Return to Reno Radio? Oh, Sweetness…

So, as I abandon local talk radio that’s when things start to become interesting. KOH, the previously uncontested champion, has been slowly slipping away. The acquisition by Cumulus did little to stanch the bleeding. In fact, Cumulus may be exacerbating the situation. Or they might even have caused the situation.

99.1 FM Talk was doing well, but after a while they started to look like someone in the dark waving their arms around looking for a light switch. The vision for the station seemed to dim. Then again, I’m still bitter that they stopped playing Glenn Beck.

Speaking of… rumor has it that Glenn Beck will be making a comeback to Reno radio as soon as next week! Details are slim, but he will be appearing on a new station located at 107.3 on the dial. For those who have inquired about Sean Patrick’s whereabouts, I understand he may also be part of the lineup. An official annoucement is said to be forthcoming.

So, how does this affect the ailing KKOH? Or the station that you want to love but you’re never sure you’re being loved back? I’m all for competition, but in this market it’s clear that all the stations need to step up their game. This is definitely something that I can get excited about…

Radio Withdrawal

Arbitron released the Spring 2012 market ratings a while back, but the information is becoming increasingly uninteresting. In summary, KKOH continues to drop like a rock. They posted 8.5, which means that they could easily be surpassed by one of the music stations in the near future. This is their fourth consecutive drop and the lowest share during the time I’ve been tracking their numbers.

According to a friendly at KKFT, Arbitron no longer lists non-subscribing stations. This means that an unintelligent and uninformed layperson like myself does not have access to KKFT’s current data. We only know that they are part of the roughly 30% of unidentified share.

KJFK is enjoying a record share of 2.4 and KBZZ is stagnant at 1.3.

I would like to say there were some exciting surprises, but alas this is not so.

A few months ago I half-heartedly proclaimed my independence from traditional radio. Considering this proclamation I’m not sure that I have any business commenting on the ups and down of radio. With KOH continuing their downward spiral and KKFT no longer appearing on the map, I think it’s time to move on to other matters. I suppose this will be the last time I have much to say about the state of Reno radio for a while…

Return of the Ratings

After a two-year hiatus from talking about the ratings in the talk radio market, it’s time to jump back in. Without me here to express my witless insight it seems like the stations are falling apart. So, here we go…

As of this week Bill Manders is back and new life is breathed into talk radio craziness. It’s not surprising that KOH has continued it’s downward slide; however, KKFT plummeted to it’s lowest point in over four years. All “talkers” stayed the same or dropped. This seems to be the case for other formats as well – the exception being adult contemporary. You wouldn’t be here if you cared about adult contemporary music, so on to the talk.

The graph below shows how each of the four talkers (KBZZ, KJFK, KKFT and KKOH) compare in the years since I’ve been watching the ratings. Up until the Fall 2011 ratings, KKFT had a fairly steady (albeit bumpy) climb while KOH steadily dropped. The last report shows a severe drop for KKFT. I’ve been criticized for calling the latest KKFT drop an anomaly, but the picture speaks for itself.

KBZZ (1270 AM) – KBZZ peaked during the SP08 review period with a share of 2.4. They had some fairly wild swings before leveling off at 1.2, which is slightly below their average of 1.46 between SP07 and FA11. The station dropped to .8 share for the period following the addition of Savage. In my opinion, the station is sort of a mutt. They aren’t all entertainment and they aren’t all politics. With such a weird mix, who is their target audience? Who cares?

KJFK (1230 AM) – Nothing new to report here. They have pretty much the same line-up they’ve always had. Their share is currently 1.6, which is just a smidgen above their average of 1.55. The station has found it’s niche and is clearly happy to maintain altitude.

KKOH (780AM) – KOH has gone from hurting to flailing. The station always seems to enjoy a bump in the fall ratings period; however, this time they dropped by almost a full point. For as long as I can remember, KOH has been top dog with a double-digit share. We are approaching a point where one of the music stations could overtake KOH, most likely KRNO or KWYL. It seems that KOH should have been a cash cow for Cumulus, but they’re certainly not taking advantage of it. Cumulus doesn’t even list KOH (or Reno, for that matter) on their list of stations. This is odd considering Cumulus now owns roughly one quarter of Reno’s market, including the number one station. The station has always had exceptional programming. Now, it seems that good programming is the exception. Although I’ve taken issue with some of the things Dan Mason has done, he does well as a show host.

KKFT (99.1 FM) – KKFT has me stumped. The station’s ups and downs painted a picture of a long and steady rise. Their share went up as KOH went steadily down. This last period they went from a 3.3 share to a measly 1.2, which is their lowest point in more than four years. The only thing that seems to correspond with this change is the addition of Sean Patrick; however, I cannot believe that Sean Patrick single-handedly drove two-thirds of the stations listeners away. The decrease could also be partially attributed to the general decrease in the number of people listening to talk stations.

Unfortunately, I think KKFT may be putting itself into a KOH-style tailspin. Dropping Glenn Beck will likely be disastrous, but we won’t know until SP12 comes out. On the other hand, I think the addition of Bill Manders is sheer genius. There are still a lot of people who don’t know about 99.1. These people now know there is another talk station besides KOH thanks to Manders. The downside is that Lars Larson has been pushed back and cut down to two hours. I consider Lars to be the station’s flagship program and this could affect the station negatively. The addition of Manders should be a net benefit, though.

With all the chaos between KOH and KKFT it will be interesting to see how they choose to fix the problem…

Let Me Know How That Works Out For You

I recently received a visit from Captain Obvious. It seems that both KJFK and KBZZ are owned by Americom Broadcasting. Oddly enough, Americom also owns four highly rated music stations, including Sunny 106.9. I’ve been trying to figure out why a company that owns so many successful stations would insist on trying to keep two unsuccessful talk stations alive. The music stations are acting like life support for KJFK and KBZZ. Unfortunately, there’s no hope of the talk stations being revived because the brains have been removed.

Michael Savage was mercifully removed from 99.1 FM Talk’s lineup and has now appeared on KBZZ from 3p-6p. Savage is lined up against Bill Manders on KOH and Lars Larson on KKFT. The full announcement can be read on KBZZ’s web site.

Savage is a tough one for me to understand. He didn’t last long on KKFT – about 9 months, I think. If I remember correctly he was on KOH for about 5 years. So, if the length of time Michael Savage lasts on a station is relative to the stations popularity then he should be on KBZZ until the end of the week. If he’s lucky. Michael Savage was ranked 3rd on the 2009 Talkers 250. According to Savage, “I guess people love my show because of my hard edge combined with humor and education”. I have another theory. First, we know that no one ever listened to Air America. We also know that, at least in Reno, Michael Savage is not successful on “conservative” talk radio stations. So, if conservatives aren’t listening to Michael Savage and no one is listening to crazy-lefty radio stations then we can safely deduce that the only people listening to Michael Savage are the crazy-lefties who think Savage is typical of conservative talk radio and they are trying to collect incriminating evidence against conservatives.

Just for the record, I listened to Michael Savage for a short while when he started on KOH. I also own a copy of The Savage Nation and have even read it. But then I wised-up and never looked back.

Speaking of programming changes, I also see that Cory Farley jumped from KBZZ to KJFK. Pros: KJFK is probably more in line with Farley’s politics, KJFK needs to fill up the programming now that Air America is deceased, KJFK has more listeners. Cons: I can’t really think of any. I mean, if Cory Farley switches stations and no one’s around to hear it, well, you know how it goes.

As I’ve mentioned before, Cory Farley can be downright hilarious. But when he talks about politics he’s unfunny and mean (kind of like how I am all the time). Given the dismal situation that Americom’s talk stations find themselves in I am interested to see how these changes affect their ratings. One things for certain – there’s nowhere to go but up.

One Classy Sculpture!

I should preface this article by saying that some are sure to be offended and others will agree. To be more specific, of the two people who read this the reaction will be split. That’s assuming that both people are still reading.

I don’t follow local news and I certainly don’t go out of my way to find out what’s going on in our area. I am inadvertently exposed to local news occasionally and I never find myself wanting more. If it’s important I usually hear about it on the radio. Today I glanced over the RGJ Neighborhood paper that they send in the mail every so often (weekly maybe?). They featured an article about an art-piece that the city council was going to install at Virginia Lake. The link to the article is here:

Council rethinks Virginia Lake sculpture

The article contains a picture of the proposed sculpture, but since the RGJ has a practice of extorting money for articles beyond a certain date I have also saved the picture for future reference should this link break.

EDIT: The link broke. Here’s the picture:

Virginia Lake Proposed Sculpture

The article indicates that the council wanted a sculpture that “represent[s] Hispanic culture”.  The debate seems to center around whether the sculpture appropriately represents Hispanic culture or whether it presents a “‘goofy’ caricature of Hispanic culture.” First, why does the city council think we need to spend $67,439 representing Hispanic culture? I believe public art should represent the public. Art should represent Northern Nevadans and Reno.

This leads to my second question: why does it matter how the Hispanic culture is represented? It seems that generally speaking there is little respect shown by Hispanics – especially illegals – toward America in general. They don’t respect our borders or our language. Based on the number of illegals in jail for felony crimes, it is obvious they don’t respect our laws. There is a flood of illegal immigrants coming to our country and they want to make America just like the country they are fleeing. To thank them for what they are doing to the United States, we try to be nice and make a statue to celebrate their culture. So, again, who cares how they are represented?

Immigration is what made this country great, but it only helps the country and the immigrant if assimilation is part of that process. Illegal immigrants certainly show no desire to assimilate and it’s certainly not legal immigrants that are flowing into our country like water through a broken dam.

I don’t think I’m that different from other Americans when I say that I don’t have a problem with Mexico generally. I can’t begin to thank them enough for Del Taco – it’s really delicious. I don’t appreciate having the spanish language shoved in my face on ballots, tax forms, Burger King wrappers and so on. I don’t like having downtown shut down for Cinco de Mayo when we don’t show the same respect to our own great country. Least of all, I hate that illegals from Mexico are forcing Americans to adopt a caste system, which we have been free from since the founding of our country.  Everyone deserves better than that – Mexicans most of all.

Improving Reno’s Economy – I Have an Idea

I’m not one to follow local news very closely, except as it relates to me directly. Occasionally the local news will come on and for one reason or another it doesn’t get changed. Not that there’s any point in sharing this. In the not too distant past a couple of stories were played that I found either infuriating or humorous. I’m still undecided. I’ll only touch briefly on one of the topics – I’ll save the other for another day since it will likely be more involved to get all the information straight.

In this particular story the reporter was discussing Reno’s economic health during this downturn. I didn’t catch every word, but it looked like they were talking to Jessica Sferrazza so it seemed pretty official. At the end of the story, either the city or the reporter asked the viewers, “What ideas do you have to help Reno work this the economic crisis?” I may be paraphrasing.

I’m sure everyone was thinking what I was thinking: Station Casinos. Our city council sometimes seems hell-bent on looking for any opportunity it can find to grab a quick buck through taxation of casinos. We do live in Nevada, and that’s a choice I’ve made along with pretty much everyone else, but don’t complain to the public when the gambling industry begins to suffer.

Station Casinos was heavily protested by all the people who live in the area that would be affected. Petitions were signed and the people made it clear that they do not want a casino in this area. People also flooded the halls when the city council discussed the project. Wisely, the city council listened to the people and did not approve the casino permit; however, as our city council is prone to do, they quietly met a short time later and approved the permit when they didn’t have those nasty constituents breathing down their necks and forcing their opinions on the council representatives.

As Indian gaming and internet gaming grows and other states consider legalizing gambling, Reno must stop this foolish money grabbing. This recession/depression should be a lesson that we are putting our eggs in one basket. Let Las Vegas have the gaming tourism – Reno will never be able to compete. Northern Nevada needs to focus on other business and finding ways to make Northern Nevada attractive to a variety of industries. This means abandoning our city’s current policy of “A Casino on Every Corner”, also known as “No Compulsive Gambler Left Behind”.

Reno can correct a number of issues by taking my advice. The obvious benefits include fewer suicides, fewer alcoholics, less drug use and trafficking and a better enviroment and community for everyone. I would imagine there would be less tobacco use and fewer people killed by drunk drivers, but I’m not sure if there are statistics to back me up. That’s just my opinion.

While opining, I believe that the county should overhaul WCSD and encourage school vouchers and better school choice. Nevada spends a fortune on our kids and they are getting a very poor education in many cases. Yet, everywhere I look I see billboards (horrible, evil billboards) saying the educators need more money. Every election there is a bond issue on the ballot. I’m pretty sure that every bond measure passes, too. But it’s never enough. It will never be enough. The only thing that will improve our school district is some good old-fashioned competition – not more money.

So, to try to wrap this up into some type of coherent statement, quit focusing so much on gaming and tourism and try to find ways to attract businesses to Reno. Quit putting casinos outside of downtown. Quit taxing the living snot out of existing casinos to fund a failing school district that shows little tolerance for competition.

For additional reading about how our current funding helps our schools, check out this article at the Nevada Policy Research Institute: http://www.npri.org/publications/spending-for-spendings-sake

Oh, and quit raising my taxes every time I turn around. Okay, I’m done.