SiriusXM shock jock Howard Stern is taking credit for the death of long-time Rock station (now Classic Rock) WYSP-FM Philadelphia. CBS Radio announced 8/18 it will simulcast its Sportsradio WIP-AM in that market on WYSP’s 94.1 FM starting 9/7.
The move comes as Howard Eskin’s 25-year run ends on WIP amid a ratings beating from Mike Missanelli, who’s on Greater Media’s 97.5 FM The Phanatic/950 WPEN in Philly.
Stern told his listeners 8/18 that ‘YSP couldn’t survive after his radio show moved away from free radio to satellite radio — about one hour before the official press release came out.
WYSP had been the highest-rated FM station in Philadelphia when Stern added Philadelphia as his first syndicated affiliate. Stern was on WYSP until 2006 when he moved to Sirius Satellite Radio. Since then, the station has dropped and dropped in ratings – also against in-market competitor, Greater Media’s Active Rock WMMR-FM. WMMR’s morning team of Preston (Elliot) & Steve (Morrison) have consistently beaten Philly native Danny Bonaduce in the ratings. The July PPMs had WMMR in fifth place in P12+ (4.9); WYSP finished 18th (2.3-a tie).
RBR-TVBR observation: Stern left terrestrial radio five years ago. Many factors have contributed to music radio’s demise since then – it’s certainly not all about Stern. WYSP is one of a long string of music FMs that have followed AM’s path to spoken word. You can’t expect an audience to remain when you play the same 300-350 Classic Rock songs over and over again ad infinitum. It’s like a death sentence for the station. Traditional radio in many markets has pushed listeners to other places to discover new music—or at least to find deeper cuts from the artists they know and like. An HD-2 channel is obviously not going to do the trick, either.