WSB Atlanta’s start of an FM simulcast represents yet another reminder of the continuing decline in AM listening, at least for those under the age of 55. Cox’s decision to duplicate its market dominant News/Talk programming on the FM band will make it available to a younger audience, who otherwise have little interest in Atlanta’s AM stations. Excluding WSB, the market’s 45 other AM stations generate less than a 10% combined share (6+).
WSB’s new FM simulcast represents the largest market, to date, where the dominant, heritage AM News/Talker has migrated march to FM has occurred. It is unlikely to be the last.
A quick review of major markets suggests that Philadelphia may be the next conversion candidate. CBS’s KYW(AM), while transmitting with 50-kW, has to maintain tight nulls to the northeast, and has limited signal coverage toward Trenton, and some of the intervening Philly suburbs. CBS’s WYSP’s (94.1) Rock format remains 17th in the market (6+), and offers the ideal signal to embrace all of the Philly market, plus Trenton.
— David Schutz, Hoffman Schutz Media Capital 619-291-7070