Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Will Cumulus try Country Music in SF? 'The Bone' might be De-Boned; Tuesday Dish





Cumulus, which owns a lot of radio stations in this city and beyond is about to try country music in the big apple. It hasn't exactly been a successful venture, but when you need music and content, few options exist.

And now the rumor mill is awash with stories about Cumulus doing the same in SF. Country music hasn't been a plus venture. The Wolf lasted four years. Other stations even less.

This from one of my radio spies: Cumulus is thinking about going away from rock on The Bone and going to country. Nothing is concrete but there have been discussions. The Bone, (KSAN) has OK ratings, but overall, is the 15th most-listened-to radio station in the Bay Area, (SF). And there's a million rock stations on FM. On the other hand, to program a country outlet, Cumulus would need an available station. The Bone could be option one for a country format. I'm betting this rumor has teeth. Time will tell.

Do any of you listen to country music?

*Follow me on Twitter

*I'll be on KSCO today from 12-3 PM PT, (following Rush Limbaugh), and on KOMY, (my own show, from 2-3), doing newstalk. Give a listen and do take part. (Just click on the live streaming audio on the website.


22 comments:

  1. What goes around, comes around. 94,9 KSAN-FM dumped rock and went country at 3pm on Nov. l5, l980, and, ironically, the Weed Man made a seamless transition then... It's just business, and this bone incarnation of KSAN was a shadow of it's former Jive 95 self.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember that day. Even by then, KSAN was a pale imitation of the old Jive 95. At least then there were options- KTIM, college stations and the like. Now, very few terrestrial local options. BTW, isn't the Weed Man really Steven Seagrave?

      Delete
    2. KTIM AM & FM in the 70s up until l981 kept the freak flag flying, much like Burbank/Pasadena's KROQ AM & FM did in the Southland. Tapes with recordings of entire shows from KTIM or KROQ circa 1977 are true treasures! Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby.

      Delete
    3. I have this ongoing dream that I have enough money to buy an FM station and be able to absorb losses for a few years until my free-form station starts to turn a small profit. Sadly, I wake up and realize it was just a dream... just a dream...

      Delete
  2. It's been a while since i tuned them in but as I see it, the Bone has a few problems.

    The morning show got a new female side kick, she has a neat laugh but she's cued to laugh after every spoken word by the personalities. It wears on me.

    Steven seaweed is up next and STINKS! When he's not rambling about this or that, he's playing the Beatles or 1 of the other 3 songs I despise. I went to kfox with no regrets for non ipod music of that genre.

    I'm not sure how many bourbon cowboys still exist to bump the ratings above the current programming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Country may not be hot in SF but in the East Bay and other surrounding areas it might work. If the station has the wattage to reach Santa Rosa and into the Sacramento market it may be worth a try. Remember KRAK?

      Delete
  3. No.
    But its interesting that in Bush W's,early second term local radio exploded with country and right wing radio. The country bay area faded.
    The Bone should play Mariachi music. Or Hindy.You can't fight the future.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Why wouldn't they grab the Bone for the FM stick that KGO desperately needs? Country, the way Cumulus would do it, would be worthless. There is an audience for country music in the Bay Area but it should be curated with care. A mix of old/new, alt-country, bluegrass. Some formulaic corporate drone in Atlanta would not be able to tap the market and produce the results they'd be looking for.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My friend just forwarded me an email Cumulus employees received today from Gary Pizzati - the "acting head" of the station - directing everyone to watch a video of Lew Dickey on CNBC. As if that's supposed to excite the employees that Cumulus grows larger, or changes a format. How in the world does this guy think anyone really gives a crap about an unattached company President talking to CNBC about expanding the country brand? Is there this assumption in upper management that the lowest level employees really give a crap about the ever-expanding Cumulus empire? There was another article this week in the NYPost about the possibility of Cumulus buying up CBS Sports Radio. This in turn would make Cumulus almost as large as Clear Channel. This would further limit the options for which the people Pizzati emailed can find employment. This would limit competition.

    What kind of a person sends that email? In my experience it is the kind of person who is either A) An executive suckup who thinks everyone feels the way he does B) A moron or C) Both.

    I've been around the block more than once in the corporate world, and there is nothing more insulting or ridiculous then when the head of a department tells all the other employees to take a gander at how rich the boss is. Remarkable.

    The reality is that country radio is the highest grossing genre in music right now with many country listeners still buying CDs. This is because the country audience is still 10 years behind the rest of the world, and has yet figured out what Napster is. That, or they are just so patriotic they feel the need to support the economy and like-minded 3 chord guitarists. However you look at it, the likelihood is the country music audience will start to modernize within 5 years. At that point they'll stop buying CDs (where do they even find them?), and like other genres will be beholden to the same market forces other genres face. It has also been mentioned to me that a lot of country fans, who do in fact live in the country, shop online more than others so there's a likelihood they're still buying music. It still holds that the audience will catch up with the rest of America, and the growth will slow.

    That's why Cumulus is creating this "NASH" brand because they realize they have an audience they can bring along to their own new businesses. If the country audience is still buying music, that means they are shoppers. If they can get them buying the "country lifestyle" through Cumulus-owned platforms they believe they can own that market. And there's a good chance they are right, barring a major decrease in radio listenership.

    That's my take on all of this. I read the email out loud to a guy in my office and he said "it reminds me of that movie where everyone hates the boss for being an out of touch idiot."

    "Which one?"

    "I don't know. All of them, I guess."

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rich. The only station I listen to is 95.3 KRTY.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Rich,

    Why aren't you discussing the shameful way that Fitz is ignoring the whole Manti Teo (sic) issue on his KNBR show? It shows incredible cowardice and arrogance to ignore his co-host and audience's desire to address the issue just because he's a shill for Notre Dame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fitz has zero cred. I've stopped listening to him on radio precisely because of issues to which you have described. Moreover, the fact that KNBR still allows this nebitz to carry on speaks volumes about the so-called "leader."

      Delete
  8. Old School CowgirlJanuary 22, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    I like country but never cared for Drugstore Cowboy genre (that's what they call pseudo cowboys down in Texas) and pretty much avoided radio stations here (with the exception of kpfa which airs some great shows on Sundays--but it's FM range is limited).

    I quit listening to Bay Area radio music when they started running more commercials than content.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The only advantage a Country Music format offers is a unique audience. Doubt it will generate big numbers, just loyal CM listeners. Is there another Country station in be Bay Area?

    ReplyDelete
  10. CoUnTrY? Believe it or not, this could be a good move for Lamont and Tonelli. I know these two yutzes have been stifled creatively since they left 92.3 KSJO. They used to do more raunchier stuff. But now that they've gone corporate, they have to water it down a little. Granted their stuff is mindless, silly and just plain stupid, but at least they try to have fun. Unlike those other talking heads who click on music files during the day.

    What I'm trying to say is perhaps this is the time for those two to go satellite or Internet. Then, they can open up their schtick.

    Overall, this potential change is yet another reason to switch to satellite. Country music just doesn't cut it in the Bay Area. It's too urban to listen to twang. Maybe it plays in Livermore, but nowhere else.

    ReplyDelete
  11. If The Bone goes off the air, we'll be down to only one station that still overplays corporate buttrock from the '70s.

    I can't stand "new" country, but I've already had enough of Boston, Foreigner, Bad Company, etc.

    My iPod Classic is the best radio station in town, anyways.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I like country music, but the kind I like isn't the kind that gets played on radio. Then again, I like classic rock, but not the same six songs that are played on the radio. I'm guessing that Anonymous' iPod Classic is going to be the death of radio. I also listen to a show from New Zealand on the net.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I was at Bonneville when Entercom came in with their chests puffed out saying they were going to ax Max and do country even though The Bear had been a loser. Entercom's head honcho said, "we know how to do country". "Really?", we all thought, fine, at least we have a job. Good Luck Cumulus cause you really suck.

    ReplyDelete
  14. p.s. is it true they listen in with microphones outside of the conference room or is that just a rumor

    ReplyDelete
  15. The Bone going country? With Lamont and Tonelli and Steven Seaweed under new contracts? I don't think so. I would place money on KFOG going country. That thing has been stinking up the airwaves ever since Dave Benson left. Really? Renee in mid-days? I hear she also helps out with music. C'mon... Go back to traffic reporting dumbass. That's reason enough to blow up that abortion on the radio. Maybe Rosalie could do a bluegrass show on Sunday mornings. Now that would be something I would listen to!!!! RIP KFOG.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This question / issue is the same as for any format. Country is GREAT but if they program it like KLLC programs Pop (all Katy Perry, all the time), it will be just another homogenized, soul crushing "soundtrack on a loop " station.

    There person who really likes and listens to Country living in the Bay Area is by definition "different". We need a different kind of Country ststion - deeper album tracks form establised artists, tasty underplayed old stuff, great new stuff and some hits from excellent musicians and artists. No Carrie Underwood.

    I can dream, can't I?

    ReplyDelete