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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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4/15: Morning Mash with falling Atlanta radio revenues, Metalsome Mondays & a Morning Mess sighting

Radio revenues in Atlanta dropped an alarming 15 percent last year compared to 8.5 percent nationwide, according to stats compiled by research firm BIA Financial.

The Atlanta radio market drew about $326 million in revenue in 2008 vs. about $386 million in 2007. That’s a whopping $60 million that has disappeared into the ether. BIA is not optimistic of a recovery in 2009: it predicts revenues to fall to $290 million, levels the market has not seen in many many years.

Virtually every radio station saw revenues fall. But a caution note: these estimates are not always accurate and are not audited figures so take them with some grain of salt. Last year, a source told me, for instance, the V-103 and WSB-AM numbers for 2007 were WAY low. And I find the discrepancy between Q100 and Star 94 a bit too wide given that Q100 is now clearly the ratings leader.

If anybody in the know can feed me more accurate figures, email me at rho@ajc.com or call me at 404-526-5688.

Rank. Station, format, est. 2008 rev, Change from 2007
1. V-103, R&B/hip-hop $35.6 million -16%
2. WSB-AM, news/talk, $30.95 million -23%
3. Kiss 104.1, R&B, $20 million -13%
4. Star 94, Top 40, $18.6 million -24%
5. B98.5, soft rock, $17.5 million -10%
6. Kicks 101.5, country, $17 million -25%
7. 97.1/The River, rock, $14.525 million -20%
8. Project 9-6-1, rock, $12.5 million -15%
9. 92.9/Dave FM, rock, $12.4 million -17%
10. Hot 107.9, hip hip, $12.125 million -24%
11. 790/The Zone, sports talk, $12 million -13% (The station does incredible numbers given its relatively modest ratings.)
12. 94.9/The Bull, country, $11.4 million -29%
13. Q100, top 40, $11 million -17%
14. 640/WGST-AM, news/talk, $10.3 million -13%
15. (tie) 95.5/The Beat, hip-hop top 40, $10.2 million, -14%
15. (tie) Rock 100.5, rock, $10.2 million -23%
17. 104.7/The Fish, Christian pop, $8.3 million -17%
18. Smooth Jazz 107.5 (now Majic), smooth jazz, $7.725 million -12% (ironic the dropoff was relatively modest since the format was changed)
19. True Oldies 106.7, oldies, $7.7 million -8% (was Eagle in 2007)
20. Praise 97.5 (now 102.5), gospel, $6.575 million +20% (Go figure. The station does well and it gets moved to a weaker signal)
21. Grown Folks 102.5 (now gone), R&B/talk, $4.85 million +7%
22. 680/The Fan, sports talk, $4.2 million -5% (ratings were up last year so dropoff was modest but man, look at that discrepancy between the Fan and the Zone in revenues despite comparable ratings!)
23. 96.7/The Legend, classic country, $4 million -33% (This number looks completely specious given how weak the Legend’s numbers are. No clue how BIA came up with this one.)
24. 105.3/El Patron, Spanish, $3 million -52% (sheesh!)
25. 1340-AM, sports, $2.5 million -14% (another headscratcher. This station gets virtually no ratings so I can’t imagine it gets anywhere near this amt. of revenue)
26. 102.3/WLKQ-FM, Spanish, $2.5 million -23%
26. 610/WPLO-AM, Spanish, $2.4 million -14%
27. Viva 105.7, Spanish 1.85 million -26%
28. J93.3, Christian, 1.75 million -49%
29. 1550/WAZX-AM, Spanish, $1.5 million -20%
30. 970/WNIV-AM, Christian, $1.4 million -18%
31. 1600/WAOS-AM (La Favorita), Spanish, $1 million -23%
32. South 107.1, country, $975,000 +3%
33. 920/WGKA-AM, news/talk, $925,000 +3%
34. 860/WAEC-AM, Christian, $850,000 -6%
35. 1690/WMLB-AM, eclectic, $800,000 -11%

-I took my girlfriend and her friend from out of town to Metalsome Mondays at 10 High Monday night because it was by far the best option on a Monday night. For the unitiated, it’s live band karaoke with an amazing band fronted by people willing to sing songs by the likes of Metallica, Pat Benatar and Guns ‘n Roses. After six years, the group is an Atlanta institution, with shows hosted all these years by the Energizer Bunny, Rock 100.5 jock English Nick. Nick has impressive chops of his own tackling Van Halen or Motley Crue songs. (I mauled Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” by the way).

I ran into Ryan Newell, Sister Hazel guitarist, who used to be married to Jenn Hobby of Q100. In a weird coincidence, right next to him was Shannon Murphy, formerly of Star 94’s Morning Mess. She and her cohorts Marc Orem (Marco on the air) and Superphast Mikey (Michael Dennison) have been off the air for more than a month but are being paid through the end of the year or until they find a new job.

Their agent, Norm Schrutt, is shopping the trio, she said, both as a group and individually. She was arguably the most popular of the three, based on earlier blog comments. If the Mess breaks up, she could potentially be paired up with a new morning team or go on her own as a mid-day or afternoon jock.

Shannon also noted what Schrutt told me the day they were let go: Star and the Mess were a wrong fit. She said the three of them knew it virtually from day one; in fact, the day before they were on the air, they had a sinking feeling Star’s audience would have a tough time stomaching their youthful irreverence.

-And this has nothing to do with radio or TV, but it’s a hilarious folk song by Rhett and Link about Taco Bell – and the payoff at the end is even better:

9 comments Add your comment

Les

April 15th, 2009
7:30 am

790/The Zone is not really a Sports Talk station. It is never ending continuous self-promotion and commercials. They have more commercial time, commercial messages, and promotional statements than any other station on the airwaves. Listen for any hour, and it’s 45-minutes of commercials, and 15-minutes of programming. With full time on-air advertising, they better have respectable revenue.

Dilly

April 15th, 2009
9:43 am

$10.3 million for the Braves flagship?? Wow, WGST used to bill about $15 million when they were at 920. Bloomquist and Deskins did a bang up job of running that station into the ground.

Steve

April 15th, 2009
10:09 am

So, Shrutt knew The Morning Mess was a bad fit for the station. Did he return his commission to Star 94?

The Truth

April 15th, 2009
11:15 am

Shrutt needs to be pressure washed.

Don finley

April 15th, 2009
3:51 pm

790 and 680 suck, but the zone is the worst i cant listen to any of them and i can only listen to 680 the fan when espn is on!

lkjlkj

April 15th, 2009
9:43 pm

you don’t think it’s fascinating to hear Steak drop names and restaurants?

kerrang

April 16th, 2009
10:29 am

“Youthful irreverence” is not what got the Mess canned. Being a lousy morning show is what got them canned

Eddie K

April 16th, 2009
7:03 pm

It amazes me that ANY of these stations make ANY money. How many single-occupant commuter drivers fail to mute the ads or change the station when the ads come on??? Name the last three advertisers on the last radio show you listen to…bet you can’t do it, unless you listen to the same syndicated show month after month and they have the same advertisers month after month.

The old saw in marketing is that “I know that I’m wasting half of my money in my marketing campaign…I just don’t know which half.”

Now we know which half.

Stephen

April 21st, 2009
2:58 pm

Thank goodness for satellite radio because all though I hate paying the subscription fee it is better than listening to the junk being passed as entertainment on the Atlanta radio stations. The music stations keep playing from the same limited playlist and the talk stations rehash the same old topics without any resolutions or positive new ideas…it’s all negatives and rantings.