Buck & Kincade, the most stable part of 680/The Fan’s schedule the past decade, is swapping places with Chuck & Chernoff.
Buck & Kincade will take over the noon to 3 p.m. slot and Chuck & Chernoff will do 3 to 7 p.m.
[UPDATED at 3:30 p.m. EST with comments from management]
The change is expected to happen next week.
David Dickey, who runs the Fan, said he did not base this move on ratings though he has considered it for several months. (He does not subscribe to Arbitron.)
“We’re not doing this because we’re the Titanic,” Dickey said. “We’re doing this because we’re kicking butt right now and want to continue to kick butt and pick up some momentum.”
He thinks the quicker-paced Chuck and Chernoff show will work even better in the afternoons. “We feel the tempo and texture of the John and Buck show looking forward to the next 10 years is better suited for the middle of the day,” he said. “People toward the end of the day want to let their hair down. They want to laugh a little.” And to him, Chuck and Chernoff serves that purpose better.
Moving Buck and Kincade to mid-days is not a step down, Dickey said. Given current research, he said, it’s clear there are just as many people who listen from noon to 3 as 3 to 7 p.m. thanks to smartphones, at-work streaming and traffic patterns. Other big personalities do just fine from noon to 3, notably Rush Limbaugh.
Buck & Kincade’s ratings have slipped a bit over the past two years relatively speaking to direct rival 790/The Zone’s 3 to 7 p.m. combo of 2 Live Stews and Pollack & Bell. The Zone’ s strongest daypart is 3 to 7 p.m. and the David Pollack/Mike Bell combo has certainly improved in the ratings over the past two years. For the Fan, its strongest time slot has been mid-days, including Chuck & Chernoff.
So effectively, the Fan is taking its most popular team (Chuck and Chernoff) and putting it in a more prominent afternoon position against the Zone’s strongest time slot.
Chuck Oliver and Matt Chernoff are both former talk-show hosts at the Zone, both discovered by Zone management. The pair left the Zone separately in the 2007-08 period and reunited on the Fan in late 2008.
The tradeoff: they will both have to give up their TV gigs on CSS Sports Nite.
The Fan is also adding more Dawgs coverage starting next week, including a half-hour Dawgs Roundtable Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30 a.m. Mark Richt’s press conference every Tuesday will air live in the fall.
John Kincade, Buck Belue Oliver and Chernoff are all under long-term contracts, Dickey said.
He was also bemused that Steak Shapiro on the Zone today crowed about the move of Buck & Kincade as a sign that Pollack & Bell had beaten them.
“We’re flattered,” said Andrew Saltzman, president of the Zone. “We feel very good about what we’re doing in afternoons. We’ll keep doing what we’re doing.”
(UPDATE, Sunday, July 17, 2011: Belue texted me a brief statement: “It’s win-win for me. Young family. Get to be more involved with my 3 children after school and have dinner with them. Free’d up to work Braves & Dogs. It’s all good.”)
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog