Bert Weiss and his Bert Show cohorts heard locally on Q100 have signed on with YEA Networks to expand syndication opportunities.
The show, based in Atlanta, is also heard in Nashville and Indianapolis. YEA Networks syndicates “Kidd Kraddick in the Morning” out of Dallas.
This is part of a deal which ensures Weiss will stay with Atlanta-based Cumulus Media for at least a few more years.
Weiss, who joined Q100 at its launch in 2001, last signed a lucrative five-year deal with the station in 2007. I’m not sure how much he received but given how important his show is to the station and the fact the economy was still afloat, it was definitely good timing for Weiss and his bank account.
Soon after, the media business took a nosedive with radio revenues shrinking by more than 25%. Recovery has been very very slow and big radio companies such as Cumulus and Clear Channel continue to trim, especially in smaller markets.
This is where syndication comes in. This gives smaller stations access to bigger talent at much lower cost than a local show. While syndication is standard in talk radio and at black-leaning stations, penetration in top 40 has been a little slower. Nonetheless, it’s happening. Kidd Kraddick, who was Weiss’ boss in the 1990s when Weiss was Kraddock’s sidekick, now has more than 115 affiliates. Elvis Duran out of New York is heard locally on Wild 105.7/96.7 and has more than 20 affiliates.
Weiss first entered syndication two years ago in Nashville, followed by Indianapolis last year. Both are Cumulus stations and ratings have been modest. This new deal will enable Weiss to expand easier to other markets.
So financially, given these new opportunities, Weiss probably did just fine despite the fact many other radio personalities are losing their jobs or taking pay cuts.
YEA CEO George Laughlin said, in a press release: “From our experience with “Kidd Kraddick in the Morning,” we’ve learned that audiences care more about quality content than where the show originates. Bert has assembled a morning show that wins, thanks to their talented cast and compelling content. We are very confident that this show will be a hit in syndication.”
Weiss, who is on vacation this week, couldn’t be reached for comment. His agent Bob Eatman is, too. John Dickey, who runs Cumulus programming, didn’t return an email and call for comment.
Despite aggressive competition from rivals, the Bert Show maintains solid ratings in Atlanta, typically ranking in the top 2 or 3 among 25 to 54 year olds and 18 to 34 year olds. The departure a year ago of long-standing cast member Melissa Carter (replaced last summer by Kristen Klingshirn) has not appeared to hurt the program.
In related Cumulus Atlanta news, Kicks 101.5 has moved into the Cumulus space, on Johnson Ferry Road, which now houses 680/The Fan, 99X, Q100 and Rock 100.5. This move came on the heels of the Cumulus merger with Citadel, which owned Kicks and 106.7/Atlanta’s Greatest Hits. Greatest Hits, for now, remains at the old studios off Windy Hill and I-75.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk