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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...
City & State or ZIP

Update: Atlanta’s Greatest Hits 106.7 to become an all news station May 29

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Would you listen to an all-news radio station?

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Atlanta-based Cumulus Media has hired several former CNN Radio staffers who had been laid off in March but for what?

Update on Friday, April 27, 2012, 2:34 p.m.: Cumulus confirmed with the Atlanta Business Chronicle that it will turn 106.7 into an all-news station in mid May. This would be Atlanta’s first all-news radio format in 12 years and the first on the FM side.

Update on Monday, May 21, 2012, 6:03 p.m.: On 106.7, Cumulus announced that the start date will be Tuesday, May 29 for All News 106.7. The company has also filed with the Federal Communications Commission to move its signal from 40 miles east of downtown to just two miles east of downtown, with its city of license moving from Gainesville to Sandy Springs. The new signal would move to 106.5, if approved, and give the station better metro area coverage.

Update on Friday, June 8, 2012: 10:22 a.m.: The FCC has rejected Cumulus’ effort to move the station closer in town and moving the signal to 106.5.

Everything below was written on Thursday, April 26, 2012:

Cumulus is staying mum, but many in this radio market believe the company is about to launch an all-news station or perhaps a news/talk hybrid. The likeliest candidate for a home is 106.7/Atlanta’s Greatest Hits, which plays songs from the 1960s through the 1980s, with an emphasis on the 1970s. The station, which was part of the company’s Citadel pickup last year, has been pulling in so-so ratings, tied for 17th overall over the first three months of 2012. Another possibility is Rock 100.5, which plays classic rock, and is ranked 22nd.

Whatever Cumulus is planning to do, it’s probably going to happen relatively soon.

[UPDATE: Thursday, 6:42 p.m. I just heard from a reliable source that the Atlanta Greatest Hits staff has been told there's a station-wide meeting Friday. The all-news station, if it's meant to be, will debut next month.)

Atlanta has never had a successful all-news operation in the mode of WTOP-FM in Washington D.C. or WCBS-AM and WINS-AM in New York City. This city is one of the largest without an all-news radio station.

News can pull in an impressive amount of revenue because listeners have a higher tolerance for advertising than other formats. Of the top 10 stations in revenue, four are in this format. WTOP in D.C. pulled in $64 million in 2011, according to BIA/Kelsey Reports, the most of any station in the country. WBBM-AM in Chicago is No. 4 at $48 million, followed by WCBS-AM in New York at No. 5 with $47 million. At No. 8 is New York’s WINS-AM at $42 million. (I do not have access to revenues of Atlanta radio stations.)

On the flip side, news operations can get expensive. A source of mine who is familiar with WTOP-FM believes editorial costs are around $8 to $9 million for a full-fledged newsroom. He thinks a quality 24/7 radio news operation would require 50 people, which could easily exceed $3 million in labor costs.

Radio-info’s Tom Taylor, in his daily column, noted that it can take time to “build the brand” so a radio company may have to be patient before they can become profitable.

Atlanta hasn’t seen an all-news station since the 1997 to 2000 era, when AM 680 attempted the format. It’s now a sports talk station, The Fan.

Ultimately, these hires could be more benign. Cumulus owns many news/talk stations and these folks could simply be used as a centralized hub for content to be shared across multiple markets. They are going to be based in the building that used to house Kicks 101.5 (since moved to the building where 99X, Q100 and Rock 100.5 are based.) and still has 106.7’s studios.

Names a source gave me who have joined the Cumulus operation: Greg Black, Maria Boynton, Andy Rose, Andy Flick,
Michelle Wright and Jackie Howard.

Radioinsight has noted that Cumulus has registered several urls that point to a possible news station.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

70 comments Add your comment

Joe Mama

April 27th, 2012
3:11 pm

The Kimmer? Isn’t he dead?

Oh, no, wait. His *career* is dead.

Allison Wonderland

April 27th, 2012
4:02 pm

SEMPER FI!!!

Audiojunkee

April 27th, 2012
5:01 pm

@llewow There were two possible audio choices available from CNN. CNN Radio and Headline News. Two different products.

BLEH

April 27th, 2012
5:34 pm

Seriously? Why can we not keep an oldies station in ATL? I am so bummed. I know 106.7 has gone downhill some, but make it better!!! I love 80’s, but don’t really consider it “oldies.” No way I will listen to an all news station. YAWN. Isn’t that what AM is for?

Crude

April 27th, 2012
5:55 pm

I would be ecstatic if this new station was in the mold of Detroit’s WJR, I listen to the podcasts of that station every day and THAT is what a professional news radio station is supposed to sound like. You can clearly hear the traffic reports…unlike Captain Herb Emory and his crew of fast talking morons who have to talk over bumper music. WSB is just pathetic on every level. So, I welcome this news, though I’ll miss the music on 106.7.

It’s disheartening to see that they are hiring CNN employees. How about hiring actual journalists instead?

wallis the dog

April 27th, 2012
7:03 pm

If this is like 1010 WINS in New York, this is a great development. Just continuous news (not commentary or opinion).

Atl20g

April 27th, 2012
7:09 pm

Another station bites the dust in Atlanta. Give us an Oldies station that will stay in Atlanta. Sirius-XM to the rescue again.

finally

April 27th, 2012
9:22 pm

I don’t care for the limited amount of music WYAY plays, so l will welcome any change to a music line up. I certainly hope that they don’t do away with the format entirely, just possibly move it to 97.9 Journey’s place.

I never felt that staion made a mark, but in the last 2 weeks l have gotten 2 emails from them, so they may be gearing up for a big announcement.
I did LOVE Scott Shannon’s station. He was extremely knowledgeable and sounds like he really enjoys his job.
Trip West is a great DJ and he should land on a good station but I pretty much knew they were just phoning it in at the 4th Anniversary event a couple of weeks ago for 106.7 when they had a cover band instead of a real band, but oh well, when you cut every corner you eventually end up with a hole.

Henry Rutherford Hill

April 28th, 2012
8:19 am

Hank Hill here. Join me weekdays at 8:59am for the Strickland Minute. Each day I will give you tips on the proper use of propane and propane accessories. I’ll also share the secrets of the perfect hamburger. That’s the Strickland Minute sponsored by Strickland Propane on NewsRadio 106 FM.

Timothy Taylor

April 28th, 2012
8:58 am

Tim “The Toolman” Taylor here. Join me weekdays at 9:59am for the Binford Minute. I’ll tell you how not to use your power tools, such as using your electric drill instead of a boat motor. The Binford Minute brought to you by the fine folks at Binford Tools. Only on NewsRadio 106 FM.

Just one of the many features on NewsRadio 106 Fm to keep you safe and informed!

Karol

April 28th, 2012
3:47 pm

Sorry to hear about 106.7. I’m glad I now have XM radio.

James

April 28th, 2012
9:32 pm

Pandora for music isn’t bad either…………….

rusty humphries

April 29th, 2012
10:42 pm

106.7 ahould hire me, I’m sure I could pull the same .8 share I’m getting at GST despite having Rush as a lead in!

Backwoods Hick

April 30th, 2012
2:00 pm

Hear that flush? It’s Atlanta FM radio going further down into the sewer. That’s why I use the internet to listen to good stations from other parts of the country. P.S.-Ditto to Tom’s comment earlier.

Mike Bell

April 30th, 2012
5:11 pm

I am available mornings and evenings to do my hilarious impersonations for this new format. I’ll provide my own laugh track.

PAC

April 30th, 2012
10:36 pm

Darn! 106.7 is the only music station I listen to in the car. If they go news I guess I will just listen to more sprats talk.

JD

May 1st, 2012
4:15 pm

Cumulus & The Dickeys are crooks.

Amanda Lineberry

May 2nd, 2012
11:54 am

Stop talking about 106.7 Atlanta’s Greatest Hits. That station has the nicest music. Carmine and myself just went to a concert of there’s. It was the BOMB. It was there 4 year birthday being on the air. How could yall degrade them. What is yall’s e-mail address? My e-mail address is amanda8519@att.net. Yall could e-mail me yall’s e-mail address.

TheLazyComic

May 3rd, 2012
12:41 pm

Cumulus doesn’t have a clue. Another creepy corporate who has gotten way too big.

WSB AM 2 idiots

May 4th, 2012
8:45 am

Oh Goodness they should name Richard (And Dah) Sankszer & Scott (Porky Pig) Slade as Atlanta’s most non professional ( Insert Laugh Here) cast members> I for the sake of me can’t understand why WSB producers aren’t able to see how terrible they both are when they try to do the Man in the street report.Just count the times each day when Slade tries to have Sanzter give news update the times you hear And Dah And Dah and then Porky Pig axing questions. I can’t turn the radio off fast enough. And Dah Sanzter says And Dag a minimum 14 times in 30 seconds> Don’t believe me? Then listen and count’em.