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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.

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

70 comments Add your comment

Johnny Fever

April 26th, 2012
11:35 am

Why is it that it seems Atlanta is always not up to par with the other major markets? Seems strange for a city the size and with the stature of Atlanta.

Mr. Moderately Obvious

April 26th, 2012
12:16 pm

If you are starting a new radio station with all former CNN employees, you might as well call yourself “RadiObama” or “AIR AMERICA 3.0.”

Snooze…

Mr. Moderately Biased

April 26th, 2012
12:28 pm

The caller is correct above – might as well since we already have already had WSBush, or WBS as its known, for so long. A little balance would be nice.

Allison Wonderland

April 26th, 2012
12:34 pm

allnews1067.com is already a registered domain name by Cumulus so there ya go.

LastStand

April 26th, 2012
12:35 pm

Don’t take away 106.7 for talk.

LT

April 26th, 2012
12:35 pm

Rodney, do you know who they hired? I have a lot friends from CNNR & it would be nice to hear who’s found new gigs. Thanks!

thomc

April 26th, 2012
12:49 pm

As an independent in a conservative radio talk show market I would welcome an all-news station in the tradition of WCBS-AM, WINS-AM, WTOP. The station could save money on programming/features becoming an affiliate with the CBS Radio News group. No talk shows (Dem or Rep), any long form, 30 minutes or more, should be restricted to a mayor and/or governor talk/interview show. Atlanta is an international city and major radio market and the WINS-AM original slogan ” Give us 22 minutes and we’ll give you the world.” fits the city. Please have the station on an FM frequency so it will be heard outside 285.

Mr. Moderately Obvious

April 26th, 2012
12:50 pm

Will all of their news people be reading directly from teleprompters like their socialist, jivetalking “god?”

Daryl-Atlanta

April 26th, 2012
1:17 pm

Back in the day…Atlanta had the ever-dependable WGST News Radio 92 with the likes of Forrest Sawyer delivering the news at regular intervals along with sports, weather, traffic and the occasional short, syndicated news and commentary programs like Paul Harvey. The network news was then delivered by the Mutual Broadcasting System. All of this was very similar in format to New York’s 1010-WINS. If this new venture can offer something similar to what WGST once offered, that would be something wonderful as well as unique for Atlanta’s radio airwaves.

Tom

April 26th, 2012
1:21 pm

106.7 went downhill when they dumped Scott Shannon’s True Oldies Channel.

Christopher Rude

April 26th, 2012
1:30 pm

i can’t believe steak didnt get mentioned one time?

Christopher Rude

April 26th, 2012
1:31 pm

Phred

April 26th, 2012
1:43 pm

Ditto what Tom said. WYAY/Atlanta’s Greatest Hits has been terrible since dropping the Shan’s network.

John

April 26th, 2012
1:43 pm

yeah thats what the ATL needs, ALL news radio..NOT!!! Keep 106.7 its a great station and the closes thing to playing 80’s music stuff.

BillyJoe

April 26th, 2012
2:04 pm

I’ve been hoping for an all news and features station like KYW in Philadelphia for a long time. The problem is, what are they going to talk about? Wearing your confederate flag dress to prom? The latest hair weave heist?

George

April 26th, 2012
2:05 pm

Having just moved from Northern Virginia, I miss not having an all news channel. I like traffic and weather, but I don’t want to have to listen to 20 minutes of talking heads and opinion, liberal or conservative, to get to it. Man, I miss Traffic and weather on the 8s.

jv

April 26th, 2012
2:47 pm

Please keep 106.7 on, but make it oldies again, and bring back Randy and Spiff….NOONE cares about rock 100.5, do whatever you want with that entire line up. And while I am sure hiring CNN staffers means liberal, how very very very happy I would be if you are going that direction if you would hire KIMMER, the best radio personality on Atlanta airwaves EVER

Jason T

April 26th, 2012
3:40 pm

Atlanta already has a news station, it’s called WSB 95.5 FM
Good luck Dickey boys if you think you have a shot breaking through

Mr. Moderately Obvious

April 26th, 2012
4:18 pm

I would listen to ANY radio station that had the good sense to bring back THE KIMMER.

Are you listening, Altanta-area radio station programming directors?

Jim R.

April 26th, 2012
4:35 pm

I also remember the former WGST “Newsradio 92″and in addition to Forrest Sawyer, they had personalities such as Dennis O’Hayer (Now doing news on WABE 90.1) and Gene Blaine. It would be great to get an all-news format in the Atlanta area

JR1967

April 26th, 2012
4:39 pm

Bring all-news to Atlanta-the stations here are already saturated with too much 80’s music!

Sam H

April 26th, 2012
4:57 pm

@ Jason T…WSB is nothing more than a bunch of hack jobs with microphones and 40 minutes of commercials an hour. ATL needs a REAL news station!

Taxi Smith

April 26th, 2012
5:25 pm

Oxwinkle

April 26th, 2012
5:33 pm

This station would need a strong morning drive and the only person capable of that is Tom “The King” Hughes, and it’s doubtful he’s coming out of retirement. WSB puts me to sleep in the mornings.

Colonel Klink

April 26th, 2012
5:35 pm

The Kimmer is a former news guy so he would be a natural fit at All News 106.7. Afternoon drive time with The Kimmer!

Maggie

April 26th, 2012
6:52 pm

Actual news would be great. News plus Moderate or progressive talk would be perfect

Joe

April 26th, 2012
7:41 pm

Bring back the Kimmer!!! And the king Tom Hughes

jackass

April 26th, 2012
8:40 pm

i guess big ass trip west will be fired one more time star 94 fired him 105.7 fired him his big mouth gets him in trouble every time 106.7 greatest hits sucked from day one

The Artful Dodger

April 26th, 2012
9:16 pm

Hmmm…..Tom “The King” Hughes anchoring mornings, The Kimmer handling afternoons, Snake Davis on sports, Sincerely Denis O’Hayer mid-days and Randall Bloomquist keeping the rest rooms clean!

lt

April 26th, 2012
9:26 pm

Thank you, Rodney! All great people on that list.

Bring back the KIMMER

April 26th, 2012
11:23 pm

I gotta go… your killing me.

Joe

April 27th, 2012
12:24 am

Actually, with Cumulus, you’d have ABC News.

RRDog

April 27th, 2012
12:41 am

I don’t see Kimmer working for a station of this supposed ilk.

Gary

April 27th, 2012
4:34 am

106.7 should hire David Paul for afternoon drive!

barneyfife

April 27th, 2012
7:50 am

Having previosuly worked at one time for a competitor, I can tell you that these CNN folks are very good at what they do- best of luck in their new home. And for the poster who claims CNN is liberal……their radio at least is quite moderate….does not lean to either side. They gave the local Atlanta affiliate very competent, great sounding news feeds. The loss of CNN Radio and what this city is now stuck with is an inferior product for these feeds – just listen to the new on-air talent on feeds. Hoping folks will tune in and hear this talent that WSB let slip through their fingers has a good run.

joe blow

April 27th, 2012
7:53 am

People…..give this Kimmer thing a resr….he was and still is highly overrated, and is DONE in the industry. Who the heck wants to have him on a news station doing his Marine”herp-”herp” chants and phony laughter again. So juvenile….haven’t we moved past that garbage? SO 90’s.

Steph

April 27th, 2012
7:54 am

This sucks! I love 106.7. It’s the only station that doesn’t play the same songs over and over again. Sad :(

King for a Day

April 27th, 2012
8:03 am

to Daryl-Atlanta……good points. Atlanta is way overdue for this kind of format. Surprisingly, Cumulus snagged good some good people from now-defunct CNN Radio (and to the idiot poster about them being liberal- you have no clue what you are talking about. They were straight news, neither left nor right…certainly much better than Faux News). This is a chance for Cumulus to make a major improvement in the Atlanta radio landscape- let’s hope corporate doesn’t screw this up.

If you want credibility, steer clear of Kimmer-types like the bird flu! Agree with joe blow- Kimmer’s from another era, catering to the lowest common denominator of I.Q. That would be the worst move ever. Cumulus got some great CNN talent, so it was a great move. Now take it and run with it! Anybody with half a brain should be excited about this, if it’s true. This could help turn around the miserable state of radio in this city.

radiofan

April 27th, 2012
8:22 am

I heard Andrew Spencer, John Lorinc, Harry Beadle, Richard Benson and Bill Caicciao were among those who turned down positions there…..

King for a Day

April 27th, 2012
8:28 am

hey radio fan, what was the reason for them turning it down? This sounds like a great opportunity expecially in this bad economy…wonder if they have another gig coming?

Stan & Ollie

April 27th, 2012
8:53 am

Hopefully this station will get some call letters. WYAY is just lame.

Didn’t Harry Beadle retire from CNN Radio in 2010?

Harry’s website: http://www.HarryBeadle.com

Steve

April 27th, 2012
8:59 am

KYW in Philadelphia has been all-news forever and has consistently been the highest rated station in the market.

radiofan

April 27th, 2012
9:26 am

@King for a Day……Harry’s retired, and I think the others are working elsewhere.

Dilly Dally

April 27th, 2012
9:34 am

A Different Jeff

April 27th, 2012
9:44 am

I would love an all-news station! WSB news in the morning is great, but I would so much rather listen to news during the afternoon commute instead of hearing Hannity’s three-hour GOP infomercial.

Sgt. Major Dickerson

April 27th, 2012
9:51 am

joe blow = godless, bedwetting liberal

THE KIMMER rocks!

[...] Ho of The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Cumulus has hired many former CNN Radio staffers for the new [...]

Rich

April 27th, 2012
12:41 pm

WGST actually WAS a successful all-news station in the 80s and early to mid 90s. Not top 5 in ratings, but strong in men 35+ and profitable. Hope the new 106.7 version will do as well in covering Atlanta. Local radio news has pretty much disappeared, except for drive times on WABE and WSB’s brief, re-purposed content from TV.

Business Traveler

April 27th, 2012
12:54 pm

I hope this is true. I live here in Atlanta travel to Washington DC for business and WTOP is a great NEWS channel. No bias from either side of the political spectrum. Just news. This would be great for ATL. I cannot stand WSB. Listening to the psycho nutjob babble formatt on WSB radio makes me sick to my stomach. Make this change, sooner than later.

llewow

April 27th, 2012
3:10 pm

Maybe I’m mistaken, but those of you who remember WGST as all news are forgetting the Neil Boortz, Clark Howard, Tom Houck shows that were on at the same time. I remember WGST as all news in the am and pm drive time blocks and local talk the rest of the day.
WCNN was all news but the news was supplied by CNN Radio (which was the sound track of CNN2 (now HLN).