The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

1 May 2003

Bumper crop at the antenna farm

Well, the Big News/Talk War lasted barely longer than the war in Iraq: not only did KOMA, the new kid on the news block, fail to dislodge the dominant KTOK, but KTOK actually picked up almost two share points, finishing at the top of the ratings for the first time in ages. (KOMA doesn't even have two share points yet.)

It wasn't all sweetness and light for KTOK owner Clear Channel, though: their country stations are floundering and their CHR outlet isn't doing well enough to be floundering. Still, you take your points where you can, and CC's sort-of-alternative station is doing surprisingly well.

Over at rival Citadel, there's little to cheer about, what with the KATT still in the doldrums and the hotly-hyped Bull coming across like underdone veal. I give it a month before the plug is pulled and another format is slapped on the frequency. And speaking of slap, someone ought to slap Citadel's audio people, if they have any; their stations don't even sound good on crappy radios, let alone on the high-fidelity stuff. I can forgive this on The Spy, which broadcasts with 3 watts from somewhere out in Utah or something, but there's no excuse for the big boys.

Meanwhile, Renda, whose FMs are all doing decently — classic-rock KRXO dropped a notch but is still #2 — must be wondering about what it's done to KOMA, and what it's going to take to make some headway in the AM talk circus against a seemingly-revitalized KTOK and whatever the hell Citadel is doing with WKY. At the very least, it's going to take a fair amount of time: news/talk listeners, as a group, tend to be fairly loyal to their chosen stations, and KTOK has a huge head start. Add to this the fact that Clear Channel controls many of the top syndicated talk shows and is loath to give them up to a crosstown rival — I suspect the reason CC bumped the daytime Spanish-language programming on tiny KEBC and replaced it with talk was to reduce the number of programs available to KOMA — and I see a long, hard road ahead.

Meanwhile, Tyler, the only sort-of-local cluster, still hasn't announced plans for that move-in from Tishomingo, but waiting for the other shoe to drop is second nature in Oklahoma City radio.

Posted at 5:51 AM to Overmodulation


Actually, KTOK was #1 in the Summer of 2001 as well.

This was an interesting ratings period to say the least.

Posted by: Cam at 7:29 AM on 1 May 2003

If I were in Charge of OKC Radio (and I worked on-air weekends at The Twister when I was in college, full time at AM-1450 in Shawnee while in college where I basically had the run of the station from 7 to midnight, and even did traffic for a summer after graduation with the outfit, I guess, still owned by Woody Woodard):

1. The Spy -- cranked up watts wise with a side trip for the program director to 97X, WOXY The Future of Rock and Roll.

2. KTOK -- bring back Carol Arnold, ship Glen Beck to nights, keep Rush and get rid of Sean Hannity. Everything else is good. Except for Theodus Payne.

3. KXY -- blow it up. Get rid of Dave and Dan and make it a real country station.

4. 94.7 -- come on, this is not BUZZ music. The SPY is. Drop the pretense and hit the KATT where it hurts, Rick and Brad. Howard Stern syndicated.

5. 92.5 -- Kept the way it is. Baby girl loves oldies.

6. 93.3 -- Combine this with 96.9 and send the program director down to Fort Worth to 95.5 The Range and implement that format here. Easy listening Country ain't gonna cut it. That's why we have KXY. When Flo McQuarters is your best bit during the day, you have problems.

7. The Bull -- see number 6.

8. KJ 103 -- Kid Craddock is genius. And you can't really mess with the format.

9. KATT -- ummmm . . . come on, how can you not love Greg Zoobeck? After noon, the station sucks.

10. Twister -- sucks, sucks, sucks. When it started it was great -- Non Stop, Full Tilt, Rockin' Country. When it went to Young Country was about the time I quit. Hate it, Hate it, Hate it. Will not listen. But, that might say more about the crap coming out of Nashville than anything else.

11. Magic 104 -- outside of Deliliah (sp?) station sucks. Can't do anything with it. Ever.

12. KISS -- Jack and Ron. Creepy Older Guys doing a morning show. The rest of the day, somewhat decent. Good mix of music.

13. Sports Animal -- I have a bias here. I hate the Sports Animal when there is no football or basketball. I can tolerate during those seasons. It is the callers who ruin the station, not the hosts. Something like The Ticket out of Dallas would be fun to have, but I am not sure the market here would be good for it. So, if The Animal can figure out how to keep callers to a miniumum it might be worth listening to.

13. KOMA -- Bill O'Reiley sucks, I like Carol Arnold and I have no idea what is on the rest of the day.

14. WKY-- Mark Shannon needed a job. That is the only reason I can come up for for WKY, although I do like the Writer's Block in the afternoon.

I leave anything out?

Posted by: Chris at 1:59 PM on 1 May 2003

You missed KRXO.

Posted by: Steve at 9:12 PM on 1 May 2003

KEBC (the other Clear Channel AM) is at least running RedHawks games, so there's an excuse to set a button for them now.

One other variable: Russell Perry, who owns urban KVSP, is moving the Anadarko FM facility at 103.5 a trifle closer to the metro.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:19 PM on 1 May 2003

KRXO -- they play the same five bands, over and over and over and over and over. Sunday Nights Blues Cruise is the only thing that redeems it.

Posted by: Chris at 1:06 PM on 2 May 2003