OnMedia: Summerfest on the radio
Summerfest is a perfect combination of music and music fans for some radio stations.
For classic rocker WKLH-FM (96.5), it's a chance to connect the audience for some of the big classic rock acts -- artists like Eric Clapton and Tom Petty -- with a station that plays their music.
And from 3 to 7 p.m., it's a chance to broadcast live -- generally alternating Downstairs Dan and Marilynn Mee from the Summerfest grounds. Mee is scheduled to be there Thursday afternoon.
Program director Bob Bellini says that even morning hosts Dave Luczak and Carole Caine have been on the grounds doing a couple special 5 to 7 p.m. shows, bringing special guests and big crowds for the top-rated morning team.
"It's a chance for people to see 'KLH , believe it or not, with eyes and meet the personalities. And it's a chance for us to meet our listeners.
As Summerfest has shifted its marketing to a slightly older audience, it's increased WKLH's fit with the event.
But younger music fans are also a big part of the crowd.
Bill Hurwitz is general manager of WLUM-FM (102.1), which broadcasts 2 to midnight daily from the Summerfest grounds.
"With our focus on listeners 21-34, we sponsor the alternative station. For us, we can't get a better return on investment. The median age of Summerfest is basically our audience," he says.
In addition to the live broadcast, there's WLUM's sponsorship of the alternative music venue, the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage with Leinenkugel's and FM 102.1.
With an older target audience, sister station WLDB-FM (93.3) -- known to listeners as B-93 -- has a presence at the grounds, but doesn't broadcast from Summerfest.
"Summerfest, to me, is a signature of Milwaukee," says Hurwitz, who's also a member of the Summerfest board. "We're local radio stations, we want to be at a local event."
Even a new radio station, like Saga's WZBK-FM (106.9), which markets itself as "Big Buck Country," takes advantage of Summerfest. Its first live on-air voice, Cindy Huber, started doing the noon to 6 p.m. shift this week.
To introduce Huber to her new listeners, she's spending evenings this week at the WZBK's Summerfest tent.
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Sorry for the error, it's corrected to read Saga.
Hey Tim, when did Clear Channel buy 106.9?
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