The idea behind a radio station going all-Christmas in December is that it will create a ratings bump. It's been a fairly successful strategy over the past few years, but it looks like the tactic may be losing its effectiveness.
Fourth quarter 2009 ratings from the Arbitron Co. show that WMYX-FM (99.1) and WRIT-FM (95.7) showed modest gains over fall 2008, and dips from their summer ratings.
The fall 2009 ratings cover Sept. 17 to Dec. 9.
Among listeners 25-54, the key group sought by advertisers, WMYX, better known as "The Mix," was in 10th place overall, with a 4.1 percent share of available listeners. It was in 9th place last summer and 11th place in fall 2008.
Meanwhile, WRIT, which has since reclaimed its Oldies 95.7 identity, was in 11th place with a 3.4 percent share of available listeners. It was in 13th place in summer 2009 and 12th place in fall 2008.
Neither of these are terrible showings, but to justify disrupting the audience with this seasonal change -- some regular listeners are driven away by Christmas music, while other listeners are lured in -- the results should be more dramatic.
Overall, the top finisher among listeners 25-54 is WKKV-FM (100.7) jumping from seventh place a year ago into first place. WTMJ-AM (620) was second, WJMR-FM (98.3), WISN-AM (1130) and WMIL-FM (106.1) were in a tie for third.
In the broader measure of listeners 12 and older, the finish was WTMJ, WISN, WXSS-FM (103.7), WMIL, and WKKV.
In the morning: Among listeners 25-54 from 6 to 10 a.m. weekdays, the finish was WHQG-FM (102.9), WKLH-FM (96.5), WTMJ, WMIL and WKKV.
Among listeners 12 and older, it was WTMJ, WHQG, WKLH, WMIL and WISN.
In the afternoon: Among listeners 25-54 from 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays, the finish was WISN, WJMR, WMIL, WKKV, WXSS.
WTMJ, which dumped Phil Cianciola from Jonathan Green's afternoon show just before this quarter began, was in sixth place, down from fourth place ties in both summer 2009 and fall 2008.
Among listeners 12 and older, it was WISN, WXSS, WTMJ, WMIL and WKKV. WTMJ had been in second place in summer 2009, and third in fall 2008.
On TV: Mornings have been the only real growth area for TV news, and Channel 6 is going earlier starting next week. It's morning newscast will start at 4:30 am. The Fox affiliate's morning news will continue to run until 9 a.m.
- A bit of possible good news out of the Jay Leno mess is that NBC could put the fourth season of "Friday Night Lights" on the schedule as early as March. It had been planned for a summer run, now that the 9 p.m. Leno show has been axed.
- Channel 4 news veteran Kelly Frank is executive producer of Ali Velshi's new CNN noon news show, which launches next Monday.
- Remember former Channel 6 weather guy Eric Braate? He's doing the morning weather on Detroit's WDIV-TV.
- CBS says "Three Rivers" is officially dead, but "Numb3rs" should be back.
- Fox's "Our Little Genius," which was supposed to debut this Wednesday, has been pulled from the schedule and replaced with a repeat of "The Simpsons" 20th anniversary special. Creator Mark Burnett said there was "an issue" in how information was relayed to the young competitors. He said, "I am not comfortable delivering the episodes without re-shooting them ... so I have requested that FOX not air these episodes."
Say it ain't so, Davey: Animator Art Clokey, who brought us Gumby and Pokey and the duo of Davey and Goliath, died last week at the age of 88.
Here's the 1960s "Gumby" opening to remember him by:
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.