The Departure Of Mark & Brian Hurt Cumulus
In 2012, Cumulus singled out 10 major market news/talk stations that the company says were responsible for more than 100 percent of its negative revenue growth. They were being referred to as "Code Red" stations. CEO Lew Dickey says several of those stations are now growing, including WABC, "which is leading the pack in New York." Yesterday he also mentioned that in Los Angeles, the retirement of Mark and Brian hurt the performance of rocker KLOS-FM
Dickey singled out improvements at KABC in Los Angeles, WLS in Chicago, KSFO in San Francisco, WMAL in Washington D.C., and WJR in Detroit. He said, "All are growing. We've adapted to ad market changes. We're posting revenue growth." Dickey said, although improving, these stations would still continue to impact results in early 2013. "This group of 10 stations will be negative in Q1, flat in Q2, and rebound in the back half of the year. We are a little ahead of that schedule."
Dickey also spoke specifically about three stations that are still a challenge for the company. They are KGO-AM in San Francisco, KLOS-AM in Los Angeles, and WBAP-AM in Dallas. He said while WBAP is pacing behind schedule, the trendline for the station is positive. KGO and KLOS are the two stations Cumulus is most focused on right now. He said KGO is not fixed. "We changed from talk to news and we are still working our way through that."
At rocker KLOS-FM in Los Angeles, Dickey said the retirement of longtime morning team Mark and Brian had a big impact. He said it was a big-billing station and their departure did make an impact. Frank and Heidi replaced Mark and Brian after they retired. Dickey said, "The ratings took a dip, they are building back up, but that takes time to be reflected in the ratings. That has had a material impact on our effort here."
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