Monday, August 15, 2011

"Big Talker" quiets; True Oldies moves

I discovered on my drive home what many other Austinites discovered earlier today.  I was flipping around the FM dial (the family beater does not have an auxiliary port or a working cassette player at present) and was surprised to hear music coming from my radio at 98.9 FM, which, until recently, was KXBT, the "Big Talker".  Given that I heard the voice of Scott Shannon, and that the local traffic and weather reports referred to the station as "98.9, Austin's Greatest Hits", it didn't take long for me to figure out that the music of the True Oldies Channel, previously found on 92.5, has moved to 98.9.  (The station is still simulcast on 92.5, for the moment, for the benefit of the many, many people who hit my blog searching for some combination of "92.5", "austin", and "oldies".)

The 98.9 The Big Talker Facebook page (a short-lived page, I fear), I discovered, had one final announcement:

Hey, it's Jeff Wolf...the Program Director for what was 98.9 The Big Talker since the very beginning in November 2009. Despite our hard work to bring you more stimulating talk, our audience did not grow as quickly as we hoped it would. Please continue to follow Sean Rima on facebook; you never know what else is on the horizon. I've learned so much from you and thank you for listening to us. Until we meet again...please enjoy the music.

There are a lot of unhappy comments on that post, but the numbers don't lie.  A quick look at Austin's ratings shows that KXBT-FM could barely eke out a 1.0 rating for July, putting it behind pretty much every other full-power FM radio station in town.  What will happen to fairly well-known hosts previously featured on KXBT, such as Glenn Beck and Dave Ramsey, is yet to be seen.

As for the future of 92.5, Radio-Info reports that station owner BMP has a new format planned for that frequency, which is not as strong as the 98.9 frequency.  But given the better frequency at its new home, this should be a good move for the profitable oldies format.

A quick update:  RadioInsight reports that the new format for 92.5, starting after Labor Day, will be the ESPN Deportes format currently heard on 1260 KWNX.  KWNX will then simulcast 104.9 the Horn.

Update 8/16/11:  As expected, the 98.9 Facebook page was shut down.  That link will now take you to the main Facebook page.


Jim Howard said...

Too bad, they were the only local source for Leo LaPorte's tech guy show.

But numbers is numbers.