Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Numbers Crunching

Radio stations get four official ratings books a year, one for each season. Those are the major ratings, commonly referred to as "the book". Stations use these books to set their advertising rates. Like television, which uses their ratings from the months of February and May (commonly referred to as "sweeps months") to set their rates, the spring and fall books are seen as the more important books in the radio game.

Monthly, though, radio stations get where are referred to as Trends. As the name suggests, the trends are used to predict what the main rating "book" will show when it comes out. While not taken as seriously as a book, a trend can be a useful bellweather as to whether a station is going to be popping champagne corks or not come ratings book time. Back when I first started at KWNR, I really wasn't too involved when the ratings came out. I did more stuff behind the scenes than I did on-air and figured the regular air-staff would be more concerned with numbers than I should be. Still, I realized that they always popped champagne when the numbers came out. It didn't matter whether the ratings were good or bad. If numbers were good, it was reason to celebrate. If numbers were bad, it was reason to drink the pain away, knowing that the next time it would be better.

Funny, but now that I think about it, I remember everyone that I worked with back at KWNR in 1995. I remember sales people, even though I didn't work in sales. I remember promotions people, I remember front-desk people, I remember my fellow weekend air staffers. I remember working with Stunt Runt for an hour (1am-2am) on September 1st, 1995. My first shift, scared to death .Why are my memories of that time so much stronger than memories of a more recent vintage? Maybe it's because you remember more things that you've done with your family, and the staff (and management back then, too) of KWNR back then was truly like a family. Most of my latter day memories of KWNR were of firings and corporate mismanagement.

The title of this piece is "Numbers Crunching", so here's a quick look at the latest morning ratings;

KWNR went from a 3.7 to a 3.9

Coyote Country went from a 3.3 to a 3.0

Both numbers are hardly anything to have a Gatorade shower over. I'm not sure how to receive them. I hate the fact that KWNR went up at all, even two-tenths of a point. I like seeing Coyote down a bit, since that will hopefully give the movers and shakers over there the good sense to bring in someone with proven success in the market and the format. I may be tipping my hand a little here, but the job I'm close to getting has precious little to do with accomplishing my goal over getting revenge on the upper management of Clear Channel, the company that owns KWNR. It may get me there eventually, but it would be the employment equivalent of driving from Las Vegas to Los Angeles via Reno. You have to go out of the way, but you eventually get there.

8:30am, and I'm sweating behind my knees. Ugh.

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