What make a great radio station? A great station becomes the fabric of a community over time. Great stations mean more to their listeners than 99% of all websites because they have heart and real people behind them. They serve and entertain their listeners. Bob Crane and Jessica Crotty visited WCCO in Minneapolis MN recently and were thrilled to get to see one of the greats.
There are respected news websites that we want to see every day but there is not the direct connection you can have with a great radio station. Great stations can be 50,000 watts and cover several states or they can be a small local station making sure the local news and events are reported. Either way, they serve a community of listeners, connecting people in a unique way.
The question that visiting WCCO brought up, since WCCO is a CBS owned station – what impact will CBS selling their radio division have on these great stations? CBS Radio is the second largest radio chain. They reach an estimated 70 million listeners nationwide each week. 117 stations in 26 markets. What is really interesting about this potential sale – is CBS radio isn’t deep in debt. In fact, their radio segment has a profit margin somewhere around 35% according to Forbes. We are hoping that these changes will help bring back more local and regional talent.
We are inclined to agree with Joan Warner, of Commercial Radio Australia “Radio will live on playing to our strengths – free to air, live, local, 24/7, sports, news, information, community – creating a real connection and engagement with the audience.”
Did you know CBS is considering this? What are your thoughts on this? And what is your favorite great radio station?
I did not know this but I am not surprised. Radio is likely a relatively small part of CBS, and does not appeal to the targeted demographics, the age and earners most likely to attract advertising revenue. CBS, a traditional broadcaster, has to now find a strategy that works with cable, internet, and new media. They must see a better return on investment using the capital otherwise. This does not mean the demise of the stations or the content, it may do better in other hands. It does mean loss of connection to CBS news and sports, which may be difficult to replicate stand alone. It will take an owner with an new vision and enough capital to execute, so it will be interesting.
The first thing I do upon waking up in the morning is to put on WCBS Newsradio 880 in NY. Even though I live 110 miles from NY it comes in loud & clear on my CC Radio.
They should definitely reconsider and leave it alone! I listen regularly to WCCO,and KMOX and have done so for many years!
The golden age of radio has been a long time ago.
I gave up listening to much AM when it went all talk and all sports.
I’d give anything for a true news, weather and traffic outlet – anywhere – without opinionated ‘talking heads.’
Even FM has out lived entertainment; a few good classical music stations in big metro areas, no country that plays the old and new.
I have gone to satellite radio – even there are few choices!
Doesn’t say if the great 50k watt stations like KNX KCBS WCBS KMOX et al will be sold off but they seem to be anchors in their news division. Most large cities are down to one station with a newsradio format, so perhaps the writing is on the wall.
CBS RADIO is by far, home to the creme de la creme of AM radio. I am sad to hear this news and would hope the brass would come to their senses. KNX, KCBS, WCCO, WBZ, and all of their sisters are without peer. They should remain a family.
Journalistic giants like William Shirer, Howard K. Smith, Eric Severeid, and, of course, Edward R. Murrow, all got their
broadcasting starts on CBS Radio. It has always been the gold standard in radio journalism. To see the current management even considering selling off CBS radio is very sad, indeed.
When William Paley died CBS lost its’ soul. CBS today is merely a brand. Actually, today corporate radio isn’t worth much to listen to. Just my opinion on the state of radio after the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
I love listening to WCCO overnights in Minneapolis.I Have lived in mpls 47 years… My whole life. When I was little iwould fall asleep with my mom (she listened to WCCO 24/7, no joke) and I lived Mystey Theater & AL Malmberg (listen to him every night now) and overnight America. I really hope nothing changes at WCCO Minneapolis.
I’ve enjoyed listening to WBBM/Chicago on my CCRadio over the past many years from the middle Tennesse region. I can’t imagine losing news with the reputation and trust of the CBS News organization. Is there no tradition left in this country? “Sell to the highest bidder, change it and watch it fall.” This seems to be a condition of corporate America. If the numbers don’t reach someone’s expectations, it’s dropped or sold. Sad.
I’ve listened to WCBS in NYC for many decades. I count on the CBS news on the hour for a quick update on the world, and recently, the CBS evening news is simulcast from 6:30 to 7. I haven’t listened to sunday nite for a long while, but the station used to simulcast 60 Minutes, also.
As a teen, I listened to WTOP in DC, which was also a CBS all-news station on AM back then. With many newspapers having cut back so much, these all news outlets are more essential than ever.
You nailed it! There is no substitute for these stations. I am home relaxing right now; can you what I am listening to? RIGHT! WCBS NEWSRADIO 880 in NY!
I enjoy AM radio. There are mystery stories on late at night as well as some entertaining talk shows during the day but it’s hard to pull in AM at night!! Radio is FREE!! Also gives immediate local emergency information to greater extent than text or ohone/Internet options immediately!! My radio plays 24/7