1200 stunting as Gaffe 1200

Scott Fybush scott@fybush.com
Mon Aug 13 14:29:15 EDT 2012

On 8/13/2012 1:01 PM, Donna Halper wrote:
> Not trying to be a killjoy here, but comedy as a format has a noble
> history of being tried and then failing miserably in the ratings. People
> like a particular comedy routine or even a live show at a club, but a
> steady diet of comedy has no history of being successful.  (Plus, some
> of the funniest club routines use language you can't use on radio.)  I
> love Matty, but I wonder if this too isn't a placeholder for something
> else down the line.

Times have changed. Many of those previous attempts were at standalone 
stations (cf. WJOK, WRCA), and it's quite true that comedy on its own 
couldn't sustain an independent station, even a small AM one.

The guys behind the "Comedy 24/7" service that's running on 1200 came 
along at the right time, though: they're pitching their service to the 
number-six signal in any given cluster. If you've already got three FMs 
carrying mass-appeal music formats and a bigger AM doing news-talk and 
maybe another AM doing sports, what else are you going to do with that 
throwaway signal at the bottom of the pile?

Where it's been tried so far, especially on HD2/translator combos in 
Kansas City and Austin, the comedy format has turned out to be a nice 
bonus addition to a cluster programming strategy. It attracts younger 
listeners who wouldn't ever hit that "number-six station" if it were 
carrying more satellite-fed third-tier talk or sports or standards, and 
at least in KC it came out of the box with something like a 2.5 
share...on a TRANSLATOR!

Comedy 1200 isn't going to be the next Kiss 108, but I have a hunch it 
will do better for CC, sales-wise, than "Fox Sports 1200" would do.

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