A listener cornered us at a glamorous party recently and said,"If Bryan Styble causes Seattle radio to lose its only live and local overnight show, I'll be extremely pissed."
(OK, you're right, people who go to glamorous parties don't listen to overnight radio, but that doesn't mean that we don't go to glamorous parties or that the listeners we talk to don't have good taste... truck drivers listen to the overnight. Crack heads, hookers on their lunch hours, bloggers on meth, raccoons and possums...).
The KIRO overnight(1-5a) with Bryan Styble (rhymes with non-viable) is pulling as bad numbers as we've ever seen anywhere- with a .08 in the 25-54 demographic. (That's a percentage of the total market- a very, very small one).
The competition, George Noory's ufological Coast to Coast (KVI m-f, 10p-3a) turned in one of its all time best Seattle books at 18%. As a matter of fact, a source says it's the highest number it's gotten in a single book in this market, ever. CtC is what Art Bell's woo-woo show became and, unfortunately, it's not local. But it is in over 400 markets in the US and Canada- to broadcasters, CtC is "the big dog that eats your lunch late at night."
Styble (don't call him Styblehead) is the quirky-alone talk geek doing permanent fill-ins on this shift. To be fair, he has his own scheduled show, early Sundays. But he's been given the overnight pretty much without portfolio since it was orphaned when Lou Pate left for warmer pastures.
(The time slot hasn't always had bad ratings. Pate had the best numbers at KIRO; scoring often between 9 & 15 shares. (Of course, at this time of night that might mean 32 listeners and a couple of cats). We have to admit, even though we didn't love Pate's politics, and almost never listened to him- he's missed by listeners, many of whom say they didn't know what they had until he was gone and they got Bryan Styble).
Styble makes people crazy with his self-obsessed rantings. He can turn any topic- even astronomy or geology- into a self-serving screed. His constant on-air obsessing over the Coast to Coast is unprofessional and bad radio. A source told us: "He's so over the top with that, he may actually make people curious enough to switch stations to see what's going on over there and if that happens- they'll find they're doing a better show."
We've been complaining about KIRO's dumbing down of talk radio. Ron & Don; Bob Van Dyne; Frank "Shudder" Shiers and Styblehead are second rate and are hardly off-set by 3 hours of Dave Ross and Dori Monson; an hour of Ron Reagan ,and a 3-hour Sunday night tease by David Goldstein.
Bryan Styble: how long can he last at .08? Judging from our mail- KIRO oughta install Scary Gary, the overnight producer who used to get a lot of airtime in Pate's day. Don't know why they call him scary, but he could never scare away as many listeners as Styble.