Now brace yourself for “Smart Talk for a Sound Life.”
We (and others) reported last week that Fisher's KVI is flipping back to talk after a typically unthought-out discarding of a their long-established talk brand for a turn to oldies-of-the-oldies music last year.
Will they go after the “large KIROFM audience" with the same apolitical, yet idiotic "lifestyle talk?" Well hell, yes. a) It's the only audience available and b) Fisher hasn’t had an original programming idea since they introduced conservative talk in 1991. (We say large KIROFM audience with sardonic quotes around it because, though KIRO may be getting a decent percent of the market, the market pie has shrunk- fewer people are listening to radio- the largest number of actual people who listen to KIRO for more than five minutes thoughout the day, is less than half a million).
Will the PD be Travis Box? probably, that's because... he kind of already is.
Do you smell our old friend, talk consultant Dennis Kelly? you should. (Reports that he was considering the priesthood were, apparently, apocryphal).
Here's the email sent to advertising clients:
"Beginning January 3, 2012, KVI Greatest Hits will flip to talk radio, called Smart Talk 570 KVI. The positioning will be 'Smart Talk for a Sound Life', featuring lifestyle, health, local and entertainment news. We anticipate the core audience will be adults 35-64. Hosts Mark Christopher and KOMO 4 TV’s Elisa Jaffe will start out the day with Sunrise Seattle, (a Good Morning America-type program) and other hosts including Clark Howard, Phil Hen drie (comedy-oriented), The Buzz featuring Scott Carty, and a WSJ Daily Wrap will inform and entertain listeners.”
(photo left, Mark Christopher; right, Elisa Jaffe with Puddin' Pie)
We haven't heard Mark and Elisa, so we’ll reserve judgement on the morning GMA knock-off. The rest of the canned, washed-up line-up is syndicated talk scraps left from the demise of other stations not sucked up by Bonneville or Clear Channel. Geov Parrish (KEXP Saturdays, 6-9a) notes, that the new line-up "would have approximately seven times as much local programming as KTTH."
Parrish also notes "As abysmal as the Oldies KVI's ratings have been - they'd go lower, but Arbitron doesn't measure negative numbers - the station has continued to carry a heavy spotload, suggesting that Fisher has been using sister stations KPLZ and KOMO (which actually have ratings) and charging a bit more, or opening up a bit more inventory, by dumping some of those ads on KVI's good-but-ignored signal. Chances are good they're also going to use their ad inventory in trade to help pay for the syndicated talk programming, too, meaning that now KVI will have even more commercials. Maybe, maybe, it will also have more listeners."
While we admire the re-addition of talk to the AM dial, we’re still skeptical that the teevee-centric Fisher has the will (and the imagination) to make this $ucceed. With the cheap-ass syndicated line-up, they've already shown they aren't into spending much dough on this "new" format.
Prove BlatherWatch wrong… please!