SEATTLE’S KVI RADIO THROWS IN TOWEL ON CONSERVATIVE TALK
Will switch format to Rock Oldies
November 02, 2010
(SEATTLE, WA) -- The bloom is off the rose for conservative talk radio in some markets around the country and a landmark station in that format in Seattle has joined the ranks of others who have decided to move on – and not in the vein of moveon.org, format wise.
KVI Conservative Talk radio will be nore more. Rock Olides will soon replace it. CLICK TO ENLARGE
KVI-AM radio - after some 15 years in the conservative talk format and being the legacy station that launched that format for the first time in Seattle – is leaving the format to go to Rock Oldies, according to Fisher Communications, which owns the station.
In a statement issued by the radio station’s program director Travis Box 570 KVI will flip to an oldies music format next week. “Seattle's Greatest Hits 570 KVI" starts Monday, Nov. 8.
The station will play rock music from the 60s and 70s and will feature some well-known local radio names associated with the music from that period.
KVI mornings will be hosted by KOMO sports announcer Tom Hutyler (pron: Hutler) and Marina Rockinger. Mark Christopher, from the now defunct FM Oldies station KBSG-FM (now KIRO-FM News-Talk) will host afternoons and Ric Hansen, an old KJR DJ from the 70’s, will host nights. It was not known if all hosts would be live or “canned” as in pre-recorded voice tracks.
Since broadcast “consolidation” over the past 20 years – where huge corporations bought up many of the long time locally owned stations and many “mom and pop” stations and put them under one ownership - many stations, to save money on labor costs for the corporation, have just one or two local live on-air personalities and the rest of the day is recorded voice tracks of DJ’s intended to sound as if they are live at the studio.
Live news and talk radio is an expensive, labor-intensive operation and unless sustained by ratings – which translate into dollars in big markets like Seattle – the formats are often not sustainable.
Leaving the KVI airwaves along with the talk format will be recently-re-hired morning personality Bryan Suits and syndicated talk hosts Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, George Noory, and Dennis Miller.
KVI has been suffering from falling ratings for some time. One local radio blogger once quipped, “KVI has roughly the same number of listeners as your average Bearcat Police Scanner…no business can bleed indefinitely.”
However national shows like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hanity continue to do well as they are heard on hundreds of stations around the country and have the benefit of combined ratings from all stations and audiences in the millions.
For the fourth year in a row, Rush Limbaugh is the most influential radio talk show host, according to Talkers magazine. The poll is not a scientific poll but a combination of factors the magazine considers most important.
Limbaugh draws at least 15 million listeners a week. Conservative talker Sean Hannity is next with 14 million weekly radio fans (and two to three million viewers per night on Fox News) and No. 3 host Glenn Beck has about 9 million-plus listeners on radio and two to three million viewers per night on Fox News.
Seattle still has one conservative talk station remaining, KTTH-AM (sister station of KIRO-FM News/talk) and the local home of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.
And former KVI talker and once gubernatorial candidate John Carlson does a conservative talk program on KOMO-AM Monday through Friday from 3pm to 6pm.