By Walter Sabo
NEW YORK — No station consulted by Sabo Media has ever had paid-for programming on the weekend. Paid-for programming destroys weekday revenue by suppressing audience and aging demos.
The core issue is that Saturday middays is the second highest Homes Using Radio daypart. By default it’s vital.
There is a little known trend indicator that reveals how vital weekends are to weekdays. In diary markets, Saturday midday is predictive of the next rating period. If Saturday midday is up compared to weekdays, the next -overall- rating period will be up. If it is down, the next -overall- period will be down.
Bart Walsh, a very smart radio manager (formerly WKYS-FM, Washington, DC) taught me that.
Music on the Weekends
Sabo Media-consulted FM talk stations have always performed as well on the weekends as they do during the weekdays. That’s because they play music on the weekends. Take a look at the weekend numbers, for example at WTKS-FM. Orlando. WTKS, is programmed wisely by Chris Kampmeier.
WTKS plays alternative rock on the weekends while airing live and local talk all week. When putting together WTKS-FM with Bob McAllan we looked at talk stations around the country to find ONE that did as well on the weekends as it did during the week. Couldn’t find one. Not one. We then studied which music stations did – better – on the weekends than they did during the week. There were three music formats that did better on the weekends: oldies, alternative rock and smooth jazz.
In addition to holding weekday numbers, the music programming has other benefits. Weekday hosts like Russ Rollins and Sir Jim Philips hold the young male demographics — the station is #1 men 18-34. Keep in mind, this is a talk station. Plus WTKS is on music buys — concerts, CDs, clubs. Mark Kanak, the GSM and top sellers like Michael Ewing have a stunning variety of shows to sell without selling out with paid-for junk.
The result is that WTKS is the only station that aired Howard Stern but did not have to change format when Howard went to Sirius Satellite Radio. It went up.
Walter Sabo is CEO of New York City-based national consulting form, Sabo Media. He can be emailed at Walter@sabomedia.com or phoned at 212-600-5686. Meet Walter Sabo at Talkers New York 2014 on Friday, June 20.