As long-time readers of this site know, I've been banging the drum for signal swap, or signal change, for a long time. One of the earliest annoying obsessions of My Ticket Confession.
I haven't excited much enthusiasm for this crusade. And in the course of, um, criticism of my position, we've learned some interesting things from people who seem to know things about radio economics. (Anon E's Lesson on Radio Economics)
I remained skeptical that giving The Ticket a better signal was unfeasible. I was willing to sacrifice i93.
But in the course of mulling this over and thinking about things like the 2011 Citadel deal, we see that there may be a better candidate out there, first identified on this site in June 2011 (More Questions about Signal Swap): That would be the 96.7 FM simulcast of 820 WBAP. It's not an ideal signal for the metro as a whole, concentrated on northerly areas (like 104.1), but hugely more powerful: 90,000 watts compared with 104.1's 6200.
WBAP is a huge biller in this market; more, I believe, than The Ticket. The question is: Who needs that signal more? Or rather, which simulcast assignment maximizes Cumulus's profit? 820 AM, a 50,000-watt clear-channel scorcher that can be heard all over the Southwest after hours and clearly throughout the metro and beyond when the sun shines, or Class B KTCK 1310 AM with half that power during the day (and sounds worse even after factoring in the lower power) and almost nothing (5 KW) at night?
I am doubtful that WBAP gets any revenue advantage from simulcasting on 96.7. Here is its coverage area:
And here is 820 AM's:
Compare the overall map coverage (the 96.7 map covers a smaller area), and you will see that 820 entirely swallows up 96.7 -- even the red strong-signal boundary. Are advertisers paying more for the duplicate signal for a talk station not requiring FM fidelity that doesn't reach a single additional listener?
Then Cumulus loses nothing -- nothing -- by reassigning 96.7.
I concede that comparing the KTCK 1310 map to the 96.7 map may not impress one with a gigantic increase in Tickety coverage in the extended metro:
However, coverage maps aside, the evidence of our ears tells us that 1310 isn't nearly as good in those ranges as the map suggests, and 96.7 is quite clear in the indicated boundaries, and it does someewhat extend The Ticket's range in the desirable North Texas/North Suburban market. And, of course, this is the daytime coverage. Here's the nighttime coverage for 1310:
Anyway, my very patient Confessors, I know that streaming and smartphone listening is on the rise and may be the wave of the future. But I believe that most radio guys would tell you that good old-fashioned broadcast terrestrial ratings continue to drive sales.
So I haven't given up on signal swap nor entirely abandoned my faith in the common sense of the CTO. Don't be stunned if someday soon Craig "Junior" "the Joonz" Miller interrupts his courageous report on "The Five Best and Five Worst Brands of Derailleur Sprockets" with some real news, just texted in from the Pan-American Catman -- a long-pants signal for The Ticket.
What's next? Billboards?
You saw it here first.
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