WIBC is the leading edge of the news/talk format in the US. The effort to make the station sound more unique and relevant to a non traditional news talk listener is about to pay off, big.
WIBC is informative and entertaining, and is becoming more relevant as the new shows on the station focus their content and presentation.
The station still sounds like two stations at once: the Rush/Garrison station, and everything else. Recycling from mornings to afternoons and around the midday shows will help.
The station has an overall sound of “exclusivity”, like it’s a station mostly for people who have always listened, even though some of the shows are new. More details below.
WIBC MORNINGS-Tony Katz
Tony has come a long way in a very short period of time. He sounds more comfortable and confident and more importantly it sounds like he’s having more fun in his show.
There is less Paige and more Tony, and it feels like Tony is now talking to the audience more directly than just a few months ago. But there is still too much presence from Paige and sometimes it can be disconcerting and add to that ‘exclusive’ sound.
When Tony genuinely feels passionate a topic, it really shows. His point of view is unique and refreshing. His ability to tell a story fantastic when the story actually interests him.
When Tony is less passionate about a topic, he quickly devolves into ‘talking points’ and just sounds like another conservative pundit. He can avoid this by not giving an opinion all the time, and using the tools of updating (“alright here’s where we are with ebola this morning…”) and story telling (“alright so here’s how this ebola thing started to get crazy…”) avoid the punditry.
Tony’s interaction with Mike Wilson is fantastic. He sounds much better, more entertaining, and less ‘exclusive’ with Mike than he does with Paige.
WIBC AFTERNOON-Chicks On The Right
The Chicks have more credibility and are much easier to listen to on serious topics than before. They giggle less, they explain more, they allow a little more of their own experiences. Their take on topics is quite refreshing.
This show is really driving the “exclusivity” sound of WIBC. Amy and Miriam have such strong shorthand between themselves that it is often hard to keep up with all of their references. This is the single biggest thing they should be working to change right now.
EVENINGS-Abdul at Large
Abdul is one of the most likable personalities I’ve ever heard in talk radio. Every time he’s on it sounds like he’s genuinely having a blast! That makes him a great listen.
Abdul needs to express his opinion much more strongly and more immediately as he starts his topics.
The news on WIBC is still a healthy mix of AM and FM sound. Mike anchoring in the morning sounds very FM. But the reporters’ wraps that he plays still sound very AM and have a lot of old style jargon.
I’ve forwarded writing and anchoring guidelines that might be useful to Mike to get his team to come fully into FM world.
That WIBC do a content test since so many shows are new and offer so many non traditional ways of doing the format. This is critical, as it could easily be that things that Tony, The Chicks and Abdul are doing that sound simply refreshing to us are in fact downright confusing to the audience. Especially with the new kind of show Tony is doing in the morning.
That I do a 90 day in depth analysis of PPM tune ins and tune outs and the beginning and end of each key show to see which shows are really creating appointment listening.
That I do a PPM analysis of “the exits”, moments throughout the day that have significantly greater tune out to other stations.
Tony: Help Paige, and in the meantime, have Tony and Mike do most of the interaction. Use airchecks and daily feedback to help Tony avoid talking points and prep his own topics better.
COTR: to set and reset every bit and benchmark they do to make their show feel more open and welcoming. To encourage them to do heavier topics where they show their emotion so well.
Abdul: to give a clear opinion in the first minute of every segment. To stop asking for listener opinions and start asking for listener experiences.