Thursday, January 22, 2015

IBJ Article Reports WIBC's Tony Katz Chasing, Catching Bob & Tom in Local Radio Race

In an article that pretty much just throws a jumble of numbers at you, the Indianapolis Business Journal and some data from Nielsen make the claim that the WIBC Morning News with Tony Katz is chipping away at legendary market leader, Bob & Tom, in the morning radio race.

If this continues to occur, it could signal a huge shift in Indianapolis radio and signal an end to an era of dominance by Bob & Tom on the Indy airwaves.

I've written about Katz before here, and, I have to admit, I kind of get why people like him.  He's not a completely nasty guy on the air like Rush Limbaugh, and he does have some sort of different perspective on things.  Time will tell if that perspective will hold listeners long-term.  Bob & Tom have held the market's top radio spot against all challengers for over 30 years.  As a radio guy, I still prefer the old Steve Simpson Morning News to what Tony Katz has put together.

Bob, Chick, Tom, Kristi
In order to make its case, the IBJ relies on Nielsen numbers which, admittedly, contradict themselves.  It's often the same reason why on television station can claim it's the number one newscast over another claiming the same thing.  In the very key 25 to 54 demographic, Bob & Tom remain the number one show in Indy by a wide margin with Katz cutting into their lead.  Among all listeners six years and older, Katz actually leads Bob & Tom.

Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold are Indianapolis radio legends.  The duo came to the city in the early 80's from Michigan and started what would become one of the most successful syndicated comedy morning shows in the business.  Based in Indy, the duo's show is heard coast to coast on over 130 radio stations.  Don't make a mistake in thinking that Katz is somehow putting the Cumulus powerhouse out of business.  He most certainly isn't.  Bob & Tom are still going strong after 30 years in Indianapolis and strong nationwide in a radio business that's seen nothing but mostly downs in the last few years.  They are holding their own by doing what they do along with longtime news director Kristi Lee and sidekick Chick McGee.

Nonetheless, Katz should be credited for doing what I didn't think was possible: making a run at the legends in town.  You had to know something was up at WIBC when they changed Garrison's long-running schedule, and it's also good to know that Steve Simpson landed on his feet in Minneapolis.  His show is still missed here in town even though Katz's show is doing well.

Congratulations Tony.  Good luck at keeping your early gains.

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