Surely KDOK isn’t going to a “talk radio” format!?!

Posted/updated on: February 13, 2014 at 7:08 am

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KDOK will, in fact, change call letters to KTBB-FM and begin broadcasting
all news and talk. The change will take place April 27.

I am the decision maker. It was not made lightly.

People will lose their jobs. That does not please me. The affected people
are more than employees, they have become friends of mine in the decade and
a half that they have been a part of my company. I am doing all that I can
within the bounds of fiscal responsibility and my responsibility for the
health of the company to provide those employees with a severance package
that will soften the blow.

We will not compete with Imus and Stern and the “umpteen already on the
air.” None of these hosts is on the air in this market nor does it look like
they will be in the forseeable future.

This change is brought about by the necessity of recognizing the structural
shifts taking place in the music industry and the radio industry. Radio is
gradually, but with increasing velocity, losing its no. 1 status as a music
delivery appliance. iPods and devices like it, together with nearly
unlimited and very low or no cost access to music on the internet, are
conspiring to dramatically reduce radio’s role as the principal provider of
music entertainment.

I, too, like KDOK and I will miss it. But the fact is that it has become
increasingly difficult to keep KDOK competitive, particularly in the
extremely difficult revenue environment in which all media is currently
operating. Unlike stations that play current music, KDOK operates from a
very static library. In order to keep time spent listening at competitive
levels, it was necessary to constantly engage in audience research that
tested the library for burnout and listener fatigue. This process costs the
same in Tyler, Texas for KDOK as it does in Dallas, Texas for KLUV. The
critical difference is that KLUV has ten times the revenue and therefore,
their music research costs do not have nearly the profound impact on
profitability that such costs have here.

The decision to change KDOK is also driven by the fact that it is very
likely that Congress will pass legislation either this session or next that
will impose a royalty payment on radio stations that play recorded music
owned by the record labels. This is an additional non-productive drain on
revenue that the industry simply cannot afford, particularly now.

I believe that when it becomes clear that this legislation will pass, other
radio operators will look at one or more of the FM stations that they own in
this market and ask themselves, “What kind of talk programming could we do?”

As much as we have enjoyed KDOK, our news and talk station KTBB is the
principal driver of this company. I could never be forgiven for allowing new
talk competition on the FM dial to dilute the audience and market revenue
share enjoyed by KTBB. As goes KTBB goes this company. Therefore, if there
is going to be viable talk competition on the FM band, I want that
competition to be right here inside my own company. If I’m going to compete,
I want to compete with myself.

This company is a business and must make business decisions. Profit is not
an option. It is the deferred cost of remaining in business. Therefore, with
current and future profitability in mind, I came to the difficult decision
to change KDOK to KTBB-FM.

I appreciate your loyal listening and I apologize for the impact losing KDOK
will have on your daily enjoyment of radio.

Paul L. Gleiser

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