What will 2009 bring for local radio?
Kevin LaRue, director of news and programming for KSL, said he's most excited about preparations for "PPM" (Portable People Meter) during 2009.
In the next couple of months, Arbitron expects the PPM to be in use in all the top 10 markets. The others, like Salt Lake — which ranks 30th — will follow.
The current measurement of radio ratings are written diaries that weigh heavily on a person's memory of what they listened to and when.
PPM is an electronic device that measures what stations are people are listening to.
LaRue believes KSL will fare well under such electronic measurement.
Eric Hauenstein, Citadel Broadcasting's Salt Lake cluster general manager, is also excited about people meters. But he doesn't expect to see many results until the early part of 2010.
He believes Citadel's variety of stations in the Salt Lake area will be well-suited to strong measurements on PPM.
G. Craig Hanson, president of Simmons Media Group (KXRK and six other S.L. stations), said he, too, welcomes the "people meter."
That's because in its test markets so far it has shown that radio has long been under-rated.
"What it will show is that far more people are listening to radio," he said. "That will change (advertising) value. … It will surprise a lot of people."
The result in early 2010 may be that Salt Lake area stations may take some advertising away from competing stations, as well as TV. They may also be able to attract new advertisers. That's good news for radio.
In another area, Dan R. Jessop, operations direction for KBZN and KLO, believes a lot will ride on what President-elect Barack Obama's team does about the fairness doctrine when it comes to talk radio.
As for other trends, it's ironic that even though radio revenues are down universally, listening to radio has hit an all-time high — 234 million people, age 12 and up, according to a report from Inside Radio.
Even in this age iPod and MP3s, 90 percent of teenagers still turn on a radio.
Reader comment: Here is some feedback on last week's "Radio Dial" from a KaeDee Jewkes and her daughter.
"The (Keith) Stubbs show on (KEGA) 101.5 the Eagle. It is the best morning show either of us had ever heard, and we were both disappointed as we read your article and Stubbs was not mentioned. He is the best DJ on the radio. He is funny and real, and that is what we like about him."
Radio happenings: Doug Wright of KSL will be at the NEC Homeshow in the South Towne Expo Center, 9575 S. State, Jan. 9, 1-3 p.m.
KSOP has started a new contest, "Super Bowl Pool 2009," with $1,000 up for grabs. Listen to FM-104.3 for details,
"Fisher and Peggy," mornings on KOSY, have a Disneyland giveaway going, with a daily winner announced weekdays at 7 a.m. Go to: www.kosy.com for more details.
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