Local AM radio turning to hot talk-show trendQuote:>From the Hartford (Connecticut) _Courant_, Friday, February 12, 1993:
"Talk is cheap; talk is easy; talk sells--syndicated talk
radio, that is.
"Just ask WCCC-AM (1290) and WDRC-AM (1360), both of which
will change much of their broadcasting schedules to syndicated talk
shows beginning Monday [February 15], following a trend set by AM
stations in Connecticut and across the country."
"Beginning Monday, WCCC-AM will start marketing itself as
'Talk 1290,' and its weekday schedule will open with a simulcast
[from WCCC-FM] of Sebastian's 6-1to-10-a.m. show, but then will
go to syndicated talk for the rest of the day.
"From 10 a.m. to noon, WCCC-AM will broadcast Lee Mirabel,
who deals with matters such as lifestyles and feelings; from noon
to 1 p.m., longtime investigative reporter Jack Anderson; from 1
to 3 p.m., politically liberal commentator Ellen Ratner; and from
3 to 6 p.m., Larry King."
"WDRC has put more effort into its AM side in recent
years than WCCC [WCCC has been a straight simulcast of the FM
twin for some time]. Six days a week, from 5 to 10 a.m., it has
offered Brad Davis, who has a modest but steady following for his
show that emphasizes talk and interviews about current topics.
"After Davis leaves the air weekdays, WDRC-AM goes to a
musical format that it picks up via satellite; the format
emphasizes easy-listening hits from the past four decades. Davis,
for his part, plays two or three records per hour when he is on.
"Starting Monday, its weekday schedule will be Davis from
5 to 10 a.m.; music from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; the Dolans, financial
advisers, from 1 to 3 p.m.; Gene Burns, who talks about current
topics, from 3 to 5 p.m.; music from 5 to 6 p.m.; simulcast of
WVIT, Channel 30's television newscast from 6 to 6:30; music
from 6:30 to 10; Dr. Joy Browne, psychologist, from 10 p.m. to
1 a.m.; and music from 1 to 5 a.m.
"WDRC general manager Wayne Mulligan says the changes
are being made 'basically to provide and additional service....
I think there's a segment of the audience that would prefer to
hear talk in the afternoon. I think this may attract a younger
listener to some of the day parts.'
"WDRC-AM's ratings slipped during the most recent rating
period, but M ulligan says that's not the reason for the change.
'I don't think the last [ratings period] is representative of
what this format is doing.'
"The syndicated talk shows that WDRC is bringing in all
originate at WOR-AM (710) in New York City, the talk station that
is owned by WDRC's owners--Buckley Broadcasting Corp. of
Greenwich [CT]. ... "
"The movement of King from late-night to late-afternoon
has affected a number of stations besides WCCC-AM. King's syndi-
cated show is also being carried in Connecticut by WBIS-AM (1120)
in Bristol, WATR-AM (1320) in Waterbury and WICC-AM (600) in
Bridgeport. WPOP  had carried King's late-night show until
dropping it because of his time switch two weeks ago.
"Now WPOP's syndicated night schedule on weekdays, after
its final live talk show of the day (Jeff Katz), is Talknet with
Bruce Williams from 7 to 10 p.m.; Myrna Lamb from 10 to 11 p.m.;
and Jim Bohannon from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
"WTIC's (1080) new night-time schedule, after Arnold
Dean's live 7 to 8 p.m. sports-talk show, is Michael Harrison's
local call-in talk show (which starts later if WTIC is carrying
a sporting event) from 8 to midnight, and Gil Gross from midnight
to 5 a.m."
[The article also discusses the barter arrangements between
syndicators and stations, for advertising time, and the fact that
it costs less to use syndicated programs than produce them
locally. Oh, brave new world!]