In reality they didn't add more spots per hour, they just bunched them all together, it sure seems like more though.
Before when WBBM went to a commercial, I didn't tune out, I knew it would be a short break. I am tuning out now, the same as I do on a music station with 6-8+ mins in a row. I'm not tuning in as often either, because already in the first week, I've tuned in several times(at the "wrong" time) and landed in a long set of commercials.
I'm a realist though, they don't care about a listener like me, I'm not wearing a pager(PPM).
That is the reason for this, weather moved from 14 to 15, a new news update at 45, this is to get people to tune in exactly on the quarter hour.
Sports moving to 16 and 46 won't make much of a difference, however, business moving to 23 and 53 was not well thought out. They should have moved it to 26 and 56. At least it would be consistent with the sports times. The big issue is with people who only turn on WBBM for business, if they listened this week and heard nothing but commercials until traffic and no business report, they may just assume it's gone and just use their phone for updates and not tune in at all anymore. That may sound far fetched but remember, some use WBBM just for traffic, some just for weather and some just for headlines. With almost everyone having a phone, they can go elsewhere.
They could have taken their long break before business and then went right into traffic and weather afterwards. For one, they could have started the traffic a few seconds before the "8's", nobody would've even noticed and they could have given the reporter a few extra seconds, which would make the 28 and 58 reports a little less than a "placeholder on the 8's".
Now there is the advertiser point of view. I have bought my last two cars at a dealership that uses WBBM a lot. During most daytime hours they run spots at least once or twice an hour. I was in yesterday for a scheduled checkup. I am under warranty there and get all my work done there, so I've become friends with a few people that work there.
When I was there I couldn't help but ask if they noticed the change at WBBM. This is from the guy who sold me my car, not an exact quote, but he said, We're not happy being lumped in now with 2 or 3 other dealers at the same time! We liked having ours being the only dealer ad at a time. We were not told they were changing things and we're worried if were the 3rd or 4th we might not get heard, thats why we gave up on most of the FM stations. He said they know if a person came into the dealership because of the radio ad. He said we know exactly who came because of radio, cable or net ads, if an ad wasn't pulling people in we pull it.
Sorry for the personel story, but I thought is was relevant to the conversation.
My final thought is, it was working fine, ratings are high, revenue is tops in the market, "if it ain't broke don't fix it"...
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