Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Michael Savage is Killing Sean Hannity in Big Markets; National Radio Talker Destroys in SF Too on KSFO; Big Hit With Younger Demo

 I must confess.

I underestimated Michael Savage as he navigated to a prime-time slot in the midday, (12-3 PM, KSFO and 3-6 PM drive in the East Coast), but after a month, the rambunctious, unpredictable, and occasionally extremely entertaining Savage is beating the bejesus out of his nearest rival, the boring and repetitious Sean Hannity.

As Politico points out, Savage destroys Hannity in big markets like New York, Dallas, Detroit and here in San Francisco.

Moreover, he's beating Hannity with key younger demos. Savage e-mailed this report to me.

Frankly, I was not impressed with the early tone of Savage's program. It consisted of repeated monologues debasing the Obama administration on frequent easy right-wing talking points like Obama Care, the NSA and IRS scandals. Granted, all legitimate subjects, but in the radio talk-show genre, hardly the epicenter of broadcast nirvana. In fact, as I have pointed out, the Groundhog Day gyration that doesn't move the needle, that grates the nerves of those ardent listeners-- Democrat, Republican, who are looking for something far more palpable on the audio domain.


It is that element of Savage's repertoire that captivates me. I could do without politics. Matter of fact, and Savage feels the same, political radio with the standard screamers and routine bits, is frankly, lazy radio. It gets to the point where you know automatically how the host formats their show and what nasty, repetitive thing is coming next. It's not just an Obama deal--it migrates to the left too even though there's considerably less left-wing talk shows on the dial mostly because left-leaning shows don't extract any entertaining radio these days. Stephanie Miller is a bore. Mike Malloy is an annoying twit and we all know how that Air America experiment turned out. Norman Goldman is an interesting listen but he too trolls down the political route much too often and often repeats the same talking points. Repetition radio is bi-partisan.


Savage is best when describing the Indian buffet that gave him indigestion. His Chinese food histrionics at Hunan is, in fact, brilliant radio, worth a thousand laughs. Meat ball recipes trump the pratfalls of Joe Biden. "Teddy", Savage's loyal poodle and his status, is an A ticket to Disneyland. Hillary Clinton and Climate Change are the 4700th ride on the Matterhorn. You get my drift.


There exists a radical lack of creativity on the trappings of AM terrestrial radio in the Bay Area and beyond. Savage at least provides a dramatic detour from the pronounced dreck that is the constant. And while his primetime palate is resonating with listeners nationwide thus far, I say, can the politics and stick to meat and potatoes. Teddy would approve too, Maestro Savage.


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19 comments:

  1. Eh, the "I need reperations because my family provided our slaves room and board" type of calls kind of hints at the type of listeners they picked up...

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    1. You're taking that quote out of context...cherry picking sarcasm, admit to it.

      I'm a big Savage fan, Levin too. I don't agree with everything they say, but that's part of what makes it interesting.

      I do think less might be more with Savage in particular. I don't need the same snowball story or dutch uncle musing 3 days in a row...just cut the show short and play elevator music.

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    2. He is tapping into the nerve that makes 90% of us sick of ALL of the politicians. Tired of illegal immigration, race baiters, drugs, deviants, and the oppression of men, especially Anglo Saxon men.

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    3. Yet the reality is they're both dying on the vine. They're literally competing against each other, but losing the battle against everything else. For as long as they've all been on the air, they've been losing market share, and getting killed in the prime demos. They can toot their horns against each other, but at the end of the day that's all they have. Unfortunately, it's all we have as well. Garbage radio.

      Savage is the fastest of the special olympians. Actually, second fastest.

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  2. Wow. So, basically, you are telling us that the Savage Weiner's hate-filled words are okay because you find him funny? The man is loony tunes and has a long and illustrious history of outlandish statements that range from racial attacks to misogyny. But whatever blows up your skirt. His shtick is nothing new.

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    1. Finally someone who will call a spade a spade, I totally agree with you. Savage is scum, no class, he can be funny and interesting at times, but I'm not willing to listen to all the hate to get to that.

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  3. Wow, Rich, you can't even tell the whole story when the story is already written! You're going to take Savage's line and run with it? C'mon, man, you're better than that!

    Yes, Savage is beating Hannity (which isn't saying much, especially if you listen to what Savage himself says about him), but that's mainly because Cumulus owns the flame throwers in those dominant markets. Hannity has been relegated to #2 stations.

    It's also worth noting that in the very article you published, in NYC, WOR's 25-54 demo is up considerably, and WABC's is down by even more. That's the demo that matters, no?

    No right-minded person is going to argue that Hannity is better than Savage as an entertainer, but that's not always what it's about. The audience in #1 market, the one that matters, has somewhat followed Hannity to WOR, so Savage still has a way to go to make that up.

    We're not comparing apples to apples here.

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  4. So confused here. How are you coming up with the "younger demo" thing when he lost Hannity's market share in NY in the primary demo? Picture this scenario:

    Hannity used to play to stadiums, but now Savage gets to play in those stadiums. Hannity is over at the arena now. Hannity has helped fill the smaller arena, and while Savage can now fit more people into his own performance, a lot of people left the stadium and went to the arena. Contrary to what you're suggesting, not sure it's the younger demo. Do you have the breakout on those numbers?

    I'm not of the opinion that old radio hosts can't speak to younger demos, but I don't think stories of Chinese food, old tales, and things of that nature are what captivates them. Maybe at night, when it's more companion radio. We'll soon see.

    Apparently Savage has sent our his own press release to everyone in radio. 3 people sent it to me. Pretty lame.

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    1. I like your phrase COMPANION RADIO. I cannot always find it, sometimes have to settle for the Most Compelling Robot, but yes, that is how I decide who my favorites are. I may have to 'appropriate' that title.

      Oh, and Rich, the "Prove You're Not A Robot" numbers are getting harder, not easier to read. On Valentines Day, I was delighted, because on that particular day the Prove You're Not numbers became only one single READABLE word! I could'nt believe it, thought you had 'seen the light', but, alas, twas not to be ongoing. Now we are back with all the screwy italics as seen through two sheets of wax paper. Maybe you don't even control that part. Did you ever stop to think the person who does control that aspect MAY NOT WANT SO MANY PEOPLE POSTING ON YOUR BLOG? If that was my job, to write such a code, and I did not like Rich, or his gang either, then I absolutely would throw a few hoops, hurdles and stumbling blocks in their opinionated paths. Think about it! I'm from back east; Detroit, so I'm a hopeful man, but suspicious of others just the same.

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  5. It took me a few weeks to remember Savage's new time slot and now I'm tuning in three to four times a week (adios KSCO on that time slot). Savage is more palatable when he isn't strictly Obama bashing. It gets boring man! Which reminds me I need to send an email to MZ at KSCO. He needs to tell that old fuddy duddy Chuck Friedman (4-7pm weekdays) to cut the boring Obama bashing 24/7. I'm an open minded liberal, I enjoy listening to different points of views but damn. Enough with Benghazi and the IRS! Let it go old dude. The old vinyl tracks he plays from 1922 during the show do not help at all. What happened to the ideas the highly paid consultant made? Where is Rich Lieberman Live!?!?

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  6. What are the ratings on Whiner's taped third hour? Several markets don't even carry that third hour. Who does Whiner think he's fooling? Today he pretended the third hour would be live. It is taped!

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    1. Just got the numbers from someone in NYC.

      WOR and WABC are getting hammered 25-54. Neither Savage or Hannity making an impact.

      Laughable. Both of them.

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    2. Sometimes savage does part of third hour live now. About: 30 minutes worth. You can tell what's tape and what isn't.

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  7. Here's the part about this not discussed:

    Who in the world are we even talking about here? Who are the radio hosts? How good are they? We've been talking about the same average hosts for 15 YEARS! What other industry doesn't change except this one?

    Savage vs Hannity vs Beck vs Rush? Really? Levin? We're talking about a handful of radio hosts, who these companies have been foisting on us for years. Do you think ABC, NBC, CBS or FOX would start a new show with a guy in his 70s? FOX Bounces Hannity from primetime, and Clear Channel is already too ready to put this guy on more stations?

    I mean, LOOK AT WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT!!! This is the bad vs the bad. A business that has destroyed itself, that has no options, with no one waiting in the wings, which is WHY we have to hear these same clowns over and over. These guys are so good they have overseen a shrinking market for a DECADE! These great hosts, who promote themselves as if they're so good, have done nothing but LOSE audience. And who's next?

    TV gave us Fallon. Conan. Ferguson. And they have OTHERS ready to go. CNN tries with Piers, MSNBC throws people up on the screen, be it Olberman, or any number of new people. Who is RADIO putting forward? Who has radio developed?

    So while these old, uninteresting hosts squabble among themselves, I'll continue to hope something good happens. Meanwhile, I've not been listening. No one holds my attention right attention.

    Lets stop pretending any of these guys are any good. Please.

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  8. Rich,

    OT:

    You should try to get an interview with John B. Wells to ask him how he gets let go on Coast to Coast with 5 times the ratings on his weekend duties than Noory was pulling during the week.

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    1. John B. Wells has been 'let go' from Coast to Coast? Really? Well, as I've written here before, John B. has a great voice for radio, deep and resonant, but he also has a monotone, making him almost incomprehensible at times. All I would be hearing would be a lot of deep rumbling. Also, I didn't mind his old music at times, but some of his extremely obscure and banal selections were perhaps better left in the past. Just because the songs were from 'back then' doesnt make them worth hearing for a full 2.50 minutes.

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  9. Considering all the obstacles thrown in the shows way every single day, like a chief engineer who intentionally picks fights with Savage's team, forced to jump back and forth 4 minutes from show time due to piss poor project planning from the local staff, and the an almost intentional stupidity from key players higher up the chain it's amazing the show is sucessful. But then again is it really sucessful? judging from the DR spots running all over the national side of things I would guess that Cumulus' sales force is worse than that of Savage's old home at TRN.

    It's gonna be a fun day when John Buckham walks into wall with a little help from the people he is pissing off each day. Local comment heard... "WORTH IT"

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    1. you seem to have some intimate details? Who is this, pray tell?

      Historically speaking, any problems with engineers Michael ever had originated from his poor relationship with people in general. No one has ever wanted to help him.

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