What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 4, 2007

Coincidence? I think not.

Adrian McCoy (who walks the radio beat at the P-G) reports:

KDKA-AM (1020) is adding a new talk host to its lineup. Kevin Miller, an Ohio native who filled in for KDKA afternoon host Fred Honsberger recently, will host a weekday talk show from 12:15 to 3 p.m. starting May 14.

Miller comes from talk station WWTN-FM in Nashville, Tenn., where he was morning show host. He has also worked at stations in Raleigh, N.C.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Nashua, N.H.

Honsberger will move to 3 to 6 p.m., with the last hour of that shift devoted to an increased role in the station's "5 O'Clock Total News Hour."

Take a look at that last paragraph. Fred's show is now on 1 to 5 in the afternoon. I don't have any evidence about anything here, but I have to wonder why they're shifting the Honzman a few hours into the late afternoon.

Could it be that another radio show's been threatening the Honz? I mean, has there been a recent addition to the local radio market in the early afternoon slot that might possibly be nibbling away at the Honzman's ratings?

Yes - John McIntire.

It's been only a month, but is it any coincidence that Johnny Mac's scorching radio show overlaps Fred from 1 to 4 daily? Could that be the reason they're moving Fred out of Johnny Mac's way?

I don't know. I'm just asking.

The logical fallacy here, of course, is post hoc ergo propter hoc. But since I don't think either Fred or John actually speak Latin, I'll just ignore it and go for the cheap laughs.

Let's compare the two. McIntire's funnier than Honsberger. He does better impressions of Fred Rogers and Dick Cheney. He's hipper. He's in greater need of therapy. Fred, on the other hand, is a much better dresser.

And then there's Gab. Even if Fred and John matched up evenly (and we know they don't - see the previous paragraph), the scales would be tilted inexorably, unflinchingly in John's direction because of Gab Bonesso. Gab Bonesso, the spikey-haired, with tie for a belt, Timberlake-stalking, once and future trumpeter, frequently braless dynamo who answers the phone and says to Johnny Mac at least 15 times a day, "I hate you - whatev." That Gab Bonesso.

If you've never heard the Kinkersons, you're missing something truly disturbing.

But I don't mean that in a bad way.


Sherry said...

best news i've heard in some time!

Anonymous said...

Interesting observation...EXCEPT..there have been no ratings issued since Macyapper has started his FM show, so there's no evidence to support the claim.

Anonymous said...

Interesting observation, anonymous.

But I guess you missed dayvoe's use of the phrase: I don't have any evidence about anything here...

Anonymous said...

i haven't yet been able to stay tuned to macintyre for more than 30 seconds. even if im trying to give the kid a chance.

viking67 said...

You want the real story? McIntire has nothing to do with this at all. Fred has always expertly ass-kissed and politicked his way into surviving when everybody and everything else at KDKA has disappeared. His amazing survival skills are running out, though, and they're looking to can him at the first opportunity. He makes too much money and he represents too much of the "same old" sound for a station that is trying to be different. Bottom line: They see if the new guy catches on and does any bizness. If he does, he gets the plum slot and Fred goes away. Meanwhile, the "man station" is destined to die a horrible death. McIntire has never had ratings (fewer than 5,000 watched PCNC) and he never will.

Anonymous said...

I think you're wrong on this. I believe just like Olbermann's slowly but surely taking audience away from O'Reilly, Thom Hartmann's taking it away from Honsberger.

brian the rankerz said...

Looks like there are so dummies but i believe those stories are true by predicting the facts.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that after being held hostage by the lies of Fred the lying KKKristian that Pittsburghers are actually listening to other radio shows. Say it ain't so, we are growing and learning as a city...awesome!
Oh, and don't worry about Fred his church has a soup kitchen and free clothing.
Anon #2

PghLesbian said...

Come on, David. Frequently braless? Why can't the "Gab rocks big time" stream of praise avoid reducing her to a pair of boobs behind the mike? Good grief. You are far more creative than that ...

I think you are stretching on this point. I doubt a few weeks on the air could give John the legs he needs to take down Fred. It is more likely that the forces that shifted John from KDKA are at play with Fred.

matt said...

The problems with this logic are many. First off, both stations are owned by the same company (CBS), therefore they will in the end do what is best for the mighty dollar, not spend time playing games by competing with themselves. Second, if Honsberger were in "danger", so to speak, you wouldn't move him to evening drive. Anyone in radio will tell you the two most coveted times are morning and evening drive time, you have more people captured in their cars listening to the radio than at any other point of the day. Third, if they thought that Johnny Mac was garnering that big of an audience, they never would have taken him off of the mothership and relegated him to an FM signal that hasn't drawn flies sice the old B94 days. KDKA is in competition with 104.7 (Clear Channel), not 93.7 (CBS). If they thought JM could take listeners away with political talk from the FM talker, they never would have moved him. Instead they are opting to put Honsberger head to head against Hannity, which will make for some interesting stuff for those of us that following the ratings by daypart.

Gary said...

"if Honsberger were in "danger", so to speak, you wouldn't move him to evening drive.

Pay attention, Matt. His show used to end at 5. Now it will end at 6. The last hour of his show will be devoted mostly to news. This is NOT a promotion to evening drive. This is NOT a renewed commitment to all things Fred. Sum total of these moves is Fred's ass just bounced a couple of steps closer to the curb. Trust me.

matt said...

Yes, and anyone worth his salt in radio will tell you that 5-6 is part of evening drive. It was stupid of them to end his show at 5 previously because it was in the middle of said drive. I would be hard pressed to find another station on the dial that would do something that from a programming perspective was that inane. Certainly none of the talk stations in the market make that mistake.
Then again, KD may be getting around to trying to fix some of their programming mistakes, given they had stretched his show originally to help cover for the fact they had no one else and two of the shows they were carrying via syndication (O Reilly/Boortz) were both being carried on delay rather than live. Now they have went out and hired someone to do a live local show from 12:15-3, which means they could move Fred back to where he was.
I am not arguing for the content of Fred's show, and that is where I am sure I will lose some people, I am simply arguing from a programming perspective, which are not the same animal. So in fact, I am very much paying attention and this move puts him head to head against Sean Hannity, which is KD's primary competition. They are not chasing their own tails with some hoped for but non existent competition with 93.7, which they already own. Mind you, Fred may find trouble if he can't pull decent numbers against Hannity, but I don't see KD throwing out the show that generates them the most money any time in the near future.

viking67 said...

Matt, Matt, Matt....yes, it's evening drive, but it's also the time when Fred will fade into the background and the news will take over.

Fred's show doesn't generate the most money. The morning show does. Always has and always will at KDKA.

matt said...

I stand corrected, I hadn't thought of the morning show, probably because work keeps me from catching it, I am usually in the studio by 5am, but I get that Pittsburghers tune into it, some of them almost religiously, especially during winter and the whole school cancellation season. I would imagine that is one of the main reasons they picked up .5 in the last book (WI 07), though still a solid 1.5 behind DVE (104.7 also increased by .5, keeping the margin at 1.9 (7.5-5.6) between the two stations, but given less than a year ago, KD had a lead of 3.6 (8.4-4.8), that is still where their main competition lies). For the record, there is a book for 93.7, they are down .2 from their last book (now at 1.3) but two thirds of that book are from when they still played music, so I wouldn't read a whole lot into that just yet.