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107.7 FM Alt Buffalo off to a slow start; "Idol" off to a fast one here

By Alan Pergament

Leftovers before the three-day holiday weekend:

We'll start off by Talkin' Radio for a change since my "friends" over at the Entercom group enjoy it so much when I do.

Inquiring minds want to know how the new alternative format at 107.7 FM is doing in attracting audiences after taking over the frequency from a simulcast of WBEN-AM on Sept.26.

According to the Fall book that covers early Sept.12 to Dec. 4, Entercom's 107.7 FM Alternative Buffalo or WLKK was No. 16 in the market with a 1.1 share of the audience 12 years and older.

That doesn’t sound so hot considering all the positive buzz 107.7 has received. However, the format switch occurred two weeks after the book started and the result is much better than the WBEN simulcast, which didn't get enough listeners to register a share in the previous three ratings books.

Considering its format, you would expect that 107.7 would have at least a slightly better finish in the 18-49 demographic loved by advertisers.

To put the 1.1 in perspective, the new alternative station is behind a Canadian station and three low-rated AM stations -- WECK, WWWS and WXRL.

But it generally takes some time for audiences to grow when formats are switched, especially when it happens after the book has already started.

The top five stations in the market with 12 plus listenership are WYRK-FM, WBEN-AM, WBLK-FM, WHTT-FM and WKSE-FM.

Considering its format, WBEN normally takes a drop in the 18-49 demographic because news and talk content is generally more attractive to older listeners. But I imagine Entercom executives don't enjoy reading that analysis.

Inquiring minds also want to know what happened to psychic Karyn Reece’s former show on WBBZ-TV. General Manager Bob Koshinski explained the independent station canceled "Secrets from Beyond" several months ago because it couldn't make enough money on it.

The show had a live audience that paid a small fee to attend at the station's studio in the Eastern Hills Mall. But that probably didn't cover the cost of buying a nice suit at a mall store.

"It had a limited audience," said Koshinski of "Secrets." "We tried it for six months and decided to move on. We weren't able to make enough revenue to continue."

The season premiere of "American Idol" Wednesday night with its new team of judges was a hit with local viewers, winning its time slot decisively with a 9.6 rating on WUTV, the Fox affiliate. The second episode Thursday had an 8.6 rating, second only to CBS' "Big Bang Theory" (10.2) for the night.

Wednesday's premiere was only down slightly from the 10.1 rating that the 2013 season premiere had. Nationally, viewership reportedly dropped by about 15 percent but that isn't that bad considering how many more people watch shows On Demand or on DVRs than did a year ago.

It was the highest-rated program of the night and the "Idol" lead-in it even helped Channel 2's 10 p.m. news finish only a tenth of a point behind Channel 4’s 10 O’Clock on sister station WNLO-TV. Channel 4 won the first-half hour, 4.3-4.2, a much lower margin than normal.

The second half hour of Channel 4's 10 p.m. news slipped to a 3.0 but it still helped Arsenio Hall's talk show got an unusually high 2.7 rating at 11 p.m.

The second episode of NBC's "Chicago PD," which the network promoted as a hit after its premiere a week earlier, lost more than quarter of its opening night audience on Channel 2. It finished with a 4.5 rating Wednesday, which hardly qualifies it as a hit.

If you missed last Sunday''s second episode of the fourth season of "Downton Abbey" because you were watching the Golden Globes, "The Good Wife" or for some other reason, be advised WNED-TV repeats it at 8 p.m. Sunday and it also is available for viewing now on the website I'm a technology klutz but even I have learned how to move programs from my computer to my TV screen so I am sure just about any smart PBS viewer can learn how to do it, too. It is especially a good idea here considering how many times WNED-TV carries programs later than the PBS national schedule.


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About Talkin' TV

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament has continued to blog about television topics since retiring in 2010 as The News' television writer after 28 years on the beat. From local on-air personalities to ratings to the latest on network and cable programming, he keeps you informed.

@StillTalkinTV |