KDOK has changed call letters to KTBB-FM and has begun broadcasting all news and talk.
I want to thank everyone who ever listened – and most particularly those of you who have spoken most passionately about KDOK since learning of its imminent change – for your loyalty and for your years of support. I understand your sorrow. I have loved KDOK since I bought it and I, like you, mourn its loss.
This decision was not made lightly.
This change is brought about by the necessity of recognizing the structural shifts taking place in the music industry and the radio industry. Radio is gradually, but with increasing velocity, losing its no. 1 status as a music delivery appliance. iPods and devices like it, together with nearly unlimited and very low or no cost access to music on the internet, are conspiring to dramatically reduce radio's role as the principal provider of music entertainment.
As I said, I love KDOK and I will miss it. But the fact is that it has become increasingly difficult to keep KDOK competitive, particularly in the extremely difficult revenue environment in which all media is currently operating. Unlike stations that play current music, KDOK operates from a very static library. In order to keep time spent listening at competitive levels, it was necessary to constantly engage in audience research that tested the library for burnout and listener fatigue. This process costs the same in Tyler, Texas for KDOK as it does in Dallas, Texas for KLUV. The critical difference is that KLUV has ten times the revenue and therefore, their music research costs do not have nearly the profound impact on profitability that such costs have here.
The decision to change KDOK is also driven by my belief that a shift in listening is taking place that is roughly akin to the shift that took place in the early 1970s when music listening left the AM band and migrated to the FM band.
That same shift is starting to take place with respect to news, talk and other spoken word formats. In markets across the country, the radio stations that are truly unique to their respective markets, that still maintain a heavy local emphasis in their programming, are the news and talk stations. As a younger generation is coming of age, we find that these listeners grew up with FM radio and really never even search the AM band for programming. We believe that in order to serve these listeners, talk radio will increasingly find its way to the FM side of the dial the way music did nearly 40 years ago.
As much as we have enjoyed KDOK, our news and talk station KTBB is the principal driver of this company. I could never be forgiven for ‘sitting on my hands’ while this listening shift is taking place and allowing new talk competition on the FM dial from outside my company to dilute the audience and market revenue share enjoyed by KTBB.
This company is a business and must make business decisions. Profit is not an option. It is the deferred cost of remaining in business. Therefore, with current and future profitability in mind, I came to the difficult decision to change KDOK to KTBB-FM.
If it is any consolation at all, I will miss KDOK every single day. KDOK was the first radio station I ever owned and I remember with fondness the day we moved it to the FM band.
KDOK was a close member of my family and I mourn its passing.
Thank you. Paul Gleiser