Pittsburgh’s “Man Station” has been neutered after less than a year.
At his personal website, afternoon host John McIntire confirms that the short-lived talk format on WTZN-FM (93.7) is history as of today:
I was fired today. So was Paulsen. So was Steigy. So was Gab. So was Scott’s producer Nik.
They were nice. Decision made at the top. CBS corporate has been flipping FM talk to music in New York and Philly, so perhaps it was a matter of time.
Still, naive moi figured they’d give us a year rather than six months.
I thought it was working. They wanted young men, every time we did a comedy show young men showed up claiming to listen constantly. They cited comedy bits chapter and verse. They said their friends were listening.
You don’t keep a radio gig through anecdotal evidence. You need hard, cold numbers that turn into hard, cold cash.
Unfortunately, “cold, hard numbers” had eluded WTZN during its brief run. According to recent Arbitron ratings, 93.7 has lost listeners since switching to talk from the “K-Rock” mix of contemporary and classic rock hits; by many standards, K-Rock’s numbers were themselves pretty lackluster.
Nationwide, CBS’s FM talkers have struggled with the network’s “Free FM” mix of talk and entertainment programming. Of 11 stations to experiment with the format, six have dropped it (including Philadelphia’s WYSP-FM) and others that were using the “Free FM” moniker have changed their imaging.
In fact, “The Zone” is one of two CBS owned-and-operated FM stations that dropped a talk format today; WKRK-FM (97.1) in Detroit switched from “Live 97.1” to “FM Sports.”
Based on the current “Pitts-urgh” liners running on 93.7, speculation is running wild that music will return to the frequency under the “B-94” image it dropped in 2003 after a long and largely successful run as a CHR/Top 40 station.
Is there a buzz in the air? Stay tuned.