Arbitron ratings for Spring '07 were just released, and it doesn't look pretty for Sports 1140 KHTK.
KHTK pulled a 2.7 share, down from 3.6 in the winter quarter and down from a big 3.6 quarter in Spring '06. (A 2.7 share, as I understand it, means for any given 15-minute period, 2.7% of all people in Sacramento's metro area listening to a radio tuned into KHTK for at least five minutes. It's confusing, but there you go.)
How much of the fall had to do with the terribleness of the Kings, and how much had to do with the entry of ESPN Radio into the market? (If anyone at KHTK is reading this and has a hunch, I'd love to hear it.) My hunch is the Kings' lack of postseason/lack of playoff push pushed people away, but I'd guess ESPN radio's presence peeled away a few listeners, too.
We haven't seen any ratings out of the ESPN affiliate (KCTC 1320 AM). They just switched over in late February. If 1320 is taking a chunk out of 1140, I think we'd see it in the morning hours (ESPN's 'Mike & Mike' vs. KHTK's 'The Rise Guys,' in the midday (when fanw could have fled KHTK's very popular non-sports 'Don & Mike Show' syndication for the now ex-ESPN favorite 'The Dan Patrick Show), or late (KHTK's 'Carmichael Dave Show' vs. ESPN's forgettable but national programming).
As much as we all despise Grant Napear's radio show, he gets guests of interest locally -- Kings players, Geoff Petrie, various Raiders and A's, interesting national guys like Mike Breen or Charles Barkley. And with Kings broadcasts also in that spot, KHTK should stand strong there. If there's one huge weakness in that time slot, it's the Monarchs. I'm sorry, but I'm probably never listening to a WNBA game. I'd love to have my imagination captured by Yolanda and the ladies, but every time I've tried to watch I got bored. I don't suspect listening will be much better.
I've given gruff to The Rise Guys a few times here before, but I swear I do have something nice to say: For a few days, The Phantom and F.P. Santangelo were out. (I think F.P. got the gout from a Cheesecake Factory waitress or something.) It was Whitey Gleason, Joe Pittman, and Danny Pinto. And it was the absolute best that show has ever been. I'm telling you, I'd listen to that version every day. (Well, maybe like twice a week.) Now? I have a portable FM radio I can listen to on public transit. I never turn it on in the morning. Always go with the iPod. I'd rather repeatedly listen to Neutral Milk Hotel albums I memorized five years ago than more F.P. Santangelo droning on about Montreal. (And I love Montreal!) And I should like F.P., he's a Giant, he's a swinger in Sacramento... but I don't know. I'm sorry, F.P.
(Unfortunately, this is already insanely long and I haven't gotten into the whole KHTK-Bee Cold War that's still going on almost eight months after it started. Another time.)