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February 21, 2023 8:31 am  #1

Could CityNews Add This Change To Its Format?

WTOP has been an all-news station for decades and one that employs the same kind of broadcast clock that's familiar to listeners at CityNews 680 and its stations across the country. So when the Washington D.C. outlet took the step of revealing a change in its longtime format to listeners it was unusual to say the least. 

Like 680, that station had sports at :15 and :45, and business at :10 and :55. But for some reason, the station has decided to reverse the airtimes for those segments, putting business at :10 and :40, and is advising listeners of the change. WTOP claims it will allow for fewer commercials and more time for news on its airwaves. 

It has been a very long time since CityNews made any alterations to the station - in fact, its consistency may be one of the factors behind its success. But nothing is written in stone and if more all-news stations make the move, I wonder if they will consider it, too. 

WTOP to move radio benchmarks to new times


February 21, 2023 8:47 am  #2

Re: Could CityNews Add This Change To Its Format?

Are they charging more per spot to cover less commercials?

RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.


February 21, 2023 9:44 am  #3

Re: Could CityNews Add This Change To Its Format?

I wonder how the two stations compared for commercial load.  You would have to compare how they handled the ad flow.  CityNews doesn't have a problem with sounding cluttered, maybe WTOP did and this was the reason for the change. Which station has the most minutes every half hour for news, and is this actually important?

Also does WTOP have more or lengthier traffic and weather than CityNews and do they have similar amounts of Entertainment and Lifestyle news?  How about anchor chit chat.  At times CityNews has a fair bit and other times not much. 

So unless there is a problem at CityNews I don't really see why they would consider altering their clock.  Both WTOP and CityNews are strong in the ratings.  WTOP could be reacting to non commercial WAMU the NPR station which is number one 12+.  Sort of similar to CBC Radio One.

Remember a few years ago when Newstalk 1010 was commercial free from 8am to 9 in the morning?  Did this actually make any difference in ratings?  

Last edited by paterson1 (February 21, 2023 9:45 am)


February 22, 2023 1:38 am  #4

Re: Could CityNews Add This Change To Its Format?

The quarter hour ratings still count for something and sports headlines aren't exactly a tune-in factor on an all-news station.  WCBS figured this out in 2019 and it helped.  That same PD went on to all-newsers in Philly and now LA, and has spread his winning philosophy along the way.  More than anything, it's about adjusting the clock so they can do headlines at the quarter and sweep through to the bottom of the hour with more relevant local content.