With the present format, Star will do no better than Third Place in the Knoxville Market. South Central's B 97.5 will be good for at least Second Place reliably. Like I have said earlier, Star's youth based format is not in the Money demographic. Q on a good stick has superior odds of becoming a Money demo favorite and being real competitive. With Mike Hammond at the PD slot, Q can be WIVK's nemesis on that superior stick. You can't have a Top Knoxville market CHR without being a Gold Based Listen At Work station, B is, Star is the youth CHR.
Let's be realistic. Even with Cumulus gutting the Frog, another full-market country station will never be any better than second. Simply put, the Frog isn't going to rock bottom, even if it loses audience share. Getting enough of that share to not only vault over the Frog but also B-97.5 just isn't likely. Getting a second country station to rank any better than third, let alone second, is going to take a long time, even with Hammond running the show at Journal's country station.
So, the question becomes whether it's worth the risk to move Star to a lower power station. From one standpoint, the potential 25-54 numbers a country station could pull in are very attractive. From the other, 93-Q has been flat since it signed on, and it was well-programmed under Paul Orr. Yeah, the signal's average, but Star got roughly double the ratings 93-Q's been getting when it was on 93.1 Star's a known quantity, and it used to pull in better 25-54 female numbers than you might think. After all, 70% of 18-34 listeners are also in the 25-54 demo. I can't tell you how it does today, but it seems like it's doing well enough for Journal as they've only made minimal changes to the station. Does the benefit of having a bigger signal to attract potential country listeners outweigh the risk of moving your existing cash cow to a lesser stick? I don't know. We can armchair quarterback it all we want, but I don't think any of us can effectively decide it as it's not our money.