Tuesday, July 28, 2009

KROQ's Kevin & Bean Forge Unholy Alliance With KIIS' Ryan Seacrest

It's tough going these days in radio, where a challenging marketplace has led to depressed ad rates -- and in several cases, bankruptcy. (It's the same scenario being played out in radio and local TV.)

Radio is also gripping with the impact of Arbitron's recently adopted Personal People Meters, which is changing the way radio stations react to listeners. (PPMs are already being blamed for virtually everything -- such as Entravision's decision to can the Indie 103.1 format on radio.)

Not even L.A.'s top-rated morning shows are immune, as evidenced by a surprise Thursday on-air conversation between KIIS' Ryan Seacrest and KROQ's Kevin and Bean.

The topic: Recent mandates at both Clear Channel (owner of the KIIS) and CBS Radio (KROQ's parent) include clamping down on too much chit-chat during the radio shows.

"I shouldnt do this on the air, by my guys called me in," Seacrest told K&B of his Clear Channel bosses. "They said, look, the ratings are great, we're doing OK. They look fine, there was a No. 1 next to some of them. Then they said to me, 'You know, we really believe we can hang on to this position if we keep playing the music and if you actually play some more music and do a little bit less of what you're doing."

Seacrest said that didn't sit well with him. And despite K&B's past jokes at Seacrest's expense, both sides bonded over the issue.

"We have had that meeting a thousand times more than you," Kevin told Ryan. "Are we making some sort of blood bond here? If you get fired we'll take you on, and if we get fired you'll take us on?"

Bean noted that this has been a source of contention for some time.

"We've had this conversaition a million times beause the bosses think the people who listen to our respective shows don't care about us," he said. "They're only suffering through us to get to the songs they've heard a million times. That's the mentality of radio stations these days."

Bean also asked Seacrest why he was making such a stink, when he's already "making $15 million a year on just one of your jobs. Why don't you shove it and stop doing radio?"

Said Ryan: "I do love it, but I'd rather do it for someone that likes me."

By the way, the irony of this strange bedfellow arrangement: CBS-owned KROQ has been impacted by Clear Channel's KYSR 98.7, while Clear Channel's KIIS is feeling the heat from CBS' new KAMP 97.1. Both KYSR and KAMP focus mostly on music in the morning (KAMP doesn't even have a morning host), which has proven to be a winner with the PPMs. In other words, it's Seacrest's sister station that's hurting Kevin & Bean's station, and vice versa.

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