Industry News

FOX News Channel’s New Weekend Program Lineup

FOX News Channel debuts a new weekend primetime lineup tomorrow (6/3). “The Big Saturday/Sunday Show” becomes “The Big Weekend Show,” airing at 7:00 pm ET on Saturdays and Sundays while “FOX News Saturday Night” will premiere at 10:00 pm ET. Additionally, “The Next Revolution” will end its Sunday 9:00 pmim ET run as Steve Hilton steps back from hosting a weekly show to focus on his new California non-partisan policy organization launching next week. Hilton will remain a contributor across all FOX News Media platforms while Trey Gowdy’s “Sunday Night in America” will move to 9:00 pm slot. SVP Megan Albano says, “We are excited to launch a new dynamic weekend lineup that will further solidify our position as the number one cable news network for more than two decades. We thank Steve Hilton for his show’s contributions and look forward to continuing to feature his valuable insights across our daytime and primetime programming.”

Industry News

FOX News Radio Expands Weekend Programming

FOX News Radio adds new weekend programming to the radio network lineup. Beginning this weekend, “FOX News Rundown: From Washington” will air from 5:00 am to 6:00 am on Saturdays and “The Bret Baier Show” will air from 10:00 am to 11:00 am ET.  “FOX News Rundown” will “offer the previous week’s best stories, with a deep focus on the biggest stories emanating out of the nation’s capital.” It will be hosted by various FOX News political reporters including Jared Halpern and Chad Pergram. FOX says “The Bret Baier Show” provides listeners with the best of the week from “The Bret Baier Podcast.”

Industry Views

Stop Throwing Away Weekends

By Walter Sabo
A.K.A. Walter Sterling
Radio Host

Every radio sales presentation should start with one powerful number. This number – often found under the Sphinx – will dazzle any buyer, but is rarely revealed. The number is Homes Using Radio (HUR). Once upon a time it was part of the conversation. HUR shows how many people are using radio at any given time, a total number.

Studying hour-by-hour HUR reveals the most surprising fact: Saturday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm is the second-most, listening-to-radio daypart after Monday – Friday morning drive. If a station suffers in total weekly audience, the first culprit is often squandering Saturday 10-3!

John Catisimatidis, owner of WABC, New York has taken the station from the depths of despair and turned it into a strong contender. His first act as owner was to dump the paid-for weekend programming and replace it with live, local shows. You could trace the ratings jump on WABC to the moment he placed live shows on Saturday midday.

Bart Walsh, a very successful Washington, DC general manager taught me the secret of Saturday midday. He explained that if Saturday midday’s share is higher than the station’s overall total week share, the next book will go up. If it is lower than the total share, the next book will go down. Amazingly this phenomenon has always proven to be true. I always paid attention to Bart because when he ran WKYS it had a higher percentage of profit than anything else owned by RCA and when he and Donnie Simpson ran it, the station was always #1, 12+.  Bart never expensed lunch – or anything else.

The puzzler is that weekends on radio are a built-in win. Americans love weekends. Weekends conjure good feelings and offer discretionary time. Smart stations tap the positive imagery of weekends. Imagine how easy and cheap it would be for a talk station to talk up weekends!

Become the go-to source of weekend activity information. Give away fun prizes that are all weekend related. Go shopping. Share information about local sales and retailer events. The result will be – guaranteed – a significant jump in Monday AM drive cume.

Walter Sabo is a long-time radio industry consultant and thought leader.  He hosts and produces a network radio show titled “Sterling on Sunday” 10:00 pm-1:00 am ET.