Dan Kearney, CBS Radio’s newly installed L.A. market manager, is in tune with his predecessor.
Kearney took over from Steve Carver in September to become the sixth market manager for CBS Radio in Los Angeles since 2008. He’s continuing plans put in place by Carver, who had held the post since 2010, to maintain stability at a station group characterized in past years by high turnover at the top.
The goal is to challenge Clear Channel Communications. Last month, CBS Radio had three stations ranked in the top 10 in the local market by audience share, compared with Clear Channel, which had four in the top 10, including Nos. 1 and 2.
Kearney is maintaining Carver’s emphasis on ad sales tailored to each of his stations rather than selling an ad to run on multiple stations. He’s also updating the sounds at two of CBS Radio’s stations – oldies KRTH-FM (101.1) and smooth jazz KTWV-FM (94.7).
“When I took over from Steve, he had put some changes in place,” Kearney said. “I’m continuing that vision. I’m trying to provide stability.”
CBS Corp. has six stations in Los Angeles, including top 40 KAMP-FM (97.1), rock KROQ-FM (106.7), adult hits KCBS-FM (93.1) and all-news KNX-AM (1070). Analysts say high turnover at the top has been a problem.
Just a few years ago, from 2008 to 2010, L.A. market managers Jeff Federman, Dan Weiner, Roy Laughlin and Ed Krampf occupied the post, at times within just months of one another.
That’s a marked contrast with the stability at Clear Channel, which owns and operates eight local stations. That group has been led since 2001 by Greg Ashlock, its president and market manager in Los Angeles.
Its stations include talk KFI-AM (640), pop stations KIIS-FM (102.7) and KBIG-FM (104.3), and adult contemporary KOST-FM (103.5).
Ashlock did not respond to a request for comment for this article.
The management turnover at CBS Radio in Los Angeles has made it hard to put a cohesive strategy in place, said Jerry Del Colliano, publisher of radio industry newsletter Inside Music Media in Scottsdale, Ariz. That’s because market managers oversee everything from ad sales to operating budgets to digital strategies.
“When you have management turmoil like that, where key decisions come down to this person and you don’t have stability or leadership, there’s no doubt that the turmoil has not helped,” he said.
The turmoil hit its peak in 2008 as the recession hit. It was a tough time for the L.A. radio market, which was losing hundreds of millions of dollars in ad revenue and facing new digital competition.
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