INTERNATIONAL: MEDIUM OF THE MONTH - News, business, travel, sport ... in 22 minutes. Eleanor Trickett tries to keep up with 1010 WINS

’You give us 22 minutes. We’ll give you the world,’ is the boast from the New York radio station, 1010 WINS. To translate this from mediaspeak, WINS is a rolling news service on a cyclical format, so every 22 minutes, you’ll hear business news, travel, sport and two sets of headlines. In fact, the average listener tunes in for 40 minutes at a time.

’You give us 22 minutes. We’ll give you the world,’ is the boast

from the New York radio station, 1010 WINS. To translate this from

mediaspeak, WINS is a rolling news service on a cyclical format, so

every 22 minutes, you’ll hear business news, travel, sport and two sets

of headlines. In fact, the average listener tunes in for 40 minutes at a

time.



The rolling news format is still relatively new on this side of the

Atlantic - London’s News Direct 97.3 is the only one as yet - whereas

WINS has been going for 32 years, and is by no means the only station of

its kind in the US. Talk stations are far more popular in America than

in the UK and dominate national listening. Six out of the top ten

stations in the country operate on a news/talk format, while in the TV

world, CNN has taken more than a few pointers from WINS’ s success.



WINS is owned by CBS, which now has five other stations in New York

alone following recent deregulation of the radio industry.

Interestingly, this includes WINS’ close rival, WCBS, although WINS

brings in 45 per cent of CBS’s revenue in the city, working on an

impressive profit margin of 40 per cent, and raking in a cool dollars

32.1 million in advertising revenues last year.



It operates its advertising spots in a way that would leave many UK

advertisers gasping - 19 breaks per hour, all solus. The station,

however, has been known to take a somewhat cavalier attitude, ignoring

scheduled breaks when news coverage demands it, although it all gets

evened out in the end.



WINS isn’t concerned about how many hours people tune in - it is

intended to be a short-term medium, hence its ’22 minutes’ boast. It

sits comfortably at the number two slot in New Yorkers’ morning

preference behind the talk and rock station, WXRK, which broadcasts

’shock-jock’ Howard Stern’s syndicated show. WINS delivers

two-and-a-half million adult ABC1 listeners each week out of a

population of 14 million, and its share of listeners rises at the

weekend since Stern only broadcasts on weekdays.



Mark Mason, the executive editor and programme director of WINS, is

confident the rolling news format will continue to spread. But his own

ambitions are more modest. ’We’re past the building stage, and just

maintaining it now. We’re happy to stay where we are, as it would be

difficult to grow any more,’ he says.



1010 WINS

Owned by - CBS

Launched - 1965

Listening figures - 2.5million adults per week

Ad breaks - 19 solus breaks per hour

Cost of 30-sec spot in morning drive time dollars - 2,000

1996 ad revenue - dollars 32.1 million



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