WTOP

Hubbard's WTOP-FM/D.C. drops ad-insertion for "full simulcast"

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 12:15pm

Hubbard Radio D.C. news outlet WTOP-FM has stopped inserting online-only ads into its web streaming, thereby duplicating its on-air programming online.

Senior Regional VP/Market Manager of Hubbard Radio's Washington, D.C. properties, Joel Oxley, explained the move as one to help Arbitron ratings: "Since WTOP is now a simulcast, those listeners can now be added to our Arbitron ratings. For WTOP even a slight move up in ratings can mean a significant rise in revenue." (quote from Inside Radio coverage)

If there are programming differences -- including ads -- between a station's on-air and its stream, Arbitron counts those audiences separately. If the programming is identical, Arbitron can combine the listening. Saga Communications announced a similar move in August (coverage here) for its streaming stations.

Looking to steal some of WTOP's online "magic," CBS in D.C. hires away digital news director

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 12:00pm

CBS Radio this month brought on Mike Gartell to manage the web properties for its five Washington, D.C. stations, including the six-month old all-news WNEW-FM.

That's significant because Gartell was hired away from Hubbard's WTOP/Washington, D.C., known not only as the nation's top-billing station, but for its exemplary online presence (among other accolades, it garnered this publication's RAIN Award for the Best Overall Digital Strategy last fall).

While WNEW-FM's on-air ratings aren't competitive with WTOP's, Washington City Paper columnist Will Sommer suggests CBS may be attacking via a different route: online. "It looks like WNEW and CBS know that there are more than one way to skin the nation's top-billing cat," he wrote. "Is WNEW trying to snag some of that WTOP Web magic?"

He hopes Gartell spends some time in his new job on WNEW's website, and says, "With too many promotional links in the top and not enough actual news, (WNEW-FM's site) lacks the melange of wire-service copy and original reporting that powered his last site."

Read more here. Also, we're one week away from the entry deadline for this year's RAIN Internet Radio Awards. Register here.

12/15: WTOP, nation's top-billing station, makes digital a priority

Friday, December 23, 2011 - 11:00am

Hubbard Radio's WTOP (Washington D.C., 103.5 FM) has restructuerd and expanded its workforce to "unify digital and broadcast staff." The station says its aiming to "redefine the news workflow. Instead of the traditional model which takes broadcast content and tries to fit it into a digital hole, WTOP’s strategy will focus on the creation of news stories at the beginning of a process. A story’s execution will be determined at its origin. It will then be optimized for all the distribution platforms WTOP offers: radio, web, Facebook, Twitter and mobile." (read more here)

D.C. news outlet will make online "as high a priority as radio"

Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 1:10pm

WTOP.comHubbard Radio's WTOP (Washington D.C., 103.5 FM) has restructuerd and expanded its workforce to "unify digital and broadcast staff." The station says its aiming to "redefine the news workflow. Instead of the traditional model which takes broadcast content and tries to fit it into a digital hole, WTOP’s strategy will focus on the creation of news stories at the beginning of a process. A story’s execution will be determined at its origin. It will then be optimized for all the distribution platforms WTOP offers: radio, web, Facebook, Twitter and mobile."

The Washington Post reports that WTOP intends to "to make online news as high a priority as radio and in some cases break news online first."

"The future is digital and WTOP will be the leader heading into that future," said VP of News and Programming Jim Farley.

One of the many changes includes having "both a digital editor and a radio editor working together 24/7," said Farley. "No other radio station in America does this."

Here's just a few of the moves WTOP has announced: John Meyer, WTOP's current director of digital operations moves to the newsroom as the new architect of the social and digital strategy. News director Mike McMearty will become senior news director, as assistant news director Mitchell Miller is promoted to news director. Digital editor Gary Emerling becomes the senior digital editor. And former WABC PD Laurie Cantillo joins WTOP to serve in the same role.

"The moves signal a growing digital role at WTOP, which already attracts 600,000 page views and 122,000 unique visitors on a typical day," writes Inside Radio.

You can find more coverage from the Washington Post hereRadio-Info here, Talkers.com here and subscribe to Inside Radio here to read their coverage.

RAIN's Kurt Hanson to moderate panel at Jacobs Media's Summit 16

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 11:00am

Kurt HansonRAIN editor and AccuRadio founder/CEO Kurt Hanson will moderate the Future of Radio panel at Jacobs Media's Summit 16. The panel will include WTOP VP of News and Programming Jim Farley, radio futuroligist James Cridland and others.

Summit 16 -- "a 360° view of the challenges and opportunities facing the radio industry" -- takes place in Baltimore on December 7 (during the Arbitron Client Conference). You can find out more from Jacobs Media's blog here.

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