How to Buy Radio Commercials in OKC for Your Small Business

If you are considering doing radio advertising in Oklahoma City, then this information for you. I worked in the radio business from 1997 to 2012. I started working in programming, production, and on-air. Then, I moved to advertising sales. Finally, my last job in radio, I was an advertising sales manager for Tyler Media.  

During my radio career, I worked, in some fashion, with almost every beloved radio brand in Oklahoma City, including KOMA radio, KRXO, and WWLS, the Sports Animal (OKC), before it had that name. 

Jake-Fisher-in-the-KRXO-studio.png

The author in the KRXO studio with a friend circa late-90s.

Rob Kalkman and Jake Fisher at 400 E. Britton Rd.

I wrote this guide so that you, someone that is considering buying radio advertising directly from the radio stations, can make the best possible decisions with your budget. 

OKC Radio Companies, Stations, and Formats

There are four companies that own and/or operate almost all of the commercial radio stations in the OKC market. Each of these station owners has a group of stations that they sometimes sell individually, but often prefer to sell together. 

Successful local radio station groups have a broad range of formats that allow them to offer a full spread of demographic groups. Each one of them strives to be a one-stop-shop for all of your radio advertising needs. 

They are:

  • iHeartMedia

  • Cumulus Media

  • Tyler Media

  • Perry Broadcasting

Additionally, there is another owner, Champlin Broadcasting, that owns two stations, one of which they operate and the other is leased to Cumulus (more on that later).

Match Your Customers With a Station Format

The first step to finding the right radio audience for your marketing message is to learn which demographics tend to listen to which radio format and match that with your potential customers. 

To get started understanding which OKC radio stations you should advertise your business on, choose which option best describes your desired and/or current customer base:

Which option best describes your ideal customer? Don’t worry if more than one fits the bill. You can always go back and choose another. 

[Please keep in mind that when we are talking about large groups of people, there are many counter-examples. Not every member of every demographic group listens to the same kind of music and radio programming. Descriptions of demographic groups should never be used as the basis for stereotyping.]





Radio Station Companies in Oklahoma City

iHeartMedia, OKC 

iHeartMedia was previously known as iHeartRadio and before that, it was called Clear Channel Communications. It is the largest radio station owner in the United States, with more than 850 stations throughout the country. The company’s headquarters is in San Antonio, Texas. 

In OKC, they own and operate the following stations:

KXXY, 96.1 

  • Slogan/Branding: KXY

  • Format: Classic Country

  • Primary Demographic: Rural & suburban adults 45+

KJYO, 102.7 

  • Slogan/Branding: KJ103

  • Format: CHR (Contemporary Hits Radio, sometimes called Top 40)

  • Primary Demographic: Females 18-49

KTOK, 1000 AM 

  • Slogan/Branding: NewsTalk 1000 KTOK

  • Format: News Talk

  • Primary Demographic: White men 45+ high income

KBRU, 94.7 

  • Slogan/Branding: The Brew

  • Format: Classic Rock

  • Primary Demographic: Men 35-64

KTST, 101.9 

  • Slogan/Branding: 101.9 The Twister

  • Format: Young Country

  • Primary Demographic: Adults 18-49 with a slight female lean

KGHM, 1340 AM 

  • Slogan/Branding: The Game

  • Format: Sports

  • Primary Demographic: Men 35+ High Income

KBRU-HD2 & K253BV, 94.7HD2 & 98.5 

  • Slogan/Branding: El Patron

  • Format: Regional Mexican

  • Primary Demographic: Hispanic Adults 18+

Cumulus Media

Cumulus Media is the third-largest owner/operator of radio stations in the United States. They are headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Before Cumulus, this group which includes Rock 100.5 KATT radio and the Sports Animal, was owned by Citadel. 

Cumulus OKC owns and operates these stations:

KATT, 100.5 

  • Slogan/Branding: Rock 1005, the Katt

  • Format: Rock

  • Primary Demographic: Men 18-49

KKWD, 104.9 

  • Slogan/Branding: Wild 104.9

  • Format: Rhythmic CHR

  • Primary Demographic: Females 18-34

WWLS, 98.1 

  • Slogan/Branding: The Sports Animal

  • Format: Sports

  • Primary Demographic: Men 35+ High Income

KYIS, 98.9 

  • Slogan/Branding: KISS FM

  • Format: Hot Adult Contemporary

  • Primary Demographic: Adults 25-44

KQOB, 96.9 

  • Slogan/Branding: Alice 96.9

  • Format: Adult Hits

  • Primary Demographic: Adults 25-54

  • note: KQOB is owned by Champlin Broadcasting but is operated by Cumulus via a lease agreement.

WKY, AM 930 

  • Slogan/Branding: ESPN Deportes

  • Format: Spanish Sports Talk

  • Primary Demographic: Hispanic Men 25+

Tyler Media

Tyler Media is an Oklahoma-owned multimedia company, with radio stations, TV stations, and billboards. It was founded in 1972 by Ralph Tyler, with one radio station, what would become the legendary KEBC (Keepin’ Everybody Country). 

Ralph recently passed away (may he rest in peace) and his sons Ty Tyler and Tony Tyler run the day-to-day operations. 

The company also owns the Telemundo and Univision affiliate television stations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, as well as the Estrella-TV affiliate in OKC. 

Tyler Media has offices at 5101 S. Shields Blvd and 400 East Britton Road. 

This family-owned company has these radio stations in OKC:

KOMA, 92.5 

  • Slogan/Branding: 92.5 KOMA

  • Format: Classic Hits

  • Primary Demographic: Adults 35+

KMGL, 104.1 

  • Slogan/Branding: Magic 104.1

  • Format: Adult Contemporary

  • Primary Demographic: Women 35-64

KJKE, 93.3 

  • Slogan/Branding: Jake-FM

  • Format: Country

  • Primary Demographic: Adults 25-54

KRXO, 107.7 

  • Slogan/Branding: The Franchise

  • Format: Sports Talk

  • Primary Demographic: Men 35+ High Income

KTUZ, 106.7 

  • Slogan/Branding: 106.7 La Zeta

  • Format: Regional Mexican

  • Primary Demographic: Hispanic Adults 18+

KOMA-HD2, 92.9

  • Slogan/Branding: The Edge

  • Format: Alternative

  • Primary Demographic: Adults 18-34

KOMA-HD3, 103.3

  • Slogan/Branding: V103

  • Format: Urban Oldies

  • Primary Demographic: Adults 35-64

KRXO-HD2, 104.5 

  • Slogan/Branding: Classic Rock 104.5

  • Format: Classic Rock

  • Primary Demographic: Men 35-64

KRXO-HD3, 96.5 

  • Slogan/Branding: 96.5 Exitos

  • Format: Regional Mexican

  • Primary Demographic: Hispanic Adults 18+

KOKC, 1520 AM

  • Slogan/Branding: Talk Radio’s New Generation

  • Format: News Talk

  • Primary Demographic: Men 45+ High Income

Perry Broadcasting

Perry Broadcasting began in 1993 when Russell Perry, owner and publisher of the Black Chronicle newspaper purchased KVSP 1140AM. The company now owns stations in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Augusta Georgia. 

Perry Publishing & Broadcasting stations in OKC are: 

KVPS, 103.5 

  • Slogan/Branding: Power 103.5

  • Format: Urban

  • Primary Demographic: Adults 18-34

KRMP, 1140 AM & 92.1 FM 

  • Slogan/Branding: Heart & Soul

  • Format: Urban Adult Contemporary

  • Primary Demographic: Females 35-64

KINB, 105.3

  • Slogan/Branding: CBS Sports Radio

  • Format: Sports

  • Primary Demographic: Men 35+ High Income

Champlin Broadcasting

KNAH-FM, 99.7

  • Slogan/Branding: Hank-FM

  • Format: Classic Country

  • Primary Demographic: Adults 45+

Basics of Radio Advertising

In case you have never purchased radio ads before, I am going to lay out some basics. 

Dayparts and Radio Primetime

For advertising scheduling purposes, the 24-hour day is broken out into five parts, which are referred to, conveniently, as dayparts. They are called, with abbreviation and times:

  • Mornings - AM - 6am to 10am

  • Middays - MD - 10am to 3pm

  • Afternoons - PM - 3pm to 7pm

  • Evenings - EV - 7pm to 12m

  • Overnights - OV - 12m to 6am. 

You might be familiar with the term primetime. It is often used in reference to television, referring to weekday evenings from the dinner hour until the local news starts. In Oklahoma that is 7pm to 10pm. It makes sense that these hours would be considered prime because that is when most people are watching television. 

Radio has a primetime, too. It consists of Monday through Friday, mornings, middays, and afternoons; and, Saturday midday. These are the times that people are most likely to be listening to the radio in their automobile or listening at work. 

Radio spot prices during these times are higher than non-prime times. 

Spot Lengths

Traditionally, radio commercials are sixty-seconds in length. Most radio stations in Oklahoma also offer thirty-second commercials at approximately 70% to 80% of the sixty-second rate. You can also get 15-second and/or 10-second spots at approximately 50% of the 60-second rate. 

Broadcast Clock & Commercial Pods

Each radio station has a broadcast clock. It is an hourly template that repeats throughout the day. You can visualize it as a circle that represents the face of a clock. 

The top-of-the-circle, or as it is often stated, the top-of-the-hour is when there are zero minutes in the hour. As the hour progresses you move to the bottom-of-the circle, or the bottom-of-the-hour when there are 30 minutes in the hour. Then, the clock moves back up toward the top of each hour. 

Radio commercials are scheduled in a group called a break or a pod

In Oklahoma City, most radio stations air between ten and fifteen minutes of radio commercials per hour, split between two or three pods. Talk stations on average air more commercials per hour and have more pods than music stations.

Ratings

Research company Nielsen Audio provides radio listenership data that is considered reliable currency in the radio advertising buying industry. This means that ad agencies and radio stations agree to use Nielsen Audio data for ad placement negotiation. 

The most important ratings metric for radio ad buying is the gross rating point or GRP. One GRP is equal to one percent of the target population. For example, if you are trying to reach adults between the ages of 25 and 54 (which is a popular demographic for advertisers), then one GRP would be 1% of everyone in the market between 25 and 54. 

Ratings are helpful when understanding the relative strength of a station’s audience and the value of a radio spot when there are stations in similar formats competing for your target audience. For example, if you are after men 35+ with high income, then a sports-formatted station would be a great match. But, if you look at the list of OKC radio stations above you will notice that there are a whopping SEVEN sports stations to choose from. Ratings can help you understand the relative value of commercials on each competing station. 

If you go searching on the internet for radio ratings data, be wary of what you find. Nielsen Audio makes very little data public. As a small business owner that is considering buying radio advertising direct from a station, your best bet for getting ratings data is to ask a radio rep for the information that is pertinent to your buy. Most of the OKC radio companies subscribe to in-depth ratings data from Nielsen Audio. 

Digital Streaming

Broadcasting stations streaming online via the internet is as common now as FM radios were twenty years ago. You can listen to your favorite station via the internet no matter the location via apps such as TuneIn Radio and iHeartRadio. 

However, just because a radio station is streaming online, and might draw a significant audience via digital streaming, it doesn’t mean that the ads that you buy on that station will air on the digital streams. 

You will need to clarify with your radio reps that you are getting streaming ads as well as over-the-air ads. 

Pricing

In theory, the price of radio commercials is dictated by supply-and-demand. It works a lot like pricing for airline tickets and hotel rooms. When there is a lot of demand on a particular day or place, the price goes up. When there isn’t demand, in theory, the price should go down. 

In reality, at any one point in time, there are really two prices:

  • The rate card price

  • The floor price

The rate card price is exactly what it sounds like. It is the public (but rarely publicized) rate. It is the upper boundary price. The floor price is the lower boundary. This price is usually set by the station sales manager using yield management principles. The floor price is closely held information. 

It is important to understand that radio advertising salespeople are paid on commission, which can be anywhere from 8% to 15%. It is in their best interest to sell you radio ads at the highest rate possible.  

How to Negotiate the Best Deal on Radio Advertising in Oklahoma City

I have been on the station side of at least a thousand radio advertising agreements. Based on that experience, here are some tips that I would give the small business owner that is considering radio advertising:

Be Upfront About What You Want to Happen

Don’t be afraid to share with your radio reps what you are trying to make happen with your radio advertising. 

Are you trying to sell more of a particular product? Are you trying to sell to a specific kind of customer? If you can’t answer these questions then you should take a step back and spend some time figuring it out. 

I’m just trying to get more people in my store is not a good place from which to start. If you struggle to figure this out then you should call someone like me to help you before you buy any media. 

When you can explain to your radio station sales rep exactly what you are trying to make happen, they can come to the table with ideas and additional assets that you may not have thought of. 

Radio stations are constantly doing promotions and events. Your business might benefit from involvement in such opportunities. 

Don’t Skimp on Creative

The radio station companies will make a radio spot for you. The salesperson will write a script and the production manager will have it produced by station talent. And, the spot will turn out alright. I can personally testify that the station production managers are competent. 

However, if you are going to spend $24,000 or more on a radio campaign, you should get more than alright. Take a small percentage of that budget and have a creative agency build your campaign. 

Look for Low-Cost / High-Value Opportunities

As I mentioned before, radio ad prices are driven by supply-and-demand. Usually, demand is higher for the following:

  • March to May and September to the middle of December

  • The last three weeks of the month

  • Wednesday through Friday

  • Saturday during the midday daypart

This means that you can get good deals on radio ads if you focus on the first two months of the year; the first week of every broadcast month; Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday; and, Saturday morning and afternoon. 

In Conclusion

If you find yourself needing personalized advice and guidance on how to make the best use of radio advertising in OKC, feel free to request a brief meeting with me. Call me @ 405-813-3330.

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Jake Fisher

Jake likes to travel, walk around interesting places, take photos of those places and building SEO-driven lead generation strategy at Bridges Strategies & Digital Marketing.