KPTM is gone from Time Warner Cable’s channel lineup in Lincoln.
On July 26, the cable company dropped the high-definition feed of Omaha's Fox affiliate -- channel 1009 -- from the digital tier.
KPTM still is available in standard definition on the basic tier on channel 9.
So why make the move?
Time Warner spokesperson Dave Borchardt said the company dropped KPTM after adding KFXL (channel 1018) to the lineup.
KFXL is the Fox affiliate for the Lincoln/Kearney/Hastings market. Last month, the station launched its high-definition signal to go along with the standard-definition one on channel 18 that Time Warner already carried.
So why not keep KPTM and KXFL? Time Warner, after all, carries the Omaha (KETV) and Lincoln (KLKN) ABC affiliates on its basic and digital tiers.
Borchardt wouldn’t (or couldn’t) answer that, emphasizing that TWC opted for KFXL because it’s in the Lincoln market and KPTM is not.
My guess is the answer is money. TWC most likely pays less to carry KFXL than KPTM.
Time Warner kept KPTM’s standard definition signal knowing there might be a bit of an uproar since KPTM’s programming differs from KFXL outside of the Fox shows, including the 9 p.m. newscast. The standard definition signal is available to all TWC subscribers -- basic and digital.
Around the dial
* Last week, I wrote about Todd and Tyler’s successful debut on The Blaze, according to Arbitron’s spring survey.
There were several other things of note from the survey starting with KFRX’s dominance in the Lincoln market.
The pop station, no surprise, was No. 1 among ages 18 to 34, but it also was No. 1 among ages 18 to 49, and, here’s the real kicker, finished No. 2 among ages 25 to 54. That demographic tends to listen to adult contemporary, country or classic rock stations.
I sent an email congratulating KFRX Program Director Matt McKay on the great ratings. He’s not allowed to comment because parent company, Three Eagles Communications, no longer subscribes to Arbitron’s twice-a-year surveys. He did respond with a thank you.
It was KFRX’s fifth straight survey win. The work of McKay and his staff combined with the popularity of pop artists such as Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Usher and Adele has made the station hard to beat.
* While KFRX won big, sister station KFOR did not.
That’s interesting considering the station is a finalist for a Marconi, the broadcasting industry’s version of an Emmy or Academy Award.
KFOR finished No. 1 among listeners 55 and older in the spring survey. But those under 55 are tuning elsewhere. The stations finished 8th among all listeners 12 and older and even worse -- 10th place -- with persons ages 25 to 54.
And the morning show, which has seen three different co-hosts paired with Cathy Blythe (Mark Taylor, Coby Mach and Dave Hilligoss) in the past year, didn’t finish No. 1 among listeners 12 and older for the first time since anyone can remember. It finished second to KFRX. Wow!
* As for the city’s two sports stations -- Sportsradio 1480 and The Ticket -- they both saw declines from the fall survey for the hours of 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday among men ages 25 to 54. Those are the hours when they air local shows. The Ticket, however, closed the gap in average shares between them from 3.2 to 0.9 percent.