Making the Dollar: Meadows Broadcasting
Rob Meadows, owner
Meadows Broadcasting (Hits 94.3 KRKZ)
927 Marine Drive
503-468-0943 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Radio’s in Rob Meadows’ blood. He’s been doing it most his life and recently acquired HITS 94.3, a top-40 radio station broadcasting from Manzanita to Westport, with his wife, Stephanie Claterbos, her sister and a small staff of on-air personalities. KRKZ’s offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and it’s always on air and taking requests.
What do you do?
“When we initially bought the station, we saw a niche we needed to fill, and our target (demographic) was women 18 to 24. We’ve since found that it skews much younger and much older than that. We play Top-40 music, current Top-14 music, and we throw in a little bit of the older stuff periodically. That was a niche, because there was nobody doing that here; and so we’ve filled it, and it’s been very popular.”
How did you get into this business?
“I grew up in this. I’ve been doing this my whole life, basically. My dad owned radio stations when I was a kid. I worked all over the country doing engineering work. I was actually the engineer for New Northwest Broadcasters. It was New Northwest Broadcasters before Ohana bought them. So I’ve worked all over this area. I moved here in 2006, but I’d worked for New Northwest Broadcasters since 2003, and before that I was working for other broadcasters all over the place. My family is originally from Texas, but the first time I came to Astoria I thought ‘I’m going to live here one day.’ I have a wife here; she’s lived here all her life.”
What is the volume of your business?
“The problem with that is Nielson Arbitron (does) the studies on how many listeners you have. In this market, they only do one a year. This March, they released the book from last year, and we weren’t on the air last March. We went on the air in August of last year. Hopefully next year we’ll get to see a realistic sampling of where we are. But I feel like we have quite a few listeners, because we get quite a few calls, lots of requests and everybody we talk to says ‘Oh yeah. I love the station.’ I feel like we have a decent listener base.”
What are some of the unique challenges of running your business?
“We’re family-owned, small, and we’re competing with the big guys. That’s always a tough thing to do. It’s more of a challenge to us, because when we go out to sell, we can sell our station. Whereas, when they go out to sell, they have five to choose from. We have to target our advertisers, whereas they can kind of blanket that ‘everybody needs to advertise, so pick one of the four or five that works for you.’”