[Written December 28 2014]
Cumulus Media, which acquired the ABC Radio legacy is ending its involvement after this week by switching to CNN “Features” at the top of the hour. According to my count, 33 Cumulus News/Talk stations currently carry ABC News.
ABC Radio News is not going away (at least not yet). ABC TV is still owned by Disney, and plans to continue producing the hourly news casts (the TV News already provides the radio news) – the difference being Cumulus will no longer handle the distribution and national ad sales, and not carry the product.
Cumulus also owned the NBC Radio News, which it acquired via Westwood One. That service ended December 14th (it was only a year old and had few affiliates)
Mike Huckabee, who stepped in after Paul Harvey died is also being shown the door to “Save Money”
Top of the hour news has an interesting history. Before FM radio, the NAB (mostly controlled by NBC’s General Sarnoff) created an industry wide “Standards and Practices” rule book that required all NAB radio stations to have hourly newscasts to stay in good standing. Most stations not on the NBC coax cable opted to run CBS news, which is still ubiquitous all over the Great Plains in flyover country.
If you were “rogue” and didn’t comply with the NBC mandate for good citizenship, that could hurt you at license renewal time
So in summary, in the eyes of Cumulus Media, No News is good news.