Radio station WNNX goes beyond ads for revenue

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While most radio stations are still trying to grapple with how to make their Web sites interesting, let alone profitable, Atlanta's WNNX claims to make nearly $1 million annually from its three-year-old site.

"We do not have this thing figured out, but we're able to generate revenues outside of just banner ads," said Mark Renier, the rock station's general manager.


WNNX has an agreement with Internet Atlanta, a service provider, in which the station helps market Internet access software. WNNX gets payment from Internet Atlanta for each person who subscribes to the service and a percentage of the $19 to $29 monthly fee in exchange for promoting the software on air and in its music magazine.

The station was expected to launch an automotive page by the end of May to pull in $15,000 a month from local dealerships. Other pages are planned are for airlines, entertainment, classifieds, general retail and temp recruitment.


The station also sells sponsorships of Web events three to four times a year. Mr. Renier said WNNX has landed Anheuser-Busch Cos., America Online and others as Web sponsors, charging them fees in "five figures."

"We're trying to treat the Web as a TV/cable medium--hence the special programming," a lucrative source of income, said Mr. Renier.

Aside from having a young station demographic, an important ingredient to a successful radio Web site is having a dedicated sales force, he said. The station has four people who sell the Web and other properties.

Mr. Renier said the greatest challenge with making the Web site work is "getting out of the radio paradigm." Another hurdle: to "get the Web to build our primary product, which is radio."

Copyright May 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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