KSJO Tests Geo-Targeted Ads


KSJO-FM in San Jose has become first radio station to broadcast geo-targeted advertising, through the airing of several Jack in the Box breakfast promotions in the Livermore and Pleasanton, CA.

The company GeoBroadcast is seeking to change an FCC rule relating to FM boosters and their ability to originate geo-targeted content. The rule change is not widely supported by the radio industry.

In February the NAB filed comments with the FCC that said “the vast majority of broadcasters” are in agreement that if The FCC allows program origination on boosters it will almost certainly drive both advertising rates and revenue down as advertisers push to purchase geo-targeted ads. In a nutshell, the NAB believes the GeoBroadcast’s proposal could completely undermine radios business model.

KSJO began participating in an FCC experimental operation of GeoBroadcast Solutions’ ZoneCasting™ FM booster system in October and will continue broadcasting localized weather, sponsored traffic, and news during short parts of the broadcast hour through February 2022.

The CMO at Jack in the Box, Ryan Ostrom, sounds pretty optimistic about being able to buy geo-targeted ads. “We are excited to activate this geotargeted radio test to ensure we are delivering highly-relevant offers to consumers based on their location. We are only scratching the surface with our first test, and we will continue to lean into the unpacked potential of geotargeted radio activations.”

KSJO’s COO Brad Behnke. “It is our expectation and early experience that the ability to provide geotargeted content makes our station more effective in reaching our rapidly-developing East Bay, South Asian listener base and local advertisers in the zoned area. In turn, this increases our ability to level the playing field to be a bit more competitive with other local media platforms.”

Behnke also said that including zoned traffic, weather, and news has benefited KSJO listeners with sole market and zone traffic reports, primarily twice an hour from 2-6:00 pm during weekdays. The traffic reports began airing in July two-times an hour during the weekdays in the geo-targeted zones of San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco, along Highways 101, 680, and 580.


  1. Sounds like this could be “More is Less”. More expense in constructing boosters. More expense in multiple production costs. (if you have 3 boosters, you need 4 pieces of production to cover the spot break, right?) As an advertiser am I going to pay a reduced cost to cover a smaller audience segment? Are you going to charge me 4x the cost to cover 4 different areas? How can you separate the signals for those in moving vehicles? We have a station in San Diego using “boosters” to enhance its signal, but even the RDS and HD data is finicky in booster areas. It’s pretty unclear at this point how radio can monetize the technology on the plus side of the ledger.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here