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Re: WDLW-1330

In a message dated 97-06-26 01:17:00 EDT, dan.strassberg@worldnet.att.net
(Dan Strassberg) writes:

>Wasn't Boston's longest-running country format on AM--on WDLW (now WRCA),
>when it was owned by cable operator, Acton Corp? Now, long-running doesn't
>necessarily equate with successful. Maybe Acton Corp was so flush with cash
>that they didn't care that WDLW was losing money. Or maybe WDLW WAS
>successful but just couldn't compete with the FMs that started to program
>country only to give it up a few months later when they discovered that
>country on FM in Boston doesn't spell "instant 6-share."

Acton Corp was happy to make money, and WDLW did VERY well, especially when
run by one Duncan Stewart who was the heart 'n soul of the place.  WDLW
actually did score a 1.7 once.  It's average rating was about a 1.1.  Not
bad, even back then for a suburban AM.   -  However, it didn't make enough,
and sales were kind of slow, so Acton hired a new GM (Bill McCarthy (the same
22-year-old Norm Natham used to talk about!)) and gave him marching orders to
make the place profitable and to keep the country format.  He was allowed to
cut staff (news dep't gone) and to have paid programming in spots (nights...
a racing show of some kind).   He made it profitable, apparently for an
upcoming sale.   -   (I was there thru a lot of this).   But it DID have its
heyday.   When WBOS came about, it was demoralizing for WDLW, but it stayed
country for a long time after that, not that the owners cared. -as their
interest was that they wanted a normal-formatted station making money.    

They had a super sales effort especially AFTER WBOS turned country, and
4/5ths of the listeners were gone....   I once then asked GM Bill McCarthy:
 "How many suckers (potential advertisers) do you think are out there who
would spend $$$ to advertise on a station whose audience had gone to WBOS?"
 His answer was a quite professionally said "(holding up the Boston Yellow
Pages in his hand) THIS is how many."     Guess he was right.

They had probably a sales staff of 4 or 5.  And they DID sell.  Pretty
amazing.  McCarthy did his job.

- ----jibguy