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Re: Portsmouth Radio

"TERRY M WOOD" <TERRY_WOOD@prodigy.net> wrote:

> Well, I'm sorry to see the kids lose their jobs, but the Knight Family had
> an aversion to the Oldies format

I don't think it's right to blame Knight for killing the oldies
format; they merely put it out of its misery.  95.3's stature as an
oldies station had been in steady decline ever since Dick Walsh
put Oldies 95 on the air.  Previous owner Sunshine Group Broadcasting 
ran the station into the ground (and the company with it) and 
Knight's addition of 70s selections to try and pump up the numbers 
and lower the target demo didn't save it. The Modern AC (Heat 95.3) 
that replaced it was a classic consultant-driven format that was so 
ill-conceived it had no chance of finding a large loyal audience.

I wish they had gone Alternative, as WBCN pulls such good numbers in
P-D-R even with WEVO's translator in Dover on 104.3.  I can only
assume they were more concerned with protecting WHEB's Active 
Rock numbers than in doing what held the best hope of winning 95.3 
a core of its own. It's an example of how Class A stations often 
suffer under common ownership with a full-signal FM.

> Now WQSO has the programming and if Capstar is Smart enough they
> will do what F-J did with Kittery WXBB and Hampton.....co-broadcast
> the signals.

But 95.3's coverage area doesn't fill any holes in WHEB's signal.
Still, going satellite is the next worst thing as wastes of spectrum
go.  It seems Capstar cares more about cutting expenses to the bone
than building an audience; it's a defensive strategy that does the
listenership of a market no good.  I think Class A stations often
fare better as a group unto themselves rather than in common
ownership with a higher-grade signal.

Roger Kirk <rkirk@videoserver.com> wrote (quoting a colleague):

> >Regarding WQSO (96.7 Rochester, Imus & oldies) having a poor signal...
> >I would disagree.

So would I.  I'm quite proud of my former station's current coverage
area, especially given that it's a boxed-in 3kW Class A.  I heard
them loud and clear on 128 in Woburn a few days ago.

> >I think they suffer from the "format-du-jour" syndrome.  They have
> >been lots of things in the past 10 years and I think people just give
> >up on a station after a while.  It takes time to rebuild an audience.

They also get terribly bored.  Neither Salmanson nor Bear (both of
whom I worked under at 96.7) could figure out how to make an
automated format sizzle; it was the same story with Precision Media. 

Salmanson had a good first book as Hot AC Coast 96.7, assisted
greatly by a large promotional budget, but it died a death of a
thousand cuts as resources were taken away.  After GM Bud Stiker 
left to co-found WCLZ we didn't have a full-time General Manager; 
David Butterfield drove up from Massachusetts once a week.  At one 
point Salmanson was losing about $100K a month and ratings were in 
the 1's.  By the end we were reduced to caretakers while Salmanson 
shopped the stations around.

Bear went satellite with 96.7 (Format 41) while trying to run an
all-news format (CNN Headline News) on the AM.  Neither station
really got off the ground, and local content was gradually cut back
on the AM side.

I wish ARS/Capstar the best of luck with the Oldies format, but it's
tiring to listen to a jukebox with jingles and liners for any period
of time.

Roger Kirk himself wrote:

> I am listening to WXHT 95.3 York "The Heat" (modern hits, not to be
> confused with WCYY-style modern rock) and they are reporting that
> this is their last show (the whole morning team) and they don't
> know what's next for them or the station.

I heard this myself and was quite amazed that Capstar let Heat 95.3's
jocks go live once they learned they were about to hit the beach.
Maybe this is their idea of public relations.  And owners wonder why 
it's so hard to recruit and keep good radio salespeople...

Take care,

Chris, who will *never* work for Capstar