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Re: Things are happening at WTOP AM and FM.....
- Subject: Re: Things are happening at WTOP AM and FM.....
- From: Bill Piacentini <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 17 Mar 98 18:03:31 -0500
At 11:48 AM 3/14/98 -0500, Gavin Burt of Albany wrote:
>Here is what I know about the change about to happen at WTOP-AM/FM and WUPP.
>Bonneville Holding Company will buy WUPP for $8 million from Syd Able. Syd
>Able will also get 94.3, which will become WUPP country, with 107.7 becoming
>WTOP-FM. I had thought Bonneville would keep 94.3 to simulcast top 40 WWZZ
>(104.1 Waldorf, Md.) and WWVZ (103.9 Braddock Heights, Md.), but apparently
>that is not happening. I had hoped Bonneville would sell 94.3 to the folks
>that own WKCW, 1420 AM in Warrenton. WKCW seems to be a locally-oriented
>station, and I believe signs off at night. However, that did not come to
Some interesting facts:
1)50,000-Watt WTOP, which generated revenue of $14 million last year, was
acquired from Chancellor Media (who owned it for a whole month) in October
by Bonneville International Corp., the broadcasting arm of the Mormon Church.
2)The $8.1 million deal with First Virginia Communications Inc. (which
closes in May) for the rights to the 50,000-Watt 107.7 FM frequency, is in
addition to the $2.6 million it paid for the rights to the 6,000-Watt 94.3
FM last September.
3)The upgrade adds another 1 million people to its coverage area.
4)WTOP plans to spend more than $400,000 on radio and TV commercials touting
the FM switch.
5)A desire for a younger listening audience (25-54 demo) played a big part
in the decision. WTOP's average listening age now is 47.
6)In the fall Arbitron ratings, WTOP-AM finished 16th out of 35 stations
measured, with a 2.9 percent share of the local listening audience. WTOP-FM
(94.3MHz) registered a 0.4 share.
7)Sydney Abel, First Virginia president, is quoted as saying there are two
reasons he agreed to sell 107.7 FM: "I felt our return on investment was
incredible," and with consolidation roiling the radio industry, "I was able
to continue in the radio business with another station." Abel said he's not
worried about WUPP's loss of power. He owns the tower in Warrenton where the
107.7 antenna is housed and plans to move the 94.3 antenna there.
8)Despite FM's dominance locally(85%), the VP-GM of WTOP said the station
has no intention of abandoning the AM dial. He said Bonneville is committed
to the AM-FM simulcast, A FIRST FOR AN ALL-NEWS STATION.
Oh my, I think I can touch the sky! Or at least the ionosphere! (;-g)
I Have a Dream: "This is your 24-hour NEWS and MUSIC station W___ Boston!"