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WABY all-news: impressions

NERW reported the move of WABY's AM (1400, Albany, NY) from simulcasting
the soft AC/standards of the FM to all-news from 5 AM-7 PM weekdays. A few
impressions from a news junkie:

I didn't expect this from Scott's report, but there's lots more "local
voices" (via Metro) than CNN feed, though it is mostly rip-and-read
(including, I think, from the local papers). At least it gets you the major
stories, local and national, if you ran from the shower to the car without
a stop. Whether it'll pull numbers enough to pay Metro, that I doubt...
all-news seems to never work in a mid-50s type market, even using a service
like Metro. All-news flopped brutally on 1460 a few years back (which then
went talk before bankruptcy), and a news-heavy format also tanked on the
50,000 watt 1540 signal before it was sold to Crawford.

As for the WABY signal (1000 watts day and night), it used to be better...
you lose 1400 a lot quicker than you did ten years ago, even though it was
1000 watts then too. (Same disease as struck 1460 over the years, I guess,
though a less virulent strain...)

Also, what logic is there in running a simulcast in
evening/overnight/weekends? Has *any* station ever done well running
all-news in the weekday dayparts and music in off-hours? I'd think either a
straight CNN feed or cheap satellite talk would be a better fit (and cost
next to nothing).

P.S. What *is* the best name for a format like WABY's FM? It's a
combination of standards (think Dean Martin, Sinatra, Bobby Darin) and the
lighter end of a light AC (I heard Streisand and Celine Dion). (Seemed to
have more of the standards than the light AC when I listened tonight.) Is
that format (which isn't unique to WABY) fairly called a light AC, a
standards format, or does it need some other name?
Douglas J. Broda
Broda and Burnett
Attorneys at Law
80 Ferry Street, Troy, NY 12180 USA
(518) 272-0580