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The big switch, as it happened

This morning at 8AM 92.1 FM WPHX/Sanford became the latest affiliate of
the FNX Radio Network.  The last few hours of the countdown were filled
with loops of a Kid Rock song mixed with liners prompting listeners to
tune in at 8AM for the big change.  The sign-on happened to coincide with
the debut of WFNX's much-enlarged, state-of-the-art digital studio.  The
first hour and a half was marred by hum, but since then it's been smooth
sailing apart from bits of liners firing over each other (a phenomenon
which should sound mighty familiar to certain WBZ listeners and staffers
past and present. :)  Some processor tweaks and level adjustments were
noted in the 10AM hour.  I observed no human activity at the transmitter
site.  Owner Stephen Mindich was on hand at the Lynn studios for the
debut, and for once (given the speculation on this list) actual champagne
corks were apparently popped. :)

Question:  If this thing really takes off, what does this do to the
radio advertising marketplace in Portland and Portsmouth?  I can well
imagine some national/regional advertisers like Newbury Comics and
Starbucks Coffee resisting the efforts of locally-based (at least
studio-wise) stations' salespeople to sell time when said advertisers
can essentially reach all three markets with one buy.  After all, isn't
this FNX Radio Network concept essentially a variation on how
consolidation within markets was supposed to spur ad sales?  Add the
upcoming "Portland Phoenix" this fall and the concept gains further
strength, at least in theory.

It will be interesting to see how long WFNX's commitment to local
programming blocks in Sanford will last; for once I hope an out-of-town
owner *breaks* its promise. :)

And finally, it is worth noting that the WFNX morning show's handle is
"Asleep at the Wheel;" alas, that mentality apparently carries over to
website activity as well.  Although the change is reflected on the
official fnxradio.com website the old WCDQ pages are still up, and
entering www.wphx.com in my browser brings only an error message even
though the domain is owned by the Phoenix.  I would think that entering
either address should at least redirect to the www.fnxradio.com home page
at this stage of the game!  A curious oversight coming from a web-savvy

Anyway, it's great to have them here.

Take care,