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RE: Framingham station sale may shake up talk radio in Hub

He was indeed. And if I recall correctly, while he was 
on WKOX, WKOX filed the first of its endless series of 
applications for 50 kW.

If I'm not mistaken, when Burns left WKOX, it was 
because the 10 kW ND day signal, good though it is for 
10 kW from Framingham, was not adequate to be a factor 
in much of the market. The claim then was that Gene 
would return when the station had upgraded its signal.

I'm guessing that it's now six years later and the half 
dozen of us who wait for such things are still waiting. 
Despite the encouraging noises from WKOX (WKOX has 
_always_ made encouraging noises about the upgrade) 
there is no tangible progress, just a mountain of 

I'm convinced the WKOX's best bet is to push for 
approval of its application for 50 kW DA-D from its 
existing towers and to file for 50 kW-N from the WBPS 
towers (where it would join WBPS, WBIX, and WJLT).

As I've said before, technically, the WBPS towers are a 
little too tall for 1200, but there are a few other 
stations that transmit from unsegmented 232-degree 
towers. The results are not all that horrible. Given the 
huge QRM on 1200 in these parts, the groundwave would 
probably be totally buried by co-channel interference 
well before you got far enough from the TX to hear the 
skywave and the groundwave duke it out.

The 50-kW night signal on 1200 from those five huge 
towers in Ashland would be more than decent well inside 
of Route 128. Down on the Central Artery, you could hear 
other stations underneath WKOX, but the signal would 
still be quite listenable--better than, say, WRCA's 
signal, which isn't bad.

As for programming, even though Clear Channel allegedly 
has 140 talkers, my bets are on syndicated sports talk. 
A few high profile, locally programmed sports-talk 
stations, like WFAN, make big $$$. WEEI apparently 
doesn't do badly either. Nevertheless, I'll bet that the 
vast majority of the others--especially the ones that 
have minimal or zero local content--are losing money.

Even so, and even though the big groups are bound to 
kill the goose that laid the golden egg by saturating 
the major markets with sports-talk signals and thus 
dividing the pie too many ways, the format is hot-hot-
hot in major markets just now.

My impression is that, among all of the execs at Clear 
Channel, you probably couldn't scrape together a 
nickel's worth of creativity or originality. These guys 
simply play follow-the-leader, jumping to whatever is 
hot this week. If my perception is right, sports talk is 
a no brainer for WKOX because, indeed, no brains will be 
used to design a format.

> Wasn't Gene Burns on the former WKOX talk format?
> Back to the Future, anyone?