WBOQ changes to 60s/70s AC/oldies

Dan Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Thu Dec 25 18:33:29 EST 2003

Pete: You've offered the most cogent and plausible explanation so far for
WBOQ's flip. I can accept your reasoning, which is more than I can say for
that of anyone else who has posted on this topic here, and for that of some
who have posted at radio-info.com. It does NOT follow that the flip is a
prima facie indicator that WBOQ was losing money. However, the fact that
they have a sizeable air staff--even though most of the dayparts seem to be
voicetracked--could mean that profits have been meager, despite a pretty
heavy spot load and maybe even if they have not been doscounting from the
rate card.

Supposedly, the air staff will be back Monday. We'll have to see how many
have survived. I heard a promo for the midday show, which apparently will be
done by the same woman who did the same daypart under the old format. She
does not sound like especially high-priced talent. OTOH, the promo for the
AM-drive show was done by the sports guy, who clearly is not the higher-paid
of the two-man team. Perhaps the "anchor," Kendall Buehl, has departed in a
budget-cutting move. I've yet to hear a promo for the PM-drive show, whose
host under the old format was the other on-air guy who sounded as if he
could command pretty big bucks.

An advantage of this format (besides its being easier to grasp for the small
minds that seem to populate the radio and agency businesses) is that there
must be several satellite-delivered classic soft-AC formats that sound quite
similar, whereas I don't think there are any syndicated jazzy-standards
formats. If belt tightening is (or becomes) the order of the day at WBOQ, it
will be much easier to let talent go without greatly affecting the station's
sound. Still, WBOQ now sounds more like WPLM-FM than any station I can pick
up, and to me it doesn't sound that different from WMJX. BTW, according to
the V-Soft Web site, WMJX delivers 73.0 dBu to Beverly--where WBOQ's studios
are--vs 70.3 for WBOQ and 52.5 for WPLM-FM. With that signal, WPLM-FM may
not pose much of a threat to WBOQ on WBOQ's home turf, but WMJX would sure
seem to.

Dan Strassberg
Fax: 1-707-215-6367
----- Original Message -----
From: Pete Ferrand <petef@sprynet.com>
To: <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 25, 2003 12:40 PM
Subject: RE: WBOQ changes to 60s/70s AC/oldies

> Bob Nelson writes:
> >Maybe today's radio listeners WANT something
> >different, not just the same songs over and over.
> >Maybe they want SHORTER stop sets and DJs who don't
> >ramble on and on! Wider playlists! Adventurous
> musical selections!
> I think the bulk of listeners want those things, but they're not
> prepared to actually listen to a station like that, just like they want
> responsive and efficient government, but never show up at Town Meeting,
> etc. ad nauseum. Plus their recollections when they fill out the ratings
> diary are for the simple and familiar.
> Radio is used to accompany other activity and as such it drifts in and
> out of people's consciousness - if there's much that isn't familiar,
> it's distracting and irritating for the average listener. The aficionado
> might be thrilled, but it doesn't help ratings.
> BTW, outside of a few well-known morning drive efforts, where do you
> find DJ's who ramble???
> Now I think there's another potential reason for the WBOQ switch - it
> could be the old format was working, but was just too much effort. Radio
> is management-intensive anyway, and it could be the new owners looked at
> it and said, "Well they made it work, to a point, but I've no idea how I
> can make it work." If whoever was managing isn't there anymore, the new
> owner might reasonably feel he could handle AC/Oldies, or find someone
> who could, while finding someone who could make a little of this and a
> little of that work is a crap shoot, with crappy odds.
> And not just the air product - the owner might also believe he can sell
> time for AC/Oldies, but hasn't a clue what to say to sell this "other
> stuff" that he may not understand. We all know how people really don't
> want to risk losing their investment any more than they have to.
> Should he decide to sell down the road a ways, he knows he'll have a far
> easier time selling an AC/Oldies property than one he can't really
> describe, even though the new new owner would probably change it anyway.
> Merry/Happy to all,
> -Pete
> Enfield, NH
> "Success is the ability to go from failure to failure with no loss of
> enthusiasm." - -Winston Churchill

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