Shake-up at WEEI
Mon Nov 24 09:45:10 EST 2003
The Sox currently have a multi year deal in place at WEEI, but there is
a clause in the contract that allows the club to opt out of the
remainder of the deal at the end of next season if they so choose. I
think it might have something to do with the sale of the club a couple
of years ago but I'm not sure. Anyway, WEEI definitely wants to keep
the Sox if at all possible, which is why Julie Kahn was brought on board
as WEEI GM. She has an extensive background in sports talk, and she
used to run sports stations in San Francisco and Seattle. There seems
to be a "rocky" relationship between the new Sox brass and WEEI, so
bringing in a new face to try and mend fences and work out a new rights
deal makes sense for Entercom. This move has nothing to do with the
Dennis and Callahan/Gorilla situation. It's all about the Sox.
Having said that, if the Sox do jump to WBZ, it's not all gloom and doom
for WEEI. They've put together a live and local lineup of talkers who
do well throughout the year. That won't change if the Sox go away.
Sure, the ratings will go down a bit and so will the revenue, but
producing sports play-by play is expensive, and those are costs that
won't be incurred any longer by Entercom. A Sox-free WEEI would
probably wind up being a 3 share station most of the year, which is
still better than what most successful sports stations pull around the
country. WFAN, despite all of their play by play deals, only gets a 2.5
share most of the time in New York and they are one of the highest
billers in the market. A three share WEEI would do just fine.
WIP/Philadelphia continues to do well despite not having the play by
play rights to the Phillies or the Eagles, the two primary sports
franchises in that market. I don't know if they run the Sixers or
Flyers games, but those sports aren't anywhere close to being as
lucrative as baseball and football. The local all-sports station in
Dallas (KTCK I think) doesn't have any play by play on it at all! The
bottom line is that WEEI would survive and still make money without the
Sox--they just wouldn't be as dominant in the marketplace. Obviously
Entercom would like to keep the Sox, but if they don't, they are
probably working on a post-Sox contingency plan.
Hakim Madjid wrote:
>IMHO WEEI can't afford to lose the 'Sox if they can
>help it. The 'Sox are like 90% of what makes that
>However, I thought 'EEIs Red Sox contract still has
>several years to run?
>Infinity? Sox on 'BZ perhaps?
>Rumor is strong? What rumor is strong? All I've seen
>so far is speculation on various on-line forums.
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