Two views on Prog. Talk

Eli Polonsky
Sat Apr 2 09:20:52 EST 2005

> From: "Dan Strassberg" <>
> CC: "boston Radio Interest" <>
> To: "A. Joseph Ross" <>,
> Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2005 06:52:42 -0500
> Subject: Re: Two views on Prog. Talk
> But if you saw it on a Taxi Top in Coolidge Corner, the cab was most
> likely a BROOKLINE cab, although it could have been a Boston cab. The
> likelihood of a cab from Medford, Malden or Everett, where WXKS is
> audible at night (albeit not so well in most of Medford) being seen
> in Coolidge Corner is quite small.
> As is the likelihood of a MetroWest cab or even a cab from Waltham,
> where WKOX is audible at night, being seen outside the commuities
> in which the cab is licensed to pick up fares. Thus, the Taxi Tops
> are advertising to people who can't hear the stations at the times
> they are most likely to be able to listen. What sense does THAT make?

That time factor is not necessarily true. The main purpose of any type
of outdoor advertising for a radio station, whether it's a billboard,
bus panel, or Taxi-Top, is to get the person who sees it while driving
to switch their car (or truck, SUV, hummer, etc..) radio to the station
right then at that moment, not necessarily later in the evening at home.

This is probably more likely to happen during daylight hours because
there are simply more people on the road (except for winter afternoon
rush hours when it's already dark), and WXKS-AM's day signal covers the
entire Boston and suburban metro within Route 128 quite well.

Also, drivers may be more likely to want to check out a talk station
while commuting in the daytime. At night, more people are driving for
social or entertainment pursuits, and may be more likely to want to
listen to music stations than political talk in the car at that time.

It makes sense to me for them to advertise on Brookline cabs, and they
do on many of them. It's a prime demo for them in the daytime where
WXKS-AM comes in fine, and also WKOX-AM in the daytime hits the west
side toward Chestnut Hill and Putterham Circle fairly well. As well,
I'd think that many of the listeners in that area who discover them in
the car in the daytime may seek out the web stream at home if they want
to hear them after sundown and discover they can't (well) on the radio.

> If CCU is going to use Taxi Tops to advertise progressive talk
> because they own the Taxi Tops, do it on Boston cabs that operate in
> downtown Boston and don't even mention the call letters--promote the
> Web site. 

Not a good strategy. Sure, it would serve them well to have a short,
easier to remember URL, but once again you're negating that WXKS-AM
covers all of metro Boston quite well in the daytime. It wouldn't make
sense for them to sacrifice advertising to the daytime radio audience
simply because the signal doesn't cover some of the area at night.

Boston cabs are frequently seen day and night in areas where WXKS-AM
comes in both day and night. Boston cabs are all over the suburbs day
and night, dropping passengers off because many people take cabs from
the city home to the suburbs. Boston cabs are frequently dropping off
in Somerville, Medford, Malden, Everett, etc.. all areas where WXKS-AM
is generally listenable at night.

Also, Boston, Brookline and Cambridge cabs leaving Logan Airport empty
with Air America Taxi-Tops are constantly coming through prime WXKS-AM
signal territory in Chelsea, Everett, Charlestown and Somerville to
avoid paying the $4.50 commercial vehicle toll to use either airport
tunnel outbound to Boston.

I haven't seen any Air America Taxi-Tops on Waltham cabs or other cabs
in the immediate western suburbs (west of Brookline). I don't know if
the Framingham company uses them, but that would certainly make sense
with WKOX right there.

Eli Polonsky

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