Boston Globe on WERS / WCRB - some clarifications

Laurence Glavin
Tue Apr 11 19:23:53 EDT 2006

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Aaron Read" <>
> To:
> Subject: Boston Globe on WERS / WCRB - some clarifications
> Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2006 10:00:31 -0400
> Hey guys, here's a hodge-podge of responses to various things that 
> have come up in the wake of the story that Peter Smyth of Greater 
> Media made an offer of $10mil/yr to Emerson to LMA 
> WERS...presumably to put classical music on.
> First, everyone should go over to and read 
> up on Mark's excellent summary of how much money (billing) the 
> stations in question are making.  It confirms what a lot of 
> speculation has been saying; WCRB is profitable, true.  But given 
> it's decent ratings, it is severely underbilling its audience, and 
> that's bad news for the future of commercial classical in Boston.
> GM's WKLB country also underbills about as badly and thus truly is 
> a prime candidate for divesting.
> GM's WBOS has terrible ratings but bills excellently, so that 
> format can be expected to stick around.
> Based on this, I expect WBOS's format to shift to 102.5FM, and the 
> Red Sox games to move to 92.9FM.  A new sports station will be 
> built on 92.9 around the games.   WEEI will take a huge hit in the 
> process, but probably will stick around.  Probably 1510 or 890/1400 
> will fold - I doubt Boston can sustain four separate all-sports 
> stations...but one never knows.
> Will classical disappear?  Based purely on the money I wouldn't be 
> surprised if it does.  WGBH could do well to try and pick up those 
> listeners, as could WHRB, but I don't think either of them really 
> wants to.  Where's the ROI?  Hell WGBH is moving towards MORE talk, 
> not less.  
> -- --------------------------
> Aaron Read
> Boston, MA 02176

It's a commonly uttered sentiment that music in general, and classical
in particular, are disappearing from the non-comms.   But there are
denizens of 88.1-91.9 world that play nothing but classical and seem
to be enjoying success doing it.  I took a few minutes to peruse
the playlists of WGUC in Cincinnati and WNIU in Rockford, IL, 
and listeners to these stations are able to listen to much more 
varied and intelligent fare than around here (unless you live within
WHRB's coverage area.)  I think it will be interesting to check out after the next Boston book comes out and see if WGBH-FM
made ANY gains since its replacement of 9 hours a week of music
with repeats of shows already heard on WBUR.  Tht hasn't kept WGBH-FM
from running promos on channel 2 highlighting the classical hours they
do air currently...such promos started just after I noticed that WCRB
ran an ad inside the Boston Symphony program booklet alerting the
world that this year's "Classical Cartoon Festival" would be its last.


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