Sports related: WRKO, Sox rights, playoffs

David Tomm
Thu Apr 20 12:29:49 EDT 2006

On Apr 20, 2006, at 9:30 AM, Bob Nelson wrote:

> --Now that the Celts' season is done, will 'RKO move Savage back to 7 
> pm? Is
> Taste of Boston just temporary? And if this does happen, what replaces 
> it at
> 10? Local or syndie (...delayed Glenn Beck? Phil Hendrie?)

Considering their paltry billings, the last thing WRKO needs is to 
revert to hardcore syndicated political talk.  Sure, it's cheaper to 
run than a local talent, but WRKO needs to expand (young up) it's 
listening base.  Pandering to it's 45+ angry white male core 
listenership doesn't accomplish that.

> --I've heard May 1 is the target date for the WCRB/Greater Media deal 
> to
> be signed, but who knows; Fybush's site said we might not hear on-air
> changes till the fall. How do the Red Sox figure into this? Some
> sources
> say that it's down to WEEI/Entercom and WBOS/Greater Media for the Sox 
> rights,
> and that CBS (WBCN, WBZ et al) made offers but not worthy enough for 
> the
> '04 Champions to accept.
> How does this affect the future of WCRB? Are we waiting for the Sox to 
> make
> their decision--and if GM is picked, perhaps with the Sox as a partial 
> partner,
> would it be Sox on WBOS (with current format, or a new one?)...or Sox 
> on
> 102.5, with maybe WKLB being sold off eventually? One possibility: Sox 
> on
> 102.5, and WBOS becomes Country 92.9...or Sox on 92.9 and country on 
> 102.5,
> or WBOS format on 102.5

First things first.  GM has to acquire WCRB.  If they don't and get the 
Sox rights, WBOS may not be in play at all.  Why not put the games on 

Now, if GM does acquire 102.5, that changes the landscape quite a bit.  
GM would have six stations and would need to divest one.  Everyone 
thinks that WKLB will be the one to go.  Not necessarily.  The Sox want 
their games on a clear FM signal that can be picked up in the park.  
They also want control of the message and the opportunity to make sales 
deals on their own like they do with NESN and signage.  How about 
this....The Red Sox acquire a 50.1 percent share (controlling interest) 
in WBOS.  That would put GM back to 5 stations that they control, which 
would keep the FCC happy.  Then the Sox take over WBOS and put on their 
own sports format.    GM would get a cut of the action on 92.9 plus the 
proceeds from the sale.  Then GM either moves the AAA format over to 
102.5 or signs on a totally different format.  I can't see Country 
moving off of 99.5.  The format struggled for years when it was on 
105.7 and later 96.9.  It began to thrive once it moved to the suburban 
99.5 stick--in an area where most of the country listeners reside.

> And maybe Entercom could convince the Sox to stay, but maybe either 
> simulcast
> them on 93.7 to get that FM stereo sound, or perhaps they could flip 
> 680
> and 850--
> WEEI 680 with Sox, sports talk
> WRKO 850 with current talkers, and Celtics next year?

I don't think flipping WRKO and WEEI's frequencies would help either 
station all that much.  Both signals are horrible at night in 
Metrowest, and WEEI is doing just fine as is.  Also, 93.7 is a tough 
pull at Fenway, so putting the games there won't appease the Sox.  
Besides, WMKK is Entercom's second highest biller so I doubt any 
changes will happen there.  If they do retain the Sox rights, chances 
are it would be a short term deal and the games would stay on 850, but 
I could see them also airing on WAAF, which would solve the signal 
problems in Metrowest.

> --Not that I'm a huge fan, but am curious what station will air the NBA
> and NHL playoffs, what with the Celts and B's not involved. Maybe
> ESPN 890/1400?...Or maybe WEEI or WWZN will pick up the _finals_
> of the hockey and hoop playoffs, but there would be conflicts with the
> Sox of course...

If ESPN radio holds the rights to either sports playoffs, then 890/1400 
will air the games.  If not, chances are that WEEI holds the rights 
locally so few games will wind up getting aired, except at night where 
there are no Sox conflicts.  I doubt that WWZN is in play at all.

Dave Tomm
"Mike Thomas"

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