Herald: Music fee hikes could scuttle WJIB

Eli Polonsky elipolo@earthlink.net
Tue Jan 30 15:12:03 EST 2007

> From: Aaron Read <readaaron@friedbagels.com>
> To: boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org
> Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 12:09:59 -0500
> Subject: Herald: Music fee hikes could scuttle WJIB
> And, in other words, be exactly like WBRS, WUML, WZBC, 
> WMBR, WMFO, WUMD, WRBB and WERS?  And those are 
> just the ones that are (theoretically) listenable while in 
> Cambridge.
> If I wanted to listen to that kinda of free-form crap, I'd 
> listen to one of the existing stations.  And if anyone 
> wanted to listen to those stations, then they'd show up in 
> the Arbitrons/RRC's.

Take a closer look at the RRC. WERS is an RRC subscriber,
and they show with significant ratings for a student college
station. A 1.2 share in the 12+ fall book, and at times over
the past few years, their 12+ has approached that of WGBH.

None of the other college stations you mentioned are RRC
subscribers, so they won't show, but I've occasionally been
privy to the non-public Arbitron listings including non-comms, 
and college stations which do not try to program for ratings 
such as WMBR and WZBC get an overall .1 share 12+. Very 
small ratings wise, but people are listening. Weaker stations
like WMFO and WBRS don't show, more likely because their
signals only cover small portions of the market.

As for listenable in Cambridge, WUML is blocked by WMFO.
WBRS is marginal. WUMD does not come in. Too far away.
It's there but faint in Boston's metro-west and metro-south 
suburbs. WRBB is cut up by WBOQ Gloucester in many spots.

These stations are mainly intended to be an outlet for students,
and "free-form" is what some of them want to do. "Free-form"
can be done well so that the music and segues flow nicely, or it
can be done poorly so that segues are jarring and the music is
irrelevent to one another. It's not designed to be mass appeal,
it's more like an art form which can be good, or not so good. I 
don't feel that student college stations should strive for ratings.
Leave that up to commercial and professional public stations.

However, I do feel that when a program on a college station 
does happen to become popular, perhaps that factor should be
given more consideration than it is by some of the student 


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