The importance of local talk radio

Scott Fybush
Fri Nov 21 14:30:18 EST 2008

Jim Hall wrote:
> I've always wondered about the situation in Buffalo, NY (Entercom country).
> The right-wing talk gets an 11 rating 12+ on WBEN with its 5 kw signal, and
> the left-wing talk gets a 1.4 rating 12+ on WWKB with its 50 kw signal.
> Wouldn't you think that Entercom would switch the programming between the
> two stations since they own both?  Is WWKB that directional that they would
> lose audience?  I do note that WWKB's rating is up 0.4 over this time last
> year.

Within the market, WBEN is by far the superior signal. 5kw from fat 
towers in the heart of the market, with a favorable pattern that has no 
significant nulls.

KB covers the market, too, but it starts getting beaten up by 
skywave/groundwave cancellation pretty close in at sunset, not to 
mention that killer 1 kHz het from the multi-megawatt 1521 in Saudi 
Arabia. And its null against Oklahoma City cuts out the southwestern 
corner of the market, along the lake beyond Hamburg.

The same question cropped up some years back with respect to Entercom's 
other big AM in Buffalo, WGR - its 5 kW DA-N on 550, from a site shared 
with KB, is just as good at night and significantly better by day than 
50 kW up in the low shortwaves.

Also, WBEN is the cash cow in the AM cluster there - the sense is that 
they don't WANT the ratings on KB to go much above fractional lest they 
cut into WBEN's listenership too much. Hence the utter lack of service 
elements (local news, traffic, etc) on 1520. It's purely a flanker to 
keep anyone else from using the signal to threaten WBEN and WGR.


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