"It's the programming, stupid!"

Jim Hall aerie.ma@comcast.net
Fri May 18 08:35:42 EDT 2012

Why is it that local stations always blame the signal, not the programming? 

Talk1200 has few listeners after spending $10 million to upgrade the AM
signal. But it's not the programming, it's that even with the upgrade, the
signal is still not very good, so they have to spend another $11 million to
buy a 1700 watt Class A FM station that barely makes it past Rte 128 if the
wind is blowing in the right direction. But it couldn't possibly be the
programming, despite there being two other similarly-oriented talk stations
in town.

WEEI dominated the sports audience for years (over WAMG and WWZN), but as
soon as WBZ-FM comes on, suddenly "it's the signal" and they have to
simulcast on 93.7 FM. It couldn't possibly be that people were looking for a
change and something new, it must be the signal.

I remember when Jerry Williams had a 50 share (yes, five zero) on the
peanut-whistle 5000 watts--jammed in between two powerhouses--WMEX. If the
programming is compelling, people will listen through the static and fades.
If the programming is crap, no matter how good your signal may be, people
will go elsewhere.

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