"It's the programming, stupid!"

Sid Schweiger sid@wrko.com
Fri May 18 11:01:41 EDT 2012

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

That was a great argument...40 years ago.  It's now an outmoded concept.

By most accounts, we're now into the second generation of young listeners who simply do not use AM radio...at all.  As these listeners age into the desirable 25-54 demo, AM stations will take (and most are already taking) a huge hit in their audiences because those people coming into the money demo don't have the AM habit.  The demos for most AM stations skew toward 55+...not what most advertisers want.

"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."

It *was* the signal.  With the addition of 93.7, WEEI has regained most of the audience it has lost to WBZ-FM.

"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."

Jerry Williams on WMEX had little or no competition, in an era in which AM was still "king" and FM's were struggling to find their niche.  Between the increased number of signals in the market and all the other media competing for audience attention, no one will have a 50 share ever again.

Sid Schweiger
IT Manager, Entercom New England
20 Guest St / 3d Floor
Brighton MA  02135-2040

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