"It's the programming, stupid!"

ljs0610@comcast.net ljs0610@comcast.net
Sat May 19 11:03:34 EDT 2012

It IS the programming, not really the signal. "WEEI has regained most of the audience it has lost to WBZ-FM." Seriously?  Mike Adams at night has plummeted from second to eighth and no other dayparts moved up in the spring book.  And WEEI was number one when they were on AM, stronger than at any time since their move to FM.  Those listeners listened to AM until competition appeared.  If the EEI product were good and the SportsHub not so much, those listeners would have continued to listen to the station on AM, especially when they started promoting their upcoming move to FM.   WEEI's demise was not about the signal but more about viable competition that beat them soundly at a game they no longer knew how to play.  A poorly programmed station on an FM signal will fail (as EEI continues to demonstrate).  WEEI's problems started when competition appeared on the scene, which then inspired the move to FM to try and regain market share.  Too bad for them it was too little, too late and the fact the product remained deficient doomed the plan. 

----- Original Message -----
From: Sid Schweiger <sid@wrko.com>
To: 'bri' <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
Sent: Fri, 18 May 2012 15:01:41 -0000 (UTC)
Subject: RE: "It's the programming, stupid!"

"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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