WKLB Axes "Sunday Morning Country Oldies"

Scott Fybush scott@fybush.com
Tue Jun 17 16:13:10 EDT 2014

On 6/17/2014 3:49 PM, Rob Landry wrote:
> 101.7 is essentially an inside-Route-128 signal. Are there any country
> listeners in that part of the world?

There sure are. The country of 2014 isn't the country WDLW or WBOS 
played. In many ways, it's become the new AC - songs that have hummable 
melodies and tell stories. There's very little twang to today's country. 
If you plucked a WMJX or WROR listener out of 1988, they'd find what 
they hear on WKLB pretty familiar, I suspect. Country stations such as 
WCTK and WWYZ do quite well in the "inside-128" equivalent zip codes of 
the Providence and Hartford markets.

> It seems to me the dance format was well suited for this signal and was
> doing at least as well as the old WFNX was. The country move seems
> awkward to me. CC might do better to sell the station.

They're unlikely to get back the $14 million they paid for it, unless 
EMF/K-Love wants a Boston outlet, a market they've so far avoided.

The math for Clear Channel and 101.7 is actually fairly simple: add up 
the combination of whatever minimal revenue they can get from 101.7 
itself, plus the additional national sales they can derive from a 
top-10-market clearance for syndicated shows such as Bobby Bones on 
101.7, plus whatever additional revenue they can generate from 107.9 if 
it can stay at #1 in the market by holding off WKLB's rise. If that 
number is big enough to balance out the debt from acquiring 101.7, plus 
whatever very minimal operational costs attach to 101.7 itself (rent and 
power at One Financial Center, music licensing), then the deal was 
probably worth it.

It's not the way you or I learned to do broadcast accounting, but it has 
a certain twisted sense to it.


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