Entercom announces what it plans to keep

Scott Fybush scott@fybush.com
Fri Oct 13 20:03:50 EDT 2017

Of the groups that already have active TV newsrooms in town, only one - 
Cox's WFXT - is a serious contender. (Hearst has retained only one of 
its radio holdings, WBAL/WIYY in Baltimore, and appears to have no 
interest either in growing radio or selling WBAL; there's been no reason 
to think Ed Ansin's WHDH-TV or Comcast's NBC Boston have any interest in 

If Cox were to buy 1030, it would probably have as little interest in 
keeping its competitor's callsign as CBS would have in transferring that 
callsign to its competitor.

And while it would be odd indeed to hear 1030 as "WFXT Newsradio" or 
"Boston 25 Newsradio" or whatever branding Cox would put there, I think 
in the end that people don't listen *because* of the calls. They listen 
because they're habituated to hit 1030 for local news and traffic and 
sports, and as long as those elements are still there, a quiet "WFXT 
Boston" at the top of the hour isn't going to change those habits as 
much as one might think.

(The challenge then comes in when Cox tries to do what it's done in 
Atlanta and Jacksonville and Orlando, moving habituated AM listeners 
over to the FM dial. That's somewhat easier to do when you can use a 
familiar brand like "WSB" or "WDBO" to pull them along to FM. But even 
so, "Newsradio 1030 is now also Newsradio 97.7 FM" isn't an impossible 
transition to make.)

Another consideration: CBS is unloading the CBS Radio division to get 
money. If they can get more money by selling the 1030 facility with the 
WBZ calls, they have little reason to withhold the calls and reduce 
their income. Whatever 1030 is doing - even if it's cross-promoting 
Boston 25 News - it's a business unit CBS has already decided not to 
continue. It is, after all, equally possible that Entercom could partner 
WCBS(AM) with Fox's WNYW as a TV news partner, or KNX(AM) with ABC's 
KABC-TV. Once CBS has sold it, CBS forfeits any further control over 
what happens on radio, and CBS management is apparently OK with that. 
It's a strange new world.


On 10/13/2017 5:15 PM, Sean Smyth wrote:
> And I doubt CBS would approve 1030 keeping those calls if it was bought 
> by a group that already has an active (TV) newsroom in town. How much is 
> 1030 worth without those call letters? A helluva lot less, IMO, even 
> with the massive signal.
> On Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 4:54 PM Scott Fybush <scott@fybush.com 
> <mailto:scott@fybush.com>> wrote:
>     The rights to the base call stay with the owner that's had them the
>     longest. CBS keeps "WBZ" and the others.  There's a contractual
>     provision
>     giving Entercom a license to keep using WBZ on radio and (with approval
>     from CBS) to transfer that license to a new owner.
>     On Oct 13, 2017 1:58 AM, "A Joseph Ross" <joe@attorneyross.com
>     <mailto:joe@attorneyross.com>> wrote:
>      > For some years now, it has been possible for separately-owned
>     stations in
>      > different services to have the same base call letters. It was
>     once noted in
>      > this forum that there is a WKLB (AM) somewhere, under different
>     ownership
>      > than the local WKLB-FM.  I think the station which had the call
>     first has
>      > to give consent.  So I imagine that WBZ (AM) can control whether
>     anyone
>      > else gets to be WBZ-xx. Any necessary consents may be part of the
>     terms of
>      > the sale.   I suspect if WBZ-FM is sold separately from the AM,
>     it may be
>      > required to change the callsign.
>      >
>      >
>      > On 10/12/2017 2:43 AM, Sean Smyth wrote:
>      >
>      >> I'm curious about the WBZ calls -- especially if Cox buys, as
>     Scott and
>      >> Lance floated on their podcast. (Wasn't Cox considering
>     unloading 25 about
>      >> 10 minutes ago? I don't see a 25/1030 marriage going smoothly.)
>      >>
>      >> On Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 2:35 AM Doug Drown <ashboy1951@gmail.com
>     <mailto:ashboy1951@gmail.com>> wrote:
>      >>
>      >> "You can be sure if it's Westinghouse."   Uhh . . . Not any more.
>      >>>
>      >>> Rob is right.  Westinghouse put WBZ on the air in 1921, bought
>     CBS in
>      >>> 1995,
>      >>> and *became *CBS two years later, the tail having wagged the dog.
>      >>>
>      >>> I haven't been attentive as to what will be happening with KDKA
>     and KYW,
>      >>> which are in similar circumstances.
>      >>>
>      >>> Robert Wright, the former CEO of NBC, once made the remark that
>     getting
>      >>> the
>      >>> network out of radio was the worst mistake he made during his
>     time at the
>      >>> helm.  A legacy disappeared.  The same thing happened with
>     ABC's historic
>      >>> O&Os.  Sadly, I expect it will here, too.
>      >>>
>      >>> In addition, what will become of WBZ's close working
>     relationship with
>      >>> Channel 4?
>      >>>
>      >>>
>      > --
>      > A. Joseph Ross, J.D. · 1340 Centre Street, Suite 103 · Newton, MA
>     02459
>      > 617.367.0468 · Fax:617.507.7856 · http://www.attorneyross.com
>      >
> -- 
> Sent from my iPhone

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