Statement From Julie Kahn on New WEEI Competitor

There was a statement released tonight by Julie Kahn, Vice President/New England Market Manager, Entercom New England on the announcement today from CBS about WBCN and the new WBZ-FM. The first part of the statement is claiming total victory for Entercom’s WAAF in the Boston rock radio market:

For decades, WAAF and WBCN have competed fiercely against each other for rock radio listeners in this market. It truly has been an epic competition. With the announcement that WBCN will soon go off the air, WAAF has won that battle and is now in an even stronger position to attract new listeners and build upon its dominance among Boston rock stations.

“WAAF Boston is New England’s most listened to Rock radio station broadcasting on 97.7and 107.3 FM. Over the course of four decades, WAAF has been able to garner ratings in more Arbitron measured markets than any other station in the country. In Boston, WAAF is consistently ranked the #1 station among Men 25-44. WAAF is among only a handful of radio stations in the world that has been able to thrive in the same format as the day it signed on decades ago.

Can you say “victory lap?” Kahn then assures all that Entercom will win out the sports radio market as well:

“On the sports side, this announcement was not a surprise. We’ve been expecting it given the many rumors over the last few years. We’ve dealt with competitive situations in the past and we’re fully prepared to do it again. We’re blessed to have built the strongest lineup of sports content and talent in the country, and are proud to have expanded that content platform through the newly designed, and our 9 station regional network. We have the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, and Patriots Monday/Friday, and we’re fully committed to providing the best sports programming to our listeners for many years to come.

The statement is mildly surprising to me, though the email did specify that the statement was in response to several inquiries requesting comment on the CBS announcement.

The coming months will be interesting to see if WBZ-FM is more successful than previous attempts to crack the Boston sports radio market.

I’ll have more on this tomorrow, along with some thoughts on how things might shake out, and what I’m hearing from some in the industry on the situation.


WBZ-FM Sports Hub Starts up in August

It’s officialCBS Radio Steps up to the Plate and Launches FM Sports Stations in Boston and Washington, D.C.

Little did you realize that yesterday when I asked you to program The New Boston Sports Radio Station that there really IS going to be such a station…

There are a couple of stories going around today on the end of the current WBCN (Idolator blog):

Boston-area rock stalwart WBCN is going off the air later this summer, with its Linkin-Park-and-Led-Zep playlist being shoved aside in order for parent company CBS Radio to make room for a new, all-sports yakfest on the area’s radio dial. (WBCN had broadcast New England Patriots football.)

This was followed by the fine Boston Phoenix media reporter Adam Reilly, who says that what is actually happening is that parent company CBS will be moving Mix 98.5 to 104.1 in August, and that a new station, the Sports Hub will emerge at 98.5 will the call letters WBZ-FM. He also says that ‘BCN’s current morning duo Toucher and Rich will do the morning show at the new WBZ-FM.

He then adds this intriguing nugget:

I’m told that’s Michael Felger and Comcast SportsNet’s Gary Tanguay will be doing afternoon shows on the Sports Hub when the station’s up and running. Those are nice gets–and as the Sports Hub competes with powerhouse WEEI-AM, it’ll need all the talent it can get.

Felger on the move again? 98.5 and 104.1 have decent signal, at least up to up here in NH. That’s a leg up on prior WEEI competitors such as 1510 the Zone and ESPN890. Toucher and Rich have an established audience, and Felger and Tanguay are big names in the local sports media. It might just work…especially if the Patriots broadcasts come along as well.

I checked a little  into the Felger/Tanguay thing with some industry sources, and while I can’t say it’s 100% for sure, let’s just say I’m very comfortable echoing what Reilly says about them being on afternoons on the new station.

It is not clear as of yet where the Patriots games will be heard. It would make a ton of sense to have them on the new WBZ-FM, and give them something to anchor their sports lineup around. The Bruins could very well be in play as well.

Update: Multiple posts, plus apparently promos on WBCN itself, are saying at the Patriots and Bruins broadcasts will be heard on the new WBZ-FM.

Patriots and Bruins on WBZ-FM vs Red Sox and Celtics on WEEI.  

What do you think the rest of their lineup should look like?

Related Links:

Say Goodbye to WBCN. Say Hello to WBZ-FM (Ken Fang)

Official ruling on the field: The Rock is dead as FM sports talker comes to the Boston airwaves (Boston Radio Watch)

CBS sacks WBCN for all-sports Boston station – Jessica Heslam

Bruins to debut on new Hub sports radio station – Heslam

Gil Santos Retiring from WBZ, Remaining on Pats Broadcasts

Yesterday, Jessica Heslam reported that Gil Santos will be retiring from WBZ radio at the end of this month.

I figured Santos would remain as the radio play-by-play voice of the Patriots, and in today’s Herald, Renee Nadeau has Santos saying that he plans to remain in the Patriots radio broadcast booth for WBCN for next season and into “the forseeable future.”

It just won’t be the morning drive without hearing Santos at :15 and :45 past the hour…

Approval Ratings – Gil Santos

Gil SantosWe’re only about a month away from the start of Patriots training camp, which means that the still-strong pipes of Gil Santos will be heard on a weekly basis soon thereafter on the WBCN Patriots Rock Radio network…

Of course, you can catch Gil on a daily basis at his day job over in the mornings at WBZ Radio 1030, where he does the sports updates at :15 and :45 past each hour.

Santos first called Patriots games on the radio in 1966, and despite a 10-year absence between 1980 and 1990, he is the longest-serving current announcer in the NFL. His eyes may betray him at times in the booth, but the voice remains steady and strong.

During the 1980’s he did some Celtics games on TV alongside Bob Cousy for channel 56. He also did 16 years of Boston College football, 13 on the radio and 3 on television. Some of the honors he’s received in his career include a New England Emmy in 1978 for Boston College vs. Stanford Play-by-Play, four Massachusetts Sportscaster of the Year Awards, 25 Associated Press Best Massachusetts Play-by-Play Awards, four United Press International Tom Phillips Awards for Best Sports Coverage for the Boston Marathon, a UPI Best New England Sportscaster Award, and two UPI National Awards for Best Play-by-Play and Sports Reading. He was inducted into The Sports Museum Hall of Fame in 2004 with a Legacy Award.