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ESPN 890 going off the air, Entercom in talks to move WEEI to FM, start ESPN 850

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by pats1, Sep 12, 2009.

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  1. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    ESPN Radio’s Boston affiliate set to sign off - The Boston Globe

    Wow, this is potentially another crazy shakeup.

    ESPN 850 would be affiliated with the new ESPNBoston.com, where Reiss will be featured.

    So if this all goes through, the new landscape would look like this:

    Entercom: WEEI (FM ???), WEEI.com, Fox Sports Radio, NFL on Westwood One, Red Sox, Celtics, Revolution
    Entercom: ESPN 850 AM, ESPNBoston.com, ESPN Radio, ???
    CBS Radio: WBZ-FM The Sports Hub 98.5 FM, 985TheSportsHub.com, Sporting News Radio, CBS Sports Local Boston, Patriots, Bruins

    WWZN 1510 The Zone pulled its sports talk programming a while ago, but still has some local college games on. They also lost Sporting News affiliation to 98.5.

    Gone is WAMG 890 ESPN and long gone is AM 790 The Score.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  2. chris66

    chris66 Rookie

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    EEI must have taken a good hit in the ratings. they definitely need a fm signal
  3. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Tough receiving those weak AM sigs even back in Sudbury, MA in the winter. Faggetaboutit here in southern seacoast NH. But 98.5 FM comes in clear up here. It and 96.9 FM don't receive well in South Yarmouth in Cape Cod though, a dead zone.

    I welcome more sports radio on FM. I'm confounded on why the move to 1950s FM technology didn't happen sooner, a sad reflection on lack of market awareness by dinosaur era radio station management.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  4. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Seems like Entercom perceives CBS/98.5 to be far more of a threat than any of the previous sports talk radio stations such as 1510 and 890. The fact they are taking their competition seriously is a good sign for sports fans.
  5. hwc

    hwc Rookie

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    Hey, I love having two options to try for Pats talk before moving right to Rush/Howie or left to NPR to escape the Red Sox hockey talk.
  6. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    All interesting....that ESPN radio might move in totally in a few months...THAT would make 3 stations...
  7. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'd love to know how much is a perceived 'threat', how much was already in the works, and how much was a result of 'good ideas' brought about in the general course.

    Going FM, for example, had already been done by WEEI in the south. I listen to it on 103.7 from Boston south, and from Norwich, Ct east.
  8. efin98

    efin98 Rookie

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    They have three choices for conversion to the new FM station here: 93.7, 97.7, or 107.3

    93.7 is doing very well in most ratings, WAAF not so much. I don't think they would want to shut down their cheap, multiple genre, top 10 station in favor of their rock station so AAF seems to be the casulty looming.

    Either they lose their 97.7 frequency or both 97.7 and 107.3
  9. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I am sure that WEEI would ultimately want to to move to FM at some point although 850 is an extremely powerful station for an AM signal. It does seem pretty clear though that WEEI sees 98.5 as real competition and have been making a lot business moves in terms of on-air programming to counteract them. They may not think 98.5 can ever beat them, but they are definitely concerned that they will syphon enough listeners to hurt them.

    As for moving WEEI to FM and ESPN to 850's signal, I wholeheartily welcome it. The more competition the better it is for us. Choice is good when it comes to entertainment. If you don't like what the Big Show is talking about, you can go to Felger and Mazz. And if they don't have what you want, you can go to ESPN Boston.

    It also helps discover new radio talent. I assume Christopher Price wouldn't be getting the radio time he is starting to get if Felger and Zolak were still available to WEEI. I think brining in an outside talent like Damon Amendolara has boosted the quality of radio in this town.

    I say the more the merrier. Not a big fan of Kevin Winter or Bob Lobel, but with an increased signal strength ESPN Boston might be able to attract better talent for their afternoon gig.
  10. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Isn't WAAF broadcast on both 97.7 and 107.3? They can easily lose one or the other. The problem with AAF (and WBCN before it) is the status of modern rock is in the toilet. Even what is passed off as rock these days is nothing but poser pop-rock. Bands don't even aim high anymore. Instead of trying to be the next U2 or Green Day, they want to be the next Fallout Boys or Nickelback. It's kinda sad, but kids today rather listen to rap than rock. And the record companies only care about style over substance when it comes to rock today.
  11. PATS68

    PATS68 Rookie

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    The problem with WAAF is too much old crap. Guns & Roses has come and gone. I like the Sports Hub much better than weei.
  12. italia44

    italia44 Rookie

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    Going LEFT to NPR,is an understatement.
  13. efin98

    efin98 Rookie

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    Yes WAAF is simulcast on both frequencies. To shut down the simulcast is to undo their WAAF "expansion" from three years ago when they shut down WILD-FM.

    They simulcast so that extend their reach into Boston itself, but two signals for a station that is barely staying in the top 15 in ratings doesn't seem all that economical anymore...not when they can extend the reach of their flagship station and do it at to directly compete against their their only real competition in sports radio.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  14. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We are fortunate in RI as we get EEI on FM, but do not have a choice who we listen to..

    OTOH remember WAAF when it used to be known as the rock and roll airforce...
  15. Patriot Power

    Patriot Power Rookie

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    Those guys were 890 employees....890 folded, its done, they literally ran out of money and it no longer exists as any sort of entity. The talks are for entercom to put ESPN radio on 850... not 890 on 850. Therefore, if this happens, it doesn't mean 890's shows move over to 850, it means full time national espn programming all the time on 850... mike and mike, van-pelt and god's gift to sports broadcasting, gamenight, etc. And it makes sense... why would entercom put local sports talk on one of its own affiliates to go against its major station ? The answer is they wouldn't.

    One thing this will do is open up EEI for getting back all the espn tv/radio/print guests on to their air, which is something they do not have now. It also would make Mike Reiss only available to WEEI.

    Someone mentioned WEEI's ratings must be hurting... not according to the numbers bruce allen posted last week. Deus made the good point that deals like this don't happen overnight... its highly likely there were rumblings of this stuff way before 98.5 went live.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  16. Patriot Power

    Patriot Power Rookie

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    Agree. Except the 97.7 signal isn't the greatest... 93.7 is much better.

    My prediction... AAF moves to 107.3 ONLY, Mike FM moves from 93.7 to 97.7, and EEI goes to 93.7... with ESPN national programming moving to 850 AM.
  17. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think you hit the nail on the head.
  18. cmasspatsfan

    cmasspatsfan Rookie

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    They have two fm stations, 103.7 out of Providence which I get great from Worcester south and east and 105.5 (?) out of Springfield which I can pick up once I go west of Worcester. Anything north-northeast of Worcester I get 850am or 1440(?) not sure I have them on presets. Ive been listening to 98.5 and some of its pretty good, I think eei will take a big hit in the ratings in the coming months.
  19. efin98

    efin98 Rookie

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    And at the expense of a top 10 rated station? I doubt it. I could see them boosting the signal strength on 97.7 rather than shutting down a cheap, profitable, and highly listened station.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  20. farn

    farn Rookie

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    nooooooooooooooooooooooo !

    I have been listening to WEEI 850 in the car for years... No way an FM signal gets to my car in Nova Scotia ! Not that I am in love with the morning show (even M & M will be better) but yikes ! Pete and Big O ? Silent in NS ?
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