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WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with WEEI

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by JoeSixPat, Jul 14, 2009.

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  1. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Sorry if this was already reported but if so I missed it

    CBS sacks WBCN for all-sports Boston station - BostonHerald.com

    At first blush my reaction was that they won't be able to compete with WEEI - but the fact that EEI has neglected to add an FM station in that market is what BCN is taking advantage of.

    Still - it may be that the Providence based 103.7 effectively gives them that presence already.

    And since they're carrying Patriots games they stand a chance of getting some cooperation from Patriots coaches and players... i.e. the Providence-based Sports station could never really compete, as you could listen to WEEI on 103.7 and listen to Belichick, or listen to the Score and listen to them talk about Belichick.

    Bottom line for WBCN - I guess they had nothing to lose and nowhere to go but up - and with the Sox, Celts, Patriots and Bruins all looking pretty good, they figured there was at least enough room in the market to get better ratings than the current WBCN programming.

     
  2. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports to compete with WEEI

    Nice. I hope this kills the EEI morning show.
     
  3. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    More details...All of this is will take place around August 13:

    WBCN itself will stay on the air as 98.5 HD 2. It will also be available online.

    Mix 98.5 (WBMX) will move to 104.1 (HD 1).

    98.5 will re-launch as "98.5 The Sports Hub" and use the new callsign WBZ-FM. Bruins and Patriots games will be on 98.5. Toucher and Rich from WBCN will do a sports morning show on 98.5. Felger will be leaving WEEI again and doing a show with Tanguay on 98.5 in the afternoon.

    98.5 The Sports Hub will be the next station to compete against WEEI, after the demise of 1510 The Zone, The Score in Providence, and 890 ESPN Radio.

    WBCN, WBMX, and WBZ-FM are all owned by CBS Radio.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  4. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports to compete with WEEI

    Ironically, CBS was trying to get D+C to move to a new sports station during their contract dispute a few years back. CBS has been trying to switch over WBCN for a while now.
     
  5. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    As this new station is going to be WBZ-FM, maybe we'll see the return of Bob Lobel or Gil Santos...

    Other candidates, besides Toucher/Rich and Felger/Tanguay, would seem to include guys like Zolak and Rusillo. Maybe Steve Burton.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  6. stevedogc

    stevedogc Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    I can only hope that this gives EEI a kick in the butt to improve what they put on the airwaves. They have been getting bad as of late.
     
  7. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    Yeah, I've been listening to more of WBCN and less of WEEI as of late.
     
  8. Rob0729

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    Worst kept secret in Boston. This was rumored months ago. Between losing Howard Stern and the sorry state of rock music these days, the handwriting was on the wall.

    Let's hope they can get good hosts and not the Mickey Mouse amateur crap they have on 1510 the Zone or 790.
     
  9. efin98

    efin98 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    WEEI built a flagship around the Red Sox, WBZ AM held on to the Bruins, the Celtics had a few years as the top dog on 1510 The Zone- it's about time the Patriots got top billing in the sports media world.

    The fact that they brought over the Bruins from WBZ AM is great for the station, only June and July will be without major sports broadcasts(hopefully).
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  10. jmt57

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    I never understood the previous concept of being a sports radio and rock music radio station; it's got to be one or the other.

    I think it's a smart move to use an FM station even though it's just talk and not music. It's not a matter of better sound quality; problems AM stations have in any market is that unless they are one of the handful with a 50,000 watt license they are unlistenable after sundown and have far too weak of a signal even during the day to attract a decent audience. An example of this in the Boston area is 890 WAMG, while 1510 WWZN is an example of attracting a decent audience with WBCN's mixed format.

    I think the Boston market has enough demand for another sports radio station, but now the question is how will the new radio station find it's niche? The station is owned by CBS so it would stand to reason that it's going to be all about profit and ratings. And like it or not, the proven formula for successful sports talk radio in America is pretty much what WEEI is doing. Find a topic that listeners will become emotional about, put a negative spin on it, be a self appointed expert with no room for debate, and totally disrespect anyone who disagrees.

    Engaging in intelligent conversation and insightful analysis isn't going to get people to call in or talk about the show with friends and co-workers, but taking an extreme stance and getting into a shouting match probably will. Maybe I am wrong and CBS will decide 'WEEI has that segement locked up; we have to try a different approach', but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen. CBS Radio was home to Howard Stern before his move to Sirius radio. My guess is that they realize that controversy sells and is profitable, as long as you stay within FCC guidelines.
     
  11. efin98

    efin98 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    It wasn't mixed, it was just a music radio station airing 10 sports games a year minimum...at most maybe seven hours on sunday for the sport. All other times minus what the music hosts themselves initiated within their radio programs it was a music station first and foremost.
     
  12. DGameguy

    DGameguy Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    I think this has a really good chance to succeed.

    When you look at the two most recent to challenge EEI, the stations had no chance to succeed for four reasons:

    1. Poor Signal Strength
    2. No Money
    3. Lack of a morning show
    4. Lack of broadcast rights

    Now, WWZN did have the rights to broadcast Celtics games but the signal was too poor and they held them during some of the lowest points in recent Celtics history, whereas the Patriots are a big draw and the Bruins are experiencing something of a popular resurgence. When they did half-heartedly attempt to put together a local radio show it failed miserably (The Mikey and Candy Show) or got chopped to pieces and moved around too much (the Russillo vehicle). Toucher and Rich have a cult-like following and will bring a younger audience in at the beginning of the day. Don't forget, before they were moved to mornings they did VERY well against The Big Show with basiclaly no advertising. CBS is a bigtime radio corporation that I'm sure will be throwing money around to make this a success early on.
     
  13. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    Yes, that's true, but - for those that want to listen to music, WBCN forces its core audience away every Sunday for twenty weeks of the year - with no guarantee they'll return. And for those wanting to hear about the Pats in particular and sports in general the reverse is true; that audience will be wherever they usually listen to sports (e.g., WEEI) while the pre and post game shoes are on, rather than on 'BCN.
     
  14. efin98

    efin98 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    WWZN held the broadcast rights to the Celtics during four consecutive playoff years including a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals...hardly a low point for the team when they are actually starting to come around before the bottom fell out.

    Their other local sports ventures were covering crappy independent league baseball...not exactly something to listen to if you don't know who any of those people are and could turn the dial to listen in to people you do...

    They have connections to local sports players already, especially on the Bruins. They are big sports fans and have had long running bits on their show devoted to sports(drunken recaps being most prominent).
     
  15. efin98

    efin98 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    Right, which took them years to finally say "enough music, go with sports".

    I'll miss the music but I'll gladly take fresh ideas from the guys they have coming in over the same junk on EEI...can't wait until they hire more people to fill out the lineup.
     
  16. jmt57

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    It's been a slow, painful death for BCN. They used to be considered not just the best music station in Boston, but one of the best, if not the best station in the whole country back in the 70's. Then Maxanne left, the station was sold, they tightened up the format and from then on the only thing the same about them was the call letters and the number on the dial.
     
  17. jmt57

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    Hopefully that is the case - it doesn't do the fans any good to have a clone of WEEI as an alternative. Maybe CBS radio will see WEEI has that formula locked up and will try something else.
     
  18. DGameguy

    DGameguy Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    My bad on the Celtics part. I wasn't necessarily referring to their record. The Vin Baker thing and the Pacers series weren't exactly high points, but I should've checked that at first. I find basketball impossible to follow on the radio.

    T&R have cultivated relationships with some of the athletes, especially Aaron Ward and the Bruins, and they have a nice apport with Tanguay who's rumored to be a part of the afternoon drive show. I've listened to them everyday for the past two years or so and while I'm not sure any 1 guy could carry a sports talk show, they all have some depth of knowledge of one or two sports Fred baseball and hockey, Rich basketball etc.

    ANother reason I think the previous stations failed was a lack of creativity. Each show on the station was a similarly formatted call-in show with shuffled (normally dull) personalities. You're absolutely right T&R's sports bits are different. The drunken recaps are pretty funny (and would make a nice F.U to WEEI being as they're only really for Sox and Celts games), the Twitter game is entertaining, and I think the weekly spots with A.J. Daulerio have been very enjoyable. I could definitley see them being a sort of Deadspin of Boston sports radio. They're also never afraid of controversy or getting into it with rival shows.
     
  19. PatsWickedPissah

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    Great news for those of us outside 495 trying to listen late in the day. Back when I lived in Sudbury (Smerlas Country) I'd have trouble receiving EEI AM. The 99.5 FM signal is readily received here in Seacoast NH.

    THe major question will be hosts and style. Will they be interesting and analytical or will they go for the manufactured 'controversy' that made me abandon D&C?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  20. BradfordPatsFan

    BradfordPatsFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: WBCN axes rock format - going to all sports (on 98.5 as WBZ-FM) to compete with W

    At the very least this should signal more pats talk and less sox talk in November, December, January, etc...
     
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