Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Report : WBZ and Bruins are skating apart

Will the Boston Bruins and WBZ pick money over tradition by parting aways after the current season ends? According to a report in this morning's Boston Globe, WBZ AM 1030, which is currently into its 14th straight year of broadcasting the Bruins games informed the NHL club that the CBS Radio-owned station wouldn't be extending its option prior to January 15th deadline for the exclusive negotiations window. The Bruins are now open to negotiate with any local radio station, including WBZ, to be its radio home for 2009-10 season. One of the options being considered is a time-buy arrangement where New England Sports Network's TV feed(the Bruins own 20% of the regional sports network) feed of the Bruins broadcasts would be heard on a local radio station.

WBZ Radio, which broadcast its first Bruin game back in 1925, has been associated with the NHL's Original Six franchise for more than 50 seasons(1925-1951, 1969-1978, 1995-present) and aired all of its five Stanley Cup wins(1929,1939 1941, 1970 and 1972).

BRW Notebook :

Traffic Watch : WEEI.com has announced a 95% growth in unique visitors over the last 12 months to reach an all-time high for the site. In January 09 the site had 426,879 unique visitors and garnered additional impressive growth and engagement numbers over the last year, all detailed in the press release. WEEI's press release from this morning :

For Immediate Release

Boston (February 11, 2009) – WEEI.com, the web site of the nation’s top rated sports radio station WEEI-AM, saw its total number of unique visitors increase to an all-time high in January 2009, with growth of 95% compared to the same month in 2008, according to Web analytics service
OneStat.com.

In January 2009, WEEI.com had 426,879 unique visitors, up from 219,559 in January 2008. In addition to the increasing number of unique visitors, overall site traffic jumped to 3.3 million Page Views during January 2009, an increase of 88% when compared with the same month one year earlier.

According to web analytics service
Compete.com, users are extremely engaged at WEEI.com:

The average user’s stay on WEEI.com was more than 21 minutes during each visit to the site in the month of December 2008.
This engagement number is up an impressive 579% from December 2007.
In 2008 more than 10 million hours of live streaming audio in 2008 was consumed over 3.3 million sessions.
The average WEEI.com visitor session for Internet Radio was over 3.2 hours per visit.
WEEI.com users listened to more than 1.8 million audio OnDemand clips in 2008.

“Our goal for WEEI.com has been to take our unique, authentically local content assets to create the number one online destination for New England sports fans,” said Tim Murphy, Vice President/General Manager of WEEI.com. “We’re pleased with the increase in traffic and engagement. With our imminent plans to add even more rich content, as well as major improvements in the design and functionality of the site, I’m confident that our numbers will continue to trend upward.”

“This is important for our great advertising partners,” Murphy continued. “Digital platforms whose local content reaches deeply engaged consumers create phenomenal opportunities for effective and efficient audio and visual marketing campaigns.”

Visitors are also consuming WEEI.com content in non-traditional means, evidenced by the 4,500 unique visitors to the website’s mobile WAP site. In addition, the WEEI newsletter has 182,000 subscribers and the WEEI.com Facebook page now has over 1,900 members.

In August 2008, WEEI.com made significant upgrades to the website’s design and content by hiring two of the best-known journalists in Boston sports, WEEI.com editor-in-chief Rob Bradford and Patriots reporter Michael Felger. Since then, WEEI.com has hired over 10 contributors to the site, including former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.

WEEI.com plans more major website upgrades in March.

“The way you could look at it is that August was the groundbreaking for the new WEEI.com. March will be the ribbon-cutting,” said Murphy. “Stay tuned.”



Radio kiss-off : It's that time of year. With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, CBS Radio Boston — WBZ AM 1030, WBCN 104.1FM, WBMX 98.5FM, WODS 103.3FM and WZLX 100.7FM — has launched "The Love Lists" website at boston.radioholidays.com. The site offers marketing features related to relationships, love and break-ups, with a focus on Valentine's Day. It also houses multiple radio stations including AOL-powered Love List Radio, which plays romantic songs from throughout the decades, as well as Love Stinks Radio, which plays lamenting love songs and breakup ballads. "

The Fallout : The Weekly Dig's Media Farm gives its spin on WRKO's Howie Carr trying to act as a hero when he tried to talk a caller out of taking her life. But was it a heroic act as his paper made it seem?

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