Clear Channel is set to launch a news talk AM station
Nine years after acquiring WKOX AM 1200, nation's largest radio company Clear Channel is about to make it a major player on Boston's AM dial. As mentioned here, WKOX's signal was upgraded to 50,000 watts last spring(BRW 4/21/09) and with a new boosted signal Clear Channel will unveil a new talk radio station in Boston on April 1st. In addition to adopting a news/talk format, AM 1200 will have a new set of familiar call letters - WXKS AM - which currently reside on AM 1430.
The new talk format on AM 1200 will feature such nationally syndicated talkers as Glenn Beck(9am-Noon) and Sean Hannity(3pm-6pm) who are distributed by Clear Channel's syndication arm Premire Radio Network. It's expected that the station will feature a local talk show(6am-9am) when all details are announced. Although nothing has been officially confirmed, Rush Limbaugh who is also syndicated by Premiere and heard locally on WRKO AM 680 since August 1994 is widely expected to shift to AM 1200 once his contract with WRKO expires in the spring.
Earlier today, Clear Channel announced that it has hired a veteran Boston radio executive to be part of the new management team at News Talk 1200. Alan Chartrand who has over 20 years of local radio sales work at WJMN 94.5FM(Jamn). WTKK 96.9FM and WMKK 93.7FM(MikeFM) will be News Talk 1200's new general sales manager. Most recently he ran his own company Simply Good Marketing. His new position is effective February 1st.
In a press release, Mary Menna, Director of Sales for Clear Channel Boston and Providence, commented, “Alan brings a great knowledge and passion for talk radio, coupled with his ability to grow revenue, his leadership and his large network of business relationships made him the #1 choice for this newly-created position.”
For the past three years, AM 1200 has featured Latin music format "Rumba 1200" which was launched after Clear Channel pulled the plugged on the progressive talk format in December 2006. Latin music is expected to remain on AM 1430 which is currently known as "Mia 1430".
BRW Notebook :
Keeping pieces in place : While WRKO AM 680 may lose Rush to a new competitor, it just announced that it's keeping its night-time line-up intact for 3 more years as the station's owner Entercom has re-upped Michael Savage(7pm-10pm) and Jerry Doyle(10pm-1am) shows with syndicator Talk Radio Network.
Radio milestones : Magic 106.7FM's program director Don Kelly is celebrating a 20-year anniversary with one of Boston's most popular and successful formats. The station is also celebrating its 28th year on the air this month.