Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Christmas music helps to put WODS 103.3 on top

Classic hits WODS 103.3 is whistling a happy tune this week -- the station was No. 1 overall in
just-released Arbitron radio ratings for the first time since signing on in October 1987. Why? Two words: Merry Christmas .

Maybe WODS should start playing Christmas music in October this year. WODS and its rival WROR 105.7 both began their all-Christmas mix a week before Thanksgiving(
BRW 11/18/10) , and it paid off handsomely in the holiday Arbitron ratings, which covered the period from Dec 9 to Jan. 5. WODS jumped to first place from sixth in November, fueled by Christmas tunes starting on November 18. WROR 105.7 also jumped from 10th to 3rd as the result of going all-ho-ho-ho.

As for WODS, the station went back to its regular classic hits blend on December 26. Obviously station management hopes at least some holiday newcomers to 103.3 will stick around for extended doses of the Beach Boys, Elton John, Bee Gees and Motown...and now 80's music, too. Emerging out of 5 1/2 weeks of playing Christmas tunes, WODS expanded its music vault to include some 80's hitmakers such as Van Halen and the Eurythmics but don't expect to hear the likes of Billy Idol or Duran Duran yet. With GenXers beginning to move into the core of the highly-courted 25-54 audience, the infusion of the 80's is a natural transition which begun a year ago with disappearance of longtime 'Oldies' moniker(
BRW 10/2/09). While the babyboomers are slowly aging out of 25-54 target demo, 60's and 70's still dominate WODS' playlist...for now.

BRW Notebook :

Executive turntable : Dylan Sprague has been named the new operations manager for Clear Channel Radio Boston's four stations - WXKS/Kiss 108, WJMN/Jamn 94.5, Rush Radio 1200 and Mia 1430. He arrives after programming Entercom-owned KALC/Alice 105.9 and KQMT/99.1 The Mountain in the Denver market since January 2008. In addition, Sprague has held various on-air and programming roles at top radio stations across the country, including, 97.7 WNCI in Columbus, OH; KJ103 in Oklahoma City; KMXV Mix 93.3 in Kansas City; WWWQ Q100 in Atlanta.....And in other Clear Channel Boston news, as mentioned here first yesterday(and picked up by other national sites without giving BRW any credit, of course :), veteran local talk programmer Paula O'Connor is now in charge of WXKS/Rush Radio 1200, it was officially announced today. O'Connor said in a press release : "I am excited to be getting back into radio. My passions have always revolved around radio, the Boston community, and building brands for both people and businesses. I am blessed to be back programming in the market again and in a city that is rich with ideas, conversations, debate and has a track record of tackling real issues.” Since leaving WTKK 96.9 in May 2007, O'Connor co-founded the marketing company of Simply Good Marketing in Waltham. In addition to her radio career, she served as the Chief of Staff for the State Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as well as the Press Secretary and Deputy Campaign Manager for Malone and Jeghelian.

Take two : Talker WTKK 96.9 like its counterpart WRKO 680 has seen a steady ratings erosion over the past year. Granted, the latest Holiday numbers set all of the market's talk and news stations back during a traditionally slow strech for the format, but the downward trend for WTKK 96.9 and WRKO 680 has been unfolding for quite some time now. Both stations are now trying to do something about it. Earlier this month, WTKK dumped syndicated talker Imus and expanded its local morning show. This week, WTKK's afternooner Jay Severin has been paired up with NYC-based talkshow host/comedian Mike Bower(Bower does the show via an ISDN line from a Manhattan studio). Bower has done fill-ins for Severin in the past year. He has also filled-in(via ISDN hookup) in the 6pm-10pm slot once occupied by Michele McPhee. Could he be in the cards for WTKK on fulltime basis? Perhaps WTKK is using the afternoon show this week to give Bower a promotional push and eventually install him in the evening slot. Meanwhile, WRKO is also not standing still. Last week, Michele McPhee was brought in to replace painfully dull Charley Manning. If McPhee is able to move the ratings meter for WRKO, can she find herself in a bigger timeslot - morning or midday? All these questions will be answered sooner than anyone thinks. Stay tuned.

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