Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Boston teams were great for the sports formats last month

A high tide floats all boats, but this was the equivalent of a record flood.

Both WEEI/SportsRadio 93.7  and WBZ/98.5 The SportsHub earned higher ratings in the latest ratings survey. With all the male listeners on FM deck during that period, classic rocker WZLX 100.7 knocked off the usual ratings leader WXKS 107.9/Kiss 108 out of the top spot in overall(listeners ages 6 and over) and 25-54 demographics. In addition, Kiss 108's sister outlet WJMN/Jamn 94-5 with its younger male-skewing hip-hop format took over the number one position among 18-34 demographic.

The reason for the high tide, of course, was the almost-perfect sports storm created by the convergence of the Red Sox' unforgettable World Series run and the Patriots' unexpected high-level mid-season play despite major injuries to their key players. The ratings period ran from October 10 to November 6, so it reflected not just the Sox' October run, but Patriots' ensuing success only built on the momentum of a thrilling comeback win over the Saints. Male radio listeners(sorry, ladies) came out in droves and it showed across the board.

CBS' sports talker WBZ/98.5 The SportsHub jumped into 3rd place among all listeners ages 6 and up. It also climbed into #2 position(behind WZLX) among 25-54 year-olds.

Yet this wasn't just a case of lightning striking twice and electrifying the city's sports scene. In radio, as in sports, you have to put yourself in position to take advantage of the breaks you're handed. The  both sports stations did that : The SportsHub jumped into third place among all listeners ages 6 and up and was #2(behind WZLX) among all-important 25-54 year old demo. It was also #1 among 18-49 listeners. Red Sox flaghship WEEI 93.7 also saw impressive gains in the 25-54 where it rose from 7th spot to 5th. In the overall 6+ group, the station placed 9th but registered the highest audience share since dropping its AM 850 simulcast last year.

So the question now, in the wake of Red Sox' gift of a season, is whether this is a high-water mark for all-sports radio in Boston, or the wave of the future?

For now, however, let's not rain on their parade. Sports talk is stronger than it has ever been in Boston radio. Let both stations enjoy it before, like any successful sports franchise, they have to worry about building on the success.

 Nielsen Audio's rankings of Boston radio stations among listeners ages 6 and up between October 10 and November 6 survey period : 
Rank Station Format Share - The percentage of those listening to radio in the Boston area who are listening to a particular radio station. Cume - The total number of different persons who tune to a radio station during the course of a daypart for at least five minutes).
1 WZLX 100.7 Classic Rock 6.9 709,800
2 WXKS 107.9/"Kiss 108" CHR 6.8 1,455,500
3 WBZ 98.5/"The Sports Hub" Sports 6.7 862,200
4 WKLB 102.5 Country 5.8 791,300
5 WMJX 106.7/"Magic" Adult Contemporary 5.8 1,254,400
6 WBZ 1030/"NewsRadio" News/Talk 5.5 633,400
7 WROR 105.7 Classic Hits 5.1 940,600
8 WEEI 93.7/"SportsRadio" Sports 5.0 764,200
9 WBUR 90.9 News/Talk 4.2 417,700
10 WJMN 94.5/"Jamn" Rhythmic-CHR 4.1 813,900
11 WBMX 104.1/"Mix" Hot AC 3.8 899,800
12 WBQT 96.9/"Hot" Rhythmic AC 3.5 684,700
13 WODS 103.3/"AMP" CHR 3.4 1,026,500
14 WBOS 92.9/"MyRadio" Modern Rock 2.8 659,600
15 WRKO 680 Talk 2.7 238,700
16 WGBH 89.7 News/Talk 2.7 328,100
17 WAAF 107.3/97.7 Rock 2.3 440,400
18 WXRV 92.5/"The River" Adult Alternative 1.6 394,600
19 WCRB 99.5 Classical 1.2 187,900
20 WEDX 101.7/"Evolution" Dance 1.0 223,300
21 WERS 88.9 Variety 0.8 183,700
22 WEEI 850/"ESPN" Sports 0.3 105,100
23 WUMB 91.9 Folk 0.2 41,100
24 WKOX 1430/"Mia" Spanish Hits 0.1 28,100

BRW Notebook :

Specials of the Day :   No matter what else may be happening in radio, Arlo Guthrie will be coming around tomorrow to keep things in proper balance by singing "Alice's Restaurant". The most famous modern Thanksgiving song will play at noon on WUMB 91.9, WXRV/92.5 The River, WZLX 100.7 and WROR 105.7. The 18-minute version is too long for regular playlist and precludes it from being played at any time other than Thanksgiving Day holiday. WZLX will also serve two more helpings at 9am and 4pm.

For the sports junkies at the Thanksgiving table, from 8am to Noon, WEEI 93.7 will broadcast the“Turkey Day High School Football Show” which will be hosted by Butch Stearns. He will be joined by several area coaches and athletic directors, former local high school stars who went on to play in the NFL and various local media reporting from different game sites around the region, leading into the station’s broadcasts of the afternoon and evening’s NFL Tripleheader (12:00,4:00 and 8:00p) from WestwoodOne Sports.

The long and winding road : Former WRKO 680/Talk 1200/Boston Herald Radio host Jeff Katz has been named the new afternoon drive host at Richmond, VA's WRVA NewsTalk 1140. Katz has been filling in at the Clear Channel-owned talker for the past month.

All That Jazz :  WGBH 89.7 will be wrapping up its fall series of Live From Scullers broadcasts this Friday night, November 29, as part of WGBH’s Eric in the Evening with Eric Jackson. Friday’s show will feature Grammy Award-winning—and newly awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient— Cuban-born jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. Jackson will join Sandoval at Scullers and introduce him to his radio and online listeners at 10pm.

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