Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WEEI network spreads to the Cape

WEEI Sports Radio network and Qantum Communications on the Cape today announced that Qantum’s 96.3FM frequency will begin syndicating WEEI's talkshows on April 1st. Currently, 96.3FM is known as the "The Rose 96.3" and runs Top40 format but come April Fool's Day, it'll be nothing but sports talk from Boston's sports kingpin WEEI AM 850. Here's the official press release :

WEEI Sports Radio Network Expands Footprint on Cape Cod
Entercom’s leading sports station to be syndicated on Qantum’s 96.3 FM

Boston, Mass. (February 18, 2009) -- Entercom New England and Qantum Communications today announced that WEEI Sports Radio will be syndicated on 96.3 FM on Cape Cod starting this spring. The station, currently WRZE “The Rose”, will become WEII and will carry WEEI’s sports talk programming on a full-time basis beginning on or about April 1, 2009.

WEEI is the nation’s leading sports talk radio station. Entercom has successfully extended the WEEI brand to three markets on its wholly owned stations: WEEI-FM in Providence, WVEI-FM in Springfield, and WVEI-AM in Worcester. Last fall, it made a significant expansion into Maine and New Hampshire, with the addition of four new syndicated stations. These new agreements are consistent with Entercom’s long-term plan to bring WEEI programming to all of New England.

“Expanding our great brand to the Cape and the islands is another solid step in our continued growth” said Jason Wolfe, Entercom New England Vice President of AM Programming. “WEEI’s content plays perfectly to this new audience and with a full market signal, our fans will be able to hear the shows from Bourne to Provincetown without changing the station. I’m thrilled to welcome 96.3 WEII to the WEEI Network.”

Entercom New England Vice President of Sales, Jim Rushton, who negotiated the Network Agreements, added: “The continued expansion of the WEEI Network fits into our overall business strategy to mirror the New England marketing footprint of the Boston professional sports teams and enhance the promotional platform of the burgeoning Adding Cape Cod to the WEEI Network will allow advertisers to reach consumers in 13 of the 17 rated Arbitron Radio Markets in New England (over 8 of the 12 million total consumers). This was phase III of our WEEI Network expansion (WEEI wholly owned properties was phase I and Northern New England Affiliates (Keane, Bangor, Portland, Lewiston) was phase II) and we will be adding additional stations during phase IV in the future. The WEEI Brand now reaches over 1,000,000 weekly listeners thru the WEEI Network and over 400,000 monthly unique visitors thru”

Added Allison Makkay Davis, Vice President/Market Manager of Qantum: “The addition of WEEI to our line-up of stations solidifies our leadership of the Cape Cod radio market. It will provide significant marketing opportunities to our local businesses to tap into a tremendously loyal listener base. We are excited to be WEEI’s newest affiliate.”

The WEEI Sports Radio Network, which regularly dominates the ratings in its markets, is also the radio home of the Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox Wednesday Night Baseball, Patriots Monday, Patriots Friday and Patriots Saturday Rewind.

Station List

WEEI Affiliate Location
WEEI-850 AM Boston
WEEI-103.7 FM Providence
WVEI-105.5 FM Springfield
WVEI-1440 AM Worcester
WTEI-95.5 / WPEI 95.9 FM Portland
WAEI-910 AM / 97.1 FM Bangor
WEEY-93.5 FM Keene
WEII-96.3 FM Cape Cod

BRW Notebook :

The Wheeler and the Dealer : You can take a sales guy out of Ernie Boch Jr. but apparently you can't take a musician out of him. In an effort to promote his band "Ernie and the Automatics"' new release titled "Low Expectations", the local auto czar has bought two weeks of airtime on Clear Channel's tiny WXKS AM 1430 which normally simulcasts Latin music from sister station WKOX AM/Rumba 1200. The station is now all "Ernie and the Automatics" all the time. It will resume Rumba's simulcast on Monday(3/2).

"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses..." : Brother Elwood Blues of the Blues Brothers, better known as Dan Aykroyd, will be in studio with "Loren and Wally" on WROR 105.7FM on Thursday morning at 8:25am to promote the return of the new House of Blues on Lansdowne Street. The Blues Brothers will be performing at the HOB opening night party this Saturday night(2/21).

There will be no iterruption of service : news, for us satellite radio fans. Media baron John Malone and his Liberty Media company have bought some time for Sirius XM Radio to get its act together and to prevent an unfriendly takeover that could have dismantled the company. Yesterday, on the morning $175 million in loans were due to Echostar/Dish Network CEO Charles Ergen, Malone agreed to pump $530 million into the satellite radio operation. First infusion will be a $280 million loan at 15%, due in 2012. Later this year will come a second transfer of $150 million in loans, plus the offer to buy up $100 million in Sirius XM debt. That's far short of the nearly $1 billion in total obligations the satellite radio broadcaster has coming due this year, but it might be enough to convince other lenders that the company is stabilizing. Besides earning serious interest on his money, Malone (who also controls DirecTV) gets 40% stake in the company. And Malone takes over 40% of the seats on the satellite radio company's board. Even star host and major shareholder Howard Stern doesn't enjoy that kind of clout.Like his archrival Ergen, Malone can see long-term value in Sirius XM's customer base and hard assets, including a fleet of satellites and (federally licensed) orbiting slots/frequencies worth several billion dollars(that's billion with a b), plus a ground signal repeater system that's valued at $1 billion alone.There's no guarantee Malone might not turn around someday and unload all that hardware, as Ergen was contemplating and shut down the entire radio operation in the process. But for the foreseeable future, Malone will leave his deal partner and Sirius XM chief Mel Karmazin at the helm. And they'll try to squeeze out synergies between the satellite radio and DirecTV operations.


Anonymous said...

wow, this is a big mistake for Qantum... they will lose many listeners. why would they switch when people can already listen to sports games on WXTK? Now the cape will have no CHR station?? maybe this will save some money now, but in the long run this is a bad idea!

Anonymous said...

Qantum owns WXTK, so it's all a wash. 96.3 may run the Sox, or the games might stay on XTK and 96.3 will carry Mike Adams show or whatever else 850 carries during the Sox games.

As far as the CHR format goes, don't be surprised to see some elements of the Rose migrate over to co-owned WCOD along with a musical tweak toward CHR on that station.

Anonymous said...

They probably wouldn't want to move the games from 95.1 to 96.3. Planet Mikey and Sox Rewind will air on 96.3. Then probably JT The Freak and Fox Sports Radio in the overnight.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to WEEI Stimilus of 2009. If you own a radio station in a struggling medium or small market, we'll bail it out with our talkshows.

Anonymous said...

Sirius/XM can save some cash by dumping no-talent hacks like Opie and Anthony and Ron and Fez.

Anonymous said...

Satellite radio was a just a fad at a time when the FCC was cracking down. Stern made all these proclamations about terrestrial vs. satellite but he was just acting as a fear monger. He was wrong, Sirius XM is not a stable company nor will it ever be. It's a terrible business model backed by unsightly debt. Stern is a great DJ, but he's just so full of shit sometimes (see marriage) that is worthless to take anything he says on the state of the company as gospel.