Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rush move : Daytime talk titan to debut on new signal next week

Boston's brand new talk radio station Rush Radio 1200/WXKS AM, in the works for months for April 1st launch, will push up its start time by 3 weeks as it kicks off with a major piece of its new sound starting at Noon next Monday(3/8), BRW has learned. Rush Limbaugh, for 15 years the pivot man of WRKO AM 680's daytime schedule, will now air from 12pm to 3pm on WXKS AM 1200(as of last night, the old WKOX call letters now reside on AM 1430 frequency).

Sean Hannity will follow Limbaugh from 3 to 6pm. Landing Limbaugh makes AM 1200 the Boston outlet for the nation's three most-listened-to syndicated talk hosts, according to the radio trade journal Talkers Magazine, which counts Limbaugh's cumulative weekly national audience at 15 million, Hannity's at 14 million and Glenn Beck at 9 million. WRKO AM 680 will counter deferctor Rush with a new local show hosted by Charley Manning(see story below).

Beyond Limbaugh and Hannity, Rush Radio's new lineup will have Glenn Beck(9am-Noon), Jason Lewish(6pm-9pm), Mark Levin(9pm-Midnight) and Coast to Coast(12am-5am).

The new local morning show is yet to be announced and will debut on April 1st according to sources. WRKO's early Rush pull-out this week caught the new talker off guard as it's rushing(no pun, intended) to air with its new line-up. Rush' reruns will air in the AM drive until local show show is ready to debut in three weeks.

Here's official release from Clear Channel Radio Boston :

The new home of Rush Limbaugh: Rush Radio 1200/ WXKS-AM

BOSTON, MA – March 2, 2010 – A Boston radio revolution months in the making will take place on Monday, March 8, 2010 at noon as “Rush Radio 1200/WXKS” becomes the new home of The Rush Limbaugh Show.

The historic launch will be led by radio giant and conservative talk master Rush Limbaugh, weekdays 12pm-3pm, followed by The Sean Hannity Show 3pm-6pm, The Jason Lewis Show 6pm-9pm, The Mark Levin Show 9p-12mid, Coast to Coast AM with George Noory midnight - 6am and The Glenn Beck Program 9am -12noon.

“Boston is the birthplace of the American Revolution,” says Bill George, Program Director of Rush Radio 1200/WXKS. “Rush Radio will lead a new revolution beginning Monday, March 8th at noon. From our months of research and planning to Scott Brown’s recent Senate win, it’s clear that there is a changing tide in Massachusetts. People are ready to embrace the type of conservative ideals that Rush Radio 1200 and its hosts embrace

About Clear Channel Radio:
Clear Channel Radio is a leading radio company focused on serving local communities across the U.S. with more than 110 million listeners choosing Clear Channel Radio programming each week. The company's operations include radio broadcasting, syndication and independent media representation. Clear Channel Radio is a division of Clear Channel Communications, Inc. (NYSE:CCU), a leading global media and entertainment company. More information on the company can be found at www.clearchannel.com.

Certain statements in this release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statement

As Rush gets ready to jump to a new signal, WRKO installs a new local show

Big changes are coming to Boston heritage talk station WRKO 680 AM starting next Monday(3/8). The Talk Station will change its midday schedule as it loses the Rush Limbaugh Show after more than 15 years. Earlier this morning, WRKO announced that a veteran Republican strategist Charley Manning will host a new local 3-hour show in Limbaugh's familiar Noon-3pm slot. Manning had a weekly Sunday night show called "The SpinDoctors" on WRKO which he co-hosted with Democratic stategist Michael Goldman from September 1995 to January 1997. Manning has alss appeared as a fill-in on WRKO's local shows.

WRKO's change comes after Clear Channel Communications, the company that produces Limbaugh's show, opted not to renew its contract with WRKO and instead moving the show to WXKS 1200 AM which is owned by Clear Channel.

As mentioned here previously(BRW 1/13), 1200 AM is changing from a Spanish-language music format branded as "Rumba 1200" to a conservative news talk line-up to be marketed as "RushRadio 1200" beginning April 1st. With WRKO unplugging Rush four weeks early, the station may move up its launch date.

Rush Radio 1200 will carry nation's top 3 syndicated hosts - Limbaugh from noon to 3 p.m, The Glenn Beck Show from 9 a.m. to noon and Sean Hannity from 3pm to 6pm. Clear Channel's The Jason Lewis Show will run from 6pm to 9pm. 1200 AM has already added another Clear Channel show - "Coast to Coast" to its overnight schedule(Midnight-5am) last month(BRW 2/11). Still to be announced is a new local morning show for the new Rush Radio 1200. The new station is being progammed by Bill George who also runs Clear Channel's Providence talker WHJJ AM 920 which also runs Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity in its line-up.

Here's WRKO's official press release on the launch of the Charley Manning Show :

Charley Manning Show to debut on WRKO March 8th
Boston’s premier Republican strategist returns to ‘RKO with local political perspective

Boston, MA (March 2, 2010) – WRKO AM 680 today announced the launch of a new program – The Charley Manning Show – which will air from 12 -3 PM each weekday beginning March 8. One of Boston’s most respected political analysts, Manning has been a fixture on the local political landscape for two decades. The Charley Manning Show will replace Rush Limbaugh.

“Folks around here are the smartest and most sophisticated in the country when it comes to politics,” said Manning. “Just look at how they shocked the country by electing Scott Brown. I wasn’t surprised, but the national pundits still haven’t figured out what happened.”

Manning continued: “Now that we’ll be local all afternoon, on WRKO, our listeners will be able to find out what is really going on. They won’t have to listen to Clem calling in from California who doesn’t have a clue. This is going to be the most exciting year in politics in our lifetimes. And we’ll be on top of it every step of the way on WRKO. I can’t wait to talk all about it with our callers.”

The premier Republican strategist in the city, Manning has deep ties to the scene on Beacon Hill. The show will provide listeners with the most up-to-date political news, particularly surrounding the candidates and races coming up this fall.

“The addition of Charley Manning further strengthens our position as THE preeminent talk radio station in Boston,” said Entercom New England VP/Market Manager Julie Kahn. “Charley brings tremendous knowledge and credentials to the station and will provide great new entertainment to our audience.”

“Charley is as well respected as anyone who is involved in the Boston political scene,” said Entercom New England Vice President of AM Programming Jason Wolfe. “He brings great credibility and superior knowledge to this arena, one that will be top of mind for our listeners through the remainder of this year. He is a veteran of the Boston media circles having hosted his own show years ago right here on WRKO and his reputation has earned him spots on multiple TV outlets analyzing the election season. I’m proud to welcome him back to WRKO.”

The new program marks a return to WRKO for Manning, who co-hosted “The Spin Doctors”, one of Boston’s most popular political talk shows, from 1995 to 1997 on the station. He is currently the lead political analyst on WCVB, Channel 5 in Boston, playing a prominent role during the recent U.S. Senate race in which he predicted Scott Brown’s win long before all of “the experts” and has a regular role on Channel 5’s Sunday morning political program “On The Record”. Manning was also the morning drive time political commentator on Boston’s WBZ-News Radio, during both the 2008 Presidential election and the 2009-2010 U.S. Senate race, before joining WRKO to host the Charley Manning Show. He has served as an advisor to Governor William Weld, a senior advisor to Governor to Mitt Romney, and an advisor to the Romney for President Campaign.


Dan Petitpas said...

Wow! This is pretty big news. An obscure Spanish radio station based in Newton suddenly is becoming a powerhouse talker. And for me, the signal is stronger than WRKO at night!

It's interesting that WRKO is now making Howie Carr the center of its programming with Howie making up 1/3 of its broadcasting schedule!

Hey, what happened with WRKO airing Doug McIntyre in the Coast to Coast slot? The poor guy still thinks he's on WRKO. I heard him on WABC and had to e-mail him that WRKO seems to have dropped his show the first week in favor of (cheep) Howie repeats.

raccoonradio said...

Dan: For some reason RKO ran Red Eye Radio on Sun night and the RKO schedule page lists it on Wed, Thu, and Fri nights of this week. I believe Avi is filling in for Howie those days so maybe they will run Doug on weekends and also when Howie's show from the previous day has a fill in host. Go to wrko.com and see the "Complete Schedule" page

Anonymous said...

Finally! A place to hear conservative yelling. I was sick of only being able to find it on WRKO, WEEI, WAAF...

Anonymous said...

WXKS AM is now stunting, mostly with speeches by a dead person.. Sign of what's to come?

James said...

How is Spanish radio obscure? Demographics are changing in America. Conservative white men will soon be "obscure".

raccoonradio said...

I'm guessing they would be running Ted Kennedy speeches if it were going libtalk...Spanish radio is actually on FM now, at least in Merrimack Valley (92.1; and don't forget longtime, powerful Hispanic broadcaster WJFD 97.3 New Bedford.
Or WMWM's Spanish shows...

CrisD said...

Is this a reflection of the split in the R party? Mitt conservatives stay with WRKO and "the real deal" conservatives exit with Rush and Co.
I am new to Boston. Don't trust someone just b/c they are an R esp. here. Scott Brown has not proven anything to me. But there were a lot of people who voted for him that want the U.S. to get back to its real conservative values of a free market society with govt. staying out of our business and families!!!

raccoonradio said...

In Massachusetts getting a real R would be impossible, and if Brown did that he would not be re-elected. You have to take what you can here.
We could have had Sen. Coakley. That alone is a victory. Whether RKO is
"Republican/conservative lite", well, again, this is Boston...at least there are some choices with XKS, RKO, TKK, and Rea on WBZ (while the left has WWZN and public radio)

CrisD said...

thanks for the insights, racoonradio. Watching it all...

Anonymous said...

Radio is dying.So,why continue to have an FCC? They should be abolished, since they clearly are not doing there job.