Statement From Julie Kahn on New WEEI Competitor

There was a statement released tonight by Julie Kahn, Vice President/New England Market Manager, Entercom New England on the announcement today from CBS about WBCN and the new WBZ-FM. The first part of the statement is claiming total victory for Entercom’s WAAF in the Boston rock radio market:

For decades, WAAF and WBCN have competed fiercely against each other for rock radio listeners in this market. It truly has been an epic competition. With the announcement that WBCN will soon go off the air, WAAF has won that battle and is now in an even stronger position to attract new listeners and build upon its dominance among Boston rock stations.

“WAAF Boston is New England’s most listened to Rock radio station broadcasting on 97.7and 107.3 FM. Over the course of four decades, WAAF has been able to garner ratings in more Arbitron measured markets than any other station in the country. In Boston, WAAF is consistently ranked the #1 station among Men 25-44. WAAF is among only a handful of radio stations in the world that has been able to thrive in the same format as the day it signed on decades ago.

Can you say “victory lap?” Kahn then assures all that Entercom will win out the sports radio market as well:

“On the sports side, this announcement was not a surprise. We’ve been expecting it given the many rumors over the last few years. We’ve dealt with competitive situations in the past and we’re fully prepared to do it again. We’re blessed to have built the strongest lineup of sports content and talent in the country, and are proud to have expanded that content platform through the newly designed WEEI.com, and our 9 station regional network. We have the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, and Patriots Monday/Friday, and we’re fully committed to providing the best sports programming to our listeners for many years to come.

The statement is mildly surprising to me, though the email did specify that the statement was in response to several inquiries requesting comment on the CBS announcement.

The coming months will be interesting to see if WBZ-FM is more successful than previous attempts to crack the Boston sports radio market.

I’ll have more on this tomorrow, along with some thoughts on how things might shake out, and what I’m hearing from some in the industry on the situation.

  • http://BSMW Corner Blitz

    To crush your enemies,to drive them before you, and to hear the lamentations of the women. And Julie Kahn.
    Hope is a powerful thing….

  • Rich

    She cant even welcome them to the format in a friendly way? Classy…….not.

  • Jason Coyote

    If the announcement of another sportsradio competitor wasn’t a surprise to Ms. Kahn, I wonder if Felger leaving to head up their afternoon drive show was.

    And “providing the best sports programming to our listeners” must mean that they won’t rest on their laurels just because they’re #1, that they’ll actually work to improve their deficiencies.

  • Hieronymous

    Long as they let ‘EEI man the “Michael Jackson and the Elephant Man’s bones” beat, I’ll be happy.

    Message to Callahan: Michael Jackson never took possession of the bones. There is some doubt that he ever even mentioned them.

  • Greg

    A completely unprofessional and vomit-inducing statement. She’s a clown.

  • Dave

    As dominant as EEI is I still think they believe their position is not absolute. When you’re the only gig in town it’s easy to be number one. That said, their program line-up is really not that great and I believe is open to competition by another station with a quality line-up. While many find Felgy and Tanger unlistenable others, like myself, would welcome the change from the EEI afternoon lineup. WBZ-FM may not overtake EEI but I give them a chance and my guess is that Julie Kahn does too.

  • http://3rdstringqb.blogspot.com Pip

    The new station has two major problems:
    1)Angry BCN fans who will refuse to listen to the new station (watch tucher and rich’s ratings plummet)
    2) Trying not be as bad as WEEI. There will be the temptation to be as loud and over the top as weei, and to take the same crazy callers. You’ve listened to some of those Patriot’s post game shows on WBCN right?!?! Same crazy idiot calls are making it on air.

    There is room in Boston for FM sports, just not an WEEI clone. I give this station until the Bruins season ends before it dies. Then they’ll try to bring WBCN back and people will laugh at them.

    • http://angrybostonian.blogspot.com Carl

      I’m going to have to disagree with you on #1 — if you listened to their show this morning, the general theme was they (T&R) are moving, but they are not changing their show much — most of the bits are going to remain. Also, the callers seemed to have just one sentiment: “It stinks that WBCN is going away, but we’re glad you’re staying on the air.”

  • Andrew

    I hope the new station takes off. Legitimate competition for EEI should be a positive thing for anyone who listens to Boston sprots talk. I think that there is a significant portion of the Big Show’s audience that simply wants to listen to sports talk in the afternoon and is little more than tolerating the shout fest that Ordway MC’s. With a static free option on the dial, it would be awfully nice to see WEEI re-evaluate their programming and try to improve quality as a means of maintaining listenship. I hope.

  • Dale

    I have to believe that if CBS does this right, they can mount a serious challenge to EEI’s dominance. Hopefully Ryan Rusillo will be given a prominent spot in the new station’s lineup… I Don’t know if the Tanger has what it takes to generate radio ratings. What will this do to the EEI host rotation on CSN??????

    • Jason Coyote

      Unfortunately Rusillo will not be part of the new station. Earlier this month he signed on to be Scott Van Pelt’s sidekick on ESPN Radio.

      To answer your other question, I think this news effectively ends the relationship between EEI and CSN.

      John Metaparel may have a tough decision to make (I don’t know what his contract status is with EEI) as he seems to be getting considerable fill-in host work of late over on CSN.

  • Fred West Lynn

    Wow. Until I read Kahn’s statement, I honestly didn’t realize that WAAF was still broadcasting.

  • J.R.

    Hopefully, the “new” WBZ-FM — with a real signal, solid hosts, and interesting guests — will mount a serious challenge (unlike the Zone or ESPN) to ‘EEI, which has become a bloated caricature of itself for a few years now. There was a time way back when D&C were initially on mid-day that they actually were a good listen. Ordway, on the other hand, has always been a fraud’s fraud.

    Please, for the sake of all humanity, let’s hope that ‘BZ-FM does not offer regular positions, large or small, to Metergerbil, Andelman, or Gresh. Go grab a Bob Ryan (his paper and industry are dying) or a Neumy who would conduct thought-provoking discussions versus the daily scream-fest and contrived “story lines” that are the staples of the folks on Guest Street.

    • Joseph

      Don’t be surprised if Enmetrcom pulls the plug on WAAF prior to August 13th and simulcasts WEEI on 97.7 and 107.3.

      This would be a “pre-emptive strike” against a new FM sports outlet.

      Additionally, rock seems to be a dying format. Not long ago, Boston could support three strong rock outlets. Now, I don’t think it can support even one (Yes, I think even WFNX might flip within the next year or so).

      • Bruce

        That would certainly be ironic if they did that. Killing AAF in response to BCN being turned into a sports station – after bragging how AAF claimed victory with the events of yesterday.

  • sam

    this new station will no doubt rely on ad revenue from out of state glass replacement companies, donut shops with inferior breakfast sandwiches, mattress discounters, and ace hardware.

    i think i’ll stick with weei, thank you very much.

  • Joseph

    This weekend (September 12th-13th), there are rumors that WEEI wil indeed move very soon to FM, with ESPN Radio replacing it at 850 on the AM band.

    Much of this speculation suggests that WAAF/WKAF will indeed be flipped to the WEEI simulcast.

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