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Clear Channel To Modify Three Signals To Upgrade 101.7 Boston

101.7 The Bull WBWL Lynn Boston B101 B101.5 WWBB Providence Cool 102 101.9 WCIB Falmouth Cape CodClear Channel has applied to downgrade a pair of signals in New England to upgrade one in Boston.

As first outlined by Northeast Radio Watch, Country “101.7 The Bull” WBWL Lynn/Boston will remain at its current location at One Financial Center in Boston with 1.7kW at 191 meters, but convert to a non-directional antenna to increase its coverage of the southern suburbs of Boston (Coverage Map).

To make the upgrade of WBWL happen, two stations will make significant downgrades. Classic Hits “B101” 101.5 WWBB Providence will drop from a Class B with 13.5kW at 290 meters to a directional Class A with 4.9kW at 110 meters from the tower of sister News/Talk 920 WHJJ (Coverage Map).

On Cape Cod, soon to be acquired Classic Hits “Cool 102” 101.9 WCIB Falmouth will remain a Class B from its current site, but downgrade from 50kw at 146 meters to 13kW at 145 meters with a directional notch away from Boston (Coverage Map).

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

13 Comments

  1. Profile photo of BC


    definitely a smart strategy and even if from a national standpoint, they are really investing in the format and making sure it can be heard. the ratings were actually pretty good this month, so it only makes sense, and they provide younger leaning competitors in some markets.

  2. Profile photo of jimh


    So they make a massive cutback in the signals of 2 stations in 2 nearby markets, in order to get a slightly better signal in parts of Boston’s metro. Be interesting to see if the ad dollars lost in RI and on the Cape make up for the dollars possibly gained in Boston.

    • Profile photo of Lance Venta


      Considering the two stations will still serve the primary portions of their metros any loss should be minimal. Most of the loss will be in areas that are not core to their sales.

  3. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    Might Clear Channel even decide to launch a “trimulcast” of WBWL-101.7, WWBB-101.5, and WCIB-101.9 with the three stations all carrying the same (syndicated) programming but separate commercials??

    • Profile photo of Nathan Obral


      No.

    • Profile photo of raccoonradio


      Yes I also doubt they would change formats of 101.5 and 101.9 to a “trimulcast” of the Bull.
      Going by radio-locator, typing in Providence, I see that the competition in country music is WKLB Waltham, 34.9 mi away,
      and WCTK New Bedford, 29.4 mi away (doesn’t WCTK do really well in the ratings?) WWBB is defined as Classic Hits. I don’t think they’ll change.

      For Cape Cod, using Falmouth (where WCIB is) on radio-locator,the country competition is via WKPE S. Yarmouth, 23.6 miles away, Would they try to challenge them via a “Bull” trimulcast, or stay classic hits? I’d say they stay classic hits.

      • Profile photo of Nathan Obral


        The other reason is, as Lance has pointed out, while CC is centralizing programming on the Premium Choice platform, they aren’t interested in making them as national feeds outright, with local ad op-outs. The technology exists, but they don’t want to use it for whatever reason. Maybe to keep the illusion of individuality between the stations alive.

        It’s a worst-of-both-worlds scenario, where the previous identity of the station is kept but supplanted with bland voice tracking and uneven clearances of syndicated programming.

        By that ALONE, any talk about direct simulcasts of programming on signals not unlike what Joseph proposes is DOA.

  4. Profile photo of Christian


    Isn’t 13kW/145m close to a B1?

    • Profile photo of rickb


      At 145m a B1 would be allowed to run 12kW per the FCC’s calculator, so that’s close to a B1 indeed.

  5. Profile photo of JoJo Morales


    Ok, I’m not an engineer. But indulge me here.

    It seems to me to be little preventing a frequency and class swap of 101.5 to Lynn and 101.7 to Boston, with the possible exception of 101.9 Falmouth. Coudn’t this be accomplished by downgrading 101.9 or applying to move it further from Providence? Is there an IF issue preventing this? The desired end result being 101.5 B Lynn, 101.7 A providence and 101.9 A Falmouth or wherever it could be moved to get it out of the way. CCME made a similar move in Jacksonville, moving a highly rated A at 92.7 completely (and far) out of the market in order to fully upgrade their 93.3 signal. It also allowed a 92.5 from Folkson, GA to move in at 92.5 as an A, resulting in a net loss of no signals serving the market. The one concession CCME made to get the FCC nod on these moves was to change the COL of one of their Jacksonville licensed stations to Green Cove Prongs, which was the COL of the 92.7 facility which was moved out of the market.

    Just wondering. experts, please weigh in. 🙂

  6. Profile photo of JoJo Morales


    Please forgive the hilarious typos. For whatever reason, I’m not able to edi my previous posts. I meant Green Cover Springs, of course. 🙂

  7. Profile photo of JoJo Morales


    Geez, another typo. I mean to say 101.7 a to Providence, not Boston.

  8. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    I’m not sure that Boston can support multiple country-music stations, and that WBWL-101.7 might not be able to make further headway against WKLB-102.5.

    Instead of going to country, what Clear Channel should have done was to flip 101.7 to Spanish-language programming.

    Were it to move to a Class B allocation on 101.5 (and with 101.7 as a Class A re-allocated to Providence), such a station would not only have a strong signal in Boston, but also north to Lawrence, Massachusetts (which has a Hispanic majority) and out west to Worcester (which will likely be majority-Hispanic in the next few years if it isn’t already).

    Even with it’s current 101.7 signal, the station in my opinion would have been far more successful as a Spanish-language outlet than with country-music.

    But with syndicated shows running around-the-clock (except for the hours of 10 A.M.-7 P.M., and those hours will be voicetracked), WBWL is cheap to run, so it might make a decent profit even if it’s popularity stalls where it is now.

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