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Comedy 1200 Debuts In Boston

Matty's Comedy 1200 Matty Siegel Boston Talk Jeff Katz Jay Severin Rush LimbaughUpdate 8/13: As we stated previously, Clear Channel used the new integration with 24/7 Comedy to debut “Matty’s Comedy 1200” at 8:30am following a “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT” during the morning show of “Kiss 108“.

Using the market leading stature of Kiss and morning host Matty Siegel to give attention to the new format, Siegel and comedian Lenny Clarke (another Boston fixture) introduced the new format on both stations. Imaging on Comedy 1200 uses Siegel to give a face to the new brand. Listen to the launch of Comedy 1200 at FormatChange.com.

Update 8/12: Add a few more domains for 1200 that give a clearer picture on the integration the new format will have in the cluster: MattyComedy1200.com, MattysComedy1200.com, and MattsComedy1200.com. Matty would be Matty Siegel, the longtime morning host at sister CHR “Kiss 108” WXKS-FM who just happens to be promoting a “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT” on Monday at 8:30am.

Original Report 8/10: Following Monday’s purge of programming at Clear Channel’s “Talk 1200” WXKS Boston, the station dropped its format completely today.

Now stunting as “Gaffe 1200“, the station is running clips of bloopers from political speeches and newscasts. Gaffe1200.com and a second domain Comedy1200.com were registered today and redirect to the station’s site.

The Comedy format as produced by 24/7 Comedy has produced good ratings on translators in Austin and Kansas City and AM’s in Norfolk and Raleigh among others. The network was independently owned and distributed by Cumulus Media, however its web properties were transferred to Clear Channel’s Premiere Radio Networks today. We are awaiting word on the ownership status.

Also in Boston, Liberal Talker 1510 WWZN has replaced much of its brokered programming with Yahoo! Sports Radio. The domain 1510nbcsportsradioboston.com was registered by the management of the station on August 3. The NBC Sports Radio Network is due to launch on September 4. Will WWZN be one of the inaugural stations for the network?

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.

8 Comments

  1. Profile photo of MattParker


    1200 was progressive talk previously. Bain Capital controls Clear Channel and it apparently doesn’t want progressive talk in its home market. They killed progressive talk to make room for Rush on a weak stick. Now, comedy?
    Oh, goodie. Another canned, syndicated sports talk network. How many is this now (in English and Spanish) in addition to local-live sports talk? Some guy runs progressive talk on his hobby station and he fails, so radio suits blame the format they want to fail for failing.

    • Profile photo of Lance Venta


      This has nothing to do with Bain or the type of Talk format they previously ran.

      1200 was losing money so its being flipped to something that Clear Channel can run cheap and get decent revenue out of.

  2. Profile photo of MattParker


    Lance, I know that’s the argument the powers that be have long made. Sorry, I just don’t buy it. Their VP of news-talk operations has publicly declared himself the “grim reaper of progressive talk.” They put progressive talk on some non-performing stations to head off restoration of the fairness doctrine. When that threat eased, they killed the format on stations where it was doing well – better in fact than the formats before or after (such as San Diego). Public outcry forced Clear Channel to keep progressive talk in Madison after they announced they planned to kill it. Syndicated progressive talk can be run as cheaply as syndicated comedy. Clear Channel has not given their progressive talk stations dedicated sales reps; instead they use people who have been selling right-wing talk to clients who buy right-wing talk and expect those reps to sell progressive talk to those clients. Consciously or not, they set up progressive talk to fail.

    • Profile photo of Lance Venta


      The audience for Progressive Talk is not identical to Conservative Talk in terms of how they use radio. Using Boston as an example, the two NPR affiliates WBUR and WGBH combine for a 5 share overall. What kind of success would an AM have up against not one but TWO strong News/Talkers on FM plus WBZ for that audience in Boston?


    • And mind you, WBUR, WGBH, WRKO, WTKK and WBZ all have been so well-established in the market for so long, that any upstart would have had to 1) be majority-local with personalities that people identify with and 2) either have a massive AM signal that covers the whole market (which 1200 doesn’t) or a good FM signal (neither of the pre-existing FMs in the CC cluster were available, and 101.7 doesn’t cover the whole metro).

      1200 was doomed almost from the get-go. Yeah, a star syndicated personality in Rush would help if you were in a smaller market, or one that isn’t as fiercely loyal as Boston. He’s a cog to WRKO’s overall operation, but cannot operate as the star attraction.

      I honestly think that, unless this all-comedy format isn’t a stunt, 1200 is going to go with CC’s Premium Choice “Cool Oldies” format. Perhaps under the “KISS AM” banner. But nothing spectacular.

      • Profile photo of Lance Venta


        Why would the Comedy format that hasn’t debuted yet be a stunt? The current Gaffe is the stunt bridging Political Talk into the Comedy format. Clear Channel is going all-in with Comedy as you can see from my other post today.


  3. So where are Jeff katz, Glenn Beck, Jay Severin, and “The Great One” Mark Levin going to go in the Boston radio market area??

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