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iHeart Makes Talk 1430 Official As Rush Limbaugh’s New Boston Home

Talk 1430 Rush Limbaugh Sean Hannity Glenn Beck 680 WRKO Mia WKOX Everett BostoniHeartMedia has announced that “Talk 1430” WKOX will debut at 12pm on Monday, June 29.

The new station will feature a combination of Premiere Radio Network’s Conservative Talk and Fox Sports Radio programming. The station will air Fox Sports Daybreak from 6-9am, followed by the triumverate of Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity. America Now, Mark Levin, and Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis will follow in evenings.

iHeartMedia Boston announced today the launch of TALK 1430 WKOX, effective June 29, 2015. WKOX will feature an all-new programming lineup of America’s top talk radio personalities, including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Mark Levin, with FOX Sports Radio programming during overnights. The new format will debut at noon on June 29 with The Rush Limbaugh Show, the most-listened-to Talk radio program in the U.S.

Below is WKOX’s new weekday programming schedule:

FOX Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman & Mike North – 6 – 9 a.m.
The Glenn Beck Program – 9 – noon
The Rush Limbaugh Show – noon – 3 p.m.
The Sean Hannity Show – 3 – 6 p.m.
America Now – 6 – 9 p.m.
The Mark Levin Show – 9 p.m. – midnight
Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis – midnight – 1 a.m.
The Jason Smith Show – 1 – 2 a.m.
The Ben Maller Show – 2 – 6 a.m.

“We are excited to bring this powerful lineup of Talk show hosts to our cluster here in Boston,” said Alan Chartrand, Market President, iHeartMedia Boston. “We are confident that the biggest names in the talk radio format will serve our listeners and advertisers well.”

“We are proud to have the best talkers in the business back home at iHeartMedia Boston,” said Dylan Sprague, Senior Vice President Programming, iHeartMedia Boston.

iHeartMedia Boston has a strong cross-platform presence and TALK 1430 WKOX joins a number of iconic brands and franchises — both broadcast and digital — including 94.5 WJMN-FM, 101.7 WBWL-FM, 101.7 WXKS-HD, Kiss 108/WXKS-FM and 1200 WXKS-AM — and produces legendary marquee events including Kiss 108’s Jingle Ball, JAM’N 94.5’s Summer Jam, Kiss 108’s KISS Concert and JAM’N 94.5’s Monster Jam. iHeartMedia is a leading media outlet in the Boston market and its programming and content are available across multiple platforms, including its broadcast stations; online via its branded digital sites; mobile; and social, with nationwide listening through iHeartRadio, the all-in-one streaming music and live radio service with its more than 600 million downloads, nearly 80 million social media followers and 87 million digital uniques across the Network.

Original Report 6/14: Just as it had to place Rush Limbaugh on their Indianapolis Sports Talker to retain his presence in the market, iHeartMedia appears to be making the same move in Boston.

Based on the domain registration of Talk1430.com, iHeart will soon dump the Spanish Variety “Mia 1430” programming on WKOX Everett in order to enable Rush to hold an affiliate in market #10. WKOX is currently one of three Spanish language music station in the Boston market, but the only one subscribing to Nielsen Audio. It registered a 0.6 share in the May 2015 PPM ratings.

WKOX is iHeartMedia’s weakest station in its Boston cluster. It operates with 5kW daytime and 1kW directional at night. While iHeart does have fellow affiliates 580 WTAG Worcester, 610 WGIR Manchester NH, 920 WHJJ Providence RI, and 95.1 WXTK Hyannis/Cape Cod circling the Boston metro, none of those signals will do much to help WKOX’s deficiencies in the market itself.

Just like moves in recent years in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Indianapolis, iHeart would merely be placing Limbaugh and fellow Conservative Talkers on WKOX to ensure distribution in a top market for national sales purposes. With the lack of options for gaining syndication revenue from another broadcaster, dumping the extraneous 1430 format becomes the only clear option for the company.

We expect to hear an official announcement and start date for Rush on WKOX shortly, as well as end date on Entercom’s 680 WRKO.

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.

24 Comments

  1. Profile photo of only1moore


    The good news: Rush finds a new home for his show

    The bad news: Will listeners find the station?

  2. Profile photo of aaronread


    So is it safe to assume they’ll air Rush live from 12n to 3pm? Given 1430’s gawdawful nighttime pattern/signal, I would think they’d have to. The daytime signal isn’t TOO bad, though. It’s nowhere near as good as WRKO, of course, but it covers the core market (inside Rt.128) fairly well.

    The bigger problem is that it’s rather sad that IHM has to blow up an entire signal, even an underperforming one, just to provide a Market #10 clearance for one show…and a show that has historically done poorly in Boston for a long time, no less.

  3. Profile photo of Bob Bittner


    1430’s night signal truly IS dismal. 1kw beaming SE, E, NE, N; on a very noisy frequency. 1430 should rent 1470’s after-sunset signal, which is 3kw directional right in to Boston. And perhaps Lowell’s 980 frequency at night, too, to cover the northwest.

  4. Profile photo of raccoonradio


    Tried 1430 tonite in Danvers, yup, shaky–despite as you say, beaming N and NE but Rush etc is by day.They can say to advertisers they’re on here though you can try several other affils if 1430 won’t work for you (Manch, Worc., Prov., Cape)

    980 often has Lowell Spinners

  5. Profile photo of Bob Bittner


    1430 only covers about 10% of the market at night, with very little of their signal in downtown Boston. But, as you say, it’s apparently enough in this day and age of truth not important, to “clear” the Boston market.

  6. Profile photo of Nathan Obral


    Don’t be surprised to see iHeart run WKOX with minimal investment of any sort, and zero promotional budget. They clearly don’t want to do this, but that $1.5M affiliate fee has to be paid somehow.

    It’s only going to be for one year until Rush’s cement shoe of a contract runs out (and mercifully so from iHeart’s perspective).

  7. Profile photo of raccoonradio


    “Cheap Channel” put AIr America on 1200 and 1430 from Oct of 04 till Dec of 06. They did very limited promotion and had no _daily_ local show. Jeff Santos was on Sunday afternoons…not sure if he was paid, or paid for the time; he would later emerge at 1510 buying time to run progressive talk. By March of 2010, Cheap Channel put “Rush Radio”, later “Talk 1200” on –and did have two local hosts, Jeff Katz in the morning and Jay Severin in the afternoon. It didn’t catch on, though. Signal problems even though 1200 had been beefed up, as Scott mentions in the new North East Radio Watch at fybush.com. It wasn’t an established signal like WRKO at 680. And yes Rush will be given a lowball offer, if an offer at all, from Premiere–and I joked that maybe he’d have to get by on only $40M per year not $50M (which was basically what he got between salary and signing bonus back in ’08).

    Most of the talk listening is by day–and for those who want local talk at night, there IS WBZ, Earlier sunsets will definitely hurt them. (For those wondering if WRKO would ever simulcast on an FM, and I don’t mean via HD which hey do, 680 has a pretty good signal by day, and post-Howie the listening audience drops anyway–they concentrate on the day hours…so no need to simulcast on FM for syndie shows.

  8. Profile photo of Peter Q. George


    Let’s face it. Rush Limbaugh’s (so-called) “EIB Network” station line-up (and audience), is getting slowly but surely being relegated to the “has been” stations that simply cannot not deliver the signal strength (and the younger audience, for that matter). WKOX (ex WHIL, WXKS et.al.) doesn’t have the signal strength of a WRKO or any of the other 50 kilowatters in the market. The people at WMEX knew what they were talking about and I’m sure that they are relieved that they do not have to put this guy on their air, considering the costs involved and the inability for his show to provide a decent ROI. Rush’s time in the sun is beginning to “set into the sunset”.

  9. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    My guess is that Rush’s final show on WRKO-680 will be Friday, June 26th.

    However, June 29th might be a bad time to launch “Talk 1430”, given that most (if not all) of the syndicated shows on it’s 24/7 syndicated lineup will be running “best-ofs” that week (June 29th-July 3rd) and the following week (July 6th010th), since virtually all nationally-syndicated hosts will probably be on vacation those two weeks.

    I say “probably because if the Supreme Court’s expected decision on same-sex marriage comes down on June 29th or 30th, those hosts may defer the start of their vacations to be live the day the decision is announced to react to it.

  10. Profile photo of radioperson


    They are not fooling anyone with this nonsense.

    1430’s (licensed to Everett, not Boston) day signal barely makes it to the inner ring ‘burbs, and the night signal is so bad that you can’t hear it in parts of the city proper at night. They tried Rush on a 50KW day/night on 1200 (“Rush Radio”) and the ratings collapsed. They certainly don’t think placing him on a high-frequency 5Kw/1Kw is going to create any ratings. This is done simply to protect the clearance in an important, Top 10 market. Sort of like making a record and your Dad buying all the copies. Rush must know that the sun is setting.

  11. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    This afternoon (June 15th) at 4:30 P.M. EDT, I noticed that what was the Mia1430 homepage now has the press release from iHeart noting the new format.

  12. Profile photo of only1moore


    One gets the feeling that the folks at iHeartMedia/Boston will solve that problem by making one of their FM HD2s a simulcast of WKOX.

  13. Profile photo of Beachguy


    With no promotional budget (typical of iHurtRadio) it will die.

  14. Profile photo of Jeff Lehmann


    If Rush fans thought the 1200 signal was bad, they’re really going to see what a bad signal is like with 1430. Bloomberg must really be paying them a lot for leasing 1200, or they probably would’ve given it another shot there. The only format that could possibly get numbers on 1439 is their longtime format, WW1 Adult Standards.

  15. Profile photo of bill1820


    I see trouble for WMEX. Even though 1510’s signal is better than 1430’s, WMEX doesn’t have the established talkers to match Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin. If signal is a problem, people will use either internet or a mobile app.

    • Profile photo of Bongwater


      They’re going to be using that eventually once his contract with iFartMedia is up, as it’s likely Rush will have to self-syndicate online as a subscription thing (it’s not like he’s going to GIVE his program away for free.)

  16. Profile photo of Scott Fybush


    Nathan, you should go back and reread what Darryl Parks wrote. It’s not a “$1.5 million affiliate fee.” It’s not a “$1.5 million” anything. Parks claims (and I believe him) that WRKO was paying a $500,000 cash fee to carry Limbaugh. The other $700,000 or so was the value of the barter inventory WRKO gave up during Rush’s noon-3 slot and his morning minute.

    WKOX *might* still be sending $500,000 in cash back to the mothership in fees (out of one pocket, into the other), but the value of the barter inventory it will be giving up will be far less than $700k. Far, far, FAR less than $700k.

    Take it all the way down to the bottom line and the result is that instead of $1.2 million coming from outside into iHeart/CC/Premiere’s pockets each year, there will be…um…not much at all. The affiliation fee, as noted, moves from one line on the iHeart ledger to another. What will 1430 bring in in ad sales each year? I’d guess rather less than $700k, and that’s not even figuring in the loss of whatever revenue Mia was contributing.

    It’s not pretty.

    • Profile photo of Nathan Obral


      You’re right, I goofed up the math and misinterpreted Darryl’s estimates. Mea culpa.

      I have no idea how little revenue WKOX will make, if any. If that sorry lineup is any indication, probably nothing.

  17. Profile photo of coughitup


    Well, it looks like Mia 1430 is going the way of the horse and buggy! I hope that they’ll blow the Bull up at 101.7 and put the Mia station there. Or how about as an HD 3 station on 94.5 or 107.9?

  18. Profile photo of Dr. Akbar


    As Limbaugh’s star descends, the Nurse and I remember his ascension and the numerous “Rush rooms” around the country where eateries would play El Rushbo on their sound system while ditto heads commiserated. Repeal of the Fairness Doctrine opened the door for Rush and other conservative talkers to gain a national audience. For Limbaugh, It’s been a hell of a ride for him, and his stations, for almost 30 years now. A far cry from the days of Dan’s bake sale and the Rush To Excellence tours. While the recent station downgrading in numerous markets may not be the end of the line, you can see it from here.

  19. Profile photo of K.M. Richards


    Adios, amigos. Señor Rush no se habla español.

  20. Profile photo of raccoonradio


    The Bull has more listeners in cume than WFNX did and seems to be doing OK, so let’s dump the format and cater to a much smaller niche audience, eh? An HD subchannel probably more likely. (I would also think WBWL has a lot more listeners than they had with “Evolution”…)

  21. Profile photo of bill1820


    from Media Matters…
    “The station, WKOX, is the type of “bottom-rung” affiliate that Limbaugh was rarely associated with during his halcyon days as the king of talk radio.”
    http://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2015/06/17/rush-limbaugh-demoted-to-another-irrelevant-rat/204028

    • Profile photo of anonymouscoward


      Maybe its because of my pie in the sky optimism but I’m kind of wondering why IHeart never tried to target the towns WKOX’s signal actually covers?

      Maybe have a local morning show and an evening show targeting the towns it actually covers while running the rest of the time syndicated programming or brokered.

      Heck of WMKI went for half a million how much could WKOX go for?

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