Might The News Watch Come To A Stop??

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Bill Recto 10 months ago.

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    For decades, WINS-1010 and WCBS-880 have competed for the all-news audience in New York.

    The two stations do have major differences: WINS has a 20-minute news wheel, while WCBS has a 30-minute news wheel. There are some other differences in the way that the two stations present the news.

    When WINS owner Westinghouse bought CBS a little more than two decades ago, there was some speculation that one of those two stations would drop all-news. That didn’t happen.

    But now, with the Entercom/CBS radio merger, I’m wondering if the combined company (which unlike in some other cities, won’t have to divest itself of any stations in New York) will think that two all-news stations in New York is one all-news station too many.

    Since the combined CBS/Entercom won’t have to sell anything off in the Big Apple, they’ll be able to keep both stations. The question is will they decide to consolidate their two all-news stations into one, and if so, which station will remain all-news and which station will see a format change, and if so, to what.


    Bill Recto

    Umm I don’t think Entercom would kill off 1010 WINS all news because they have the higher ratings in NYC Proper.

    I remember WCBS-AM has higher revenue because of the suburb audience surrounding NYC. I doubt they flip for now though.

    The more crucial Entercom markets to look out for is San Francisco, Sacramento and Boston. They have to decide which stations they have to remove, sell, spin-off or send to trusts due to the fact that Entercom risks being over the limit in these cities. KDND Sacramento was just one station that Entercom decided to surrender to FCC for now to get the deal started. Others stations fate will be announced soon.



    Eric Jon Magnuson

    Both stations are fixtures on BIA/Kelsey’s annual list of the top 10 stations nationwide, in terms of revenue…


    As Bill alluded to, WINS’ focus is on NYC itself–while WCBS’ is on the broader region.

    I can see some long-term trends that would give Entercom (or whoever ended up owning the stations) second thoughts about maintaining both stations as separate, 24/7 operations.  Even then, though, the initial steps would likely involve something like play-by-play sports, rethinking fringe dayparts (e.g., overnights), and consolidating staff–not a wholesale abandonment of the format.



    There is one possibility that both stations could remain all-news:

    WINS-1010 would retain it’s 20-minute wheel, but WCBS-880, while maintaining a 30-minute news wheel, would also increase extended live coverage of breaking news and special events.

    Think of the way CNN and the old Headline News used to operate: Headline News had the news wheel (in their case, 30 minutes), while CNN often carried (and still does carry) extended live breaking news and special event coverage.

    This might be a way the two stations might better complement each other.


    Nathan Obral

    NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.

    WCBS and WINS are ratings powerhouses and are set up to reflect their signal strengths; WCBS targeting the suburbs, while WINS focuses on the core inner city.

    They have worked side-by-side for 22 years. This discussion is pure folly. Entercom is not going to upset the apple cart by changing anything in the short term.

    I’ll throw in another NO. to emphasize my point.

    Recorded in Ultra Stereo, the ultimately superior cousin to Normal Stereo!


    Bill Recto

    First of all Entercom is more worried about Sacramento, San Francisco, Boston, where their clusters are subjected to ownership caps by the FCC.

    Note Entercom surrendered the 107.9FM Sacramento license back to the FCC


    THe reason here was that KDND-FM was dealing with a scandal a decade ago where a contestant died over water intoxication and how the 2007 Entercom staff handled the scandal. This is the reason why you heard of Entercom sending the KDND License back to the FCC.


    Note 107.9 FM programming is moving to 106.5 Sacramento.

    As for San Francisco, Boston and other Entercom clusters in Sacramento the announcement for which other stations will get cut is pending.



    Highly unlikely that Entercom blows up one of the all news stations.  Much like the two FM sports stations in Boston, both bill a fortune.  You’re not going to consolidate both stations’ revenue on one and replace the other’s revenue with a new format.


    Bill Recto

    Eric Jon Magnuson

    In his primary newsletter this week, Mr. Fybush is concerned about whether Entercom will have the ability and/or desire to run the various News stations for the long haul; see https://www.fybush.com/nerw-20170206, under “Is Entercom up to the all-news challenge?”



    Bill Recto

    Bill Recto


    Here is an update

    CBS Corp. has begun its separation from CBS Radio with an exchange offer that will ultimately allow the CBS radio group to become a major component in publicly traded Entercom Communications Corp. Under the exchange offer, holders will receive the right to exchange all or a portion of shares of outstanding CBS Class B common stock, par value $0.001, for shares of Radio Common Stock. In the Merger, each outstanding share of Radio Common Stock will be converted into the right to receive an equal number of shares of Entercom Class A common stock.

    In a filing with the SEC, CBS said it had decided to pursue the exchange offer in order to facilitate the separation of CBS’s radio business from CBS’s other mass media businesses in a tax-efficient manner, that better positions CBS to focus on its core remaining businesses.

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