Thursday, December 9, 2010

Boston In No Rush For WXKS-AM

Boston’s new conservative talk radio station 1200-WXKS-AM boasts a heavyweight lineup of right-wing yakkers - Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh - but it’s tanking in the ratings battle after nine months on the air.

But, as Jessica Heslam writes at, the latest radio ratings put WXKS - better known as “Rush Radio” - in 45th place in November with a mere 0.2 share of the key 25- to 54-year-old listener demographic.

The Clear Channel-owned station fared better last November when it was still playing Spanish music, coming in at 34th place with a 0.4 share.

WXKS program director Bill George defended the talk station, saying it’s going to take time to build up listenership.

“We fully expected that it would take some time to build an audience in a very competitive talk landscape,” said George. “We have seen spikes and drops, but we are very confident in the lineup and the long-term success of the radio station.”

The station flipped to a news talk format in March, stealing the syndicated Limbaugh from rival WRKO-AM (680) and tapping former ’RKO host Jeff Katz to helm its morning drive-show.

Read more here.

Boston's Talk Playing Field (PPM 6+)

WBZ-AM     7.0   7.3   7.0
WBUR-FM  3.5   3.3   4.0
WTKK          2.7   3.1    3.7
WRKO         2.5   2.6    2.8
WGBH         1.0   1.1    1.5
WXKS-AM  0.7   0.7    0.7
WILD           0.5   0.4    0.3
Tom's Take:  With a rich heritage of local talkers in Boston, it would appear WXKS just isn't connecting. Is it because of content, signal, lack of market visibility/marketing?  Probably all of the above.  However, WXKS provides a Top 10 clearance for Premiere radio's line-up.  I doubt anyone at Clear Channel really cares much about the ratings (except perhaps the local PD).

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