Thursday, February 17, 2005

Outta Left Field


Nationals To Z104, WFED - 2/17 - This just in. All night and evening Nationals baseball games will be heard on Bonneville's hot adult contemporary Z104 (104.1 FM/103.9 FM). All daytime games will be heard on Bonneville's federal news talker WFED (1050 AM). The announcement was made on Bonneville all-newser WTOP's airwaves at 4:04 PM Thursday by Joel Oxley, who heads Bonneville's DC radio cluster, which includes Z104, WFED, WTOP, and WGMS. This is a surprise because it was widely reported that the Nats' play-by-play finalists were Clear Channel's WTEM and Infinity's WJFK-FM. The games will be difficult to hear on the Baltimore area airwaves because of Clear Channel smooth jazzer WSMJ at 104.3, which is adjacent to Z104's 104.1 frequency. That full-powered signal, however, originates from southern Prince George's County, and has some weak coverage areas in DC's northern and western suburbs. Z104's 103.9 FM Frederick area outlet is relatively low-powered, as is WFED, which runs only 1,000-watts by day.....

UPDATE--Z 104's press release


  • This would seem less than optimal. They're BUYING TIME? (According to the Post article.) Does any other MLB team buy time in its home market?

    By Blogger Basil, at 2/17/2005 5:45 PM  

  • For radio, I don't imagine it's that uncommon--though that's just a guess.

    I do know that the Orioles contract to broadcast in DC was set up that way. But I don't know if you'd count that as a home market, prior to this year.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 2/17/2005 8:40 PM  

  • No, I wouldn't; that's why I phrased the question so. I broached the subject on Primer, and apparently at least two teams (Phils and DRays) are now buying time.

    By Blogger Basil, at 2/17/2005 9:47 PM  

  • If they buy time, who gets the advertising revenue?

    Anyway, I'm happy with the 104.1 choice. WJFK's weak signal is a non-starter. 104.1 comes in clear as a bell.

    By Blogger Brian, at 2/18/2005 9:35 AM  

  • The Nationals buy the full block of programming time. They keep all the advertising revenue, both in-game and mid-inning.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 2/18/2005 10:59 AM  

  • I didn't know radio did things like that. Baseball's kind of an infomercial then.

    So if the Nats wanted to promote the broadcast, do they have to buy ad time to promote the broadcasts on the station seperately?

    I can't see how this will help 104.1's core audience. The teeny-boppers that listen to the stations are going to tune out if they find baseball on there while they're cruising around in their parent's BMW.

    By Blogger Brian, at 2/18/2005 11:40 AM  

  • Not every team does it that way. And I'd suspect that the Nationals agreement next year won't work that way either. I think the timing of the situation, more than anything, forced their hand.

    I would assume that the payments they're giving the station for the broadcast team result in some in-kind contributions on 104, but also on the other Bonneville stations, such as WTOP--which will be worth the price. Combine that with the cross-promotional abilities, and they'll do ok.

    No, 104s core audience probably won't like it, but they'll probably have an increased audience for the games, some of whom might keep the station on even when the games aren't on.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 2/18/2005 11:45 AM  

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