Sports Radio Boston – Bruins & Patriots Fans Dial in the AM/FM Confusion

Boston fans get acclimated to 98.5

Dave Morrison is a broadcaster, blogger and sometimes movie extra. Dave has worked at such stations as WCAP in Lowell, MA and New Hampshire Public Radio. He can be reached at jdavid.morrison@yahoo.com.

Article Courtesy of: Boston Radio Examiner and Dave Morrison

Listen to the Pats this football season – “Lets take a time on the Patriots 98.5 Sports Hub radio network.”

It sounds like a mouthful for the longtime voice for the New England Patriots, Gil Santos. But, for loyal fans of the team, the recent switchover from 104.1 WBCN-FM to 98.5 (WBZ-FM) could possibly leave many in the dark as far as where to tune in.

Sports Radio Boston - AM FMLast month, after years of declining ratings, WBCN, or “The Rock of Boston,” announced that they would be signing off, while Mix 98.5 (WBMX-FM) took over WBCN’s frequency at 104.1, as 98.5 became known as “The Sports Hub.” In addition to the Patriots, the new sports hub also announced that they’ve added the Boston Bruins to their lineup. Up until this past season, the Bruins, were most notably heard on the sports hub’s sister station, WBZ 1030 AM.

Confusing? One could make that assessment. But what else remains unclear is the assumption that having the Patriots and Bruins on one station, will automatically prove to be a winner in the ratings. But legacy sports station WEEI 850 AM, which carries both the Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics dropped to a 3.7 rating in July, down from 5.1 back in May, according to arbitron.com.

So, for now, it’s really hard to say if having two of the areas most popular teams on one station will automatically mean success. But in fact, a month after one of the most elaborate frequency (and format) switchover’s in Boston radio history, fans will most likely still be left befuddled. Someone who normally tunes into 104.1 FM to hear Toucher and Rich (now on 98.5) and Patriots football, will still be trying to get used to the concept of hearing Kelly Clarkson on that station.

And while the reality of 104.1 going all Top 40, is sacrilege to some, others might argue that the switchover was a necessity. With the lineup of Toucher and Rich, Gary Tanguay, Scott Zolak, and Tony Massarotti, there are those in Boston radio who are banking on the new 98.5 being at hit. Given the most recent success of teams like the Patriots and Bruins, it almost seems like a no brainer to have both teams on that one station. And with the acquisition of Toucher and Rich from WBCN, one would think that this would be a win-win for the sports hub.

Yet, in a town that is already saturated in sports talk, only time (and next month’s arbitron ratings) will tell if this new venture into FM jock talk is a slam dunk, or just pure overkill.

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