CBS Radio's Dan Mason Talks About Why WBBM Added FM Simulcast
September 20, 2011 at 3:51 AM (PT)
In an interview with TIME OUT CHICAGO's ROBERT FEDER, CBS RADIO Pres./CEO DAN MASON explained his company's reasoning behind converting AC WCFS (FRESH 105.9)/CHICAGO to a simulcast of News WBBM-A, saying that while he was concerned about losing the revenue the FM was generating as a separate station, CBS' success with News KCBS-A/SAN FRANCISCO's FM simulcast and a prediction by CHICAGO Market Manager ROD ZIMMERMAN that the WBBM simulcast would be the nation's top biller by 2013.
"In the case of FRESH, we thought that it was well programmed and could compete in this female market," MASON told FEDER. "But it would have required more time and energy, so we decided at that point, OK, we'll go ahead and bite the bullet on the value of the FM, simulcast 'BBM, and hope for the best. And I think you'll see, if our track record in SAN FRANCISCO repeats itself, that we'll be successful there."
MASON added that he didn't think acting earlier would have prevented MERLIN MEDIA from launching its own FM News format on crosstown WWWN (FM NEWS 101.1), adding, "The FM band is big enough for different forms of Talk. Not only these folks but others could say, 'You know, we want to do news differently,' whether we were there or not. It very well may be that you'll see a lot more forms of News and Talk on the FM dial going forward. There's not a lot there right now because music stations dominate the FM dial."
Read the full interview by clicking here.