HISTORY OF WJIB-740
What is now WJIB started broadcasting in 1948 from its present site at 443 Concord Avenue, Cambridge Mass, as WTAO, set up by Frank Lyman, whose descendants still own the WJIB studio and transmitter site, where WJIB rents the space there it uses.. Five more sets of call letters have been assigned to the 740 frequency since then: WXHR, WCAS, WLVG, WWEA, and on August 4, 1992, it became WJIB under Bob Bittner's new ownership. Strangely, 740 was co-owned the company that owned WXHR-FM (later becoming WJIB-FM 96.9) back in the 1960's.
Some of the famous formats of 740 were: as WCAS, a progressive folk music format appealing to the left-leaning academic community of Cambridge. And there was Gospel music on 740 for about 10 years as WLVG (We LoVe Gospel). Prior to the Gospel music format, the station went into bankruptcy in the early ‘80's. This became one of the longest (8+ years) bankruptcy court cases in history. By 1991, with most parties wearing out after hostile fighting over the station, newcomer Bob Bittner came out
victorious in the July 1, 1991 U.S.Bankruptcy Court date with the highest bid, barely squeaking over the second-highest bid. It was all over in 30 minutes.
In 1992, Bob made the change to instrumental-rich WJIB, largely patterned after the abandoned (October 1989) "beautiful music" formatted WJIB-FM 96.9. Since 1992, WJIB has gradually moved into the direction of "Adult Standards" music... meaning that the instrumentals are the minority and the vocals are the majority, just the opposite of 1992. The biggest move towards more vocals was in 2003.
WJIB uses a 280'-high transmitter tower located at its studios at 443 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA; in a small courtyard area of the same building as the dominant "Cambridge Self-Storage" business. While most of the city-block-sized building is used for self-storage, WJIB's office/studio takes up a small amount of space there. Location is just east of Fresh Pond Circle on the western end of Cambridge. The tower is easily visible from anywhere at Fresh Pond Circle
WJIB's output power in the daytime is ONLY 250 watts, which is the lowest amount of daytime power authorized (in most cases) by the F.C.C. If you think THAT is low power, then the meager 5 watts at nighttime is really tiny! But for 5 little watts, the signal gets out pretty well. (See "Signal Strength At Night" elsewhere here).
Interference often occurs from 50,000-watt station CFZM in Toronto (formerly CBL airing CBC News), also broadcasting on 740 (Identified only as "AM 740"). CBL was there on 740 first (1920's), therefore WJIB has to do low power at night by international agreement). Coincidentally, CFZM, also does a music format, where many of the songs played on WJIB are also played on CFZM.
The reason that WJIB can only have 250 watts of power in the daytime is because it is a newer station, and therefore must "protect" other stations on same or adjacent frequencies. WJIB cannot increase power because it is shoe-horned in on the radio dial. The FCC has technical rules on how much of a signal any station can have without getting too close to other close-by-on-the-dial stations. If WJIB were to increase daytime power, it would interfere with WACE-730 Chicopee to the west, WJTO-730 Bath Maine to the north, WNYH-740 Huntington Long Island to the south (WNYH's 25,000 daytime watts send a somewhat weak signal to the southern shore of Cape Cod) and WVNE-760 Worcester to the west. If you were to drive north on I-95 around Rowley, you will start hearing WJTO (Bath Maine) starting to take over WJIB-740. If you were to drive west on I-90 around the eastern side of Worcester, you'll hear WVNE-760 starting to overtake WJIB-740.
WJIB Tower Site: N 42-23-13 W 071-08-21 NAD27
FCC Facility ID 6146.
Tower Registration #: 1009551.
Transmitters: Nautel Amphet 400. At 250 watts days, and 5 watts nights,
Made in Bangor, Maine at Nautel-Maine, Inc.
Backup: LPB30 made by Low-Power Broadcasting, Inc., of Pennsylvania.
WJIB has one back-up transmitter of each type; a total of 4.
Tower: Self-supporting 280' structure, mounted on four 5'-high pilings, having a steel core penetrating 20+' into the ground.
WHAT IS WJIB-740's DAYTIME COVERAGE AREA?
A strong signal is heard in most areas inside Route 128, the circular route around Boston; about 15 miles in all directions from Cambridge/Boston. Exceptions are inside steel buildings and tunnels. A weaker, but listenable signal extends another 15 miles in all directions. Areas with "water-paths" to Boston have good reception too, such as the northern and western sides of Cape Cod, northern Barnstable to Wellfleet to Provincetown on the north shore, and believe it or not, on the southwestern shores of Nova Scotia Canada, over 300 miles away. WJIB's daytime coverage area covers about 3,000,000 people, with different degrees of signal-strength.
WHAT IS WJIB-740's NIGHTIME COVERAGE AREA?
Right after sunset, WJIB can usually be heard inside Route 128. But as the night moves on, about 2 hours after sunset, the signal strength weakens to good reception only about 5 miles in all directions from the western part of Cambridge. This usually includes parts of downtown Boston. Nighttime coverage, about 1,000,000 people.
WJIB's PROGRAM SCHEDULE:
"24/7" adult-standards music, excepting for a 3-hour period on Sunday mornings where WJIB airs some church broadcasts that have been on the station since the 1980's, along with one or two public affairs discussion programs. In addition, there is an occasionally-aired program "Let's Talk About Radio". When its aired, its usually at 10:00 AM on a Sunday morning.
Presently, in the deep nighttime, WJIB airs mostly soft easy-listening instrumental music from 12 midnight to 5 AM. The purpose of this is actually help folks fall asleep; including elderly folks who have medical conditions that keep them from sleeping. The nice sounds of WJIB at night create a splendid environment of peacefulness.
WJIB is "LISTENER-SUPPORTED". AND THE REASONS WHY THAT WAS NECESSARY
WJIB has since early 2007 operated with a "listener-supported" model, where the station asks for contributions from its listeners. 2007's goal was $88,000.00 total, which was the exact anticipated operating expense amount for the year, with none of that money going to the owner of the station. Any contribution is NOT tax-deductible, as the station is a FOR-profit corporation. (Checks for any amount have been welcome, and were made out to "WJIB", and sent to WJIB - 443 Concord Avenue - Cambridge MA 02138).
The first announcement for fund-raising hit the WJIB airwaves on
March 13th 2007, and the goal was reached on April 25th, about 6 weeks later. Therefore all fund-raising announcements on the air ceased then, and did not return until the same time in 2008. 2008's goal was $82,000.00, but it took a lot longer to collect that amount from listeners... 12 weeks. Fund-raising started again on Jan 4, 2009.
There are 3 reasons why WJIB became to be in a pickle, in January 2007.....
1) - Music licensing fees (the fees the station must pay to play the music to its audience) were only about $6,000.00 annually up to 2006. Then, a new industry-wide formula was installed (see separate section later for that), which jettisoned WJIB's fees to a whopping $33,000.00 in 2007. Now, in 2009, those fees have risen even more... to over $40,000.00.
2) - WJIB no longer has non-music programming that paid WJIB for the time. (You may remember that there was no music weekdays 7 to 9 AM prior to 2006).
3) - Rent for the land where the transmitting tower is was raised by 9% in March 2007, then a similar increase in Feb 2008..
There were/are other options for WJIB to make money. They are:
1) - To sell block time just like WJIB did in the 16 previous years. Yes, Bob could have placed such on WJIB (quite often non-English-speaking programming), but with the growing popularity of the music on the station so valuable to the elderly population, Bob didn't want to consider this an option. It would be hard to tell people that the music is on "sometimes".
2) - Another option.... Air those hour-long vitamin shows and investor shows. Not the image of WJIB, even though it would be very easy money for the station, and lots of it.
3) - Change the entire station to something that advertisers like, dropping the music format totally. Oh, that's painful just to think about it.
4) - Actually do what most other stations do: sell local advertising! Well, Bob is not a salesman anymore, and even if he was, there would be no time for such. Bob also sympathizes with the small business owner who gets bombarded by at least 5 salespeople per day. He didn't want to be #6.
There was only one option left; to go ‘listener-supported'. That turned out very well so far in 2007 and 2008.. Bob was not sure it would work.
Both the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald picked up this listener-support story in late March 2007 with articles stating that WJIB was in a pinch and having the tone of gloom & doom but just a glimmer of hope.
WHERE ARE "THE BELLS"
Many folks remember the "ding ding" of the ship bell that was prominent on WJIB-FM prior to 1990. In 1992, when Bob started WJIB-AM, the copyright still belonged to the owners of the station on 96.9 FM even though they were not using it. There was no place for that audio trademark on the 96.9 incarnations after the call letters WJIB were dropped in 1989. Trademarks and Service Marks run out if not being used, and/or not being registered, so it's pretty safe to say it's OK to use it now. However, the bells are mentally connected to instrumental ‘beautiful music', and that is only a small portion of WJIB's playlist today.
LOW SIGNAL STRENGTH AT NIGHT:
Both WJIB and WJTO are what used to be called "Daytimers", broadcasting only during daylight hours. Back in the 1980's, the Federal Communications Commission authorized what we call "flea power" at night for almost all AM daytime stations. Such flea power offers much less coverage than the daytime power, as you may have noticed. The reason for the existence of "daytimers" is that the radio dial was pretty much full by 1945. Since radio signals travel much further at night than during the day, very few new stations could be squeezed onto the AM dial, 540 to 1600 without interfering with older more powerful existing stations. Someone came up with the idea that if new stations were on the air daytime only, then new ones would fit. Therefore there was a large amount of new daytime-only stations in the USA between 1945 and 1960, of which WJIB and WJTO were two of those. - Signal strength at night varies by atmospheric conditions. Some nights WJIB or WJTO may come in clear, and other nights, they may have interference from the two Canadian stations on 740 and 730, which are old-timers having been on those same frequencies since the 1920's.
This is why the power goes down at sunset, and rises again at sunrise.... which in the dead of winter, makes for a short high-power broadcast day, and in the summer, a longer one. The FCC has specific monthly times that such stations must change power each month. Two examples for WJIB: January is 7:15 AM and 4:30 PM; June 5:15 AM and 8:15 PM.
WHY DON'T YOU PUT WJIB (or WJTO) ON FM?
The "Boston Globe" once described WJIB-owner Bob Bittner as a "media-minnow", compared to the giant corporation station owners the article was talking about.. Such is true, because Bob being more of a regular guy instead of a media mogul (and with no desire of the latter), cannot afford to buy an FM station. The sales prices of FM stations in the immediate Boston area, if for sale would range from $20 million to $60-million. High-powered AM stations may also command the same prices, but medium powered and lower-powered AM stations, if for sale, would only be worth a tiny percentage of the FM station prices. With the large disparity in station prices, Bob stays put with and is quite content with the lower-powered AM stations he now owns. (Another is WJTO-730 in Bath, Maine).
IS ADVERTISING SLIM ON ADULT-MUSIC STATIONS?
In our society today, most advertising is geared towards young listeners. Advertising agencies, where the radio commercial-buying is often done by 28-year-olds who see adult music as ‘another world', seldom spend advertising dollars with such Adult-Music stations. There ARE some adult-music stations that have a sizable amount of advertising, but those are usually co-owned by an FM station geared towards younger audiences, where the FM station gives free "bonus commercials" on the adult-music AM station when a buy is made on the FM station. Since Bob owns no younger-skewed FM station, such advertising does not happen for his stand-alone AM stations.
Yes, there are few-and-far-between businesses who could advertise quite effectively on Adult Music stations, but it's a time-consuming effort to find and maintain such.
Today, most advertisers want to reach the 8 to 49-year olds... the people who spend very freely and have heavy debt as a result of such. Mature listeners most-often responsibly pay cash for more researched items without giving in to impulse-buying. Presently, America's economy runs on credit, much more than the actual profit of the product. Older folks are more responsible and generally do not have an owed balance on their credit cards beyond the monthly bill.
All of this translates into very little advertising going to Adult Music stations, and as a result, any broadcasting company who is seriously interested in making money has dropped Adult Music formats or never had them.
There are about 275 Adult Music stations in the USA which use a syndicated satellite service where almost all programming aired on each station is from that service. which provides the music and the announcers. Local inserts such as commercials and weather forecasts are placed by the station every 15 minutes or so. The ARE commercials on these stations, but most of them are from the satellite programming, as advertisers are willing to place their commercials on a mass basis.
To illustrate the adult-music and advertising landscape, there were two stations in a Pennsylvania city: one was Adult Standards music and the other was All-Sports-Talk. The Adult Standards Music station makes 1/10th the money of the sports station, AND has 10 TIMES the number of listeners than the sports station. Not all nationwide examples are that extreme, but most have that same strange inequity.
There ARE many questionable entities who buy time on Adult Music stations (and others too), entities who try to sell miracle-cures and get-rich-quick-schemes through very slick and friendly-sounding half-hour or one hour-long commercials which are disguised as listener call-in shows or discussion shows, where every uttered word is scripted as opposed to the "live" feel that the talk program gives the illusion of. This is in addition to minute-long and half-minute commericals they also produce. WJIB and WJTO turn them down almost daily.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF POOR AM-RADIO RECEPTION?
Interference with AM signals has grown in the past 15 years. Here are some of the causes: cell phones, data-streams over the air, increased electric-line usage, home electronic devices such as microwaves, older florescent lights, "dimmers" for adjustable lighting in home, electric shavers, some TV sets, computers and printers. - In fact, someone could be using one or more of these as much as 5 houses down the street or elsewhere in an apartment building, and you would hear such interference on your AM radio. The worst of the above are dimmers and computers. Signals of the more lower-powered AM stations such as WJIB and WJTO are the most interfered with.
ARE THERE WAYS TO IMPROVE AM-STATIONS' SIGNAL IN MY HOME OR BUSINESS?
1) - Rotate your radio around to see which position is best for picking up your desired AM station. No need to turn it on its side, but rather just keep it upright but make it face different directions. Every AM station on your radio has a weak spot and a strong spot depending upon the position of the radio.
2) - Use another radio. Strangely, some smaller clock radios do a much better job of picking up AM stations than big bulky non-portable ones. Most "stereo systems" are very poor at picking up AM stations. The manufacturers of those put all the effort/money into the FM side and CD side. AM radio really does sound good with full fidelity IF the radio is made well. Most aren't these days. Even those advertised expensive table top radios and their imitators do NOT do the job. They DO make what already can be received sound better, but they generally do a worse job of picking up harder-to-get AM stations than a $22 radio often does.
3) - Turn off light dimmers, computers and monitors. Often, a computer's radio-noise will be reduced of you put a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) between your wall socket and the computer. They often absorb computer audio-noise. This helps even when the computer is off! For those of you who want to hear a far-away or lower powered AM station while working on your computer that creates noise in the radio, there's very little you can do except getting that UPS, or a power-strip. A power strip will keep your computer & monitor off, but its best to keep your printer connected to the wall socket since printer ink may dry up if not.
4) - Put your radio along a window. This allows the station's signal to get to your radio more directly, bypassing electrical noise from wires in the wall. Also, try windows or non-window areas in different parts of your home. If you are in a building with steel beams as opposed to wood, reception is
likely to be VERY poor. Steel beams are AM and FM radio's worst enemy, which is why reception is very poor in city office buildings.
5) - BEST of ALL: its best to buy another radio, if none of yours work well. WJIB/WJTO recommends Radio Shack's "Optimus" radio (about $55.) Or GE's "SuperRadio" ($65.), the latter which is hard to find. - If you don't want to spend that much, than a small GE clock radio is the best of its size on the market.
HOW COME THE STATION'S DAYTIME SIGNAL IS STRONGER IN THE WINTER?
AM stations' signal propagation depends upon the "wetness" of the ground. In the summertime, the ground is usually dry. In the winter, it is not only wet, but when frozen, that helps AM signals immensely. The down-side to winter is that two hours after sunrise, and two hours before sunset, distant stations' signals travel further, therefore interfering with local stations moreso than in summertime. But during the winter, the deep-daytime hours (example for January: 9:15 AM to 2 PM), AM-station signals are at their best. In
the summer, the signals aren't quite as strong mid-day, but overall, things are better because of the long daylight hours.
WILL THE STATIONS (WJIB and WJTO) BROADCAST ON-LINE?
Not in the foreseeable future. It is very costly... not so much for the equipment and on-line service, but rather regarding copyright issues.
Typical American corporate greed is causing instability in webcasting music. The villains are the record companies, who see the new digital medium as a threat and a money-maker at the same time. Ever since the beginning of radio, radio stations and record companies have always had an uneasy alliance, where radio stations pay no royalties to the record companies, but DO pay royalties to the writers of the songs played. So the writers get paid, but the recording artists and the record companies got nothing DIRECTLY from the radio stations. It has been an even trade: radio gets to make money playing music, and record companies and recording artists get to
make money at the records stores BECAUSE radio stations played their music. Now, that there is a new medium (webcasting in digital), record companies are trying (and so far, have succeeded) in making it illegal for ANYone to webcast without an expensive license sold to each individual radio station, or sold to any person or company who wants to webcast. The current webcasting fee structure and other requirements are very complicated, and in the past 5 years, have changed many times, making it very unpredictable to estimate costs of doing such. And there is no real effective way yet for stations to recover those costs. If someone is listening to a station's web-stream, chances are, they're not paying for it. Constant lobbying by record companies, and also by the performing rights organizations for the song writers, and those groups fighting such altogether are making it an endless situation regarding the courts and Congress. Fees and other burdens seem to be changing every 6 months, and some of them call for retroactive payments, making it dangerous to start webcasting even when it appears that it might be the right time that royalties might just be affordable.
Another factor is in addition to the fees.... Recently-enacted copyright laws, pushed through by the record companies require that most webcasters' websites MUST tell the
website-viewer what song is playing, the artist name, and the album its from;
essentially making every webcast a free advertisement for the record industry. For Bob to go back and try to find every original record individually that he got the song from would be a huge task. Keep in mind, there are more than 5,000 songs on the stations' playlist!
So, WHY ARE there people streaming music on the web? Many are doing it illegally. If they have no or few assets, they don't fear record company lawsuits, if they're even discovered by the record companies. More well-heeled webcasters are large corporations who can likely afford to do so, but even those huge companies are now pondering the discontinuation of webcast music. Those people in the middle, who want to keep their house and other assets, usually don't webcast.
OWNERSHIP and ABOUT BOB:
Both stations, WJIB and WJTO are owned by Bob Bittner, as 100% stockholder of a Massachusetts Corporation and a Maine Corporation. The corporations are small.... one person.
Bob was born in 1949 and grew up at Virginia Beach, Washington DC, and northern New Jersey, and then graduated (barely) from Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY) in late 1971.
His first on-air radio experience was reporting for his high school where he was heard several times on New York City's WMCA-570. Then at college, came a weekly on-air show on RIT's college station WITR. But his first paid on-air gig started with his senior year in college at WCMF-FM in Rochester. Oh, what an experience that was! - doing the overnight shift, playing Black Sabbath, Blind Faith, the Mothers of Invention, Country Joe & the Fish, Led Zeppelin;
none of the music one hears on today's WJIB and WJTO (excepting the Moody Blues!). Then in 1974, on to be Program/Music Director/On-Air at WVOR-FM in Rochester, then on to WHOA-870 AM in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which at the time, was the island's only English-language station. And it also played good music, as Bob was the Program/Music Director there too.
At a time when Bob was feeling the desire to return to the continent in 1979, Boston called.... WBOS-FM hired him as mid-day DJ. Yes, he was playing disco music. Later, at the same station he was playing country music. During the 80's he played country music on WDLW-1330 (Waltham) and WCAV-FM in Brockton, as well as being Program/Music Director and playing 50's & 60's pop oldies on Newton's WNTN-1550, & the same management and on-air position later at adult-standards WXKS-1430 AM when he was hired by Arnie Ginsberg for that position. Now that this paragraph is concluded, it actually answers a common question posed to Bob: "You did work at the old WJIB-FM, didn't you?" Answer: ‘no.' -
Time for him to be on his own, so he purchased WLVG-740 in Cambridge on July 1, 1991. - After getting WJIB established, Bob purchased two dead off-the-air stations in 1993 and 1994; 5,000-watt WKBR (1250 AM) in Manchester, NH and 1,000-watt WNEB (1230 AM) in Worcester, then got them up and running and then later, sold them to two separate entities.
WNEB/Worcester: Bob bought it being the high bidder, also thinking he would keep it. But the youth of Worcester helped him change his mind... FAST! - At the tower site (in the best section of town, by the way, about 2 miles west of city center), teenagers daily (uh, no, hourly) vandalized the tower site, trying to pull the tower down, having drug-parties next to the tower, cutting through metal fencing, and eventually a break-in and stealing $10k worth of equipment; specialized equipment that even likely puzzled their ‘fence', for which the thieves probably got $30. for. And the Worcester police had better things to do that day than to investigate the crime, it seemed. - Bob finally got it on the air, and put it up for sale. Too bad, as that was a great repeater-station for WJIB, re-broadcasting WJIB's signal into Worcester, which was done very economically. It became quite popular in the several months it was playing the good music. After selling WNEB, Bob drove east on Route 9 away from Worcester, headed towards where he lived at the time in Needham and never looked back.
Then in March 1997 Bob purchased hot-talk station WJTO (AM-730) in Bath, Maine. Bob gradually turned to music after the talk shows' contracts ran out and were not renewed by Bob. Today, WJTO's music and presentation is just about identical to that of WJIB, although they are not simulcasting. Many WJIB Boston-area listeners vacationing on the Maine coast enjoy WJTO-730 while there. Additionally, WJTO is enjoyed by many on Cape Cod in the daytime since the signal skips over water from Bath to the Cape.
MUSIC LICENSING FEES FOR RADIO and THE NEW HIGH RATES
As mentioned before, radio stations do not pay royalties to record companies nor to the performers of the music, and the reasons for such are described above. However, radio stations do pay Performing Rights Organizations such as ASCAP and BMI royalties that are distributed to the WRITERS of the songs. After ASCAP and BMI keep their cut for the administration of such, royalty payments to the song-writers in somewhat proportion to how often their songs are played. Radio stations report to ASCAP and BMI what they play on approximately 5 days per year in order to help determine who gets what.. For the past several decades until December 31, 2006, fees paid by stations were based upon how much money each station made annually. The percentage was about 3.3% of each station's gross income.
Fees have been agreed upon (not always without heated sessions in court) between ASCAP/BMI and the radio business by an organization representing most radio stations called the RADIO MUSIC LICENSING COMMITTEE (RMLC). For decades, their efforts have been quite successful. However in more recent years, representatives of Wall Street type broadcasters have successfully infiltrated their influence into the RMLC, and in the past few years they have gotten the courts' approval of a new formula for radio stations; a formula which puts more of the royalties burden on smaller stations than before and less of a burden than before on the larger stations owned by such Wall Street types. Many smaller station owners shrieked when they got their monthly ASCAP/BMI bills starting in 2007. It is not an uncommon opinion amongst them that in the minds of the large station owners; if smaller stations had to go under or sell out, the large station owners certainly wouldn't mind that side-effect of the new rate structure.
The new formula, starting on January 1, 2007 was based upon market-size and how well each station performed in the Arbitron ratings, with a steep rise especially for stations in the Top 100 markets in the USA. (Boston is #10 and Portland Maine is #164). There is also a portion of the formula that computes how much money each station makes too. The look-back period of the aforementioned criteria is two or more years. TALK stations in any sized market, who play music bumpers (just the beginning of songs played at the times when the talk shows come in or out of a commercial break), under this new formula, have had their music-licensing rates drop. Since radio conglomerates own a lot of top-rated high-powered talk stations, they are very pleased with that.
Top-rated conglomerate-owned contemporary music stations in markets #1 thru #100 are very happy with the new rate structure too, since they no longer have to pay based entirely upon their earnings. They still pay a lot, but not as much as before. Since ASCAP and BMI are receiving about the same total amount of royalties nationwide, SOME stations have to make up the royalties that the large conglomerate stations aren't paying anymore... And those making up the difference are small ones like WJIB who do well listener-wise in markets #1 thru #100 but not necessarily well money-wise.
Stations in smaller markets such as Market #'s 101 thru 370 which do not make much money, are not affected as much by this massive change in royalty rates. So there is SOME fairness written in to this new formula. However, smaller stations in small markets who did make a decent amount of money also got zapped.
This new 2007 formula is seriously much more complicated that the previous one. The RMLC's website claims otherwise.
( www.radiomic.com ) That site had criticized the old method saying it was like filling out a tax-return. Bob Bittner, and other broadcasters found it easy... Taking only 5 minutes to do: Enter gross amount of income; multiply it by about 1.65% for each organization (ASCAP and BMI), and there's your annual fee! NOW, with the formula being very complex, almost no broadcaster has completely figured the secrecy-laden formula out.
WHY CAN'T WJIB OBTAIN ADVERTISING INSTEAD OF "LISTENER SUPPORT"?
A logical question, but in the 18 years Bob has owned 740, not once has he had a person approaching him me saying he/she would like to do sales! - DJ's, yes; sales, no. And even if someone did want to do sales, it would be appropriate for him/her to receive a salary in advance of his/her productivity. Most new salespeople fail at selling well. Therefore the chances of that advance salary being put to good use, are slim. This is a problem that most stations face, but many of the others can afford such experimentation. - Additionally, because conglomeration is happening everywhere, local businesses don't have the money to advertise, especially when there are so many choices, about 20 of them from yellow pages to cable TV. And WJIB is in an unusual situation... in a way it's too big for small local businesses. Or if rates were so low that they could afford it, then the time and resources spent dealing with such would eat up the small piece-by-piece income. It would be unlikely that WJIB would come out ahead too much.
And what about airing business-advice programs as brokered time? There's enough stations doing that. Secondly, the more Bob brokers time for talk shows, the less time for music, which is so very important for the audience.
There is another form of advertising. 60-second commercials from far away for magazine subscriptions, CD's, and just about everything else sold nationally, where
the company does NOT pay for the commercial, but instead sends ‘commission' money to the station for each order the station's listener(s) place. They're called "PI Commercials" ("per inquiry"). No interest there, as there is no way for a station to know for sure how many sales were made... and no time for all that paperwork.
HOW IS MUSIC SELECTED?
A lot of it is just from Bob's own choices....actually all of it is. Bob balances the sales history of each record with how he thinks it would fit in the station's format. Yes, there are a few songs on the playlist that Bob doesn't like, but for the most part, he likes them all. Since WJIB and WJTO used to play mostly instrumentals, there are still a few instrumentals each hour which gives a nice break from the 5 or 6 vocals before and after each instrumental. ALL music is picked by Bob, and the stations have never used a "syndicated music/announcer service." Such a service is heard on adult music stations, where the announcer gives the illusion he's in the same city as the station, but is really somewhere else and is likely to be heard on 100+ stations around the USA. Such is not wrong but rather just a different way of making an on-air presentation. Different than the way radio was presented in our younger years, with the DJ in the city where the radio station was. The ‘network DJ's pre-record local references and call-letter mentions for the local station to insert.
This was the way it was done on WXKS-1430 Everett, MA (excepting the morning show) when they aired adult
music years ago. - Even though that's the easy way to make an all-day or nearly-all-day on-air presentation, Bob chooses not to do the same thing that other stations do. With WJIB & WJTO picking its own music 100% of the time, some different songs get to be aired.
HOW IS MUSIC PLANNED ON THE STATIONS?
The stations both play from the same library. Whatever song you hear of WJIB you will also hear on WJTO. Both stations have an active playlist of 5,400 songs. Some of them are heard more often than others, as Bob puts all the songs into 15 categories, and the computers rotate all the songs in the 15 categories at different speeds. Some come around every 4 days, and others on the other extreme come around every 180 days. Those 15 categories are comprised as the following:
Original "Standards" Hits: 1935-1948
Original "Standards" Hits: 1949-1958
Original "Standards" Hits: 1959–1970) very few standards made since 1970.
Light Pop Hits: 1954-1985
Moderate Pops Hits: 1954-1980
Non Hits, but likeable melodies often sung by familiar "standards" artists.
Non Hits, but likeable melodies often sung by familiar pop artists.
Non-Orchestrated Instrumentals (piano or dance band)
-------Some of the above categories have a "lower rotation" sub-category
IT APPEARS THAT THE STATIONS PLAY A LOT OF ‘REPEATS'. TRUE?
Not as much as one might think, since the stations do play the 5,400 songs. Depending upon your listening times, they may seem to repeat, and they actually might, since both stations are on the air 24 hours a day. However, back in the 1940's and before, when a fresh new hit song came out and the first artist had success with it, then immediately other artists would do the same song. It was common to see 4 different artists have HITS with the same song in the same year! - It almost seemed like they had a shortage of song-writers in those days. That is a practice that faded out by the time the later 1950's. So it might SEEM like the station is repeating when it is not.... or it could be that it is. Also keep in mind that since the stations have several categories of songs, some categories rotate more often than others. If the one(s) you like is in one of the less-rotated categories, then you will hear others in a high-rotation category an extra time or two before you hear your favorite in the less-rotation group again.
IS BOB HAPPY WITH THE SOUND OF THE MUSIC MIX ON THE STATIONS?
Never! - - (Always trying to tweak it to perfection).