Earlier this week we broke down the devastating effect that cutting ties with Kirk Minihane has had on WEEI’s ratings. I’m not going to recap it all since you can read it here, but the TL;DR is that their audience share has been cut in half, and every show on WEEI is now routinely being murdered by 98.5 The Sports Hub. They got rid of Minihane because of 3 people:
- Millionaire activist Bob Murchison, who wanted to dictate that they couldn’t talk about transgender athletes in sports and harassed advertisers relentlessly in bad faith with out of context clips of the show
- Boston Globe editor Shirley Leung, who used the Globe’s platform to harass and target WEEI advertisers with misleading information about the station’s content
- Red Sox President Sam Kennedy, who didn’t like Minihane’s criticism of the franchise
Getting rid of Minihane was not a business decision, since he delivered historically high ratings for that station. It was an emotionally based decision in which Entercom gave into demands of PC authoritarians because they were too gutless to stand by their employees. And now we’re seeing the financial effects this has had on their station.
We were forwarded an email correspondence between a Massachusetts based business and an Entercom sales rep, trying to get them to commit to radio advertising on WEEI. The customer asks the salesman how many listeners he can reach on Radio.com, and the salesman tells the business owner that they sell spots at $10 CPM (cost per 1,000 listeners) and cites 350,000 listeners in November in December.
The salesman tells him this will cost between $2,000 and $10,000 a month.
Then we dropped the article about the station’s ratings without Minihane, and the business owner made it clear that he saw this and wasn’t going to advertise due to the low ratings brought upon by Bob Murchison.
The salesman then admits that Bob Murchison is a huge pain in the ass and tries to sell him on WEEI’s “social media following” instead.
That’s a hard pass buddy. Sorry you have to work for such a poorly run, spineless company that doesn’t put the interests of the business over their interest in being politically correct. Sorry you work for cowards who give into irrelevant people like Shirley Leung and Bob Murchison. And yes, I realize Sam Kennedy had something to do with this too, but he wasn’t on the phone harassing advertisers and sending out emails. He just didn’t like Minihane and preferred if he was gone.
For what it’s worth, $10 CPM is outrageous. If you’re a small business owner just understand that we charge a fraction of that and have an audience much larger than WEEI. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on advertising packages we offer. Sure, a couple Murchison’s of the world might send you an email or two, but at the end of the day we’re going to send you a lot of new business which is the whole point of advertising.
Let this be a lesson to business owners everywhere though – the only thing that should ever matter to you is money. Radio stations can charge more for advertising if they have higher ratings. The guy who brings you higher ratings is the most valuable person in your company. People like Bob Murchison don’t matter. If they harass your advertisers then it’s up to you to tell the advertisers that they are free to ignore this lunatic, urge them to block him (or fire back like Kaplansky Insurance) and reassure them that they are getting a return on investment that they can’t get anywhere else by partnering with you.
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