News-Talk is the big talk on the Eastern Seaboard this week with the launch of the new all news, WNEW in Washington, DC, A CBS owned station rivaling CBS-affiliated powerhouse WTOP, even taking some long-time staffers with its launch. Some may question why CBS wants to rival itself, but a Washington Post article about the new format may reveal some insight. WTOP routinely brings in ad dollars that dwarf its competitors — more than three times the advertising revenue of any other station in Washington, making it the richest radio station in the country.
Now the female-oriented news-talker WEMP in New York has moved away from its female-centric format to a more straight ahead news-talk station. Sean Ross from Radio-Info takes a fresh listen and determines that while some initial clunkiness existed with a new station, new format and new staff from several disciplines, the power of an all-news FM cannot be underestimated. According to Ross, “Twenty-five miles from Manhattan, I’m unable to listen to WCBS or WINS on my clock radio in the morning. At my Central New Jersey office, on the edge of the New York metro, the only traffic or weather I’m going to get on AM 1010 on my winter ride home is for Toronto, as CFRB drowns out WINS after sunset.”
So, it looks like the glory days of news-talk stations, especially those on the FM dial, are still to come.