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There has been a bevy of changes over the last year in the nation's sixth-largest television market, including the addition of a second ABC affiliate (in Manchester) and the city's first duopoly. Boston's broadcast television stations, of which two are O&Os (CBS and Fox) and two are Spanish-language, also experienced multiple talent swaps and added more local news.
The DMA, which stretches north into New Hampshire's Hillsborough County, has 5.9 million people and 16 counties.
Last summer marked the end of a steady stream of talent changes, as weatherman Mish Michaels and news anchor Kim Carrigan both moved from No. 1 WHDH-TV to No. 3 CBS O&O WBZ-TV.
With the merger of CBS and Paramount Television groups last year, WBZ and Paramount's WSBK-TV formed Boston's first duopoly. Ed Goldman, vp/gm of WBZ, became vp/gm of WSBK. The sister stations retain separate sales departments and news staffs but have one master control.
In September, the two outlets combined efforts to create a half-hour local news program for WSBK at 7 p.m. Carrigan now anchors the new show, as well as the 5 p.m. program on WBZ.
In March, Hearst-Argyle, owner of Boston ABC affiliate WCVB-TV, acquired the ABC affiliate in Manchester, N.H., WMUR-TV. The purchase, from Imes Communications for $185 million, gives the company more revenue sources and the ability to share programming costs.
According to BIA Research Network, WCVB was the market leader in revenue in 2000, with $147 million. WHDH came in close behind, with $142 million.
WHDH extended its local evening newscast to a solid 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Though the block still ranks second behind WCVB, the top-ranked station saw a significant drop in its lead, according to Nielsen November ratings.
And as WHDH's 11 p.m. news has grown stronger (leading in November with a 9.1/19), WCVB's rival newscast has declined to tie for second with WBZ (6.4/13). WBZ has made significant gains over the past year, tightening the gap between the top three stations and consistently placing first in morning news.
Local news stations must also compete with New England Cable News, the largest regional news network in the country, which reaches 2.6 million homes. NECN is jointly owned by AT&T Broadband and Hearst Corporation.
African Americans, Asians and Hispanics each make up about 6 percent of the area's demographics. Though the percentages are small, in a DMA of 5.9 million the presence is considerable. Hispanics are "the fastest growing part of the population here and the largest minority in Boston and in the state," said Gary Marder, gm for Univision affiliate WUNI-TV.
In response to the changing demos, Univision TV Group and Entravision Holdings purchased WHUB-TV in Jan. 2000 to establish a Univision O&O, which launched Jan. 16. The new network will target the Hispanic audience not watching Spanish TV with more movies, talk shows and programs geared toward men. WUNI and WHUB will keep separate ad plans and sales departments.
The largest chunks of Boston's extremely competitive radio market belong to Infinity Broadcasting, Entercom and Greater Media. The market's 56 stations brought in a healthy amount of revenue -- $358.5 million in 2000 -- but the multitude of choices tend to keep listener shares low.
Infinity's four stations brought in the most money last year, $148.9 million, to account for 41.5 percent of total market revenue. Infinity stations also attracted 30 percent of total listener share in BIA Research's Winter 2001 report. News/Talk/Sports outlet WBZ-AM received an 8.1 AQH share among listeners 12-plus, far surpassing second-place Adult Contemporary WMJX-FM, which is owned by Greater Media.
Entercom has two FMs and two AMs in the nation's eighth-largest radio market. The company earned 18.8 percent of market revenue and 16.8 percent of listeners. The highest moneymaker for the company was Sports format WEEI-AM, which made $29 million, according to BIA.
Greater Media controls five FMs in Boston, which together earned 15.5 percent of market revenue and 20 percent of listener share. Salem Communications and Radio One each hold two stations.
Clear Channel has four smaller stations, including its two Contemporary Hit Radio formats, WXKS-FM and WJMN-FM, which earned 4.9 and 4.8 among listeners, respectively.
In the newspaper industry, new sections and revamped editorial content are among the long list of changes and improvements The Boston Globe has made within the past year. The transformation has affected circulation rates; the paper saw a 1 percent weekday increase, to 471,199, during the six months that ended November 2001. However, Sunday circ went down 2.5 percent, to 704,852.
The Globe, owned by the New York Times Company, added various sections and restructured the publication in tandem with its redesign in September 2000. The redesign, its first in 10 years, followed a conversion to a 50-inch web width. The paper updated typography and graphics and added navigational devices for more mobility for time-pressed readers.
Along with the redesign, four sections were revamped, and two more were added. Its Life At Home, BostonWorks, Business and Business&Money sections were revitalized with expanded editorial content. The paper then launched the Marketplace section and Globe West, a 16-page stand-alone reaching 35 cities and towns west of Boston.
The success of Globe West led to the launch of Globe South last September. Both sections are distributed every Thursday and Sunday. Finally, in October, the Globe added an expanded Travel section to its Sunday edition.
Globe Newspaper Company president William Huff retired in January, after a 25-year career at the company. Richard Daniels, who had been senior vp for planning and operations, was appointed as Huff's replacement. Another 25-year veteran of the company, editor Matthew Storin, retired last July. Martin Baron, previously executive editor of The Miami Herald, took the reigns.
The Boston Herald is the other daily that competes with the Globe and the weeklies that abound throughout the metro area and outlying communities. Its circulation increased 0.15 percent weekdays, to 259,228, but decreased 2 percent Sundays, to 160,172.
Bostonians love their cable TV -- 85 percent of this DMA subscribes, the highest of the top 10 markets, according to Scarborough Research. Maybe its easy access to standard cable systems keeps satellite dish subscriptions at only 8 percent, well below the national average of 14 percent.
Boston and the surrounding area form AT&T's largest cable cluster in the nation, thanks to a major transaction with Cablevision in January 2001. AT&T swapped 130,000 subscribers in northern New York suburbs for Cablevision's systems in Boston and eastern Massachusetts. Cablevision also received stock, shares and $300 million in cash in the deal. AT&T's Boston-area cable systems now serve 358,000 subscribers. Boston Interconnect, also AT&T-owned, reaches 1.7 million cable households as the DMA's primary interconnect, 91 percent of cable households.
AK Media leads the market in outdoor advertising. Its 450 bulletins, 2,000 30-sheet posters and 80 8-sheet posters spread into southern New Hampshire and northern Rhode Island, according to AK Media vp/gm Drew Hoffman.
-- Eileen Davis Hudson and Aimee Deeken