WFNX and Boston Radio Wars Essay Sample

7 July 2017

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WFNX was started in 1983 by The Phoenix Media/Communications Group. with the purpose to appeal to the newspaper’s same audience of educated. flush. individual professionals and pupils seeking different sentiments from those offered by mainstream media. WFNX was a first mover in the “new wave” or “alternative rock” music genre – they offered something different and had a steadfast committedness to the local music scene. and rapidly became a leader in Boston’s “new music” wireless niche. As alternate stone caught on and WFNX’s rivals began to swoop on the station’s antecedently alone market positioning. their battles focused around a peculiar quandary: How could a station founded upon and recognized for remaining outside the mainstream. remain profitable and competitory in an industry driven by cut-throat selling tactics. changeless commercial demands and ever-evolving cultural tendencies? With industry consolidation coercing major displacements in the industry landscape. WFNX is faced with cardinal strategic determinations to recover land and remain afloat amidst ferocious competition. Through strategic hiring. increased selling attempts and merger/partnership chances. WFNX may be able to turn things around. Radio Industry Background

Radio as an advertisement channel provides alone and attractive benefits. As a consequence. Stationss in metropolitan countries such as Boston complete to bring forth net incomes through advertisement gross revenues. addition evaluations and market portion. make new hearer demographics and implement selling schemes to spread out consciousness and popularity among both hearer and artist/record label mark sections. They besides face the challenges of cultural displacements. as genres move in and out of mainstream popularity. WFNX Strengths and Weaknesses in an Emerging Market

WFNX had early success as first movers in an emerging market. They had a clear placement and connected with their niche audience. Although their evaluations were low. they had a loyal audience and good relationships with artists/record labels. enabling them to remain at the head of new music. They besides had low operating costs that allowed them to be profitable without being big or holding high market portion – disbursement less on staffing costs. licensing fees and marketing than their closest rivals. viz. WBCN. a ‘classic rock’ station that threatened to conflict on their district. They besides offered lower advertisement rates than their rivals. doing them attractive to advertizers looking to maximise value of their advertisement investing. A primary failing of WFNX was their limited range – they had lower signal strength than Stationss such as WBCN ( 3. 000 watts versus 50. 000+ ) . doing it hard for them to spread out their audience and market portion. Changing Industry Structure and a Mature Market

As alternate stone gained popularity in the mainstream. and rivals such as WBCN moved to derive a bridgehead in the genre. WFNX faced high menaces of new entrants. competition and replacements ( Porter’s 5 Forces theoretical account ) . and a displacement toward industry consolidation in the late ninetiess besides brought new challenges and competition for WFNX in a more mature market. For illustration. rival WBCN had more range and purchase and invested to a great extent in on-air personality and selling in order to outpace WFNX – finally traveling to an wholly alternate stone format and achieving the desired topographic point in Monitor as Boston’s functionary elevation stone station. WFNX struggled to go on to pull sets for their shows. as hot creative persons flocked to Stationss with more influence and signal strength such as WBCN. taking to strained relationships with some labels and less entree to the new music mercantile establishments. Additionally. after losing their plan manager in 1995 the station suffered from a deficiency of leading for several old ages. taking to high turnover and ill-defined strategic way. Ill received marketing efforts such as the ‘Radio Anarchy’ run increased impetus amongst their already dwindling audience and led to a steady bead in evaluations and net incomes. Strategic Options and Recommendations

WFNX needed a displacement in scheme to rapidly bring forth gross and neutralize menaces. They began altering their plan format to include more top hits and popular music. but risked losing their placement and abandoning their nucleus values by making so. which could take to farther beads in evaluations for those hearers who value their strong anti-mainstream placement. They retained good callback and acknowledgment in the market. but had lost popularity to rivals. The station identified several schemes that leveraged chances to assist them recover fight and turn its market portion. While all strategic options suggested could be successful. a cardinal following measure for the station is to prioritise their enterprises and develop a timeline for execution. The station should concentrate foremost on those schemes that will instantly bring forth gross to assist prolong them in the short-run. Hiring is one country that should be a precedence enterprise – hiring and developing a competent gross revenues staff to convey in new gross. happening on-air personality that can vie with WBCN’s popular Howard Stern show. every bit good as spread outing their classs of advertisement to bring forth new gross watercourses.

In order to place the station for long-run success and sustainability though. WFNX should set accent on originating strategic partnerships. A recent displacement taking to a bigger market country ( including Worcester. MA and parts of New Hampshire ) provides an chance for a selling partnership or acquisition. which would increase range and broadcast power. Similarly. they should set precedence on leveraging parent company The Phoenix to maximise the impact of their selling scheme and addition synergisms between the newspaper and wireless. These schemes seem critical if WFNX hopes to take back market portion and create sustainable presence in the long-run. Last. it would be wise for the station to put in market research and to go on to distinguish themselves through strong placement and reinforced values. but these enterprises may be better suited for future execution. since the station’s placement and connexion with/loyalty from their bing audience has historically been one of the station’s strengths. ( See optional Appendix Angstrom with full SWOT Analysis for support )

Appendix A: WFNX SWOT Analysis

STRENGTHS• Clear placement in the market – When asked. the station was easy recalled and recognized for their alternate music genre. despite lower evaluations than rivals. • Original “founder” of alternate music – Widely recognized as the leader in their infinite. awarded “Alternative Station of the Year” by several trade magazines. and accredited by music industry critics. Known for being closest to the “street” . WFNX claimed to be a niche-marketed station that did non want to hold the mass popularity and ensuing market portion of more mainstream Stationss like WBCN. • Low runing costs – The biggest costs for a typical wireless station included staffing costs. licensing fees and selling investing. WFNX spent significantly less on staffing and marketing than many of their rivals. enabling them to be profitable early on without being big or holding high market portion ( WBCN charged 2x more on personality and staffing costs ) . • Attractive ( low ) advertisement rates – WFNX’s biggest rival. WBCN charged 3-6 times more for premier clip publicizing musca volitanss. | WEAKNESSES• Low market portion and inconsistent evaluations – WFNX historically had low evaluations. attributed mostly to little signal ( 3. 000 watts versus 50. 000 Watts of rivals ) . but made some betterments – other possible accounts were deficiency of selling or content that was excessively “weird” for the general population’s gustatory sensation.

• Lack of popularity and purchase – WBCN caused moving ridges for WFNX when they registered with Monitor as an alternate station. knocking WFNX from the listed alternate station in Boston. As more Stationss switched formats. became harder for them to pull sets for their shows. as the hottest sets flocked to Stationss like WBCN with more powerful influence and signal. Besides led to strained relationships between WFNX and some labels. because the station refused to play sets that they deemed non genuinely “alternative” or as retaliation for being left off concert engagements. • Poor leading and high turnover – In 1995. WFNX plan manager left and station was unsuccessful in replacing him. Besides lost some of their DJs. and in 1996 launched the “Radio Anarchy” run to raise consciousness and distinguish WFNX from other Stationss amidst their drifting audience. Unfortunately. got negative feedback and finally puttered out easy. Third PD in three old ages resigned shortly after the run was shut down.

Lacked way. steady bead in evaluations. staff turnover increasing ( 100 % gross revenues staff turnover in 1996 and 75 % in 1997 ) – staying staff worried were losing everything good about the station. | OPPORTUNITIES• Bigger geographic market – ( including Worcester. Mass and New Hampshire ) means increased range through more wattage/broadcast power or strategic merger/partnership with other Stationss – ideally in Worcester. • Invest in transcribers for increased reach• Reinforce placement – Continue to distinguish through positioning to retain loyal hearers and pull new audiences who are tired of the bogus “alternative” stations• Market research – Competitors presently puting in more market research to remain in touch with hearers and understand what they want to hear. • Leverage parent company range and influence – The Phoenix Media/Communications Group reaches more people overall than any of the national wireless groups in Boston. See synergisms between companies and capitalise on strengths. |

THREATS • Industry consolidation/Changing landscape – Industry consolidation started taking topographic point in 1997. which posed important menace to independent Stationss like WFNX because big Stationss were able to offer discounted advertisement rates for all their Stationss. doing advertizers to overlook market chances and benefits from other Stationss. • Rolling from nucleus values – WFNX started playing more hits and less new music. but insisted they were non rolling from their nucleus values. By altering their music to pacify ratings/market portion. WFNX risked moving in direct struggle with their nucleus values and market positioning – by concentrating on commercial success they risk estranging their audience who widely resisted all things mainstream and commercial.

• Threat of new entrants and challengers – As the option sound grew more popular. WFNX faced menaces from assorted rival Stationss looking to traverse over. WBCN started presenting more “alternative” music into its format shortly after the Green Day concert incident. They admitted that album-oriented stone was dead. and were ready to acquire on board the new moving ridge tendency. Several old ages subsequently. WBCN along with Stationss like WAAF and WCGY – all traditional stone Stationss – appeared to see exchanging to an wholly alternate format. but for the most portion found it non economically feasible or stable. In the terminal. it was WBCN who made the switch. after parent company Infinity purchased a authoritative stone station that would pacify their bing audience demographics. and let them to broaden and derive more grip with the younger. more “hip” audience. • Loss of advertisement gross – Threat of ordinances on intoxicant advertisement

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