( – promoted by Patrick)
As the tagline for the movie “Notes on a Scandal” indicates, one person’s mistake is another person’s opportunity–and the mistake Boston talk station WRKO-AM is making by turning to the left is a perfect opportunity for another local talk station to step up to the plate and increase its influence.
Since late-2003, WTTT (1150 AM) has been operating in WRKO’s shadow, promoting a solidly conservative lineup featuring William Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt. Last year, the station began broadcasting Sean Hannity (formerly heard on WTKK-FM) and Paul Harvey (formerly heard on WBZ-AM).
Now that WRKO is thoroughly committed to abandoning conservative talk (as Bryan Maloney, Matt Margolis and Aaron Margolis have documented on savewrko.com), it may be time for WTTT’s owner, Salem Communications, to move the station to a stronger signal, preferably the signal currently used to broadcast sister station WEZE-AM.
By strengthening its signal, WTTT could not only increase its profitability, it could also assume the role WRKO once held in the 1980s and 1990s. ‘RKO played a major role in forming and shaping non-liberal political opinion in this state, leading the charge against left-wing shortsightedness and cowardice in state government. While WTTT (for now) does not have a local host, it could still be the bulwark for Massachusetts conservatism that ‘RKO once was.
A strengthened WTTT will obviously take some flack from the Boston press as a result of its corporate parentage (Salem is considered a “religious-right” entity). However, even these attacks can be turned into a PR advantage: if the Boston Globe, Boston Phoenix, and the progressive blogosphere “unleash hell” on a strengthened WTTT, there might be more than a few people who aren’t talk radio listeners who just might check in to see what the fuss is all about (a real version of the fictional idea behind WRKO’s promotion of Tom Finneran). Bennett, Hannity, Hewitt, etc. are more than talented enough to keep those new listeners hooked.
If WTTT moves to a stronger signal and directly challenges WRKO, it will be quite interesting to see how ‘RKO’s management responds. Will they abandon their current liberal experiment and return to what has worked for them for the past 25 years? Or will they dig in their heels, remain as arrogant as they’ve been for the last several months–and lose ground to the new competition?