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WEEI wins Marconi as top sports station

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  September 21, 2012 03:47 PM

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Couple of quick media notes since I had a one-topic column Friday, which in case you missed it wss on Jack Edwards, Dave Goucher, and the professional limbo broadcasters endure during a lockout ...

* WEEI 93.7 won the prestigious Marconi Award Thursday night as national Sports Station of the Year. The awards were announced at the annual NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show in Dallas.

Awards are presented in 21 categories. It's the seventh time WEEI had been nominated and the fourth time the station or one of its personalities has won.

98.5 The Sports Hub won the award last year. Stations and personalities who won a 2011 Marconi could not be nominated in the same category again until 2013.

Perhaps WEEI and The Sports Hub plan on alternating wins from here on out.

* It's fair to say the NFL Network somewhat marginalized NFL Films in recent years, filling too much of its airtime with cheap talking-head, list-oriented programming.

But the network has done Steve Sabol right this week in paying homage to the NFL Films mastermind (well, co-mastermind, with his father, Ed) who passed away Tuesday from cancer at age 69. That will continue Sunday, when it airs a feature on Sabol on "NFL GameDay Morning, which includes interviews with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick that were conducted Thursday and Friday. Sabol is the one who convinced Belichick to wear a wire for an entire season for "A Football Life,'' and Brady was Sabol's final interview.

* Asked WEEI program director Jason Wolfe for further explanation on how turning over the 850 signal to ESPN Radio benefits Entercom, WEEI's parent company. One way is that Entercom still gets the ad revenue from 850. Here what Wolfe had to say via email:

Our ability to generate additional revenue and provide more sponsorship opportunities for our clients are the main reasons why we did this deal, besides the obvious of partnering with a tremendous brand in ESPN.

The deal we struck is multifaceted and is great for both of us. There is network inventory that we will clear as is the case with any affiliation. We keep everything else and we will create additional content on our own that will air on the weekends.

I'm talking about long form specialty programming I can sell, that I wouldn't necessarily create on 93.7. A golf show, a sports business show, a NASCAR show are among the ideas we're kicking around.

The vast majority of our audience has made the move to FM. That was expected given the landscape in the market. But 850 is still a huge signal and given the audience shift, it makes sense to make this move now to take advantage of that signal and of our ability to drive more dollars for the company.

* Loved Sports Illustrated's list of "The Twitter 100,'' its second annual list of the -- you guessed it -- 100 sports-related must-follows on the social network. (I'll just have to presume I was No. 101 for the second year in row.) There wasn't a lot of Boston representation on the list -- does Bill Simmons count at this point? -- though CBS Sports basketball guru Jeff Goodman is local and my former colleague Marc Spears made the cut. If the list was missing anything, it was the inclusion of SI staffers. I'd put Andy Gray, who finds gold in the SI Vault multiple times per day, and always-insightful media writer Richard Deitsch in my top 100 without a second thought. Peter King? To borrow from Kissing Suzy Kolber: MAYBE.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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