Ratings: Get Those Excuses Ready

If you think Democrats are going overboard spinning Scott Brown’s victory, you ain’t seen nothin’: radio programmers are masters at making excuses for bad ratings. And the fresh monthly release of Boston audience figures will most certainly test their skills.

That’s because for most local news-talkers, the final 2009 ratings period was generally a stinker. Yes, here come the excuses: our hosts were away for their extended vay-cays, etc. How’d that work out for Martha Coakley?

Another classic: we’ve recently changed our line-up and station logo and need at least a year to see how well it works!

Here are news-talk highlights for Arbitron’s Holiday 2009 ratings period (December 10 2009 to January 06 2010):

— WBZ-AM produced flat ratings, good for fourth place with 5.7 share of the overall (6 and older) audience. But it certainly no longer dominates the region. In terms of actual listeners (cume), WBZ takes seventh with 822,400.

Dan Rea, Martha Coakley and Curt Schilling have probably done more for WBZ in recent weeks than any marketing campaign could, so we’ll see if any election benefit shows up in the next trend.

— Sports WEEI continues to suffer after new competitor WBZ-FM carved away a chunk of its audience. But it did tick up a bit this month, to 3.8 from 3.6 share and ninth place overall (its remaining listeners are hard core and stick around longer).

Body count: 444,000, down from 462,000 last month and 642,600 in September, thirteenth place in cume.

— WRKO continues its long slide, falling to 3.6 from 4.0 last month and 5.5 in August. That means tenth place overall. Audience count: 347,800, down from 378,400 previously and 639,000 in August.

Next month, the white-hot Senate race should show up as a boost for January’s numbers. But the upcoming launch of a new Clear Channel talker will hit WRKO hard in the long run.

— It was another up month for upstart sports talker WBZ-FM, rising to 3.5 from 3.1. Tied for twelfth, cume audience: 687,500, more than 200,000 greater than WEEI! CBS is now busy looking to copy its success in other cities.

— WTKK-FM: the struggling FM talker didn’t get any good news this month, either, but with much of its lineup away, how hard did it really try? Falling to 2.6 share from 3.1 (tied for fifteenth place), there was also a cume loss of 50,000 from last month (to 371,900).

‘TKK did push the election hard and hosted a key debate, we’ll see if it enjoys a boost in the next ratings release.

Margery The Moderate, Globie Snob’s Vay-Cay, Seat That Senator!

— WTKK’s Margery Eagan has suddenly re-branded herself as a moderate. Hey, at least somebody got the message last Tuesday, too bad her Washington / state-run media counterparts didn’t.

Of course, Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck are hard to defend as the media’s spotlight on Scott Brown takes attention away from their own childish antics. Olberbeck is driven primarily by an insatiable appetite for public attention.

As for Margery, where were those supportive words for Brown when he was running for office? That’s right, she went down with the SS Martha.

— Also, Globie Frank Phillips is under fire for his nothing-to-see-here attitude toward the Senate race, to the point of taking a Coakley-esque Vay-Cay just as the race had become a national obsession. His defense? He didn’t think there’d be anything worth covering.

— Scott Brown won’t be seated until February 11? And cockroach Paul Kirk remains a voting senator?

Media Morons See 1984 Music Video As Scandalous

Watching the national media and Internet smear sites try to turn Gail Huff’s 1984 music video performance into a political scandal is truly laughable. Forced to play catch-up after Scott Brown’s senatorial victory caught them by surprise, these clowns would have you believe their “investigative work” and “digging” uncovered Huff’s New Wave time capsule.

From the Huffington Post:

On Tuesday night, Scott Brown’s wife pleaded with her husband to stop advertising his “available” daughters, but a video we’ve dug up reveals that Gail Huff wasn’t always so prim and proper.

The Massachusetts senator-elect’s wife, who now works as a reporter for Boston station WCVB-TV, starred in singer Digney Fingus’ 1984 video for a song called “The Girl With The Curious Hand.”

Here, the legendary investigative team at the Washington Post is also on the case today:

After he got a Boston College law degree, he married Gail Huff, an actress who was known in Boston as the bikini-clad woman in an early-’80s Digney Fignus music video, “The Girl With the Curious Hand.” In the video, Huff’s curious hand poisons a drink and squirts suntan lotion in the air. (“It means different things to different people,” Fignus said in an interview.) Huff is now a well-known newscaster on the Boston ABC affiliate.

If anyone should get credit for the “scoop”, if there’s one to be had, it’s the Track Gals at the Boston Herald, who wrote about this in October!

At today’s Politico, we see this:

I suspect this video of the 1984 Digney Fignus song “The Girl with the Curious Hand,” starring the woman who is now Scott Brown’s wife, would have probably done his campaign more good than harm had it circulated last week rather than this one.

It had. Did it help? Who knows? It’s a music video from 1984!

It’s just another element of the ongoing Palinization of Scott Brown and his family. Hope they are prepared for the spotlight.

Air America Became Irrelevant Long Ago

Catching up:

— The Air America Radio network shutdown actually isn’t the big story it would have been a few years ago: the biggest libtalkers work for other networks.

— Entercom happens, that’s not news either, is it?

— I was wondering how Margery was going to handle this

— The left’s most pressing task: turn Scott Brown into Sarah Palin. Wouldn’t that have been more effective BEFORE election day?

— David Rodham Gergen is a WINNER in the Senate election battle? His boneheaded “Kennedy seat” loaded question gave birth to Scott’s brilliant reply: “it’s the people’s seat.” Only a Globie could come up with crap like this.

— HuffPo morons think they have a scoop in “digging up” Gail Huff’s 1984 music video. That one’s old news in the Bay State, the Herald wrote about it in October.

December 8 To January 19

On December 8 2009, I wrote this and the reaction was laughter. Almost no one thought Scott could win.

So what has changed between the time that was written and today? How important was Brown’s campaign structure? Howie Carr’s on-air support? Blogs and talk radio?

Let’s hear from you below.

First, the flashback:

Memo To Scott Brown: Don’t Make Capuano’s Mistakes

by Brian Maloney, December 8th, 2009 at 11:30pm

With the results in, it’s already clear that Michael Capuano blew an enormous opportunity to win the Democratic nomination by failing to go negative against Martha Coakley (for fear of a backlash) and draw a clear distinction on the issues.

Now, Republican nominee Scott Brown has just six weeks to learn from Capuano’s mistakes and take a wildly different approach.

Think Brown can’t win? Here’s why he can:

— With local media outlets already declaring Coakley our next senator, Martha’s infamous coasting will become even more pronounced. She will put next to nothing into her effort from here, saving campaign funds for future purposes.

— Since Coakley’s supporters now assume the race is over, they will do little campaigning over the holidays.

— Given that backdrop, turnout on January 19 will be even lower than today’s. We could be well into single digits across the Commonwealth. Motivating your base, even one as small as the GOP’s, makes it possible to overcome that.

— At the national level, Democrats are busy alienating almost every group, from the far-left to moderates, which further depresses turnout as supporters become disillusioned.

— Oddly enough, the one media outlet seeing a potential victory path for Brown, if remote, is the New York Times:

About 37 percent of the state’s 4.1 million registered voters are Democrats, and about 11 percent are Republicans, giving Ms. Coakley an advantage over Mr. Brown in the general election. Although Massachusetts has elected three Republican governors since 1990, it has not sent a Republican to the Senate in 37 years.

Mr. Brown, 50, is a lawyer and a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts National Guard who has served in the state Legislature since 1996. He opposes same-sex marriage and the health care legislation being debated in Congress, and supports President Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Winning unaffiliated voter, who make up half of the state’s electorate, will be crucial for Mr. Brown. He has touted his ability to work across party lines, while casting himself as the only candidate with conservative values.

Since almost no one believes Brown can win, what does he have to lose? Why not put the pedal to the floor and see what happens?

Here’s what he must do next:

— Make it clear: this is about the economy, jobs, and taxes. These are winnable positions for Republicans. Set the agenda, it’s not difficult, as Martha’s sole “issue” is her gender.

— Muzzle Howie Carr’s defeatist attitude. Hey Howie, why not help, rather than hinder Brown’s efforts? I cringe every time I hear Howie say that Scott’s only in the race to get his name out there so he can run for AG or another statewide office. Even if true, why say that on the air?

— ABSOLUTELY go after Coakley EVERY SINGLE DAY. Make her life miserable for the next six weeks, that’s what campaigning is all about. And she most certainly deserves it! There’s no reason she should have a free ride simply because that pleases Margery Eagan and the others who failed to nominate Hillary Clinton in 2008.

There’s plenty of ammo out there on Coakley, use it. When Eagan and the Globies are writing angry columns in response, you’ll know you’ve done your job correctly.

— INSIST on a series of debates and scream bloody murder if she refuses. Local media outlets have held debates without Republicans to this point, why should that continue?

— IMMEDIATELY begin a major push for out-of-state contributions. Coakley’s been doing this all along, why shouldn’t the opposition?

— Put together some money and hammer her with ads! Utilize talk radio and finally, let’s see some mailers.

There is no reason whatsoever for Scott Brown to play it safe for the next six weeks. Playing nice or accepting a token opposition candidate role is unacceptable and will only make the margin wider. Worse, a weak result from that kind of misguided strategy will make running for other positions down the road more difficult than ever.

But even a fairly close race would show that Republicans are once again viable in Massachusetts. The New York Times is right: those unaffiliated voters (who stayed home today) are up for grabs. Rile them up.

Bottom line: nice = big loss, while aggressive campaigning is a game-changer.

The Latest

*** We’re experiencing a heavy surge in visitor traffic, bear with us ***

— Olbermann cries racism

— CNN can only see negative factors in Brown’s win

— CBS not happy with the results

— Brown 2012? Blame Paddy Power, not us

— NOW, on to the next battle: when will Brown be seated?

— BREAKING: Rush Limbaugh reacts to Brown victory

— Globies call it for Brown – can you imagine the long faces in that newsroom?

— Maddow holds back tears as she reports AP projection that Brown would win, minutes after other networks report Coakley has conceded the race

— Maddow’s making cracks about Scott’s truck, what a sore loser

— Rachel Maddow is alleging all kinds of fraud- robocalls for Joe Kennedy, filled in ballots for Brown (these concerns have already been dismissed)

— Not sure where Martha would make up her deficit at this point – half of Boston’s already in

— MSNBC / Dean blaming Coakley loss on “partisanship” and BUSH!!!

— MSNBC: Dem party leadership pounding Coakley for her “Caribbean vacation” – easy scapegoat, isn’t she?

— From RCP: 8:51pm For what it’s worth, Bostonian Howie Carr says on Fox that Brown is a lock to win. – Tom Bevan

— GLOBIE WEBSITE SUCKS! It is down, down, down

— Maddow links robocalls for Joe Kennedy to voter confusion, then why does Joe have only 1% of the vote

— Another unwatched MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow appears to deliver the bad news

— Chris Matthews is rambling on about Haiti and “wars”, have another drink, buddy

— Brown winning Quincy is huge, that’s not GOP territory, it’s a fairly large city

— some of Brown’s best suburbs on the North Shore have yet to report

— It looks like a funeral at MSNBC right now, Chris Matthews looks glum, am I the only person watching?

— Brown not doing as badly as one would expect in Boston, but it’s a bit early there

— Brown wins several outer / lower Cape towns that went for Obama in 2008

— Brown winning Plymouth, Obama won there in 2008

— Very difficult to reach Herald and Globie websites, isn’t it?

— Just returned from last-minute sign-waving outside the precinct. Brown supporters upbeat, one die-hard Coakley backer there as well. Lots of friendly waves and honks…

— State-run media still obsessed with Camelot

— Will the Scott Brown stock market rally continue?

— MSNBC / Chris Matthews turn against Mass voters

— Looks like Martha’s banking on placing a cloud over the election with her crazy tampering allegation. But who will believe that the GOP has fixed the election in Cambridge and Brighton? Isn’t that a joke?

— WaPo hacks can’t figure out why race is so competitive

— RNC’s Michael Steele arriving in Boston to celebrate potential win. But if Scott wins, it will be despite the national party’s efforts, not because of it.

— Scott hopes to get a chance to drive his pickup truck to Washington. Beltway snobs are aghast.

— What kind of national role will Scott Brown play? Once again, underestimating Scott is a big mistake.

— McCain redux: Brown owns too many houses

— Coakley’s pointing fingers right back at the DNC and White House

— WSJ tries to fathom how this could be a close race

— Who knew Coakley could be such a laff riot? She’s alleging voter irregularities in Cambridge and Brighton

— RCP: Another disturbing incident between Coakley’s people and a reporter

— WTKK reports heavy suburban turnout

— GLOBIES CALL IT FOR MARSHA? Yes, it’s a practice page, but you’ve got to love their wishful thinking

— I’m hearing from a number of listeners who are baffled as to why WRKO would preempt Rush Limbaugh at such an important time. Sure, local talent is filling in, but Rush is talking about Massachusetts! So why the switcheroo?

I believe this is Entercom’s way of sticking it to Limbaugh’s syndicator ahead of a likely move to Clear Channel’s new talk station, scheduled to debut here in April. Expect more petty silliness between now and then.

In my area, however, this isn’t a problem: WXTK-FM offers a excellent alternative.

We’ll cover the issue more after the election is sorted out.

— As you head to the polls, think about the Amiraults

— A lot has changed since December 8, hasn’t it?

— Marsha predicts victory

— Is this election fraud?

Senate Race Gets Hotter, Weather Gets Colder

The latest (please leave comments below):

— RTE covers the race here and it is no surprise the focus is on Ted Kennedy and Obama’s “ambitious reform agenda”

— Another London paper, the Torygraph, weighs in as well

— New Globie narrative: Brown’s supporters are “bullies”. Didn’t Mass Dems write the book on political bullying?

— Brown leads home page coverage at Times of London

— Coakley hasn’t been ahead in any of the last eight polls

— Scott Brown’s Open Letter to the People of Massachusetts

— “Do it for Teddy

— Scott Brownbranded cookies?

— My EQ clip featuring MSNBC’s Ed Schultz promoting voter fraud in Massachusetts has been linked at Drudge, Huffington Post, RealClearPolitics and dozens of other sites today.

— WSJ: Coakley’s soft on political corruption cases involving Dems

— Fellow libtalker Stephanie Miller couldn’t find anything substantive to say about Martha Coakley, so she resorted to crude sexual remarks about Scott Brown

— Martha still claims she’ll win tomorrow

— AP puffery: Martha’s win would be “historic” for Bay State

— CBS dreams of delaying Brown’s swearing-in

— How many robocalls are you receiving? My phone’s been ringing every 15 minutes or so all day, to the point where I’ve shut off the ringer.

— Polling shows wide Brown lead in key swing areas

— Much ado about nothing – one stray Facebook comment

— Brown crushing Coakley at Intrade

— CNN: Brown’s made effective use of Internet– future template for GOP candidates?

— John F’n Kerry: Brown supporters are bullies

— Charting the polls: a clear trend emerges

— Marsha’s in freefall!

— Obama in Martha’s TV spot- doesn’t that merely remind voters what they’re fighting against?

— MSNBC hatemonger Chris Matthews can’t contain his disappointment, he knows it’s over for Marsha

— Another MSNBC talker believes we’ve lost our minds