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New Station Looks to Cash in on Talk Radio

San Diego-based Broadcast Company of the Americas, which broadcasts San Diego Padres games on XPRS-AM 1090, also known as the Mighty 1090, plans to launch a new talk-radio show focusing on business and financial news.

The new station, Cash 1700, which uses the slogan “Where Money Talks,” is set to start airing in mid-August, said Rob Quinn, the station manager for XEPE-AM Cash 1700.

The station currently broadcasts a Mexican regional-style format called La Pentera, which also airs on 105.7-FM.

Cash 1700 will rival Anaheim-based Astor Broadcast Group’s KCEO-AM 1000 in Carlsbad, which Quinn said “does a very good job.”

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The bulk will be block programming of life and local business news, with the rest being syndicated programming of local and national business news, such as a Market Watch news feed, and Bloomberg financial news services, Quinn said.

He said Cash 1700 offers an opportunity for San Diego’s broadcast clients to essentially promote their own businesses on one- to two-hour segments they sponsor while providing their expertise to listeners calling in with questions.

“These are industry experts in various industries who will be sharing information and offering free advice,” Quinn said.

For example, it could be a top seller from a real estate company providing home improvement tips and an insider perspective on the real estate market, he said.

“They (sponsors) will share their information hopefully so credible that I (as a listener) may want him to sell my own house,” Quinn said.

As of last week, some 20 sponsors in such industry areas as real estate, wellness, stress reduction, good living and business law have bought airtime, he said.

He declined to name the companies.

He also said that advertising rates have not been set. The Mighty 1090’s eight-member advertising staff will also sell ads for Cash 1700, he said.

As is standard in AM talk radio, Cash 1700 will air 10 to 15, 60-second commercials every hour, he said.

“There will be fresh content throughout the day with a heavy concentration on the weekends,” he said.

Niche Market

Tom Taylor, editor of the industry newsletter Inside Radio, said business talk caters to a small niche market, but if done properly can be very attractive for advertisers.

“While business talk is not a mass-appeal station with big Arbitron ratings and huge revenues, if done properly and with patience , it takes time to build a format , it can attract a viable audience,” Taylor said.

Arbitron, which is based in Columbia, Md., is an information service used by radio stations to gauge listenership that drives programming and other decisions.

Taylor drew a comparison to sports talk radio, which also caters to a niche market of predominantly males. He said good stations are in touch with their listeners, which creates loyalty.

Padres Broadcasts

The Mighty 1090 has steadily grown in its appeal.

Cash 1700 and Mighty 1090, which broadcasts from the same facility in University Towne Centre, will both air Padres games in the future, Quinn said.

Mark Larson, the president of the San Diego Radio Broadcasters Association, an industry group comprising 24 member stations, considers it a smart plan.

“One of the criticisms of Mighty 1090 is not having a strong coverage; it has spotty areas,” said Larson, who has a midday talk show on

Clear Channel station KOGO-AM 600.

Having two positions on the dial should allow more listeners to tune in. Larson, however, noted that listeners may overlook the 1700 frequency.

“The older radios don’t get the 1700 frequency,” he said. “That means they will have to promote it. The prominent talk action is on the other end of the dial at KOGO and (KFMB-AM) 760.”

Still, he sees the new arrival as a positive and said 1090 has a proven track record.

“I think anytime a new program appears on the radio dial, it is good for broadcasters,” Larson said. “As a talk radio fan, the more activity we have in AM band, the better.”

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