WHAV Emerges as No. 1 Local News Source, But How to Pay For it?

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WHAV’s Edwin V. Johnson Newsroom.

pay for newsThere’s no doubt about it. The numbers are in and 97.9 WHAV—on air, online and dominating social media—is Greater Haverhill’s favorite, trusted and most reliable local news source.

Last month, independent Cloudflare reported a whopping 9 million contacts from people who come to read the news at WHAV.net. For you wonks out there who want to know how many of those hits are “unique visitors,” the number is an astounding 101,168 different people. Want to dig deeper into the data? Consider this. WHAV.net displays only a handful of paid Google ads. Google and its advertisers understandably don’t want to pay for anything, but real buyers and prospects. With this stinginess in mind, Google still reported nearly 200,000 different people saw its ads on WHAV.net during the last month.

How about radio? Like most local radio stations, WHAV simply can’t afford to pay for Nielsen Audio (Arbitron) ratings. However, many other indicators suggest the new 97.9 WHAV FM is wildly popular. It took WHAV.net years to reach the five million monthly hits mark. Then, in just a few months after signing on 97.9 FM, the number of visitors doubled. That’s the power of radio’s deep reach, essentially advertising the station’s website. While other media are losing subscribers, radio continues to reach 91 percent of Americans age 12 or older every week. Other, albeit anecdotal, data comes via the thousands of cards, letters, emails and social media messages the new WHAV FM station has received since signing on last September.

Just yesterday, Barbara Daly Jesionowski wrote:

“Love this station. Sometimes I think I’m going to hear Mr. Johnson say ‘No school, in all schools, in Haverhill today.’ LOL. I love this station. I listen every morning, till it fades out, on my way to work. Keep up the good work. It’s nice to listen to a station from Haverhill, give us info. about Haverhill.”

Thank you, Barbara! WHAV misses Mr. Johnson too. That’s why it dedicated one new studio as the “Edwin V. Johnson Newsroom.”

But, We Have to Have That Talk

We know what 20 years without competition did to local news. It shrank. Politicians weren’t held accountable. Residents didn’t have an independent source letting them know how their tax dollars were being spent. Neighborhood, civic and charitable groups lost news coverage. The list of losses goes on and on.

WHAV believes people do care about crime and drugs, school performance, poverty, public buildings and infrastructure and city debt. WHAV has prepared a detailed “white paper” on Haverhill’s problems and enormous opportunities. If you would like a copy, use the contact form to request one.

The great majority of you are not paying for WHAV news. That’s not a sustainable proposition for WHAV. Haverhill lost WHAV once. It will surely lose it again without your memberships or contributions. Some of you, understandably, can’t afford it. Others have the mistaken idea WHAV receives government money. It doesn’t. Still others think WHAV is somehow connected with cable television money. It’s not.

Those of you, however, who value the news or have newspaper subscriptions can send some money to non-profit WHAV. Oh, you didn’t like a certain story? Disagreements occur. Mistakes happen. News is often controversial—it always has been and always will be, but can you really afford to be without it?

Become a News Leader member here. If you can’t give, can you volunteer?

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2 Comments

  1. jack said:

    Congrats to WHAV. You have made a serious impact locally. Hopefully, people will rrealize this and help out with some support.

    What most people do not know is the huge sacrifice that has been made and what it has cost to bring WHAV to where it is right now. Lots of people don’t realize WHAV is an Educational non-profit.so their donation is tax deductible. Sadly, it costs money to keep the doors open at WHAV and I am surprised many long time local businesses in greater Haverhill are not advertising here considering the large local following.

    Seeing them advertise with WHAV’s competition at such a large cost factor, makes me wonder if they are really looking seriously at how their money is being spent. When you compare the “eyes” that are seeing their ads on the pages of their competition, WHAV is more cost effective and would provide a far better return for their dollar. What better place to spend your money than locally as opposed to an out of state company ?

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