Thursday, April 23, 2015

Classic hits keep WROR atop the latest radio ratings

Greater Media's classic hits station WROR 105.7 retained its spot as Boston's most popular radio station for March survey period which ran from February 26 thru March 25th.

Topping the two country stations, WKLB/New Hit Country 102.5 remained No. 5. WBWL/101.7 The Bull ranked No, 20. Both stations also gained listeners - WKLB grew from 779,000 weekly listeners in February to 814,000 in March. WBWL went from 306,000 to 357,000 during the same period.

Howie Carr returned to WRKO 680's line-up on March 16th but it was not enough time to make a big impact on the ailing Talk Station which recovered to 1.8 from the lowest rating in its 33 year history(1.4) in February. The station only added 5,000 weekly listeners(182,000 to 187,000). The station is due for much needed line-up changes which reportedly are on its way next month.

In the sports corner, both WBZ/98.5 The Sports Hub and WEEI/Sports Radio 93.7 lost listeners in March. However, for the Winter quarter(January-February-March), The Sports Hub came in first among the target Male 25-54 demographic with WEEI in third but up significantly from last winter reports Boston Globe's Chad Finn.

With three stations in the top five — WROR, WMJX and WKLB — Greater Media's Boston station cluster lead all the Big 4 radio groups locally with 27% share of the audience. CBS Boston Radio was second with 22.7%, IheartMedia Boston was third with 11.8% and Entercom Boston registered 9.4%.

In the 25-54 age demographic coveted by advertisers, WROR 105.7 was No. 1, followed by WXKS/Kiss 108, WBZ/98.5 The SportsHub, WMJX/Magic 106.7 and WKLB/New Hit Country 102.5.

BRW Notebook :

Names and Voices :  Earlier this week, veteran Boston radio newsman Henry Santoro has joined pubcaster WGBH 89.7 as its new midday news anchor. Boston area native, Santoro, 59, replaces Jordan Weinstein who left the station last month, Santoro has been morning host and news director at's on-line rock station RadioBDC since its launch in August 2012. Prior to that, he had spent 29 years at now-defunct WFNX 101.7....Last week, WEEI 93.7's morning show co-host John Dennis took  a leave of absence from the Entercom's sports/talker to enter inpatient rehab to deal with his addiction to alcohol. In a statement he released that was published by the Boston Herald, Dennis said, “I’ve made the decision to take serious steps to eliminate the role alcohol plays in my life before it impacts my health. To that end, I’ve decided to take some time away from WEEI, tackle this head-on, and set a smart and informed course for a long and healthy life.” Entercom/Boston Market Manager Phil Zachary told the newspaper that Dennis’ decision to enter rehab did not take him by surprise and emphasized that the morning show co-star’s job will be waiting for him upon his return. “WEEI has been built on the Dennis & Callahan Show and we don’t see a future without John Dennis,” he said. Dennis and Callahan debuted in 1997 as a midday show and moved to mornings in 1999. Read the full statement released by Dennis here...'I Am What I Play'
 a feature length documentary about the heyday of rock radio will premiere as part of Independent Film Festival Boston this Sunday(4/26) at 12:30pm at the historic Somerville Theater. The film focuses on four disc jockeys from four different cities, including Boston’s very own Charles Laquidara, who was the morning man for WBCN 104.1 for over 25 years and was among the highest paid radio personalities in the country. Laquidara shifted to mornings at sister station WZLX 100.7 in 1996 to make room for Howard Stern on WBCN. He retired from Boston radio in 2001 and moved to Hawaii. Pat O’Day of Seattle’s KJR, Toronto’s David Marsden of CHUM-FM in the early 1970s and then as program director of one of North America’s first alternative rock stations CFNY, and legendary New York DJ Meg Griffin are also profiled. The doc takes a look at how the on-air talent adjusted as the medium changed over the years and where they are now. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

WBZ Radio's Mark Katic has passed away

WBZ/News Radio 1030 announced its veteran/reporter anchor Mark Katic had lost his year-long battle with stomach cancer. He was 53. Katic had joined WBZ in 1999 as a sports reporter, but after the 9/11 attacks, he chose to go into a news reporting role. However, he still kept his hand at sports reporting, including anchoring the station's Boston Marathon coverage. Prior to joining WBZ, Katic was a sports reporter for ESPN Radio and WHJJ in Providence.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Assistant News Director Jon MacLean said of Katic: "You could tell he loved radio and loved what he did. I think we'd all agree that his calls during our marathon coverage were second to none. He will always remain a part of the fabric of this newsroom and his influence both on and off the air will live on."

BRW Notebook :

Names and Voices :  WODS/103.3 AMP extended "The TJ Show" with TJ Taormina and co-host Loren Raye(BRW 3/29/13) to a multi-year contract. They debuted on 103.3 AMP Radio on April 1 2013(BRW 2/12/13) and along with Producer Matt Shearer have taken the show to 2nd place in Boston with women 18-34 and 3rd with women 18-49. "I am THRILLED to continue hosting mornings at 103.3 AMP Radio. It is a privilege to work at CBS Radio and even more of a privilege to connect with Boston radio listeners each and every morning, said TJ via press release. "TJ is one of my closest friends and it is genuinely a dream come true to co-host a morning show with him. I look forward to the future in Boston!" added Loren.....WBZ 1030's afternoon co-anchor Anthony Silva will retire after almost 36 years of service at the CBS Radio News and Talk station, it was announced this week. Silva co-anchors WBZ’s afternoon newscasts with Diane Stern, and also serves as the station’s business editor. He plans to step down in June, coinciding with his 65th birthday. “Anthony has been a significant player in WBZ’s success and awards over the years,” said WBZ Director of News and Programming Peter Casey in a memo to staffers. “He deserves (and has) our admiration and thanks for a job well done. He sits comfortably with the other legendary voices/names we all think of when reminiscing about the people who greatly contributed to the well-earned reputation that WBZ has established in Boston broadcasting.” Read more about Silva’s career a....Former WEEI's morning sports flasher and play-by-play voice of Boston College football and basketball, Jon Meterparel, has linked up with the independent Stamford, CT-based ONE World Sports to launch The Meter Is Running, the network’s first originally produced podcast that will be distributed on iTunes, social media and at …After 2 1/2 year absence, syndicated conservative talker Michael Savage is back on the air in Boston. His show now airs from 9pm to Midnight on WMEX 1510. Savage used to air on WRKO 680 until September 2012. (BRW 9/28/2012)

Radio Shows : WBQT/Hot 96.9 is 'Throwback House Party 2015' on May 28th at the House of Blues. Station's personalities Pebbles, Melissa, Jeriamine 'Wiggy' Wiggins, Deirdre Dagata, Jackson Blue will host a party with special guest performers Salt n Pepa, DJ Spinderella and Fat Joe.....WXKS/Kiss 108's annual late spring Kiss Concert extravaganza will go down on Saturday, May 16th at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA. This year it will feature sets from Kelly Clarkson, Fifth Harmony, Nick Jonas, Ella Henderson, Hilary Duff, Jason Derulo, Zedd and Natalie La Rose...WJMN/Jamn 94-5's Summer Jam is on Saturday, June 6th at the Xfinity Center headlined by Snoop Dogg, Trey Songz, Amber Rose

Saturday, April 4, 2015

JD Tapped as AMP 103.3's new nighttime host

CBS Radio Boston announced that JD Whitfield has been named WODS/AMP 103.3's new nights jock starting Monday, April 6th. Bay Area native arrives from CBS' sister station KZON/Live 101.5 in the Phoenix market where he most recently co-hosted morning-drive The Lady La Show. Prior to that, he handled nights at the station, a post he took after graduating from Arizona State University in 2013.

JD replaces Dustin "Slater" Carlson who ironically moved to Phoenix to take an afternoon drive host and assistant program director role at KDKB/Alt 93.3. Slater was with AMP for two years(BRW 2/05/13).

Amp 103.3's new line up now looks like this : 5:30am-9am The TJ Show, 9am-2pm  Vanessa Hale, 2pm-6pm Joe Breezy; 6-Midnight JD.

BRW Notebook :

Names and Voices : Boston media personality Kim Carrigan has left her co-host role on  "The Financial Exchange" show currently heard on WRKO 680 from 10am to Noon. She was with the financial talk show since September 2013. Her prior TV work included stops at Fox25, WBZ4 and 7NBC. No word on her next move....WGBH 89.7 is launching a new podcast, "Security Mom" hosted by international and homeland security expert Juliette Kayem. She is already a regular guest on "Boston Public Radio" heard weekdays 11am to 2pm. More details on Kayem's roles at 89.7 and her additional contribution to sister TV station can be found here.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Magic 106.7’s Candy O leaves the station after 25 years

As if there weren't enough major on-air changes at Greater Media's local radio station cluster this week. This one might also qualify as a big one.

Veteran Boston radio personality Candy O’Terry has left the station she joined as a secretary in 1991. She became an on-air personality at WMJX/Magic 106.7 in 1991 and thru the past two and a half decades worked her way up the ranks to become assistant program director, afternoon drive co-host and most recently, “Morning Magic” co-host.(BRW 3/7/2013) In 1992, she founded an award-winning public affairs program called ‘Exceptional Women’ which she has been co-hosting every Sunday morning on Magic.

O’Terry’s last day at Magic was yesterday (3/26). Her publicist's press release hints a possible return to a radio dial near you but nothing specific. As they say, stay tuned…

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Country 102.5 shakes up its line-up

Greater Media's country radio station WKLB/Country 102.5 has made a big announcement earlier this week. A new afternoon drive(2pm-7pm) host will start this Thursday(3/26). Keven Kennedy,a name Boston radio listeners will not recognize,most recently served as the host of both the "Kennedy in the Morning" show at urban contemporary Movin' 107.7 WMOV in Norfolk, VA and "Nudge in the Morning" on KVDU-FM/Voodoo 104 in New Orleans, LA. His previous stints included Dial Global's syndicated "Nudge At Night" as well as on the "Hits Now" format. Other stops included KIIS-FM/LA, WSTR-FM/ Atlanta, WIOQ/Philadelphia, Y100/Miami and KDBW in Minneapolis.

As the result of the afternoon change, Steve Kelly who was at WKLB since 1997 and its afternoon voice since November 1998, has exited the station. Kelly also served as station's imaging voice. Some may view the change as a way to young-up the station's profile as it battles recent newcomer WBWL/101.7 The Bull. Kelly's wasn't the only departure from veteran-heavy WKLB's on-air line-up. Another longtimer, night jock Keith Stephens was also let go earlier this week but currently there is no plan to replace him. Stephens was with WKLB for nearly 15 years.

BRW Notebook :

Signed, sealed and delivered : As mentioned first by the Globe's sports media scribe Chad Finn four weeks ago, WEEI 93.7 finally made it official this week - afternoon co-host Michael Holley has a new deal.

Remembering 'The News Dissector': Pioneering author, filmmaker and media reform activist Danny Schechter, died last week of pancreatic cancer at the age of 72. Schechter got his start as "The News Dissector" on Boston’s WBCN 104.1 in early 1970's.

Friday, March 20, 2015

WEEI and Patriots agree on the new content deal

For the next three years WEEI 93.7 will keep airing exclusive interviews with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady the day after Patriots games.

The station and the defending Super Bowl champs have agreed on a brand new three-year contract which runs thru 2017 season. The Patriots first entered into an agreement with WEEI for “Patriots Monday” back in 1995. In 1999, the club moved Monday's programming package to now-defunct WWZN/1510 The Zone for three seasons. With the Zone collapsing, the Patriots took its Monday programming back to WEEI in 2002. The content agreement expanded to “Patriots Friday” with the start of 2008 season. 

After winning its fourth Super Bowl last month, the club was seeking a big increase to renew the Monday/Friday deal and was reportedly ready to move it to another station in the market had WEEI balked. However, after many rounds of negotiations which reached ownership level both sides were able to come to a new agreement.

WEEI spends over $1 million a year for the Patriots Monday and Friday which includes station's exclusive access to Belichick and Brady the day after the game. The actual cash payment is only 1/10 of the rights fee which comes mostly from advertising time revenue that the Patriots and WEEI split. Participation in Monday's programming is included in Belichick's and Brady's contracts with the Patriots for which they're compensated separately.

BRW Notebook :

Let it snow, let it snow : Paralyzing winter storms in February made for good news at WBZ 1030 which was busy providing what seemed like non-stop commuter traffic and weather reports. The Nielsen Audio's numbers for January 29 to February 25 survey period showed the news talker big surprise... #1 station in the afternoon drive. Overall, the station finished 2nd almost tying Classic hits WROR 105.7.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Howie Carr and WRKO break up and make up 

Popular radio afternoon host Howie Carr will be back on WRKO 680 next Monday, the station announced this morning.

As you recall, Carr disappeared from WRKO after his November 7th show. The station did confirm his departure a week later with a brief statement(BRW 11/14/14). He has been WRKO's afternoon drive host since September 1994.  

Carr signed on with his own self-syndicated regional network of some 20 stations including Boston's WMEX 1510. Meanwhile at WRKO, Carr was replaced with Seattle-based Mike Siegel whose interim show didn't receive any kind of promotional push or publicity by the station. That in itself opened the door to a lot of social media speculation whether Carr could return to WRKO 680 via a syndication deal sooner rather than later.

While low-key Siegel was covering the 3-7pm slot on 680 and Carr struggled to be heard via 1510's iffy night-time signal in much of Boston metro, behind the closed doors negotiations to bring Carr's new syndicated show back to WRKO were taking place over the past two months. 

Finally the deal got done a few days ago and Howie's Chump Line will make its triumphant return to WRKO come next Monday afternoon.

BRW Notebook :

Keeping the band together : Speaking of WRKO's line-up, Westwood One has recently inked Mark Levin to a new long-term contract extension that will keep his syndicated "The Mark Levin Show" (7 to 10 p.m. weeknights on WRKO) on through 2020.

He launched his show in 2003 and expanded it to three hours in 2009.

Levin is also known to listeners of Rush Limbaugh's show as "F. Lee Levin" and to Sean Hannity listeners as "The Great One" through frequent appearances on those shows before getting his own program.

Howie Carr has done some fill-in work for Levin in the past and now that he's back at WRKO, that will likely continue.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Kaufman named morning sports anchor at WBZ

Veteran sports reporter Adam Kaufman has been promoted to Morning Sports Anchor for WBZ NewsRadio 1030 effective immediately. He has been anchoring morning updates since last November when Walt Perkins was let go after a five-year run. Perkins was. Of course, Perkins took over as WBZ's morning sports anchor in February 2009 when legendary Gil Santos retired after 38 years in that role(BRW 1/30/09).

In addition to his morning role at WBZ 1030, Kaufman also hosts a Saturday "Celtics at 7" show on sister station WBZ/98.5 the SportsHub and serves as a fill-in weekend host for CBS Sports Radio Network.

CBS Radio Boston's press release :



Boston, MA – February 24, 2015 – Veteran sports reporter Adam Kaufman has been promoted to Morning Sports Anchor for the top-rated, award-winning WBZ NewsRadio 1030 effective immediately (Monday-Friday 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.), it was announced by Peter Casey, WBZ NewsRadio News & Programming Director.  WBZ NewsRadio programming can be heard on-air, online at, or by downloading the app for mobile devices.

A multi-platform sports journalist for more than a decade, Kaufman will continue to be a show host at 98.5 The Sports Hub and CBS Sports Radio in addition to being a columnist for sports and serve as a regional television anchor on Comcast SportsNet New England.

Before being named Sports Anchor for WBZ NewsRadio’s morning newscasts, Kaufman served as a radio talk show host, anchor, and sports reporter at three CBS-owned properties: WBZ-AM NewsRadio 1030, 98.5 The Sports Hub (WBZ-FM), and CBS Sports Radio.  Previously, Kaufman worked for two seasons as the lead play-by-play voice of the Boston College men's hockey team and five years with the Providence Bruins, the top affiliate of the Boston Bruins.  He is a graduate of Syracuse University.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030 is owned and operated by CBS RADIO, one of the largest major-market radio operators in the United States. A division of CBS Corporation, CBS RADIO operates 117 radio stations, the majority of which are in the nation’s top 50 markets. CBS RADIO also owns and operates WZLX-FM, WODS-FM, WBMX-FM, and WBZ-FM in Boston.

BRW Notebook :

Hub Headlines : A familiar voice is back on the sports radio dial. Earlier this week, "Big" Jim Murray was installed as headline anchor for "Felger and Mazz" afternoon drive show at 98.5 The Sports Hub. He replaces Marc "Beetle" Bertrand who now co-hosts the midday show with Scott Zolak. Murray first joined the Sports Hub as a weekend host/sports flasher in 2010 but left for late-night host role in Atlanta in October 2012 to join a brand new sports FM station The Game. Murray returned to New England in October 2013 when he became a co-host of a morning drive "Jim and Anna" show at WEZN/Star 99.9 in Bridgeport, CT.  His early career involved two stints at WFNX 101.7 in a variety of roles including production director and afternoon drive host. In between, he hosted an afternoon drive show at rocker WGIR in Manchester from 2004 to 2007. 

Dale and Holley, Part 2 : Speaking of familiar, sounds like the second installment of "Dale and Holley" experience at WEEI 93.7 has been picked up for another run. Arnold signed up last month. Now comes the word the reunion tour is officially on with Michael Holley's signature making its way to the dotted line.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Post holidays, Magic drops but manages to hold on to the top spot

WMJX/Magic 106.7 has become an end-of-year powerhouse with its all-holiday-song programming. It predictably fell last month but held on to first place and ended up with more listeners in January than a year ago when it finished second.

Radio listeners who had flocked to the all-holiday music format on Magic during the Christmas season for the most part retreated to their regular stations once the last "Jingle Bells" and "Little Drummer Boy" had been played. Magic 106, ceased its nonstop seasonal music on Dec. 26, but  based on the survey of listeners from Jan. 1 to Jan. 28. it fared much better than it did at the same time in 2013 and 2012.

Magic held on to enough of holiday listeners to retain the top spot in January. The rest of the usual Top 5 dwellers - pop station Kiss 108, classic hitter WROR 105.7 and country WKLB 102.5 all bounced back to their pre-holiday totals, according to figures released by the Nielsen Audio ratings service. In WROR's case, the station recorded highest numbers in recent history.

Arbitron divides the year into 13 four-week ratings periods, one named for each month plus a year-end holiday period. Magic  has been dominating December and holiday time frames with its switch to carols from its usual playlist of adult-contemporary hits. Although a decline is inevitable, the station's goal is to retain as many of its seasonal listeners as possible after its return to regular programming. That strategy had paid off this time around.

New England Patriots' Super Bowl run and a huge "Deflategate" story dominated sports talk radio in January. WBZ 98.5/The Sports Hub and WEEI 93.7 both rode the championship train. That dominance had extended to the point where the Sports Hub was No. 1 among adults ages 25-54, not just its usual target male 25-54 demographic. The Sports Hub was tied for third for overall listeners jumping up almost 2 share points to 6.9(from 5.1) and 920,000 weekly listeners. WEEI came in 7th but had a sizeable spike from 3.7 to 5.1 with 578,000 listeners. The story for WEEI was all on-line where its site broke all sorts of visitor records.

Sports radio wasn't the only Deflagate beneficiary. The social media-manufactured story(or non-story in this case) also became a top headline on WBZ 1030, WGBH 89.7 and WBUR 90.9. Another sports-related story which created a lot of buzz locally was the controversial selection of Boston as USOC's choice to host 2024 Summer Olympic games(Jan.8). One could argue that January ratings survey captured the official start of winter from hell(January 26) but these stations will truly be shoveling massive ratings once the current February survey(Jan.29 - Feb.25) results are released on St. Patrick's Day.

BRW Notebook :

And that's no Bull : Radio website RadioInsight is reporting that IheartMedia's upstart country station WBWL/the Bull 101.7 has recently completed its complex signal reconfigurations which were detailed in this space back in August(BRW 8/6/14). As of this week, Bull's listeners in the Boston metro should now be able to notice a much improved reception. However, according to the RadioInsight report, the station's management is not stopping there. It has filed an application with the FCC in hopes of boosting station's local reach even more by moving its transmitter from downtown Boston to Medford and making additional adjustments to antenna specifications.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Marc Bertrand Joins Zolak For Middays On 98.5 The Sports Hub

WBZ 98.5/The Sports Hub has announced that Marc "Beetle" Bertrand will join Scott Zolak as co-host on the new “Zolak and Bertrand” show which will premiere on Tuesday, February 17 and air weekdays from 10:00AM to 2:00PM on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Boston Globe's sports media columnist Chad Finn first reported on Sports Hub's surprising midday change a month ago. Gresh's future at the station is unclear. CBS Radio Boston's press release states that he'll continue at the Sports Hub in 'a variety of roles' which basically means he'll be kept on a weekend/fill-in bench until a new fulltime opportunity opens up for him inside or outside of CBS Sports Radio stations group. Gresh first joined The Sports Hub five years ago as a weekend host.(BRW 1/7/10). In addition to his weekday duties, Gresh was working as co-host on Patriots pre and postgame broadcasts, a role he has held with the Patriots Radio Network since 2005.

Bertrand will also co-host The Sports Hub’s Patriots pre- and postgame shows. He joined the station at launch in 2009 from Metro Traffic and has been serving as the sports headline anchor for the “Felger and Mazz” show. 

In addition to his role providing news updates and headlines during the “Felger & Mazz” show, Bertrand also hosted the popular “The Final Word” segment. Previously, he was co-host of the “Bertrand & Gasper” show (broadcast Saturday’s 8-11AM) with Christopher Gasper of The Boston Globe. 

No word yet on who will take over Bertrand's sports flash boy duties on "Felger and Mazz" starting on Tuesday.

BRW Notebook :

Radio Music Awards : iHeartMedia and NBC will cover the second annual iHeartRadio Music Awards, which return to the historic Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 29. The event will be televised live on NBC from 8 to 11 p.m. and broadcast simultaneously on iHeartMedia stations nationwide.