Friday, December 2, 2016

WEEI names new Program Director and makes other off-air and on-air moves

After a six-month search for its next program director, Entercom's WEEI/Sports Radio 93-7 has promoted from its in-house talent pool.  After serving as an assistant program director for past three years under former PD Kevin Graham who left the building over the summer, Joe Zarbano becomes fifth Program Direction in WEEI's 25-year history as Boston's first sports station. According to station's press release, in his new role, Zarbano will assume direct oversight of all audio content for WEEI 93.7, the WEEI Sports Radio Network, the Boston Red Sox Radio Network and ESPN 850. 

In addition, Zarbano handed over his Executive Producer stripes to WEEI's Senior Producer Ben Kichen. He joined the station in 2006 from iHeart Media’s WXKS-AM/Talk 1200 serving for Jeff Katz and Jay Severin’s talk shows and has been lead producer for both the Glenn Ordway and Dale and Holley programs on WEEI. Kichen also produces the Enough About Me podcast with Kirk Minihane as well as hosting Soccercast for WEEI.com

Another WEEI/Entercom Boston vet, Carlson Mozdiez gets newly created  Director of Operations role for Entercom Boston with special emphasis on the company’s digital juggernaut WEEI.com. Mondiez has been serving as Director of Integrated Marketing Strategies for Entercom’s Boston cluster. He joined WEEI in 2002 immediately after graduating from Syracuse University and has held a variety of positions in promotions, marketing and digital operations. 

While 30-somethings take over key positions in WEEI's off-air roles, the on-air product is also getting somewhat younged up. This past summer saw the exit of long-time evening host Mike Adams who has been replaced by Mike Mutnansky. Early fall saw the addition of weekend part-timer Christian Arcand to host  WEEI Late Night(weeknights 10pm-2am). And of course, one of the main characters on the morning show, John Dennis, retired back in August.  WEEI's personnel moves keep on coming - yesterday, WEEI announced the addition of Rich Keefe as a replacement for departed Jerry Thornton on the station's "Dale and Holley" afternoon show. Keefe who spent the past seven years with direct rival WBZ/98.5 the Sports Hub where most recently he was a sports flasher/co-host on Adam Jones' evening show. He will now be the third co-host with Arnold and Holley starting on Monday, December 5th.


BRW Notebook :

Signing off : Earlier this week, WBZ 1030's afternoon drive co-anchor Diane Stern announced her retirement after 33-years with the CBS-owned News/Talker. A Marblehead native and BU alum, Stern joined WBZ back in 1983 following previous stints at with WEEI 590, WITS/WMEX 1510.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Presidential election provides boost to news and talk formats in latest ratings

Local news and talk formatted radio outlets like WBZ 1030, WBUR 90.9 and WGBH 89.7 thrived in one of the most contentious presidential elections in recent history this fall. So it should surprise no one that these outlets were all big winners when November's Nielsen Audio ratings were released yesterday.

The "November" survey period covered the period from October 6 through November. 2, The results for the current December survey period which ends on November 30 will be released on December 20. The December numbers will likely move the numbers for news and talk stations even higher considering it would include totals from the Election week.

But for all the ups among news/talkers and downs among music stations, classic hits rocker WROR 105.7 didn't budge from its top spot. WROR was the highest rated station among all listeners ages 6 and over. The station was still solid with a number five finish in the advertiser-coveted demo of consumers between ages 25 and 54. Patriots football rights holder, WBZ 98.5/The Sports Hub held on to #1 spot among 25-54 group as Tom Brady returned in October after sitting out first four games of the season. The Sports Hub was #3 in the all-age demographic, just barely behind WROR's sister station modern adult contemporary WMJX/Magic 106.7. 

A glut of election news as well as presidential debates coverage propelled news/talker WBZ 1030 to the highest totals since the spring. WBZ-AM came in fourth(up from 5th in October).  Biggest gain, however, was by Bosotn University-owned NPR affiliate WBUR 90.9 which went from 12th to 8th and added on 100,000 listners(430,000 in October and 530,000 in November). WBUR also made some noise among 25-54's where zoomed from 11th to 7th. WBUR's public radio counterpart WGBH 89.7 went from 10th to 9th with a slight audience increase. On a more conservative side of the spectrum, Entercom's talker WRKO 680 finished 15th overall and netted 10,000 more listeners(205,000 vs 215,000) while Rush Limbaugh's affiliate in Boston, Iheart Media's WKOX/Talk 1430 ended 24th with 8,000 more listeners in November(32,000 vs 40,000).

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Wally from "Loren and Wally" calls it a career

After 48 years on the air in New England, a legendary broadcaster will retire on Friday, December 16. Wally Brine, one half of  the comedic radio duo known as "Loren and Wally" will end a 35-year run on the same frequency 105.7, it was announced this morning. (The classic hits station has been known as WROR for the last 20 years but prior to that was adult contemporary WVBF and country music WCLB). Brine and Loren Owens paired up in October 1981 and have been together ever since.
For over three decades, the morning drive pair have been making listeners laugh with their good-natured banter. The men have even created audios and videos, such as their Two Men from Maine series.

Brine, 67, grew up in the industry. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, his dad, the famous Walter L. “Salty” Brine, was in the radio business with a career that included his top-rated WPRO-AM morning show, which lasted over 50 years.

Here's the official WROR press release :

For more information, contact:                                
Ken West, Program Director
617-822-6424 kwest@wror.com


WALLY BRINE IS SET TO RETIRE HIS ALARM CLOCK!

BOSTON, MA –November 22, 2016    --  Beasley Media Group, Inc, as subsidiary of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. has announced  the retirement of Wally Brine.

Oh Boy… This was such a tough decision. We call it a “Show,” but it’s so much more than that. The studio is filled with my friends, my family. Loren Owens and I have been together for 35 years, longer than most marriages. He’s been my friend, my teacher, my advisor, my confidant and my hero. I have been so blessed to have been teamed up with Loren. I will be forever grateful. I just wish there were two of me. One could stay, and the other could sleep in, travel with my wife and stay up late! – Wally

When Wally told me that he had decided to retire, I was flooded with mixed emotions from sadness to happiness! Imagine being able to spend your workday, every day, laughing and having fun with your best friend! Those opportunities only come around every... oh, I don't know... perhaps 35 years. Wally, the ultimate professional, one of a kind, the best! 35 years together and not one argument! I'm happy for Wally because this is what he wants for the next chapter of his life! Love the guy! Always will! -Loren

After 35 years with The Loren & Wally Morning Show, Wally Brine has decided to turn off his microphone and his last day on 105.7 WROR will be Friday, December 16th.

Wally Brine was born into the radio business, as the only child of WPRO’s Salty Brine and his wife Mickey Brine, living in an apartment in the radio transmitter building. Wally got his first part-time radio job in 1968 at WPRO-FM. He attended St. Francis College in Maine, where he worked at WGAN, WLOB and WJBQ-FM in Portland. In 1981, Wally was hired by WVBF in Boston to host afternoons, but was soon teamed up with Loren Owens. The Loren & Wally Morning Show was born and has enjoyed a 35 year run in Boston on WVBF, WCLB and now on 105.7 WROR... Boston's Greatest Hits! Wally has two sons, Salty and Chucky, and is married to Jodi Winchester.

Stay tuned to 105.7 WROR for info on upcoming events to say goodbye and visit wror.com/wally to share your well wishes with Wally.

About Beasley Media Group:
Beasley Media Group, Inc. is a subsidiary of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc., which owns and operates 69 stations (50 FM and 19 AM) in 16 large- and mid-size markets in the United States. Approximately 20.1 million consumers listen to Beasley radio stations weekly over-the-air, online, on smartphones and tablets and engage with the Company’s brands and personalities thorough digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, text , apps and email



BRW Notebook :

Where are they now : Cmulus Media announced that it has named Kevin Graham as Program Director of its Dallas news/talk radio stations WBAP and KLIF.. Graham moves to Dallas from Boston where he was Brand Manager for WEEI 93.7/850 AM and Red Sox Radio Network and Sports Radio Format Captain for Entercom. He was at WEEI for the past three years. His replacement hasn't been announced yet but a number of candidates from the big market sports talk stations are in the running. 

Holiday Week : There are a few Thanksgiving-themed specials this week. WXRV/92.5 The River is running its 18-hour Unplucked acoustic special from 6am to Midnight on Thursday. In addition, The River will once again join WUMB 91.9, WROR 105.7 and WZLX 100.7 in continuing the tradition of playing Arlo Guthrie's 1967 resistance classic on Thanksgiving Day at Noon. If you need something softer and gentler,  WBMX/Mix 104.1 will probably air a few serving of Adam Sandler's 1993 turkey anthem - "The Thanksgiving Song". For the sports fans who are traveling, Westwood One carries all of three NFL Thanksgiving games which once again will be heard locally on WEEI 93.7. Over on 98.5 the SportsHub, the Bruins will have a rare holiday game up in Canada.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Christmas music launches on Magic 106.7
It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas — at least it is on WMJX/Magic 106.7, which  switched from its modern adult-contemporary format to an all-yule playlist at 5pm yesterday(11/18) with Burl Ives' 1965's 2-minute classic "Holly Jolly Christmas"

Early songs on the station's playlist included "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey, "Last Christmas" by Wham!, 'Underneath the Tree" by Kelly Clarkson and "Little Saint Nick" by the Beach Boys.

Once upon a time, it was a race to see and hear which Boston radio station was the first to go all-Christmas, with some jumping as early as Nov. 6. But that competition has cooled off after 2011 when Magic 106.7 became the solo go-to station during annual holiday period. For the past four years Magic has been staying the course and flipping to Christmas tunes on the third Friday in November :

Nov 24, 2003 :  WODS/Oldies 103.3 and WQSX/Star 93.7
Nov 19, 2004 :  WODS/Oldies 103.3
Nov.17, 2005 :  WODS 103.3 and WMJX/Magic 106.7
Nov.15, 2006    WODS 103.3
Nov. 12 2007 :  WODS 103.3 and WROR 105.7
Nov. 6 2008 :    WODS 103.3 and WROR 105.7
Nov. 13 2009 :  WODS 103.3 and WROR 105.7
Nov.  18 2010 : WODS 103.3 and WROR 105.7
Nov.11, 2011 :  WODS 103.3 and WROR 105.7
Dec. 5, 2012 :   WMJX 106.7
Nov. 22, 2013 : WMJX 106.7
Nov. 21, 2014 : WMJX 106.7
Nov. 20,, 2015 :WMJX 106.7
Nov. 18, 2016 : WMJX 106.7

Other major pop stations in the city may throw a Christmas tune or two into their hourly playlist  as we approach Christmas Day but don't expect anyone to come out and challenge WMJX/Magic 106.7's bragging rights as Boston's Christmas Station.

BRW Notebook :

The Hiil-man extends : Entercom Boston announced earlier this week that WAAF 107.3/97.7's veteran morning host Greg Hill has signed a new, long-term contract that will keep him employed at Boston's Rock Station for the balance of his career. After a short lived stint at a local independent music TV station V66, Hill came to WAAF and started as the promotion coordinator in 1986. He became the station's morning host in 1989. The only two other local morning shows have been on the air longer than Hill - Matt Siegel on Kiss 108(January 1981) and Loren Owens and Wally Brine on WROR 105.7(September 1981).

This new agreement ensures Hill, partners Lyndon Byers and Danielle Murr, and producer Rob Stevens will anchor the WAAF personality lineup well into the future. Former Boston Bruin, Byers, has been with the show since 1997. Murr who also signed a new deal last week came on-board in 2005. Stevens replaced longtime producer Spaz in 2014.

Outside of radio business, The Hill-Man, as he’s referred to by his morning show listeners, is a professional restaurateur. Via his Whole House Group, he owns and operates 29 Sudbury, in Sudbury, and Flank, in Waltham and soon-to-open Battle Road Brewery and Restaurant in Maynard. He also owns several locations of the Howl at the Moon night club, including both the Boston and Patriots Place locations.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Morning shakeup at Country 102.5

Beasley's WKLB/Country 102.5 morning host Jeff Miles has departed abruptly after just 8 months. His last day at Country 102.5 turned out to be last Friday(11/11). He joined the station on March from KCYY/San Antonio and had prior stops at WPLJ/New York and WWWQ/Atlanta. No word on what is planned for the new morning show though PM driver Kevin Kennedy was heard filling in on Monday. Also unclear what co-host's Hannah Byrom's new role will be going forward. She joined Miles in mid-April (BRW 4/15). Miles and Byrom were supposed to freshen up station's presentation and brand after management decided to let go veterans John "JW" Willis and Lori Grande back in mid-February(BRW 2/12). Willis was WKLB's morning host since 1997.

The shakeup comes as WKLB and rest of Greater Media's stations in Boston and elsewhere were officially taken over by Florida-based Beasley Broadcasting on November 1st. Greater Media's sale to Beasley was first announced back in July(BRW 7/20).

In the most recent Nielsen Audio survey for October, Country 102.5 ranked 7th with a 4.7 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 808,200 while its direct format competitor WBWL/Bull 101.7 tied for 15th with 2.7 share and 480,700 weekly cume. November survey will be released next Tuesday(11/22).


BRW Notebook :

Staying, Moving and Going :  Continuing with the country music beat, iHeartMedia WBWL/Bull 101.7's PD/afternooner Lance Houston and evening personality Colton Bradford switched dayparts.  Bradford is now hosting 3pm-8pm. Houston is on from 8pm to Midnight. Bradford has been with the Bull since May 2015(BRW 5/14/2015). He will continue to voice-track night shows on Iheart's sister stations in Portsmouth, NH and Springfield, MA. Houston will keep his other role as afternoon driver on Iheart Radio's station in Atlanta.....WAAF 97.7/107.3's Hill-man morning show co-host Danielle Murr was supposed to exit the show after her 11-year run on Friday, November 11. Instead, she signed a new contract and will stick around....Michael Czarnecki has been promoted to Program Director at WRKO 680. He assumes the role after spending the last 15 months as Assistant PD and Operations Manager for the heritage New England News/Talker. Prior to joining WRKO, Czarnecki served as APD for iHeartMedia’s WHYN-FM and WRNX-FM/Springfield, MA He’s also held previous on-air and programming positions in Boston, Hartford, Medford, OR and Manchester, NH...

Veteran Boston broadcaster John Garabedian has announced he will be leaving the nationally syndicated "Open House Party" as host at the end of this year. First launched on KISS 108/Boston in 1987, OHP has since spread to nearly every major market in the U.S. and Canada. Garabedian has just released his memoir, “The Harmony of Parts,” available on Amazon. The show hasn't aired on Kiss 108 since mid 2000's.... Trenni Kusnierek has joined WEEI 93.7 weekend lineup, where she’ll serve as a weekend and substitute host. Kusnierek will also retain her full-time role as a sports anchor and reporter for COMCAST SportsNet/New England, where she’s been seen in the market since 2012. Prior to joining the regional cable network, Kusnierek was a sports reporter and talk show host at Milwaukee stations WTMJ and ESPN 540. She’s also been a reporter and anchor for the MLB Network, the NFL Network and the Big Ten Network...Comedian/blogger Jerry Thornton is expected to leave WEEI 93.7's afternoon "Dale and Holley" show. He's returning to Barstool Sports blog. His role will not be immediately replaced....WBOS/Alt 92.9's jock Jason Rossi, WMJX/Magic 106.7 overnight host Michael Burns and weekend host Tina Gao had exited their respective roles during Beasley's takeover of Greater Media's properties earlier this month...


Traffic Changes Are Coming :  CBS Radio has chosen Radiate Media as its new broadcast content traffic partner, effective April 1, 2017. Radiate Media will supply CBS Radio stations with customized traffic data for its over-the-air stations, operating in 26 markets including Boston. CBS Radio has been using iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic product for the last 10 years. CBS presently owns five stations in the Boston market - WBZ 1030, WZLX 100.7, WBZ 98.5, WBMX 104.1 and WODS/AMP 103.3. On April 1st, 2017, when Radiate Media takes over traffic for all CBS Radio stations nationally and locally, some (but not all) of Total Traffic employees will be hired by Radiate Media, making the transition appear to be seamless for the Boston radio listeners particularly those who get their traffic reports during all-news format on WBZ 1030.



Sunday Morning Blues : Recently, WZLX 100.7 shifted its Sunday morning schedule a bit - after a 14-year run, Sunday Morning Blues is now an hour shorter and airs from 8am to 10am. Larry "Chachi" Loprette's  "Breakfast With the Beatles" got bumped to 7am.

Ho-ho-holy cow … The celebrating of winter holidays on Boston radio will begin around the same time as has been the case for the past three years - 3rd Friday in November. Expect WMJX/Magic 106.7 to flip to its annual Christmas music format later this week(probably somewhere around Friday, November 18).

Taking the lead :  WRKO 680 hosted its third annual Veteran Day Radiothon raising over $ 71,000 for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).   The Radiothon was held from 6 am to 3 pm  on Friday(11/11) taking donations via phone calls, text messages and online. On-air personalities including Kim Carrigan and Doug “VB” Goudie from The Boston.com Morning Show, Barry Armstrong from The Financial Exchange show, and Jeff Kuhner from The Kuhner Report show, highlighted inspirational stories from veterans of all ages and the DAV members who assist them. For more information about the Radiothon, photos and interviews from the event, visit www.WRKO.com/radiothon

Whatever It Takes : Last month, former Boston Red Sox pitching ace Curt Schilling announced he would begin hosting a weekend radio show on WFEA/Manchester, NH, syndicated via the Howie Carr Radio Network. Schilling had expanded on his media aspirations, signing on to host a daily talk show, Whatever It Takes, for conservative news website Breitbart.com. The show debuted on October 24th and streams weekdays from 9am-11am (ET).

Monday, September 26, 2016

Mike Adams spins back on the air

Former WEEI/93.7 nighttime personality Mike Adams will have a brand new gig starting sometime in October. As you recall, Adams signed off WEEI on June 20 after a 10-year run as a full-time night-time personality on WEEI(BRW 6/30). He is going back to his roots as a music DJ. His next stop is an afternoon drive DJ at the classic hits "Frank-FM" trimulcast on 106.3 in Nashua, NH, 105.5 in Rockland ME and 107.5 Portland ME. All three stations are owned by Binnie Media based in Concord, NH. Adams' first day on the air is sometime in October(exact date to be announced).

Here is the official press release on Adams' hiring from Binnie Media 

 For Release September 26, 2016
Mike Adams Joins Binnie Media
New England Legend to Host Afternoon Drive on 106.3 Frank-FM in New Hampshire and 107.5 and 105.5 Frank-FM in Maine. Show to launch in October.

Concord, NH —Binnie Media, the largest locally owned and locally managed media company in Northern New England, announced today that New England radio and TV personality Mike “Mikey” Adams has joined the company and will be hosting an afternoon drive program that will air from 2-6PM across all of Binnie Media’s Frank-FM stations: 106.3 FM in Nashua, NH, 107.5 FM in Portland, ME and 105.5 FM in Rockland, ME. The Frank stations play classic hits and rock primarily from the 70’s and 80’s. In Nashua, Frank is also the home of the New England Patriots and in Rockland, Maine it is the home of the Red Sox.
“We are thrilled to have Mike join Frank-FM and Binnie Media. His sense of humor and his love of music will make the show a fun place to be for our listeners. He’s already been churning out ideas.” said Lee Kinberg, President of Binnie Media.

Adams left WEEI/Boston in June after nearly 23 years with the station and he is looking forward to this new chapter, “I’m very excited to join such a professional group of broadcasters. If there’s one thing I love as much as sports, its rock and roll, and I can’t wait to get started.” said Adams.

“Afternoon drive is becoming more and more important to stations,” said Massimo Rosati, Executive Vice President of Binnie Media. “Mikey’s show will include events of the day, creative bits, great music and of course he will interact live with listeners. It will be appointment listening for the ride home.”

The show will premiere in October on a date to be announced. The show will be produced and co-hosted by New England radio veteran John Hamblett and executive produced by Scott Laudani, Vice President of Programming for Binnie Media.
###
Binnie Media owns 16 radio stations in New Hampshire and Maine. Binnie Media is a division of WBIN Media Inc., which also includes WBIN-TV in New Hampshire and the NH1 News Network.

For more information, press only:
Lee Kinberg
President – Binnie Media
617-777-3212

lkinberg@binradio.com

Friday, September 23, 2016

Toucher and Rich score a Marconi



Winners of the 2016 National Association of Broadcasters' (NAB) Marconi Radio Awards were announced Thursday night at the 27th annual NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show, held at the Radio Show in Nashville.


Toucher & Rich show on WBZ/The Sports Hub 98.5 won in the Major Market Personality of the Year category.


Here is CBS Radio Boston's press release :



For Immediate Release                                  CONTACT: CHA-CHI LOPRETE                                      
                                                                       Telephone: 617-746-1460
                                                                       chachi@985thesportshub.com
                                                                                                     
WBZ-FM’S TOUCHER & RICH WIN THE MARCONI AWARD
MAJOR MARKET PERSONALITIES OF THE YEAR
BOSTON, Mass. (Sept 23, 2016) - Toucher & Rich of 98.5 The Sports Hub/WBZ-FM were named Major Market Personalities of the Year at the 2016 National Association of Broadcasters' (NAB) Marconi Awards, the industry’s most prestigious honor. The awards were announced Thursday, Sept 22 at the 27th annual NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner held in Nashville.

"Fred and Rich have worked tirelessly over the last decade to bring their unique brand of content and humor to Boston radio listeners, and the Marconi Award is recognition of their extraordinary efforts,” said Mark Hannon, Senior Vice President, CBS RADIO Boston.  “I know I speak for everyone at 98.5 The Sports Hub when I say we're grateful to Toucher & Rich's loyal audience and are so proud to have them anchoring mornings."

Having recently celebrated  their tenth anniversary on CBS Radio Boston, The Toucher and Rich Show (weekday mornings, 6:00-10:00AM) 2016 spring book ratings placed the program at # 1 Men 18-34, # 1 Men 18-49 and  # 1 Men 25-54.

Established in 1989 and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards honor radio stations and on-air personalities for excellence in broadcasting. 

About 98.5 The Sports Hub


98.5 The Sports Hub, which has been the official flagship station of the Patriots since 1995, 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 in 26 markets. CBS RADIO also owns and operates Boston's WBZ-AM NewsRadio 1030, WBMX-FM MIX 104.1, WODS-FM 103.3 AMP Radio, and WZLX-FM 100.7 Boston's Classic Rock station. The Patriots Radio Network airs locally on 98.5 The Sports Hub as well as on 36 sister stations throughout New England.

BRW Notebook :

Gone Wild : Radio One, the company that bills itself “The Urban Media Specialist,” has officially left the Boston market more than five years after it opted to discontinue programming targeted to Boston's African-American community.(BRW 6/1/2011). 

Maryland-based Radio One had owned the a 5,000-watt daytime-only AM station since 2000. A year before, it acquired 97.7 frequency which become WILD/Hot 97-7. However, in 2006, it sold off rWILD-FM to Entercom for $30 million(currently 97.7 WKAF which simulcasts rocker WAAF 107.3).

Radio Boston Broadcasting is the California-based company that has been operating WILD with the “China Radio International” network via a Time Brokerage Agreement since December 2013; a related entity had been running WILD via a similar arrangement from June 2011. The deal breaks down like this : RBB is paying a total of $888,326.16 for 1090. The $15,000 per month laease payments that the company has paid since December 2013 will go towards the purchase price. Radio Boston Broadcasting is privately owned by James Su’s Universal Broadcasting with a 78% stake and father-son John and Greg Douglas’ AIM Broadcasting of Palo Alto with a 22% stake. WILD will continue to air programming from China Radio International.

NPR Changes : Rachel Martin will join Steve Inskeep and David Greene hosting NPR’s flagship morning drive show, “Morning Edition,” after Renee Montagne transitions to her new role of special correspondent in November. The show launched on NPR on November 5, 1979. It currently airs in Boston on WBUR 90.9(5-9am) and WGBH 89.7(5am-10am).

Lulu Garcia-Navarro, NPR’s South America correspondent, will take up the “Weekend Edition Sunday” host mantle in January. The Weekend Edition runs 8-10am Sat/Sun on WGBH 89.7 and WBUR 90.9

Greene will head over to NPR West in early 2017 to continue his “Morning Edition” hosting duties there. He will join “All Things Considered” host Kelly McEvers and “Newscast’s” Dwane Brown as news magazine voices coming regularly out of Culver City, Calif.

Executive Shuffle : In late August, Entercom Communications announces a promotion and an addition to the ranks of its Boston sales leadership. Alison Harris who was WRKO 680's sales manager had been named to the same position at sister Rock station WAAF 107.3/WKAF 97.7, while Denise DiLuca was hired away from VP of Sales for iHeartMedia/Providence to succeed Harris at WRKO

Speaking of Entercom,  WEEI 93.7's 15th annual Jimmy Fund Radiothon raised over $3.5 million to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The yearly fundraiser is held in conjunction with regional cable TV channel NESN.

WODS gets revAMPed : Matt Bosso was named Assistant Program Director/Music Direct at WODS/AMP 103.3. Bosso's previous stints have included APD and afternoon drive at WASH/Wash., DC and WKTU/New York. The Long Island native officially replaced Joe Breeze(David Ambrecht) who moved to Nashville in June where his new bride Danielle Breeze is a chief meteorologist.

Other WODS announcements included Afternoon mixer Tone Terra(James Mitchell) being named Assistant Music Director, Vanessa Hale promoted to PM Drive and former weekender Corinne Kimball to officially taking over Hale's former midday shift on a permanent basis.

AMP's Program Director Steve Salhany commented in a press release, "We’re really excited to bring Matt on board, he’s an impact player and we’re thrilled to have him joining the staff. And Tone, Vanessa & Corinne have all richly earned these promotions, they’ve truly helped AMP become a great radio station."

Thursday, August 18, 2016

John Dennis to transition out of WEEI's morning drive

Earlier tonight, WEEI/SportsRadio 93.7 announced that long-time morning personality John Dennis will step away immediately from his full-time co-hosting role to address health concerns. Dennis planned on retiring next September when his current 3-year contract is up. Along with partner Gerry Callahan, Dennis has been part of the highly-rated "Dennis & Callahan Show" since 1997 first as a midday show and then replacing Don Imus in AM Drive in 1999.. On advice from his doctors Dennis will reduce his workload, but will continue to serve the station in a “moderated” capacity. “John is a Boston radio icon and will remain an important part of the WEEI family going forward,” said Entercom/Boston VP/Market Manager Phil Zachary. “To that end, we have been working with John to define a new role for his considerable talents. Most importantly, John will continue his compassionate work with our annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon, and he’ll appear in our live broadcasts from Fenway Park, August 29th and 30th.” Following that event the morning show will move forward with Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane, who’s been part of the morning show since 2013. 

WEEI is also searching to replace departed program director Kevin Graham. Whoever replaces Graham will likely pick Dennis' successor in AM drive. 

Full WEEI statement regarding Dennis' reduced role at the station(it's also posted on WEEI's website) :

BOSTON, MA – Sports Radio WEEI announced today that long-time morning personality John Dennis will step away immediately from his full-time co-hosting role to address health concerns. Along with partner Gerry Callahan, Dennis has been part of the highly-rated Dennis & Callahan Show since 1997. He made the decision on advice from his doctors that he reduce his workload but will continue in a moderated capacity with the station.

Entercom Boston VP/Market Manager Phil Zachary said “John is a Boston radio icon and will remain an important part of the WEEI family going forward. To that end, we have been working with John to define a new role for his considerable talents.” In his new capacity, Dennis will work with station advertisers, act as an ambassador to sponsors and community organizations, and occasionally host WEEI programs. “Most important to him,” said Zachary, “is that John will continue his compassionate work with our annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon and will appear in our live broadcasts from Fenway Park, August 29 and 30.” After that, the WEEI morning show will move forward with Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane, who’s been part of the Dennis & Callahan program since 2013.

Dennis said he and Zachary had been discussing a new role with WEEI that would allow him to follow his doctor’s orders but remain involved with the radio station. He said he’s excited about (what he calls) “this next chapter of my broadcast incarnation,” stating further “I’m glad, first and foremost, for my initial duties back to host the most favored two days of my entire year, the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.” Dennis went on to say, “Pardon the cliché, but like most morning radio people, I’m really looking forward to finally sleeping in.”


BRW Notebook :

ALT 92.9 names new MD : Monday(8/15), Greater Media Boston announced that John Mullett has been promoted to Music Director at ALT 92.9 in Boston. He will begin his new position immediately. Mullett joined WBOS-FM in 2013, where he most recently served as the Marketing Director at the station. Prior to coming to Greater Media Boston, he worked at WXRV-FM/92.5 The River and The Point in Burlington Vermont. Mullett replaced WBOS' longtimer Paul Jarvis who moved for a new opportunity in Vermont back in May(BRW 5/12).

Toucher and Rich turn 10 : Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb, aka "Toucher & Rich" of WBZ 98.5/Sports Hub celebrated their 10th anniversary in the Boston market before a sold-out live audience at Wilbur Theater this week. There to wish them well in person or by video were Boston Celtics player Brian Scalabrine, plus video greets from Bob Saget, actor Mark Wahlberg, Jimmy Kimmel, Dicky Barrett of Mighty Mighty Bostones, comedian Robert Kelly, WFAN/NY'S Boomer Esaison and many more. Comedian Bill Burr made an appearance and Rob Gronkowski, wandered onto the screen to personally congratulate the show.

Cleaning out my mailbox : Westwood One has signed Michael Savage to a renewal deal that the company describes as "multi-year," with other terms undisclosed. Savage said in a release, "My deal with Westwood One caps my winning the National Radio Hall of Fame nomination. My show is famous for my 'News, views, and reviews,' and we will take it to new levels come January 2017. We will be doing a three-dimensional show – on broadcast stations, as a live stream and with special segments created only for subscribers." Savage can be currently heard locally from 10pm to 1 a.m. on WMEX 1510......Renée Montagne, NPR "Morning Edition" co-host, has announced that she will be "stepping back" from hosting to concentrate on long-form reporting for the network as special correspondent. The change, according to a published report, will take place after November's election.
Montagne, co-host of the show since 2004, will continue to be based at NPR WEST in Culver City, Calif., and will be heard on "Morning Edition" and other news magazines. Steve Inskeep and David Greene continue as co-hosts of "Morning Edition.". NPR's Morning Edition airs locally on WBUR 90.9 and WGBH 89.7........iHeartmedia has announced the lineup for the 2016 iHeartmedia Music Festival, taking place Sept. 23 and 24 at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena. This year, the lineup will feature performances by U2, Sting, Drake, Britney Spears, Sam Hunt, Twenty One Pilots, Billy Idol, Florida Georgia Line, Onerepublic, Sia, Cage the Elephant, Zedd, Tears for Fears, Ariana Grande, Pitbull and Usher. Each night, the festival will broadcast live for fans via iHeartmedia radio stations throughout the country across 150 markets including WXKS/Kiss 108 in Boston The CW Network will also live-stream both nights of the festival via cwtv.com and the CW app, and then broadcast a two-night television special on Oct. 6 and 7 from 8 to 10 p.m.........Rush Limbaugh has a new contract with iHeartmedia and Premiere Networks. Terms of the new deal were undisclosed beyond a release calling the renewal a "long-term, multi-platform agreement." "I'm thrilled to be continuing," said Limbaugh in statement. "And I really want to be on the air if the Russians find Hillary's emails." Locally, Limbaugh can be heard on WKOX/Talk 1430 from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays........Voting results for the 2016 National Radio Hall Of Fame's 24 nominations in six categories are in. Four of those categories were decided by a voting participant panel of 400 industry professionals. The other two categories, music format on-air personality and spoken word on-air personality, were voted on by the public.  The 2016 inductees are: Eric & Kathy (Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart), WTMX-FM (101.9), Chicago, active local/regional, 10+ years; Jeff & Jer (Jeff Detrow and Jerry Cesak), KYXY-FM (96.5), San Diego, longstanding local/regional, 20+ years; Steve Harvey, The Steve Harvey Morning Show; syndicated by Premiere Networks, active network/syndication, 10+ years; Delilah, syndicated by Premiere Networks, longstanding network/syndication, 20+ years; Bob Kingsley, Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40; syndicated by Westwood One, music format on-air personality; and Michael Savage, The Savage Nation; syndicated by Westwood One, spoken word on-air personality. Additionally, the nominating committee voted to induct four individuals for their contribution to the industry. Those inductees are: George G. Beasley, chairman/CEO/founder of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc.; Kidd Kraddick, the late national on-air personality; Tony Roberts, former sportscaster and play-by-play announcer for Notre Dame Football; and Neil Rogers, the late Southern Florida on-air personality.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Magic 106.7, WROR to change hands as part of $240 million radio deal

Five Boston radio stations are part of a deal announced Tuesday evening in which Naples, Fla.-based Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. will buy Braintree-based Greater Media Inc. in transaction valued at $240 million.
Beasley gets 21 Greater Media stations including Boston's adult contemporary rock station WMJX 106.7, classic hits WROR 105.7, alternative rocker WBOS/Alt 92.9, country WKLB/New Hit Country 102.5 and rhythmic adult contemporary WBQT/Hot 96.9.

In the most recent Nielsen Audio rankings for June, WROR 105.7 had the largest weekly listenership in Greater Boston, while WMJX/Magic 106.7 was second. WKLB/Country 102.5 ranked 6th, WBQT/Hot 96.9 was 9th and WBOS/Alt 92.9 was 14th.. Magic 106.7 was also #1 station with advertisers' dream demographic - adults 25-54. WBQT/Hot 96-9 ranked second among younger adults 18 to 34.


The deal is expected to close in late fall. The boards of both companies have approved the deal, which remains subject to FCC approval No immediate changes to management, staffing, or format are expected for the five local Boston stations before the deal closes.

Beasley currently owns one station in the Boston market - WRCA 1330 has its studios in Cambridge's Central Square and features paid-time ethnic and religious format. Beasley acquired. WRCA in 2000.

Greater Media's  has owned WMJX since 1981. Over the years the company added four more FM signals and consolidated its local cluster under one roof at its current Dorchester studios in 1998.

Beasley, which was founded in 1961, comes to the deal with 51 stations in 12 markets. It intends to pay $100 million cash for Greater Media, and pay $25 million in stock to Greater Media shareholders. It also will refinance $80 million in Greater Media debt, and sell tower assets it estimates to be worth $20 million. Greater Media investors will received the proceeds of the equipment sale.

Beasley said it has planned to sell stations in Charlotte, where it competes with Greater Media, to meet federal regulatory scrutiny of the deal. It has seven stations in Charlotte, and Greater Media has two. One interesting side note, Beasley's conservative talk station in Charlotte has familiar Boston call letters - WBCN/America's Pulse 1660. 

Beasley had net income of $6.3 million last year on $106 million in revenue, and it said it expects the Greater Media deal to add $141 million in revenue.

It wasn’t immediately clear what would become of Greater Media’s 10 weekly newspapers it owns in New Jersey.

Greater Media was founded in 1956, and it has stations in the Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, New Jersey and Philadelphia markets. Its Boston market is run by Mary Menna.

Once the deal is finalized, Beasley said its shareholders will own 81 percent of the company stock, and Greater Media shareholders the remainder. In addition, Greater Media shareholders will have the right to appoint one member to the Beasley board of directors, which will add a ninth seat, Beasley said.


BRW Notebook :

'GBH joins VuHaus : Boston’s WGBH 89.7 has joined VuHaus and is now live on VuHaus.com. VuHaus, the music discovery video platform for public media, is a growing network of public media organizations who share a common mission to support emerging and local artists, and to introduce their music to new audiences. VuHaus content originates from the country’s most trusted radio tastemakers: WFUV in New York City, KCRW in Los Angeles, KXT in Dallas, WXPN in Philadelphia, KEXP in Seattle, opbmusic in Portland, KTBG The Bridge in Kansas City, KUTX in Austin, Mountain Stage of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, KDHX in St. Louis, and Live From the Fort of Vermont Public Broadcasting

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

WBOS completes its brand change to ALT

As of yesterday(7/12), "Radio 92.9" is out and gone. The station is now known as "Alt 92.9". While the new moniker and on-air elements may or may not make you think this is a brand new station, the transition has been in progress for better part of past two years. As you only read about it here in BRW, the station began tagging itself as "Boston's Alternative" during summer of 2014(BRW 8/18/14). 

As you may or may not recall, back on January 30, 2008, WBOS 92.9 had let go its entire on-air staff and shifted away from its longtime AAA(adult album alternative) format to concentrate on younger and hipper 18-34 demo with an alternative/modern rock alternative currents as well as format's alternative mainstays including Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Pearl Jam, and the Dave Matthews Band. The station then had also assumed branding "Radio 92.9" which as of yesterday(7/12) is now part of Boston's radio history. While station's playlist is not at all different today, its presentation, however, has been drastically tweaked(and not to my liking) - the station runs about an hour of music followed by a very(long) 9-10 minute ad break(Ed Note : talk about bringing 'blah-blah-blah' back in a big way. I think it's an awful way to pay bills but they don't pay me for my opinions on the matter). 

Although Boston's modern and alternative rock radio scene had its ups and downs for the past three decades, WBOS has been slowly thriving and establishing its place in a rapidly changing media marketplace. While the mission of FM rock and alternative stations like WBOS has changed in recent years -. they were once about music discovery(eg late WBCN(d.2009) and WFNX(d 2012)), that role has fully shifted to diverse online sources, like YouTube and Spotify or even to band sites. However, record companies will tell you that it is still nearly impossible to have a true hit song without FM radio airplay. While there are tons and tons of different music options out there, FM rock radio is still a big part of the game.

WBOS was the 6th most popular station in Boston market among its target demographic - adults 18-34/ - in the month June. The station was behind(in order) - WXKS/Kiss 108, WBQT/Hot 96.9, WODS/Amp 103.3,  WJMN/Jamn 94-5 and WMJX/Magic 106.7.


BRW Notebook :

VB is back in the house : Although WRKO 680's Morning Boston.com show title still says "featuring Kim Carrigan", as of last Tuesday(7/5), Doug 'VB" Goudie is now officially full-time co-host. Yes, you had read it here correctly - Goudie was first offered a contract in late May/early June but declined it. It appears the station upped the offer to VB's satisfaction and the former nighttime host of the raucous "The Pleasure Pit"(on WRKO, circa 2002-2003) is now back at the station as a full time WRKO employee.

Going once, going twice : In a report published last week at Bloomberg.com, reporter Paul Barbagallo suggests that CBS Corp. is planning to file to take its radio division public by the end of July. Bloomberg reports the decision to pursue an IPO was announced in a prospectus for senior notes due in 2020, and says it could indicate the company has as yet been unable to find a buyer willing to pay the “right price.” Company Chairman/CEO Leslie Moonves confirmed plans to sell or spin-off the broadcast radio division earlier this year. Bloomberg Intelligence estimates that CBS Radio, which operates 117 radio station in 26 markets including Boston(WBZ 1030, WBZ 98.5 The SPortsHub, WZLX 100.7, WODS/AMP 103.3, WBMX/Mix 104.1), could be worth around $2.9 billion. As a stand alone company, it's also very likely CBS Radio could be ripe for a friendly or hostile takeover. First, you'd need about $3 billion