Friday, February 15, 2019

WEEI goes with Red Sox radio call by committee this season

On February 14th, Entercom's WEEI 93.7/Sports Radio announced the new all-star team of play-by-play platoon for 2019 Boston Red Sox games on the flagship station of the team. Broadcasters participating this season will include Sean McDonough, current ESPN broadcaster and former Sox TV voice; Josh Lewin, former Mets radio voice; Mario Impemba, former Tigers play-by-play voice; Chris Berman, veteran broadcaster for ESPN; Lou Merloni, afternoon drive on-air personality on WEEI; Dale Arnold, midday on-air personality on WEEI; Tom Caron, studio host for NESN's Red Sox telecasts; and Dave O’Brien, television voice of the Red Sox on NESN.

“As the flagship radio home of the world champion Boston Red Sox, WEEI is proud to extend our relationship with Joe Castiglione and to welcome this elite group of broadcasters to join him in the booth,” said Mark Hannon, Regional President and Market Manager, Entercom Boston “We are committed to providing listeners with premier and innovative coverage of the Sox and are looking forward to a great season."

WEEI's new rotating play-by-play set-up follows mid-December's announcement that play-by-play announcer Tim Neverett decided not to return to the broadcast booth(BRW 12/12/18). Neverett was apparently not a big fan of the more conversational game approach which was being planned by WEEI's management for 2019 season. Five days after announcing his departure from Sox radio booth, he was named to a new role with the Dodgers broadcast team.

BRW Notebook :

LaPierre passes : A true icon of Boston radio news, former WBZ 1030/Boston's NewsRadio morning news anchor Gary LaPierre passed away on February 4th at the age of 76.  LaPierre died at his home in Ipswich. He had been battling leukemia.
Image result for Gary LaPierre
LaPierre's last day anchoring morning news at WBZ on December 29, 2006 

He worked at WBZ from 1962 until his retirement in December 2006, and was a member of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

LaPierre was born in Shelburne Falls, Mass., graduated from Grahm Junior College and attended the University of New Hampshire and Boston University.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Christmas music brings presents to Magic 106.7

In the latest Nielsen Audio ratings, released this week, Entercom-owned WMJX/Magic 106.7 was the overall ratings winner for the “holiday” period, which began Dec. 6 and ended Jan. 2. Magic registered a 14.5 share for the period, up from 8.9 in the December survey (covering Nov. 8 - Dec.5). Like it has done for the past few years, Magic launched its holiday season on a Friday before Thanksgiving.(Nov.16, 2018). This was Magic's 7th straight year as "Boston's Christmas Station".

I always stress here that radio and TV stations don’t sell advertising based on the “6-plus” audience ratings but it's typically a fair estimate of stations' overall performance., With that said, Magic also won its target 25-54 demographic and also displaced WXKS/Kiss 108 from #1 with the younger 18-34 listeners.

It will be at least a month or so before anyone can tell how much WMJX's 37-yar adult contemporary-hits format benefited from this holiday bounce. WMJX has been consistently a strong performer for as long as one can remember, usually among the top three stations overall. Last year(see January 2018 chart here), the post-holiday period wasn't kind to Boston's holiday music station as both sports stations moved into Top 5 while Patriots' Super Bowl fever was sweeping the area...again :). January ratings will be released on February 20th.

BRW Notebook :

Watching the dial : After two years in the afternoon drive at WAAF 107.3, "Matty and Nick" show is no more. Entercom didn't renew the pair's contracts and the pair exited after their January 10th show. (Ed. Note : Will they pop up somewhere else on the local dial? They may or may not. Beasley's WBOS/Alt 92.9 has been looking for a new afternoon show host(s) for months now so that could be one possibility). WAAF's longtimer Bob Hannah takes over the 3-7pm shift. Hannah was WAAF's night jock from 2006 to 2009. He was laid off in April 2009 when Entercom made WAAF automated at night(BRW 4/16/09). He did return to the station in May 2010 in a part-time capacity...After a year in a half in the morning drive at WBZ/Boston's NewsRadio, Josh Binswanger has shifted to anchoring afternoon drive where he pairs up with Laurie Kirby. Jeff Brown moved up to mornings where he now alternates with another veteran Deb Lawler.....Over at WBZ's sister station, WRKO 680/The Voice of Boston, program director Michael Czarnecki received a company transfer to lead Washington’s news station WONK-FM  as Program Director.  He was with WRKO since September 2015 and its program director since October 2016. No replacement for Czarnecki has been named..WWBX/Mix 104.1's morning drive "Karson and Kennedy" is adding an extra hour. Beginning Monday, January 28th, the show will air from 6am to 10am.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

New England Patriots extend the Sports Hub

The New England Patriots and Beasley Media Group have announced a multi-year broadcast extension with WBZ/98.5 The Sports Hub, its radio flagship since August 2009.  The Sports Hub's previous Patriots flagship deal was announced back in September 2017 while the station was still under CBS Radio's ownership.(BRW 9/8/2017). On November 1, 2017, it was announced that Beasley would be acquiring the Sports Hub as a result of mega merger between Entercom and CBS Radio(BRW 11/1/17).

“The Patriots are a religion in New England,” said Mary Menna, VP/Market Manager of Beasley Media Group Boston via press release. “We are thrilled that our talented team of Bob Socci and former Patriots quarterback, Scott Zolak, will continue to broadcast the games to our fans and that 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Patriots will be partners for many, many years to come.”

The Sports Hub's rival Entercom-owned WEEI/Sports Radio 93-7 extended its Patriots content package with the team in late January 2018(BRW 2/17/18)

Longtime traffic reporter Joe Stapleton passes

Joe Stapleton, longtime traffic reporter for WBZ 1030/Boston's NewsRadio, who also worked as an actor who had small roles in blockbuster movies such as Spotlight, Manchester By the Sea and Mystic River, died unexpectedly on January 1st. Stapleton was 55. He was a TV and radio broadcaster for more than 25 years who most recently worked as a traffic reporter for WBZ 1030/Boston's NewsRadio.  Stapleton also used to report traffic as "Major Dick" for WAAF 107.3's Hill-Man Morning Show.

"A beloved member of the WBZ family has passed away. Longtime traffic reporter Joe Stapleton died unexpectedly today. We offer condolences to Joe’s family, and our thoughts are with them as well. — “Joe was our overnight traffic reporter here at WBZ,” Operations Director Bill Flaherty said in a statement. “He never walked through the door without a smile and friendly greeting for everyone he met.” 

BRW Notebook :

Watching the Dial : Karson Tager, the morning co-host at WWBX/Mix 104-1 just signed a new three year extension to stay with Entercom's ""Hot" Adut Contemporary station. His on-air sidekick Kennedy(Elsey) is expected to ink a new deal as well. The pair has been on the air at Mix since January 5, 2009(BRW 12/20/08).....Some new year tweaks : Beasley's classic hits WROR 105.7 has dropped its "Boston's Greatest Hits" tag and replaced it with "80's and More". The station has expanded the playlist to include more 80s tracks from bands like Simple Minds and A-ha but the overall sound still stays in the core mid-70s to mid-80's pop-rockers...IheartRadio's news/talker WBZ 1030 just goes by "Boston's News Radio" without mentioning the frequency in its on-air tags. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Toucher and Rich extend their stay at the Sports Hub

Beasley Media Group announced earlier today that Fred Toettcher  and Rich Shertenlieb morning show personalities and co-hosts of highly popular "Toucher and Rich" have signed a multiyear deal to continue as the morning show at WBZ/98.5 The Sports Hub. The duo has been on the Boston airwaves since June of 2006 when took over afternoon drive on now-defunct WBCN 104.1  Since moving to launch 98.5 the Sports Hub in August 2009, they have been the top rated morning show with men in Boston.The pair signed their last contract extension in November 2013 when the SportsHub was being owned by CBS Radio..(BRW 11/15/13).

“Toucher and Rich are the most creative guys I know with real raw talent that you cannot teach,” said Mike Thomas, Beasley Media Group’s National Spoken Word/Esports and WBZ-FM/98.5 The Sports Hub brand manager. “Toucher and Rich will always be one of the biggest success stories in the history of The Sports Hub.

BRW Notebook :

Boston radio's holiday tradition like no other :  The 41st annual edition of "Christmas Eve with Oedipus" once again  drops at WGBH 89.7 this Monday night from 6pm to Midnight. The legendary rock radio programmer and DJ, Oedipus, will be on the station for the 4th straight year. He sat down with WGBH Radio's midday co-host Jim Braude this past Monday on WGBH-TV's Greater Boston to promote this year's installment.. Check it out here.

The City of Boston has also proclaimed Monday(12/24) as "Oedipus Day".

This is Boston radio tradition that goes back to 1978, when Oedipus first hosted a Christmas Eve program as a nighttime personality for WBCN The show has aired on the now-defunct WBCN 104.1 from 1978 to 2008, WFNX 101.7 from 2009 to 2011, RadioBDC from 2012-2014.  WGBH 89.7 has carried the show since 2015.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Ayla Brown joins Jackson Blue on WKLB's morning show

WKLB/Country 102.5 has named singer Ayla Brown as morning co-host alongside Jackson Blue, starting Monday (12/17). "Jackson and Ayla Brown" can be heard weekdays from 5:30 to 9am.

Brown was a Season 5 finalist on "American Idol" reality show and is the daughter of former Senator and current Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown and former Boston TV news reporter Gail Huff. She auditioned with Blue on WKLB for a full week in mid-November. Brown replaces Hanna Byrom who was let go on October 1st after two and half years with the station(BRW 4/15/16).

"Country music has brought me all around the world and back to Boston again," said Brown. "Many have seen me perform, but I am so excited for our listeners to get to know me in a while new way.  Thank you to the Country 102.5 team for this incredible opportunity!'

Added WKLB's Program Director/Brand Manager  David Corey, "I am so happy that Ayla has agreed to come home to Boston and join our morning show. Ayla is such a talented personality. She has excelled in everything she has done, and I am confident she will add so much to Country 102.5. The 'Jackson and Ayla Brown' show will be a must listen to show every weekday."

BRW Notebook :

Denials all around :  The voice of the Red Sox, WEEI 93.7, who yesterday officially announced the departure of the play-by-play man Tim Neverett(BRW 12/12/18), today officially denied initial reports by Boston Globe's sports media reporter Chad Finn that the station might be tinkering with the traditional baseball broadcast and adopting more of a conversational approach.

Finn reported earlier today that WEEI planned to go with the talk show approach when posting the play-by-play job opening on the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America website : “WEEI wants to drop the conventional radio broadcast to make the call of the game sound more like a talk show.”

WEEI's program director Joe Zarbano immediately went on Twitter and blasted Finn's report :
"I spoke to @STAAtalent and they will be correcting what they initially posted. They were apologetic and admitted fault for not checking with anyone at WEEI before sending that incorrect post to its clients."

STAAlent posted its own statement later in the day : offered more details in its weekly "Highly Cited" media column from Alex Reimer while the Red Sox, through a spokesperson Zineb Curran, also issued a denial to Reimer,'s columnist and on-air personality, the team “doesn’t plan any format changes to radio broadcast.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

WEEI announces that Tim Neverett will not return to Red Sox radio team

Tim Neverett will not return to the Red Sox radio booth next season when the team defends its World Series title, team's flagship WEEI 93.7 announced yesterday.

"Thank you to the @RedSox front office and loyal radio listeners for the great support I have received, especially this year, Although they wanted me to return, I have decided to let my current contract with @WEEI expire in order to pursue other professional opportunities.", he tweeted at 1:37pm on Tuesday afternoon.

Boston's Globe sports media critic Chad Finn reported that WEEI was considering mixing up the traditional baseball play-by-play with more of analysis and opinion talkshow style approach among team's on-air crew.

Neverett had worked with with Red Sox' mainstay Joe Castiglione for three seasons. (BRW 12/20/15). He's reportedly headed to the Dodgers broadcast team where he'll take over some of the primary play-by-play duties from veteran play-by-play caller Charley Steiner who will be cutting back his workload which will in turn help with a number of embarassing on-air slip-ups.
[Ed. Note : Neverett's exit is a strange development. While the station and the club clearly want to young up the broadcast, Neverett's style and delivery didn't seem like a major issue to me, at least. He seemed competent and professional. The same can't be said for WEEI's morning show which is an absolute mess right now. More on that below.

If anything, the oldtimer Hall of Famer Joe Castiglione is way past his prime and finding a replacement for him should be a pressing priority. Not to play the age card, but it's time to give some younger voices in the business a chance]

No word on who will replace Neverett at WEEI but the list of candidates won't be short.

BRW Notebook :

(Ed. Note : Boston Radio Watch Never Stops. Here's a quick and dirty around the dial look after a brief BRW hiatus....If I missed anything or you got news to share, drop me a note @ You can also DM me @bostonradio on Twitter which is never on hiatus and up running 24/7/365)

WEEI 93.7 :  On November 14, Entercom announced that its leading morning radio personality Kirk Minihane will launch a new radio show, podcast and column on For the past five years, Monihane has been co-host of the “Kirk and Callahan” morning show on WEEI. The new platform will expand Minihane's reach to a national audience and explore wid7e-ranging topics in addition to sports. Kirk’s podcast and column are expected to launch in January 2019 and his new weekday show is expected to launch in early 2019. Minihane took a leave of absence from the morning show on September 6th to receive treatment for mental health issues and chronic depression. He was ready to return to the station in early November but Entercom was not willing to give him his old job back as its radio partner Red Sox was not very happy with Minihane;'s criticism of the ball club's ownership. While they were not interested in buying him out of the contract, Entercom offered him a new digital opportunity with

“As an industry leader in compelling, proprietary content, Entercom is making sure RADIO.COM is populated with the very best programming available. Kirk Minihane fits this model perfectly,” said Pat Paxton, President of Programming, Entercom in a press release. “His ability to entertain and engage is second to none, and there is no question Kirk will become a highly successful national audio personality." “I’m extremely excited to return to the air and reach a national audience, with greater autonomy to focus on a variety of topics, and even more digital platforms to connect with my fans,” said Kirk Minihane. “It’s been awesome to be part of WEEI and I know Gerry and Mut will continue to put on a great show."

Meanwhile, Minihane's former on-air partner Gerry Callahan has been partnered up with low-expectations,not ready for prime-time, utility staffer Mike Mutnansky to launch sports-centric "Mut and Callahan'. Mutnansky has bounced around WEEI's schedule over the past seven years - including weekends, a failed midday show with Lou Merloni followed by move to late nights after a very talented John Ryder was let go in May 2014. In June 2016, Planet Mikey's host Mike Adams was let go and Mutnansky took over the 6pm-10pm slot. He has been rotating in the mornings since this past summer. No word on who will replace him as the host of Sox pregame shows and evening programming.

WBWL/101.7 The Bull - In early November, Iheart's country station had promoted evening host Amanda Jo Parker to Assistant Program Director. She keeps her air shift and will continue her afternoon show at iHeart Country sister WRNX/Kix 100.9/Springfield Prior to joining KIX, was Director of Promotions/afternoon host at WPVQ, Bear Country 95.3/Greenfield, MA. The current line-up - The syndicated Bobby Bones Show(mornings), Jessica Callahan(middays), Colton Bradford(afternoons) and Amanda Jo Parker(nights).

WKLB/ Country 102.5 - On October 1, Hannah Byrom has exited as morning co-host on Beasley's Country 102.5 WKLB  after 2 1/2 years. Host Jackson Blue and Producer Santi DeOleo continue on as the search for a new co-host has been underway. The rest of the line-up seems to be intact for now - Carolyn Kruse(middays), Kevin Kennedy(afternoons) and Marissa Lanchak(nights).

Byrom landed at WKLB in April 2016(BRW 4/15/16), following a stint in middays onTop 40 WPST/Trenton and weekends on Hot AC WPLJ/NYC. She was originally paired up with Jeff Miles, who left in November 2016. Current host Jackson Blue moved over from Rhythmic AC sister station WBQT/Hot 96.9 in March 2017.

WBZ 98.5/The Sports Hub - On September 26th, Beasley-owned sports talker and Boston Celtics owned that they signed a new 5-year deal. The team joined the Hub's programming in October 2013.

WPLM/Easy 99.1 - A truly sad story at the Plymouth-based soft adult contemporary station this week. Its new morning personality Jim "JR" Reitz had passed away unexpectedly at his New Bedofrd home earlier this week. Reitz, 66, a was well-known South Coast radio personality and program manager and used to work at Fun 107 in the New Bedford market for many years....WPLM has been shifting towards its current retro 70's/80's/90's format for the past few months. It dropped syndicated Delilah show just last month and replaced it with a local host. It brought in Reitz as its new morning host on December 3rd. 

Mix 104.1/WWBX - Entercom cut veteran produced Mike Morgan from Karson & Kennedy morning drive show after nearly 7 years...Erin O'Malley who has been midday host at the station since January 2001 has returned to the airwaves in late November after undergoing cancer treatments for the past few months...

WMJX/Magic 106.7 - If it's the third Friday of November, it must be Christmas music on 106.7. The station has begun playing seasonal holiday music on Friday, November 16th at 5 pm and will continue thru midnight, December 25th....The Globe had a nice write-up on station's BedTime Magic host David Allan Boucher recently....Entercom Boston's production director Joe Cortese has relaunched his longtime, very popular "Back to the 80's Friday Night" show on the station in early September. It now airs on Saturday nights at 8pm. Thus the title,"Back to the 80's Saturday Night".  Since signing off Oldies 103.3 in June 2012 when the station flipped to current Top 40 AMP format, "Back to the 80s" has been airing on station's Oldies 103.3 HD-2 sunchannel and its on-line stream. While Magic is running its all-Christmas music format, the show is on the break but will return on December 29th.

WAAF 107.3  -   In early October, station's longtime, legendary program director Ron Valeri retired after three tours of duty to launch an e-commerce business with his wife. He was WAAF's director of marketing and promotion from 1987-1989, then as its program director from 1989-1993 and after a stop in NYC returned to WAAF as its PD/Brand Manager in 2005. Valeri has been succeeded by Joe Calgaro who arrived from heritage Rocker WHQG/102.9 The Hog) in Milwaukee. Calrgaro's on-air and off-air programming portfolio also includes stops in Peoria,Ill and Green Bay, WI....WAAF's annual “Rock For Change” raised over $75,000 in three days to fight hunger in New England. The three-day fundraising effort supports Greater Boston Food Bank, Worcester County Food Bank and New Hampshire Food Bank in their efforts to end hunger. Over the last 27 years, WAAF has raised over $1.7 million towards this effort.

Kiss 108/WXKS -  Matt Siegel, legendary morning host of Kiss 108’s Matty In The Morning, received Broadcaster of the Year award at the Massachusetts Broadcasters Sound Bites event in November. The Broadcaster of the Year Award – honors a Massachusetts radio or TV broadcaster who has shown an unwavering dedication to the evolution of broadcasting, breathing life into his/her work by being creative, enthusiastic, and committed to the community. The award is the MBA’s highest honor....In mid-September, Matty In The Morning's producer Medha Gandhi joined the nationally-syndicated Elvis Duran and the Morning Show as its new co-host based in NYC. She was with Kiss 108 for three years(BRW 7/18/15). Her replacement at Kiss is Rebekah "Bex" Maroun, who worked as on-air personality at Entercom's 96.5 WTDY in Philly. Maroun joined Kiss 108 on Oct. 1.

WRKO 680/The Voice of Boston -  iHeartMedia Boston announced that Jeff Kuhner’s The Kuhner Report has returned to morning drive at WRKO-AM 680, The Voice of Boston, effective November 26. The Kuhner Report now broadcasts weekday mornings from 6am. to 10am.  In addition, the debut of the new V.B. in the Middle with host Doug “V.B.” Goudie will air weekday afternoons from 12pm-3pm. also effective November 26. Kuhner used to host morning drive at WRKO from 2012 to 2015 when the station was under Entercom's ownership.  He shifted to Noon to 3pm time slot when Iheart took Rush Limbaugh off WRKO and placed his show on WKOX 1430 in June 2015. With Kuhner reclaiming his morning slot, VB's former co-host Kim Carrigan and executive producer Jim Clerkin departed the station.

Entercom Boston : Company's six Boston outlets are now all housed at the old TV 38 building at 83 Leo Birmingham Parkway in Brighton. WEEI 93.7, ESPN 850, WAAF 107.3 moved out of its longtime Guest Street office space and joined WMJX 106.7, WODS/AMp103.3 and WWBX/Mix 104.1 at the new digs in late October....

Beasley Media Boston - In early November,  Beasley Media Group has appointed its two Boston program directors Mike Thomas of WBZ-FM/98.5 The Sports Hub and David Corey of Country 102.5/WKLB to the positions of National Format Brand Managers on behalf of the company. As the National Format Brand Manager for Spoken Word formats, Thomas will work closely with Sports Programming, Talk, Podcasting and Esports content.

In his new role, David Corey will focus on Beasley Media Group’s country format stations throughout the company. Thomas and Corey will continue to oversee their respective local market stations, while also focusing on their newly expanded roles. “Mike Thomas and David Corey will join our existing National Format Brand Managers, John Candelaria (Urban) from Detroit, Cadillac Jack (AC/CHR) from Boston and Bill Weston (Rock) from Philly to round out a first class programming team to further support and elevate our stations,” said Beasley Media Group Executive Vice President of Programming Justin Chase.

“We’re thrilled to recognize the excellent work from these two fine Brand managers and look to tapping into their expertise to help the entire company,” said Executive Vice President of Strategy and Innovation Buzz Knight.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Beasley appoints Weiss as Alt 92.9's new music director

Beasley Media Group today announced that after a 4-month search Joel Weiss has been named Music Director at WBOS/ALT 92.9. He will officially begin his new position on Monday, August 6.

Up until September 2016, the White Plains, NY native, Weiss, had spent more than 13 years as a music director and on-air personality at alternative rocker WSUN/97x and at sister-station adult hits WPOI 101.5/The Point as assistant program director/music director in the Tampa Bay market. In 2017, he was with NYC-based Santori Audio as Director of Music Content and morning. Weiss is an Emerson College graduate who interned at WZLX 100.7 in early 2000's.

“I’m excited to welcome Joel to ALT 92.9, said station Program Director Ken West in Beasley's press release. “He loves music, loves radio, and loves Boston.  His passion and energy for the Alternative format will help push ALT 92.9 to new heights!”

At WBOS, Weiss officially replaces John Mullett who served as station's music director since the format's launch in the summer of 2016(BRW 7/13) until his exit in March. Mullett is now programming WNCS/The Point 104.7 in Montpelier, VT and the 4-station The Point Radio Network.

WBUR installs Chakrabarti and Folkenflik as new On Point hosts

Boston University's pubcaster WBUR 90.9 announced today that Meghna Chakrabarti and David Folkenflik will take over as co-hosts of its weekday talk show On Point, produced at WBUR and distributed by NPR to 271 public radio stations around the country.

Chakrabarti will host the 10am-Noon show Monday through Thursday from WBUR's studios which are located at BU's West Campus. Folkenflik will be the host on Fridays from NPR's bureau in midtown Manhattan. The new hosts will begin Monday, August 20.

They replace Tom Ashbrook who initially suspended last December(BRW 12/24/17) and following a 2-month independent investigation terminated by Boston University  on February 14(BRW 2/17). Right after allegations against Ashbrook first surfaced at the end of 2017, BU had hired two independent firms to run two separate investigations. In both was concluded that Ashrbook had created an abusive work culture through bullying, verbal assaults and intimidating actions. 

Chakrabarti has hosted WBUR local talk show Radio Boston(Live 3pm-4pm, replayed at 10pm.) since 2010 and has served as permanent fill-in host for the nationally distributed Here and Now for five years. She also hosts Modern Love, a production of WBUR and The New York Times, which she will continue hosting. WBUR will begin search for new Radio Boston host. 

Folkenflik will continue in his role covering the media for NPR.

BRW Notebook :

Sports shorts : Speaking of WBUR, Bill Littlefield who had hosted "Only A Game" program since 1993 is retiring this week. A weekly "Only A Game" is the only national sports program on NPR produced at WBUR. The program has always prided itself on providing in-depth look at the more human side of sports, using long-form narrative and commentary. The show is currently aired on 300 stations.

This Saturday, July 28 marks Littlefield’s final day on the air. Locally, WBUR airs the program twice on Saturdays - 7am and 7pm.

WBUR is currently searching nationwide for the right voice to fill his spot. Upcoming guest hosts will include:

- NPR contributor and The Gist podcast Host Mike Pesca (Saturday, August 4)

- Only a Game Senior Producer Karen Given (Saturday, August 11)

And now for something completely different : Last Friday(7/20), New England Patriots announced that its four preseason games on WBZ/98.5 The SportsHub will be called by WBZ-TV's sports anchor Dan Roche and former Patriot Matt Chatham. Meanwhile, the regular radio team of Bob Socci and Scott Zolak will shift to the TV side(WBZ/CBS4). The Patriots say that Socci and Zolak will be back in the radio booth to call regular season.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Line-up shake-up at WEEI as Big O returns to afternoon drive

Entercom Boston announced line-up changes for WEEI/SportsRadio 93.7, effective Monday August 13. The new line-up is as follows: 5:30 am – 10:00am: “Kirk & Callahan” hosted by Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan 10:00 am – 2:00 pm: “Dale &; Keefe” with Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm: “OMF - Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” hosted by Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni and Christian Fauria 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm: “Mut at Night” with Mike Mutnansky 10:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.: “WEEI Late Night”(rotating hosts including Alex Reimer, Patrick Gilroy, Chris Villani and Ben Maller).

“We are proud to deliver the power of local connection to our listeners and advertisers through an elite roster of talent that provides premier sports audio content in Boston,” said Mark Hannon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Boston. “This move allows us to return Glenn and Dale to the show times that have been synonymous with their legendary careers in Boston, while also providing Rich, Christian and Lou with new, exciting challenges moving forward.” 

The new lineup is a return to afternoon drive for Glenn Ordway, former host of WEEI’s “The Big Show” from 1995 to 2013. Dale Arnold has been a fixture at WEEI since the station’s inception in 1991, notably hosting “The Dale and Holley Show” from 2005 to 2011. Arnold and Holley were broken up in early 2011 with Holley moving to co-hosting afternoons and Arnold taking on full weekend and primary fill-in role from February 2011 until March 2014.

Since the debut of WBZ 98.5/The SportsHub nine years ago, this is going to be WEEI's yet another version of afternoon drive programming to battle top-rated "Felger and Mazz" which scored another ratings victory in recently completed spring quarter survey.  Ordway has been absent from WEEI's afternoon drive for 2,004 days(or 5 1/2 years). Will his return put a dent in "Felger and Mazz" large numbers? Will see.

Whole lotta shakeups goin' on. WEEI's afternoon programs since August 13, 2009 :

  • Michael Holley joins The Big Show as a regular co-host on February 28th, 2011.
  • Glenn Ordway signs off from WEEI on February 15th, 2013. "Salk and Holley" debuts on March 20,2013
  • Michael Salk quits WEEI on March 12, 2014. "Dale and Holley" are reunited in the afternoons on April 1, 2014. 
  • Rich Keefe leaves WBZ/98.5 the SportsHub to become 3rd co-host on "Dale and Holley" on December 5th, 2016.
  • Michael Holley announces that February 28th, 2018 is his last day at WEEI. He moves to host a nightly show on NBC Sports Boston. WEEI's afternoon drive is redubbed "Dale and Keefe".
  • On July 19th, 2018, Entercom announces that "Dale and Keefe" will move to middays on Monday, August 13 while Glenn Ordway with Lou Merloni and Christian Fauria will take over WEEI's afternoon drive.

SportsHub's midday duo get TV time as "Toucher and Rich" exit NBCSB's simulcast

Beasley Media Group and NBC Sports Boston will team up to launch a simulcast of WBZ-FM/ 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak and Bertrand Midday Show beginning Monday, July 23rd. This will mark the first time the popular radio show will be available to TV audiences, throughout New England and across the country, on NBC Sports Boston. “The Zolak and Bertrand Show” will air weekdays from 10 a.m. until 2p.m. on NBC Sports Boston, and on the NBC Sports app as well as the 98.5 Sports Hub app and

Since November 2011(BRW 9/22/11), Felger and Massarotti’s, afternoon show which airs Monday-Friday 2pm-6pm, has been simulcast on NBC Sports Boston. 98.5 The Sports Hub will continue this simulcast as part of the multi-year agreement. This past Monday(7/16), The Sports Hub began broadcasting its weekday shows live from the station’s brand new state of the art studio in Dorchester.

“We are thrilled to extend the Felger and Mazz simulcast partnership with NBC Sports Boston to include our Top rated Midday show so Boston fans can not only hear, but see the fun that this team has together in our new state of the art studios,” said Beasley Media Boston Vice President and Market Manager Mary Menna.

Meanwhile, after 3 years simulcasting on NBCSB(BRW 8/16/15), "Toucher and Rich" ended their run on July 13th. Due to the contract structure on performance incentives in their contracts( the pair apparently didn't receive a pay bump from TV numbers if their radio numbers were a tiny fraction lower so in their case simulcast just didn't make sense).

Iheart Boston recruits news/talk radio vet to lead their local outlets

iHeartMedia Boston has named Rob Sanchez VP/news, talk and sports programming for the region. Sanchez now oversees WBZ/NewsRadio 1030 WBZ, WRKO 680/The Voice of Boston and WXKS 1200/Boston's Conservative Talk. He started on July 1st. Sanchez brings over two-decades of spoken work programming experience to his new role, with previous positions CBS Radio New York and Washington, DC.

“Rob’s passion for news and talk coupled with his creativity and bold thinking make him the perfect choice to lead WBZ NewsRadio 1030, WRKO and Talk 1200 into a new era,” VP/programming Dylan Sprague said in a press release. “We’re thrilled that he’s joining the iHeartMedia Boston team.”

Additionally, WBZ 1030's Assistant Program director, Bill Flaherty has been upped to director of operations for news, talk and sports. Flaherty was named interim Program Director with longtime director of news programming Peter Casey’s exiting in November. He’s been Assistant Director of Programming for WBZ and OM for CBS Traffic Network since December 1987.

With WRKO moving into new studio space at IheartRadio Boston cluster in Medford earlier this week, Sanchez has already planned his first programming change for the Voice of Boston. Starting Monday, July 30th, WRKO will shake up its night line-up. Finance expert David Ramsey(7pm-10pm) is out to make room for the Joe Pags Show which moves from 10pm-1am slot. Former Emerson College professor and talk radio veteran, Mike Siegel, will bring his national show into the late 10pm-1am slot.

On a related note, IheartRadio Boston cluster in Medford had doubled its size at the existing site which saw WRKO 680, WZLX 100.7 and WKAF 97.7 all move into their respective new studios over the past 3 weeks. Last one on the move schedule is WBZ 1030 which is slated to relocate from Brighton to Medford in the fall.

BRW Notebook :

Sports wars : Speaking of Toucher & Rich, they have been named the 2018 Best of Boston “Radio Personalities of The Year” by Boston Magazine. The winners were chosen based on the results of the publication’s 2018 Best of Boston Readers’poll.

In addition, The SportsHub's "Felger and Mazz" have been nominated for Major Market personalities of the year category in 2018 Marconi Awards. The winners in all categories will be announced September 27 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show, in Orlando. Toucher and Rich won the award two years ago(BRW 9/23/16).  Also, for the second year in a row, The SportsHub will face WEEI in the Sports Station of the Year category. Last year, both stations got shot out and the winner was WXYT 97.1/Detroit. WEEI had won it in 2006, 2008 and 2011. The SportsHub took home the trophy in 2012 and 2016.

In other sports radio news, in late June, Christian Arcand was named as new as cohost/Sports Hub Headlines on The Adam Jones Show(7pm-12pm in spring/summer; 6pm-11pm fall/winter). Nick Cattles left Adam Jones Show in May to return to ESPN Radio 94.1 in Virginia Beach where he spent four years doing afternoon drive before joining The Sports Hub as their weeknight co-host in late January 2017(BRW 3/1/17)....Arcand had joined The Sports Hub in December as a part-time weekend after spending more than three years at WEEI.  Arcand also spent nearly six years as midday co-host at ESPN New Hampshire until the station flipped formats, becoming an oldies station in 2017.

WMEX returns : After a year off the air(BRW 7/2/17), WMEX 1510 has resumed broadcasting on Saturday, June 30 simulcasting its sister station oldies/sports/news WATD 95.5 in Marshfield. WMEX's owner, Ed Perry, (BRW 12/18/17), is in the process of constructing new transmitter which will have 10,000 watt signal during daylight hours and very weak 100watt signal during dark. Station's new tower location is going to be in Quincy. Previously, it had a 50,000 watt transmitter in Waltham. The station is currently operating on a low power but expected to fire up its new transmitter in mid-September. 

Raking in affiliates : The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong and Chuck Zodda is growing again. The popular business radio show heard on WRKO 680 from 10am to Noon added new affiliate WJNO 1290 in West Palm Beach, Florida two weeks ago.  In addition, current affiliates WTAG-AM 580 in Worcester, MA, and WHYN-AM 560 in Springfield MA recently added the second hour of The Financial Exchange to its daily lineup.  The Financial Exchange began as a one hour show in September 2010, on WRKO 680, and has grown to a 14 station network :
Massachusetts: WRKO AM 680 in Boston, WBNW AM 1120, serving Boston and Metro West, WXTK FM 95.1 on Cape Cod, WTAG AM 580 in Worcester, WHYN AM 560 in Springfield; Connecticut: WELI AM 960 in New Haven and WPOP 1410 in Hartford; New Hampshire: WGIR AM 610 in Manchester, WQSO FM 96.7 in Portsmouth, WTPL FM 107.7 in Concord, WEMJ 1490 AM in Laconia, WNTK FM 99.7 FM/WUVR AM 1490 in New London, serving Lebanon, Rutland and White River Junction, VT. Rhode Island: WHJJ 920 AM in Providence Florida: WJNO 1290 AM in West Palm Beach

The 89.7 WGBH News Adds : Two experienced journalists have joined the WGBH News team in newly created positions: On May 21st, Mary Blake took on the role of 89.7 night news anchor/reporter, and on June 18th, Saraya Wintersmith joined as full-time Dorchester reporter.

Blake is an award-winning news veteran in the Boston area, known for her work as an anchor at WBZ NewsRadio 1030. She was part of the team that won a Peabody Award for Overall Excellence for coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the 2012 Associated Press Award for Investigative Reporting. Blake also earned the Achievement in Radio Award for Best Newscaster at WRKO. At WGBH, she hosts All Things Considered on Sundays, on top of helping the nighttime news team prepare lead stories for Morning Edition......
Wintersmith also brings years of experience to WGBH, reporting from the Virginia state house for WCVE in Richmond. Prior to that, she worked at CBS Radio affiliate WNEW as a fill-in reporter and daypart manager. In her new role for WGBH News, Wintersmith works several days a week from the Dorchester Bureau in Field’s Corner.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

iHeart Boston Names Ginny Rogers-Brophey  as New Program Director For 101.7 The Bull

 iHeartMedia Boston announced that former WKLB/Country 102.5's Assistant Program Director and Music Director Ginny Rogers Brophey has been named PD for iHeartMedia's crosstown WBWL/101.7 The Bull. She succeeds Lance Houston, who recently joined Iheart's WEBG/Big 95-5 in Chicago. Houston was programming The Bull since its launch in 2014(BRW 6/13/14).

She will work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee the station's on-air content, digital footprint and music programming. She will report to Dylan Sprague, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Boston.

Brophey left WKLB last spring after 24 years, along with retiring husband and WKLB' program director Mike Brophey (BRW 5/31/17)

IheartMedia Boston's press release below.


Boston, MA – May 1, 2018 – iHeartMedia Boston announced today that Ginny “Rogers” Brophey has been named the new Program Director for 101.7 The Bull, Boston's No. 1 for New Hit Country, effective immediately. iHeartMedia Boston has a strong cross-platform presence and includes a number of iconic brand and franchises – both broadcast and digital – encompassing more than 8 stations compromised of music, talk and news formats.

As Program Director, Ginny will be responsible for the day-to-day programming operations of 101.7 The Bull. She will work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee the station's on-air content, digital footprint and music programming. She will report to Dylan Sprague, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Boston.

“If you are doing Country in Boston you better have Ginny on your team,” said Sprague.  “She is a great leader, with years of success under her belt.  She is uniquely connected to the Country music scene in both Nashville and New England, and most importantly, she is a fierce competitor who is eager to win. We can’t wait to see what Ginny and the entire Bull team can do together.”

Brophey is a 34-year radio veteran who has focused on Country radio for the last 24 years. Her background includes serving as an On-air Personality, Music Director, Assistant Program Director and Program Director. Brophey has been honored with four CRB/ Country Aircheck Music Director of the Year awards and has worked at stations that received the CMA award for Major Market Country Station of the Year. Her work in Boston includes producing several Country music shows and developing the Country Music Healing Tour at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. Brophey has also served on the St. Jude Radio Advisory Board and on the Beyond Sunday Missions Board of Directors. She is a graduate of Graduate of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York

"I am so excited to get back to work as Program Director of 101.7 The Bull,” said Brophey. “There are so many talented people at iHeartMedia, both nationally and here in Boston, and I can’t wait to tap into their skills as we continue to develop dynamic Country radio in one of the best cities in America.”

iHeartMedia is the leading media outlet in the Boston market with multiple platforms, including its broadcast stations; live events; data; and its digital businesses and platforms, including mobile, social and its own iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s free all-in-one digital music, podcasting and live streaming radio service – with more than 1.7 billion app downloads and 110 million registered users.

About iHeartMedia Boston
iHeartMedia Boston owns and operates WXKS-FM, WJMN-FM, WBWL-FM, WZLX-FM, WKAF-FM, WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM and WXKS-AM, and is part of iHeartMedia.
With over a quarter of a billion monthly listeners in the U.S. and over 129 million social followers, iHeartMedia has the largest national reach of any radio or television outlet in America. As the leading audio company in the U.S., iHeartMedia serves over 150 local markets through 849 owned radio stations, and the company’s radio stations and content can be heard on AM/FM, on satellite, at, on the company’s station websites and on iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s digital music, podcast, on demand and live streaming radio service, available on over 250 platforms and 2000 devices, including on digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables and smartphones, on virtual assistants, smart speakers, TVs and gaming consoles.

iHeartRadio offers users the country’s top live radio stations, personalized custom artist stations created by just one song or seed artist, on demand features and the top podcasts and personalities. The all-in-one digital service has more than 1.7 billion downloads, 110 million registered users and is the No. 1 commercial radio podcaster in the U.S.

iHeartMedia’s platforms include radio broadcasting, online, mobile, digital, social, podcasts, personalities and influencers, live concerts and events, syndication, music research services and independent media representation. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. (PINK: IHRTQ). Visit for more company information.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Longtime WBZ radio reporter Lana Jones has died

WBZ/News Radio 1030 announced this morning that Lana Jones "died suddenly this morning at UMass Medical Center in Worcester." She was 62. The station did not provide a cause of death.

She is survived by her husband, Steve Jones-D'Agostino who said that Jones became ill on the way home, went straight to bed and passed out on the hallway floor outside the bedroom about 5 a.m. She suffered a heart attack on the way to the hospital, and was pronounced dead at 7:10 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

Jones was working on Tuesday afternoon covering a wake for former colleague, legendary Patriots play-by-play Gil Santos in Bridgewater. 

Warren,OH native, Jones, had worked at WBZ since 1991 and had been a part of the area's radio news scene since 1981 when she joined WAAF 107.3 as news anchor. At WAAF, she also hosted a weekly talk show on local teen issues. From 1983 to 1988, Jones was a news anchor and reporter for WMJX/Magic 106.7. She worked as a reporter for now-defunct WHDH 850 from 1989 to 1991. 
During her tenure, Jones covered many of the city's biggest news events including the Boston Marathon bombing, the Roman Catholic priest abuse scandal, and the death of John F. Kennedy Jr.

Services will be scheduled for Mercadante Funeral Home in Worcester, followed by a "Celebration of Lana's Life" on Sept. 4, which would have been her 35th wedding anniversary.