Thursday, September 4, 2008

Metro Networks to drop customized traffic reports for market’s smaller stations

Traffic is a daily big mess in Greater Boston, and that mess has produced one of the biggest growth industries over the years - traffic reporting. Unfortunately, with today’s hard economic conditions in the media business even traffic reporting companies like Metro Networks are now doing cost-cutting and streamlining.

Over the past several years, Metro Networks, owned by LA-based Westwood One Radio Network, has being providing some suburban stations in the market with customized traffic updates geared toward suburban commuters. However, that all will change as of September 15 when several of these stations including WATD 95.9FM, WPLM 99.1FM, WCRN AM 830 and WEIM AM 1280 will find themselves without specific traffic reports targeted for their listeners. Metro will instead send out one generic report each hour covering downtown, North Shore, South Shore, Metro West and the 495 corridor. This will be somewhat similar to comprehensive traffic reports heard on major Boston stations like WBZ AM 1030, WRKO AM 680 or WODS 103.3FM.

WATD-FM’s owner Ed Perry told BRW earlier this week his station is not happy with Metro’s decision but now plans to cover traffic with listener reporting : “We've been told the traffic goes away as of September 15th. Natuarally we're appealing the decision which seems damaging to the content we've always provided our local commuters. However, we'll always find a way to get the traffic info on the air. In this age of cellphones and restaurant gift certificates there are lots of faithful listeners willing and able to provide live traffic updates in exchange for a bite or two. We've always made listener calls a part of the traffic info we air and have also updated Metro with those reports to help keep their own reports current. So economics aside, I'm a bit perplexed as to why Metro would want to lose the input we provide them for free. But such are the ways of the corporate world. Fortunately we still run an independent show down here. Revenues are stable, the air product's not bad, and we're still having fun”

BRW Notebook :
Talk of the Town :
WRKO AM 680’s midday host Reese Hopkins will take his show to Gloucester next Monday(9/8) for a live broadcast with town residents and officials regarding the so-called, controversial “pregnancy pact” issue. The live remote broadcast will originate from George’s Coffee Shop in Gloucester from 10am to Noon.. Hopkins will hold a town meeting debate on the Gloucester situation and teen pregnancy in general. Additional guests will include Patrick Anderson, a reporter from the Gloucester Times who has covered the teen pregnancy story and been interviewed by MSNBC, Fox and NPR; and Raymond Lamont, Editor-in-Chief of the Gloucester Times.

Blog it out, dude : has rolled out a new contest to try and find “The Next Great Sports Blogger” as part of the sports station’s website promotion. Contestants can submit a sample of up to 500 words to’s “Next Great Sports Blogger” page at Entries should be focused in on the Boston sports scene and reflect the author’s wit, creativity, sports knowledge and unique perspective to craft a piece of work worthy of being featured on The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2008. A panel of judges, including WEEI’s on-air talent such as Gerry Callahan, Michael Holley, Mike Felger, Glenn Ordway, other Boston sports media icons and athletes, and site editor Rob Bradford, will help narrow down the field of entries to determine the 10 Finalists. Then starting October 15, the finalists will be tested in a final round of challenges judged by readers in an open vote deciding the winners of “The Next Great Sports Blogger” contest. In the end, two winners will be chosen as the “The Next Great Sports Blogger,” and will have the opportunity to write a daily blog for starting in January 2009.

Andre The Giant would be proud : Ed Symkus
catches up with Sheldon Godberg who hosts “Mouthpiece Wrestling Show” on WWZN AM 1510 from 6 to 7pm each Friday.

Your neighborhood radio CEO : Locally-run Greater Media(WROR 105.7FM, WTKK 96.9FM, WKLB 102.5FM, WBOS 92.9FM and WMJX 106.7FM) boss Peter Smyth gives an update on his company's recent doings.

Mixing it up : Tomorrow at 7:10am on John Lander's morning drive show, WBMX-FM/Mix 98.5FM will officially announce the line-up for its annual MixFest. And, you’ll definitely need to bring a jacket or two if you’re going to the show. This year’s edition is taking place on Saturday, October 11th at 3pm at the Bank of America Pavilion with adult Top 40 hitters - Sarah McLachlan, Bryan Adams, Jordin Sparks.


Anonymous said...

Ed Perry needs to use Smart Routes, just hit 511 on any cell phone and it's free. Since it is funded by MassHighway we are already paying for it. Cathy D can read it if someone does the call and transcribes it into radio speak.

I saw Westwood Ones stock price is even below Radio Ones and that's pretty low.

I wonder if WBOQ is also getting the boot?

Also if Metro drops it's news feed to WRKO I wonder what Coffee Boy and the Empress will do?

Anonymous said...

Smart Routes is owned by Westwood One and operates out of the same office as Metro.

Anonymous said...

what has happened to regular radio? seems the loyality of radio people who have devoted a life time to the stations they worked at get dumped!!! This is Terrible, and thank GOD for Computer radio...No Program directors to put up with!! Amen