Thursday, September 25, 2008

No debate about it : Boston stations plan to have the presidential race covered

Debate or no debate? For those who can't be near a television - or prefer to turn down the volume on the set and listen to radio coverage - live hookups of Friday night's first scheduled presidential debate, are being planned by several local radio stations.

The scheduled debate, beginning at 9 pm, is expected to be carried live by WRKO AM 680, WBZ AM 1030, WTKK 96.9FM with post-debate analysis offered at 10:30pm. WBUR 90.9FM will offer National Public Radio's coverage.

Remaining presidential debates will occur October 7th and 15th, and the VP debate is scheduled for October 2nd.

Tomorrow night, WRKO AM 680 plans to put presidential politics before baseball as the talker will pass on the meaningless(when was the last time you could say that?) Sox-Yankees game and ship it over to co-flagship WEEI AM 850. Radio Hall of Famer Howie Carr and back-in-circulation Todd Feinburg will team up for the 7-8pm hour. Feinburg will then host solo the pre-debate 8-9pm hour and post-debate block from 10:30-Midnight. WRKO may also have to ship Game 1 of ALDS to WEEI AM 850 next week in order to air highly-anticipated VP debate on October 2nd. (If the Angels clinch the best overall record in AL, they get to choose which day to play Game 1 – October 1st or 2nd. Either way, WEEI will have Game 1 of ALDS)

Over on WTKK 96.9FM and WBZ AM 1030, Michele McPhee and Dan Rea plan to host pre and post-debate programming on their respective stations. (WBZ AM 1030 will likely shift Bruins-Canadiens game on October 15th over to one of its FM sister stations so it could air the final presidential debate.)

BRW Notebook :

Let’s do the time warp again! : After dusting off his radio persona, former WBZ-TV sports icon Bob Lobel kicked off the first of four week trial run as the the morning drive 'special guest' co-host with Karen Blake at WODS 103.3FM reports the Herald. Meanwhile, Boston radio legend Dale Dorman, who decided to slow it down a bit after an amazing 40-year run on local radio is shifting to Saturday mornings(9a-12pm) beginning this weekend. Dorman is happy to get out of the daily grind reports the Globe. As WODS 103.3/Oldies is in the process of undergoing a line-up makeover, another Boston radio vet JJ Wright moved from evenings(6-9pm) to take over the afternoon drive,(2-7pm), the daypart he first hosted when he joined Oldies in 2002 when longtimer Brian Murphy left. A live, syndicated classic hits show with a Cleveland-based Tom Kent will enter the line-up from 7pm-10pm starting this Monday(9/28) as veteran night-timer Mike Finnegan shifts to 10pm-1am.

Where will Zito turn up? : One of Boston veteran comics and radio sidekicks/co-hosts/producers, Chris Zito, has recently ended his five year-run co-hosting mornings with Jen Carter on WXLO 104.5FM in the Worcester market. On his blog, Zito says that he and the station couldn’t agree on a new deal and unable to provide all the details at this time, but promises to pop up somewhere else on the local dial soon. Go figure…

Couple of sidenotes In 2003, Zito was hired to do mornings at WXLO by Jay Beau Jones who currently oversees programming at CBS Radio Boston’s WBMX 98.5 and WODS 103.3FM/Oldies. Jones moved from WXLO to WBMX/WODS this past February. But, even more interesting is the fact that Zito and Oldies 103.3’s current morning co-host Karen Blake have crossed radio paths in the past – both worked at WJMN 94.5 and WCLB 105.7FM around the same time. In early 90's at WJMN/WZOU 94.5, he was on with JR Edwards in the mornings and she hosted afternoon drive. Both of them then ended up at country WCLB 105.7FM where he was exec-producing Loren and Wally and she handled PM drive from 1994 to 1996. After five years in Detroit radio(hosting mornings with JR at modern rocker Planet 96.3), Zito returned to Boston and worked as writer on Steve Sweeney’s morning show on WZLX from 2001 to 2003. Whether he is headed to WODS to join Karen Blake and Lobel(if he’s still there) or somewhere else on the Boston dial, chances are he’ll be heard from sooner rather than later…

Hockey on the 3’s : The Bruins are back on their flagship WBZ AM 1030 for the 14th consecutive year(except for the 04-05 strike season, of course) with three pre-season weekend games starting this Saturday with the 4pm date vs. the Washington Capitals. Next weekend brings afternoon tune-ups against NYIslanders(October 4) and Caps(October 5th). One of the most underrated play-by-play voices in Boston sports, Dave Goucher, returns on play-by-play.

Radio Woodie : One of Boston’s best independent music FM’s, Emerson College’s WERS 88.9FM, has been nominated for Best College Radio Station in America in MTV’s 24-hour college music channel MTVU’s annual Woodie Awards to be presented on November 12th. Shockingly, Boston college stations were shut out of trade publication College Music Journal’s annual nominations.

One giant perception problem : "Radio Heard Here" is radio industry's current image/PR campaign, reminding advertisers that radio is...err.. heard. MediaDailyNews reports that "top executives at leading radio companies acknowledged Wednesday the industry's rocky times, but attributed it more to perception than reality. Advertisers have failed to appreciate the appealing content and marketing opportunities that radio offers, they said."
[Ed.Note : Stay calm...we're not in a recession. It only seems that way]

1 comment:

Chris said...

I knew Lobel would resurface somewhere, in some capacity. That he isn't wanted or even liked didn't seem to thwart a job search, which thankfully bore fruit with a station very few people listen to. This is subtraction by addition, I guess. It will be interesting to see whether the absolutely moribund condition of Boston radio worsens once the Sirius/XM merger finally launches new players and new plans. Having long ago ditched Boston radio in favor of my iPod and daily (did I say commercial-free???) Podcasts, I might like to jump into satellite radio for the first time. Boston's terrestrial radio scene will never really get better, which is a sad indictment given the supposedly 'learned' and 'nuanced' and 'elite' Liberals around. Oh...I forgot: No one likes what they have to say anyway.