Thursday, March 19, 2009

Imus jokes and misses...again

Don Imus, the syndicated morning radio personality, announced on his show(heard locally on WTKK 96.9FM) on Monday(3/16) that he has stage two prostate cancer. He offered no indication on his prognosis or what kind of treatment options(surgery, radiatioan or seeds) he'd be choosing, saying only he is confident his doctors will beat the disease.

However, Imus’ announcement has done little to change his unfunny, boring morning routine and as well as his ability to insert his his foot in his mouth. That's why when Imus' rep insisted in the press that he was joking when he threatened(the Globe captured the confrontation between the bickering hosts right here) WTKK's afternooner Jay Severin during Tuesday's 10th annual St. Patricks Day remote broadcast at Wilbur Theater, you just know the man needs a new watch(preferably a gold one as a retirement present) since his time behind the mic has expired long time ago.

Severin who wasn't invited to "Kiss Me, I'm Imus" decided to show up at WTKK's remote event and wish Imus well with his prostate cancer battle. Their feud stems from October's dustup when Severin decided to stop going on Imus' morning show where he was being humiliated with unfunny insults and lame jokes thrown his way. After breaking off his 10-year association with Imus' program, Severin then disclosed his displeasure to the Herald making the off-air issue a public one. That apparently enraged Imus who felt that Severin betrayed him.

Severin is not the only radio personality who's been feeling sorry for Imus' life-and-death health issue revealed this week. On his Sirius XM Radio show few days ago, even the longtime I-man detractor Howard Stern has been a mixed bag of emotions. Stern said he's been feeling sad for Imus but reminded his audience that the man has been nothing short of an on-air bully and wasn't a nice guy to anyone in the radio business for all these years. Stern then proceeded to tell his producer Gary Dell'abate to cancel the Teddy-Gram he was going to send to Imus. Stern also suggested that this may be a good opportunity for Imus to walk a way from radio permanently.

And, who could disagree?!

BRW Notebook :

What's in your garden? : In other WTKK news, the station announced the "Graden Guys" will be moving from WRKO AM 680 to 96.9FM on Sunday, April 26th. The show will add an hour(6am-9am) and replace Paul Parent's gardening program which has been part of WTKK's line-up since the station launced in 1999. Before moving to WTKK in 1999, Parent gave out garden advice on WRKO for 15 years. Whether his syndicated show will move back to AM 680 is anyone's guess. WRKO has announced what it will program in the 6am-8am Sunday morning slot. Parent is still heard on a number of suburban signals like Worcester's WCRN AM 830 or Beverly's WBOQ 104.9FM.

Kids country : WKLB 102.5FM's annual St. Jude Children's Research Hospital radiothon raised more $421,000 last weekend. The event took place on Thursday, March 12th and Friday, March 13th at Jordan ’s Furniture in Reading . St. Jude is a world leader in catastrophic illness in children

“The Country 102.5 staff is extremely proud of the generosity of the country music audience in and around Boston ,” says Country 102.5 Program Director Mike Brophey. “To raise close to 6 million dollars since inception is truly remarkable.”

Where will he show up next? : Former WBZ-TV4 sportscaster Bob Lobel's post-anchordesk media career can only be compared to a bouncing beach ball in the bleachers at Fenway. He's been showing up all over the place over the past few months including stints as co-host at Oldies 103.3, morning sports anchor at NewsRadio 1030, columnist at's failed OT magazine, guest host at WTPL/Pulse 107 in NH, etc. Earlier this week he began guest-hosting at ESPN 890's new afternoon entry "Boston Sports Show"(4-7pm) which officially replaced "Lew and Mike Show" after Lew Goldstein departed at the end of last week to add more responsibilities to his day job as marketing boss at Kelley Automotive Group. Lobel's three-day stint is over for this week as ESPN 890 will carry NCAA's March Madness broadcasts today and Friday but he's expected to return on Monday(3/23). Mike "And No Lew" Vallee, Kevin Winter and Lobel will hold fort until the station officially relaunches Boston Sports Show on April 6(Sox opening day) from 4 to 6pm with the new regular co-host to be named later. Boston Baseball Pre-Game Show from 6-7pm will also return on April 6 and it will be once again hosted by Kevin Winter.

It's that time of year : You favorite spring and summer Boston radio traditions are returning and/or in the process of being planned...WBCN 104.1FM's Rock'n'Roll Rumle kicks off next month with the Finals taking place on April 24th at the Middle East in Cambridge...WBOS 92.9FM's 16th annual EarthFest will come back to the Hatch Shell on Saturday, May 30 with musical acts to be announced next month...Oldies 103.3FM's will bring back its Summer Music Series to the Hatch Shell starting in June. (The Beach Boys are already booked for one of the dates in July(7/25)...As mentioned previously, Kiss 108's biggest event of the year "Kiss Concert" will celebrate its 30th edition on May 17 at the Comcast Center in Mansfield. The station will announce preliminary line-up on Matty In The Morning Show this Friday(3/20) at 7:10am with tickets going on sale to the general public next Monday(3/23).


dbvader said...

Will BCN be around for the end of the Rock 'n' Roll Rumble? T&R (mostly T) moan about how they are close to extinction, the next to go the way of 92.3 in NYC and FreeFM in LA.

Boston Radio Watch said...

That seems to be an on-going joke over there but me thinks there's way too much to lose and very little to gain in converting 104.1 to a totally different format(sports, Top 40,etc). Perhaps I'm being very shortsighted in this case but I just can't see 'BCN playing anything else but rock. 'BCN was my favorite and only station growing up so there's definitely a personal connection on my end, but anything's possible.

I also give CBS lots of props for their recent moves. They're playing it very smart by doing major overhauls in LA and NYC and other markets. There's actually no better time to rebuild, reposition and reinvent itself than during a downturn in the economy. What the mainstream media doesn't want to tell you is that many American corportations are actively hiring, expanding in the number of specific areas and getting their new business strategies in order. They're planning ahead. Smart. CBS is no exception. It shows that they're still in the game unlike Citadels and Clear Channels which are just dicing and slicing costs.

In the related note, I noticed and are both taken by a NYC individual. Not sure if he has any connection to CBS Radio.

Dave said...

It's obvious that Imus has lost a bit on his fastball, but his show makes sense for Greater Media to run right now. For better or worse, his show has heritage in this market. His fans and more importantly his sponsors are extremely loyal. Even with Imus' fees, it's still a much less expensive option than a live show. And when you consider a diminished Imus still rates higher and sells better than Tha Speakah over at 680, why not run it in this economy? I'm sure GM knows eventually the I-man will retire or drop, and at that point they'll address mornings. Who knows? Maybe Howie will be a free agent by then...if he doesn't screw that up again...

Incisive commenter said...

Wow. You fell for Severin's use of a throw-away line from Imus to grab some quick cheap publicity.

Andrew said...

As if Severin isn't bully. He's like an antagonistic little boy on the air. Enough with this racist, mysoginist and homophobic rants. Oh, and BTW, Imus built a hospital wing for children's care at a NJ medical center. When Severin does the same I will reconsider.