Friday, October 29, 2010

The stars will come to Jingle at Kiss 108's show

Radio stations must miss the days when they were the primary gatekeepers for pop stardom. MTV sandbagged them in the 1980s, and then along came the Internet with Itunes and YouTube. Yet musicians still heavily depend on radio airplay for mass sales, which is why they dutifully perform at promotional concerts.

On Wednesday(10/27) it was announced that WXKS/Kiss 108's Jingle Ball, one of the signature concerts of Boston radio, will return on Dec.9th to Tsongas Arena in Lowell with the usual Top40 all-star lineup that includes Katy Perry, Enrique Iglesias, B.o.B., Selena Gomez, Shontelle. Tickets to Kiss 108's 11th annual Jingle Ball will go on sale to the general public today at 3pm but will sell out in about the time it takes to click a mouse. Out of 6,500 tickets, Kiss 108 does hold back a wad to give away on the air. It's basically a way to keep more listeners tuned in a major fall ratings months of November and December.

BRW Notebook :

The Comeback Trail : One of the more entertaining DJ personalities to pass thru Boston airwaves in the past 15-20 years is none other than Ralphie Marino. You may recall his time in the afternoon drive at Jam 94-5(1995-2000) or morning drive co-host role at now-defunct Star 93-7(2001-2005). After Star 93-7 was replaced with Mike 93-7 and the entire staff was let go in April 2005, Marino moved to mornings at WERZ 107.1 in Portsmouth, NH. In 2009, the advertising recession had crippled the industry and left many people in radio and TV out of work. In April 2009, Marino and his co-host at WERZ were cut and replaced by a syndicated morning show out of Charlotte, NC. If you've followed him on Twitter, you probably aware that the past year and a half have been a trying time for Marino and his family as he briefly moved to the West Coast to look for a job. After unsuccessful attempts to land a fulltime radio gig, he eventually returned to his native New York City area where he has been getting part-time/fill-in weekend work at local stations but nothing permanent. Well, for his local fans and former Star 93-7 listeners, there is some promising news to report. Starting this week, Marino is back on the air in Boston at WODS 103.3 with his former Star 93-7 partner Karen Blake for another round of fun behind the mic. It's only a trial run thru year-end, but if the ratings swing his way he may have to change his name to the Comeback Kid.

How the deal got done : Boston Globe's Chad Finn has the details behind as to how the upcoming NESN-WEEI simulcast deal was put together. As mentioned in this space last week, WEEI's "Dennis and Callahan" will be simulcast on NESN beginning Tuesday, November 16 from 6am to 9am.

Jeff the Reaper : Rush Radio 1200's morning man Jeff Katz really got into Halloween spirit earlier this week as he visited gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill's campaign headquarters in Quincy.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Conversion is near at WQOM, new 24-hour Catholic programming and improved signal soon to debut

The official transformation of WQOM 1060 to religious radio station is almost complete. Holy Family Comunications, the Buffalo-based non-profit religious broadcaster that purchased WQOM(formerly WBIX) 1060 in July and took control of it in mid-September has completed station's signal upgrade to 50,000 watts. The new Catholic programming is expected to debut on November 1st. Here's station's press release on just-completed signal upgrade work :


50,000-WATTS --

( Natick , MA ) ­­- The Station of the Cross Catholic Radio Network, a division of Holy Family Communications, will begin broadcasting in Massachusetts at 50,000 watts next month after station improvements. The radio station formerly belonging to Boston business station, WBIX, is set to provide Catholic programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in November.

“We are thrilled to be able to make these upgrades to the station,” Jim Wright, President of The Station of the Cross Catholic Radio Network said. “Broadcasting at 50,000 watts will allow us to reach listeners across The Commonwealth with our programming.”

At 50,000 watts, the Boston area station will become the largest station of Holy Family Communications. The Station of the Cross began broadcasting in Buffalo , NY , in August 1999 at WLOF 101.7 FM, and added another station in Rochester , NY , at WHIC 1460 AM, in 2003. Improvements were made to the Natick , MA , radio station, purchased by Holy Family Communications in July, to increase its signal strength from 40,000 watts to 50,000. The non-for-profit Catholic radio organization, which is funded completely by donations, exists to effectively evangelize through radio programming, new media, and community action.

The Station of the Cross is affiliated with the Eternal World Television Network (EWTN) to pass down the teachings of Jesus Christ with broadcasts of daily Mass and by sharing the daily headlines with a Catholic point of view. The Station of the Cross hopes listeners become more prayerful and committed to Catholicism, more involved in leadership positions in their parishes, more engaged in debate with family and friends, and more generous with giving to the Church.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NESN to simulcast WEEI's "Dennis and Callahan"

NESN, regional 24/7 sports and entertainment cable network, has agreed to simulcast WEEI 850's morning drive "Dennis and Callahan" show on a daily basis."Dennis and Callahan" -- John Dennnis and Gerry Callahan -- will be simulcast 6am to 9am. weekdays on NESN and NESN National(a national channel minus Red Sox broadcasts) starting Monday, November 16.The network will also simulcast when the program does remote broadcasts from Red Sox spring training in Florida.TV/radio simulcast is not a first for WEEI. For the past few seasons, the station has been simulcasting Comcast SportsNet's "The Baseball Show" on Saturday mornings during Red Sox season. Not clear if that arrangement will now end with today's announcement of NESN-WEEI partnership which makes a natural pairing for the Sox radio flagship and the team-owned regional TV sports channel which is the home of some 150 Red Sox games. Here's WEEI's press release :


New Programming Partnership Premieres November 16

October 19, 2010 – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, and WEEI Sports Radio, New England ’s top rated sports radio station, announced today that they have entered into a programming partnership to simulcast The Dennis and Callahan Show on weekday mornings live from 6 am to 9 am. Beginning November 16, 2010, The Dennis and Callahan Show will be available on NESN in New England and across the country on NESN National.

“This programming partnership brings together the two most popular sports media companies in New England in a way that we think complements the strengths of each organization,” said Sean McGrail, NESN’s President and CEO. “We have worked closely with WEEI for several years to produce the annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. We now look forward to working with WEEI on a daily basis to bring The Dennis and Callahan Show to our television audience.”

“We’re excited because this is the next logical step in our progression as a powerful brand, giving us the ability to provide our great content far and wide,” said Julie Kahn, Entercom New England’s Vice President, New England Market Manager. “We’ve built an unprecedented regional radio network, we stream our radio content worldwide via the web, we have original web content, mobile streaming…and now we will be available regionally and nationally on TV Nobody in our business offers what we do the way we do…and this NESN partnership impressively expands on that. “

“When they see them on TV, people may be shocked to learn how handsome John & Gerry are,” added Kahn.
"Dennis and Callahan have achieved tremendous success in morning drive on WEEI, and this new partnership with NESN provides the perfect opportunity to expand their footprint across the region. NESN is the ideal partner for us given the incredible power of its reach across New England , and the combination of our two networks will make this new project an instant hit.” said Jason Wolfe, Entercom New England’s Vice President of AM Programming.

“This is a natural fit for NESN. Dennis & Callahan is the 'go-to' show in the morning for sports and entertainment,” said Joel Feld, NESN Executive Vice President, Programming and Executive Producer. “Passionate hosts, loyal fans and no holds-barred discussion. NESN viewers get that with our Red Sox, Bruins and other sports and lifestyle programming so this is a logical way to enhance how we entertain our audience.”

NESN will install four remotely controlled HD cameras in WEEI’s studio in Brighton , MA and fiber the feeds back to the NESN HD Television Center in Watertown , MA where NESN will direct the four feeds and add graphics. In addition to the live simulcast every weekday morning, NESN will also replay The Dennis and Callahan Show in primetime on NESN National. A one-hour “Best of Dennis & Callahan” is also planned for late night. The partnership also includes regular appearances by WEEI personalities on NESN’s Red Sox pre-game shows and other sports programs.

Dennis and Callahan were paired together on WEEI in October of 1997 from 10 am to noon and after immense success, were shifted to morning drive in September of 1999 where they’ve been ever since. The show made an immediate impact in the market and has consistently been the #1 rated morning show in Boston .

BRW Notebook :

Battle of the party heads : Rush Radio 1200 will host a unique debate format this Thursday morning,(10/21) at 7am. Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh will face Republican Chairperson Jennifer Nassour in a one hour debate on the Jeff Katz Show. The debate will run until 8am and will be moderated by Rush Radio 1200’s Jeff Katz.

“I applaud Ms. Nassour and Mr. Walsh for having the guts to come to the station to talk about the issues that many candidates will not,” said Rush Radio 1200 Program Director Bill George in a press release. “For instance, both Deval Patrick and Barney Frank have ignored our frequent requests to talk about the issues on the Jeff Katz Show. We are looking forward to hearing bi-party discussion about issues which are important to the people of Massachusetts, especially financial issues like rising taxes.”

Monday, October 18, 2010

Popular North Shore personality is behind the mic

Former NorthShore 104.9 midday personality Jacky Ankeles is ready for a return to area airwaves at WNBP 1450 starting today at 10am. Ankeles was with 104.9 for 22 years before being let go this past May. She didn't get a chance to say goodbye to her loyal listeners on the air so her letter to the editor in the Salem News was her brief farewell. Here's the release regarding her new midday show on WNBP 1450 in Newburyport.

North Shore radio personality on air weekdays 10am to 3pm

(NEWBURYPORT, MA) – Jacky Ankeles, one of the most recognized radio personalities north of Boston, has joined “The Legends” WNBP AM 1450. Ms. Ankeles will host a new program weekdays 10am to 3pm starting Monday, October 18, 2010. Based in Newburyport, MA, WNBP is a locally owned, independent radio station reaching Cape Ann to Portsmouth, NH, and throughout the Merrimack Valley.

“We are thrilled to have Jacky join ‘The Legends’ and bring her familiar and beloved voice back to listeners on the North Shore,” says WNBP Co-owner and Operations Manager, Pete Falconi. “New and faithful fans will enjoy her show that includes our popular line up of ‘legendary songs by legendary singers,’ as well as new informative feature segments on North Shore, Seacoast and Merrimack Valley businesses and people.”

“I'm very excited about becoming part of the WNBP family and getting back to the music, listeners and the community,” adds Ms. Ankeles. “It has always been my goal to have people to turn on the radio and feel like they're spending time with a friend and that we're enjoying the music together … that happens on local radio. WNBP is a gem. Its growing success and popularity are directly a result of the station's extremely talented and knowledgeable broadcast veterans at the helm. They care about, and are totally devoted to, the community.”

A life-long resident of the North Shore, Jacky Ankeles’ familiar voice has graced the airways for over 20 years on the mid-day shift on WBOQ NorthShore 104.9. Listeners have also seen her at many public appearances, remote broadcasts and on-stage productions as well as co-hosting the annual North Shore Holiday Toy Drive with State Senator Bruce Tarr. Her journalism experience extends beyond radio as a guest columnist for North Shore Weekly, a host of cable TV’s North Shore Focus, and author of a cooking column called “The Wooden Spoon.” Ms. Ankeles graduated from Skidmore College with degrees in Music and Drama and from North Shore Community College with a degree in Nursing. She is a classical pianist and former dancer with The Boston Ballet.

WNBP AM 1450 has been serving the Greater Newburyport area since 1957. In March 2009, locally owned and operated Port Broadcasting, LLC, purchased the station from Westport Communications and implemented a “Legendary Songs by Legendary Singers” format with a focus on serving the community. Managing partners Bob Couture, Pete Falconi and Carl Strube, all of whom have deep roots in the community as well as in radio and entertainment, are committed to the mission of keeping radio local. For more information, please visit

# # #

BRW Notebook :

The River cooks up its holiday Feast : WXRV/92.5 The River hosts its 7th annual RiverFeast to benefit Greater Boston Foodbank on Fri. November 12 at Peabody Essex Museum. This holiday charity concert features a pre-concert silent auction/cocktail party, dinner and live performances from Steven Page formerly of the Barenaked Ladies and Entrain. Tickets are now on sale, get full details at River's PD Catie Wilber said in a press release : "It’s a pleasure to be able to bring such a unique event to River listeners. Line up the babysitter now and enjoy this night out with live music from longtime River fave Steven Page, in a beautiful venue, all while helping those in need, right in our back yards"

More LB : Earlier this month, Entercom Boston announced that it has signed Lyndon “LB” Byers to a new 3-year contract extension. Byers currently co-hosts the "Hill-Man Morning Show" on WAAF 107.3(also on WKAF 97.7), which airs weekdays from 5:30 – 10:00am. Byers has been with WAAF for thirteen years. Shortly after his retirement from professional hockey, including 9 years with the Boston Bruins, he made his radio debut on WWTM(now WVEI) 1440 in Worcester in 1996.

WAAF's Program Director, Ron Valeri, said in a press release, “Stuck with the L-Beaster for at least 3 more years...what have I gotten myself into?! In all seriousness, LB has been a tremendous weapon for WAAF’s Hill-Man Morning Show, and it’s great that we’ll be able to unleash the beast on Boston for many more years to come.” Valeri continued, “Congratulations to Greg Hill, LB and the rest of the show cast for yet another quarter of HUGE ratings in morning drive!”

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Matty in the Morning and WXKS are kissing off the competition in September ratings

Don't call WXKS/Kiss 108's Matt Siegel a radio veteran, yet it's hard to find a better way to describe the DJ, whose career in Boston radio spans four decades and who continues to thrive at a youth-oriented Top 40 music format.

Siegel who has been hosting Kiss 108's morning drive since 1981 has consistently ranked at the top of the ratings with station's target audiences which is women 18-49 and 25-54. However, the latest September ratings released today earned him the highest ratings in his nearly 30-year career at Kiss 108 and are now the talk of the town.

Overall, Kiss 108 was once again the top station in the market cracking the magical 10% share of the audience(You can see the ratings here) with news/talker WBZ 1030 also padding to its 2nd place rank in September. "Matty In the Morning"s domination in the morning drive wasn't just limited to the advertiser-friendly adults 25-54 demographic where he was #1 with 10.3(WBZ 1030 was in 2nd with 7.0). His show also topped younger demos as well - in Adults 18-49, Kiss 108 finished first with 11.0 as WBZ's morning news came in second with 7.7 And in the younger 18-34 set, Siegel and friends put some distance between them and sister station WJMN/Jamn 94-5's "Ramiro & Pebbles" - 12.9 to 9.4. Plus, in station's key demo, women 25-54, Siegel absolutely crushed its nearest competitor - WMJX/Magic 106.7 - with 16.7 to 7.1 win.

Don't call him a veteran yet. He's just getting started.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

WGBH names new morning news anchor

After 10 months on the air with its news/public affairs format WGBH 89.7 is infusing some personality element to its morning drive. The station announced today that as of next Monday(10/11), veteran radio news producer/host/reporter Bob Seay will become WGBH's new local news anchor/commentator during its morning commute block(6am-10am) which includes NPR's Morning Edition and PRI's The Takeaway. Seay replaces news anchor Belinda Robinson. Here's the official press release from WGBH 89.7 :
Bob Seay joins 89.7 WGBH Radio as new morning anchor
Veteran radio host, producer and reporter Bob Seay makes the move to Boston this month to become 89.7 WGBH Radio’s new morning news host and anchor. Seay has been a fixture at stations on the Cape and in Rhode Island in a career spanning nearly 40 years in radio journalism.
“We’re thrilled to have Bob’s talent and experience to share with WGBH listeners,” said Radio General Manager John Voci. “His strong background in news, public affairs and arts, and knowledge of New England and our issues, will be a great addition to our local news team.”
Seay officially begins on October 11 and can be heard on 89.7 from 6-10am, giving listeners local perspective during the WGBH co-production The Takeaway and NPR’s signature newsmagazine Morning Edition.
Seay began his career on Cape Cod in 1972, spending four years at WOCB in West Yarmouth followed by an additional four at WVLC/WLOM in Orleans. He then earned the position of news director and morning anchor at WQRC in Hyannis in 1980. During his 17 years at the station, he hosted a weekly public affairs program, produced features on Cape Cod environmental issues and interviewed key newsmakers, including President Ronald Reagan. From there he was tapped to serve as station manager of WOMR, a community station in Provincetown where he spent nine years. During that time, he also served as a part-time news announcer at WBUR in Boston, and from 2004-06 handled WBUR’s Weekend Edition hosting duties,
In 2006, Seay made the move to Providence public radio station WRNI, where he served as Morning Edition anchor and host of two arts-related programs: ‘Rhode Island Artscape,’ a monthly special featuring prominent artists and musicians; and ‘Trinity Rep Radio Theater,’ a presentation of dramatic readings.
Seay, a graduate of Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania, is no stranger to WGBH. While in graduate school at Boston University in 1967-68, he was on the “BU Crew” that performed a variety of production tasks for WGBH television programs, including the legendary 1968 James Brown concert that later became the subject of the documentary The Night James Brown Saved Boston.
About WGBHWGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster, producing such award-winning PBS series as Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2/HD and 44, and digital channels World and Create. Local TV productions that focus on the region’s diverse community include Greater Boston, Basic Black, and María Hinojosa: One-on-One. WGBH Radio serves listeners from Cape Cod to New Hampshire with WGBH 89.7, Boston’s NPR Station for News and Culture; 99.5 All Classical; WCAI for the Cape and Islands; WNCK on Nantucket; and the All-Classical WGBH HD channel. WGBH also produces the national radio news program The World. WGBH is a leading producer of online content and a pioneer in developing educational multimedia and new technologies that make media accessible for people with disabilities. Find more information at

Saturday, October 2, 2010

WBZ wins radio industry's top honor

As has already been mentioned in this space earlier this week(BRW 9/30), WBZ radio was named as a ''Legendary Station'', radio broadcasting's most prestigous honor, at the annual Marconi Radio Awards of the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington DC. With the award, WBZ has won the three major Marconi honors a station can receive - making it one of the handful of radio stations in the country with that distinction. The other two major awards WBZ has received are - Station of the Year(in a major market) in 1995 and 1998 , and Station of the Year in a format(News/Talk) in 1999. Here's CBS Radio Boston's official release on WBZ's Legendary Station award :

WBZ-AM Boston is “Legendary” at 2010 NAB Marconi Awards

WBZ-AM Boston was a big winner at Thursday night’s 2010 NAB Marconi Radio Awards. The station was honored with the prestigious Legendary Station of the Year award during the annual NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington , D.C. CBS Radio Senior Vice President and WBZ General Manager Mark Hannon accepted the legendary award for the station. The Legendary Station award can only be awarded once to a station and marks the fourth Marconi Award for WBZ. The station is a past winner for categories including “Major Market Station of the Year” in 1995 and 1998 as well as “News/Talk/Sports Station of the Year” in 1999.

It takes an incredible team to create a legendary station. For almost 90 years WBZ has proved to be a powerhouse New England news radio station and continues to provide its listeners with the most up-to-date and in depth news stories both locally and worldwide. However, this success would not be possible without the WBZ staff. From legendary hosts Carl De Suze and Dave Maynard to beloved news anchor Gary LaPierre, and award-winning hosts Dan Rea and Steve LeVeille, WBZ’s professional staff and talent is the key ingredient to the continuity of faithful WBZ listeners and the title of Legendary Station of the Year.

The Marconi Radio Awards are held by the National Association of Broadcasters and honor radio stations as well as on-air personalities for excellence in broadcasting. Winners in each Marconi category were determined by the NAB Marconi Radio Award Selection Academy .

Friday, October 1, 2010

WMJX wins as the best adult contemporary station

There's singing and dancing in the rain, or at least the corridors, at WMJX/Magic 106.7 today. It was voted best adult contemporary(AC) station in the country in this year's Marconi Radio Awards. The awards are presented each year by the National Association of Broadcasters. The winners were announced at the NAB Radio Show convention last night in Washington DC(BRW 9/30). Here's official release from Greater Media on a big win :

WMJX-FM Takes Top Honors at 2010 NAB Marconi Awards in Washington, DC

MAGIC 106.7 FM Named AC Station of the Year

Boston, MA (October 1, 2010): Greater Media, Inc. announces MAGIC 106.7/WMJX-FM was named AC Station of the Year at the 2010 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Marconi Awards. The event took place on Thursday, September 30th, in conjunction with the 2010 Fall Radio Show at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC.

"We are very proud of WMJX-FM Vice President of Programming Don Kelley and the entire Magic 106.7 staff for receiving this incredible honor," said Greater Media Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter Smyth.

The NAB Marconi Radio Awards were established in 1989 and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi. These prestigious awards recognize stations and individuals for their excellence and performance. Finalists were selected by a task force of broadcast professionals and voted on by the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Selection Academy.

WMJX-FM- FM is owned by Greater Media, Inc., the parent company of 23 AM and FM radio stations in the Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, New Jersey and Philadelphia markets. The company also owns a group of weekly newspapers in central New Jersey as well as several telecommunications towers located throughout the United States.