Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Classic

Anyone whose Thanksgiving Day wouldn't be complete without hearing about mean Officer Obie and the crazy psychiatrist in room 604 can rest assured Arlo Guthrie's classic "Alice's Restaurant Massacre" will be all over the radio dial today.

WUMB 91.9 will play the full version at noon as will WROR 105.7 and WXRV/92.5 The River; WZLX 100.7 offers three helpings at 9am, Noon and 4pm; WERS 88.9 will run it at 5pm.

Friday, November 19, 2010

WBUR's general manager to exit

Paul La Camera, who has been at the helm of public radio station WBUR 90.9 for the past five years, plans to step down at the end of December, it was announced today.

La Camera, 68, a Boston University alum and a veteran Boston TV executive(33 years with Channel 5), came out of a brief retirement to take over BU-owned WBUR 90.9 in October 2005 after months of turmoil and uncertainty that saw former GM Jane Christo resign amid questions of financial mismanagement and very questionable hiring practices.

Five years ago, La Camera inherited a station with a $13-million budget deficit and lack of focus and identity. But in a short period of time, he turned around WBUR's finances and refocused programming direction on more local news coverage and community. The BU campus-based $21-million operation which employs about 120 people recently completed its most successful fall fundraising period ever. The station raised nearly $1.3 million in pledges from about 13,000 listeners in one day. On the average, WBUR attracts 438,500 listeners every quarter hour according to Arbitron. It's one of the highest-rated public radio stations in the country.

Despite giving up day-to-day duties at the station, he'll be staying on for two more years as Boston University's Public Radio Ambassador to help with WBUR's promotion, fundraising, and to ease the transition for the the next general manager.

Boston University, WBUR's licensee, will start a process to replace La Camera.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stations stuff their playlist with Christmas music

The two returning all-Christmas stations started their annual format a little later this year and in a different sequence this time around. For the past eight years WODS 103.3 has been always the first one to jump on the holiday playlist but this morning a bit of change in the ritual. Crosstown rival WROR 105.7 was the first one out of the gate at 8:11am with Nat King Cole's classic "The Christmas Song(Merry Christmas to You)". At 8:22, WODS 103.3 came out of its commercial break and joined the party with Jose Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad".

WROR and WODS will be keeping their all-Christmas formats on for the next 38 days and returning to normal programming on Sunday, December 26.

WROR 105.5 just sent out a release about its Christmas format. This WROR's fourth straight year of extending Christmas season and playing holiday classics. Here it is :

Santa Asks 105.7 WROR To Kick-Off the Holiday Season with
“Boston's Favorite Christmas Songs"

Boston, MA (November 18, 2010): Today, Santa visited Boston in a Boston Duck Boat full of elves. He called 105.7 WROR's Loren & Wally and begged them to begin playing Boston's Favorite Christmas Songs. The Duck Boat cruised all over Boston spreading Christmas cheer as commuters honked to show their Christmas spirit.

The continuous Christmas music lasts through Christmas Day (December 25th, 2010). Artists include classics by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bing Crosby, U2, Andy Williams, Bruce Springsteen, The Ronettes, Nat King Cole, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, WROR’s Own Tom Doyle, and many more!

Beginning tonight, kids can call 617-931-1057 and talk to Santa from the North Pole weeknights from 7pm-8pm.

"Santa said the elves were threatening to strike unless they got Christmas music on their workshop radio. Apparently, WROR is the only station that comes in up there,” said morning host Loren Owens. “We couldn't really argue with Santa,” added co-host Wally Brine. “I mean, he came all the way to Boston. Plus, I want an I-Pad for Christmas. I can't afford to be on the naughty list.” So, for the fourth year in a row, WROR 105.7 is the station for Boston’s Favorite Christmas Songs! This year’s Christmas line-up features Loren & Wally mornings, Doyle & Devereaux afternoons, and Santa talking to kids each evening. In addition, the WROR Christmas Crew, accompanied by Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer will be making appearances at community events throughout Massachusetts.

105.7 WROR features the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s…all in one place. WROR's parent company, Greater Media, Inc., is committed to achieving excellence in radio broadcasting and newspaper publishing and printing. We seek to improve the lives of our listeners, readers, and the communities in which they live by providing great entertainment, useful and timely information, and charitable services and contributions.

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

Friday, November 12, 2010

Just another week in radio industry : Moving up, moving down, moving out

In radio, the adage goes, you don't have a respectable re'sume' unless you have switched jobs or have been laid off a few times. The turnover rate among radio professionals tends to be much higher than in other industries. And so it goes.

Chris Tyler who was named program director of Boston's two top-rated Top40 outlets - WXKS/Kiss 108 and WJMN/Jamn 94-5 - just under 3 years ago(February 2008) is moving on to his next assignment within the company. Earlier this week, he was named Operations Manager of Clear Channel's Providence market cluster. He will also program Clear Channel's three FM stations in Providence - Rock staion WHJY 94.1FM, Hot AC WSNE/Coast 93.3 and Classic Hits WWBB/B101.

Tyler joined WJMN/Jamn 94-5 in 1998 as an overnight jock, added assistant music director duties in 2000 and was named music director on 2002. He became Kiss 108's assistant program director/music director in May 2007. The search is underway to find a new program director for Kiss 108 and Jamn 94-5.

In other news, veteran aleternative rock programmer Mike Tierney who was named WFNX 101.7's VP of broadcast operations a little more than a year ago(BRW 10/5/09), has resigned from the station. No word on his replacement.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Report : WTKK doesn't renew McPhee

Year-end is a tricky time in radio business. On-air personalities' contracts are up for renewal in some cases. It's also the time when top management crunches out stations' budgets and revenue projections and decides who stays and who goes.

One of those personalities who won't be returning to her job in 2011 is WTKK 96.9's evening talk host Michele McPhee. According to a published report in the Boston Herald, WTKK 96.9's management elected not to renew her contract.

In April 2007, Stoneham native and East Boston resident, McPhee, was added to WTKK's weekday line-up when syndicated Don Imus self-destrcuted on-air and was fired for his infamous 'nappy-headed hoes' remark. McPhee, former crimer reporter with the Boston Herald and New York Daily News and a book author, began hosting a 2-hour midday(10am-Noon) show on 96.9 after Mike Barnicle was shifted to the vacant morning drive slot. McPhee also kept her regular Saturday morning show which she has hosted since joining the station in 2006. WTKK gave her a new evening show(7-10pm) in January 2008. The show expanded to four hours a year later.

According to her statement on her Facebook site, she plans to honor her contract and work thru the end of the year.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jimmy Myers exits WTKK after rejecting station's financial offer

One of Boston's most outspoken media personalities Jimmy Myers has ended his run on Greater Media's WTKK 96.9 after four years of hosting a regular Sunday afternoon show. Myers and the station management weren't able to agree on a new financial agreement where he would essentially revenue-share time on WTKK. Over his three decades in radio and TV, Myers, 62, has worked as an anchor and host at WBZ 1030, Fox 25, WEEI 590, WILD 1090, WTKK 96.9, ESPN and WWOR in New York.

He hosted his last Sunday show(2pm-5pm) at WTKK 96.9 on October 31.

Here's the official statement from Myers' agent Robert A. Faneuil :

9:30 PM EST November 9, 2010

Two weeks ago the management of WTKK informed Jimmy and me that that they loved his work and the quality of his shows. They also told the same to his many followers, who have contacted the station. The station management at a meeting with Jimmy advised him that due to thedifficult financial times it was changing the financial structure ofits weekend programming. Management made him me an offer which was unacceptable to him. After much deliberation Jimmy has made thedecision to leave the station and to pursue other avenues in the media world. Jimmy and I will be grateful to Phil Redo, who hired him at WTKK; and both Grace Blazer, the program director, and Tom Baker, the general manager. The listeners should know that if the station had made Jimmy a more palpable offer, he would have stayed at WTKK. Jimmy is proud of his many great shows, two of which are now in National Congress Library of Archives. We can not forget that in a live holiday broadcast Jimmy brought together soldiers in Iraq and their families; or his show with Governors Wilder and Patrick. Jimmy was a voice of reason on the station. Whether he agreed or disagreedwith the views of the listeners, he allowed them to speak their mindand engaged in an open dialogue with them.

Jimmy's website is

Thursday, November 4, 2010

WBZ morning news anchor Ed Walsh to retire

WBZ 1030 morning news anchor Ed Walsh will retire from the job at the end of the month, the station said today. Walsh came to WBZ in January 2007 as the replacement for Gary LaPierre who after more than four decades of delivering morning news to generations of Boston listeners retired at the end of 2006 . Walsh will anchor a final morning newscast on Tuesday, November 30. No replacement for Walsh has been named yet. Here's the official release from CBS Radio Boston :

WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Morning Anchor, Ed Walsh, Announces Retirement

(Boston) WBZ News Radio listeners will say farewell to a trusted voice of news in the mornings as WBZ Morning News Anchor, Ed Walsh, announces his retirement from the Marconi award winning legendary radio station. Walsh will give up the morning drive news anchor position at the end of November to spend more time with his family, which now includes nine grandchildren. His last day on WBZ News Radio will be November 30th.

Walsh joined WBZ News Radio in 2006 from CBS RADIO sister station WCBS News Radio 880 in New York. He followed in the footsteps of long time news anchor Gary LaPierre, who retired after more than forty years at WBZ.

“This position at WBZ has been ideal for me and my wife,” said Walsh this week. “Four years ago I returned home from New York to the city where I grew up and first worked. I'm very proud of the success we've had in both awards recognition and building the audience for what was already the highest-rated morning radio program in New England. For a guy who loves news and grew up in Boston, being able to finish my career at WBZ is quite special.

“There isn’t a better news anchor job in the country than mornings at WBZ News Radio 1030. This team of professionals at WBZ has been great and I will miss them and the audience the most--but not the 3 o'clock wake up so much.”

WBZ’s Director of News and Programming, Peter Casey, said, “Ed was the perfect choice for WBZ to join our morning news team four years ago. I’m delighted for Ed and his family but obviously I will miss him as will the WBZ audience and his colleagues.”

A search for Walsh’s replacement is underway.

Walsh brought a tremendous amount of experience to the job at WBZ. He has been a morning drive anchor throughout his career and besides working at WCBS, has previously worked at 1010 WINS News Radio in New York, another CBS RADIO station, and at news talk station WOR there. In addition to his on-air experience, Walsh spent 10 years as a radio news director in Boston in the 1970s and 1980s. He was also vice president of news and programming for WOR, as well as morning news host and director of programming and news at KFYI radio in Phoenix, AZ.

Walsh has reported from major news events in the United States and Moscow, Rome, and Britain. He considers his most important assignment his continuous coverage of the 9-11 attack which occurred while he was on-air at WOR in New York and for which he was honored by the Associated Press. He has also received numerous national and regional journalism awards from major national news organizations at each of the stations he’s worked at, including best newscast awards from AP, UPI, RTNDA, New York State Broadcasters Association, and New York Press Club. Walsh was also named to Talkers Magazine’s list of the top 100 Talk Hosts in America. And this week Walsh anchored WBZ's election coverage again, just as he did at WCBS.

Born in Somerville, Walsh was raised in Natick and Wellesley and was graduated from Wellesley High School and Holy Cross College, with a degree in economics. He served in combat as a naval officer in Vietnam. Walsh and his wife, Chris, married for 41 years and the parents of a son and three daughters, will split their retirement time between Florida and Maine.
WBZ News Radio is the National Association of Broadcasting’s 2010 Marconi Award-winning Legendary Station of the Year.

WBZ News Radio 1030 is owned and operated by CBS RADIO.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bell, Lobel to RushRadio 1200
(updated on 11/04 : added offical press release)

Sunday morning sports radio listening options won't be just limited to WEEI 850 and WBZ-FM/SportsHub 98.5 beginning this weekend. The new talk station in town Rush Radio 1200 is adding two well-known local sports media personalities to its roster. Upton Bell and Bob Lobel will host a new Sunday 9am-11am show on Rush Radio 1200.

Lobel, 66, was of course the uber popular local sports anchor and reporter at WBZ-TV4 for 29 years. Back in 1976 he started as the afternoon sports reporter and later sports anchor at WBZ 1030. He also co-hosted “Calling All Sports” with Upton Bell in the late 70’s. He then moved over to WBZ's TV sports anchor desk in 1979. He also hosted the second incarnation of Calling All Sports when it returned to WBZ in the early 90’s when the radio station had the all-sports weekend block programming. He was let go from Channel 4 in the spring of 2008 when he contract was bought out by station's owner CBS TV. Since then had a brief stint with WODS 103.3 and now-defunct ESPN 890. Currently he hosts a weekly TV show called New England Sports Legends seen on a station called MyTV.

Bell, 72, former Patriots general manager, is best known as one of the Hub's most knowledgeable sports and talk personalities. Among Bell's long list of local media credits include stints on WBZ 1030's Calling All Sports" and WEEI' 590s "Sportsline." But he also has done general commentary for WHDH 850 and Channel 38 during the mid '80s. He's done daily non-sports shows in the Worcester market in the 1990's and on Boston's AM 1060 in the early 2000's.

Here's the offical release from WXKS 1200/Rush Radio :

WXKS-AM 1200: New Home to Sports Media Legends
Bob Lobel and Upton Bell

Bringing sports commentary back to its radio roots, Bob Lobel and Upton Bell are coming together to creates a show entirely focused on Boston sports and current events. After decades of interviewing sports titans from Larry Bird to Bobby Orr, the two are excited to bring their unique voices to the air waves yet again.

The show entitled “Upton & Lobel” will begin this Sunday, November 7th, and will run every Sunday from 9AM to 11AM.

The pair will be familiar to New England listeners who have grown to trust the broadcasters based on their independent projects. Lobel has previously served as a sports anchor for WBZ TV, was the host of Sports Final and Patriots 5th Quarter, and currently serves co-host of Sports Legends of New England (MyTV). Bell is known as the one-time General Manager of the New England Patriots as well as the co-host of SportsBeat (NECN) and a host on WCRN-Worcester.

Both longtime sports commentators and sports analysts, Bell and Lobel are two personalities’ people can trust to keep them not only entertained but engaged in local sports news. The pair is looking forward to bringing New England their personal flair to sports casting.

“New England is the sports center of the universe. So many dragons to slay, I do not know where to start, but I sure as hell know where to find them.” Bell said.

Lobel added, “I can not come close to that. Upton has been everywhere, met everybody and done everything. I am just happy to be in his presence, but remember this I control the show.”

Bill George, program director of WXKS-AM, said, “Upton and Bob are New England legends and I’m excited to welcome them to our team. We’re delighted to be able to help bring their combined wit and wisdom back to Boston radio.”