Saturday, December 24, 2011

Radio is in the mood for the holidays

Some special radio programs on the local dial today and tomorrow provide a break a background to all the last-minute shopping and celebrating.

WODS 103.3 and WROR 105.7 have been running their nothing-but-Christmas formats since November 11. WMJX/Magic 106.7 will drop its regular adult contemporary music mix for commercial-free 24-hour Magic of Christmas from 6pm tonight thru Christmas Day. WBMX/Mix 104.1 will present Top 40 MixMas songs voted by listeners starting at 6pm tonight.

"The Nutcracker" score starts off a very busy 2-day Christmas broadcast on All Classical 99.5/WCRB  at 8am this morning.  Full schedule is here.

WUMB 91.9 will have holiday specials on its regular music shows like Highway 61 Revisited and Mountain Stage. On Christmas morning, during Accoustic Sunrise starting at 8am WUMB will be featuring some holiday music from Judy Collins and others. Full schedule is here.

In the middle of the dial, on WFNX 101.7 continues a 33-year Boston radio tradition as Oedipus, former program director at the legendary WBCN, once again takes over the microphone tonight 6pm to midnight for his annual Christmas show. With Oedipus' unpredictable and eclectic tastes, the repertoire is apt to include everything from Tony Bennett to the McKenzie Brothers.

For those celebrating Chanukkah, WERS 88.9 will be spinning some musical dreidels on Sunday from 8am to 11am.

BRW Notebook :

4th Down and inches? : This one will be a tough call to make when the time comes, but many local sports fans, observers and media types like Boston Globe's Chad Finn firmly believe the time may already be here to make a big change in the Patriots radio booth. (ed. note : The option of having a legend share a play-by-play mic with a younged-up heir to the throne(ala Dave O'Brien and Joe Castiglione on Sox radio network) is not a bad way to transition into the future/present, but most sports/news media legends are by default are also major divas with egos(as was the case with late great Celtics voice Johnny Most which became somewhat an uncomfortable situation) and this may not go as smooth. Stay tuned.)

Schedule update : WFNX 101.7 has recently named Jim Ryan as its new night host(7pm-Midnight) replacing Paul Driscoll who is focusing on program director duties. Also, the morning drive "The Breakfast Show" has a new pairing featuring veteran Henry Santoro and DJ W No Name.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WFNX pays tribute to its heritage with its DJ family reunion

No deejays, no Boston's rock alternative as we know it. That's what this holiday weekend's WFNX 101.7's "FlashBack Weekend' is all about. Four days of tributes to WFNX deejays of the past 28 years. The playlist, production, and voices will all take listeners back 10, 15, even 20 years into the WFNX archives.

Here's the lineup:
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Storm Zbel [7:00 PM - Midnight]
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Morning Guy Tai w/ Henry Santoro [6:00 AM - 10:00 AM]
Neal Robert [10:00 AM - 03:00 PM]
Angie C [3:00 PM - 7:00 PM]
Boy Troy [7:00 PM - Midnight]

Friday, November 25, 2011
Morning Guy Tai w/ Henry Santoro [6:00 AM - 10:00 AM]
Joanne Doody [10:00 AM - 3:00 PM]
Bill Abbate [3:00 PM - 7:00 PM]
Duane Bruce [7:00 PM - Midnight]
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Marc Darc [5:00 AM - 9:00 AM]
Kurt St Thomas [9:00 AM - 10:00 AM]
Kat Corbett [10:00 AM - 3:00 PM]
Jason Steeves [3:00 PM - 7:00 PM]
Pauly B [7:00 PM - 10:00 PM]
X-Night w/ Mike Gioscia [10:00 PM - Midnight]
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Spin Cycle w/ Liquid Todd [Midnight - 2:00 AM]
M. Douglas [6:00 AM - 10:00 AM]
Boy Troy[10:00 AM - 11:00 AM]
Kurt St Thomas [11:00 AM - 3:00 PM]
Chris Kennedy [3:00 PM - 08:00 PM]
Boston Accents Flashback Edition w/ Julie Kramer [8:00 PM - 10:00 PM]
Nirvana: Nevermind It's An Interview w/ Kurt St. Thomas [10:00 PM - 11:00 PM]
Rock Over London [11:00 PM - 1:00 AM]

BRW Notebook :

Stations dish it out  : One of the more memorable events in the history of Thanksgiving occurred in Stockbridge, Mass. back on November 25, 1965, when Arlo Guthrie dumped trash where he wasn't supposed to (the town dump having been closed for the holiday). Mr. Guthrie was arrested the next day for littering, and the arrest and its ramifications were immortalized in Mr. Guthrie's 18-minute song, "Alice's Restaurant Massacre".The playing of that song has become a Thanksgiving tradition at many radio stations nationally and locally. Anyone wishing to sing along should visit Mr. Guthrie's official home page, www.arlo.net, where the lyrics ("transcript" might be a better word) are available.

Boston stations that will play Alice's Restaurant on Thanksgiving Day :

-WXRV 92.5 at Noon
-WZLX 100.7 at 9am, Noon and 4pm
-WUMB 91.9 at 9am and Noon
-WROR 105.7 at Noon

Friday, November 11, 2011

Holiday tunes light up Boston radio airwaves

Two Boston radio stations have launched full-bore into wall-to-wall Christmas music earlier this morning, which, by comparison, makes the Hub among the Grinchier points on the map.

Although Veteran's Day weekend may seem like an early start for constant holiday cheer, stations nationwide are launching the format earlier each year. According to the radio industry Web site 100000watts.com, more than 40 stations nationwide are already playing holiday tunes as of this week. Actually, Easy 93.1 in Cape May, NJ was the first station in the country to flip a switch back on October 17(yes, October 17th).

WODS 103.3 and WROR 105.7 are once again Boston's holiday entrants. Clearly, it's a format that works. A year ago, WODS 103.3 dominated Arbitron's holiday ratings report by coming in first among listeners age 6-plus. WROR 105.7 was third(BRW 1/26/11)

For listeners who need a holiday break from the holidays, WROR streams its commercial-free HD2 channel "Nothing But the 70's" at its Web site

BRW Notebook :

FM has larger demographics by the ear :
WEEI's shift to FM dial on September 12 is paying off dividends according to the October ratings released last week. Boston Globe's Chad Finn examines Arbitron numbers from a ratings survey period which included a full month of WEEI broadcasting over its new 93.7FM frequency. Also,in the Globe this week, Johnny Diaz looks at WEEI's FM simulcast as part of the growing trend of migrating or simulcasting spoken-word formats such as News, Talk and Sports, to the FM dial to pick up more younger listeners. According to Arbitron, 79 percent of radio listening is on the FM band and three-quarters of FM listeners never tune-in to AM. Take that to the bank.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Clear Channel cuts nationally, consolidates local traffic operations

Earlier today, massive personnel reductions took place place at corporate titan Clear Channel's radio stations in small and medium sized markets around the country as the company struggles with its huge $21-billion(and climbing) debt. While reportedly none of Clear Channel's major market stations were impacted today that may change soon. The company's major market general managers met in Chicago today and could very possibly be headed back to their stations with their own set of reductions to implement according to well-respected media reporter Roger Feder.

At Clear Channel Boston's local radio cluster there were no known staff cuts but a big reduction in force took place in the local traffic reporting business as Clear Channel began merging its own Total Traffic Network operations with the Metro Networks traffic service the company purchased from Westwood One in late April for $119 million.

Metro Networks has been Clear Channel’s Total Traffic Network’s (TTN) largest competitor, and April's deal made the company the largest player in the traffic business. Metro which supplies traffic, news and sports reports for many Boston market TV and radio stations already had a budget-related round of layoffs three years ago(BRW 9/15/2008) took another pretty big hit today. Close to two dozen staffers including managers, reporters and producers at Metro Networks' Boston office were laid off today. Some of the more familiar voices you often heard on various local TV and radio stations during morning and afternoon commutes were let go - Matt Phipps, Marshall Hook, Mike King, Scott Pike and Brian Sullivan.

As of tomorrow, Clear Channel's Total Traffic staffers will relocate from their Clear Channel Boston's Medford studios which also house Kiss 108/Jamn 94-5/Talk 1200 to Metro's long-time Government Center digs.


BRW Notebook :



Honor Roll : 89.7 WGBH Radio’s senior investigative reporter Phillip Martin has been named the 2011-2012 Margret and Hans Rey/Curious George Producer.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Getting ahead : CBS Radio promotes a rising radio programmer star in its Boston cluster

Earlier today, Mike Thomas has been upped to a programming quarterback of CBS Radio's operations in Boston. In the newly created position as Vice President of Programming he will oversee the programming strategies of CBS Radio' local five-station group which includes a blue-chip lineup of news/talker WBZ 1030, classic hits WODS 103.3, Top40 adult contemporary WBMX/Mix 104.1, classic rocker WZLX 100.7 and WBZ/98.5 the SportsHub.

While Thomas will continue in his primary role as program director of WZLX 100.7 and SportsHub 98.5, he will now work with the PDs of the other three CBS' stations on content development and audience acquisition. The news of Thomas' climb up the corporate ladder follows Monday's announcement that Jay Beau Jones was stepping down as Program Director of Mix104.1 and WODS 103.3 after nearly four years(BRW 10/10).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WTKK adds more news to morning drive and weekends

After a 6-month simulcast of New England Cable News(NECN) in the early part of the morning commute, Boston's FM talker WTKK 96.9 is apparently happy with the results thus far(BRW 4/13). The station announced today that beginning Monday(10/17), it will be expanding NECN's morning news simulcast by an extra hour which will now run until 7am. More news means less talk for Jim Braude and Margery Eagan whose show will now air from 7am to 10am. In addtion to the weekday news block, WTKK 96.9 will also run NECN on Saturday mornings from 6am to 8am. Here is the link to official WTKK-NECN's press release.
BRW Notebook :

Showcasing Innovators : WGBH 89.7/"Boston Public Radio" announced the launch of a new weekly program, Innovation Hub, a one-hour radio program examining the latest in local innovations, premiering this weekend(10/15). Each week, at 7am on Saturday and 10pm on Sunday, Boston-area inventors, researchers and entrepreneurs will highlight how they are tackling the world’s social, technological and systemic issues in a round-table discussion format. Innovation Hub will be hosted by Kara Miller, a regular WGBH contributor and Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. As a radio host, Miller has interviewed thinkers from E.J. Dionne to Howard Gardner, Deepak Chopra to Lani Guinier. She is a panelist on WGBH-TV’s “Beat the Press,” and her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The National Journal, Boston Herald, Boston Magazine, and The International Herald Tribune.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mix 104.1 and WODS 103.3's director of programming quits

According to a report on radio trade publication AllAccess.com's website, WBMX/Mix 104.1 and WODS 103.3' program director Jay Beau Jones resigned from the station today. Jones sent a memo to the staff and colleagues at CBS Radio Boston announcing his departure. His resignation came three weeks after Mix's annual MixFest radio concert which this year was held at the Hatch Shell in Boston and was free to the public.

Jones has been programming Top40 adult contemporary Mix 104.1 and oldies WODS 103.3 since early February 2008 after working in the similar programming capacity at Worcester's combo WXLO 104.5 and WWFX/The Pike from 2002 to 2008. He has had over 25 years of programming and on-air experience previously working in Philadelphia, Chicago and Hartford markets.

Meanwhile, Steve Salhany, an operations manager for CBS Radio Hartford cluster and VP of CBS Radio's "Hot" AC format, will be overseeing Mix 104.1 while Brian Thomas, program director at NYC's classic hits station WCBS 101.1 and VP of CBS Radio's Classic Hits programming, will run WODS 103.3 until Jones' replacement is named.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

SportsHub sitting at top of the heap

Who knew?! The new station is the new leader in the local sports-talk radio listenership fight.


WBZ 98.5/SportsHub began broadcasting in the format a little over two years ago and has overtaken its competitor, previous long-running rarely-challenged leader in the genre - WEEI 850 - on the prime battleground - men ages 25-54.

In the Arbitron survey for the summer period(July-August-September) released today, WBZ 98.5 came in first attracting 7.5 percent of those in that bracket who were listening from 6 a.m.-12am Monday thru Sunday.

In the big picture, over the past couple years the overall sports audience has grown substantially as SportsHub is taking listeners from other FM formats rather than raiding WEEI. Actually, WEEI's current numbers are comparable from a year ago. So where are they all coming from? Audience growth on AM dial is virtually nonexistent while it's a totally different ballgame on FM because there's so much more audience available there to get.

After 20 years of being stuck on AM, WEEI finally moved its brand to FM three weeks ago by converting 93.7FM to an FM simulcast. The initial impact of the move won't be known until the results of Arbitron's October(9/15-10/12) survey are released on November 1. Before converting to sports, WEEI 93.7 had broadcast automated, jockless all-variety music format branded as MikeFM for 6 1/2 years. Meanwhile, with WEEI 850 falling out of Top 5 among men ages 25-54(WEEI 850 was tied for 8th in the summer survey) and WBZ-FM growing and retaining its audience, the much-delayed move to FM was vital for WEEI to remain competitive.

On directly-related note, SportsHub's success is also costing WEEI in revenue as the station is forced to charge less for ad time it sells. In turn, diminishing revenues are also costing money for some of its top talent. According to Boston Globe's report(9/22). WEEI's afternoon mainstay Glenn Ordway's $1 million-a-year salary has reportedly been slashed in half. Globe's report said that WEEI's parent owner Entercom cited a clause in Ordway's 2009 contract to opt out if Ordway's "The Big Show" did not finish in the ratings top three for men 25-54. The Big Show came in seventh in that demo in the Summer, fifth  in the Spring, down from fourth in the Winter ratings. When Ordway signed his current contract in January 2009, "The Big Show'' was first among men 25-54 for six years straight.

SportsHub's summer win was almost across the board in all its target male demographics and in all parts of the day save nights, where Red Sox broadcasts still helped to keep WEEI on top. SportsHub won morning, midday and afternoon drive with men 25-54, men 18-34 and men 18-49.

BRW Notebook:

The King of Mellow : Yea, the one and only David Allen Boucher, who hosts his show "BedTime Magic" on WMJX/Magic 106.7 from 8pm to 1am weekdays, has apparently been voted Favorite Local On-Air Personality in the 2nd Annual Boston Magazine's "People's Choice Awards" poll. He has been with the station since it went on the air in early January 1982.

Classical re-do : As of this Monday and after two years as "Classical 99.5", public classical music WCRB 99.5 now goes by "Classical New England". The WGBH-owned station is now emphasizing a growing classical music network spanning outlets in Nantucket(89.5), Providence(88.7) and low-power transmitter in Beacon Hill(96.3). The Classical New England network also features a new weekday and weekend schedule which can be found on its website

Calling all WBCN and Charles listeners : Attention fans of the old WBCN and/or Charles Laquidara. If you have old footage/photos of the heyday of WBCN, producer of a full length feature documentary "I am What I Play"  is looking to connect with people who might have material to share for this film. "I Am What I Play" profiles four legendary FM rock jocks from four different cities. One of them is WBCN's own Charles Laquidara. Please e-mail Roger King at pnagency@pnagency.com if you can assist.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

SportsHub 98.5's Felger and Mazz to simulcast on Comcast SportsNet New England

Comcast SportsNet New England will bring WBZ 98.5/The SportsHub's "Felger and Mazz" show to television later this fall.

The program, hosted by Michael Felger and Tony Massaroitt, will be simulcast on CSN NE every weekday from 2 to 6pm. The show has been on air since SportsHub 98.5 launched on August 14, 2009.

SportsHub's rival WEEI 93.7/850 began simulcasting its morning show "Dennis and Callahan" on New England Sports Network(NESN) last November(BRW 10/19/10)

Here is CBS Boston and CSNNE joint press release issued this afternoon :

98.5 THE SPORTS HUB’S NO. 1- RATED FELGER & MASSAROTTI SHOW TO BE SIMULCAST ON COMCAST SPORTSNET BEGINNING THIS FALL

Live Broadcast Strengthens Comcast SportsNet’s Position and Broadens the Show’s Reach into Four Million New England Households

Burlington & Brighton, MA - September 22, 2011 - Comcast SportsNet and 98.5 The Sports Hub today announced an agreement to air a live simulcast of Boston’s leading all-sports radio station’s popular Felger & Massarotti Show on Comcast SportsNet beginning this fall. Felger & Massarotti currently can be heard weekdays from 2:00-6:00PM on-air, online at www.cbsboston.com, and via the Radio.com app for a variety of mobile devices. To coincide with the show’s television debut, Felger & Massarotti will broadcast from a newly renovated set at 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Brighton studios.

Hosted by Comcast SportsNet personality Michael Felger and veteran Boston baseball writer and columnist Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Massarotti Show is the No. 1-rated afternoon drive program in Boston with Men 25-54 and Men 18-49.

“Felger, Mazz, and the Sports Hub have taken over Boston radio with a rocket launch to the top of the ratings. Adding Felger's acerbic nature for four more hours to our line-up and Mazz's credentials are huge pluses for Comcast SportsNet as we continue to build out our programming which features local, entertaining sports programming from 6 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.,” said Bill Bridgen, Comcast SportsNet Executive Vice President and General Manager. “The Sports Hub’s growth mirrors our own dramatic evolution which began with the launch of Chevrolet SportsNet Central and has continued with the addition of a host of new programming including Quick Slants, The Baseball Show and more.”

“98.5 The Sports Hub has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the Boston sports landscape, and the Felger & Massarotti Show has been an integral part of that success,” said Mark Hannon, Senior Vice President/Market Manager, CBS RADIO Boston. “Partnering with Comcast SportsNet on this simulcast allows us to extend our brand further, while also making the Felger & Massarotti show available on CSN to over four million households in New England.”

Felger also hosts Sports Sunday and co-hosts Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight on Comcast SportsNet. The Boston University grad is the hottest personality in Boston sports and his willingness to take on owners, coaches, players, and fans with his unique brand of biting commentary has set him apart in the Boston sports media market.

Massarotti, a Waltham native and Tufts University graduate, is the author of four books and a long-time baseball writer and columnist for a range of Boston news outlets, including the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, and Boston.com. Massarotti adds balance to the program with a perspective that only a pragmatic, life-long Bostonian can have.

“Tony and I are thrilled to broadcast our show on Comcast Sports Net, expanding our audience even further,” said Felger. “CSN understands the need for personality and strong opinions, which is right up our alley.”

Added Massarotti, “Simulcasting the show adds an entirely new dimension to the experience we provide our fans. And for many of Comcast SportsNet’s viewers we will be a welcome addition to their afternoon entertainment.”

Comcast SportsNet’s simulcast of the Felger & Mazz show will be presented by Nissan.

98.5 The Sports Hub, the 2011 NAB Marconi Radio Award “Sports Station of the Year,” is owned and operated by CBS RADIO, one of the largest major-market radio operators in the United States. A division of CBS Corporation, CBS RADIO operates 130 radio stations, the majority of which are in the nation’s top 50 markets. CBS RADIO also owns and operates WZLX-FM, WODS-FM, WBMX-FM, and WBZ-AM in Boston.

Comcast SportsNet reaches more than 4 million households in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Comcast SportsNet’s programming includes the Boston Celtics, SportsNet Central, New England Revolution, Connecticut Sun, Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight, Celtics Now, Sports Sunday, Quick Slants, The Baseball Show and New England Tailgate. Comcast SportsNet’s partnership with the 17-time NBA Champion Boston Celtics is the longest team-regional sports network relationship in New England and the fourth longest in professional sports. Comcast SportsNet New England is owned and managed by Comcast Sports Group. Visit www.csnne.com for more information.

###

Friday, September 16, 2011

98.5 The SportsHub scores a big hit at the Marconis

WBZ-FM/98.5 the SportsHub has been named by the National Association of Broadcasters' Marconi Radio Awards as the "Sports Station of the Year." The announcement came at last night's annual NAB Radio Convention in Chicago.

The NAB awards are given annually for excellence in American radio in the name of Guglielmo Marconi, who invented the wireless telegraph near the end of the 19th century. Ironically, it was a sporting event that first brought worldwide attention to Marconi's invention. In 1899, to cover a yacht race, the Kingstown Regatta, an Irish newspaper, the Dublin Daily Express, had Marconi send bulletins from the scene of the race. By the time the reporters who had been on boats watching the event got back to land with their stories, the Dublin Express had already printed the results.

Here is a press release from CBS Radio Boston :

For Immediate Release                                                                    
                                                                       
98.5 THE SPORTS HUB WINS NAB MARCONI AWARD
NAMED SPORTS STATION OF THE YEAR

Boston, Ma – September 16 – 98.5 The Sports Hub (WBZ-FM) was named Sports Station of the Year at the 2011 National Association of Broadcasters' (NAB) Marconi Radio Awards.  The awards were announced last night at the annual NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show held during the Radio Show in Chicago , IL .

"Winning the Marconi Award for Sports Station of the Year is an honor and a testament to all of the hard work and commitment that the employees of 98.5 the Sports Hub put in everyday,” said Mark Hannon, Senior Vice President/Market Manager, CBS Radio Boston.  “More importantly though, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Boston radio listeners and sports fans who have embraced 98.5 The Sports Hub since we launched 2 years ago, and it's because of their overwhelming support that we find ourselves receiving this national recognition."

98.5 The Sports Hub is the flagship station of the New England Patriots and the 2011 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.  Program Director, Mike Thomas, accepted the award for Sports Station of The Year.  For more about 98.5 The Sports Hub, visit http://boston.cbslocal.com.

The 2011 Marconi Awards, named after Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, have recognized radio stations and on-air personalities for their excellence in radio broadcasting for the past 23 years.  Marconi finalists were chosen by broadcasters and winners were named by the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Selection Academy

98.5 The Sports Hub is owned and operated by CBS RADIO, one of the largest major-market radio operators in the United States .  A division of CBS Corporation, CBS RADIO operates 130 radio stations, the majority of which are in the nation’s top 50 markets.  CBS RADIO also owns and operates Boston ’s WBZ-AM, WBMX, WODS, and WZLX.

BRW Notebook :

No change in rank : Ratings research firm Arbitron has concluded its annual update of market ranks for fall 2011 based on updated total population estimates. While there are a few changes to the top 10 markets, as (Philadelphia moves up to market No. 7, with Washington, D.C., now market No. 8. Atlanta falls to market No. 9), Boston's ranking stays at No. 10 The top 10 markets are now: 1.New York, 2.Los Angeles, 3.Chicago, 4.San Francisco, 5.Dallas-Ft. Worth, 6.Houston-Galveston, 7.Philadelphia, 8.Washington, D.C., 9.Atlanta, 10.Boston.

These total population estimates are based on 2010 census data, updated and projected to Jan. 1, 2012.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

In the beginning...

WBZ 1030 is as integral a part of Boston and local radio industry in 2011 as it was when it first captured the imagination of the public in the early 1920's.   WBZ was the country's first commercially licensed radio station, aired its first broadcast on September 19, 1921 from East Springfield. 

WBZ will be celebrating its 90th anniversary on Monday(9/19) with commemorative programming which includes a series of 15 vignettes and a special 1-hour retrospective airing on Monday night at 8pm during Dan Rea's "Night Side"program which will be co-hosted by Rea, morning anchor Joe Mathieu and retired morning news mainstay Gary LaPierre.

The station's first broadcast from Boston was in 1924, from its studio at the Hotel Brunswick. Regularly scheduled daytime programming began in 1927 with news, concerts, lecturers and sports. During its first two decades, WBZ boasted several firsts: first to broadcast the first Boston Bruins (1924) and the Boston Marathon (1931). It was also the first to have a staff meteorologist (1933); to warn listeners of an approaching hurricane (1938); and to win the annual Peabody award for news commentary (1947). The station moved to its present dial location (1030-AM) in 1941 and to its present offices on Soldiers Field Road in 1948.

WBZ is one of Boston's top-rated station today, as it has been for the better part of its ratings history. For advertisers, WBZ still delivers not only consistent ratings but an association with the tradition of radio and an exceptionally strong affinity between the station and its listeners.

Here's CBS Radio Boston's official release :

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WBZ NEWSRADIO 1030 CELEBRATES ITS 90th ANNIVERSARY
On Monday, September 19, 2011, the Nation’s First Commercially Licensed Radio Station Marks 90 Years of Journalism Excellence,
Unparalleled News Coverage, Compelling Talk Programming,
and Comprehensive Community Service   

Boston, MA – September 14, 2011 –   On Monday, September 19, 2011, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 will celebrate its 90th anniversary of radio broadcasting to New England and its place as the first commercially licensed radio station in the country.  For the timeline of WBZ NewsRadio’s distinguished history, click here:  http://boston.cbslocal.com/2010/03/14/a-look-back-on-the-history-of-wbz-radio/.

“For nine decades WBZ NewsRadio has led the way in reporting historic news events on both a national and local stage, and the station has offered a forum for the community to discuss the news of the day and evaluate what it means to them,” said Mark Hannon, Senior Vice President/Market Manager, CBS Radio Boston.  “We are extremely proud of the staff’s reporting and programming over the years, as well as the station’s community outreach, and we look forward to being a positive influence in the market for many years to come.”

To commemorate this special anniversary, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 will air a series of fifteen retrospective vignettes chronicling the station’s remarkable evolution and historic moments.  The vignettes are anchored by WBZ NewsRadio 1030 morning anchor Joe Mathieu and WBZ Hall-of-Fame anchor Gary LaPierre.  The vignettes will feature highlights of WBZ’s history including the 1929 first broadcast the inauguration of Massachusetts Governor Frank G. Allen.  Also featured, in 1932 a lion was brought in to the studios to roar on cue since tape hadn’t been invented yet, and “King Leo” ran amok destroying equipment and injuring people; and in 1976 veteran traffic reporter Joe Green saved the life of a local college student kayaking on the Merrimack by using the ‘BZ copter…to mention just a few historic moments.

Then on Monday, September 19 th on the 90th anniversary, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 will host a Hall-of-Fame induction ceremony honoring a WBZ NewsRadio 1030 legend.  And that evening at 8PM on “NightSide with Dan Rea” (M-F, 8P-12M), Dan will be joined by Joe Mathieu and Gary LaPierre for a special hour looking back over WBZ NewsRadio’s nine decade history.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030 is owned by CBS RADIO, a division of CBS Corporation.


BRW Notebook :

Around the dial : Mike 93.7 sang its last song(Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird") at 5:51am this past Monday as the station went from playing musical hits to talking about sports as it converted into WEEI's brand new Boston FM outlet. A couple of casualties in the wake of Mike's departure were station's assistant program director Mike Morgan who came on board in January 2008 as well as commercial production manager/assistant imaging director Merilee Kelly who was with Entercom Boston cluster for the past five years. 

A Feast By the River : Modern Acoustic Magazine recently published a feature story on WXRV 92.5/The River's "Brunch by The River" show hosted by station's midday personality Lisa Garvey. The show airs live on Sundays from 9am to 1pm on 92.5FM and on-line at www.wxrv.com

Honoring the past :  As mentioned in this space previously, the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame's annual Gala Awards Ceremony and Luncheon hosted by WBZ 1030’s Jordan Rich, inducting fifteen of Massachusetts’ most popular and respected radio and television broadcasters into the Hall of Fame is being held today(9/15) from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM at the Marriott Quincy.  This year’s Honorees will include pioneer sports/talk radio host Eddie Andelman, 32-year WBZ TV News veteran Charles Austin, Emmy award-winning news reporter, commentator and humorist Dick Flavin, 35-year WCVB TV news anchor Natalie Jacobson, visionary TV and radio executive Paul LaCamera, Tom & Ray Magliozzi, aka Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers of Car Talk on WBUR), popular long-time producer and broadcaster Ken Meyer and former co-anchor of Chronicle and news anchor, Mary Richardson. Also honored will be several deceased members of the broadcast media:  early TV newsman Jack Chase, TV and radio columnist Anthony LaCamera, pioneering talk show host from the ‘40s and ‘50s Sherm Feller, the first female announcer in Massachusetts radio history Eunice Randall Thompson, founder of WNAC (today WRKO) and the Yankee Network John Shepard III and Boston Red Sox long-time sportscaster Ned Martin.

Honoring the present :  In addition to WBZ's big 9-0 on Monday,  some other notable Boston radio anniversaries to mention. WZLX 100.7's afternoon host Chuck Nowlin celebrated his 20-year at the classic rock station last month. He currently has the longest-running afternoon drive show on Boston airwaves...Loren Owens and Wally Brine, Jr., better known as 'Loren and Wally', are celebrating their 30 years as the morning duo dating back to September 1991 when WROR 105.7 was the old WVBF 105.7. And, speaking of WROR 105.7, the station celebrated the 15th year of its classic hits format which launched on Sep.5th,1996...WEEI's 20th birthday present included the much-overdue addition of a Boston FM signal earlier this week. Boston's first all-sports format debuted on September 3, 1991 replacing all-news on WEEI 590...

Honoring the best : Also tonight in Chicago we'll find out the winners of National Association of Broadcasters' 2011 Marconi Awards. As mentioned here(BRW 7/19), there are 2 Boston entries among this year's national finalists : WBZ/98.5 the SportsHub has been nominated in the Sports Station of the Year category while WEEI Sports Radio 93.7(and 850)'s morning team "Dennis and Callahan" has been nominated in the Major Market Personality of the Year. The list of all the finalists and categories is here.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Stations to air special 9/11 tribute programming


Boston radio stations will observe the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in the next few days.

WRKO AM 680 will provide local coverage with afternoon host Howie Carr broadcasting his show from Ground Zero on Friday(9/9). On Sunday(9/11), morning co-host Todd Feinburg will host 8am-12pm show from Ground Zero which will be followed by Avi Nelson(12-3pm) and Kevin Whalen(3pm-6pm). At 6pm, ABC Radio will take over with its live coverage including airing of "Concert of Hope" at 8pm from at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

WTKK 96.9 has Doug Meehan saluting the first responders on his show(10am-12pm) on Friday and syndicated Michael Smerconish paying a special tribute on his national show airing from Noon to 3pm. Throughout the weekend, WTKK will run pretaped special tributes - Saturday morning(6am-8am), Sunday afternoon(2-4pm) and night(7pm-9pm).

Also on Sunday, GBH's WGBH 89.7 and WCRB 99.5 will devote their entire day of programming to live music, conversation and reflection to the memory of 9/11 events. WCRB 99.5's full schedule of their extensive 9/11 programming can be found here. WGBH will air the special edition of NPR's Weekend Edition from 6am to Noon which will be followed by special 1-hour editions of its two local public affairs shows - "The Emily Rooney Show"(12-1pm) and "The Callie Crossley Show"(1pm-2pm). Then at 2pm WGBH 89.7 will join WCRB 99.5 for a special events programming simulcast(see link above).

Other stations have set up special tribute sections on their websites - WBZ 1030WXKS/Talk 1200  and WBUR 90.9 - and will also provide special news/talk coverage throughout the 9/11 remembrance weekend.


BRW Notebook :

Double play : As mentioned in this space(BRW 9/7), come Monday(9/12) morning at 6am WEEI will dramatically improve its reception by launching an FM simulcast on 93.7 as it will respond to the success of the two-year old WBZ/98.5 The SportsHub, Boston's first FM sports talker.

93.7FM's signal provides better fidelity and reception in some areas for a broader reach, particularly in wide parts of MetroWest where AM 850's signal has been spotty in the evenings.

The end result of Thursday morning's announcement is all four major Boston sports teams will now be on FM in Boston Metro - Red Sox and Celtics on 93.7 while Patriots and Bruins on 98.5. While it's clear that Entercom hopes WEEI's AM-FM simulcast will stem the station's overall ratings slide in key male demographics as it battles CBS Radio's SportsHub, they also are looking to grow by attracting new FM listeners who don't tune in to AM band.

 
In the bigger Boston radio picture, Monday morning's format switch may be viewed as a little disappointing because Boston area advertisers and listeners will have fewer options now - it's one less music station with a different format.

WMKK call letters will be replaced by WEEI-FM which are currently residing on WEEI's Providence FM affiliate 103.7. The Providence station will then become WVEI  and Springfield's 105.5 affiliate will then have WWEI call letters.

Around the dial : Just in time for all the 250,000 college kids who are back in town, arrives WBMX/Mix 104.1's annual MixFest show next Saturday, September, 17 at 2pm at the DCR Hatch Shell. This year's station concert is free to the public and will have an all-star line-up of artists :  Billboard Music Award winning band Lifehouse will be headlining.  Other special guests include; Grammy Award winning artist Michelle Branch, season-one winner of The Voice, Javier Colon, wildly successful band, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, as well as other surprise acts.....Dustin "Fletcher" Matthews who was doing morning drive at WFNX 101.7 for the past 4 1/2 years(originally as part of the "SandBox" then briefly paired up with Keith Dakin and more recently with news vet Henry Santoro) has left the modern rock station at the end of summer to take a position as the program director over at WRXL/102.1 The X in Richmond, VA. Fletcher has been replaced by weekend jock Steve "D-Tension" Perez on an interim basis until a new permanent co-host is named...WAAF 107.3's afternoon host Mistress Carrie is spending this week in Afghanistan to  commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. She is embedded with members of the Mass. Army National Guard.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Boston's sports radio is set to quake : 93.7 to become WEEI's simulcast come Monday

Althought the official announcement will be made later on Thursday morning, the big buzz about Boston getting a second major FM sports radio outlet has been building since the first FM sports talker - WBZ 98.5/The Sports Hub came on the air two years ago. Aftetr the newcomer the SportsHub overtook WEEI in the ratings in all major key male listener target demographics a few months, the rumors began flying that Entercom might opt to simulcast its 20-year old sports talk WEEI AM 850 on one of its two FM outlets to better position itself in the sports radio batte and reverse the trend of losing its ratings and revenue to an FM sports competitor. The most likely candidates to provide that spot were variety WMKK 93.7/MikeFM  or rocker WAAF 107.3FM(also on WKAF 97.7FM). Both stations don't bring anywhere close to WEEI's revenue.

At 8am on Thursday, WEEI is going to officially announce that it will simulcast WEEI's programming on 93.7FM in Boston. The current MikeFM programming on 93.7FM which has been on the air since 2005 will end.

Now with the news this week that the SportsHub once again won the latest July ratings survey, WEEI's management is reacting fast and furious. Entercom hopes by putting its sports product on an FM outlet it would put WEEI on the equal footing with the SportsHub by being able to draw listeners from a yonger and wider male audience that strictly listens to radio on FM for music or sports.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Severin going back on the air
...and WTKK re-arranges its line-up(see update below)

Jay Severin, whose provocative on-air comments about sleeping with his female interns years ago got him fired earlier this year by WTKK 96.9, is returning to the airwaves at a rival station.

Severin's afternoon show will resume this Thursday(8/18) at 3 pm on WXKS AM/Talk 1200 the station said today. In hiring Severin, Talk 1200 seems to be  unfazed by the host's occasional penchant for tasteless gab.

As you recall, WTKK's owner, Greater Media, terminated Severin on April 6 because he did not maintain an "appropriate level of civility and adhere to a standard that respects our listeners and the public at large".(BRW 4/6).  In addition, Greater Media's statement said : "Unfortunately, it had become clear at several points in the past two years that Jay was either unwilling or unable to maintain our standards on the air. It's for that reason we have made the decision to end our relationship."


Severin's April firing after 12 years on city airwaves roiled some free-speech advocates and his fans. In recent weeks, on his Twitter and Facebook accounts he promised a 'major announcement' about his return to Boston airwaves.

Boston's talk radio bomb tosser, Severin, will broadcast Monday through Friday during afternoon drive time from 3 to 6pm. He replaces syndicated Sean Hannity show.

Here's the official Talk 1200/Clear Channel Boston press release :

TALK 1200AM LANDS JAY SEVERIN
BOSTON, MA – August 16, 2011 – WXKS-AM TALK 1200 announced today that Jay Severin has signed a multi-year contract to broadcast weekdays from 3-6:00 p.m. He will begin airing on TALK 1200 on Thursday, Aug. 18.
“I am a fan, friend, and follower of TALK 1200’S Jeff Katz, Glenn Beck, Rush and Sean Hannity” said Severin. “It is a great honor to become a member of this team. I’m excited to talk issues with the world’s best and brightest listeners each and every day.”
Severin began his radio career in 1996 at WOR in New York. In addition to his background in broadcasting, Severin was a political analyst for MSNBC. He also has provided commentary and analysis both in print and television, including appearances on Fox News, CNN, ABC and BBC. Prior to a career in media Severin worked as a prominent national media strategist in numerous major campaigns across the U.S.
“Jay’s addition to our team solidifies the strongest talk radio line-up in Boston” said Paula O’Connor, Program Director at WXKS-AM. “With Jeff Katz in the morning, Jay Severin and national powerhouse Sean Hannity back-to-back on your drive home, New Englanders will have the best local and national coverage on the dial.”
Fans can listen to TALK 1200 AM on the station’s website, talk1200.com, as well as on HD Radio at 107.9 – HD2, iHeartRadio.com and the iHeartRadio mobile app, the industry-leading digital radio service that delivers more than 750 of America's favorite radio stations from 150 cities as well as commercial-free digital only stations; specialized artist stations; non-music radio programming and national programming, including 24/7 Comedy Radio, White House Brief, The Elvis Duran Channel, Fox Sports Radio, AT40 with Ryan Seacrest; and more.
###

Update(5:00pm 8/16) :  A few hours after WXKS/Talk 1200 announced Jay Severin's hiring, his former station WTKK 96.9 fired back with a preemptive strike of its own. Starting tomorrow(8/17), a new on-air lineup will launch on 96.9 and it will have Michael Graham hosting the 3pm-7pm afternoon drive shift. Graham, of course, was originally hired as Severin's afternoon replacement when Severin left for a national syndication deal back in 2005. When Severin returned to WTKK in 2006 to host a local show, Graham moved up to middays.

With Graham taking over the afternoon drive, Doug Meehan shifts up to 10am-Noon slot while syndicated Michael Smerconish who has been airing on tape-delay from 6 to 10pm will now air live from Noon to 3pm. 

Here's WTKK's official release :


96.9 Boston Talks Announces New Line-up
Michael Graham to Host Afternoon Drive from 3 P.M. - 7 P.M.
Boston, MA (August 16, 2011): Greater Media Boston announces 96.9 WTKK-FM Midday Personality Michael Graham will now be heard weekdays from 3pm to 7pm beginning on August 17, 2011.
“I’m offering the afternoon drive guarantee,” said Michael Graham. “Let me ride home with you and you’ll know a little bit more and have more fun than any place else on the dial.”
In addition, WTKK's new weekday line-up will include:
Jim Braude & Margery Eagan (6a-10a)
Doug Meehan (10a to Noon)
Michael Smerconish (Noon to 3p)
Michael Graham (3p to 7p)


BRW Notebook :
Mixing it up at the Hatch : The acts will be announced next Monday(8/22), but WBMX/Mix 104.1 is going back to its roots by holding its annual MixFest as a free event at the DCR Hatch Shell on Saturday, September 17.

The Top40/adult contemporary station which celebrated the 20th anniversary(2/8/1991) of its format earlier this year originally launched its MixFest as "Fall Fest" in 1993 as a free event on the Boston Common. In the late 90's, WBMX's radio event was redubbed as MixFest and became a paid-event(with proceeds going to charity). It has moved around different concert venues over the years - beginning at the Boston Common and then with stops at the City Hall Plaza, the old Foxborough Stadium, Suffolk Downs, Tweeter Center, FleetCenter, Bank of America Pavilion and more recently Agganis Arena.
MixFest has been held every year since 1993 with the exception of 2001 when it was cancelled due to the tragedies on 9/11, and again in 2009 when the station switched frequence from 98.5 to 104.1.

Line-up change : After 7 months at WRKO 680, Michele McPhee left the station last week. She will join NewsCenter 5 as a general assignment reporter with a focus on law enforcement, crime and exclusive stories, as announced by WCVB-TV Channel 5 President and General Manager Bill Fine announced earlier this month. McPhee will hit the streets for the station on September 6. Meanwhile, effective Monday(8/15), Jen Brien will host the 1-3pm slot on WRKO. Brien who has previously worked at WPRO 630/Providence and WXTK 95.1/Cape Cod has been working as a weekend host at WRKO since May 2010.

Entercom honors Navy SEALs : . The parent company of WRKO 680, WEEI 850, WMKK 93.7 and WAAF 107.3, Entercom Communications launched a fundraising campaign to benefit the Navy SEAL Foundation in the wake of the recent helicopter crash in Afghanistan that took the lives of a number of Navy SEALs – including several members of SEAL Team Six responsible for the recent death of Osama bin Laden.  Entercom Boston Vice President and Market Manager, Jeff Brown, stated, “These fallen heroes are great Americans.  Entercom

Monday, August 1, 2011

WEEI begins to utilitize HD Radio technology

Not quite a move to FM band but close enough.

If you're a sports radio listener and one of the few who owns an HD radio receiver, as of last month you can listen to Boston sports talker WEEI AM 850's programming, including Boston Red Sox games, on the FM side of the dial. WEEI's content is now being streamed via HD2 side-channels of its rock-formatted sister-stations WAAF 107.3 and WKAF 97.7.

When HD Radio technology first rolled out 5-6 years ago the idea behind it was to add variety and diversity to radio markets by launching formats that were not already available over the air. For the most part, this still holds true in Boston where four major radio groups like CBS Radio , Entercom, Clear Channel and Greater Media do utilize HD technology to mix up some format options. For example, Entercom's WMKK/Mike 93.7 streams rhythmic "FunkyTown" on its HD2 side channel while Greater Media's WMJX/Magic 106.7 runs a 24/7 Smooth Jazz station as its HD2 offering. For a full list of HD2 stations and what formats are available in the Boston market, please click on HD Radio's website.

On the bigger scale,terrestrial radio industry was hoping HD Radio, the new competitive matrix, would create a strong listener interest and advertising would then follow. As it stands now, things didn't quite work out that way. While  ongoing economic recession has slowed/halted HD Radio's growth, big radio groups are also re-assessing their HD strategies  locally and nationally. The new trend here and elsewhere has been to simulcast local market AM stations on its FM HD sidechannels - CBS added WBZ 1030's stream to its WBZ 98.5's HD3 side channel back in August 2009. Prior to that, WBZ 1030 was available on WODS 103.3's HD3 stream. Also, locally, Clear Channel shifted its WXKS/Talk 1200 on Kiss 108's HD2 stream earlier this spring.

And now, Entercom Boston is simulcasting WEEI on HD2 channels of its local rock combo WKAF 97.7/WAAF 107.3. By the way, this move falls in line with Entercom's company-wide strategy in its other national market clusters from - Buffalo to Sacramento - where it's streaming AM news/talk and sports stations on HD sidechannels of its local FM sister-stations.

BRW Notebook :

Big guys who run the show : The trade magazine Radio Ink puts a veteran Boston radio executive in the top 10 on its annual "40 most powerful people in radio" list.

Peter Smyth, vice president and CEO of Braintree-based Greater Media which locally owns WTKK 96.9, WBOS 92.9, WKLB 102.5, WMJX 106.7 and WROR 105.7, 
placed No.7 on Radio Ink's list. Smyth is among an impressive group of national radio mucky mucks like Clear Channel's chairman Bob Pittman(1) and CEO/President John Hogan(2),  CBS Radio's CEO/President Dan Mason(4) and Entercom's CEO/President David Field(5).

The little guy who runs his own show : One-man show Bob Bittner who rescued WJIB 740 out of a bankruptcy court back in 1991 and has played soft oldies on his tiny 250-watt station since 1992 is profiled in the Boston Observer this week.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

WEEI retains Westwood One's NFL package with added bonus

With NFL lockout coming to a close later this week, it was announced today that WEEI AM 850 will continue as the radio broadcast home of Westwood One's NFL programming in a multi-year extension. WEEI will continue to broadcast Sunday and Monday night football which includes the playoffs and the Super Bowl

NFL and Westwood One signed  a brand new 4-year national radio deal back in December. Westwood One's new contract with NFL, which runs thru 2014 season, will now allow Westwood One affiliates in all NFL markets like to carry national radio feed of the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl without a blackout if local NFL team is involved . In another words, if the Patriots were to advance that far into the playoffs next year, WEEI would carry the national broadcast while WBZ-SportsHub 98.5 would offer a local broadcast.
The future of the other piece of WEEI's signature football programming - "Patriots Monday" and "Patriots Friday" - is still to be decided. WEEI's last 4-year contract with the Patriots ended at the conclusion of 2010 season but nothing has been announced yet. With NFL franchises getting back to work shortly, it is likely the Patriots will have something to announce soon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Local broadcast legends of Boston airwaves to be honored
Among those to be inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame on Thursday, September 15 at Quincy Marriot Hotel, are some of the names with a connection to Boston radio in more recent past and present - Edwin "Ned" Martin, “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers”, better known as Ray and Tom Magliozzi,  Eddie Andelman and Ken Meyer.


The legendary, late Edwin "Ned" Martin called Red Sox games on both WHDH AM 850 and Channel 5 from 1961 to 1971, on WHDH 850 only from 1972 to 1975 on WMEX 1510/WITS 1510 from 1976 to 1978 and, of course, later on WSBK "TV38" from 1979 to 1987 and NESN from 1985 to 1992. And his signature "Mercy!" trademark lives on forever.

Ray and Tom Magliozzi are longtime hosts of "Car Talk" heard nationally on NPR and locally on WBUR 90.9. "Car Talk" first debuted on WBUR in 1977 and became an NPR-syndicated show in 1987.

Eddie Andelman, Boston sports-talk radio pioneer who a permanent fixture on local radio landscape from 1969 until his retirement in December 2010. Since the incidental inception of the "Sports Huddle" in June 1969 on WUNR 1600, he co-hosted the super popular show with two of his friends - Mark Witkin and Jim McCarthy - from 1969 to 1993 on a number of local signals - WUNR 1600, WBZ 1030, WHDH 850 and WEEI 590/850. He was also a longtime weekday host at WHDH 850, WEEI 590/850 and WWZN 1510. He resurrected the 'New Sports Huddle" back in 2006  which was heard on WTKK 96.9 up until his retirement last year. 
In 1970's, Ken Meyer served as producer for Larry Glick on WBZ 1030. He also hosted his own weekend talk and sports shows on WBZ. In the 1980's, he was also a host of WEEI 590's old-time radio series.

This will be the fifth induction of Massachusetts broadcasters by the organization, based at Massasoit Community College in Brockton. Founded in 2006, the nonprofit is housed in the Anna P. Buckley Fine Arts Center, where plaques and photos of notable broadcasters are displayed on the wall. You can visit the organization's website for details

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Five more years of Matty

Clever, offbeat, self-deprecating humor has been Matt Siegel's hallmark since he arrived in Boston in mid-1970's when he landed at WBCN 104.1. In early 1981, Siegel joined WXKS 107.9/Kiss 108 where he has been ever since. Over the past three decades, Siegel has seen musical trends come and go but he has managed to stay highly successful and very relevant to his morning listeners.

Siegel's recent ratings among the station's core demographic - women 18-34 and 25-54 - are even higher today than they were at any time of his career. Today, the station announced that Siegel has signed on for five more years as host of "Matty In the Morning".

Siegel celebrated his 30-year anniversary at Kiss 108 on January 12th. Clear Channel's official press release can be read here.

BRW Notebook :

SportsHub dumps WEEI over the boards : Stanley Cup Final doesn't exactly set the national TV ratings on fire, but don't badmouth hockey around WBZ-FM/98.5 the SportsHub.

Hockey has been very, very good for the SportsHub - and it wasn't just the Bruins playoff games in evenings that lifted the station to a record-high 5.2 percent share of the overall audience 6 and older in last month's Arbitron ratings. The SportsHub absolutely walloped all-sports 20-year mainstay WEEI 850 in every day part - mornings, middays, afternoon drive, nights.

The SportsHub held an even bigger lead in the male 25-54 age demographic that is the prime advertising measurement for both stations. The SportsHub did a 8.8 share overall in that demo during spring quarter and ranked number one. WEEI had 5.1 and tied for sixth place.


WEEI had to expect that, but it was during the day where its erosion, and the SportsHub's charge, were most noticeable and troublesome. More problematic signs for WEEI are actually in the middays(10am-2pm) where "Gresh and Zo" dominated newcomers "Mutt and Merloni" in every male listener demo. Midday shift typically serves as a bridge between morning and afternoon shows. A weak midday show can absolutely destroy the audience flow throughout the day.

"Mutt and Merloni" debuted in early March as the replacement for well-established "Dale and Holley"(BRW 2/25) and, to be kind, the show has been a work in progress. They sound like what one gets when combining two sports-media pros with little big market radio experience. (By contrast, Gresh and Zolak counter with a lot more energy, and bring more personal experience to the table.). Where Merloni is excellent breaking down X's and O's of baseball as that's his area of expertise, he becomes absolutely halting when the topics turn to other pro sports.

[Ed. Note : The question is, can with the Bruins season now in the rear view mirror, can WEEI recover some momentum and close the gap?  With the Red Sox in the playoff hunt and being the only game in town, at least until NFL decides to get back to work, it may be too early to declare the game over.]

There could even more good news for the SportsHub in a couple of months - The National Association of Broadcasters just  announced the finalists for the 2011 NAB Marconi Radio Awards honoring radio stations and on-air personalities for excellence in broadcasting. 98.5 the SportsHub has been nominated in the Sports Station of the Year category. There could be some better news for WEEI 850, too. Its morning team "Dennis and Callahan" has been nominated in the Major Market Personality of the Year.

Marconi award winners will be announced on Sept. 15 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show to be held in Chicago.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Severin tweets out : he's going after his former station

On Thursday night(7/7), fired Boston radio talk show host Jay Severin tweeted on his Twitter account that he is suing his former employer WTKK 96.9, saying they broke his contract when they let him go on April 6(BRW 4/6). 
Or is he? Update(7/10) : Since the original blog posting, the referenced tweet below has  been deleted from @Jay_Severin's timeline.

In his tweet, Severin  said : @Jay_Severin Boston Lawsuit of the Century: Me (i.e. a valid agreement and contract) v. WTKK 96.9 who decided to go "No Issues/Dork Radio", firing me.Go!

Late last week on his official Facebook page, Severin hinted on a splashy announcement which he has apparently delivered as promised.

Until his release for inappropriate comments three months ago, Severin had worked at WTKK for most of the past 12 years.  In mid-June, the station officially
named Doug Meehan as its new afternoon drive host.

BRW Notebook :

Holding back the years : Boston radio buffs may recall Carolyn Morrell holding down various shifts at the old WBOS 92.9 back in the early and mid 90's.  You can now catch her hosting afternoon drive shift(2pm-7pm) at WXRV 92.5 The River. Last Monday(6/27), Morrell took over Bob Stuart's seat. After many years in Boston radio, Stuart quietly retired a month ago.

Pining for days gone by : As mentioned first in this space, WILD 1090, (BRW 6/1) has become a fulltime outlet for Chinese government propoganda radio network last month. A number of local media outlets like Bay State Banner, Boston Globe and WBUR 90.9 recently offered their tributes what was once a model for local community broadcasting in the Boston market. 

Executive turntable : Alan Chartrand, has been promoted by Clear Channel to Director of Sales for the Boston and Providence markets. Up until recently, Chartrand served as National Sales Manager of Clear Channel’s Boston cluster — WXKS 107.9/Kiss 108, WJMN 94.5/Jamn, WXKS/Talk 1200 and WKOX/Mia 1430 as well as General Sales Manager for Talk 1200. “I have had the privilege of working with Alan for two terms in our history,” said Mary Menna, President/Market Manager of CC/Boston and Providence said in a press release. “He has developed as a manager and brings sound judgment, leadership and a winning attitude. His many loyal client relationships and great salesmanship make him a perfect fit for the position.” Chartrand’s extensive history in the market includes previous senior-level sales and management positions at Greater Media as well as Ardman Brodcasting where he once served as general manager of WJMN 94.5’s predecessor and Kiss 108's main rival, the former WZOU/Zoo 94.5, in the early 90's.

Behind the curtains : Longtime WAAF 107.3 Imaging Director Chuck Davis will be parting ways with the station after 18 years at the end of July, as he expands his successful CT-based voice-over/production company into a full-time venture. Entercom has hired Mike Muscatello from its Sacramento rock station KRXQ/Rock 98 to be WAAF's new imaging director and the voice behind the station.