Monday, February 28, 2011

WKLB's Brophey named No.1 programmer in the country

WKLB/Country 102.5's program director Mike Brophey has been recognized as the best in the Radio Ink, a national trade publication based in West Palm Beach, Fla. Brophey who joined WKLB in September 1996 has been named as the No. 1 large-market radio programmer in the country.

During Brophey's tenure WKLB has changed frequencies twice(moving from 96.9FM to 99.5FM in 1997 and from 99.5FM to current 102.5FM dial position in 2006).

Speaking of WKLB, the station is coming off its best ratings period ever. According to January numbers, WKLB now ranks as the 3rd(nearly tied for the second place with news/talker WBZ 1030) most listened station in the market.

BRW Notebook :

New moniker, same old talk : After one year on the air as "RushRadio 1200", WXKS 1200 is now "Talk 1200". When the new talk station first launched last March 8(BRW 3/2/2010), its branding identifier "Rush Radio" was more designed to serve as a station GPS in locating Rush Limbaugh whose nationally-syndicated show ended its 15 year-run at rival WRKO 680 . Now, the station is moving away from RushRadio to a new, more traditional moniker - "Talk 1200" which emphasizes...what else?!.. the talk format...featuring local morning drive show with Jeff Katz, national conservative talkers Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Jason Lewis, Mark Levin and, of course, Rush Limbaugh...Speaking of newly re-branded Talk 1200, recently-appointed veteran programmer Paula O'Connor brought in her former WTKK 96.9 colleague Eric Coldwell to work as the new executive producer for the Jeff Katz's morning program.

Programming Moves : Melissa Eannuzzo who for many years has been part of WJMN/Jamn 94-5's morning drive's "The Ramiro and Pebbles", and prior to that - "Baltazar and Pebbles", is the new fulltime midday(10am-2pm) host at Jamn 94.5 as of this week. She made the official announcement on her Facebook page last Friday. She will continue her role on the "Ramiro and Pebbles" morning show.

Friday, February 25, 2011

WEEI taps Mut and Merloni for new midday show

Two days after WEEI 850's longtime fixture, Dale Arnold, signed off from the midday shift, the station named the new on-air team who will take over for him and his co-host Michael Holley. Starting Monday, March 7, WEEI's weekend host Mike Mutnansky and former MLB infielder Lou Merloni will pair up for "Mut and Merloni" between 10am and 2pm, it was announced late this afternoon.

Ten days ago(BRW 2/15), WEEI announced that Arnold would be cut from the weekday role after 19 and a half years as the midday presence in the station's line-up. Arnold contract has one more year to run and he'll now host weekend shows and do fill-in work for the weekday shows and play-by-play on the Red Sox and occasionally on the Celtics broadcasts. Meanwhile, Michael Holley is moving to become a new co-host on the "Big Show" with Glenn Ordway starting on Monday, February 28th. Holley also signed a new 3-year deal to stay at WEEI.

BRW Notebook :

Executive turntable : WCRB/All Classical 99.5 gets a new boss next week. Grammy Award-winning producer and one-time NPR Music executive Benjamin Roe will run WGBH Foundation's classical music station beginning March 1, itas announced recently He will replace Jon Solins, who has retired. Roe who arrives from a classical station WDAV in the Charlotte,NC radio market where he worked as station manager for the past couple of years. His wife, Jennifer Foster, who worked as on-air host at WDAV, will also have a production and voice-over role at WGBH Radio.

Sox on deck : It's been 146 days(and over 70 inches of snow) since the last Red Sox game was broadcast on the radio, but that's all about to change come this Saturday when preseason schedule kicks off with two games on WEEI 850(6pm) and WRKO 680(1:05pm). WRKO and WEEI will broadcast a total of 15 spring training games this season. Schedule is here....

If you can make it in Boston,.... : Of course, if you're trying to pick up a Red Sox game on radio in Worcester, you may have a challenge on your hands, but other than that the radio in the City of Seven Hills is thriving.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

WEEI's Holley takes his talents to the "Big Show"

WEEI 850 announced a massive shakeup today that finds midday co-host Michael Holley shifting to share a mic with Glenn Ordway on the afternoon's"Big Show" starting Monday, February 28th. Ordway announced the change on the air this afternoon.

Ordway who has been a mainstay at WEEI since the station launched its sports format back in September 1991, created the "Big Show" in 1995 when he was also served as WEEI's program director. He has never had a fulltime co-host in the roundtable format with rotating guest co-hosts(ex-jocks and sports scribes). The show has been a ratings magnet in the Boston market and was a main driver behind pushing WEEI's entire weekday line-up into a successful regional syndication network. However, when CBS Radio installed a brand news sports station WBZ 98.5/The Sports Hub in August 2009, WEEI's and Ordway's numbers began to dip significantly. The Big Show has been overtaken in ratings by SportsHub's afternoon duo of Michael Felger and Tony Massoratti. With Ordway being the highest paid and most visible WEEI personality, station management is now trying to add some counter-punch in the battle the competition, especially among younger male sports radio listeners where the SportsHub is already dominant.

Michael Holley, 40, an Akron, OH native came to Boston in 1994 to take a sports writing position at the Boston Globe. After covering the Celtics for 3-1/2 years, he became a sports columnist. Holley left the Globe to take a sports columnist position at the Chicago Tribune in 2001, but returned after a short time. Holley left the Globe again in April 2004 to serve as co-host of "I, Max" on Fox Sports Network with Max Kellerman. That show was canceled in February 2005 at which point he jumped over to join Dale Arnold in middays at WEEI in March 2005.

By scrubbing a quality show like "Dale and Holley", WEEI is clearly more concerned about getting the big-ticket " Big Show" back on track.

WEEI hasn't officially announced what will go in place of "Dale and Holley", but the Boston Herald is reporting today that station's weekend talent Mike Mutnansky will pair up with former Red Sox player Lou Merloni to co-host the new midday show. Arnold who like Ordway has been with WEEI since its launch is expected to move into a fill-in role at the station according to the Herald.