Thursday, May 26, 2011

Redo re-enters with a new management role at 89.7

After 2 1/2-year break from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day managing radio operations, a veteran broadcast executive Phil Redo is taking a plunge into the ever-changing Boston public radio landscape. Redo who ran Greater Media's Boston cluster(WTKK 96.9, WROR 105.7, WMJX 106.7, WKLB 102.5 and WBOS 92.9) from April 2006 to December 2009 has been named new managing director at WGBH 89.7.  Redo begins his new assignment at 89.7 on June 13.

Redo's run at Greater Media came to an abrupt stop in December 2009. At the time, the company announced that his departure was amicable(BRW 12/8/09). However, some industry sources indicated that his exit wasn't planned and he was fired. In any event, under his watch at Greater Media, he tried to shake things up. Some moves were successful, some not so much  - country station WKLB-FM moved from 99.5 to a stronger 102.5Fm frequency at the end of 2006; in the same year Jay Severin returned to WTKK 96.9's afternoon-drive slot after bombing in syndication;  in summer 2007, Redo attempted to hire away WRKO 680 big afternoon kahuna Howie Carr for WTKK's morning drive, but the deal was blocked by courts and Carr's contract language which kept him at 680 for another five years; in the spring of 2006, Greater Media bid for Red Sox' radio rights. In the 11th hour stunner, Entercom retained team's radio rights for 10 more years by paying the highest ever licensing fee to broadcast games on local radio.

Redo is no stranger to the world of public radio. Prior to joining Greater Media in 2006,he was the Vice President of Station Operations and Strategy for New York Public Radio, WNYC-AM and FM. His Boston radio roots go back to the 1980's when served as the Program Director of Greater Media's Magic 106.7 1986-1990. He also served as an on-air personality for the original WROR 98.5 back in the early 1980s.

WGBH's sister station classical WCRB 99.5 also brought in another broadcast veteran Benjamin Roe to manage its operation as of March 1.

Broadcast veteran Phil Redo named Managing Director at 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s NPR® Station for News and Culture

Veteran broadcast executive Phil Redo has been named Managing Director of News and Culture for WGBH Radio, announced Marita Rivero, WGBH Vice President and General Manager for Radio and Television. Redo will guide the overall strategy for 89.7’s news, information and cultural programs, enhancing the experience for audiences on air and on new media platforms. He also will oversee WGBH’s editorial partnerships with Public Radio International (PRI) for the news programs The World and The Takeaway.

“Phil combines extensive media experience with extraordinary versatility, and really knows Boston and its listening audiences,” said Rivero. “He played a key role in WGBH’s launch of two new radio services last year, and we’re thrilled to have him take a leadership position with the evolving programming on 89.7,” she added.

Redo has worked in both public and commercial media, gaining a breadth of experience across the industry from news to operations to executive management at stations in the top ten markets. He has served as an independent media consultant, and was instrumental in WGBH’s radio expansion in 2010 after the acquisition 99.5 All Classical (WCRB).

Redo was formerly vice president and general manager of Greater Media Boston, a five-station FM radio group. Prior to that he was he was Vice President of Operations and Corporate Strategy at WNYC, New York’s public radio station. There he launched one of the first National Public Radio podcasts. Redo also worked for Premiere Radio Networks in New York as senior vice president for programming, production and affiliate relations, and with Viacom Radio in Chicago and New York.

A recipient of numerous awards, including an AP award for editorial content and an International Radio Festival award for executive production, Redo was named Top General Manager by Radio INK Magazine for three years running. He also has served on the Board of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association.

A graduate of Colby College, Redo is a painter and has studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Art Student League of New York. His works have been shown in juried exhibitions at galleries on Cape Cod and are in many private collections.

Redo begins his new duties June 13.

About WGBH

WGBH 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, WGBH 44, and digital channels World and Create. Local WGBH 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 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s NPR® Station for News and Culture; 99.5 All Classical; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. 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


BRW Notebook :

Executive turntable : A happy shake-up at Clear Channel's Boston cluster where Tom McConnell gets kicked up to the regional Northeast Senior VP of Operations. As the result, Mary Menna who started her career at Clear Channel/Boston 22 years ago as a promotion assistant after graduating from Boston College becomes new market manager for Clear Channel's Boston cluster which includes WXKS/Kiss 108, WJMN/Jamn 94.5, Talk 1200 and Mia 1430. Over the years, Menna had worked her way up to National Sales Manager, General Sales Manager and, more recently, Director of Sales. In a press release, Menna commented : “It has been a privilege to be part of the team that helps make these stations so successful. They are a group of talented, dedicated professionals, and I look forward to working with them in this new role. Tom McConnell has been a mentor, and I thank him for helping to prepare me for this wonderful opportunity.”

The ugly side of radio : Liberal radio talkshow host Ed Schultz has been suspsned by cable news channel MSNBC where he hosts a nightly show. Schultz also hosts a nationally syndicated afternoon radio show which is heard in the Boston market on WWZN 1510 from Noon to 3pm. Ed Schultz called a rival talkshow host Laura Ingraham a “right wing slut” and a “talk slut” on his radio show which is syndicated by Dial Global. Ingraham who is heard locally on WRKO 680 from 9am to Noon is syndicated by Talk Radio Network(TRN). Schultz was lashing out at Ingraham for her criticism of President Obama not cancelling his European trip and going to Joplin, Missouri. No word if Dial Global plans to take any action. Ingraham posted the following comment on her Facebook page: “Re. the crude comments made about me by Ed Schultz on his radio program: First, I was surprised to learn that Ed Schultz actually hosted a radio show. Is it only available online? Second, I have to get back to recording the audio edition of my new book “Of Thee I Zing.” Now I’m tempted to insert one additional zing — about men who preach civility but practice misogyny."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Severin-less station sees ratings decline
What a difference Jay Severin makes. Or more accurately, what a difference Jay Severin makes by not being on the local airwaves.

The afternoon host's departure earlier last month had a negative impact on WTKK 96.9, the FM talk station where he had nearly a 12-year run, according to monthly audience ratings compiled by Arbitron that were
released today.

Sunup to sundown, WTKK 96.9(it might as well be 91.1) lost almost a full point of its market share; it tumbled from an average of 2.6 percent of all local listeners to 1.8 percent during the April ratings period(March 31-April 27).

The only consolation for WTKK, which is owned by Greater Media, was that it averaged more weekly listeners than its direct rival Entercom's WRKO 680 - 329,000 vs 276,100. 

But the downward pull on the station was otherwise unmistakable. With NYC-based fill-in Mike Bower taking over Severin's 2-6pm slot, WTKK is now in the process of retooling its afternoon lineup. Former Fox25 morning personality Doug Meehan who last week joined Bower's show as a news anchor has been moved into the co-host role as of this week. 

Typically, stations that make some major programming changes must wait to see whether those make much difference in future ratings periods. But the first post-Severin ratings period offers a mixed verdict on whether WTKK 96.9 should have axed Severin.

BRW Notebook :

Radio and (almost)Summer, are so happy together : Summer/spring radio concerts have long been a surefire way for music stations to supercharge their ratings. This year is no exception with two radio-sponsored events kicking off the season this upcoming weekend. First, WBOS 92.9's which coming off an absolute monster April ratings performance has its 18th annual free "EarthFest" at the Hatch Shell this Saturday is expected to draw well over 100,000. Music on the main stage starts at 11:30 am, and the event will feature performances by Atomic Tom, Sponge, OK Go, and Ed Kowalczyk of Live.  Meanwhile, 35 miles south of the Esplanade, Kiss 108's annual Kiss Concert will feature Flo Rida, Mike Posner and Taio Cruz, among others at the Comcast Center in Mansfield. At the same location two weeks later, Kiss 108's sister station Jamn 94-5 will have its annual Summer Jam show with the lineup that includes Chris Brown, Fabolous and Waka Flock(. If modern rock and top 40 ain't your thing, WODS 103.3 has some 70's and 80's artists that you make like. The station's Free Summer Concert series has three dates at the Hatch Shell - June 18(Pointer Sisters), July 23(Eddie Money) and August 20(KC and the Sunshine Band). If you really want go retro, classical WCRB 99.5 is expected to sponsor several free outdoor concerts this summer(schedule to be announced)
A little less of FNX :  For the younger generation of radio listeners, it's all about the apps these days, I guess. Some changes in the regional FNX Radio Network as Phoenix Media/Communication Group is selling off its satellite station WPHX 92.1 in Sanford, Maine for $1 million to Andrew Hartmann who currently owns oldies WXEX 1540 in Exeter, NH. WPHX has been simulcasting Boston's mothership WFNX 101.7 since 1999. For now, PMCG company is keeping WFEX 92.1 in Peterborough, NH.

Coping without her : WROR 105.7's morning rascals "Loren and Wally" said goodbye to a longtime member of their morning team. Sue Cope who was with the show since 1999 departed on May 6th. She is relocating to Cleveland with her husband. No fulltime replacement has been named but station will be trying out some female personalities over the few weeks to fill the vacant position. Last week, Boston Herald's reporter Lauren Beckham Falcone was brought in. This week, local veteran music personality(WBOS/WROR/WBCN/WMJX) and voice-over talent Amy Brooks takes a turn at the wheel.