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 :


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:

“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

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.


Anonymous said...

WBZ continues to promote itself in an "unbiased" way

Anonymous said...

What "bias" are you hearing?