Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Michael Graham is out as NewsTalk96.9's local roster appears to be all talked out

The buzz of pending changes at Greater Media’s FM talker WTKK/NewsTalk 96.9 got a bit louder as station’s afternoon personality Michael Graham announced yesterday that his contract has not been renewed, thus ending his 7-year tenure at the station.

Graham, who had been at the station since October 2005, came to Boston from Washington, DC where he was fired from WMAL-AM. He was originally hired by WTKK to replace Jay Severin who left to do a nationally syndicated evening show for CBS Radio. After less than one year in syndication, the plug was pulled on Severin and WTKK brought him back to afternoons in October 2006 and Graham was shifted to middays. But when Severin was terminated in April 2011, Graham once again found himself as the afternoon replacement in August 2011.

Graham’s exit from WTKK follows the departure of Doug Meehan who left two weeks ago. That leaves morning drive's “Jim and Margery” as the only local show on WTKK’s weekday schedule but don’t bet any big money on it to come back in 2013. Rest of the weekend local paid-time programs such as Phantom Gourmet, Joe Liggotti, Cam and Barry Show, Josh Davis are all scheduled to air this coming weekend.

WTKK debuted its current talk format in September 1999. Recently, the station rebranded itself and added frequent news and information updates(BRW 9/4), but the newsier image didn't quite catch on with the talk radio crowd. The FM talker had the ho-hum showing in the most recent ratings as the crosstown rival WRKO 680 leaped over it during the all-important political campaign season.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Clear Channel dances out the Harbor with Evolution
Boston, you can dance now.


Clear Channel has launched "Evolution 101.7" -- its first broadcast Electronic Dance Music (EDM) station in radio conglom's national 850-station porfolio. Evolution has replaced Variety Hits format "101.7 The Harbor".(Call letters remain WHBA for now) which had signed off to the sounds of Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline". The new format came on at 6pm tonight with an hour-long, Boston-dedicated specialty program hosted by Pete Tong, the iconic British DJ behind BBC Radio 1's "Essential Mix" radio show. "Evolution 101.7" is a broadcast extension of the popular digital station "Evolution" on iHeartRadio platform. The station's programming will include "All Gone Pete Tong" 7-9pm featuring Pete's "Essential New Tune of the Week," as well as the hottest tracks from the global Top 100 chart on Beatport.com. The show will join a lineup of shows hosted by a rotation of popular and up-and-coming DJs including Diplo, Wolfgang Gartner, Fatboy Slim, Dim Mak, Yung Skeeter, Manufactured Superstars, Paul van Dyk, Roger Sanchez, Congorock, Dillon Francis, Doorly and Nu Disco, among others.

The short-lived The Harbor debuted in July replacing legendary WFNX when Clear Channel took over the station as part of its $14.5 million purchase from Phoenix Media/Communications Group(BRW 7/25). The Harbor focused on older, retro pop/rock hits from 1970's and 1980's. Now, with the addition of Evolution 101.7 to Clear Channel's Boston cluster, it presents a better fit to crosspromote and target a younger listener demographic segment as the format compliments its two very successful Top 40 brands - mainstream pop WXKS/Kiss 108 and rhythmic hits/hip-hop WJMN/Jamn 94-5.

Here's the official press release from Clear Channel :

CLEAR CHANNEL MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT BRINGS EDM TO THE AIRWAVES WITH “EVOLUTION 101.7”


Evolution 101.7, Company’s First Broadcast EDM Station, Launches on WHBA-FM in Boston With Special Broadcast From Pete Tong

NEW YORK – December 20, 2012 – Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, the leading media company in America with a greater reach than any other radio or television outlet, today announced the launch ofEvolution 101.7, its first broadcast Electronic Dance Music (EDM) station. The new format will kick off December 20 at 6 p.m. on Boston’s WHBA-FM with an hour-long, Boston-dedicated specialty program hosted by Pete Tong, the iconic British DJ behind BBC Radio 1’s renowned Essential Mix radio show.

Evolution 101.7, a broadcast extension of the popular digital station “Evolution” on iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s industry-leading digital radio platform, will be hosted by famous DJ and electronic music tastemaker Pete Tong. The station’s programming will include “All Gone Pete Tong,” an exclusive, two-hour daily show featuring Pete’s Essential New Tune of the Week, as well as the hottest tracks from the global Top 100 chart on Beatport.com, the world’s largest music store and community for DJs. The show will broadcast Monday through Friday from 7-9 p.m. EST, and will join an impressive lineup of radio shows hosted by a rotation of popular and up-and-coming DJs including: Diplo; Wolfgang Gartner; Fatboy Slim; Dim Mak; Yung Skeeter; Manufactured Superstars; Paul van Dyk; Roger Sanchez; Congorock; Dillon Francis; Doorly; Eats Everything; Jaymo& Andy George; The 2 Bears; Tom Staar; Hot Since 82; John Dhalback; Jet Set USA; Moguai; and Nu Disco. Evolution 101.7’s programming will feature special mixes, on-air interviews and guest-hosted radio shows with world-class, progressive DJs and EDM producers. The station will also air exclusive content from Swedish House Mafia’s final tour in addition to their featured show with all-new mixes.

"When our friend Pete Tong asked us to be guests on Evolution, we jumped at the opportunity,” said Swedish House Mafia, the electronic music power trio consisting of famed DJs Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso. “We are thrilled to be involved in the launch of this amazing channel for dance music."

Boston listeners can tune in to Evolution 101.7 on WHBA-FM beginning December 20 at 6 p.m. for an hour-long specialty program hosted by Pete. Evolution 101.7 will begin its regularly scheduled programming featuring non-stop dance tracks by artists including Skrillex, David Guetta, Calvin Harris and more.

“We've seen the impact of EDM in Boston through music downloads, sold-out concerts and passion for iHeartRadio’s new Evolution channel," said Dylan Sprague, Vice President of Programming for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Boston. “We’re proud to bring Evolution 101.7, the company’s first EDM broadcast station, to Boston, and to team up with format-leading artists like Pete Tong. The music scene in Boston has a vibrant EDM community as well as a rich history of bringing new music to audiences in the area and around the country. We’re excited to continue the tradition by giving dance music a home on Boston's airwaves."

“Like the early days of FM, iHeartRadio is the new playground for programming experimentation,” said Tom Poleman, President of National Programming Platforms for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. “Evolution’s innovative programming resonated with our iHeartRadio consumers so well that extending the station to a broadcast radio platform was the next step to connect our listeners with great music. Evolution 101.7 is a great example of iHeartRadio’s ability to drive new innovation in radio programming, and will bring even more variety to Clear Channel’s impressive roster of stations.”

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment currently owns five stations in the Boston market including WXKS-FM, WXKS-AM, WKOX-AM, WJMN-FM and WHBA-FM. In addition to Boston, EDM fans across the country can listen to Evolution 101.7online at www.iheart.com/live/5772. iHeartRadio delivers everything listeners want in one free, fully-integrated service: instant access to more than 1,500 of the nation’s most popular live broadcast and digital-only radio stations from 150 cities, plus user-created custom stations inspired by favorite artists and songs.

About Clear Channel Media and Entertainment

With 239 million monthly listeners in the U.S., Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment serves 150 cities through 850 owned radio stations. The company’s radio stations and content can be heard on AM/FM stations, HD digital radio channels, Sirius/XM satellite, on the Internet at iHeartRadio.com and on the company’s radio station websites, on the iHeartRadio mobile application on iPads and smartphones, and used via navigation systems from TomTom, Garmin and others.

The company’s operations include radio broadcasting, online and mobile services and products, live concerts and events, syndication, music research services and independent media representation. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment is a division of CC Media Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB: CCMO), a leading global media and entertainment company. More information on the company can be found at clearchannel.com, clearchanneloutdoor.com and ccmediaholdings.com.

BRW Notebook :

Oedipus revisited : Oedipus is returning to to deliver his long-running Christmas show. Oedipus's Christmas-Eve broadcast was a staple on WBCN for three decades until station's demise in 2009. He then brought it to WFNX where it had aired for 3 years. But with WFNX signing off the terrestrial radio this past summer, The Oedipus Christmas Eve show will now run in on-line form only - on Monday, December 24th, from 6pm until midnight, Boston.com's RadioBDC will be streaming his show live at www.radiobdc.com, it was announced this week.


Voices on the move : WTKK/NewsTalk 96.9's early midday host Doug Meehan has left the station earlier this week to take a new TV gig(details to be announced soon). More details are here. WTKK hasn't announced who will handle the 10am-Noon/M-Th shift as former TV personality Kim Carrigan was filling this week.

The SportsHub gets the new night watchman : As first reported by Boston Globe's sports media scribe Chad Finn last Friday, Adam Jones has been officially named new evening host at WBZ-FM/98.5 The Sports Hub. Jones' first day will be Wednesday, January 2, and he will host weeknights from 6PM to 11PM replacing Damon Amendolara who has been named Overnight Host of "The D.A. Show" on the national CBS Sports Radio network.

The 26-year old, Northeastern University alum, Jones returns to 98.5 The Sports Hub from ESPNBoston.com where he was host of the online "Adam Jones Show" from April 2011 to August 2012. Jones also was a fill-in host and anchor of various pregame and post-game shows on the ESPN Radio Network. Prior to that, Jones worked at 98.5 The Sports Hub where he was a fill-in host and had a weekend show with Boston sports writer Dan Shaughnessy. He began is sports broadcasting in 2006 at the former 890 ESPN where he spent three years covering Boston teams

The SportsHub is also will have a brand new sound during its non-local hours as brand news CBS Sports Radio network will replace Fox Sports Radio beginning January 2nd as Boston's sports radio options continue to evolve.

Holiday plans : On Christmas Day(December 25), WGBH 89.7 will air a special presentation of “The Tobolowsky Files,” a series written and performed by character actor Stephen Tobolowsky (Seinfeld, Deadwood, Glee, among others) will air from noon-4pm.  Stephen Tobolowsky is one of the leading character actors in film today, having appeared in more than 200 movies and television shows. ‘The Tobolowsky Files’ began as a popular podcast, and his unique storytelling was noticed by Public Radio International (PRI) that produced the four-part series of one-hour programs.

Then it’s jazz to ring in the New Year, as WGBH Radio once again joins with the Berklee College of Music and First Night to present the Boston segment of NPR’s annual New Year’s Eve(Mon,Dec.31) jazz extravaganza “Toast of the Nation.”

WGBH’s Eric Jackson hosts the 9pm live broadcast from the Berklee Performance Center, with guitar master John Scofield and his legendary Uberjam Band, which anchors the all-night broadcast of live jazz from venues across the country. The concert reunites the group that pioneered Scofield’s fusing of jazz, funk, and electronic music to become one of the defining bands of his career.

Celtic Pride is back : The Celtics may be looking very shaky on the court this season but it's not stopping Jeff Hickman and Patrick Giroy from bringing their long running "Celtic Pride" from returning to the air. The show is back on WUFC/1510 NBC Sports Radio Boston on Saturdays from 10am to Noon which runs after another local sports show "Roger Homan On Sports"(8am-10am).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

AMP 103.3 gets Breezy in the afternoons
 
Joe Breezy has been named Music Director and afternoon drive host (2-7pm) at new CBS Radio Boston's new  contemporary hit radio/Top40 WODS/"103.3 Amp Radio.Breezy will be the first live DJ on Amp 103.3 and he starts this Thursday (Dec.13). Most recently, Breezy was assistant program director/Music Director and afternoon host at "Wild 105.7 and 96.7" WWVA-FM, Atlanta. His previous stops included stations San Francisco, Phoenix and Sacramento. More DJs are going to be added to AMP's roster in the coming days/weeks. 

Here's the official press release from CBS Radio Boston.

JOE BREEZY NAMED AFTERNOON HOST AND MUSIC DIRECTOR
OF BOSTON’S NEWEST HIT MUSIC STATION 103.3 AMP RADIO
 
 
BOSTON, MA – Tuesday, December 11, 2012 -  Joe Breezy has been named Afternoon Host and Music Director of Boston’s newest contemporary hit radio station 103.3 AMP Radio (WODS-FM), it was announced today by Dan Mason, Program Director for CBS RADIO Boston’s 103.3 AMP Radio.  Breezy’s first day will be Thursday, December 13, and he will host weekdays from 2PM to 7PM.
 
Before joining 103.3 AMP Radio, Breezy was Afternoon Host, Music Director, and Assistant Program Director for three years at Atlanta’s smash station WWVA-FM "The NEW WiLD 105.7 & 96.7."  Before that, he was Morning Host at KZON-FM “101.5 jamz” in Phoenix.  For three years prior to that, Breezy was the Night Host at KDND-FM “107.9 The End” in Sacramento as well as Night Host for three years at KYLD-FM “WiLD 94.9” in San Francisco.  In fact, Breezy began his career at KYLD-FM “WiLD 94.9” with a promotions internship in high school which he describes as the “coolest thing ever to an 18 year-old at the time.”  Since then, Breezy has nearly fifteen years of on-air, programming, and promotions experience taking hit music stations to the top of their markets.
 
"Having worked together in Sacramento, I know first-hand what a unique on-air talent Joe is and what an asset his programming experience will be to 103.3 AMP Radio,” said Mason when making the announcement.  “As a new brand in a competitive market, we are bolstering 103.3 AMP Radio’s staff of passionate, creative people who are ready to make noise and win.  So when Joe became available, this was a no brainer."

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with Dan again, who is one of the most strategic thinkers I know,” said Breezy.  “I couldn't be more ecstatic to join the team and help build a new winning brand for CBS RADIO…especially in a dynamic city like Boston!"
103.3 AMP Radio 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 127 radio stations, the majority of which are in the nation’s top 50 markets.  CBS RADIO also owns and operates WBZ-AM NewsRadio 1030, WBZ-FM 98.5 The Sports Hub, WBMX-FM MIX 104.1, and WZLX-FM 100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock.
# # #

BRW Notebook :

Pebbles Clear-ed : While national radio giant Clear Channel Entertainment further soiled its reputation by cutting 3% of its employees last week, that round of year-end layoffs took out one of Boston's more popular veteran DJ's. Susan Semedo, better known as Pebbles on WJMN/Jamn 94-5's morning show, was let go in yet another downsizing wave. Semedo announced the departure from Jamn on her Facebook page. She's been as a morning co-host at WJMN since 1995. Prior to that, she worked as midday and morning personality at WILD 1090 from 1988 to 1995. 

You got the Rhythm in you? :  Rumors and more rumors of an upcoming format change at Greater Media's 13-year talker WTKK/NewsTalk 96.9 are sweeping mainstream media and online trade sites as Monday morning report on radio news site RadioInsight.com first mentioned that a number of Internet domain names — including 969BostonsBeat.com, and Power969.com — have recently been purchased. 

Just who purchased those domains remains a mystery, however Greater Media spokesperson didn’t exactly deny changes could be coming, offering only an official company statement on the reports in the Boston Herald story.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Kevin Winter named as new sports anchor on WEEI's "Dennis and Callahan" show

KevinWinter.jpg

Sports talker WEEI 93.7 has named veteran market sportscaster Kevin Winter as the new morning sports anchor for the "Dennis and Callahan" morning show. Winter, Norfolk,Mass native, has been with ESPN Radio in Bristol,CT since 2004. During that time he also anchored sports updates on now-defunct "ESPN 890"(2005-2009). In 2003, he was also part of the short-lived "Morning Press Box" on WUFC 1510(then Zone 1510) which replaced even shorter morning stint by the current WEEI nighttime host Mike Adams. Ironically, last month, both Winter and Adams auditioned for the morning sports anchor role which became vacant after WEEI veteran Jon Meterparel left the station on October 12. Winter's first official day on the job is this Monday(12/10).

Here's WEEI's press release :



Kevin Winter Named Sports Anchor on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Morning Show


Boston, MA – WEEI announced Thursday that Kevin Winter has been named morning sports anchor for Dennis & Callahan.  Winter, a Norfolk, Massachusetts native, has deep Boston roots and over a decade of Boston sports radio experience, including working at 890 ESPN Radio and 1510 The Zone.

Winter, who has worked at ESPN Radio since 2004, has served in a variety of studio host capacities including National SportsCenter Anchor for all ESPN Radio shows including Mike and Mike in the Morning.  Additionally, he has been the pre- and postgame host for ESPN's coverage of college football and basketball.

"I'm very grateful and excited for the opportunity to join WEEI, particularly "Dennis and Callahan," said Winter.  This opportunity presents new and exciting challenges for me and I'm anxious and ready to get started.  I'm coming home!"
"I'm thrilled to be adding Kevin's outstanding talent to WEEI.  He's got tremendous passion, energy and wit, and will provide the perfect blend of personality and knowledge that will add a ton to D&C's show," said Jason Wolfe, VP of Programming and Operations for Entercom Boston.
Winter's first day is Monday, December 10.

BRW Notebook :

Drum roll, please :  The 5th Annual FISHER HOUSE Radiothon on WTKK/NewsTalk 96.9 raised over $100,000 in one day to support the foundation that provides temporary housing for families of wounded soldiers. 96.9’s Michael Graham spearheaded the event with contributions from the entire 96.9 team of Jim Braude, Margery Eagan, Doug Meehan, Michael Smerconish, and The Andelmans...WAAF 107.3/WKAF 97.7 has raised over $76,000 hosting a 3-day fundraising event “Rise Up Against Hunger,”. WAAF's morning personalities Lyndon "LB" Byer and Anthony "Spaz" Parziale were raised 80 ft up on boom cranes, where they lived on a platform suspended high in the sky for three full days in an effort to raise funds for The Greater Boston, Worcester County and New Hampshire Food Banks. For the past 20 years, the station’s personalities have enlisted themselves in various physically challenging stunts in an effort to engage listeners to support area food banks.

Executive turntable : 
Andrew Tartaglia has been named as General Sales Manager for active rocker WAAF 107.3/WKAF 97.7, effective December 17. Tartaglia, who has been a GSM at Clear Channel Hartford.


From Entercom's press release :


Tartaglia : "To say I'm excited about the opportunity to lead the sales effort of this truly epic Rock station would be a grave understatement. I'm looking forward to many future successes with my team at WAAF, our partners in the ad community, and my new colleagues at Entercom Boston." 

Entercom Boston Director of Sales Michael Juliano, "Andrew will be a great compliment to our overall sales effort. He has a rich history of leading and motivating high performing sales teams that deliver results for their clients. He is no stranger to New England having spent the last 13 years of his career in Providence and Hartford"

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Better late than never : Magic 106.7 ushers in Christmas tunes 


With 20 shopping days until Christmas, Boston radio listeners finally got a full dose of musical spirit as WMJX/Magic 106.7 switched to a 24-hour Christmas music format at 3pm today. 

Magic 106.7's parent company Greater Media has been flipping sister station classic hits WROR 105.7 to all-Christmas format every November since 2007 right after its former classic hits rival up the dial - WODS 103.3 – jumped first on the holiday music parade a week or two before Thanksgiving.  But with CBS Radio's WODS changing formats(to Top 40) back in mid-summer, Greater Media  found itself standing/sitting all alone in front of the holiday music switchboard and opted to pass the baton from WROR to WMJX this year.

With the change in Boston radio's competitive landscape also came a change in Christmas music strategy - Greater Media opted to wait two weeks after Thanksgiving to go all out with its holiday music blitz. The adult contemporary Magic 106.7 began easing its audience into the seasonal shopping rush by sprinkling four Christmas tunes an hour on Thanksgiving Day.

For Bostonians, who couldn't deal with pre-holiday build-up and absolutely needed their Christmas-music  fix early, WODS 103.3’s HD3 sub-channel/internet station went All-Christmas on October 19th. In addition, WSRS  96.1 in Worcester dropped its adult contemporary  hits format for Christmas music on Nov. 19. The To the south, WWLI 105.1, another Clear Channel –owned adult contemporary station in Providence, had already flipped the holiday switch on Nov. 16. And, WPLM 99.1 in Plymouth began with all-Christmas weekends on November 30th.

As for other Boston stations getting into the holiday music groove, Magic's sister station WROR 105.7 and CBS Radio’s WBMX/Mix 104.1 are spinning  some Christmas tunes as part of their regular formats(as of now, 'ROR is doing 3 Christmas songs an hour and Mix is doing one), but neither station is expected to go All-Christmas.

Many radio executives see Christmas music as a gamble. It can produce a temporary spike in listenership, but also create a long-term problem if regular listeners who don't want all holiday music start sampling other stations.

This is the 10th year in a row, Boston has an all-Christmas format on its airwaves. Here's the rundown of stations and switch dates :

Nov 24, 2003 :  WODS/Oldies 103.3 and WQSX/Star 93.7
Nov 19, 2004 :  WODS/Oldies 103.3
Nov.17, 2005 :  WODS 103.3 and WMJX/Magic 106.7
Nov.15, 2006    WODS 103.3
Nov. 12 2007 :  WODS 103.3 and WROR 105.7
Nov. 6 2008 :    WODS 103.3 and WROR 105.7
Nov. 13 2009 :  WODS 103.3 and WROR 105.7
Nov.  18 2010 : WODS 103.3 and WROR 105.7
Nov.11, 2011 :  WODS 103.3 and WROR 105.7
Dec. 5, 2012 : WMJX 106.7

Here's official Magic 106.7 press release :


MAGIC 106.7 FM is Boston’s Home for the Holidays’
Official Christmas Music Station

Boston, MA (December 5, 2012): Boston listeners received an early Christmas gift when Greater Media Boston’s MAGIC 106.7 officially went all Christmas music on December 5th, 2012.

Christmas music will continue throughout the holiday season on WMJX-FM.  Listeners will hear a variety of their favorite holiday songs, including Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You", the Ronettes "Sleigh Ride", John Lennon’s "Happy Christmas (War is Over)”, Band Aid’s "Do They Know It's Christmas?", and Burl Ives "Have A Holly Jolly Christmas".

You can also listen to Boston’s official Christmas Music Station on-line or download a free mobile application available at www.magic1067.com.

But…wait, there’s more. The most wonderful time of the year could get even better with the MAGIC 106.7 Christmas Cash Giveaway!

In addition to providing Boston’s official holiday playlist, WMJX-FM is also giving away $1,000 four times a day with the MAGIC 106.7 Christmas Cash Giveaway!  Just listen to MAGIC 106.7 weekdays at 8:05AM, 12:05AM, 2:05PM, and 4:05PM. Be the 100th caller to 855-485-2000 when you hear Santa’s cue to call and you’ll win $1,000 instantly!

Spend it on gifts for everyone on your list, gifts for yourself or take a vacation once the holidays are over! Complete details are available at www.magic1067.com.

WMJX-FM is owned by Greater Boston Radio, Inc., a subsidiary of Greater Media, Inc., the parent company of 22 AM and FM radio stations in the Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, New Jersey and Philadelphia markets. It also owns a group of weekly newspapers in central New Jersey as well as several telecommunications towers located throughout the United States.


BRW Notebook :

The battle of the Cape : Boston University's WBUR 90.9 is wading into the Cape Cod market and going toe-to-toe with pubcaster rival WGBH 89.7’s network of stations with its purchase of WMVY 92.7 on Martha’s Vineyard, it was announced last week

WBUR is buying the Tisbury, Mass.-based station for $715,000 from Housatonic, Mass.-based Aritaur Communications Inc according to Northeast Radio Watch. The sale is expected to close in early 2013 pending FCC approval.

Now broadcasting an adult alternative format, WMVY, known as mvyradio, will switch to WBUR’s news format, reaching up to 60,000 listeners with a 3,000-watt signal. The market includes Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and coastal towns including New Bedford, Fall River, Falmouth and Westport.


The purchase will put WMVY up against Boston-based WGBH’s network of stations on the Cape and Islands, which includes NPR stations 90.1 WCAI-FM in Woods Hole, Mass. on Martha’s Vineyard and 89.5 WNCK-FM on Nantucket.

Under the terms of the deal, WBUR is buying the frequency only. The programming, online content, equipment and 24 staff members will be transferred to Friends of mvyradio, a nonprofit formed to support the station.



Audition time : Former Talk 1200(now Matty's Comedy 1200) morning man and talk radio veteran Jeff Katz is trying to land his next gig - he's filling in at Clear Channel's talker WIOD 100.3/Miami vacant afternoon(3-6pm) slot today, Thursday and Friday.

The successor : Boston Globe's Chad Finn looks at the list of potential candidates who may have a shot at replacing Damon Amendolara as he wraps up his evening duties at 98.5 The SportsHub on December 14th and heads to overnight role at CBS Sports Radio Network on January 3rd.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Boston sports radio is up for more changes as D.A. Show is going national
Damon Amendolara

Boston's sports talk radio scene will get another shakeup the first week of the new year as WBZ FM/ 98.5 The Sports Hub will become CBS Sports Radio affiliate, following a decision by corporate owner CBS Radio to drop its Fox Sports Radio  for company's brand new national sports talk network debuting on January 3rd.

On Friday(11/16), CBS Radio announced that it has signed SportsHub's evening host Damon Amendolara(known as D.A.) to take his "The D.A. Show" national and it will air on the new network's overnight slot(2am-6am) come January 3rd. Amendolara has been with the SportsHub since the station's launch in August 2009.  The addition of the new CBS Sports Radio network also means that Fox Sports Radio will be dropped by the Sports Hub after a 3-year affiliation(BRW 10/30/09) and as it stands now(...and things are always subject to change, especially in radio), FSR's popular overnight host JT The Brick will not have a local Boston affiliate for the first time since 1996. Come new year, The Sports Hub is also expected to fill other latenight weekday and weekend time slots where Fox Sports Radio is currently heard in its schedule with syndicated national/regional shows from CBS Sports Radio network or CBS Sports Radio stations in other markets.

The upcoming changes at the SportsHub cap a turbulent 4-month stretch for local and national sports talk, which saw WEEI splitting its AM and FM simulcast to create "ESPN on 850" in early October(BRW 9/18). AM 850 is now a full time home of ESPN Radio in the Boston area. In addition, the AM station also serves as a backup for any game conflicts between Celtics, Red Sox, Boston College sports or national NFL broadcasts on WEEI 93.7. 

In addition, WUFC AM 1510 became an affiliate of the new NBC Sports Radio network in early September and dropped the old familiar call letters WWZN(BRW 8/31) as part of the change. While WUFC clears three weekday NBC Sports Radio shows, it  also picks up parts of the Houston-based Yahoo Sports Radio network to fill out rest of its day as a sports talker.

Amendolora's move into the national syndication means that the Sports Hub will now have to fill his evening shift and there will be no shortage of internal and external candidates. WEEI is also auditioning candidates to fill the morning sports flasher role on "Dennis and Callahan" show after Jon Meteparel departed last month. (The Globe's sports media writer Chad Finn has a list of contenders eyeing WEEI's vacant morning role)

BRW Notebook :

Shopping list : For the 12the year, the industry site North East Radio Watch is offering a calendar featuring radio broadcast structures and tower sites from all over the North America and beyond. The 2013 calendar edition is now shipping from the Fybush Media store (http://store.fybush.com/store). For more information on the calendar and North East Radio Watch website, visit www.fybush.com

Thursday, November 1, 2012

WRKO installs rising star Jeff Kuhner as its morning host

Jeff Kuhner Starting today, talker WRKO 680 has a brand new morning show -"The Kuhner Report" hosted by Jeff Kuhner. Kuhner, who has been, and will continue, hosting 11am-12noon, replaces Todd Feinburg and Michele McPhee in the 6am-9am slot. No word on the future of Michele McPhee and Todd Feinburg who were teamed up as a morning duo back in August(BRW 8/6) but the Herald is reporting today that WRKO's management may consider them for other roles at the station in the future.

From WRKO's press release

Kuhner : "I am truly honored and happy to be at WRKO, This is a wonderful opportunity and my goal is to create the best morning talk show in Boston." 

Entercom Boston VP and Market Manager Jeff Brown : "This caps off a season of positive change for WRKO. It's the right move for our two most important customers, our listeners and our advertisers, and needless to say, I'm excited about our future." 

Entercom Boston VP of Programmering Jason Wolfe :  "The positive reaction to his 11am hour has been simply overwhelming and his fearless, honest brand of talk makes him appointment listening." 

WRKO's Assistant Proagram Director Bill Cooksey : "Jeff Kuhner is a rising star and I'm very happy to have him as part of the WRKO team,"

Montreal native, Kuhner, who has made the move from Washington, DC to Boston, will continue to serve as the lead political columnist for The Washington Times

BRW Notebook :

Free agency : Longtime sports news flasher Jon Meterparel exited WEEI 93.7's "John Dennis and Gerry Callahan" morning show on October 12.  Meterparel has been the voice of Boston College football and basketball broadcasts for several seasons and will finish up his play-by-play duties with  this upcoming BC basketball season. Meterparel recently told Worcester's T&G that he is currently in progress of landing a play-by-play role with a national or local broadcaster.

No Savage sightings in Boston : After parting ways with Talk Radio Networks, Michael Savage has signed a deal with Cumulus Media Networks, which began syndicating his show last Tuesday(10/23) from 9pm to Midnight.

In late September(BRW 9/28), Savage ended his nationally syndicated show which ran on WRKO 680 since November 2002. Savage said he would be off the air for "some time." According to published media reports, he said he turned down big money to do an Internet-only show.

WRKO which would be the logical choice as Savage's home under the new national syndication deal is for now opting to air Mark Levin's show in Savage's former slot(7pm-10pm). Like Savage, Levin is also syndicated by Cumulus Media.

'FNX finds second life on-line : The late, lamented alternative radio station known as WFNX launched its online broadcast at midnight Tuesday at www.wfnx.com

The acclaimed cutting-edge alternative rock station signed off the air in July after owner Phoenix Media/Communications Group sold the broadcast license of Lynn-based WFNX 101.7 to nation's largest radio broadcasting chain Clear Channel for $14.5 million. The broadcast station WHBA/The Harbor took over 101.7FM frequency with the all-variety format three months ago(BRW 7/25)

In August, Phoenix announced that wfnx.com would return as Internet-only radio be executive-produced by WFNX's former program director/DJ Kurt St. Thomas on Halloween Day.

At the outset, wfnx.com is broadcasting with live DJ's from 9am - 6pm. 
WFNX.com's line-up includes 

9am-Noon - Mike Gioscia, Assistant Program Director (9am-Noon) – He served as WFNX's production director in the 1990s and and was host of the live broadcast ‘X Night At Axis’

Noon-2pm - Kurt St. Thomas served as program, music and production director at WFNX from 1987-1995,

2-5pm - Sabrina Boyd, assistant music director (2pm-5pm) – former weekend host "Kaya". Also worked at WBRU 95.5 in Providence, where she also served as music director.

5-6pm - Michael Marotta, music director, host of Boston Accents. Marotta is the music editor of The Phoenix Media/Communications Group’s weekly print publication.

Honor roll :  WKLB/Country 102.5 was recently named “Station of the Year” by the Country Music Association.  WKLB, among other recipients, will be  recognized during the 46th annual CMA Awards on Thursday, November 1st at 8 p.m. in Nashville, Tennessee to be broadcast on ABC-TV.  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Jingle Ball event is all grown up and ready to pop as Kiss raises stakes in the big Top 40 game

The stars are coming out again for Kiss 108's 13th annual Jingle Ball, which has become a holiday tradition even though nary a Christmas carol is heard. Instead it's a slew of treats from America's biggest pop stars - kind of like a live version of those hits-packed CD series.

After a decade at Lowell's Tsongas Arena, Kiss 108' annual sleigh ride has clearly outgrown the midsized venue in the Mill City and this year's chart bustin' superstar stocking stuffer spectacular is headed for the big city lights of Boston's TD Garden.

While selling tickets is a big part in shifting venues for this year's edition of the Jingle Ball event, the other underlying factor for the site change has more likely to do with newly-found radio competition. After many years of ruling Boston radio's Top 40 playground, Kiss 108 faces a challenge from the new kid on the block - Amp 103.3(BRW 6/27/12). While charging up its concert promotion machine to put some distance between itself and Amp 103.3, Kiss 108 has also aggressively advertised on local TV during the just concluded October ratings period. In years past, Kiss 108's TV campaigns often focused around its crown jewel - "Matty In the Morning" show, but this time around it is clearly all about "The Biggest Songs. The Biggest Artists. All at one Place" featuring the likes of Top 40 mega stars - Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Christina Aguilera, Nicki Minaj, The Wanted, Pittbull - who are fueling America's current pop music obsession.

Kiss 108 will announce the 2012 Jingle Ball line-up on Matt Siegel's show at 7:15am on Monday(10/15).

While Lowell deals with the loss of a big-name radio event, come December 6th, gaggles of teens will emerge from stretch limos and luxury buses around North Station and Causeway Street to fill the cool early winter air with squeals. High-pitched voices will be singing choruses from Top 10 hits while fingers will grasp and flash coveted and costly Jingle Ball concert tickets.Those tickets, will be available from Ticketmaster, sell out within minutes after they go on sale later this month, so the majority of younger listeners must try to win them through Kiss 108's telephone, text-message and social media contests, or acquire them at the outrageously high markups on StubHub, often using their parents' credit cards, of course.

Here is Kiss 108's announcement on the Jingle Ball's change of venues :


KISS 108 MOVING ANNUAL JINGLE BALL CONCERT TO TD GARDEN
 
Boston, Mass. – October 11, 2012 – WXKS-FM KISS 108, Boston’s Hit Music Station, announced today that it will be moving its annual holiday concert, Jingle Ball, to the TD Garden.  KISS 108’s Jingle Ball 2012 will be on Thursday, December 6 at 7:00p.m.
 
KISS 108’s morning show, Matty in the Morning, will announce the 2012 Jingle Ball line-up live, on-air on Monday, October 15, at 7:10a.m.
 
“We are so excited to bring Jingle Ball, one of KISS 108’s signature events, to the city of Boston and to the legendary Garden,” said Mary Menna President and Market Manager Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Boston. “KISS 108’s Jingle Ball has grown over the years and to celebrates its 13th anniversary, we felt this was the perfect year and line-up to expand the concert to the TD Garden.”
 
“We are thrilled to host KISS 108’s Jingle Ball this year,” said Amy Latimer, President of TD Garden.   “This winter concert has become a prominent event on the Boston concert calendar and we are excited to give it a high-profile home at the TD Garden"
 
Back for its 13th year, KISS 108’s Jingle Ball started at Avalon, where the current House of Blues venue now stands, as a station event for listeners and clients only. In December 2000 it moved to the Tsongas Arena and became concert event in which listeners could purchase tickets.  KISS 108’s Jingle Ball has benefited Toys For Tots, all concert attendants have been encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for the Toys For Tots Program in Massachusetts collecting thousands of toys annually.  Past Jingle Ball’s have featured artists such as P!nk, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias, Chris Brown, Kelly Clarkson, Pitbull and many more!
 
For up-to-minute information on KISS 108’s Jingle Ball 2012 log on to www.kiss108.comkeyword: Jingle Ball or listen to KISS 108 on-air or online via the station’s website, as well as on iHeartRadio.com and the iHeartRadio mobile app, Clear Channel’s best-in-class customizable digital listening service, that deliver everything listeners want in one free, fully-integrated service: instant access to more than 1,500 of the nation’s most popular live broadcast and digital-only radio stations from 150 cities, plus user-created Custom Stations inspired by favorite artists and songs.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Savage's departure has WRKO mulling over the night-time programming options

Nationally syndicated talker Michael Savage has left his longtime syndication company Talk Radio Network after winning a nearly 2-year legal battle against the company. The fight started back in December 2010 when Savage sued TRN claiming he did not wish to renew his deal and planned to take an offer from Courtside Entertainment.  At the time, TRN's CEO Mark Masters issued a statement saying that Savage’s contract was crystal clear and it would keep the controversial host with the network for the foreseeable future.

Yesterday, the arbitrator ruled in favor of Savage, giving him a chance to pursue opportunities with other networks and syndicators. Savage posted a brief note on his website late on Thursday but gave no sign of any imminent new deal, saying only that he would likely be off the air for “some time.”

In a statement to the Associated Press, Savage’s attorney Dan Horowitz said that the host had tried for two years to get out of his contract, which was 10 years old and prevented Savage from changing syndicators.  He added that Savage, who has  spent over $900,000 on the case, won over $1 million and the right to all archived tapes of his show.

Locally, WRKO 680 which has featured Savage in its evening schedule since November 2002 is now in the process of exploring its programming options. The station had re-affiliated itself with Clear Channel's syndication arm Premiere Network back in August as it brought Rush Limbaugh and the overnight Coast-to-Coast show back into its line-up. WRKO is also affiliated with another big national syndicator - Cumulus Radio. WRKO will fill tonight's(9/28) evening schedule with Cumulus' national talker Mark Levin. It hasn't been announced yet how WRKO plans to program the 7-10pm slot on full-time basis. Its options include : a) inserting one of Cumulus Radio's(Mark Levin) or Premiere Networks' shows(Sean Hannity), b) take a new show with yet to be named host from TRN which debuts Monday(10/1 -or- c) use a) or b) as temporary band-aids until Savage returns to the airwaves via a new syndicator at a later point.

Stay tuned.

BRW Notebook:

Severin 3.0 :  Starting Monday(10/1), The Blaze Radio Network will become the new home for former WTKK and Talk 1200  host Jay Severin. The on-line network, a joint venture between Glenn Beck and Clear Channel Media, will be available on Clear Channel's digital iHeartRadio service as well Blaze's own Iphone and Ipad apps.. Severin's show will be heard from 2pm to 5pm.

After a 12-year run at WTKK 96.9, Severin joined Talk 1200 last August(BRW 8/16/11). But, when Clear Channel flipped Talk 1200 to Matty's Comedy 1200 in early August Severn found himself off the air(BRW 8/6).

Blaze's lineup will also include a simulcast of Beck’s nationally syndicated radio show(9-12pm), a re-launched show hosted by Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray(12-2pm) as well as audio simulcasts of TheBlaze TV shows with Glenn Beck(5-6pm).  RadioAnimal, LLC consultant Dom Theodore will serve as the network’s program director.  

TheBlaze chief content officer Joel Cheatwood stated in a press release : “We are excited to continue making TheBlaze a destination for news, information and entertainment programming across multiple platforms.  Jay is an incredible talent and is the perfect host to launch The Blaze Network.”
For media history buffs, in mid-90's(1993-97), Cheatwood served as TV news director at Boston's Channel 7 where installed the current tabloid news format and oversaw station's affiliation change from then-low-rated CBS to highly-rated NBC in 1995.

The independents : The Herald's music writer Jed Gottlieb takes a look at Boston radio's independent station situation after pretty big changes to the local radio landscape over this past summer. His focus is primarily on WXRV/The River 92.5 and Emerson College's WERS 88.9.

The spinning door :  Entercom's rocker WAAF 107.3/97.7 which did away with all the live weekend DJ's over the summer, faced another budget ax earlier this week. The Herald has the big scoop behind the exit of the longtime morning show co-host/voice artist Kevin Barbare. He has been part of the "Hill-Man Morning Show" since 1993 and was working without a contract since early August.  The station did re-up its Gregg Hill to a new long-term deal in late June and recently converted Total Traffic Network's reporter/sidekick Danielle Murr to a full time role on the show.

Locker room update : As WEEI gets ready to break away from simulcasting on AM dial as it continues to build on its local brand on the much more profitable FM pastures, the station took home another Marconi Award for the best sports talker in the country at the NAB's Radio Show in Dallas last week. Boston Globe's Chad Finn notes the Marconi award(WEEI's 2nd in 4 years) as well details some of the arrangements and programming options for the new 'ESPN on 850' format which debuts next Friday(10/5).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Entercom splits WEEI's doublecast

Confirming last month's media report, Entercom Boston and ESPN Radio today announced that starting on Friday, October 5, WEEI will split its AM/FM simulcast and begin broadcasting ESPN Radio on AM 850 with WEEI continuing solo on 93.7FM. Full press release of today's announcement is available here.

Starting October 5th, Boston market will be served by 4 sports stations. Two local on FM - WEEI/SportsRadio 93.7 and WBZ/the SportsHub 98.5. And two national sports webs - ESPN on AM 850 and NBC Sports Radio on AM 1510. 


For Immediate Release                                                                                    
Wednesday, Sept. 18
Entercom and ESPN Radio Join Forces to Launch “ESPN on WEEI” 850 AM
WEEI to provide the best in local and national sports talk and play-by-play

BOSTON, MAEntercom Boston and ESPN Radio today announced that starting on Friday, October 5, WEEI will split its AM/FM simulcast and begin broadcasting ESPN Radio on 850 AM. “ESPN on WEEI” will air ESPN’s entire national lineup, including the entire upcoming Major League Baseball postseason schedule, the NBA, and college football and college basketball. ESPN Radio on 850 AM will debut with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, of “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” broadcasting live from Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium beginning at 6 a.m. ET on October 5. 

WEEI’s legendary local lineup of “Dennis and Callahan,” “Mut and Merloni,” “The Big Show with Glenn Ordway and Michal Holley,” and “Planet Mikey with Mike Adams” will now be broadcast solely on the 93.7 FM frequency. In addition, 93.7 FM will be the exclusive home of Red Sox baseball, Celtics basketball, Patriots’ Monday and Friday, NFL football and the NFL playoffs.

As part of this expanded partnership, listeners will be able to access 93.7 WEEI’s live audio stream through the popular ESPNBoston.com website. At the same time, ESPNBoston.com’s video channel will now power WEEI.com’s video player with the most up-to-date ESPN video content.

“Since 1991, WEEI has been the gold standard in sports radio. This strategic alliance with ESPN allows WEEI to deliver to the most passionate sports fans in America the very best in local sports talk and play-by-play on WEEI FM and the very best in national sports talk and play-by-play with ESPN on WEEI AM,” said Jeff Brown, Entercom Vice President and Market Manager. “WEEI 850 AM is a proven sports brand. Joining forces with ESPN provides advertisers an additional touch point to connect with a highly valuable and sought after consumer.”

“We’re pleased to team with Boston’s preeminent sports radio outlet and one of the nation’s best radio broadcasting companies in Entercom to bring the number one national network into New England,” said Traug Keller, ESPN Senior Vice President, Production Business Divisions. “This move coupled with the existing presence of ESPNBoston.com provides Boston’s passionate fans the best of ESPN’s national and local coverage and analysis.”

“We are excited to be expanding our partnership with ESPN in such a meaningful way,” said Entercom President and CEO David Field. “Combining Boston’s leading sports station, WEEI-FM, and the new ESPN on WEEI 850 AM, together with our ability to cross promote content through our existing mobile and digital platforms, gives passionate Boston sports fans the very best in local and national sports content.” 

Beginning Friday, October 5, the new ESPN on WEEI 850 AM ESPN lineup will be:

6 a.m. to 10 a.m.                      “Mike & Mike in the Morning”
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.                     “The Herd with Colin Cowherd”
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.                       “The Scott Van Pelt Show with Ryen Russillo”
4 p.m. to 7 p.m.                       “ESPN Today”
7 p.m. to 10 p.m.                     “Hill and Schlereth” / ESPN Play-by-Play
10 p.m. to 12 a.m.                   “SportsCenter Tonight”
12 a.m. to 6 a.m.                      “SportsCenter All Night”

Monday, September 17, 2012

Matt Siegel inducted into the Hall

Marconi award-winning radio personality and the host of the top-rated "Matty in the Morning" show in Boston, Matt Siegel,  was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame last Thursday with 13 other radio and television broadcasters. Siegel, 61, has been hosting morning drive on Kiss 108 since 1981. Last summer, he signed a 5-year extension to keep hosting his morning show at Kiss 108 thru 2016.(BRW 7/14/11)

The Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame is located at Massasoit Community College in Brockton.

Here's the official press release from Kiss 108 on Siegel's induction :


MATT SIEGEL INDUCTED INTO MASSACHUSETTS BROADCASTERS HALL OF FAME
 
Boston, Mass. – September 14, 2012 – WXKS-FM KISS 108 announced today that Matt Siegelhas been inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  Siegel was officially inducted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at the Hall of Fame's sixth annual Awards Luncheon and Induction Ceremony at the Quincy Marriott. 

Siegel, the longtime host of Matty in the Morning,has had a major presence in broadcasting since he began his career in Boston in 1977at the legendary WBCN, where he served as mid-day host.  He then became the host of WCVB-TV’s Five All Night, Live All Night,alate night TV talk show and later moved to Los Angeles, working for Warner Brothers Records and also as a voice over talent.  Siegel has been on-air at KISS 108 for more than 32 years and has become the dominate ratings force in the mornings.

“It is a great honor to be included into the same company of radio legends as Dave Maynard, Jess Cain and Charles Laquidara,” said Siegel.  “Being inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame, ranks right up there with winning my two Marconi Awards.”

“Matty has been number one at KISS 108 since Jimmy Carter was President,” said Mary Menna President and Market Manager Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Boston. “We are all so proud of his many accomplishments and also now the recognition amongst his peers.”

“Matt's accomplishments speak for themselves - countless #1 books, Marconi Awards - and now a permanent place among Massachusetts' broadcasting legends,” said Dylan Sprague, Operations Manager Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Boston.   “We're proud of all his accomplishments through his long career here at Kiss 108.  And glad there isn't a "retirement" requirement for being enshrined in this hall of fame - we know Matty has a lot of years left waking up Boston on Kiss!"

The Massachusetts Broadcaster Hall of Fame is an incorporated 501(c)3 organization with nineteen-member Board of Directors, consisting of primarily of broadcaster and other media partners. For more information on the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame visit: massbroadcasterhof.org.

About Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Boston:
Clear Channel Boston owns and operates JAMN 94.5; Kiss 108 FM; Mia; 1200 WXKS and is part of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.   With 239 million monthly listeners in the U.S., Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment serves 150 cities through 850 owned radio stations. The company’s radio stations and content can be heard on AM/FM stations, HD digital radio channels, Sirius/XM satellite, on the Internet at iHeartRadio.com and on the company’s radio station websites, on the iHeartRadiomobile application on iPads and smartphones, and used via navigation systems from TomTom, Garmin and others.  The company’s operations include radio broadcasting, online and mobile services and products, live concerts and events, syndication, music research services and independent media representation.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment is a division of CC Media Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB: CCMO), a leading global media and entertainment company. More information on the company can be found at clearchannel.com, clearchanneloutdoor.com and ccmediaholdings.com.