Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sheppard signs back on at WEEI this weekend


It's back to square one for Pete Sheppard as he is returning to WEEI 93.7/850, where he first developed his 'voice of the fan' persona 15 years ago. Sheppard made the announcement himself on the Big Show this past week.


Starting this weekend, he'll have a new part-time role in station's line-up. His first show back is Sunday(3/12) which will air from Noon to 3pm.


Sheppard first joined the station as a part-timer back in 1994 before being named as a co-host/sports flasher on WEEI's "Big Show" in 1999.  His contract wasn't renewed in early 2010 due to corporate budget cuts.(BRW 1/20/10). Sheppard also served as host of station's "Real Postgame" show during New Engaldn Patriots season. After Sheppard's departure from WEEI, this role was handled by Butch Stearns for the past two seasons. The sports flasher role on the "Big Show" is currently handled by Mike Adams, the host of nighttime "Planet Mikey" show.


It's not yet clear what WEEI's management may have in store with Sheppard's return and recent contract extension for longtime veteran Dale Arnold, but for now WEEI's weekend shifts will have a very familiar sound to them according to published reports.


BRW Notebook :


Radio spin-outs : WXRV/River 92.5's longtime midday host(10am-3pm) Lisa Garvey was let go this week. Garvey, a veteran local radio jock, also hosted eclectic "Brunch by the River"(9am-1pm) on Sundays. Garvey's departure follows retirement of veteran afternoon drive personality Bob Stuart last June and budget axing of program director Katie Wilber in early January.


In Memoriam : An innovative and influential Top40 radio programmer Steve Rivers passed away at the age 58 earlier this week. Some may recall Rivers being involved in one of the most electric local Top 40 turf wars in the history of Boston radio. 


Way before current WJMN/Jamn 94.5 was playing hip-hop, it was known as WZOU and had a similar Top40 playlist as its current-day sister station WXKS/Kiss 108.  In early 1990, Steve Rivers was hired as WZOU's program director. As soon as he arrived in Boston from LA, Rivers he took a direct aim at Kiss 108 - he had a plane fly over Kiss108's annual all-day concert at Great Woods Center(now Comcast Center), urging listeners to turn to a "real" station on the way home and listen to WZOU. His tactics seemed to work. WZOU made a huge leap in the ratings while Kiss 108's numbers slid.


After a year of chipping away at Kiss 108's ratings lead, then-station's owner Richie Balsbaugh was so impressed that he grabbed Rivers away to program Kiss in early 1991. That meant legendary Boston radio personality/programmer Sunny Joe White was out of a job at Kiss 108, but as the battle of the Top 40 stations rolled on, White went to work at WZOU a few months later.


In a matter of months, Rivers had Kiss 108 back on top and never looking back. With Kiss regaining local Top40 supremacy under Rivers, things eventually led to WZOU changing formats and getting new call letters(WJMN) and, of course, sale to Kiss 108's parent company Pyramid Broadcasting.

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