Wednesday, June 20, 2012

All that Jazz makes way for more news on WGBH

WGBH 89.7, Boston’s public radio station has been building its identity around news and public affairs programming over the past 3 years(BRW 11/30/09), is again beefing up its line-up with more of it at the expense of remaining weekday jazz programming starting next month.

Starting Monday, July 9th, the station will air news and public-affairs programs from 8pm until midnight Monday thru Thursday, thus dropping the evening block of jazz with station's 31-year mainstay Eric Jackson that currently runs in that time period. "Eric In the Evening" will move to a 9pm-Midnight slot on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights beginning Friday, July 13th. Meanwhile, Jackson's fans have already begun a Save Eric in the Evening page on Facebook. One casualty in the move is Friday night's jazz host of "Jazz from Studio 4", Steve Schwartz, who is out of a gig after 27 years with the station. In addition, the Boston Phoenix is also reporting that the weekday overnight jazz programming which includes nationally-syndicated San Francisco-based show hosted by Bob Parlocha will now be only heard on weekend overnights and yet to-be announced news programming will its place turning WGBH 89.7 into 24/5 news/public affairs outlet. The move to eliminate all music on weekdays obviously reinforces WGBH's news branding as it continues to compete against leading FM newser WBUR 90.9. In addition, WGBH is also saving money on music licensing fees as it reduces its music programming by about 40 hours  a week.

Starting Monday July 2nd, the weekday morning news/talk line-up will also shift. NPR's Morning Edition which is currently heard from 7am to 9am and book-ended by PRI's(Public Radio International) "TakeWay" at 6am and 9am will expand to full four hours(6am-10am). Morning Edition will then be followed by The Diane Rehm Show from 10am to 11am and TakeAway will air from 11am to Noon.

Also on July 9th, the local talk from Noon to 2pm will also get re-branded as "Boston Public Radio" and will get a replay in the 9pm-11pm Monday-Thursday slot previously occupied by Eric In the Evening preceded by the World from 8pm to 9pm.  In addition, NPR show "Tell Me More" will now air from 2 to 3pm.

Here's official WGBH release on programming changes coming up in July.

Partners with Marketplace, Expands Morning Edition, Updates Eric in the Evening

(Boston, MA – June 20, 2012) Boston Public Radio, 89.7 WGBH is expanding its programming to include more NPR, more Marketplace, a focused jazz destination and a seamless local talk block from 12Noon-2pm.
  Beginning Monday, July 2, 89.7 WGBH will expand its exploration of economic issues and trends with additional broadcasts from Marketplace, American Public Media’s program focusing on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets. WGBH will begin airing Marketplace, hosted by Kai Ryssdal, weekdays at 6pm, and will expand to four Marketplace Morning Reports instead of its current two. The station also will introduce a daily, four-minute Marketplace Tech Report focusing on the innovation and technology sectors of the economy.
  “Our audience appreciates the high quality and the creative reporting done by Marketplace on weekday mornings during WGBH's Morning Edition,” says Phil Redo, 89.7 Managing Director. “As we add the fullMarketplace report at 6pm, WGBH Radio now will be the place where Boston listenersturn for relevant economic news, to start and finish their day.”
  The expanded partnership between WGBH and Marketplace will include a Marketplace reporter actively working with the WGBH editorial team to provide more locally focused coverage on a weekly basis, allowing both entities to enhance their coverage in Boston, a key economic region of the US.
  In addition, WGBH Radio is expanding the popular program Morning Edition to air an hour earlier, beginning weekdays at 6am, and run an hour longer until 10am. WGBH's Morning Edition includes content generated by NPR as well as local news and feature reports produced by WGBH News.
           “We’re pleased with the listener response to WGBH becoming ‘Boston Public Radio,’ ”Redo adds. “Our emphasis on local coverage of innovation, health care, the MBTA and Occupy Boston is part of our vision to provide listeners with a deeper exploration of the many issues facing our region.”
           The focus on important topics with a diversity of voices will continue as 89.7’s mid-day centerpiece Boston Public Radio, beginning Monday, July 9, with a seamless two hours of local talk led by Callie Crossley, who will bejoined by Emily Rooney, Kara Miller and other WGBH contributors. The program will reflect that 89.7 truly is ‘Boston Public Radio’ by drawing on an array of stories, and storytellers, from across our community that allows for expanded conversations of the day's top stories and showcases a breadth of opinions and opinion-makers.
           This summer also will bring a new focus on jazz on 89.7 as the program Eric in the Evening, featuring Eric Jackson the “dean of Boston jazz,” moves to weekends airing from 9pm-12midnight Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.
           The 89.7 schedule will continue to evolve, reflecting listener feedback and drawing on the resources of Boston’s only combined multi-platform (radio, TV, Web) newsroom.
           The 89.7 WGBH weekday schedule changes include:
  • Marketplace Morning Report airing at 5:50am, 6:50am, 7:50am, 9:50am with Marketplace airing 6-6:30pm
  • Morning Edition expanding to 6-10am
  • The Takeaway airing daily 11am-12Noon
  • Boston Public Radio (local talk format with Callie Crossley, Emily Rooney, Kara Miller, Jared Bowen, Adam Reilly and others exploring local news, politics, culture and technology) airing from 12Noon-2pm with a daily replay from 9pm-11pm
  • Eric in the Evening airing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 9pm-12midnight
  • Tell Me More (NPR program hosted by Mishel Martin, examining U.S. and international news, ideas and people; its range of topics covers politics, faith and spirituality, the family, finance, arts and culture and lifestyle) airing 2-3pm
  • The World airing at 8-9pm

About WGBH
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including MasterpieceAntiques RoadshowFrontlineNovaAmerican ExperienceArthurCurious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBH 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater BostonBasic Black, and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston Public Radio; Classical New England; andWCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (including The World), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS LearningMedia, a free online service providing the nation’s educators with curriculum-based digital content to meet 21st-century learners’ needs), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys,Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards…even two Oscars. Find more information at

BRW Notebook :

"Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see" : With WFNX 101.7 ceasing to exist as a broadcast station in just about 4 weeks(July 21), this may be a small clue as to what the new format might be on 101.7 frequency come later this summer. A recently-registered domain name points to Clear Channel's low-powered AM station WKOX/Mia 1430's website. The AM station has been playing Spanish Top40 hits since September 2009. Since WFNX sale was first announced back in mid-May, there has been no official announcement from Clear Channel as to what the new format is going to be but this new domain name may or may not be an indication that they're planning to bring Mia's format to FM dial. Stay tuned...

New MD at 'UMB : Non-commercial Triple A(Adult Album Alternative) WUMB 91.9 has named Jay Moberg as its new Music Director. Moberg who who also hosts an afternoon drive show(3-7pm) has been with WUMB for the last four years. He replaces John Laurenti who left to work morning drive at WODS 103.3 in early May(BRW 5/2).

In a statement, WUMB's Director of Administration & Operations/COO Patty Domeniconi  said, "Over the past year and a half Jay has established beneficial relationships with music companies, performers and producers and has maintained a strong presence for WUMB in the music industry. He has demonstrated extensive knowledge of the full spectrum of Folk, and Americana music and artists and played a key role in the review and assessment of WUMB's music library. His broad knowledge of music and commitment to research and acquire music from a range of familiar and unfamiliar performers has been, and will continue to be an excellent asset to the station. In this new role, Jay will manage all areas of the music department, as well as maintain his ongoing contact with artists and music company representatives to obtain new music from a diverse variety of roots based genres and labels. Please join me in congratulating Jay on this achievement!"

Car Talk slams on the brakes : Alas, world, it's curtains for the popular NPR radio show Car Talk. Ray and Tom Magliozzi, better known as Click and Clack, the Tappett Brothers, say that as of September they'll park the show in the garage after 25 years (35 with originating station Boston's WBUR 90.9). Tom's 74, Ray 63. Reruns of their 1,200-plus NPR shows will be on many stations, but no new shows. Four million listeners over 600 stations now will have to figure out their car troubles themselves or go to Youtube.

Dancing His Way into the Hall of Fame : As mentioned in this space previously, the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame will present its annual Gala Awards Ceremony and Luncheon on Thursday, September 13 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM at the Boston Marriott Quincy Hotel.  Hosted by WBZ 1030’s Jordan Rich, the Hall of Fame will induct fourteen of Massachusetts’ most popular and respected radio and television broadcasters into the Hall of Fame. 

This year's event, will be an exciting one for sure as the Emmy-Award winning host of Dancing with the Stars, Tom Bergeron, makes an appearance at long last, five years after he was honored in 2007. Bergeron began his broadcasting career in 1972 in his hometown of Haverhill on WHAV and later spent time in New Hampshire radio and at New Hampshire Public Television before spending over a decade with Boston's WBZ-TV4 and WBZ 1030 in Boston before leaving for Hollywood TV fame in 1994.

Ticket for the Hall of Fame awards ceremony are currently on sale and more info is here

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