Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Santos is expected for return on Pats call for his final season

Local sports broadcasting legend Gil Santos who came down with a serious case of pneumonia requiring hospitalization shortly after his call of Patriots loss in the Super Bowl followed by long stay at a rehab facility is expected to be behind the mic when the team's preseason opens on August 9th in Foxborough.  According to a published report in the Brockton Enterprise, the 2012 season will be Santos' finale. The same report also quotes a source  saying that Santos' on-air partner for the past 21 years, Gino Cappelletti, 78, will retire and be replaced SportsHub 98.5's midday co-host and Patriots Radio's reporter Scott Zolak.  There has been no official announcement on Santos' and Cappelletti's status from the Patriots or team's radio rights holder WBZ/98.5 the Sports Hub but one is expected any day now.

In 46 years as a local sports play-by-play voice(Patriots radio, Celtics TV and Boston College radio),  Santos, 72, has never spent any time away from his work. In his 36th year as Patriots radio voice, Santos is tied with Philadelphia Eagles radio broadcaster Merrill Reese for longest tenure in the NFL.

BRW Notebook :

Schedule change : After a 7-year Sunday night run on WRKO 680, "Pundit Review", a local and live program hosted by a politics/news junkie blogger Kevin Whalen aired its last show on July 15. The radio show was based on The Pundit Review blog debuted in May 2005. You can hear the last episode here. Infomercial programming will now take over in that time slot.

Loveline re-enters : WAAF 107.3/97.7 has added "Loveline" with Dr. Drew Pinsky, Mike Catherwood and Simone Bienne to its evening programming lineup as of last week. The nationally-syndicated radio show, which tackles listeners questions about love and relationships with the help of its expert hosts and advice from a regular lineup of popular guests, now airs weeknights from 9-11pm on 1-day delay(the show airs live Sun-Thursday). The show had aired on WAAF in 2003-2004. It was previously heard in Boston on the defunct WBCN 104.1(1999-2000) and soon-to-be-defunct WFNX 101.7(1997-1999,2007-20009).

Sports stations battle it out while Top 40 and classic rock cater to respective genders :  The baseball season start and the basketball season finish were formidable factors in rearranging the Boston radio ratings chart for WBZ 98.5/The Sports Hub and WEEI 93.7/Sports Radio in  the all-important spring Arbitron ratings survey covering months of April-May-June. Bruins' early exit hurt WBZ 98.5's ratings momentum captured in a dramatic Stanley Cup win last June. At the same time, Celtics' gritty run into this year's NBA's Eastern Conference finals against the dreaded Miami Heat, certainly energized WEEI 93.7 a great deal and helped it to overtake WBZ 98.5 in the battle over 25-54 male listeners.  In any event, the two sports talkers are both claiming victory - WEEI is clearly the fan favorite with the older males while the SportsHub seems to be the choice among the younger male 18-34 demographics.
While the sports talkers duked it out, WXKS/Kiss 108 stood pat in the #1 position among all listeners over 6 years old, the advertiser-friendly 25-54 group and, of course, its target demo of females 25-54. On the male listener side of things, 25-54 demographic preferrd classic rocker WZLX 100.7 which finished first.

The Alphabet Soup :  Alternative rocker WFNX 101.7's format is reportedly going off the air at 7pm this Friday(7/20) as it's in the process of being purchased by Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. While Clear Channel is awaiting Federal Communications Commission's $14.5 million sale approval,(update : FCC has granted sale approval earlier today(7/17)) the company lawyers have requested a new set of call letters for the 101.7 frequency. According to a report by NorthEast RadioWatch, Clear Channel filed an FCC application last Friday to change FCC-issued call letters from WFNX to WHBA. The new calls may or may not be a clue to the new format which will be launched early next week. While there's still no official word on what the next format to replace alternative rock on 101.7 frequency after 29 1/2 years is going to be, but feel free to take a poll(a the top of BRW's main page) with your best guess.

Where are they now? :  Fans of veteran radio personality Lisa Garvey who left WXRV/River 92.5 four months ago(BRW 3/16) can catch her work  at Salvatore's in Lawrence on Friday, August 17th, from 8 to midnight. Staying true to the eclectic mix of her former radio show, she'll be spinning an old school dance party  consisting of jazz, blues but mostly classic soul/R&B/funk tune. You can also follow Garvey on Twitter at @lisagarvey11

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