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.