Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Radio shows great strength amidst horrific Marathon tragedy

Unprecedented event called for an unprecedented radio response on Patriots Day. And, Boston radio station community was there.

On one of the darkest days in the history of a great American city, Boston radio did what radio does best - go local and live. Stations offered continuous coverage following the Monday afternoon explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Greater Media Boston, which didn't have any employees at the race when the explosions occurred, ramped up local coverage. WBQT/Hot 96.9" morning hosts Baltazar and Pebbles returned to the station Monday afternoon to provide coverage. Afternoon hosts Steve Kelly from Country 102.5/WKLB and Julie Devereaux from Classic Hits 105.7/WROR both provided information to listeners. Country 102.5’s morning drive co-host Lori Grande returned to the station in the afternoon and helped with the coverage. Magic 106.7/WMJX kept with music but began providing updates as new information became available. In addition, Greater Media Boston stations have suspended all theirs contests and promotional events this week and will donate that money to charity.

Entercom Boston’s sports talker WEEI 93.7 and news/talker WRKO 680 broke into their regular programming just before 3pm when first word of the story broke. WEEI 93.7 switched to the simulcast of the WRKO’s Howie Carr Show which also fed to the rest of WEEI’s regional sports network. Carr was also heard on his show’s own regional network of stations. Entercom’s rocker WAAF 107.3 opened up phone lines to listeners, took song dedications and provided extensive news updates.

Shortly after 3pm, entire CBS Boston Radio cluster which includes classic rocker WZLX 100.7, sports talker WBZ 98.5/The Sports Hub, top40 WODS/103.3 AMP Radio and “Hot AC” WBMX/Mix 104.1 began carrying sister station’s news/talk WBZ 1030’s outstanding coverage. The simulcast continued until midnight.

Clear Channel Boston’s stations top40 WXKS/Kiss 108, WJMN/Jamn 94-5 and WEDX/Evolution 101.7 tried to balance music and information by airing frequent news updates and news feeds from its own news/info gathering service TotalTrafficNetwork and WCVB-TV5.

Local public radio news stations WBUR 90.9 and WGBH 89.7 covered the event with its staffs and via NPR network late into the night.

In addition, on Monday afternoon(4/22), all major Boston radio stations are planning a moment of silence to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. The 60-second tribute will air at 2:50pm -- one week from the moment of the detonation of the first bomb.

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