Thursday, October 24, 2013

WEEI ramps up World Series coverage

WEEI 93.7 is the local home for Boston Red Sox play-by-play and going all in its coverage of the team's from-last-to-first campaign as it tries to bring World Series title back to Boston.

The station's personalities are going on the road with the team n St. Louis this weekend. Beginning on Saturday, October 26, the station’s on-air personalities will join forces with the WEEI Red Sox Radio Network for live coverage leading up to Games 3, 4 and 5.

On Saturday, the live lineup begins at 11:00am with John Dennis, Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane on a special edition of the Dennis & Callahan show. D&C will be followed by Mut & Merloni co-host Mike Mutnansky being joined by Red Sox Insiders Rob Bradford and Alex Speier from 3:00-6:00pm, before giving way to Mike Salk and Michael Holley of the Salk & Holley program, with special guest Lou Merloni, which will lead into the World Series pre-game show with the Red Sox Radio Network’s Dave O’Brien and Joe Castiglione taking listeners up to the first pitch of Game 3 at 8:07.

Sunday’s coverage again begins at high noon with Mutnansky and Minihane, followed by Bradford and Speier at 2:00pm. Dennis & Callahan return at 4:15pm before Salk & Holley return with Merloni at 6:00pm, once again leading up to O’Brien and Castiglione and the pre-game show before Game 4’s 8:15pm first pitch.

Monday’s coverage will resume at 6:00am with the Dennis & Callahan morning show live from St. Louis, followed by Mut & Merloni from 10:00am-2:00pm and an extended edition of Salk & Holley beginning at 2:00 pm, again leading into the pre-game show with O’Brien and Castiglione and the first pitch of Game 5 at 8:07. Mut & Merloni will stay on in St. Louis on Tuesday, October 29, from 10am-2:00pm.

BRW Notebook :

It is the season : Partners in the Twerk-Heard-'Round-the-World, Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke will meet up again in Boston as part of Kiss 108's Jingle Ball 2013 lineup, happening Saturday, December 14 at TD Garden. The pop stars'  performance at the MTV Video Music Awards has been a hot tabloid topic for weeks running - which no doubt helped prompt radio conglomerate Clear Channel to book them for several stations' promotional concerts around the country in December. They will be joined at the Garden by six other acts, including Latino pop star Enrique Iglesias, Chicago rockers Fall Out Boy, "Whistle" rapper Flo Rida, Nickelodeon castoff Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber-like YouTube sensation Austin Mahone and "X-Factor" girl group Fifth Harmony. 

In addition to Boston, the full "Jingle Ball" 2013 Tour will make stops in Dallas; Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York, Washington, D.C., Tampa, and Miami. In addition, this year the tour will feature for the first time a nationally broadcast two-hour special on CW Network/Channel 56 at 8pm on Dec. 18.

This being a full national event, the proceeds from this year's 12-city tour will also benefit the Ryan Seacrest Foundation – $1.00 of each ticket sold will be donated to the non-profit organization, which is dedicated to inspiring today’s youth through entertainment and education focused initiatives. In years past, Kiss 108's Jingle Ball proceeds benefited Toys for Tots Foundation charity. Jing Ball 2013 ticket are priced from $45(balcony) to $270(floor seats) and are available at

Riverfeast : WXRV/92.5 the Rive has announced Guster will perform at the radio station’s 10th annual RiverFeast benefit concert at the Lowell Memorial Audiorium on Saturday, November 16th at 9pm. Ticket info is here. 

Programming notes :
 Oedipus, legendary Boston radio programmer & DJ, who brought his Christmas Eve show to RadioBDC last December now has new weekly show on the alternative rock internet station. The Oedipus Project airs every Saturday morning from 10am to Noon at Jackson Blue who has been with Kiss 108 for the past eight years, last four as its evening host, exited the station two weeks ago. No permanent replacement has been named yet....

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Contract Extension and Hall of Fame nomination for Red Sox voice
This Red Sox season is only getting better for the team's 31-year radio voice Joe Castiglione.

WEEI Red Sox Radio Network today announced that the Connecticut native, Castiglione, 66, has agreed to a two-year contract extension to remain the voice of Boston Red Sox baseball.  He has been calling Red Sox games since 1983 and will continue in his current role alongside Dave O’Brien through the 2015 season, making him the longest tenured announcer in the Red Sox history.

Earlier this week, Castiglione also learned that he’s one of 10 finalists for the MLB Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award, given to baseball broadcasters to honor “long and meritorious service” to their clubs and the game. Rounding out the 2014 nominees (noted with their current or most recent teams) are: Jacques Doucet (Toronto Blue Jays French voice); Ken Harrelson (Chicago White Sox); Bill King (Oakland A’s); Duane Kulper (San Francisco Giants); Eric Nadel (Texas Rangers); Eduardo Ortega (San Diego Padres Spanish voice); Mike Shannon (St. Louis Cardinals); Dewayne Staats (Tampa Bay Rays); and Pete Van Wieren (Atlanta Braves). The winner — who will be voted on by a panel comprised of the 16 living Frick Award recipients — will be announced on December 11th at the Baseball Winter Meetings, and will be officially inducted at ceremonies that will be held during the annual Hall of Fame Weekend at Cooperstown on July 26th, 2014

Known for his signature, “Can you believe it” call, Castiglione has broadcast some of the most memorable moments in Red Sox history from Carl Yastrzemski’s last game in 1983 to Roger Clemens 20 strikeout game, Dave Roberts steal in Game 4 against the Yankees, and the Red Sox’s historic 2004 and 2007 World Series Championships.”

“I am extremely happy to continue in the best job in New England.  I've been blessed to be a part of a signature franchise that has enabled me to be a witness to some of the most historic moments in Red Sox history,” said Joe Castiglione.  “From spring training, to opening day, to that famous final out in St. Louis in 2004 I’ve had the best seats in the house.  I would also like to thank the Red Sox organization, Entercom, my wife Jan, my family, all my past broadcast partners and Dave O’Brien for their loyalty and support they have given me over the years.”

“Joe is more than a just broadcaster; he’s become as iconic as Fenway Park or the Green Monster.  One of the reasons the Boston Red Sox are such a part of the fabric of New England is because of the work and the voice of Joe Castiglione,” said WEEI Brand Manager Kevin Graham in a press release.  “We are proud to announce that this Hall of Fame nominated announcer isn’t going anywhere.  Joe will be right behind home plate calling Red Sox games for another two seasons…and hopefully many more.”

BRW Notebook :

Shutting off the mic : WBZ 1030's overnight host Jen Brien has exited the midnight-5am shift after a little over three months. She joined the station back in late June as the replacement for Steve Leveille, who retired in 2012.(BRW 6/25) Weekend talent Morgan White Jr. will fill in for the rest of the week but the station's website lists "Overnight Talk"  in its weekday schedule.

Executive Turntable : Veteran broadcast marketing executive Bev Tilden has joined Cape Cod Broadcasting as General Manager. Along with corporate marketing stints at AM/FM and Clear Channel Radio, Tilden spent more than 25 years in Boston marketing WXKS/KISS 108 and Sports/Talker WEEI.  Cape Cod Broadcasting owns and operates FM’s WQRC, WKPE, WFCC , and WOCN, along with and The World Classical Network.

Back to school : Boston University's WTBU 89.3 has been nominated for station of the year in the 2013 CMJ College Radio Awards. The station won the award last year.
WTBU is up against the University of Minnesota Twin Cities' KUOM 106.5, Michigan State University's WDBM 88.9 and Seton Hall University's WSOU 89.5.

Top of the class : The Country Radio Seminar (CRS) Board of Directors announced this week that Greater Media's WKLB/Country 102.5's Program Director Mike Brophey has been named among the inductees of the Class of 2014 Country Radio Hall of Fame dinner on Tuesday, February 18th at the Nashville Convention Center. Brophey will be inducted in the radio category along with Larry Wilson of Alpha and L&L Broadcasting. Additionally, Paul Schadt of WKKT in Charlotte, North Carolina and Jim Denny of WFMS in Indianapolis, Indiana have been selected as the 2014 inductees in the On-Air category.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Entercom Boston appoints new market manager
Entercom Boston has hired Phil Zachary as its new VP and Market Manager it was announced this morning. Entercom's Boston cluster includes WEEI/"ESPN on 850", WEEI 93.7, WAAF 107.3/WKAF 97.7 and  WRKO 680.

Zachary replaces Jeff Brown who was appointed VP and Market Manager for Cumulus Media's six-station Atlanta cluster yesterday. Brown was at Entercom for more than 15 years and the past two of them in Boston(BRW 6/4/11).
Brown had a tumultuous run which included departures of WEEI's early bricklayers - afternooner Glenn Ordway and program director Jason Wolfe. Some of the station's veteran sales execs also exited during that period and, this summer, WEEI dropped Boston Celtics broadcast package this in a cost-cutting move. Also under Brown, WEEI's programming moved to FM replacing "Mike 93.7", a variety hits format (BRW 9/7/11). A year later, WEEI's simulcast on AM and FM would end as 850 was turned over to run ESPN Radio's national programming(BRW 9/18/12). The split AM-FM simulcast split was a damaging one. WEEI's total listener share in the market dropped immediately as the ratings gap between it and CBS Radio's SportsHub 98.5 widened.

Zacahary, a 41-year industry veteran, comes to Entercom from Curtis Media Group in Raleigh, NC, where he was President/COO. Prior to joining Curtis Media in 2002, he was VP/Market Manager for CBS Radio Washington DC for six years. He has held similar senior executive positions for HMW Communications and Voyager Communications in Raleigh and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment in New Orleans. Says Entercom Station Group President Weezie Kramer, "Phil is the right person at the right time for Entercom Boston. He is a leader and a listener. He understands the challenges we face but he also sees the tremendous opportunity we have. Phil believes in the strength of our brands, the dynamic nature of our content and the true potential of our team." Said Zachary, "The only reason to leave a great job in radio is for one of the absolute best jobs in radio. Make no mistake -- WAAF, WEEI and WRKO are not only some of the greatest call letters in Boston radio history, but some of the best brands in our industry. This amazing opportunity brings me back to my New England roots and the place I started my radio career. There are great challenges ahead, not to mention best of-class competition, but I look forward to it and can't wait to get started." 

Zachary starts at Entercom Boston October 21. For now, the company has retained the management consultant services of Joel Hollander to assist in the transition. 
Entercom official press release on Zachary's hiring is here.