Friday, November 21, 2014

Magic 106.7 turns on Christmas tunes starting today

Katy Perry and Maroon 5, take a break. Johnny Mathis, Alvin and all of your chipmunks: You’re on.

For the third year in a row, WMJX/Magic 106.7 will switch to 24/7 Christmas music this holiday season. The annual all-Christmas format flip will happen during Friday's(11/21) afertnoon drive at 5pm.(No, no somersaults or cartwheels are involved — unless listeners care to partake). 

The station is tentatively scheduled to go its regular adult contemporary programming, midnight on Christmas Day.

And, on a related note, this December about 500 radio stations around the country will switch to playing only Christmas music, nearly double the number from 10 years ago according to a recent NY Times article.

BRW Notebook :

Don't call it a comeback...yet, but...: Technically, Glenn "Big O" Ordway and his Big Show had never left.  Since being dumped by WEEI 93.7 in February 2013, he had re-launched his uber popular daily talk brand via on-line, satellite radio and even added a couple of regional terrestrial outlets(980 AM in Lowell and 1250/900 AM in Manchester NH) in the process. The Herald who had Ordway being wooed back to 'EEI by its market manager earlier this year has another speculation story by its versatile gossip columnist. The Inside Track  reported last weekend that Big O may be destined to land back at WEEI this winter.(Ed. Note : I'm mighty skeptical but then again I never saw someone as inept, plastic and bland as Mike Salk  ever replacing Ordway. So what do I know?! Sure, Dale Arnold working without a contract and Michael Holley's deal expiring in early February sets up a nice comeback story for Big O but let's see what happens.).

Radio Loft : Speaking of comebacks, 80's local TV icon Dana "Movie Loft" Hersey is on the air with a morning show at North Shore 104.9/WBOQ in Beverly. Hersey took over the morning drive duties after Charlie Curtis retired from radio in late summer. This is Hersey's second time around on 104.9. He was part of WBOQ's morning show back in the early 2000's when the station played broadway and showtunes. And, yes, that's also Dana Hersey(with or without that ugly 1980's sweater) voicing new sounders for Howie Carr's self-syndicated radio show which debuted this week to not so warm welcome from local media observers.

Friday, November 14, 2014

WRKO makes it official : Carr has left the parking lot after 20 years in the afternoon drive

Earlier this week, Entercom Boston's management has officially announced what has been known for weeks and months - after 20 years at WRKO 680, Howie Carr will no longer be heard on Boston's Talk Station. As only reported in this space previously, Howie Carr and WRKO couldn't agree on the affiliation deal which would've kept his new syndicated show on the air at 680. Carr wanted a big chunk of cash for affiliation rights and retain all the advertising revenue from the network's commercial breaks. Pardon the French, but WRKO told him to go screw. And, so Carr signed off WRKO last Friday(11/7) for the very last time.(He is on vacation all this week). His name and all the related material will disappear from station's website( over the weekend.

The station hasn't named a full-time replacement yet but will rotate fill-in hosts over the holiday season, typically a very slow time of year for radio programmers and any kind of major personnel moves. Expect a new permanent host to be named after the 1st of the year.

As for Carr, he finally got wish. He wanted out of WRKO for a long, long time and he will now have a full control of the show which will still be regionally syndicated with the hopes of finding more national affiliates. And, yes, he was WRKO's 'bread and butter' for two decades but the radio game has changed a lot in recent years. AM dial where WRKO resides has become irrelevant with many younger listeners(under 59) who are heavily courted by local and national advertisers. Older listeners(ages 59 and over) who make up a big percentage of talk radio audience and AM audience have minimal value in the eyes and ears of advertising executives. While at WRKO, Carr often joked on the air that he couldn't wait to get the hell off AM radio station which required listeners to wrap tinfoil around their antenna to be picked up after dark. With that being said, Carr is no dummy. He still knows where his bread is being buttered - in the AM radio universe. So that's where you'll find him come next Monday(11/17).
More specifically, from 3 to 7 pm on WUFC 1510, which is expected to change its name to legendary WMEX call letters(if you're under 40 you have zero or very little memory of the station that played Top 40 music in the 50's, 60's and 70's on the same 1510 frequency). And if Carr thought WRKO's signal had after-dark issues, wait until December 10 when sunset  in Boston will be at 4:09pm and WUFC's night-time signal points directly at the Atlantic Ocean.

Carr will officially announce his new Boston signal on Saturday via his website( Carr will host the new show out of Money Matters Radio studios in Needham. His longtime WRKO producer Sandy will join him in his new syndicated venture. On his first show on Monday, Carr will also reunite with former WRKO staffer "VB"(Doug Goudie) who was let go by Fox 25 earlier this week. It is also expected that during winter months Carr will be doing more shows out of his home in Florida.

BRW Notebook :

More afternoon changes at WEEI : WEEI 93,7 has announced the addition of Jerry Thornton as on-air host and digital columnist and blogger for the station's popular Web site Thornton had been active on the station as a part-time program host and was a frequent contributor to He'll now play a permanent role as the third member of WEEI's "Dale & Holley" afternoon drive show. Expect more announcements to come regarding that time slot as Arnold is currently working without a contract and Holley's deal ends in February.

Remembering :  Tom Magliozzi, one-half of the "Car Talk" duo, passed away after complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Tom, 77, along with his co-host brother Ray, began the program in 1977 at WBUR-90.9. They took it to the NPR network, and a national audience, a decade later.

The brothers retired from the show in 2012, and reruns of the show have aired on NPR stations since then.

There's money in radio : Two radio personalities have made Forbes' list of the highest-paid entertainers — Howard Stern and Glenn Beck.

Stern tied former "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell at the top of the list with $95 million.

According to Forbes, "Stern makes most of his money from his lucrative contract with SiriusXM, but he gets an estimated $15 million per year from his work as a judge on ['America's Got Talent'].

Stern's contract with Sirius is up in 2015, but the company's CFO says he expects Sirius and Stern will be able to hammer out a new agreement."

Beck was ranked third on Forbes' list with $90 million. "Though it may seem like the right-wing talk show host has faded from the scene, he's actually been as busy as ever at his online site, 'The Blaze,' " says Forbes. In Beck, Boston is currently heard from 10am to Noon on Howie Carr's new home - AM 1510.