Sunday, September 7, 2014

Newest Boston country station adds local on-air staff

Boston's new hit country radio station WBWL/101.7 The Bull has added a couple of new local on-air staffers. Clear Channel-owned station has named Lance Houston host The Bull's midday(10am-2pm) shift and oversee its programming.  For the past year and a half, Houston worked as the program director at Clear Channel's country station WPOC in Baltimore. Prior to that, he spent six years as assistant program director and afternoon drive personality at WUBL in Atlanta. Houston began his Country music radio career in 1995 at Clear Channel's WTXT in Tuscaloosa, AL. His past experience includes roles as program director of WBAM in Montgomery, AL and WYGC in Gainesville, FL. “I am excited to be back riding the Bull," said Houston in a press release. “I’m ready to lead the team in Boston into a battle, much like we did successfully in Atlanta. America’s greatest city deserves a young and hip Country station.

In addition to Houston,  Jessica Callahan will join The Bull starting Tuesday, Sept. 9 as afternoon drive(2pm-7pm) host The station has been running commercial-free since its June launch added the syndicated The Bobby Bones Show on August 18th. 

Recently, Callahan has been the midday on-air personality at WXXX, 95 Triple X, in Burlington, Vermont and additionally was voice tracking middays at WHYA, Y101 in Hyannis. She is a native of Marlborough and graduate of Framingham State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. “I am beyond excited to be heading home to Boston and working with the Clear Channel Boston radio team,” said Callahan via press release. “Thank you to Lance Houston and Dylan Sprague for making my radio dream come true, can't wait to crack the mic on Boston's New Hit Country 101.7 The Bulll." Callahan's past stops included  WWRX/New London, CT and WXLO 104.5 in Worcester.

The Bull's evening shift(7pm-12a) is currently voice-tracked by Atlanta-based Scotty K. He works as a morning host at Clear Channel's Power 96.1.

As mentioned here earlier this summer, Clear Channel/Boston has submitted a proposal to the FCC to upgrade Bull's signal by using a non-directional antenna system and downgrading two of its other signals in the region, involving stations in Providence and Cape Cod.  The resulting changes would increase WBWL's coverage in Boston. See the full proposal here.

While the Bull came out of the gate with its horns blazing in July, the just-released August ratings survey shows the station cooled off a bit in its second full month on the air. Greater Media's country authority WKLB 102.5 jumped from 6.0 rating(4th overall) in July to 6.3 in August(3rd overall). 'KLB added 39,000 weekly listeners to 912,400, The Bull's rating stayed the same at 2.6(the station actually drooped from 16th to 18) but added 61,200 listeners to 464,000.


BRW Notebook :

Radio Turntable : Boston Herald’s one-year old digital radio station Boston Herald Radio has expanded onto....terrestrial radio. As of last week, it has begun simulcasting its “Morning Meeting” show with Hilary Chabot and Jaclyn Cashman on WUFC 1510 from 9-10am weekdays. More of Boston Herald Radio's programming is expected to show up on 1510 in coming weeks/months.....Kendall Stewart has moved from WXRV 92.5/The River to Umass-Boston's WUMB 91.5 where she will serve as Assistant Music Director.  At River 92.5 she worked as an assistant program director. Prior to The River, she was music director and promo Director at Emerson College's WERS 88.9.... Former WEEI 93.7 and WRKO 680's VP/Programming and Operations, Jason Wolfe has joined The Financial Exchange Radio Network in Needham as its chief media and marketing strategist. According to Boston Business Journal, Wolfe's new job entails expanding the reach of the company’s flagship show, “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong and Kim Carrigan,” and developing new business partnerships to generate a wider audience for the show. Wolfe had already been working with Armstrong on a consulting basis for several months. Armstrong will also continue his part-time role as chief content officer for Sportstalkboston.com, which features an online radio show hosted by Glenn Ordway...Speaking of Wolfe, it's widely rumored that  his former colleague, WRKO 680's Howie Carr, will end his 20-year afternoon run at the Boston heritage talk station and move over to Armstrong's radio operation where he will base his new syndicated show which expected to launch in early October. Of course, it's very possible that WRKO will still run Carr in a syndicated form as its Boston affiliate if an affiliation deal is struck but don't be surprised if he moves the show to WUFC 1510(with a simulcast on Boston Herald Radio) or WXKS/Bloomberg 1200. WRKO has already placed help-wanted ads in the trade publications in the event Carr doesn't come back to them in syndication...John Dennis and Gerry Callahan, part of the long-running morning show "Dennis and Callahan" on WEEI 93.7, have been extended long-term(3 years) with the sports outlet...WEEI also greatly beefed up its Patriots and NFL coverage this fall....Boston's AMP 103.3 is looking for a new program director. After two years as AMP's PD(BRW 9/10/12), Dan Mason Jr. had left the building for a new job in the Tampa Bay market where he's now Operations Manager for Cox Media Group's WSUN-FM 97X, WPOI-FM HOT 101.5, and 102.5 The Bone WHPT-FM and Director of Branding and Programming for Hot 101.5....Mike Thomas who heads local CBS Radio Boston programming and oversees WBZ/98.5 the SportsHub and WZLX 100.7 has been has named vice president of sports programming at CBS Radio. Thomas joins Mark Chernoff in overseeing CBS Radio's nearly 30 Sports-formatted stations and CBS Sports Radio national network. Thomas has been porogram director for WZLX since 2006 and 98.5 The Sports Hub since 2009.  He will continue to serve as CBS Radio's head of programming in Boston while also guiding the on-air presentation and strategic planning for 98.5 The Sports Hub and 100.7 Classic Rock.

Tradition! : Eddie Andelman, the pioneer of sports talk radio and hot dog aficionado of sorts around these parts, will be inducted into New England Sports Museum on September 17th at 5:30...Andelman,77,  who hasn't technically retired from the business has begun host 1-hour Friday show on Boston Herald Radio last month. "Anything Goes" is heard on Fridays from Noon to 1pm. If you can't listen live, the show's episodes will be archived here.