Saturday, May 23, 2015

WRKO and Rush Limbaugh part ways for good

Rush Limbaugh, who’s been a fixture on WRKO 680 for 19 out of last 21 years, is about to get the bum’s rush from Entercom-owned news/talk station.

A statement released by country's largest radio program supplier, Premiere Networks, earlier this week stated that the network and WRKO 680 have been “unable to reach terms” on a renewal deal for The Rush Limbaugh Show to continue airing on the "Boston's Talk Station" past the current three-year deal that will end this summer. Premiere also indicated that it will be announcing Rush's new Boston outlet very shortly. It's widely expected that WMEX 1510 will become his next stop on Boston dial. Here is the official Premiere statement :

"We were unable to reach agreeable terms for The Rush Limbaugh Show to continue on WRKO. A final broadcast date will be announced in the near future .. we look forward to announcing exciting news for our Boston listeners soon.”

A polarizing national figure, Limbaugh, has been on Boston airwaves since May 1, 1991 when his nationally syndicated show debut on WHDH 850(now ESPN 850). In August 1994, when WHDH was acquired by WRKO's former owner American Radio System,  the two talk stations were merged and Rush found himself on WRKO. 

In March 2010, Clear Channel(now IheartMedia) attempted to launch a local talk competitor WXKS/Talk 1200. Rush's syndicator, Clear Channel/IheartMedia-owned Premiere moved the show from WRKO to WXKS to anchor the new Talk 1200 line-up which also included local personalities Jeff Katz and Jay Severin(BRW 3/2/10). However, after two and a half years of dismal ratings and limited signal range Clear Channel dumped Talk 1200 and Rush landed back on WRKO on August 21, 2012. 

Entercom has not made an official statement on Rush's situation but a number of sources familiar with the situation tell BRW that with the decision to part with Rush was based on the show’s diminished ratings and failure to generate advertising revenue for the station. WRKO is planning to re-organize its line-up as the result of Rush's imminent departure. A new morning news-driven show anchored by veteran Boston media personality Kim Carrigan is being planned and will debut in early June. The move will shift current morning agitator Jeff Kuhner to Noon slot replacing Limbaugh.



BRW Notebook :

Names and voices : Youtube personality Joe "The Guy From Boston" Ligotti has
been named the new morning host at 1510 WMEX which will relaunch its year-old talk format on Tuesday, June 2nd. Ligotti was last heard on now-defunct WTKK 96.9 every Saturday from May 2008 to December 2012 and will now be hosting 6am-10am weekday show on 1510. Boston Herald's "Morning Meeting" will continue from 10am to Noon. The station which is now under new management is expected to announce another local personality in its afternoon drive. Earlier this spring there were whispers that former WRKO/WTKK personality Michele McPhee may also be headed to 1510 to launch a new show. Stay tuned.

Dennis returns : John Dennis, of "The Dennis And Callahan Show" on WEEI 93.7, returned to the show Monday morning(5/18) following 35-days of rehab. Upon his return he said that while he was usually the one to start each day's discussion, for the first time he really didn't know what to say. "I enjoy setting the table I enjoy sort of setting up what we are going to attempt to discuss the next hours and may be always to the broadcast day hoping that what I offer may be a bit relevant ... Today I gotta be honest with you for the first time in seventeen and every eighteen years I'm not exactly sure what to say."

Thursday, May 14, 2015

New nighttime jock joins The Bull 101.7

Colton Bradford has joined WBWL/ 101.7 The Bull as the station's new 7pm-12am host. He arrives from iHeartMedia's sister station WKSJ 94.9(KSJ 95) in Mobile, Alabama. In addition to radio, Bradford has done lots of TV work — hosting a handful of entertainment shows and serving as a part-time news anchor and reporter.

Bradford replaces Atlanta-based Scotty K, who has been voicetracking nights on the Bull since last September and will continue be heard on the station during weekends and as a fill-in. The 22-year Alabama native, Bradford, will be voice-tracking his new show from Mobile for the next two weeks but will be locally based at Bull's Medford studios starting Tuesday, May 26th.

Bull's new line-up is the syndicated Bobby Bones Show(6am-10am), Jessica Callahan(10-3pm), program director Lance Houston(3pm-7pm) and Colton Bradford(7pm-Midnight). 

Here the official iHeartMedia Boston's press release on Bradford's hiring :

101.7 THE BULL WELCOMES COLTON BRADFORD AS NIGHTTIME HOST OF BOSTON’S NEW HIT COUNTRY STATION

Boston– May 11, 2015 –WBWL-FM 101.7 The Bull, Boston's New Hit Country, announced that Colton Bradford will be the new night host each weekday from 7p.m. to midnight beginning today.

Colton’s show will add another live and local Boston show to 101.7 The Bull’s current lineup.  Colton’s energy and fresh approach to hosting nighttime radio will keep Boston listeners tuned in with more of today’s commercial free new hit country, along with unique opportunities to get to know their favorite country stars more intimately.

“We can’t wait for Colton to hop on The Bull here in Boston,” said Lance Houston, Program Director for 101.7 The Bull.   “He is a rising star in the country music industry and his passion for entertaining is nothing short of incredible.”

“Colton fits 101.7 The Bull perfectly!  Just like us, he is young, energetic, passionate with a unique ability to communicate and relate to Boston’s new country fans.” said Dylan Sprague, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Boston.

Previously, Colton was the night host and the morning show producer and at WKSJ, 95-KSJ in Mobile, Alabama.

Recently, he also hosted several local entertainment television shows, and was a  part-time news anchor and reporter for WPMI and WJTC where he covered entertainment and lifestyle stories.

Colton has contributed to several of NBC News features from The TODAY Show to MSNBC and more, as well as featured in the pages of ACCESS Magazine, and Microsoft online.

Colton works closely with schools to develop student led initiatives and serves as one of three national mentors for the GenYouth Foundation, the flagship of the NFL's "Fuel Up to Play 60" program. He is also a graduate of University of South Alabama.

"I’m so excited to be on-air in one of America's greatest cities and to call it home," said Colton. "I have to thank all of my incredible mentors for helping my dreams come true and I'm ready to bring Boston’s country music fans closer to all their favorite stars!  Horns up!"

Fans can also listen to 101.7 The Bull on the station's website, www.thebull1017.com, as well as on iHeartRadio.com and the iHeartRadio mobile app, iHeartMedia’s all-in-one music streaming and digital radio service. iHeartRadio is available across web, mobile phones, tablets, automotive partners, smart TVs, gaming devices and more.

iHeartRadio is free for listeners to use and delivers everything listeners want in an all-in-one platform: Instant access to thousands radio stations from across the country, user-created Custom Stations inspired by a favorite artist or song, thousands of curated digital stations "Perfect For" any mood or activity, and a Podcast feature giving users access to the best on-demand news, talk and entertainment content available today.  To see all available platforms and to download the app, visit iHeartRadio.com/apps.

About iHeartMedia Boston:
iHeartMedia Boston owns and operates WXKS-FM, WXKS-AM, WXKS-HD, WJMN-FM, WBWL-FM, WKOX-AM and is part of iHeartMedia.  With 245 million monthly listeners in the U.S., 97 million monthly digital uniques and 196 million monthly consumers of its Total Traffic and Weather Network, iHeartMedia has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America.  It serves over 150 markets through 858 owned radio stations, and the company’s radio stations and content can be heard on AM/FM, HD digital radio, satellite radio, on the Internet at iHeartRadio.com and on the company’s radio station websites, on the iHeartRadio mobile app, in enhanced auto dashes, on tablets and smartphones, and on gaming consoles. 
 


iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s digital radio platform, is the No. 1 all-in-one digital audio service with over 500 million downloads; it reached its first 20 million registered users faster than any digital service in Internet history and reached 60 million users faster than any other radio or digital music service and even faster than Facebook.  The company’s operations include radio broadcasting, online, mobile, digital and social media, live concerts and events, syndication, music research services and independent media representation.  For more company information visit iHeartMedia.com


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BRW Notebook :

Quick Hits : The latest Nielsen Audio ratings have been released for the Boston radio market for April survey period, which covered the dates of March 26 thru April 22nd.  Greater Media's WROR 105.7, the classic hits station, continues to run hot with its third consecutive #1 finish.  In the crowded news/talk space : WBZ/News Radio 1030 was hanging tough with the superb coverage of two major highly-anticipated criminal trials. WBZ finished in a 3-way tie for 2nd place with music heavyweights Magic 106.7 and Kiss 108. Kind of a big deal : WGBH 89.7 pulled ahead of its public radio sibling WBUR 90.9 as Boston University-owned station took a big hit in the April survey.(WBUR lost 83,000 weekly listeners from March while WGBH gained 42,000). Conservative talker WRKO 680 had a full month of Howie Carr under its belt which resulted in a respectable gain of 20,000 more weekly listeners . The station is also expecting bigger and better things ahead with soon-to-be-reconfigured line-up which is expected to feature former TV personality Kim Carrigan....The country music standings remained relatively unchanged - stalwart champ WKLB 102.5 was #5 while challenger WBWL 101.7 was at #21. However, both stations gained more listeners - WKLB rose from 814,000 to 840,000 and WBWL went from 357,000 to 394,00...In the battle of sports talkers, WEEI 93.7 surged from 4.1% in March to 4.9% in April while WBZ 98.5/The Sports Hub stayed flat at 4.7% as both the Bruins and Celtics provided no competitive edge and faded away very quickly this spring.

Market share by company: Greater Media - 26.5%; CBS Radio - 23%; iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel) - 11.4%; Entercom -11.1%

Rank Station Format % of Audience in April 2015
1 WROR 105.7 Classic Hits 7.4
2(tie) WBZ/News Radio 1030 News/Talk 6.3
2(tie) WMJX/Magic 106.7 Adult Contemporary Hits 6.3
2(tie) WXKS/Kiss 108 Contemporary Hit Radio/Top 40 6.3
5 WKLB/Hit New Country 102.5 Country 5.4
6 WEEI/Sports Radio 93.7 Sports/Red Sox 4.9
7 WBZ/98.5 The Sports Hub Sports/Bruins/Celtics/Patriots 4.7
8 WZLX 100.7/Boston's Classic Rock Classic Rock 4.5
9 WBMX/Mix 104.1 "Hot" Adult Contemporary Hits 4.2
10 WBQT/Hot 96.9 Rhythmic Adult Contemporary Hits 4.0
11 WAAF 107.3/WKAF 97.7 Active Rock 3.5
12 WBOS/Radio 92.9 Alternative Rock 3.4
13(tie) WJMN/Jamn 94-5 Top 40 Rhythmic Hits 3.3
13(tie) WODS/Amp 103.3 Contemporary Hit Radio/Top 40 3.3
15 WGBH 89.7/Boston Public Radio News/Talk/NPR 3.1
16 WXRV/92.5 The River Adult Album Alternative(AAA) 2.5
17 WBUR 90.9 News/Talk/NPR 2.4
18 WRKO 680/The Talk Station Talk 2.3
19 WXLO 104.5 "Hot" Adult Contemporary Hits 1.8
20 WCRB 99.5 Classical 1.6
21 WBWL/101.7 The Bull Country 1.4
22 WCTK/Cat Country 98.1 Country 1.2
23 WERS 88.9 AAA/Variety 0.7
24(tie) WKOX/Mix 1430 Spanish 0.4
24(tie) WEEI/ESPN on 850 Sports/ESPN Radio 0.4