Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Pop Mix enters July 4th radio picture 

Every year the Boston Pops' July 4th concert and fireworks show brings out a half-million people to the Charles River Esplanade. For those who can't be there in person or prefer for a more intimate setting of their own home, local TV and radio had always provided complete and extensive coverage of the concert and the fireworks.

The set-up will not be any different this year but there will definitely be a noticeable change in participants both on the Hatch Shell stage and over the air. Goodbye, middle of the road headliners like the Beach Boy, Susan Tedeschi and Neil Diamond and hello, the young Top 40 chart toppers like Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato. CBS TV network which came on board in 2003 and left in 2012 after a 10-year run and sliding national TV ratings is back again this year with big(yuuuge) hopes that millennial music entertainers will deliver the goods with the (young/younger) national audience which is what advertisers always look for.

Locally, WBZ 1030 will air the concert as it has done for the past 13 years with retiring weekend overnighter Jordan Rich co-hosting station's pre-show with morning drive anchor Joe Mathieu from 7pm to 8:30pm. On the FM side however, a pretty noticeable change in tradition this year. Classical WCRB 99.5 has quietly exited the stage to the left after 36 years of being a major part of July 4th festivities at the Hatch Shell. This year, WBZ 1030's corporate sister station WBMX/Mix 104.1 and its powerful transmitter atop of the Pru will deliver the strong FM coverage to the entire Boston metro area. Say adios to Laura Carlo and Ron Della Chiesa and bring on Mix's personalities Kennedy and Salt from station's morning show and the afternoon crew of Gregg Daniels and "Fast" Freddy Murphy who will broadcast from the Esplanade starting at 2pm. Mix will also air the concert and the fireworks.

BRW Notebook

Spin-outs : Last Monday(6/20), Mike Adams, host of WEEI 93.7's Planet Mikey show, has left the building after a 10-year run. With Red Sox baseball pre-empting Adams’ show for the next few months, no announcement about who will assume his former hours is expected for awhile but the word is WEEI looking for someone young(under 35), cheap, hardworking and talented. Adams whose bio is still on WEEI's website might be retained as a weekend host or a fill-in....Speaking of WEEI, Mikey Adams is not the only one spinning out. After three years as program director Kevin Graham has decided to move on to his next assignment. Darryl Parks, a longtime talk radio consultant out of Cincinnati area might be a favorite on a short list of candidates..Over at sister station, WRKO 680, Howie Carr's lapboy Doug "VB" Goudie was offered a deal to co-host a year-old Boston.com's morning show with Kim Carrigan but declined the offer. The station seems to be moving toward WEEI.com-er Mike "Trags" Petraglia to fill that spot...As already mentioned in the headline update above, Jordan Rich is calling it quits as WBZs weekend overnight host this coming weekend. The news/talk station has also lost its midday traffic voice Rich Kirkland who has retired after 35 years in Boston radio. Technically, Kirkand was outsourced from Total Traffic Network but has been a very long and comforting presence on WBZ's traffic beat...In addition, WBZ 1030's general assignment reporter Karen Twomey has left the station after nearly 11 years for a big paying gig at AT&T.

Back at work : Kendra Petrone was named as the new Morning Show Producer/Social Content Creator for Greater Media WMJX/Magic 106.7, She previously spent nine years as Executive Producer for Matt Siegel on WXKS/Kiss 108 until last July...Frankie Vinci who got bounced off Jamn 94-5 in mid-May in favor of syndicated the Breakfast Club(BRW 5/12) has returned to the West Coast where he's now an afternoon drive host at new Jamn 95-7. Meanwhile his former Jamn 94-5 morning sidekick Ashlee Feldman has been relegated to 10am-Noon shift at Medford's Jamn....

More work : The TJ Show on Amp 103.3 has expanded by another hour. It's now heard from 6 to 10pm.

This and that : Speaking of sports radio Nielsen reports Sports/Talk radio continued to add-on to its April gains, with the format safely sliding into another uptrend in May. Nielsen Audio’s May PPM results show the ‘All Sports’ format has seen some strong springtime audience gains in key demographics. Persons 6+ jumped from a 4.5% share in April to a 4.9% share in May, with Sports/Talk’s share among those oft talked about 18-34 millennial’s also showing growth, from 3.2% in April to 3.6% in May results. Adults 25-54 also moved up half a point to hit a 5.5% share for Sports radio in May. “Thanks to post-season basketball, hockey and the start of baseball season, there are lots of reasons for sports fans to tune into Sports/Talk radio in the month of May,” said the ratings giant in a statement detailing May format trends....Don't quote me, but you may/more likely than not witness some major ownership changes on the Boston dial in the next few months :  1) Debt-ridden Iheart Media which owns WXKS/Kiss 108,  WJMN/Jamn 94-5, WKOX/Bloomberg 1200 and WXKS/Talk 1430 is slowly but surely moving towards bankruptcy proceeding. It's not a matter of if, it's only a matter of when Iheart files for Ch.11. These four local Iheart stations will be on the block at some point but who will buy them is anyone's guess..... 2) CBS Radio may not be spinning out into its separate company after all as I mentioned here previously. The way things are looking now(today), company's 93-year old chairman Sumner Redstone is in failing health and his daughter Shari Redstone is trying consolidate her power as she has recently fired five directors on the board at Viacom and CBS. Next step is very likely a merger of the two companies and the eventual sale to the highest bidder. Locally, CBS owns WBZ 1030, WBZ 98.5 the SportsHub, WZLX 100.7, WBMX 104.1 and AMP 103.3/WODS plus two TV stations. The CBS transaction may take months due to the whole power struggle that is taking place at CBS/Viacom right now but Redstone's daughter has already expressed no interest in running CBS/Viacom after she assumes full control.

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