Thursday, December 22, 2016

WAAF sets new line-up in 2017

Entercom’s heritage rocker WAAF 107.3 will be retooling its weekday line-up on Tuesday, January 3rd.

The major change is the return of WAAF former afternoon drive co-host, comedian Matty Blake. Back in the early 2000’s, at the height of so-called ‘guy talk’ format, Blake co-hosted WAAF afternoon drive show with the late Rocko(real name Frank Pallaria Jr)  going up against "Opie and Anthony" on WBCN 104.1 and "Storm and Birdsey" on WFNX 101.7. This time, Blake will pair up with a South Shore native, jack-of all-trades wiseguy Nick Stevens for new a radio comedy/variety show. The station will remain music-centric at nights, overnights and weekends.

In a related move, veteran WAAF personality Mistress Carrie will move from her afternoon slot to the 10am-3pm midday slot show being vacated by Mike Hsu who rejoins Hill-Man Morning Show. Hsu served as HillMan’s news director from 1999 to 2004 before briefly shifting to nights and then to current midday role in 2005 . Carrie, who also serves as WAAF’s music director, has been in WAAF's afternoon drive since 2005. 

In another somewhat related move, after 11-year simulcast of WAAF 107.3, WKAF 97.7 will be returning to its own original programming.  A few days after the new WAAF line-up debuts, 97.7 frequency will peel off from its full-time simulcast of WAAF and introduce a brand new Urban Adult Contemporary format geared toward female listeners. Previously the station aired Urban Top 40 and was known as WBOT/Hot 97-7 and WIDL/Wild 97-7 between 1999 and 2005 when it was owned by Maryland-based Radio One. Entercom purchased WKAF from Radio One in 2005 for $30 million and turned it into WAAF simulcast.


BRW Notebook :

Tradition continues : For the 38th consecutive year legendary Boston radio programmer and DJ, Oedipus, is back to host his Christmas Eve Broadcast. On Saturday, December 24 from 6pm and Midnight, Oedipus, who has never missed a live Christmas eve show(WBCN 104.1 1978 to 2008, WFNX 101.7  from 2009 to 2011, RadioBDC from 2012-2014, WGBH 89,7 from 2015-present) will be on the air at WGBH 89.7(live streaming is at www.wgbh.org). 

Local sports radio is king : Or at least that's what Fall ratings numbers show according to Boston Globe's sports radio media reporter Chad Finn.

Barstools Radio : SiriusXM and Barstool Sports, a comedy, sports and men’s lifestyle brand, have teamed up for a new daily show, hosted by Barstool founder and Boston native Dave Portnoy, that will showcase the site’s “funny, irreverent and unfiltered” approach to covering sports, men’s lifestyle, popular culture and more.

Barstool Radio on SiriusXM will make its debut on the SiriusXM airwaves Jan. 3 and air live every weekday from noon to 2 p.m. on channel 93.

Portnoy and his army of bloggers have built a cult following based on their takes on sports, pop culture, female models, entertainment and current events.

More Rush : Premiere Networks and Cumulus Media has reportedly renewed and extended their affiliation agreement to air the Rush Limbaugh show on 33 Cumulus stations through 2019.

The extension doesn’t really affect Boston area listeners, Limbaugh airs locally from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays on iHeartradio’s WXKS/Talk 1430.

Friday, December 2, 2016

WEEI names new Program Director and makes other off-air and on-air moves

After a six-month search for its next program director, Entercom's WEEI/Sports Radio 93-7 has promoted from its in-house talent pool.  After serving as an assistant program director for past three years under former PD Kevin Graham who left the building over the summer, Joe Zarbano becomes fifth Program Direction in WEEI's 25-year history as Boston's first sports station. According to station's press release, in his new role, Zarbano will assume direct oversight of all audio content for WEEI 93.7, the WEEI Sports Radio Network, the Boston Red Sox Radio Network and ESPN 850. 

In addition, Zarbano handed over his Executive Producer stripes to WEEI's Senior Producer Ben Kichen. He joined the station in 2006 from iHeart Media’s WXKS-AM/Talk 1200 serving for Jeff Katz and Jay Severin’s talk shows and has been lead producer for both the Glenn Ordway and Dale and Holley programs on WEEI. Kichen also produces the Enough About Me podcast with Kirk Minihane as well as hosting Soccercast for WEEI.com

Another WEEI/Entercom Boston vet, Carlson Mozdiez gets newly created  Director of Operations role for Entercom Boston with special emphasis on the company’s digital juggernaut WEEI.com. Mondiez has been serving as Director of Integrated Marketing Strategies for Entercom’s Boston cluster. He joined WEEI in 2002 immediately after graduating from Syracuse University and has held a variety of positions in promotions, marketing and digital operations. 

While 30-somethings take over key positions in WEEI's off-air roles, the on-air product is also getting somewhat younged up. This past summer saw the exit of long-time evening host Mike Adams who has been replaced by Mike Mutnansky. Early fall saw the addition of weekend part-timer Christian Arcand to host  WEEI Late Night(weeknights 10pm-2am). And of course, one of the main characters on the morning show, John Dennis, retired back in August.  WEEI's personnel moves keep on coming - yesterday, WEEI announced the addition of Rich Keefe as a replacement for departed Jerry Thornton on the station's "Dale and Holley" afternoon show. Keefe who spent the past seven years with direct rival WBZ/98.5 the Sports Hub where most recently he was a sports flasher/co-host on Adam Jones' evening show. He will now be the third co-host with Arnold and Holley starting on Monday, December 5th.


BRW Notebook :

Signing off : Earlier this week, WBZ 1030's afternoon drive co-anchor Diane Stern announced her retirement after 33-years with the CBS-owned News/Talker. A Marblehead native and BU alum, Stern joined WBZ back in 1983 following previous stints at with WEEI 590, WITS/WMEX 1510.