Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Joe Mathieu jumps to WGBH 89.7 to anchor local segments of NPR's "Morning Edition" 

Former WBZ 1030's morning anchor Joe Mathieu will shortly have a brand new home on the local radio dial. After a six-year morning drive run at CBS Radio's news/talker, he is slated to become the new local voice for WGBH’s Morning Edition starting in August, the station announced in its press release this week. Mathieu left WBZ 1030 on April 28th(BRW 4/25).

Mathieu will join WGBH in June to begin training and reporting two months ahead of anchoring the program. He takes over for veteran host Bob Seay, who had hosted the local news segments of Morning Edition since October 2010(BRW 10/05/10). Seay will stay on the program’s team to focus on reporting and writing. 

WGBH shifted to its current public affairs/news/talk format in late 2009. Since then it's been branding itself as "Boston Public Radio"and placed all its classical music programming on its sister station WCRB 99.5 and drastically cut jazz programming down to three weekend nights. It expanded news staff and added a popular local midday talk duo of Jim Braude and Margery Eagan(11am-2pm) back in January 2013. The pair came over from the now defunct WTKK 96.9 which is now rhythmic/hip-hop WBQT/Hot 96-9.

Ratings-wise, in recent moths WGBH has bridged the audience gap with Boston Univeristy's WBUR 90.9 which brands itself "Boston's NPR News station". According to just released Nielsen Audio's ratings for April(March 30-April 26), WBUR was the 8th most listened station in Boston with a 4.3 share(down from 4.6) while WGBH came in 10th with a 4.0(up from 3.8 in March). Obviously, by snapping a high profile news voice like Mathieu from a top commercial outlet, WGBH is betting heavy on its future as market's top news and content provider as #1 pubcaster in the city. Whether hipper, younger Mathieu helps to move the needle is still to be seen. In his last month at WBZ, the station finished third with an impressive 5.7 share and roughly 714,000 weekly listeners. In addition, WGBH is also younging up its AM drive - Mathieu is about 30 years younger than Seay which is about 100 in radio years.

Both stations run NPR's Morning Edition - WGBH from 5am to 10am and WBUR from 5am to 9am. WBUR's Morning Edition segments are anchored by Bob Oakes who has been its local host there since 1992 and like Mathieu came from the commercial all-news format(the now-defunct WEEI 590)

Mathieu had spent six years at WBZ, where he covered every major political race and the New Hampshire Primary. He was a regular guest on WBZ-TV4 with Jon Keller, and recently started a Facebook Live broadcast, engaging with his followers each morning before his shift.

Prior to his role at WBZ, Mathieu was Washington-based program director of P.O.T.U.S., Sirius XM’s news and talk channel devoted to U.S. politics, which he launched in 2007. He has also served as a news anchor and editor for commercial stations in D.C., and was managing editor and anchor for CBS MarketWatch.

BRW Notebook : 

Ashbrook on the mend : The host of WBUR-produced "On The Point", Tom Ashbrook, will be on medical leave for the next few weeks. Ashbrook had successfully underwent a vascular surgery this week. Previously, he underwent successful heart bypass in 2007. On The Point's regular fill-in Jane Clayson will be subbing for Ashbrook on NPR's program until he returns.

Laquidara is on the ballot : Voting for the 2017 National Radio Hall of Fame Inductees began this week. The 24 nominations in six categories were determined by the organization’s Nominating Committee. Four of those categories will be voted on by a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals. Former longtime WBCN 104.1 and WZLX 100.7's morning personality Charles Laquidara, 78, has been nominated in "Active Local/Regional(10 years or more)". Inductees will be announced June 26.  The induction ceremony will be held Nov. 2 at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.  Laquidara was inducted into Massachusetts Hall of Fame in 2009, right after his former station WBCN 104.1 permanently signed off in August 2009. Laquidara was featured in 2015 documentary "I Am What I Play".