Thursday, August 31, 2017

WBZ fills its morning drive co-anchor role with familiar voice and face

WBZ NewsRadio 1030 AM announced last Thursday(8/23) that veteran television and radio anchor, Josh Binswanger, will be rejoining all-news/talk station as a morning drive anchor beginning in early September. Alongside WBZ's veteran Deb Lawler, Binswanger will deliver the morningâ's news stories, weekdays from 5 AM to 10 AM, on one of the most widely known and top rated all-news stations in the country. He replaces Joe Mathieu who left the station in late April and started as new morning drive anchor at WGBH 89.7 on August 10th.

"This is a homecoming that's a perfect fit for WBZ and for Josh", said Peter Casey, WBZ Director of News & Programming. "He brings a wealth of local knowledge and national news experience, and needs no tutorial on how to pronounce Gloucester or Worcester."

"I look forward to digging into the daily process of providing great journalism on the radio every day," added Binswanger.  "In an era of news anytime anywhere I'm thrilled to be able to be a part of that on WBZ"

Binswanger began his career in broadcasting when he was 14 years old and never looked back. From 1990-1995 he was the host and a producer of WBZ's award winning "Kid Company", a live weekly two-hour radio talk show for children ages 8-15. In 1993, Kid Company won a Peabody Award, one of the highest honors in broadcasting.

Switching careers?

WAAF 107.3's longtime morning voice Greg Hill is thinking about running for the congressional seat being vacated by Niki Tsongas reported The Boston Herald. Hill, of course, is host of  "The Hill-Man Morning Show" on WAAF. Lawrence Army Jr., an attorney who serves as Hill's spokesperson, says Hill is exploring all of his options, including running for the open congressional seat said Army Jr.,. He says through Hill's philanthropic work through the Greg Hill Foundation, which he founded in 2010 to raise money for families hit by tragedies, Public service would be a logical next step for Hill.  Election for Massachusetts 3rd Congressional District seat will be held in November 2018.

Hill is also the founder of the restaurant company, Whole House Group, LLC, which includes Battle Road Brewing Co. in Maynard, 29 Sudbury and the Waltham steakhouse, Flank.

Hill signed a multi-year new contract with Entercom last fall(BRW 11/19/16), however with the parent company mega-merging with CBS Radio later this year, things may get somewhat quite dicey on the radio side. WAAF has been heavily rumored as one of two local Entercom signals to be included in the upcoming divestiture package yet to be approved by Department of Justice's anti-trust division. Stay tuned....

BRW Notebook :

Free stuff :  WXRV 92.5 The River which just celebrated its 22 years  a couple weeks ago is holding its 16th annual River Music Festival at Waterfront Park in Newburyport on Saturday, September 2nd featuring headliner They Might Be Giants. Full schedule and artist line-up for the free event is here.

WBMX/Mix 104.1's last Mix Fest as CBS Radio station has been scheduled for Saturday, September 16th at 2pm. This year, Mix 104.1 welcomes Kelly Clarkson, Blondie, and Andy Grammer to the stage at the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell on Boston's Charles River Esplanade. Gates open at 11am.
Visit Mixfest site for all the details.

Skating to the left : Earlier this month, NHL's new expansion franchise Las Vegas Golden Knights raided key part of the Boston Bruins broadcast presence. After 16-season tenure Dave Goucher has left his post as radio play-by-play voice on WBZ/98.5 The Sports Hub and taking the TV play-by-play role for the Golden Knights. Per press release from the new team, Goucher will be joined by one-time Bruin defenseman Shane Hnidy, who will fill TV analyst role.

Goucher, a Rhode Island native and Boston University grad, called Bruins action from 2000 to 2009 on WBZ 1030 and then from 2009 thru 2016/2017 season on The Sports Hub.  Game analyst Bob Beers will return for his 20th year on the radio beat alongside soon-to-be-named radio voice.

Radio briefs : WBUR 90.9 has opened a news bureau inside the newsroom of the Dorchester Reporter in Boston’s largest and most populous neighborhood.  WBUR reporters will work in conjunction with Dorchester Reporter journalists to tell community-based stories of interest to all WBUR listeners and readers....  On August 15th and 16th, Entercom sports talker WEEI, again teamed up with regional sports cable TV network NESN to hold the 16th annual “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon” raised more than $4 million to fight cancer.  Since 2002, the annual radio-telethon has raise more than $49 million to benefit the Jimmy Fund....

Police log : Earlier this week, WEEI 93.7's evening personality and Red Sox game host Mike Mutnansky addressed on-air(starting at 16:00 of the audio file) his DUI arrest in Saratoga Springs,NY three weeks ago. Mutnansky faces 3-month suspension of his driver's license. Final decision in his case will be rendered by NY State authorities later in September....Last Wednesday(8/23), former co-host of the Diehards on now defunct WWZN/1510 The Zone, Ryen Rusillo,  was arrested and charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing  in Jackson Hole, WY. Rusillo has been with ESPN Radio since 2008 where he currently hosts a national midday show(1pm-4pm) heard locally on WEEI 850. He's expected to return to air after 2-week suspension on September 5th.

Passings :  Longtime WBZ 1030's radio personality Neil Chayet has died at age 78 on August 11th.
He passed away at his home in Salem after a nine-month battle against prostate cancer. Chayet, the host of local CBS Radio show “Looking at the Law” on WBZ NewsRadio 1030, retired in June due to his illness after 42 years on air and more than 10,000 episodes recorded. The Boston native graduated from Tufts University and Harvard Law School and remained an active alum at both institutions.

The Farm System :  Beasley Media Group, in conjunction with Xperi and Marketron Interactive, have partnered with the National Radio Talent System to unveil the Beasley Radio Talent Institute. The 10-day program will officially debut in the summer of 2018 at Emerson College The Institute is designed as a talent incubator and farm system for aspiring broadcasters.

The National Radio Talent System will be reaching out to broadcasting professionals in Boston and across the State of Massachusetts to teach sessions at the Institute. About the National Radio Talent System. See full press release here.

Convergence : Entercom announced it has been selected as a finalist for the 2017 Acquia Engage Awards in the Media and Entertainment category. The Acquia Engage Awards recognize the amazing sites and digital experiences that organizations are building with the Acquia Platform. The winners will be announced at the Acquia Engage event at Boston's Intercontinental Hotel on October 16-18, 2017. In 2016, Entercom began the process of building a digital platform to provide new websites and functionality for all its radio stations. The result has been a new face of digital for the local brands 0while providing a state of the art content management system.

Old school WRKO : Back in the day, more specifically from 1967 to 1981, talk station WRKO 680 used to be known for its Top 40 hits and music jocks. Earlier this summer, a 50th year anniversary was marked with a reunion of WRKO's Big 68 era.  Event's organizer, Art Vuolo, tells BRW that a 2-DVD set is available to any and all WRKO fans who remember its golden music days :  "The very fact that all five original DJs from 1997 we're still alive and present for the event makes it an incredible slice of broadcasting history. Anyone can see the first few minutes of the memorable radio broadcast that was Saturday night June 3rd by simply going to  It's right on the homepage and easy to access. We are donating $5.00 from every order to the Broadcasters Foundation of America, a nonprofit organization which helps broadcasters in need.  If possible, could you please make mention in your next posting about the availability of this double DVD set which commemorates 50 years of WRKO as a Music station"

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Mathieu back in the morning drive anchor seat

Former WBZ AM/NewsRadio 1030's morning anchor Joe Mathieu will officially start as the new voice of WGBH 89.7’s Morning Edition starting on Thursday, August 10th, WGBH News has announced.

After departing WBZ in late April(BRW 4/25), Mathieu joined WGBH in early June to begin training and reporting for two months ahead of anchoring the program(BRW 5/17). He takes over for Morning Edition host and regional public radio news vet Bob Seay, who will stay on WGBH's morning drive program’s team to focus on producing, reporting and writing.

Mathieu had spent six-plus years at WBZ 1030 where he covered many big local stories and major political races locally and nationally.

Prior to his gig 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.

WGBH supplements NPR's Morning Edition with its local news reporting and and in-depth story segments. It airs on WGBH 89.7 from 5am to 10am.

WGBH 89.7 is one of two Boston's news and information pubcasters. Like its format counterpart Boston University-owned and operated WBUR 90.9, both stations have enjoyed very strong growth in recent years. Overall, the talk/news/information format has done exceptionally well in the Boston market, with commercial outlet news/talk WBZ 1030 leading the way.   Earlier this week, Nielsen Audio released Boston's July period(June 22 - July 19) numbers. WBZ, WBUR and WGBH were once again among Top 10 most listened to stations in the market among persons ages 6 and up. (Click on the link here and then select BOSTON from a drop-down menu list). One interesting side note/observation from the recent ratings survey, five of Top 10 stations in Boston are now spoken-word formats(sports/talk/news/info).

BRW Notebook :

Moves made and moves to be made : Beasley's WKLB/Country 102.5 promotions director/web content director Dawn Santolucito adds Music Director role which was vacant Ginny Rogers Brophey retired back in May(BRW 5/31), the company announced today. Santolucito has been with the station since December 2009. Previously she was a promotions manager  at WXKS/Kiss 108 from 2001 to 2009 where she worked with WKLB's newly appointed program manager David Corey....Speaking of roles to be filled, WKLB's sister station WBOS/Alt 92.9 is looking for a new afternoon drive personality as mentioned here before,  veteran jock Amy Brooks shifted to middays after syndicated "Dave And Chuck" got installed in the morning in late July. As for two morning guys(and a girl) on the loan from Motown, they are likely serving as placeholders for something bigger and more local once the radioactive dust settles from the massive, very slow-to-close CBS-Entercom merger(BRW 2/2) in late fall...there could be a lot of movement at year-end with formats, personalities and very likely new owners for a couple of Entercom-CBS divested stations.(
Ed. Note : I'm still of the belief that a very popular and well-regarded Boston morning drive show which currently airs on a different station in the market will be in the morning on 92.9 in 2018, but that's just me so don't quote me on the message boards or bitch @ me on Twitter). Former WEEI program director Jason Wolf penned a must-read piece on what to expect after the big deal closes. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Bloomberg Radio is bullish on Boston radio

Bloomberg Media announced this week that it has agreed to buy Newburport's 1,000 watt WNBP 1450 and its low wattage FM translator on 106.1 for $1 million from Port Broadcasting. At midnight Tuesday (8/1), Bloomberg Radio began operating the North Shore's AM-FM combo and simulcasting the content already heard on its Boston signals.(Bloomberg entered a 3-year lease with Beasley to program WRCA 106.1/WRCA 1330/WBOS 92.2HD  last month(BRW 7/4)).

Bloomberg tags its new Boston radio set up as 'Bloomberg 106.1' putting emphasis strictly on promoting and marketing the FM signal. The company hopes to make some modifications to Newburyport's 106.1 frequency so that North Shore commuters are are able to have a somewhat uninterrupted reception between their daily ride to and from  Boston.

Al Mayers, the head of  Bloomberg Radio and Television stated in the press release : “We are excited to extend our broadcast footprint in the Boston market.  Programming this station in Newburyport gives us the opportunity to provide timely financial information and world news to our listeners during their commute to and from the North Shore.  Over the next few weeks, technical upgrades will be completed to make the experience even better.”

Mayers is a Melrose native and longtime former WRKO 680 and WHDH 850 program/operations manager who left Boston in 2001 to become the head of Bloomberg's NYC-based radio operations and added TV responsibilities in 2015.

As the sale process moves along, Bloomberg Radio is expected to take complete ownership of WNBP AM and FM from Port Broadcasting pending FCC approval.

BRW Notebook :

Comings and Goings : WRKO 680 quietly transitioned its AM drive show name from "Boston Dot Com Morning Show" to "Boston Morning Show" last month ending two-year content partnership with Boston Globe...After a year and change, WKLB 102.5's night timer Renee Castle spins out of Beasley's country music outlet this week. She's been hosting 7pm-Midnight shift since Feb. 29, 2016. Her social media profile now lists 'Iheart Radio' which might be her next professional stop...Speaking of Iheart Radio and country music, Bull 101.7's afternooner Bradford Colton is adding on to his schedule by signing up to TV work with NBC Boston/WBTS. He served as a special correspondent during WBTS's New Year's launch as Boston's new NBC affiliate. He will now serve as lifestyle and entertainment correspondent for the station. His reporting will be seen on the morning and afternoon newscasts...

Sports Radio Wars : Boston's two top sports radio personalities right now are without any doubt  - WBZ 98.5/SportsHub's afternoon king Michael Felger and WEEI's morning overload Kirk Minihane. Everyone is distant second or even third(Ed. Note : And I mean that with love and respect). This week, Felger got a soft-wash profile by Globe's sports media critic Chad Finn. Meanwhile, Minihane got absolutely skewered by WGBH's round-table discussion panel on the Beat Press.