Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Closing time : Federal regulators clear Entercom-CBS Merger as SportsHub 98.5, WBZ AM, WRKO, WKAF and WZLX find new owners

Earlier this week, The Department of Justice's Antitrust Division has approved the pending merger of Entercom and CBS Radio, leading two big local swap deals involving iHeartMedia and Beasley Broadcast Group., Two CBS Radio Boston stations - classic rock WZLX 100.7 and news/talker WBZ 1030 and two Entercom Boston stations - all-talk WRKO 680 and r&b/soul WKAF 97.7 join iHeart Boston's cluster, which includes Top 40/CHR WXKS/Kiss 108, Top 40/Rhythmic WJMN/Jamn 94-5, WXKS 1200, WKOX/Talk 1430 and country WBWL/101.7 The Bull. Iheart is expected to divest WKOX/Talk 1430 upon acquisition of WRKO, WZLX and WBZ to stay under FCC's  same market limit of 8 stations.

However, the biggest surprise was the swap of two ratings and revenue monsters - Beasley Broadcast Group,and Entercom/CBS Radio will exchange adult contemporary king WMJX /Magic 106.7 plus $12 million in cash for WBZ/98.5 The Sports Hub. Entercom will begin operating Magic 106.7 via LMA upon the completion of its pending merger with CBS Radio which is expected on Friday, November 17th. .  In addition to WBZ 98.5, Beasley owns five other stations in the market alternative rock WBOS/Alt 92.9, classic hits WROR 105.7, WKLB/Country 102.5, WBQT/Hot 96.9, WRCA 1330 and a low-power repeater at 106.1 which is leased by Bloomberg Radio.

BRW Notes :

Annalisa back on the airwaves : Last week, Northeast Broadcasting's  WXRV/92.5 The River) had named former WZLX/WAAF personality Annalisa as the station’s new afternoon drive talent. Annalisa grew up in nearby Medford, MA and did college radio at Bridgewater State’s WBIM. After college, she did middays at WAAF/Boston and later crossed the street to become the first woman to host a rock radio morning show at WZLX. After leaving WZLX in 1993, she briefly part-time at WHJY in Providence before moving out West and working at legendary San Francisco' KFOG, where she did middays and hosted the 10@10 show until departing in April 2016.

WXRV GM Donald St. Sauveur remarked, “Annalisa is such a wonderful talent and a passionate professional. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of the thousands of artists and bands that the River features on a daily basis. She shares stories about the songs that are the soundtrack of our audience’s lives in an irreverent and witty way that’s authentic and approachable. The response from our listeners to Annalisa has been overwhelmingly positive. We’re blessed to have her join our very talented team of on-air hosts.”

Annalisa remarked, “I was raised on Boston radio, was lucky enough to start in Boston radio and am excited to be welcomed back to it at the River. It was important to me that I work at a radio station that respects their listeners, loves the community and loves to share their passion for music. The River stands out as an independent station in a cookie cutter corporate radio world.” Annalisa who's been filling in and working weekends on the Rive since late March succeeds Matt Phipps, who exited in late September.

Night-time is the right time : WKLB/Country 102.5 has hired a new evening host. As of this week, Marissa Lanchak is holding down the night shift.. She succeeds Renee Castle, who left in August(BRW 8/6) and expecting a baby. 

Lanchak most recently did middays at WGNA/Albany, NY until August, when her position was eliminated. She previously spent the better part of a decade as APD/MD/afternoon personality at Albany's Top 40 WFLY/FLY 92.

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