Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Greater Media brings back Boston radio exec to lead its local stations

After parting ways with Phil Redo last week(BRW 12/8), the Braintree-based Greater Media didn't take long to name a new market manager for its five FM(WROR 105.7, WKLB 102.5FM, WMJX 106.7, WBOS 92.9 and WTKK 96.9) station operation in Dorchester. The company announced this morning that Boston radio veteran Tom Baker will take over as the Boston market chief in mid-January.

Baker, 66, is no a stranger to Boston radio landscape. He oversaw the operations of Entercom Boston's properties(WRKO AM680, WEEI AM 850, WAAF 1073.FM and WQSX 93.7FM(now WMKK) from 1999 to 2005. In the 80's, he also managed WRKO and then-sister WROR 98.5FM(now WBMX) which were owned by RKO General at the time. After he was cut by Entercom in August 2005, he moved to Southern California to oversee Clear Channel's 8-station cluster in Santa Barbara. Earlier this year, he served as interim market manager for Greater Media Detroit cluster.

Greater Media's official press release on Baker's hiring is here.

BRW Notebook :

Follow the money : Today's article on the local media recession focuses mostly on the TV end of the business, but does mention local radio. Reportedly, another round of layoffs is about to hit local CBS radio and TV stations later this week(stay tuned). The Globe's article also mentioned Glenn 'Big O' Ordway's contract talks with WEEI-AM 850. For what it's worth, 56% of BRW's readers believe Ordway will be back as the ringmaster of WEEI's afternoon cicrcus come January 5th.

By the numbers : News/Talk is the most popular radio format in the land according to a survey by M Street Publications. The format is on 2,064 stations around the country including Boston's WRKO AM 680, WTKK 96.9FM, WBZ AM 1030 and WBUR 90.9FM and added 40 more stations nationally since November 2007. Meanwhile, Country format which was most popular in 2007, dropped down to 2,024 and lost 30 outlets. Boston has one lone country station - WKLB 102.5FM.

I-pod rocks! : Talk about the influence of new media technology on radio(and not the other way around)?! Stations are now adding "My Playlist" features. WBCN has one with music director Dan O'Brien every night at 8pm. WBOS 92.9FM does "My Playlist" three times a day(9am, 2pm and 9pm) and even a human touch with an announcer boy reading listener's name and town.

Mike lends a helping hand : WMKK-FM/93-7 Mike will air the 3rd annual “Mike FM Request for Help” radiothon to raise funds for Franciscsan Hospial For Children. It will take place on Friday, December 19, 2008, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Throughout that day, Mike FM listeners can call(866-931-MIKE) the station and request a song in exchange for a donation to the hospital. The more obscure the song, the larger the donation required for it to be played. A combination of prominent Bostonians, local celebrities and athletes will act as guests radio DJs all day. Among those slated to appear are Fox 25’s Maria Stephanos and Mark Ockberbloom, comedian Lenny Clarke and several others. Additional celebrities have also donated their time to record promotional spots encouraging listeners to donate this year.


Chris said...

Ordway isn't going anywhere. There's no other station in Boston capable (read: financially strong enough) of building around the rotund sports yacker, and there's no other market where he could go and succeed. You can't just 'show up' in a market and succeed because you'll be seen for what you are: a carpetbagging interloper.

Jason Coyote said...

So Chris, in my opinion the head of Entercom should pull a John Henry and call Ordway's bluff, if he indeed is holding out for the moon. Entercom should offer him whatever they feel comfortable with and then tell him to take it or leave it?

I guess the real question here is who needs who more, Ordway because it's the only place he'll succeed or Entercom because Big O is the key to their stellar ratings?

Anonymous said...

With T&R gone to the mornings, Boston drive time radio is really starting to lose some luster. That's why I think Ordway and EEI will definitely be back. EEI doesnt have much competition, and Ordway is a known commodity.

Speaking of T&R, how bad is Hardy? He's so LAME. He has this like "i'm better than you" mantra and it's annoying as hell. He flat out sucks.

Anonymous said...

Glenn is great, no doubt about it, but I do love when Pete hosts..Takes way more calls and lets the co-hosts actually talk!!


Anonymous said...

Baker??..Baker????..Hee hee hee...Ho ho ho...I am a former AE who "worked" for Tom..Nice man, no clue, won't last more than a year or two in the Boston market...My God, why do they keep re-hiring these kinds of people...Nice going Peter S.....Good freakin luck...