Tuesday, January 27, 2009

LeVeille, Dyett back on WBZ

Steve LeVeille usually had a lot to say on his five-hour overnight show on WBZ until he was totally silenced three weeks ago when his contract wasn't renewed(BRW 1/2). But since then, a slew of LeVeille's loyal fans who were not at all pleased with his syndicated replacement Jon Grayson out of Midwest did a lot of gabbing for him as they let WBZ and CBS Radio know about it. A group of LeVeille's fans called for advertiser boycott and a complete WBZ tune-out. The listener pressure did work at the end as both WBZ management and LeVeille were able to hammer out a new deal. LeVeille is scheduled to be back on the air this coming Monday morning(2/2) at Midnight.

In addition to LeVeille's return, former Saturday night host and 37-year WBZ veteran Lovell Dyett who was replaced by syndicated Kim Komando Show will now host a half-hour(4:30am-5am) taped public affairs show.

Today's press release on LeVeille-WBZ reconcilation is here.

BRW Notebook :

Repeats and nothing but repeats : While WBZ has restored its live and local talk in the overnight schedule, WEEI AM 850 got some bad news thanks to recent cuts at radio titan Clear Channel. "Third Shift" which was Fox Sports Radio's live, overnight show is no more as of last week. Clear Channel's Premiere syndicator which programs and distributes Fox Sports Radio brand has replaced "Big" Ben Maller and Karen Kay with the 'best-of' segments from FSR's weekday shows. WEEI is currently running FSR's new overnight offering(2:00am-5:30am) but it's unclear if the station will try to find a live replacement.

Widening sports appeal : Speaking of sports programming that's in the growth mode, "Only A Game", the weekly sports show hosted by Bill Littlefield produced locally by WBUR 90.9FM and syndicated nationally by NPR, has picked up 13 affiliates in the past few weeks including the entire Mississippi Public Radio Network, and affiliates in Houston, Lexington, KY, Harrisburg, PA, and Aspen, CO. The latest additions bring the show's affiliate total to 183. Locally, "Only A Game" airs on WBUR and its Massachusetts affiliates Saturdays at 7am and 6pm.

Radio movers : Boston radio veteran Dennis O'Heron who has worked at WXKS/Kiss 108 and WJMN/Jamn 94.5 for the past decade in the variety of roles including program director, promotions director and most recently as VP of marketing is the leaving Medford's Top40 combo for a program director job at WHJY-FM/Rock 94.1 in the Providence market. He starts there next week. No word on who will replace him at Kiss/Jamn which is like Rock 94.1 is owned by Clear Channel.

Pitchers and Catchers report in 15 days : In about a month there will be finally something worthwile to listen to on weekends on WRKO AM 680 as the Red Sox flagship has announced its 15-game spring training broadcast schedule.


Anonymous said...

tank said steve didnt have many friends in the business he said that while on with morgan white....please steve get guest and no max talk.

Anonymous said...

Remember when WBZ cut Brudnoy and put syndication on? Yes, we were in the recession then(~1990),too. THe difference was Westinghouse was in much better shape financially because they were still producing nuclear warheads and that kept their radio stations afloat. CBS and Sumner Redstone are getting wiped out daily. Keeping a guy like LeVeille around does nothing for them. Maybe a little good PR for one week. Down the road, it's a bad business decision.

LeVeille is no Brudnoy. WBZ will end up getting rid of him again in a year.

Practical Progressive said...

You're right, LeVeille is no Brudnoy and from a business perspective that's important as LeVeille doesn't make Brudnoy money. I'd be stunned if LeVeille's salary cracked six figures, especially in that daypart.

Though 'BZ cited economic woes for the decision to layoff LeVeille, I think there was less to that than CBS Radio management would have us believe. Even Emily Rooney on "Beat the Press" made the comment that the cost of having LeVeille on from the 'BZ studios and Grayson piped in from KMOX was probably a wash.

The CBS Radio VP for News/Talk is also the PD at KMOX. I think he wanted to give Grayson a higher profile and was able to use the economy as a convenient excuse for ditching the local talent in Boston and Minneapolis and creating the "Overnight America" pablum. When it wasn't taking in Boston, both in terms of listenership and revenue, they were able to "find the money" and win some feel good PR for WBZ.

Welcome back Steve!

Brighton Boris said...

Practical Progress,

Feel-good PR doesn't increase profits or cut costs. If it did, they'd still have all-news from 6 to 8 on Saturday nights and not antother financial planner infomercial which I am sure they're selling at a premium rate.

Them getting Steve back on the overnight and getting some clients back in the door will keep them in the overnight local talk business. The bottom line like someone else commented here, it's just not good business.