Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Report : ESPN 890 cuts local sports talk as more changes loom ahead

Going, going but not quite gone. As a sign of the major changes ahead, one of the two local sports talk shows heard on ESPN 890, got eliminated today. Sports media writer David Scott, the publisher of Scott's Shots column at http://www.bostonsportsmedia.com/ , reports that "Salk and Halloran" midday show(Noon-2pm) on ESPN 890 has been scrubbed after five months on the air. WCVB's news/sports anchor Bob Halloran who co-hosted with station's sports flasher Mike Salk and producer Ross Carey have all been let go after today's broadcast. They will be replaced by ESPN Radio's programming starting tomorrow. Scott sent out the following report to this address earlier today :

"David Scott of Scott's Shots is reporting that the Mike Salk and Bob Halloran midday show (Noon-2 p.m.) at ESPN 890 has been cancelled, effective immediately. The show, which launched in August will likely be replaced by ESPN national programming. Salk, who was full-time at the station and the show's producer, Ross Carey (also full-time) have been let go from the station all together. Halloran was part-time. The trio was told of the show's cancellation at the end of Tuesday's show.

At the present time, there doesn't appear to be any further cuts at the station and the only other local programming, the dreadful "Lew and Mike" show is likely to remain. (Giving legitimacy to whispers the show is either a time-buy or a revenue share, likely in conjunction with major station advertiser Kelly Automotive Group, where Lew (Goldstein) is the marketing director)

The move is an indication that ESPN 890 is stepping further into the abyss realm of what WWZN 1510 AM has become, which is a time-buy based operation augmented by national programming. The question now is, how long will ESPN national allow the Little Station That Can't to continue sullying the brand name of ESPN. To have such a weak station in one of the nation's top sports markets does nothing but embarrass the Worldwide Leader, especially as 890 continues to make no perceivable dent whatsoever in WEEI 850 AM's stranglehold in the region.

Salk, Shots is told, will continue his weekly national work for ESPN Radio in Bristol while he and his newly-hired agent pursue other opportunities for the rising talent who made a name for himself in three and a half years at 890. [DISCLAIMER: Shots had a short-lived Saturday morning show with Salk in 2007 and we have remained professional acquaintances since.]

Carey will also be looking for work, but should have little trouble (economic turmoil notwithstanding) as he has been considered one of the top radio producers ever since guiding the Mike Felger radio ship at 890.

Two other on-air talents, Kevin Winter (afternoon updates) and Adam Jones (morning updates), appear to be unaffected by the cuts.

One other thing pertaining to 890 - it seems the station's rumored move out of the Schraffts Building in Charlestown is just that, and the station will remain in its current location. Perhaps it will be buried there as well."

BRW Notebook :

"...and it started with a little kiss, like this" : When Run-DMC teamed with Aerosmith in 1986 to recast "Walk This Way" as a rap-rock fusion (thus gaining access to MTV's mostly suburban young audience), commercial radio and record labels finally understood that rap was a good prospect for mainstreaming and mass consumption. And, boy, were they right?! Fast-forwarding 23 years, Aerosmith members will be inducting Run DMC into the Rock'n'roll Hall of Fame in two months as made official on WAAF's Hillman morning show. Here's WAAF's release :

Boston (February 3, 2009) -- Run DMC (Darryl McDaniels) and Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer made a surprise Hall of Fame Announcement this morning during an impromptu interview on the Hill-Man Morning Show on 97.7/107.3 WAAF in Boston.

WAAF host Greg Hill was interviewing DMC in-studio about their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this coming April. When Hill (aka, The Hill-Man) asked DMC who he would like to have induct them, DMC answered: “It’s a no-brainer if Aerosmith does it. I hope they’re listening. It’s their hometown.” The WAAF producers immediately got Joey Kramer on the phone with DMC during the live interview and asked if Kramer would do the induction. Kramer accepted.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is scheduled for April 4, 2009 in Cleveland.

To view the video and hear the interview, visit

Not a match made in heaven : Is it me or is there something really not quite right in having former WBZ-TV4's sports icon Bob Lobel delivering sports reports during WBZ's morning news this week? I tuned away from Howard on Sirius during a break to check out Lobel a couple times today. Sorry for being honest, but he seems unfocused, unfunny and is all over the place as his reports just drag on forever during fast-paced morning news blocks. While there was no local pro sports action last night and just a couple of Beanpot scores, he still managed to take three minutes to cover all the bases. Three minutes in an all-news radio format, just like in TV news as any media professional will tell you, is forever. I don't think I am alone in my observation. For what its worth, WBZ is not even archiving Lobel's reports on its website.


Anonymous said...

I listened as well to Lobel; it was tough to listen to. I don’t see him lasting very long. Even on a slow sports night the great Gil Santos could make it interesting. Lobel starts the sports report with a Manny update? Who cares about Manny at this point? Lobel should retire from all forms of media.

Anonymous said...

I always thought of Lobel as a bad standby comic who stole other people's material(Warner Wolf, Boomer,etc) for years but that never made him a better comic. But when cableTV started to explode in Boston in the late 80's he became totally irrelavant. People were able to finally tune into ESPN and other stations to see where he stole all his schtick.

Chris said...

'Lobel should retire from ALL forms of media.' Agreed! 100%! There are way too many 'womb-to-the-tomb' media hacks out there. Let them all ride off into the sunset on their one-way horses.

Anonymous said...

Hi.. I NEVER got Lobel.. reading a tele-prompter is one thing, but on the fly, he's even worse.. some can do it, and do it well.. Butch Sterns and Steve Burton are awesome on WEEI.. but Lobel has always been difficult to listen to.. how'd he ever last so long, and make so much $$ is a wonder..

Anonymous said...

It makes no sense for Bob Lobel to be doing sports on WBZ radio. He is extremely incompetent. The only sports person they have left is Walt Perkins. He should be doing it. If not him they should bring back Alan Segal or Tom Cuddy. They had three true pros, beside Gil, and they are not using them. Gm Ted Jordan and News Director Peter Casey should be ashamed of themselves. The only recourse listeners have is to cause their ratings to sink. Boycott WBZ and their sponsors.

Brighton Boris said...

Lobel's sports reports on WBZ are being sponsored by Ringling Brothers Circus. He's a dope who coasted all these years as a class clown on Channel 4. Just goes to show you what kind of morons watch local TV news. Hopefully ESPN 890 hires him next so they could put themselves out of their misery that much faster.

Anonymous said...

Lobel is great...down home style and pulls no punches. I bet CBS is going with an all sports format at one of the stations in their cluster. They have the Bruins, the Patriots, and affiliation with CBS Scene in Foxborough and all of the sports reporters were let go from 'BZ. Lobel is getting a warm up for a talk show...he did the same thing at WODS. Watch

Anonymous said...

I listened to post-Santos "sports." It was a rambling addition to information (news, weather, traffic) that I can get on my cell. By the way 'BZ', you have a great web site. I click on interesting stuff and don't really need to listen to AM1030.

March to the Sea said...

he has just been so unfocused and so not worth listening to BZ should be embarrassed of this.