Thursday, April 30, 2009

WTKK benches Severin for the swine flu rant

WTKK 96.9FM announced today that it suspended station's afternoon talk show host Jay Severin for calling Mexican immigrants "criminaliens" and emergency rooms "condos for Mexicans" during a discussion about swine flu this past Monday(4/27).

Severin wasn't on the air on Thursday as nationally syndicated personality Curtis Sliwa(heard on WTKK from 10pm-1am) was subbing for the suspended host and hosting the 3-pm-7pm show from his NYC studio.

According to an audio clip of a Monday show obtained by Boston Globe, Severin complained that the US wasn't doing enough to prevent the spread of swine flu. He then said "tonight we will let the usual 5,000 criminaliens that come across the Arizona border ..." referring to Mexican immigrants.During a conversation with a caller who was a healthcasre worker complaining about immigrants receiving health care, Severin said emergency rooms had "become essentially condos for Mexicans."

(Ed. Note : WTKK suspended Severin in the wake of outcry in the Hispanic media after he made his on-air comments on Monday's show. But what makes this case seem strange is WTKK's management which stood by its syndicated morning foul-mouthed bore Don Imus and his pack of laughing hyenas when they got into trouble over making racial jokes about Rutgers University women's basketball players in April 2007, but two years later they're distancing themselves from Severin and muzzling him for an indefinite period of time. Normally when a station or radio company suspends a personality for offensive content, it immediately issues a formal apology to the offended listeners/parties. Strangely, WTKK( or its parent company Greater Media) is yet to issue one. As you recall, Severin and Imus got into a well-covered public spat at last month's "Kiss Me, I'm Imus" event at the Wilbur Theater where Imus threatened to shoot Severin.(BRW 3/19). I smell a rat...or is it a swine?)

Severin who posts on the station's blog almost daily didn't make any comments today.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Clear Channel lays off nearly 600 nationally including two veterans at the Boston cluster

Corporate radio giant Clear Channel Communications announced the latest round of nearly 600 job cuts nationally affecting its Boston cluster.

Nationwide, 590 jobs were cut in the radio division, or 2.7 percent of the division's total work force at the end of 2008. Clear Channel didn't break the cuts out by geography or job function, but said some on-air personalities were included. Employees were notified of the cuts Tuesday.

BRW has learned that locally, popular veteran Top 40 jock Deirdre Dagata was cut from WXKS 107.9FM where she has been hosting the 8-Midnight shift. She is being replaced by former Kiss 108 night-time personality Jackson Blue who will be voice-tracking from his station in Dallas. Jackson Blue confirmed his voice-tracking shift at Kiss via
his Tweeter page. In December 2006, Dagata lost her midday show to voicetracking DJ Shelly Wade and shifted to weekend/fill-in role at Boston's Top40 giant. She moved back into Kiss 108's weekday line-up this past September after night-time jock Jackson Blue left Medford for Dallas to host afternoon drive at KHKS-FM. Now, she is forced out again by voicetracking programming again.

Starting today, Kiss 108 which is celebrating its 30 years on the air with its annual Kiss Concert later this month will only have two live, local shows during mornings(Matty In the Morning) and afternoons(Romeo). Rest of the station's schedule will be filled out by syndicated programming(Ryan Seacrest) or voicetracking DJs.

In addition of elimination of evening local programming, another broadcast veteran at Clear Channel's Boston cluster,
Steve Riggs, who most recently served as the Director of Engineering and IT, lost his job on Tuesday after 18 years.

The latest round of job cuts at Clear Channel comes on top of 1,850 layoffs announced in January
(BRW 1/23), which mostly affected sales. Both rounds of cuts accounted for about 12 percent of Clear Channel's staff.CC Media Holdings Inc., Clear Channel's parent company, also said Tuesday it had suspended its 401(k) company match.The Wall Street Journal said Clear Channel's affected programming likely will be replaced by shows from its syndication division.The company is scheduled to report first-quarter results on May 11.

BRW Notebook :

Talk rage : Tomorrow morning(4/3) at 9am, WTKK 96.9FM's Michele McPhee and her “Outrage Brigade” will protest at Brandeis University to show their discontent with William Ayers speaking at the university.

“The idea that Brandeis University – the very school attended by the students and Weather Underground affiliates who shot and killed Police Officer Walter Schroeder in cold blood in Boston , Massachusetts in 1970 – would invite the founder of that terrorist organization to speak in Waltham is outrageous,” said McPhee. “The move is incredibly disrespectful to the memory of the slain Boston Police officer and to his daughter Claire Schroeder, who is currently a sergeant in the Waltham Police Department. Bill Ayers has a right to speak, but we have a right to make sure he is not heard.”

McPhee is heard on WTKK 96.9FM from 7 to 10pm weeknights.

Honor roll : Greater Media announced WTKK's program director Grace Blazer has been named the recipient of the 2009 Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman. She will be honored for her achievements in talk radio programming at the upcoming Talkers Magazine New Media Summit 2009 on June 5 in NYC.

Shifting the Zone to the left : Progressive talk radio will return Monday(5/4) to the Boston airwaves. WWZN AM/Zone 1510 which has been dabbling with the time-buy business model for the past couple of years by leasing out its airwaves to sports talk hosts, comedians, preachers, betting shops, snake oil salesmen, foreign language programmers,etc will finally have a real format for most of its broadcast day. The Zone 1510 will switch to a format featuring syndicated liberal talkers Stephanie Miller(10-12), Thom Hartmann(12-3pm) and Ed Schultz(3pm-6pm) anchored locally by Jeff Santos in the morning drive(6-10am). The format is similar to what WKOX AM aired before switching to Rumba 1200 format in December 2006(Correction 4/30 : The original update incorrectly stated that WKOX AM 1200 switched from progresiive talk to Rumba format in December 2005. It was actually December 2006).

Friday, April 24, 2009

WMBR's Jon Bernhardt celebrates his 25-year run with a pair of benefit concerts

Jon Bernhardt, who has DJ-ed the weekday show "Breakfast of Champions"(8am-10am) on MIT's WMBR 88.1FM since his college days will be celerbating 25 years on the air at the campus station with a pair of benefit concerts in late June. Here is the press release :

Cambridge, Mass. – April 24, 2009) WMBR disc jockey Jon Bernhardt will celebrate his 25th anniversary with the morning Breakfast of Champions radio program on Friday, June 26, from 8 - 10 a.m. To mark this auspicious occasion, he has convinced the bands that have been played the most on his program to perform at a pair of benefit concerts at two Boston area clubs. UK legend Bevis Frond will play in his only U.S. appearance on Sunday, June 21 at TT the Bear’s along with the Condo Fucks and Sleepyhead. Versus reunites to play Church with Rebecca Gates (The Spinanes) and more guests TBA, on Saturday, June 27. Proceeds will benefit WMBR. Tickets for both shows are on sale now. On his June 26, 2009 anniversary program, Bernhardt plans to count down the 33 songs he's played the most over his 25 year career. With the painstaking meticulousness of an actuary (see below), Bernhardt spent 18 months typing all 25 years worth of playlists into a database, so that he could figure out which bands and songs he played the most. Many of those bands will be heard on the June 26 program, and some will probably be as much of a surprise to listeners as they were to Bernhardt himself.

Sunday, June 21, TT the Bear’s, 10 Brookline St., Cambridge
The Bevis Frond - #1 on Bernhardt’s career playlist – makes a rare appearance, having last played the United States in 2002. Matador recording artists the Condo Fucks feature all three members of Bernhardt’s #2 band, Yo La Tengo. Sleepyhead, who released a song that tied for #1 on the list, opens. (18+, $20, advance tickets at, or at the venue. Call (617) 492-0082 for more information.)

Saturday, June 27, Church, 69 Kilmarnock St., Boston
Versus, who haven’t played in Boston since 2003, and are the #4 band on the list, reunite especially for the occasion. Also appearing is Rebecca Gates, whose band The Spinanes, released the other song tied for #1. More artists TBA. (21+, $15, advance tickets at, or at the venue. Call (617) 236-7600 for more information.)

Bernhardt began volunteering at the M.I.T. community radio station in September, 1983. His first Breakfast of Champions program was broadcast on Thursday, June 28, 1984, but by the fall of 1986, he had settled into the Friday morning slot of the indie-rock institution, where he remains today. He was named "Best College DJ" by The Boston Phoenix. Throughout his tenure on the Breakfast of Champions, he has been an early champion of many bands that later achieved a modicum of fame and success. During the day, Bernhardt works as an actuary for a major metropolitan insurance company. He's held various jobs there since graduating college. When he’s not being an actuary or a disc jockey, he can often be found playing theremin, both in the Lothars and as a solo artist. No promises, but if asked nicely, he may do a few numbers at these shows. He lives in Somerville.

WMBR is the MIT campus radio station, broadcast on 88.1 FM between 20 and 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. The station transmits at 720 watts, effective radiated power from the top of the
Eastgate Building in Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass. Programming includes a wide range of music shows, public affairs programs and eclectic audio entertainment.

Playlists for all of Jon Bernhardt's radio shows, as well as a select number of other WMBR jocks, can be found at

WMBR broadcasts at 88.1 FM in Cambridge Massachusetts, and on the Internet at

Born to run : WTKK's Graham organizes training for future political candidates

Want to be in politics? Here's your chance.

Tomorrow morning(4/25) WTKK 96.9FM will be hosting a free, non-partisan "Candidate's Training Session" at Ken's Steak House on Route 9 in Framingham. From 8-10am, Republican, Democratic and independent political professionals and activists will donate their time to help educate private citizens on becoming candidates in the 2009 and 2010 elections. The goal is to help interested citizens with little political experience become serious, qualified candidates in upcoming municipal and state elections.

"This is a working group session, not a political rally or event," said WTKK’s midmorning(9am-Noon) host Michael Graham, also a former GOP consultant. “We're building on the energy of the Tea Party protests, and answering the question I've been asked 1,000 times since last Wednesday: ‘What can I do to make a difference?’ Here's what you can do: Run."

Over 100 Massachusetts residents are expected to participate in tomorrow’s training session. For more info about attending this event, contact Michael Graham at or 617-822-6827.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Same old song and dance : PPMs show big formats still rule

Fans of Kiss 108, Magic 106.7, WBZ AM 1030, Oldies 103.3 and WROR 105.7FM got good news in the first ever meausurement using Arbitron's new and much-scrutinized Portable People Meter ratings system. The first commercial results for March were released this afternoon. In addition, with the release of March numbers, the January and February numbers are now also considered currency and can be used for selling radio advertising time.

All those stations did well under the new PPM system, which is now a primary gauge by which Boston stations decide what they put on the air.

To view the share of the weekly audiences for Boston listeners ages 6 and over click

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

E Street Band's Little Steven spins into WROR today

Bruce Springsteen guitarist "Little" Steven Van Zandt will take over WROR 105.7FM;s studios as a guest DJ today from 3-4pm.

The legendary performer is in town performing with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the TD Banknorth Garden as part of the "Working On A Dream" tour tonight and tomorrow.

Host of the nationally syndicated show, "Little Steven's Underground Garage," Little Steven can be heard on Sunday nights from 10pm-midnight on 105.7FM.

The Lemonheads headline WBOS' EarthFest concert

One of the first bands to be dubbed "pop-punk," Boston's own The Lemonheads will join Soul Asylum, Shawn Mullins and Seven Mary Three to headline the 16th annual Radio 92.9 EarthFest, noon-5 p.m. May 30th at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade in Boston, it was announced this morning. The annual free festival also will feature booths offering educational displays, exhibits and food sampling. Here's the press release from Radio 92.9 :

Soul Asylum, The Lemonheads, Seven Mary Three and Shawn Mullins to Play 16th Annual Radio 92.9 EarthFest on May 30, 2009

Free Festival will Feature Great Music, Family-Friendly Activities and Environmental Initiatives

Boston, MA , (April 22, 2009): Radio 92.9 has announced the 16th Annual EarthFest will be held on May 30th, 2009 from Noon to 5:00 pm at the Hatch Shell in Boston . The free festival will feature performances from Soul Asylum, The Lemonheads, Seven Mary Three and Shawn Mullins.

Presented by Whole Foods Market and free to the public, EarthFest will once again be a celebration for the Earth showcasing environmentally friendly products, groups, and activities. EarthFest will also feature an all-star musical line-up, an interactive family area and more. Produced in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the event is expected to draw more than 100,000.

“We are thrilled to help raise awareness of the environmental issues we all face and offer ways each individual can help,” said Ken West, Program Director at Radio 92.9. “It’s a great feeling that in these tough economic times, Radio 929 can once again provide a day of free entertainment to all -- a can’t miss event for music fans in New England.”

The 2009 Radio 92.9 EarthFest is committed to offering festival goers an opportunity to learn how they can make a difference and help save Planet Earth. The festival will feature exhibits and environmental displays, staffed by sponsors and non-profit environmental organizations from New England . Each exhibitor is committed to raising awareness and offering educational information about different environmental issues facing the planet.

Radio 92.9 is also working hard to ensure the event is carbon-neutral, creating little impact on the environment. A comprehensive recycling program will be put in place throughout the duration of the show and
Mass Bike will be onsite staffing a free bike-valet program, offering concertgoers an alternative to driving to the festival.

In addition to the musical per for mances on the main stage, the 2009 Radio 92.9 Earthfest will also feature Kids’ Planet – an expanded interactive family area. The perfect destination for families and kids of all ages, Kids’ Planet will feature a stage with a wide variety of musical acts and entertainment as well as environmental activities and educational displays. Activities in Kids’ Planet will begin at 10 a.m.

Musical per for mances on the main stage will begin at 12:00 noon. This year’s performers include:

· Soul Asylum, an American alternative rock band formed in Minneapolis in 1983. The group was an outgrowth of a previous band, Loud Fast Rules, formed in 1981. After being picked up by
Columbia Records, they released the double-platinum album Grave Dancers Union in 1992 featuring their Grammy Award-winning single "Runaway Train.” They also scored a platinum record with the album Let Your Dim Light Shine in 1998. In 2006, Soul Asylum founders Dave Pirner and Dan Murphy returned to rock’s front line with THE SILVER LINING, their first new studio release since Candy From a Stranger.

· The son of a Boston attorney and a fashion model, Evan Dando (vocals, guitar, drums) formed The Lemonheads with his high-school classmates in the early 90’s. After developing his signature blend of pop, punk, and country-rock on several independent records in the late '80s, Evan Dando moved The Lemonheads to Atlantic Records in 1990. Two years later, It's a Shame About Ray made the group into media sensations. The Lemonheads recently signed to Brooklyn, NY-based THE END RECORDS and will be releasing their long-awaited covers collection, VARSHONS in June 2009.

· Within the alternative world, Seven Mary Three has often been compared to the mainstream-sounding, garage/arena rock of post-Ten Pearl Jam, but the group insists that their refusal to alienate themselves from the rest of the world makes them different; instead, Seven Mary Three offers songs concerning self-discovery and true outsiders isolated from society. Based in Virginia , the group was signed to the Mammoth label after its first single, , was played on a Florida radio station and generated a huge response. Their debut album, American Standard, was released in 1995; Rock Crown followed in 1997, and a year later Seven Mary Three returned with their third LP, Orange Ave. In December 2008, they reissued Churn, the much-talked-about and long-out-of-print debut CD from 1994.

· Atlanta-based folksinger and songwriter Shawn Mullins was serving as a member of the U.S. Army Airborne Infantry Division when he released his first self-titled cassette on his own SM label in 1989. Following the release of 1991's Everchanging World, he left the military after eight years to pursue music on a full-time basis. After 1995's Jeff's Last Dance, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, live companion discs recorded jointly with Matthew Kahler, Mullins returned a year later with the solo Eggshells. Soul's Core, his first album for major label Columbia , followed in 1998, scoring a Top Ten hit with the single "Lullaby." The album eventually went platinum; paving the way for an anthology of his early work with 1999's The First Ten Years. The Essential Shawn Mullins collection arrived in 2003, followed by 9th Ward Pickin' Parlor for Vanguard Records in 2006 and Honeydew in March of 2009.

Radio 929 recommends festival goers ride their bikes or take the MBTA to the Hatch Shell. Take the Green Line to Arlington Street or take the Red Line to Charles Street / MGH. For more details, visit the MBTA website at

For additional in for mation on the 16th Annual Radio 92.9 EarthFest please visit

Radio 92.9/WBOS-FM is owned by Greater Boston Radio, Inc.,, a subsidiary of Greater Media Inc., the parent company of 23 AM and FM radio stations in the Boston , Charlotte , Detroit , New Jersey and Philadelphia markets. Greater Media also owns a group of weekly newspapers in central New Jersey and several telecommunications towers located throughout the United States .

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rumba 1200 Goes 50,000 Watts Around The Clock

Late last week Clear Channel/Boston announced that its WKOX AM/Rumba 1200 now broadcasts at 50,000 watts day and night. Previously, the radio station's signal strength was around 10,000 watts during the day and limited to 1,000 watts at night from its former tower site in Framingham. With a major signal upgrade at its new Newton location, WKOX joins a short list of powerful Boston radio stations on the AM band.

WKOX's 50,000-watt daytime signal covers an area with a population count of nearly 4 million people.

In a press release, Clear Channel/Boston market manager Tom McConnell said, "The increase to 50,000 watts on WKOX has upgraded the signal to one of the strongest AM signals in Boston, which allows us to deliver Rumba 1200AM to those listeners seeking the best in salsa, merengue, bachata, reggaeton, and Latin pop."

Rumba PD Miguel Miguel said, "We are excited with the increase. We are the only station doing 24 hours and seven days a week playing your music, Orgullo Latino [Latin Pride]."

BRW Notebook :

More Sox talk on the way : As mentioned in the previous update, the local sports radio gladiator WEEI AM 850 and its growing talk radio network will be revamping its weekend schedule around more Red Sox talk(what a surprise..:) beginning next weekend(beginning May 2). Here is today's official WEEI release on the upcoming changes to its Saturday and Sunday morning schedules :

WEEI Debuts New Weekend Lineup, Announces heavy focus on Red Sox Programming
BOSTON (April 21, 2009) – The WEEI Sports Radio Network today announced the addition of three programs to its line-up with an increased focus on Red Sox related programming.
Beginning on May 2, WEEI and Comcast SportsNet will partner on a new program called “The Baseball Show,” to be hosted by Michael Felger, host of CSN’s Sports Tonight and regular contributor to the WEEI Sports Radio Network. ‘EEI regulars Lou Merloni, Sean McAdam, and Steve Buckley will play major roles on this program. “The Baseball Show” will provide the most comprehensive analysis of the Red Sox each week using the full resources of both WEEI and Comcast SportsNet, in addition to featuring live calls from Red Sox fans across the region. The show will air from 9 AM until noon each Saturday during the season.

On Sunday morning, WEEI is pleased to announce that Mike Mutnansky and editor Rob Bradford, will host a new version of “Red Sox Baseball Today.” The four-hour broadcast will air Sunday mornings from 9 AM to 1 PM leading directly into Red Sox baseball. Preceding home games, the show will air from WEEI’s Landsdowne Street studios. For road games, Mutansky and Bradford will be at the station in Brighton. “Red Sox Baseball Today” will cater directly to Red Sox fans throughout New England, and will contain a mix of calls and pre-game sound from the park to get fans ready for each game.

Additionally, WEEI will launch Red Sox Rewind, airing immediately after each Red Sox broadcast with John Ryder. The one hour show will feature post game analysis, including sound from the locker room and call-ins from the park from the team.

“The WEEI Sports Radio Network is committed to providing the best coverage of the Sox and with the addition of our simulcast with Comcast and the continued tradition of Red Sox Baseball Today, we will do just that,” said Entercom New England Vice President of AM Programming Jason Wolfe. “I’m especially pleased that we’re able to have Rob’s consistent presence as part of our baseball coverage this season. He provides incredible content to and will be an outstanding contributor to our overall package. ”

Sports talk in the afternoon : Boston sports journalist Danny Picard's 'I'm Just Sayin...' sports talk show has moved into the 4pm-6pm drivetime slot on WBNW AM 1120(as well as on AM 1390 in Plymouth and AM 970 in Southbridge). With Picard's afternoon entry on AM 1120, the PM drive is suddenly getting pretty croweded with a number listening options on the AM dial for local sports fans - "The Big Show" on WEEI AM 850, "Boston Sports Show" on ESPN 890 and various timebuy sports shows on the Zone 1510.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

WEEI partners with Comcast SportsNet in the first regional TV/radio programming simulcast

Starting on May 2nd, Comcast SportsNet is launching the region’s first radio/TV simulcast show in partnership with WEEI AM 850, it was announced this afternoon. The Baseball Show featuring Michael Felger, CSN exclusive baseball analyst Lou Merloni and Boston Herald baseball scribes Sean McAdam and Steve Buckley will run Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 pm and feature live call ins. Felger is also a regular contrbutor to

The Baseball Show will be the very first TV/radio simulcast in the Boston area. Originating from Comcast SportsNet’s studios in Burlington , MA , The Baseball Show will reach 4.4 million homes across New England and millions of WEEI radio listeners in Boston and other major New England markets, including Cape Cod, Worcester , Providence , Hartford , and Portland . Fans can also listen to the shows online at and

BRW Notebook :

Here come the B's : Still no word on the Bruins' next radio deal which apparently has some of the unusual bidders like WFNX 101.7FM
according to the Globe, but WBZ AM 1030 which kicks off the quest for the Cup tonight at 7pm , is stil considered to bel a heavy favorite to retain the team's radio rights for next season.

Here come the C's : WEEI AM 850 will have all of the Celtics playoff action starting with Game 1 on Saturday(4/18) at 12:30pm . Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell are doing the call with John Ryder working the postgame talk. Right below WEEI on the dial, ESPN 890 will air a number NBA playoff games(no Celtics) via ESPN Radio mothership. In addition, ESPN 890 will feature an expanded version of The Celtic Pride Radio Show, with an hour before the tip-off of every Celtics playoff game. It will be hosted by Patrick Gilroy and Jeff Hickman, now in their 6th year together.

Dead Men Rocking : The Dead's show at the DCU Center in Worcester will be broadcast live 7:30 p.m. Saturday(4/18) on Sirius XM's Grateful Dead Channel.The channel airs on Sirius channel 32 and XM channel 57 features music spanning the band's career with unreleased concert recordings and original shows hosted by band members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann.
It also features rare archival interviews with Jerry Garcia and contributions from Grateful Dead expert David Gans and Dead archivist David Lemieux.

More Seacrest, please : The nationally syndicated "On-Air With Ryan Seacrest" which airs locally on Kiss 108/WXKS 107.9FM from 10am to 1pm is expanding to include a fourth hour of programming, beginning Monday, May 4. The show will now air from 10am to 2pm.

Getting the Whine out : The WEEI Sports Radio Network will hold the 7th annual Whiney Awards with Glenn Ordway on Tuesday, June 25, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. This year’s event will be held at the new Showcase Live entertainment venue at Patriot Place , adjacent to Gillette Stadium.

Tickets will cost $40 and go on sale to WEEI Clubhouse Insiders on Thursday, April 23rd at 2 PM. Tickets for the general public will go on sale Friday April 24th 2 PM. They can be purchased at

Comedian Tony V will emcee the Oscar-style ceremony for the sixth consecutive year. He will be joined by the entire WEEI on-air cast, as well as many of Boston ’s top sports reporters and special celebrity guests.

The Whiner Line airs daily at 5:45 PM on “The Big Show” with Glenn Ordway.

It's a wonderful time of year...again : If you're a sports fan, Patriots Day(4/20) will be the most action-packed day in quite a while around these parts. First, for 78th straight year WBZ AM 1030 will mark the 113th anniversary of the oldest marathon in America and the largest single-day event in New England. As of now, WBZ's coverage plans include sports director Walt Perkins at the starting point in Hopkinton calling the start of the race for each division(Wheelchair, Women's, Men's,etc). The station will have a chopper to supplement its top and bottom of the hour newscasts as well as sports updates at 15 and 45 minutes past each hour. The station will also have a reporter at the Finish line in Copley Square....The Red Sox' Patriots Day game from Fenway will be on at 11am on WEEI AM 850 which will also have KG-less Celtics-Bulls' Game 2 from the Garden at 7pm...WBZ AM 1030 will conclude its sports busy day with Game 3 of the B's-Habs series from Montreal's Bell Centre at 7pm.

Mike rides on : The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, the nation’s most successful athletic fundraising event has signed WMKK/Mike FM 93.7 as its official and exclusive radio sponsor. The radio station will promote the efforts of more than 5,000 cyclists who will ride up to 190 miles in the 2009 PMC to raise millions of dollars for cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund.

Mike FM will sponsor the Pan-Mass Challenge under its “Random Acts of Kindness” program by providing public service announcements during the spring training season and over PMC weekend, which is August 1 & 2. As part of the Random Acts of Kindness program, the station will also broadcast live from different hubs along the seven PMC routes over PMC weekend, including the Babson College start and finish lines in Wellesley on Sunday, August 2. The Mike FM team will appear at four PMC Kids Rides in May and June and the station will post information about the PMC on its website and promote the event and its mission through an email campaign. All of the Entercom New England radio stations will air PSAs for the PMC throughout training season.

What about Bob? : While local Entercom management was enjoying the Opening Day festivities at company's luxury box at Fenway Park last week, WAAF 107.3FM/WKAF 97.7FM's night-time jock Bob Hannah was getting the bad news that he was losing his 7-Midnight job due to corporate budget cuts. After being a part-timer at WAAF for two years, Hannah was named station's night-time voice in April 2006. He wasn't off the air for too long.This week, he was picked up by CBS Radio Boston to do some weekend and fill-in work at WBCN 104.1FM and sister station WZLX 100.7FM.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Radio to the rescue : Local station seeks to clear Leno's new NBC show

While the big media tussle between Ch.7 and NBC over non-carriage of Jay Leno's upcoming network prime-time program is dominating entertainment headlines today, Clark Smidt, owner and operator of WCAP AM 980 in Lowell, has been and is ready to simulcast the show on the radio in comedian's home market.

Clark is telling BRW that he is hoping to have Leno's permission to simulcast the nightly audio. WCAP already simulcasts three daily editions of top rated WCVB-TV/NewsCenter 5. Clark has been operating the heritage WCAP AM 980 since November, 2007. He lives in Leno's former hometown - Andover, MA - and featured Jay Leno as a guest on WBZ 106.7FM(now WMJX) back in 1972, when Leno was just starting out at Lennie's on the Turnpike.

BRW Notebook :

Setting new records : WBUR's "Only A Game" has now officially crossed the 200 affiliate mark. The locally-produced show added 17 new stations since mid-January. "Only A Game" is hosted by Bill Littlefield and is now into its 16th year in production. It is distributed nationally by NPR and is the network's only sports program. The show airs locally on WBUR 90.9 FM on Saturdays at both 7:00am and 6:00pm.

Rumble in Brighton tonight : WBCN's 31st annual "Rock'n'Roll Rumble" kicks off this weekend as the Globe profiles event's organizer and the host of station's local rock "Boston Emissions" show(10pm-Midnight) Anngelle Wood.

Dropping sticks for a cause : No word yet on the next Bruins radio deal, but the team's 13 players will participate in WBCN's 2nd annual "Cuts For A Cause" shavedown which takes place on Wednesday(4/8) at the Harp from 3 to 5pm. The event benefits Mass General Hospital for Children's Pediatric Oncology Unit. More info here and at

What are you saying? What are you playing? : REM's "Radio Song" aside, it's been over a year since the old WBOS 92.9FM left us. But the new WBOS 92.9FM(or Radio 92.9FM) apparently hasn't quite caught on with the people who loved the old WBOS.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Boston radio saw big revenue declines in 2008

Everyone knows 2008 was a very rough year for radio advertising, but its annual "Investing In Radio" market revenue report just released by the Virginia-based media research group BIA Advisory Services,LLC (a subsidiary of BIA Financial Network,Inc) shows just how bad it really was.

Boston radio landscape saw its total revenues slip 8 percent in 2008 over 2007 and only a handful of major stations made more money in 2008 than they did in 2007, according to BIA's estimates. Market revenue dropped below $300 million mark last year - $283.7 million. The rest of Boston major commercial stations saw their annual revenue decline, the report says.

News/Talk station WBZ AM 1030 still generated the most revenue in Boston radio - $31.7 million in 2008 - but the station was down $2.8 million from its 2007 revenues, according to BIA's estimates.

Revenue for each of the five Boston stations(WBZ AM 1030, WBMX 98.5FM, WODS 103.3FM, WBCN 104.1FM and WZLX 100.7FM) owned by media conglomerate CBS Corp also dipped last year. However, CBS stations still led the market in a combined revenue representing 33% of the entire Boston radio pie. WBCN 104.1FM which dropped shock jocks “Opie and Anthony” from mornings in December, saw the biggest revenue drop in the local CBS cluster - from $17.55 million in 2007 to $15.1 million in 2008.

But news wasn't all bad for CBS. Although WBCN's revenues dipped, its "power ratio" went up significantly. A power ratio is the complicated formula BIA uses to determine a station's ability to translate ratings into revenue. BIA gave WBCN a 1.90 ratio for 2008, up from 1.74 in 2007. WBCN maintained the highest power ratio among all commercial stations in the Boston market. Meanwhile, WBCN’s clustermate WBMX 98.5FM had the second highest power ratio with 1.66 and was CBS’ best local performer as far as gains and losses went. WBMX’s showed only a modest drop - from $17.9 million in 2007 to $17.4 million in 2008.

A station that saw the biggest decline in the BIA's report was Greater Media-owned WBOS 92.9FM which flipped from AAA to an automated modern rock Radio 92.9 format last winter – falling from $8.2 million to $3.650 million.

The stations that saw their revenues rise last year recorded only modest gains.

Entercom’s money machine WEEI AM 850 earned $31.2 million in 2008 or $200,000 more than in 2007 and good enough for the 2nd highest revenue earner behind WBZ AM. Northeast Broadcasting’s WXRV 92.5FM/The River bounced from $4.45 million to $4.6 million. And, in the battle of the talk stations, WTKK 96.9FM generated $9.525 million in 2008 compared to $9.250 in 2007 while its nemesis WRKO AM 680 saw its revenue decline from $8.2 million to $7.6 million.

Here are Top 10 Boston stations ranked by revenue estimates in 2008

(Source : BIA Advisory Services)

BRW Notebook :

G...20....Bingo! : WTKK 96.9's midday host Michael Graham has been doing his show(9am-Noon) from Northern Europe for the past couple days As President Barack Obama attends the G20 summit in London, Graham's show is broadcasting from the Dublin studios of Ireland's national NewsTalk network where he has been a guest fill-in on George Hook's program since 2005.

Talking the Talk : While on the talk radio beat, WTKK's
Jay Severin and WRKO's Howie Carr have been named one of America's Top 25 local talk hosts by NewsMax Magazine it was announced this morning.

Mike does good things : WMKK/Mike 93-7 has announced that is teameing up with "The Life is Good" Company to present the annual Life is good® Festival at the Boston Common on June 20, 2009 to benefit Project Joy. This is the third year that Mike-FM has supported the event as the exclusive radio partner

The new frontier : Speaking of recognition, Boston sports journalist Danny Picard has been named to Talkers Magazine's "The Frontier Fifty: A Selection of Outstanding Talk Media Webcasters” list of web-based broadcasters. Picard's
"I'm Just Sayin'..." sports talk show is heard on the network as well as WBNW AM 1120 where it's been airing in the 6-8pm slot since January. In a related note, as WBNW transitions to a brand new, state-of-the-art, digital studio at the same Needham location, "I'm Just Sayin'..." will be moving to an earlier 4-6pm slot replacing CNN's Lou Dobbs show in the next couple weeks.

Radio bailout : WAAF 107.3FM will kick off its own version of the bailout plan next week when the station begins giving away $1,000 bailout checks three times daily. Listeners can enter to win at Bailout recipients will be announced three times each weekday (9 AM, 2 PM and 5 PM), through April 17, 2009, and listeners will have thirty minutes to call the station to claim their checks.

The station also announced that Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis will return to the airwaves during the upcoming MLB season for the second consecutive year. “Youk” will appear on the Hill-Man morning show on the morning of the home opener. Following that, he is scheduled to call in every Wednesday at 8:40 AM.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Foolproof prank for WBCN : Bogus format change Powers April Fool's stunt

Here's a lesson for you: Never believe what's coming out of your radio on (or around) April Fool's Day. Today’s the biggest prankster on the dial is heritage rocker WBCN 104.1FM.

The station is causing a stir this morning by pretending it adopted a new Top 40 format which goes with Power 104 slogan playing nothing but today's hits.

The station went to elaborate lengths to carry off today’s hoax. WBCN put up a goofy Power 104 logo on its website this morning. Its AM drive team “Toucher and Rich” have been conducting a long, mournful on-air farewell and hinting of upcoming changes for the past couple of weeks. They even managed to scam the newsprint media to promote today's prank. The ‘new station’ is even promising to “Rip the lips off Kiss” in it’s a new on-air liner. Hysterical.

Roll over, Beethoven, and go back to sleep.