Monday, December 20, 2010

Oedipus to jingle on Christmas Eve again

The Boston radio tradition continues. As he did last year(BRW 12/11/09), legendary Boston radio DJ and programmer, Oedipus will return to WFNX 101.7's studios in Lynn to host his annual Christmas Eve show this Friday night(12/24) from 6pm to Midnight, it was announced today. He started this tradition back in 1978 while working as a night time DJ at now-defunct WBCN 104.1. Here's the press release from WFNX :

WFNX is the home of Oedipus' Legendary Christmas Eve Show

Boston’s WFNX-FM will again be broadcast this year’s edition of the long-running Christmas Eve show hosted by legendary radio personality and programmer Oedipus. As always, it will feature music from Oedipus’ carefully cultivated collection of holiday music, along with other exclusive Christmas-themed surprises.

Last year was the first year Oedipus made WFNX his official Christmas Eve home, it had been a fixture on the station’s now-defunct rival WBCN.

“Once again, a Boston tradition continues on WFNX.” Oedipus said. “How appropriate that this unique Christmas music is heard on Boston ’s only Alternative. Every year I look forward to sharing these songs that can be heard nowhere else.”

When asked about his Christmas Eve tradition, Oedipus stated “I’ve Been doing it for 30 odd years (yes, I started as a young boy) and is a Boston tradition for many. I collect Christmas music and pride myself on playing the most unique Christmas music on any dial and guarantee not to play any of those songs that if you heard one more time you would kill yourself. The show is wildly eclectic, mixing every type of music imaginable, truly Alternative. The show is all about peace, love and understanding, nothing cynical or negative. It’s for people wrapping presents, having parties or sexing it up under the tree. One listener reads her Dickens during the show every year. Another couple open gifts. I don’t talk a great deal but do tell some stories of Christmas. Did you know that Christmas was actually banned in Boston for part of the 17th century? In the early days, the Christmas holidays were actually a bacchanalian debauchery and much too rowdy for the Puritans. I have Bono reading a Christmas poem and Dylan reciting ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. The show is live and I create it as the show develops, blending songs as I hunt thru the 90+ CDs that I bring into the studio. Over the years it has primarily been 6 hours, 6pm Christmas Eve until midnight Christmas morning. I, alone in the studio, bring in Christmas with the listeners. It’s been commercial free as commerce really doesn’t make sense, but there has been the occasional sponsorship: This commercial free Christmas is made possible by...”

BRW Notebook :

Andelman to retire : Boston sports radio listeners are about to lose their quarterback. Eddie Andelman, 74, who has entertained and amused generations of Boston radio listeners for more than four decades is set to retire after his last show on WTKK 96.9 this coming Sunday night(12/26). Since the incidential inception of the "Sports Huddle" in June 1969 on WUNR 1600, Andelman has been a permanent fixture on Boston sports radio landscapde. He co-hosted the super popular Sports Huddle with two of his friends - Mark Witkin and Jim McCarthy - from 1969 to 1993 on a number of local signals - WUNR 1600, WBZ 1030, WHDH 850 and WEEI 590/850.

When WEEI 590 decided to drop its news format and go all-sports in September 1991, the station made a move to wrest Andelman and his Sunday night show from WHDH 850. Ironically, WEEI's sports format moved to the 850 frequency in August 1994.

Andelman's 10-year run at WEEI ended with his sudden exit in December 2001 as the Patriots were marching to their first Super Bowl title. His contract at WEEI wasn't renewed. He joined WEEI's then-challenger WWZN/Zone 1510 in March 2002 but the struggling local sports format finally collapsed in October 2005. In April 2006, Andelman relaunched the weekly "New Sports Huddle" with a former ESPN producer Bill Fairweather as co-host on WTKK 96.9. The station hasn't made any official announcement as what will air in its Sunday's 7-10pm block after Andelman ends his program. Andelman's three sons have been also hosting their own Phanthom Gourment show on WTKK every Saturday afternoon since April 2007.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kravetz named WBUR 90.9's general manager

Charlie Kravetz, a highly-regarded and well-respected news manager in Boston TV for 30 years, has been chosen to lead WBUR 90.9's operation starting Jan.1. Just like the outgoing general manager Paul La Camera, Kravetz spent some time at Boston's ABC affiliate WCVB-TV5 where he co-founded the popular "Chronicle" news magazine in 1980 and was the show's executive producer for many years. He was later named WCVB's assistant news director. From 1992 to 2009, he oversaw one of country's largest regional news networks - New England Cable News(NECN). Kravetz will start at WBUR 90.9 on January 1st. La Camera will stay on in an advisory capacity at WBUR for the next two years. Here's WBUR's press release issued this afternoon :

(Boston) − Charles Kravetz, the founding news & programming director and station manager of New England Cable News, has been appointed the new general manager of WBUR-FM, effective January 1, 2011. Kravetz succeeds Paul A. La Camera who was appointed general manager in September of 2005 and will now take a two-year appointment as BU’s administrator of public radio, a new job in which he’ll help manage both the leadership transition and public representation of the station.

“The hiring of Charles Kravetz fulfilled the University’s hope for a GM who would have the national stature that WBUR deserves,” said BU Executive Vice President Joseph Mercurio. “He possesses outstanding journalism and management credentials, understands emerging technology, and has a strong local media connection.”

Kravetz has set his immediate sights on creating new programs, bolstering the station's new marketing campaign "UR WBUR" and enhancing the station’s digital presence, along with the continued drive to decrease time spent on-air fundraising and seeking alternative means of reaching donors.

“The challenges that WBUR faces are many, like every organization in the media, but it comes to those challenges from a position of strength,” said Kravetz. “Our listeners want access to the quality journalism we do in every platform, whether it’s an I-pad, an I-phone, any written form through the Web, through Twitter.”

Kravetz joins WBUR at a time when the station has held its listener lead against a remade public radio competitor, Brighton-based WGBH. WBUR ranked 11th in the Boston radio market Arbitron ratings in October, versus 24th for WGBH.

“It’s a wonderful thing to be able to take over the leadership of an organization that is in such a strong position,” said Kravetz. “WBUR is uniquely situated in the Boston market. It is financially sound and owned by an extraordinary academic institution that supports it and gives it the freedom to do the kind of quality journalism we all admire.”

“Kravetz is a reservoir of local knowledge,” said Peter Fiedler, BU’s vice president for administrative services and WBUR’s acting general manager in 2004-05. “He understands Boston, he understands the players in this city. He also brings strong thinking on new technology.”

In 1992, New England Cable News hired Kravetz to engineer its news operation from scratch. In five months, he oversaw the building of a newsroom, hiring of 90 staffers, and the start of 24 hours-a-day programming. Over 16 years, he opened four New England satellite bureaus, started the country’s first streaming video news site, and secured NECN’s perch among the top 10-rated Boston cable channels. He also led the news team to Peabody, Murrow, and duPont-Columbia awards.

In 2008, Kravetz was appointed NECN’s president/general manager where he guided the channel through its expanding distribution, now reaching almost 4 million homes, making it the largest regional cable news channel in the country. Prior to his post at NECN, Kravetz was an executive at WCVB-TV from 1980 to1991, where he was responsible for creating the long-running TV newsmagazine Chronicle as its original producer and executive producer, later rising to assistant news director at Boston’s ABC affiliate.

A Wellesley resident, Kravetz graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Rochester

WBUR, 90.9 FM is Boston’s NPR news station, and the home of nationally syndicated programs, including “On Point with Tom Ashbrook” and “Here & Now with Robin Young.” In May, the station launched “Radio Boston,” a local news and public affairs program that airs weekdays from 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.

About Boston University
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school's research and teaching mission.

Monday, December 6, 2010

LaPierre returns to WBZ mornings...for one week

There was a very familiar voice being heard on WBZ 1030 this morning. The station has brought back its iconic news anchor Gary LaPierre to co-anchor morning drive news slot all this week. Ed Walsh who replaced LaPierre in January 2007 retired last week(11/30). The station is expected to name Walsh's fulltime replacement shortly.

BRW Notebook :

Setting the table : After a very successful 10-year run on TV, WGBH TV's produced "American Test Kitchen" is getting a radio version next month according to the Boston Herald's food blog "Fork Lift". Beginning Saturday, January 8th, WGBH 89.7 will air a 1-hour live radio show with show's host Christopher Kimball and co-host Bridget Lancaster. The show is slotted to air every Saturday at 2pm.

Belated birthday : WXRV 92.5/The River celebrated its 15th birthday with a special station concert show by Guster. Boston Globe's music scribe Jim Sullivan takes a look at River's eclectic sound and its DJs.

The sideline show : Much has been written and said recently about the on-going WBZ/ 98.5 The SportsHub and WEEI/Sports Radio 850 Boston sports radio rivalry, but if you like your sports radio on a little slower and a little more folksier, there is a former WBZ-TV sports icon Bob Lobel who began hosting his own 2-hour afternoon show on New Hampshire's WTPL 107.7/The Pulse last week. The Bob Lobel show streams on-line from 1pm to 3pm weekdays. Lobel is also co-hosting a talk show with Upton Bell on RushRadio 1200 which is heard every Sunday from 9am to 11am.