Tuesday, July 19, 2011

WEEI retains Westwood One's NFL package with added bonus

With NFL lockout coming to a close later this week, it was announced today that WEEI AM 850 will continue as the radio broadcast home of Westwood One's NFL programming in a multi-year extension. WEEI will continue to broadcast Sunday and Monday night football which includes the playoffs and the Super Bowl

NFL and Westwood One signed  a brand new 4-year national radio deal back in December. Westwood One's new contract with NFL, which runs thru 2014 season, will now allow Westwood One affiliates in all NFL markets like to carry national radio feed of the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl without a blackout if local NFL team is involved . In another words, if the Patriots were to advance that far into the playoffs next year, WEEI would carry the national broadcast while WBZ-SportsHub 98.5 would offer a local broadcast.
The future of the other piece of WEEI's signature football programming - "Patriots Monday" and "Patriots Friday" - is still to be decided. WEEI's last 4-year contract with the Patriots ended at the conclusion of 2010 season but nothing has been announced yet. With NFL franchises getting back to work shortly, it is likely the Patriots will have something to announce soon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Local broadcast legends of Boston airwaves to be honored
Among those to be inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame on Thursday, September 15 at Quincy Marriot Hotel, are some of the names with a connection to Boston radio in more recent past and present - Edwin "Ned" Martin, “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers”, better known as Ray and Tom Magliozzi,  Eddie Andelman and Ken Meyer.

The legendary, late Edwin "Ned" Martin called Red Sox games on both WHDH AM 850 and Channel 5 from 1961 to 1971, on WHDH 850 only from 1972 to 1975 on WMEX 1510/WITS 1510 from 1976 to 1978 and, of course, later on WSBK "TV38" from 1979 to 1987 and NESN from 1985 to 1992. And his signature "Mercy!" trademark lives on forever.

Ray and Tom Magliozzi are longtime hosts of "Car Talk" heard nationally on NPR and locally on WBUR 90.9. "Car Talk" first debuted on WBUR in 1977 and became an NPR-syndicated show in 1987.

Eddie Andelman, Boston sports-talk radio pioneer who a permanent fixture on local radio landscape from 1969 until his retirement in December 2010. Since the incidental inception of the "Sports Huddle" in June 1969 on WUNR 1600, he co-hosted the super popular show 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. He was also a longtime weekday host at WHDH 850, WEEI 590/850 and WWZN 1510. He resurrected the 'New Sports Huddle" back in 2006  which was heard on WTKK 96.9 up until his retirement last year. 
In 1970's, Ken Meyer served as producer for Larry Glick on WBZ 1030. He also hosted his own weekend talk and sports shows on WBZ. In the 1980's, he was also a host of WEEI 590's old-time radio series.

This will be the fifth induction of Massachusetts broadcasters by the organization, based at Massasoit Community College in Brockton. Founded in 2006, the nonprofit is housed in the Anna P. Buckley Fine Arts Center, where plaques and photos of notable broadcasters are displayed on the wall. You can visit the organization's website for details

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Five more years of Matty

Clever, offbeat, self-deprecating humor has been Matt Siegel's hallmark since he arrived in Boston in mid-1970's when he landed at WBCN 104.1. In early 1981, Siegel joined WXKS 107.9/Kiss 108 where he has been ever since. Over the past three decades, Siegel has seen musical trends come and go but he has managed to stay highly successful and very relevant to his morning listeners.

Siegel's recent ratings among the station's core demographic - women 18-34 and 25-54 - are even higher today than they were at any time of his career. Today, the station announced that Siegel has signed on for five more years as host of "Matty In the Morning".

Siegel celebrated his 30-year anniversary at Kiss 108 on January 12th. Clear Channel's official press release can be read here.

BRW Notebook :

SportsHub dumps WEEI over the boards : Stanley Cup Final doesn't exactly set the national TV ratings on fire, but don't badmouth hockey around WBZ-FM/98.5 the SportsHub.

Hockey has been very, very good for the SportsHub - and it wasn't just the Bruins playoff games in evenings that lifted the station to a record-high 5.2 percent share of the overall audience 6 and older in last month's Arbitron ratings. The SportsHub absolutely walloped all-sports 20-year mainstay WEEI 850 in every day part - mornings, middays, afternoon drive, nights.

The SportsHub held an even bigger lead in the male 25-54 age demographic that is the prime advertising measurement for both stations. The SportsHub did a 8.8 share overall in that demo during spring quarter and ranked number one. WEEI had 5.1 and tied for sixth place.

WEEI had to expect that, but it was during the day where its erosion, and the SportsHub's charge, were most noticeable and troublesome. More problematic signs for WEEI are actually in the middays(10am-2pm) where "Gresh and Zo" dominated newcomers "Mutt and Merloni" in every male listener demo. Midday shift typically serves as a bridge between morning and afternoon shows. A weak midday show can absolutely destroy the audience flow throughout the day.

"Mutt and Merloni" debuted in early March as the replacement for well-established "Dale and Holley"(BRW 2/25) and, to be kind, the show has been a work in progress. They sound like what one gets when combining two sports-media pros with little big market radio experience. (By contrast, Gresh and Zolak counter with a lot more energy, and bring more personal experience to the table.). Where Merloni is excellent breaking down X's and O's of baseball as that's his area of expertise, he becomes absolutely halting when the topics turn to other pro sports.

[Ed. Note : The question is, can with the Bruins season now in the rear view mirror, can WEEI recover some momentum and close the gap?  With the Red Sox in the playoff hunt and being the only game in town, at least until NFL decides to get back to work, it may be too early to declare the game over.]

There could even more good news for the SportsHub in a couple of months - The National Association of Broadcasters just  announced the finalists for the 2011 NAB Marconi Radio Awards honoring radio stations and on-air personalities for excellence in broadcasting. 98.5 the SportsHub has been nominated in the Sports Station of the Year category. There could be some better news for WEEI 850, too. Its morning team "Dennis and Callahan" has been nominated in the Major Market Personality of the Year.

Marconi award winners will be announced on Sept. 15 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show to be held in Chicago.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Severin tweets out : he's going after his former station

On Thursday night(7/7), fired Boston radio talk show host Jay Severin tweeted on his Twitter account that he is suing his former employer WTKK 96.9, saying they broke his contract when they let him go on April 6(BRW 4/6). 
Or is he? Update(7/10) : Since the original blog posting, the referenced tweet below has  been deleted from @Jay_Severin's timeline.

In his tweet, Severin  said : @Jay_Severin Boston Lawsuit of the Century: Me (i.e. a valid agreement and contract) v. WTKK 96.9 who decided to go "No Issues/Dork Radio", firing me.Go!

Late last week on his official Facebook page, Severin hinted on a splashy announcement which he has apparently delivered as promised.

Until his release for inappropriate comments three months ago, Severin had worked at WTKK for most of the past 12 years.  In mid-June, the station officially
named Doug Meehan as its new afternoon drive host.

BRW Notebook :

Holding back the years : Boston radio buffs may recall Carolyn Morrell holding down various shifts at the old WBOS 92.9 back in the early and mid 90's.  You can now catch her hosting afternoon drive shift(2pm-7pm) at WXRV 92.5 The River. Last Monday(6/27), Morrell took over Bob Stuart's seat. After many years in Boston radio, Stuart quietly retired a month ago.

Pining for days gone by : As mentioned first in this space, WILD 1090, (BRW 6/1) has become a fulltime outlet for Chinese government propoganda radio network last month. A number of local media outlets like Bay State Banner, Boston Globe and WBUR 90.9 recently offered their tributes what was once a model for local community broadcasting in the Boston market. 

Executive turntable : Alan Chartrand, has been promoted by Clear Channel to Director of Sales for the Boston and Providence markets. Up until recently, Chartrand served as National Sales Manager of Clear Channel’s Boston cluster — WXKS 107.9/Kiss 108, WJMN 94.5/Jamn, WXKS/Talk 1200 and WKOX/Mia 1430 as well as General Sales Manager for Talk 1200. “I have had the privilege of working with Alan for two terms in our history,” said Mary Menna, President/Market Manager of CC/Boston and Providence said in a press release. “He has developed as a manager and brings sound judgment, leadership and a winning attitude. His many loyal client relationships and great salesmanship make him a perfect fit for the position.” Chartrand’s extensive history in the market includes previous senior-level sales and management positions at Greater Media as well as Ardman Brodcasting where he once served as general manager of WJMN 94.5’s predecessor and Kiss 108's main rival, the former WZOU/Zoo 94.5, in the early 90's.

Behind the curtains : Longtime WAAF 107.3 Imaging Director Chuck Davis will be parting ways with the station after 18 years at the end of July, as he expands his successful CT-based voice-over/production company into a full-time venture. Entercom has hired Mike Muscatello from its Sacramento rock station KRXQ/Rock 98 to be WAAF's new imaging director and the voice behind the station.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stations celebrate the 4th

A number of specialty programming themes, at least two countdowns and a grand daddy of all live concerts will liven up the radio dial in Boston for the next three days.

Here are some of the highlights of Fourth of July weekend programming:

WXRV 92.5 - The River, "Boston's Independent Radio", celebrates the 4th by spotlighting artists who most define Independence.

WBOS 92.9 - It's the "Red,White and Two" weekend on Radio 92.9. The station is playing 2 songs by artits on its playlist.
WMKK 93.7 - Mike 93-7 is having its "Summer EveryTheme Weekend". The station is featuring summer theme songs at the top of every hour

WJMN 94.5 - Jamn 94.5 is featuring guest mixers spinning party tunes from 5pm until late into the night Friday thru Monday. The mix schedule is here

WCRB 99.5 - Starting at 6pm on Monday night, Ron Della Chiesa and Laura Carlo will be hosting live on the Esplanade as Boston Pops celebrates the country's birthday. Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops, with guest host Michael Chiklis. The U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus, special guest Martina McBride, and audience favorites including "The Stars and Stripes Forever," and, of course,Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture".

WFNX 101.7 - "Text What's Next Weekend" as FNX 101.7 listeners are urged to text their song requests to close out a block of music.

WZLX 100.7 - Nothing but All-American classic rock blocks all weekend long from artists like the Doors, Bruce Springsteen and Heart.

WODS 103.3 - "Fast Lane 400" - a countdown of fastest songs from the 60's,70's and 80s.

WBMX 104.1 - "Extreme 90's weekend" features nothing but the 90's tunes.

WROR 105.7 - Countdown of Top 500 songs from the 60's,70's and 80s.

WAAF 107.3 - "All American Band Weekend" will have a block of songs from a selected American-based band at the top of each hour.

WXKS 107.9 - Kiss 108 is featuring "ThrowBack Songs Weekend" from 1999 thru 2009.

WBZ 1030(also heard on 98.5 HD3) - the station's "Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular” will get underway at 7pm with host Jordan Rich. WBZ will simulcast the Boston Pops concert with its TV sister-station WBZ-4 starting at 8pm and will also feature fireworks soundtrack at 10:30pm