Friday, September 9, 2011

Stations to air special 9/11 tribute programming

Boston radio stations will observe the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in the next few days.

WRKO AM 680 will provide local coverage with afternoon host Howie Carr broadcasting his show from Ground Zero on Friday(9/9). On Sunday(9/11), morning co-host Todd Feinburg will host 8am-12pm show from Ground Zero which will be followed by Avi Nelson(12-3pm) and Kevin Whalen(3pm-6pm). At 6pm, ABC Radio will take over with its live coverage including airing of "Concert of Hope" at 8pm from at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

WTKK 96.9 has Doug Meehan saluting the first responders on his show(10am-12pm) on Friday and syndicated Michael Smerconish paying a special tribute on his national show airing from Noon to 3pm. Throughout the weekend, WTKK will run pretaped special tributes - Saturday morning(6am-8am), Sunday afternoon(2-4pm) and night(7pm-9pm).

Also on Sunday, GBH's WGBH 89.7 and WCRB 99.5 will devote their entire day of programming to live music, conversation and reflection to the memory of 9/11 events. WCRB 99.5's full schedule of their extensive 9/11 programming can be found here. WGBH will air the special edition of NPR's Weekend Edition from 6am to Noon which will be followed by special 1-hour editions of its two local public affairs shows - "The Emily Rooney Show"(12-1pm) and "The Callie Crossley Show"(1pm-2pm). Then at 2pm WGBH 89.7 will join WCRB 99.5 for a special events programming simulcast(see link above).

Other stations have set up special tribute sections on their websites - WBZ 1030WXKS/Talk 1200  and WBUR 90.9 - and will also provide special news/talk coverage throughout the 9/11 remembrance weekend.

BRW Notebook :

Double play : As mentioned in this space(BRW 9/7), come Monday(9/12) morning at 6am WEEI will dramatically improve its reception by launching an FM simulcast on 93.7 as it will respond to the success of the two-year old WBZ/98.5 The SportsHub, Boston's first FM sports talker.

93.7FM's signal provides better fidelity and reception in some areas for a broader reach, particularly in wide parts of MetroWest where AM 850's signal has been spotty in the evenings.

The end result of Thursday morning's announcement is all four major Boston sports teams will now be on FM in Boston Metro - Red Sox and Celtics on 93.7 while Patriots and Bruins on 98.5. While it's clear that Entercom hopes WEEI's AM-FM simulcast will stem the station's overall ratings slide in key male demographics as it battles CBS Radio's SportsHub, they also are looking to grow by attracting new FM listeners who don't tune in to AM band.

In the bigger Boston radio picture, Monday morning's format switch may be viewed as a little disappointing because Boston area advertisers and listeners will have fewer options now - it's one less music station with a different format.

WMKK call letters will be replaced by WEEI-FM which are currently residing on WEEI's Providence FM affiliate 103.7. The Providence station will then become WVEI  and Springfield's 105.5 affiliate will then have WWEI call letters.

Around the dial : Just in time for all the 250,000 college kids who are back in town, arrives WBMX/Mix 104.1's annual MixFest show next Saturday, September, 17 at 2pm at the DCR Hatch Shell. This year's station concert is free to the public and will have an all-star line-up of artists :  Billboard Music Award winning band Lifehouse will be headlining.  Other special guests include; Grammy Award winning artist Michelle Branch, season-one winner of The Voice, Javier Colon, wildly successful band, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, as well as other surprise acts.....Dustin "Fletcher" Matthews who was doing morning drive at WFNX 101.7 for the past 4 1/2 years(originally as part of the "SandBox" then briefly paired up with Keith Dakin and more recently with news vet Henry Santoro) has left the modern rock station at the end of summer to take a position as the program director over at WRXL/102.1 The X in Richmond, VA. Fletcher has been replaced by weekend jock Steve "D-Tension" Perez on an interim basis until a new permanent co-host is named...WAAF 107.3's afternoon host Mistress Carrie is spending this week in Afghanistan to  commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. She is embedded with members of the Mass. Army National Guard.

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