Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bob Socci picked as the next radio voice of the New England Patriots

WBZ 98.5/The SportsHub today named  announcer Bob Socci as its Patriots play-by-play announcer for next season, teaming with analyst Scott Zolak. Socci replaces the renowned Gil Santos, who retired after the 2012 season after 36 seasons of calling Patriots games.  Socci’s appointment is effective immediately, according to an announcement made earlier today by Mike Thomas, Vice President of Programming for CBS Radio Boston.

Most of Socci's play-by-play experience has been in minor league baseball, college football and basketball. Socci, 45,a native of Central New York State and resident of Milton, Mass, is currently in his first year of working as play-by-play voice for the Red Sox minor league affiliate in Pawtucket. He will end his PawSox work on July 1st.

He and Zolak will succeed Santos and Gino Cappelletti, both of whom retired in the past two years.

BRW Notebook :

Sheppard finds a new soapbox :  Former WEEI personality talker Pete Sheppard, who quit on the air a couple weeks ago(BRW 4/14) is now practicing his craft at Quincy-based WUFC/1510 NBC Sports Radio Boston. He's hosting afternoon drive show from 3 to 6pm, Monday thru Friday. On his first show this past Monday, Sheppard went after his former employer in the best 10-minute rant in the history of Boston radio.

Executive Turntable :  Greater Media promoted Mark Keaney to Director of Sales at its Boston group -- AC "Magic 106.7" WMJX-FM, Rhythmic WBQT/Hot 96.9, WKLB/Country 102.5, alternative WBOS/Radio 92.9, and classic hits WROR 105.7. Keaney most recently was the General Sales Manager of WKLB  and WBOS. He's been with Greater Media Boston for the past five years. Previously, he was Director of Sales for Comcast Spotlight from 2004-2008, General Sales Manager at Mix 98.5 from 1998-2004, and an account exec at Kiss 108, and KIIS-FM/ Los Angeles, from 1990-1998....Greater Media promoted Boston Market Manager Rob Williams to Vice President. He oversees Greater Media's Boston radio stations -- including Magic 106.7, Hot 96.9, Country 102.5, Radio 92.9, and Classic Hits 105.7 WROR-FM. Williams joined Greater Media Boston as Market Manager in January 2012..Also at Greater Media, alternative WBOS/Radio 92.9 has named John Mullett as its new Marketing Director replacing Crystal Margolis who left the station two months ago after an 8-year run.  Mullett most recently served as the Marketing Director at WXRV/92.5 The River. He will begin his new position on Monday, April 29...Mullett's role at WXRV/92.5 The River is now being filled by radio veteran JoAnne Adduci who has joined the station last week in the newly created Sr. Marketing Consultant position, She has extensive experience includes local, regional and national broadcast sales as well as digital and event marketing, and has held various sales and sales management positions at Entercom, CBS Radio and New England Cable News.

Succession of Power : Marita Rivero, vice president and general manager for radio and television at producing powerhouse WGBH, is stepping down after nearly 30 years at the Boston station. Effective in June, Rivero will be succeeded by Liz Cheng as GM. for WGBH television and Phil Redo as GM. for WGBH radio. Cheng is currently GM. of WGBH’s national digital multicast channel World, which she will continue to oversee. Redo is currently managing director of 89.7 WGBH and WCAI

Fock This! :  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski reportedly gave Boston Red Sox star David "Big Papi" Ortiz's use of the "f-word" in his comments to fans at Fenway Park before last's Saturday's game  a note of support via Twitter. A Twitter tweet, attributed to Genachowski, via the FCC's verified account, read : "David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today’s Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston - Julius." Ortiz, during the emotional ceremony following last week's Boston Marathon bombing, and Friday night's apprehension of the second suspect, said, 'This is our fucking city, and nobody is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong. WEEI 93.7 and rest of Red Sox radio network were able to "dump" the "f-word" before it aired. The comment did air unedited on cable's MLB Network and the Red Sox' TV outlet, NESN. But the FCC doesn't regulate content on non-over-the-air television -- and the "f-word" is often heard on cable/satellite station

Radio united : Entercom -- the radio broadcast partner of the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Celtics -- has made a $25,000 donation to The One Fund. That's the special fund set up by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino to help those most affected by the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15. In the Boston market Entercom operates Rock WAAF 107.3/WKAF 97.7, News Talk WRKO 680, and sports talkers WEEI 93.7 and WEEI/ESPN on 850 -- but the donation to The One Fund comes from the company as a whole.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Radio shows great strength amidst horrific Marathon tragedy

Unprecedented event called for an unprecedented radio response on Patriots Day. And, Boston radio station community was there.

On one of the darkest days in the history of a great American city, Boston radio did what radio does best - go local and live. Stations offered continuous coverage following the Monday afternoon explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Greater Media Boston, which didn't have any employees at the race when the explosions occurred, ramped up local coverage. WBQT/Hot 96.9" morning hosts Baltazar and Pebbles returned to the station Monday afternoon to provide coverage. Afternoon hosts Steve Kelly from Country 102.5/WKLB and Julie Devereaux from Classic Hits 105.7/WROR both provided information to listeners. Country 102.5’s morning drive co-host Lori Grande returned to the station in the afternoon and helped with the coverage. Magic 106.7/WMJX kept with music but began providing updates as new information became available. In addition, Greater Media Boston stations have suspended all theirs contests and promotional events this week and will donate that money to charity.

Entercom Boston’s sports talker WEEI 93.7 and news/talker WRKO 680 broke into their regular programming just before 3pm when first word of the story broke. WEEI 93.7 switched to the simulcast of the WRKO’s Howie Carr Show which also fed to the rest of WEEI’s regional sports network. Carr was also heard on his show’s own regional network of stations. Entercom’s rocker WAAF 107.3 opened up phone lines to listeners, took song dedications and provided extensive news updates.

Shortly after 3pm, entire CBS Boston Radio cluster which includes classic rocker WZLX 100.7, sports talker WBZ 98.5/The Sports Hub, top40 WODS/103.3 AMP Radio and “Hot AC” WBMX/Mix 104.1 began carrying sister station’s news/talk WBZ 1030’s outstanding coverage. The simulcast continued until midnight.

Clear Channel Boston’s stations top40 WXKS/Kiss 108, WJMN/Jamn 94-5 and WEDX/Evolution 101.7 tried to balance music and information by airing frequent news updates and news feeds from its own news/info gathering service TotalTrafficNetwork and WCVB-TV5.

Local public radio news stations WBUR 90.9 and WGBH 89.7 covered the event with its staffs and via NPR network late into the night.

In addition, on Monday afternoon(4/22), all major Boston radio stations are planning a moment of silence to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. The 60-second tribute will air at 2:50pm -- one week from the moment of the detonation of the first bomb.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sheppard sacks WEEI

In what can only be described as a ballsy move, WEEI 93.7's weekend host Pete Sheppard quit on the spot earlier tonight, citing displeasure with station corporate owner's Entercom in the wake of what he felt was a series of bad management decisions over the past few months.

Sheppard who was a 16-year presence during WEEI's hey day was let go due financial cutbacks in January 2010 but brought back as a weekend/fill-in host last March(BRW 3/10/12). His most memorable time at WEEI happened during an 11-year stint as a sports anchor/co-host of the WEEI's very popular afternoon drive Big Show with Glenn "Big O" Ordway. Sheppar has apparently been very upset with WEEI's upper management over a decision to end the Big Show and replace hid close friend Ordway two months ago(BRW 2/14). 

On his Twitter feed after tonight's final show, Sheppard said that he'll be heard from again very shortly which signals that he may have a new gig lined up. There's a rumor going around that he and Ordway may be teaming up to co-host a new show.

BRW Notebook :

Rish quits Red Sox gig : Like Sheppard, another WEEI employee is leaving the station on his own terms. Fill-in play-by-play voice, and host for the station's Red Sox broadcasts, Jon Rish, submitted his 2-week notice on Monday(4/8), after being asked to take a pay cut. He had been working without a contract since December.'s Chad Finn reported that Rish notified WEEI Program Director Jason Wolfe only three hours before the beginning of the Red Sox home opener because he wanted to tell him in person and not by phone. Rish has hosted pre-game and post-game for the network since 2006, and reportedly was asked to take a 30 percent salary reduction, the latest of cost-cutting moves by Entercom, the most notable of which was the firing of afternoon host Glenn Ordway in mid-February. "I will say I could no longer justify working for Entercom," Rish told "It wasn't fair to me and it wasn't workable for my family. It's a very difficult decision to explain to other people because calling Red Sox games is viewed as a dream job. But it was not as difficult a decision for me as you might think. It was not a difficult decision to explain to my wife." Rish, who teamed with Joe Castiglione for a few broadcasts this season with Dave O'Brien calling the women's Final Four for ESPN, has been the fill-in voice on the game broadcasts since 2008. He also has filled in on Wednesdays in recent years when O'Brien has been away calling "Wednesday Night Baseball" for ESPN. 

There's apparently life after WEEI and a very bright new future for Rish as he's about to enter a new phase in his professional career as a Ruby on Rails software developer.

Make room for WFNX...well, not exactly : The parent company of WXRV/River 92.5 The River, Northeast Broadcasting. has purchased the legendary Boston Alternative call sign WFNX for their 99.1 frequency out of Athol-Gardner MA, formerly WXRG. The signal has limited coverage in the Boston metro. 99.1 WFNX is currently simulcasting The River.