Saturday, May 18, 2013

Imus, John Batchelor returning to Boston area radio

The I-Man returneth.

Iconic radio and TV talk-show star Don Imus, 72, will be back on the air in Boston area on WBNW 1120, beginning Monday May 20.

As part of an affiliation agreement signed last week with Cumulus Media Networks which nationally syndicates Imus, WBNW 1120 will air his show from 6am to 8am. Imus has been off Boston airwaves for more than 2 years now.(BRW 1/11/2011).

In addition to Imus, WBNW 1120 will be airing another Cumulus' product - The John Batchelor show will be heard from 9pm to 1am. As you may recall, Batchelor aired on now-defunct WTKK 96.9 from December 2009 to December 2012. Prior to that, he was heard in Boston on WRKO 680 from 2001 to 2005.(BRW 12/17/2009).

Since losing Bloomberg Radio affiliation to Clear Channel's WXKS 1200(BRW 2/27),  business/finance-focused WBNW has been filling out its line-up with more talk-oriented shows. In mid-February, it hired former WTKK 96.9 personality Michael Graham to do a 3-hour noon show which he hosts from the station's Needham studios.(BRW 2/5). His show is also heard on stations in Plymouth, Southbridge and Worcester.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The new Hot 96.9 is putting on the heat in the April ratings

It's really no surprise to see contemporary hits (or Top 40) WXKS/Kiss 108 at No. 1 in the new ratings released Tuesday, but the newcomer - rhythmic adult contemporary WBQT/Hot 96.9 - grabs the headline because its No. 14 overall ranking gave it a 3.1 share and an average weekly reach of 633,000 listeners. For now, it also looks like that the risk to dump struggling FM Talker WTKK 96.9 four and half months ago appears to have paid off in a big way for its corporate owner – Greater Media.

Hot 96.9 launched on January 8th and is still in the process of building out its programming elements - and audience. Pebbles, Baltazar and Melissa have brought with them their loyal following from their former home down the dial – Jamn 94-5. In addition, another familiar name - DJ Roy Barboza now produces three weekday mix shows at Hot 96.9(8:50am, Noon and 4:30pm) on the station.

Overall, here were usual leaders in Arbitron’s Portable People Meter ratings in April – WXKS/Kiss 108, WBZ/NewsRadio 1030, WKLB/Country 102.5, WMJX/Magic 106.7 and classic rocker WZLX 100.7. That’s what you call stability at the top.

Worth noting #1: WEEI/SportsRadio 93.7 saw its share jump from 2.5 to 3.5 and weekly audience go from 370,000 in March to 615,000 in big part due to a surprisingly successful start for the Boston Red Sox. 

Worth noting #2 : After 10 months of being directly challenged by CBS Radio’s WODS/AMP 103-3, Clear Channel’s' Kiss108, the local Top 40 music powerhouse, continues to steamroll ahead as it remains market's top-rated station among listeners in all key demographics Obviously this summer will be a somewhat bigger test for Kiss 108 as AMP 103.3 is now fully staffed and gaining more exposure via promotions, contests and marketing campaigns. This brings us to the next point - Boston’s popular and contemporary music scene has grown exponentially over the past few months. You might even call it over-saturation. In addition to AMP, newcomers Evolution 101.7 and Hot 96.9 are also seeking attention of FM music (mostly younger) listeners. Not to mention, the familiar standbys like Jamn 94-5, Mix 104.1 and Magic 106.7 will also be in high gear during warm summer weather ahead. Of course, do stay tuned.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Radio 92.9 Earthfest Announces 'One for the One Fund' Initiative

Earlier this week, Greater Media's WBOS/MyRadio 92.9 announced the “One for the One Fund” initiative at this year’s Earthfest scheduled to take place this Saturday, May 18th This is the 20th anniversary of the event, which is the largest free outdoor public concert in the country and is held at the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell, along the Charles River in Boston. Full details can be found here

BRW Notebook :

Money train : Bloomberg Radio which has been heard on AM 1200 and 94.5FM-HD2 over the past 2 1/2 months celebrated its official launch with a live 12-hour broadcast from South Station last week. The Globe interviewed Bloomberg Radio programmer Al Mayers who has long ties to Boston radio -he programmed Boston's news/talkers WRKO 680 and WHDH 850 in 1980's and 1990's. Mayers plans to launch weekend and specialty programming on the full-time business station in the near future. Mayers joined Bloomberg Radio in 2001.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Brick is back in Town

WEEI 93.7 is bringing John Tournour, better known as J.T. “The Brick”, back to Boston radio, adding his late night FOX Sports Radio show to station’s lineup starting this Sunday night/Monday morning. The 1am-6am show will air on WEEI from Sunday-Thursday, it was announced yesterday.

The Brick's original syndicated show first debuted on WEEI back in 1996 and developed quite an overnight following in Boston over the years. In November 2009, he moved over to WEEI's rival WBZ/98.5 The SportsHub as WEEI took on full-time ESPN Radio affiliation.(BRW 10/30/09) However, Brick's Boston run was interrupted four months ago when The SportsHub had to drop him to become part of corporate family's CBS Sports Radio network(BRW 11/17/12) leaving him without a local station for the first time in 16 years.

Things will be back to normal on Boston radio's overnight shift when Las Vegas-based Brick and his LA-based sidekick Tom Looney once again become a regular fixture on WEEI's weekday line-up starting very early this Monday morning(the show is heard live 1am-5am and the first hour is repeated from 5am-6am).

John Ryder Gets Expanded WEEI-FM Red Sox Role

Earlier this week, WEEI 93.7 has named John Ryder as host of the station's pre- and post-game coverage of Red Sox Baseball. Ryder has been with WEEI since 1998 and is a regular contributor to the "Planet Mikey" show, in addition to hosting Red Sox Review and Celtics Rewind after Sox and Celtics games. 

Entercom Boston also announced that Sean Grande and Lou Merloni will join the broadcasts filling in for Dave O'Brien, who will miss Monday night games during the season due to his responsibilities for ESPN-TV. Grande has been the voice of the Boston Celtics since 2001, after having served as the TV voice of the Minnesota Timberwolves for three years. Merloni is currently co-host of the "Mut and Merloni" show on WEEI. Merloni also had a nine-year professional career in Major League Baseball, the first five with the Red Sox. 

BRW Notebook :

Rocking the Earth and Kissing The Stars : The 20th edition of WBOS 92.9's Earthfest will take place Saturday, May 18th at the Hatch Shell in Boston.  This year’s lineup includes Vertical Horizon, Cracker, Gentlemen Hall, Fastball, and Camper Van Beethoven, it was announced last week. Full event details are here....Whether its a so-so line-up or a soft economy, but this year's Kiss 108's concert at the Comcast Center in Mansfield is far from sellout. All the lawn seats are gone but there's plenty of pavilion seats available for the annual event which takes place on Saturday, May 18th at 2pm. The concert will feature  Demi Lovato, Cher Lloyd, Emblem3, Taboo, Chris Wallace, Icona Pop, Jason Derulo, Ariana Grande, Olly Murs. Tickets are available at

Promoting the River : Lindsay Burrill has been named the new Promotion Director at WXRV/92.5 The River. She will oversee the station's extensive promotion and event marketing, along with the experiential and social media departments for the River Radio Network operating on WXRV 92.5/WFNX 99.9/WLKC 105. Previously, Burrill held sales and promotion positions at Northeast Broadcasting and Greater Media Boston. She is also an Emerson College alum and former WERS 88.9 staffer.