Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Big boost for WGBH’s affiliate on the Cape and the Islands

Boston’s WGBH Foundation has been working for years to improve the strength, coverage and reliability of its WCAI 90.1 signal on the Cape and the Islands. As of this week, thanks to the installation of a more powerful 12,500 watt transmitter in Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard, WCAI’s locally-focused programming as well Boston’s WGBH 89.7’s local content and NPR’s national programming is now available to 200,000 additional new listeners on the Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, South Coast and part of Rhode Island.  Federal Communications Commission(FCC) approved WGBH’s application for WCAI’s power increase four years ago. Along with its other two affiliates – 94.3 in Brewster and 91.1 in Nantucket – WGBH now completely covers the entire Cape and the Islands reaching a potential audience of 470,000.

In addition to expanding WCAI’s wattage on 90.1, the newly installed transmitter features HD service capability.  90.1 HD2 channel features audio stream of WGBH’s WCRB 99.5/Classical New England.

BRW Notebook :

Another magical ride : That loud "ho-ho-ho" you might have heard in Boston last week was traced to Greater Media’s offices of WMJX/Magic 106.7. Nielsen Media released the ratings for its “holiday period” (Dec. 4 to Jan. 1) a week ago, and the light-rock outlet cleaned up with its all-Christmas format for the second straight year. Among listeners ages 6 and up, Magic pulled a 11.8 share, meaning that about one in eight radio listeners was tuned in. No. 2 in the ratings was Top 40 WXKS/Kiss 108.

Programming Notes :  While everyone is speculating on the future of WEEI's afternoon drive line-up, Joe Zarbano has been named executive producer of WEEI 93.7 and the WEEI Sports Radio Network. He previously served as producer of the "Planet Mikey" and "Mut & Merloni" programs on WEEI. Before that, Zarbano was a parttime producer and an intern for the Sports outlet....Boston radio vet Lisa Garvey is back on Boston airwaves with a new "A Train" show heard on Sunday morning on WUMB 91.9 from 8am to Noon. Garvey was a longtime River 92.5 jock up until her departure in March 2012...Earlier this month, Entercom's news/talker WRKO 680 had pulled Michael Savage of its night-time schedule and inserted "The Jim Bohanon Show" into 10pm-1am weeknight slot. Savage's syndicator Cumulus has moved his national show into 3-6pm ET afternoon slot so running him on a 7-hour tape-delay made little sense to WRKO. Bohanon's nighttime show is aired live...WRKO's sister station WEEI 93.7 has replaced Fox Sports Radio with NBC Sports Radio from 1am to 6am.  In addition, WEEI affiliation switch during overnights also means that WUFC 1510 has shed any of the remaining NBC Sports Radio programming left on its schedule after it re-branded to 1510 Yahoo Sports last September. The station is now airing only Yahoo Sports Radio shows. WUFC is also promising to launch another new locally-based national show very shortly. [Since last September(BRW 9/16/13) station has been producing "The Dieahards"(10am-Noon) for YSR. It is hosted by station's general manager and on-air personality Anthony Pepe]...As we're approaching the 1-year anniversary of Glenn "Big O" Ordway's exit from WEEI(BRW 2/14/13), the Herald has this story about him possibly being on new management's 'wishlist'. On his Twitter feed, Big O, who's in the process of launching soon-to-be-announced multi-platform media venture, has denied the rumor. Two months ago Ordway joined SiriusXM's "Mad Dog Sports Radio" channel as its weekend morning host(BRW 11/15/13).

That's all she wrote : Former Entercom Boston boss Julie Kahn has left the radio group to take a role at Regan Communications. Kahn, who spent more than 13 years at Entercom, the parent company of WRKO 680, WAAF 107.3/WKAF 97.7, WEEI 850 and WEEI 93.7, will be an executive vice president, sports/media and special adviser to the boss, George K. Regan Jr. Kahn had been running all four stations until she was replaced by former Entercom chief Jeff Brown, who has also since exited.. Her last day at Entercom was January 10th.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Greater Media resets afternoons at Hot and Magic

Listen for two music-radio voices in new places come this week.

Jackson Blue, who spent the past 9 years doing nights and weekends at KISS 108, has officially jumped to a weekday afternoon(3pm-7pm) job at rhythmic/Top40 WBQT/Hot 96.9 as of this Wednesday(1/8) which just happens to be station's one-year anniversary(BRW 1/8/13). As you recall, Blue left Kiss 108 back in mid-October(BRW 10/24/13). With Blue in the afternoon drive, Melissa slides up to middays(10am-3pm).

Hot 96.9's clustermate, WMJX/Magic 106.7, which had installed a brand new morning show back in August(BRW 8/13/13) is now putting a hammer to its afternoon drive slot. Magic's management has let go a Boston radio veteran Dan Justin who was its afternoon host personality since 1999. Justin has spent nearly 30 years in Boston radio working at now-defunct rocker WCGY 93.7, one-time Kiss 108 nemesis WZOU 94.5, WBOS 92.9(during its brief country music run), WBMX 98.5 and WROR 105.7. Replacing him in the PM Drive shift is Magic's music director Mark Laurence who's been at the station for over 25 years and has been heard in that slot as Justin's regular fill-in.

BRW Notebook :

Executive turntable : Magic's parent company Greater Media also had a number off-air jobs eliminated today. Gone are digital marketing director Ben Kulis, digital content manager Sue Edelman and HR/Benefits Manager Amy Hull.....Over at Entercom Boston, the upcoming departure of one-time market manager Julie Kahn is expected at the end of this week. She joined Entercom's Boston cluster back in October 2000 as GM for WAAF 107.3 and WQSX/Star 93.7. In early 2004, she became Entercom Boston market manager. And in 2006, she was also named Entercom's New England manager overseeing Entercom's properties in Springfield and Providence. However, her role was diminished when now-departed Jeff Brown was hired as Boston market manager in 2011.

In the fold : Speaking of Entercom Boston, WEEI 93.7's morning drive show is expected to run as assembled for the foreseeable future. Last year's addition Kirk Minihane has happily signed a new deal as the morning ratings continue to trend up for "Dennis and Callahan". Both John Dennis and Gerry Callahan who are into their 15th year as WEEI's morning drive voices are widely expected to sign contract extensions in the upcoming weeks. While changes may or may not be coming to the rest of WEEI's local programming one immediate change in the overnight's syndicated schedule did take place as the new year began. Fox Sports Radio has shifted loud and acerbic JT The Brick out of his longtime overnight slot to evenings which means WEEI listeners now hear Ben Maller between 2am and 6am.