Wednesday, August 16, 2006


We're back...!

You may (or may not) have noticed that I have been absent for the last month or so while I was hospitalized for some medical issues. Thank you to everyone who was nice enough to call and send cards. The calls and cards really lifted my spirits!

Now, we have a little "catching up" to do....!

RIP Cosmic Muffin

The man known to Boston radio listeners as the "Cosmic Muffin" has died. Darrell Martinie was 63. He died at his home in Saugus after battling cancer.

Martinie spent 3 decades dispensing advice on radio stations in Boston, and also was syndicated to stations nationwide. In 1993, he was named the state's official astrologer by then-Governor William Weld.

Known also for his eye-catching clothes, Martinie was tagged with the on-air name Cosmic Muffin by Boston radio personality Charles Laquidara, who took it from a National Lampoon parody song.

And from the "I don't believe there are really people like this" department, local blogger Domenico Bettinelli discusses why Darrell Martinie should not be allowed a proper funeral. Jeesh! Some people need to spend more time looking inward and not outward.

Mindich's Son inherits the Phoenix's Empire?

Is this nepotism? I guess that's the way it works in a family business. I admit I know nothing about Brad, and it appears he has put in his time at the Phoenix....But didn't anyone else have a chance at this position? ...Or was it his from the day he was born?

It all started at a small 1,000 Watt radio station in.....


Yes, indeed! It appears that Greater Media's first station was in Southbridge, Massachusetts.

Now, Boston based Greater Media recently celebrated it's 50th anniversary.

A long way to come with (essentially) the same ownership.

And, speaking of Greater Media.....

Phil Redo named market manager for Greater Media Boston.

I'm told that "Market Manager" is basically a General Manager for all of the five stations Greater Media owns in Boston. WROR, WMJX, WBOS, WKLB, WTKK.

Phil returns to Greater Media, where he was the PD of Magic 106.7 (WMJX) in the late 80's.

Phil will also be in the chair to oversee the acquisition of 102.5, and the disposal of 99.5 ....As well as the subsequent format flips between 102.5 and 99.5

Some may remember Phil as a jock at the old WROR (98.5) in the Berkowitz days....As well as time spend on the Cape. Phil was also the PD who signed on Viacom's legendary WLTW in New York. And, from what we hear...."A really nice guy....!" ;-)

Howdy Kids....HOWDY REX!

Rex Trailer recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of his legendary kid's show at Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway.

Rex was one of the hardest working guys in TV. While doing the show, he was making appearances all over the state at every fair and parade. Most who grew up watching him on TV....also remember him doing live appearances all over.

You can check out some pictures at Rex's web site, including Rex with Frank Avruch (our local "Bozo"!), as well as his longtime co-host, "Sergeant Billy"! (Just scroll down to "Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway Theater".)

Rope tricks, guitar playing, and cracking a whip!

What a guy!

Charlie Curtis is the new Morning host at North Shore 104.9.

After transitioning from the classical format, Charlie now plays oldies in the morning.

Check out his web
(Scroll down the page...He looks just like Bugs Bunny!) ;-)

And, in case you hadn't heard....

Spinners out at UMass station

The idea of carrying the Spinners at U-Mass Lowell's WUML is over.

Is the experiment with the Lowell Sun running "The SUN-rise Show" still on the air?

Student programming and Chris Lydon's "Open Source" program continue.

The Spinners never got on the air at WUML, they remain on WCAP.

The Lowell Sun was booted off the air by the administration at UMass Lowell after a 15 month run, the administration took over the 5am to 10am time slot, they currently only use a couple of hours, 7 to 9 IIRC for "news".

The Lydon show is not carried live on WUML, it began being broadcast the following morning at 9am, the last I heard it had been moved to the 6am time slot.
Welcome back
The Spinners idea is one of those things that looks like it's a great idea on paper. But when you get into the details, it all just falls apart.

First and foremost is that WUML is a non-commercial license, so they can't run regular ads. That article even said that WCAP was selling spots at reduced rates to fill the time...I doubt sponsors would want to put up with the hassle of editing their scripts to meet the FCC's underwriting restrictions. Certainly it could be done; other NCE stations have done live play-by-play of for-profit sports games. But AFAIK, all of them have chafed a lot under those underwriting rules; the sponsors just don't "get" it: "Whaddaya mean I can't announce my big sale this weekend?!? That's WHY I'm buying these ads!!!"

Second, and equally obvious, is that the students running WUML hate the idea and always have. This Spinners idea has come up repeatedly over the years and the students (and alumni) have always said it's a bad idea. Unless UMass Lowell takes the politically unpopular step of booting out all the student management and DJ's, there's always going to be significant strife every time the Spinners are brought up.

Third, there's a giant disparity between the tone of the Spinners games and the rest of the programming on WUML. It'd make for a questionable move even if the students were on-board and make some attempts at promotion/marketing of the games. Of course, by this same logic it's equally questionable that WUML carry any coverage of any sports games at all...including Riverhawks games. So this point isn't as strong a point as #1 and #2 above. But it's still a valid point.

Still, in a way it's a shame. You can't deny that in the proper environment, the students could learn a lot about sportscasting from a deal to carry the Spinners. Maybe they don't want to learn that, and "proper environment" means committing a lot more resources to the project than I suspect anyone is willing to do. But in a perfect world, it could be a nice learning environment. And hell, you can't deny that WUML has a much better signal than WCAP does, and FM to boot.
For awhile the Akron Aeros (minor league baseball) aired on WAPS, a non-comm station run by the Akron (OH) Public Schools...didn't last long. During the game, they ran "promos" for the Ohio Lottery that sounded quite a bit like ads (maybe thought they could get away with it). This was a few years ago.
Sorry, there is no "Vig" here.

The name is Keith.

Any comments about Radio are always welcome.

Personal attacks are not.

Actually if the Spinners wanted a bigger footprint that WCAP and FM quality, then I'd look at Frank FM.

As for Lydon, I wonder how much longer UMass will continue to shell out a half million dollars a year for a program that is live on GBH and is a "sunrise" show on UML. No course description yet from the Lydon camp either
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