Sunday, April 22, 2007


WJIB Fundraiser Doing Well

WJIB in Cambridge has a following, and that following just may be saving the
unique voice the station represents. The owner of the 250 watt (by day) station,
whose music is "easy as the breeze", reports on that "(S)ometime this-coming week, (marking 6 weeks) we'll hit the $88,000.00 goal! So far, 2,249 separate contributions."

That's great news for listeners of a truly independent station that doesn't run
advertising (including no informercials for get-rich-quick or medical miracle
schemes). Bob Bittner, owner of WJIB, was floored recently to find out that
music licensing fees had spiked
. That, coupled with various bills and the loss
of the revenue-producing Radio France International shows, put WJIB in a quandary.
He announced he had to raise $88,000 to meet expenses for the rest of this year
and said that by the end of June he would decide whether or not to continue
the listener-supported effort.

That effort has been proving successful. Thanks to listener response, the low-budget station that manages respectable ratings despite a lack of a good night signal
or promotion will continue to broadcast despite the recent financial setbacks.
(The station's low position on the AM dial means it can do surprisingly well
with only 250 watts).

Update 4/25/07: Bittner has said the "3-minute" announcement about his
fundraising success is expected to air tonight at 5 pm on WJIB.


Imus remnants.....

I know you've had your fill of Imus stuff, but here is an article about what the dissappearance of Imus might mean to Boston Radio...

Imus’ ouster may ignite war among Hub stations

"WTKK’s loss of Don Imus could spark Boston talk radio’s fiercest morning-drive war in years with tens of thousands of listeners and advertising dollars at stake."

Since that article was published, there have been rumors about WEEI's 'Dennis and Callahan' moving to WTKK. Is it true, or is it a bargaining ploy by D&C in their contract negotiation?

"Sources claim WTKK - which just lost the I-Man as its 96.9 FM Talk morning host - has turned up its pursuit of Deno and Gerry."

96.9 eyes ‘Dennis & Callahan’ for Imus slot

Also, before Imus fades into the sunset, you might want to read two local columnists perspective on Imus:

Infamous I-man gags on own vitriol

"Something quite remarkable happened this week. We saw a $10-million-a-year, trash-talking curmudgeon turn into a simpering whiner, or what the I-man himself might have aptly described as a “lying, scum-sucking weasel.”"

And this one:

Beautiful People left I-man bleeding by side of the road

"Poor I-man, kicked down the stairs like a Bob Gamere, abandoned by the Beautiful People he served so faithfully these past few decades. We won’t be MSNBC’ing the senile old crackhead anymore. No more summer party invitations from his media enablers in the Hamptons. Henceforth, he is a nobody on Nantucket.

Don Imus - $10-million dollar salary, 10-cent brain. From the penthouse to the outhouse."

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Timeliness Important For Talk Radio

On Wednesday April 18, when the news came that the Virginia Tech killer, Cho Seung Hui, had mailed a manifesto to NBC News, WTKK was just about to go into tape delayed syndicated programming: eight hour old Bill O'Reilly followed by twelve-hour old Laura Ingraham. Given that the shows were not discussing the "breaking news", WTKK decided to instead pick up the live feed from MSNBC: Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and Joe Scarborough (followed by the same three shows repeated). There was information about the controversial message
and photos in Cho's package, which he had mailed in between his two killing sprees.

This is reminiscent of what WRKO did in October of 2002 when they decided to dump Sean Hannity,
which they had tape delayed until 7 pm, for live airings of Michael Savage, feeling
that they wanted something live (the D.C. Sniper shootings were then hot news).

WRKO meanwhile had to do its last game as flagship of the Boston Celtics Network;
it followed at 10:40 pm with tape delayed Savage and Jerry Doyle, though Howie Carr did pick up the NBC Nightly News feed for a few minutes at the end of his show,
as the contents of the package were revealed. WBZ had
its usual live and local lineup of Paul Sullivan and then Steve Leveille discussing
the issue.

Incidentally, WTKK now has 13 consecutive hours of local talk (Barnicle's
temporary expanded show; Michael Graham, Eagan and Braude, and Jay Severin).
WRKO has mostly local talk from 6 am to 7 pm also except there is the
three hour (national)interruption for Rush Limbaugh.

Monday, April 16, 2007


PA Station fires copycat DJ....

Same racial slur was used on the air.

For those who were shocked at the phrase that Don Imus uttered (that eventually put him out of a job), you may be even more surprised to learn that a Pennsylvania DJ cavalierly used the phrase again!

Pennsylvania DJ Fired for Repeating Imus Slur

He thought it was so witty, he made it the "Phrase that pays!".

WSBG 93.5, a 3,000-watt rock station, is based in Stroudsburg, about 40 miles northeast of Allentown. The Princeton, N.J.-based Nassau is privately held with more than 50 radio stations in the Northeast.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


CBS Firing of Imus May Shake Up WTKK Lineup

The breaking news that Don Imus has been fired by CBS/Westwood One, effective immediately, means that WTKK may have to shake up its morning lineup. Originally, Imus was to serve a two-week suspension with WTKK's own Mike Barnicle filling in for the I-Man, but now word comes that the network has given the heave-ho to the longtime morning man.

Will they move Michael Graham to mornings, opening up the 10 am slot to Westwood
One's Dennis Miller? Would Eagan and/or Braude move to mornings? Or will WTKK pick up whatever talk host will replace Imus in the morning slot? Stay tuned.

WTKK posted a statement from Greater Media's Peter Smythe and Phil Redo saying they respect the CBS decision. "Don Imus has been a part of WTKK since our launch in 1999 and has many fans. We want to acknowledge his many positive contributions to radio and charitable causes. We have not made any decision about a replacement for Imus and will be reviewing all our options in the coming weeks."

Meanwhile, an update on the effort to bring Progressive Talk back to the Boston area. A rally will be held on April 26 at Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway in Somerville. Guests include political consultant Joe Trippi and Air America/Nova M founders the Drobnys, and there will be music.

Monday, April 09, 2007


A Salute to the Studio....?

If anyone has worked in one studio for a long period, they know the emotional attachment that can develop.

WGBH will be moving to new studios, but not without a salute to the (damp, peeling paint, moldy, cumberson) old studio.....

Might be interesting to hear. Mark your calendar for April 26.

'GBH celebrates memories of Western Ave. studio


ESPN Boston Launches Sports Media Review Show

Boston's ESPN stations, WAMG AM 890 and WLLH AM 1400, are doing some more local content. According to David Scott, of "Scott's Shots" on the Boston Sports Media site, a new program called "The Boston Sports Review Radio Show" was to debut on Saturday, Apr. 6 from 9 to 11 a.m. on ESPN Boston.

Scott says he and Mike Salk will "surely set sports talk radio on its ear" and Bob Ryan, basketball guru from the Boston Globe, was due to be a guest. Scott also says those rumors about WBCN courting WEEI's Dennis and Callahan might not be just a contract ploy on their part: "If it were ever to go down, it would be a colossal shift of power for Boston sports radio."

Scott says interest is "serious" between the owners of WEEI (Entercom) and WBCN (CBS Radio) in an attempt to land John and Gerry.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Trouble Ahead for Cape Radio...?

Joe Ryan, one of the founders of WFCC, has pened a guest commentary on the state of radio on the Cape.

WFCC's founder sees trouble ahead for Cape radio.

"Local community-oriented radio stations are being devoured, dissected, and discarded by the “Mega-Media Moguls.” Operating in the “interest, convenience and necessity” of the public they are licensed to serve, has become a joke -- the butt of which, deplorably, is the listening audience!"

For those that like to look at coverage maps, here is the WFCC signal.

Guest Blogger!

I wanted to welcome Bob Nelson (aka "The Raccoon") to the Boston radio Blog. He penned the post below, and it is my hope that he will have the time to contribute from time to time. He is a good observer of the Boston Radio scene....

Monday, April 02, 2007


Progressive Talk Still Off Air in Hub

When Clear Channel changed WKOX 1200 Framingham and WXKS 1430 Everett to "rumba" from progressive talk on Dec. 21st of last year, fans of the format had to find other alternatives. So far they haven't had success in bringing it back though some smaller stations may wind up airing some programs if efforts by the Save Progressive Radio Boston group are successful.

The Air America network celebrated its third birthday on March 31, but lately it has taken its
lumps with recent defections from the prog-talk format, most recently in Akron, OH. Efforts
by listeners in Madison, WI to keep their prog-talker from changing to sports have been
successful but so far efforts in other cities have fallen flat. Station owners have said that
formats like sports may not necessarily get higher ratings, but they're easier to "sell" to

Which leads Boston in the curious position of being "the blue-est state in the Union" but
with no home on the radio for Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, or Randi
Rhodes from the Air America and Jones networks. Fans of the format could try to get
stations like WRKO, WTTT, WTKK, or WBZ to run some of these shows, though time
may not be available and program directors may not feel they shows would get ratings or
ad dollars.

Weak signals, hardly any promotion, and the lack of a daily locally originated talk show
have doomed many "progressive talk" stations. While there are affiliates in Portland, ME
and Western MA, these signals can't quite reach the metro Boston area. Will a local
station take a chance on "talk radio for the rest of us"?

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