Saturday, September 26, 2009


Off the air: WGBH's Richard Knisely

This is probably more a case of one hand not knowing what the other hand is doing, but while WGBH was procuring classical radio for Boston in the form of WCRB......they were letting go of one of their best known classical announcers.

Off the Air: WGBH's Richard Knisely

“The real issue is that they have been laying people off like me, claiming extreme financial difficulties, and now they suddenly have $14 million to buy another radio station,” Knisely says. “And it’s a classical music station. People are seriously questioning what’s going on. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense. The only way it makes sense is that they wanted to cut my large salary.”

Let's hope they find a place for him in the new efforts with WCRB. Seems awfully callous on the part of WGBH not to have thought this through. And since WGBH is a union shop, let's hope the union steps up on his behalf.

BTW...Knisely's "large salary", as revealed by him was $63,000. A rather paltry amount in the scheme of things.

Maybe they could lay off one of their fourteen vice-presidents all making between 200 & 300k a year?

Now, what becomes of Eric Jackson's program?

Monday, September 21, 2009


WGBH to buy WCRB....


Boston's largest public broadcaster, WGBH, is buying the market's commercial classical radio station, Nassau's WCRB (99.5 Lowell), ending years of speculation about the long-term future of classical radio in the Hub and doubling the daily radio output from WGBH's Allston studios.

Details of the deal are being announced this afternoon - but NERW believes it will involve the transformation of WCRB from commercial to non-commercial operation, in a move strikingly similar to WNYC's impending acquisition of New York City's WQXR.

Unlike that deal in New York, it appears that at least some of WCRB's airstaff will stay with the new WGBH-run 99.5. Like that deal in New York, it appears that the transaction will move WCRB into WGBH's Allston studios from the longtime WCRB facility in Waltham. And like the New York transition, it appears that the purchase of WCRB will allow WGBH to complete the shift of its main FM facility on 89.7 to full-time news and talk by day, which may explain the recent departure of WGBH afternoon classical host Richard Knisely.

There's no immediate word on a purchase price for WCRB, which last changed hands in 2006 as part of a complex deal that sent the station's intellectual property to Nassau and its former frequency, 102.5, to Greater Media. In recent months, Nassau has been beset by financial problems, with control of most of its stations passing to a group of lenders led by Goldman Sachs. That lenders' group now holds 100% of WCRB, which has been rumored to be up for sale - and the deal to transfer the station to WGBH closes the book on some strong rumors that had 99.5 becoming part of Entercom's cluster and perhaps flipping to sports as an FM home for WEEI.

And the move has implications for another format fight, too: assuming 89.7 goes full-time news and talk, how does WBUR respond to the new competition to its own very successful all-news/talk format?

More at the WGBH web site:

Keep Classical Alive: WGBH is taking classical music commercial-free 24/7, and you can play a part!

And from the Globe:

WGBH will buy classical radio station WCRB

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Laquidara: Radio sucks today

You may have heard that former WBCN morning man Charles Laquidera was inducted last night into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame (along with Fred Cusick, Emily ROoney, Gil Santos and others). The press release is here.

Here is an interview that Laquidera did on Tuesday with NECN & WTKK's Jim Braude:

Laquidara: Radio sucks today

he also did a small print Q & A with the Boston GLobe as well:

Radio days

You can find out more about the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fam at their web site:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Is AM Radio Still Relevant?

As people bemoan and debate the future of radio....the discussion will eventually turn to what will become of AM radio. We know there are demographic challenges to the AM band. We also know that much relevant programming has vanished from the AM dial in favor of specialty, foreign language, and paid religion. (Not that here's not a place for some of that, it just not something that will bring the masses to AM radio.) And here in Boston we just might get THREE sports signals.....with one abandoning the big signal of 850AM for piped in generic ESPN sports.

Randy J. Stine wrote this article for Radio World about the continued question of relevancy for AM radio.

Is AM Radio Still Relevant?

"The story of AM radio over the last 50 years has been a transition from being a dominant form of radio entertainment for all ages to being almost non-existent to the youngest demographic groups," the commission stated.

"I do not expect AM to bounce back," said Glen Clark, president of Glen Clark & Associates, who remains active in radio consulting. "It had a great run over more than 80 years, but I think AM is basically done. It's already getting to the point where people are just turning off their stations."

Saturday, September 12, 2009


WWZN 1510 to air WCVB TV Newscasts...

Taking it on the road

Promotional partnership with Quincy radio station brings WCVB newscasts to morning and evening commuters

NOTE: WWZN is a Quincy station...? ;-)

Friday, September 11, 2009


ESPN out at WAMG 890? (Update: WEEI changes?)

Boston Radio Watch reports that several sources are saying that ESPN 890, WAMG Dedham, will launch a new format on Monday. They had carried ESPN for four years and ESPN was due to launch a new ESPN Boston site on Monday, to co-incide with the first regular season Patriots game.

Now the word is that ESPN will be out on AM 890 that day (not sure yet what new format will be, or how WLLH 1400 in Lowell and Lawrence are affected). ESPN had tried to do some local talk with the likes of Michael Felger (now one half of WBZ-FM's afternoon team) as well as national talk shows and sports play by play, but a poor signal (even after an upgrade) and low ratings--compounded recently by the arrival of The Sports Hub--may well have doomed ESPN 890's chances.

The site is now down. "Farewell shows" may be airing today, Friday 9/11/09.

Stay tuned. No idea yet also what station in Boston, if any, will carry ESPN.

UPDATE 9/12/09: The Globe says WEEI and ESPN are talking. ESPN's overnight and weekend programming could wind up on WEEI--and eventually WEEI may move to one of its FM properties (or two?) They own 93.7 and 97.7 and who knows, could buy 99.5; at which point ESPN would find a full time home on 850! They are in talks.
Some speculation has WRKO moving to FM as well, perhaps 107.3 and/or 97.7 which would doom WAAF (perhaps landing on an HD-2)

9/14/09: In this
looped message
, WAMG thanks its listeners and says they will go off the air

Thursday, September 10, 2009


The Social History of the MP3

Here is one of the best articles written about the state of the industry and how the MP3 changed everything.

The Social History of the MP3

"...using these new tools to push against the illogical constraints of those who think the old model is still viable, and set about redefining music's value. We've been conditioned for the past century to think about music as a commodity ... If the networked public sphere shaped by mp3s could collaboratively re-imagine itself not as an audience or a market but as members of a civil society, who feel that they deserve a stake in its own culture, then the rules going forward, and our appreciation of music's social and affective values, might emerge like mp3s themselves: from the bottom up. We've long since figured out how to grab and recirculate music. Now, let's make something with it."

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Sox back on the air in NH....

Some hardball negotiating tactics for the Granite State?

Entercom Settles Red Sox Dispute

The New Hampshire affiliate has more importance for Entercom after Red Sox games were recently flipped from WRKO (680) to WEEI (850) which doesn't have as strong a signal to the north of Boston.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Laquidara: CBS Radio destroyed WBCN

In case you missed his remarks about the changes at 104.1 and the disappearance of WBCN, Former 'BCN icon Charles Laquidera had this to say to the Globe's Emily Sweeney.

Charles Laquidara: CBS Radio destroyed WBCN

Charles Laquidera has his own blog, you can check it out at:

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