In this week’s issue… iHeart cutbacks hit Boston – Philly morning talker out – K-Love signals sell – Feds go after Mass. pirate – Corus shuffles Toronto schedule – New books from Cheek, Duran

By SCOTT FYBUSH

Jump to: MENHVTMARICTNYNJ PACanada

*It’s another one of those weeks when we really don’t want to be writing the lead story we’re writing.

It’s MASSACHUSETTS again, and it’s our old home base of WBZ (1030) – and it’s another round of job cuts on both the news and talk sides of that iHeart-owned stations. While the most visible face of the cuts was news anchor Josh Binswanger, recently moved from mornings to afternoons (right – and yes, that’s a classic CBC logo hat he was wearing when last we saw him in the new WBZ newsroom last summer), there were plenty of WBZ staffers behind the scenes who were also affected.

When your editor arrived at the WBZ newsroom as a kid right out of college in 1992, my training as a tape operator was at the hands of Vic Ramos, who’d already been at WBZ a few years by then, having moved east from his native Los Angeles and then-sister station KFWB. Vic remained as a producer in the newsroom long after the carts and reels went away (as well as taking a lead role in union negotiations), right up until those cuts hit late last week.

Also behind the scenes were producers Garo Hagopian (whose tenure also went back to the mid-90s, when he ran Steve LeVeille’s show and the almost-famous “LeVeille/Hagopian Poll”) and Fausto Menard, writer Carolyn Firestone and reporter Bill Marcus.

And back on the other side of the mic, the cuts also claimed several of WBZ’s part-time weekend talk hosts, including Dean Johnson and Marissa DeFranco, leaving only Morgan White, Jr. on the part-time talk roster. What’s going to fill those weekend slots? On Sunday night, the station was running classic Larry Glick shows as filler.

Station officials told the Globe they couldn’t discuss personnel matters, but they did say no replacement has been picked yet for Binswanger, who returned to WBZ amidst fanfare in 2017, coming back for a second run after starting his career there in the 1990s as the host of the weekend “Kid Company” show.

(Down the hall, we’re also hearing that Kesha Monk, co-host of the morning show at WKAF 97.7, is also out at iHeart.)

*In happier news (and we need some happier news after that), we’re very happy to announce the location of this year’s annual Broadcasting Club Kickoff Party at the upcoming NAB Show.

Our event just keeps getting bigger year after year, and this year it will expand to the newly-renamed Waldorf Astoria at the Las Vegas CityCenter complex on the Strip. As always, it’s the Sunday night before the show starts (April 7), starting at 6 PM – and as always, you need to register (at TheBroadcastingClub.com) to get the email letting you know where to go on the day of the party.

(There’s even still room for a few more sponsors – contact Lisa for more information!)

And did you hear our latest edition of the Top of the Tower Podcast? We were on the road last week, visiting America’s first all-digital AM station, WWFD (820) in Frederick, Maryland, and had a most interesting conversation with engineer Dave Kolesar and Xperi’s Mike Raide – give it a listen if you missed it!

We still have the 2019 Tower Site Calendar in stock — but we barely have 10 left.

This is the last printing for the year, so if you haven’t ordered yours yet, don’t wait. Order it now.

 

We still have eight copies of The Radio Historian’s 2019 Calendar available, which are now 20% off. 

Check them both out in our store!

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Click Here To Register And Purchase This Column!!

You don't have to stop reading here! Each week's NorthEast Radio Watch is packed full of exclusive, in-depth reporting and analysis from across the nine states and five provinces we've been serving since 1994. You won't find anything like it on any free site - and you can read the rest of this week's column for just $2.99 by clicking on the "Purchase Only" link below. 

Or click here to subscribe and enjoy full access to current NERW and Tower Site of the Week columns and two decades of searchable archives -- for as little as 25 cents per day.

If you are already a member, please login to view the rest of this column. (If the site does not recognize your username, don't panic! Either your subscription has expired and we need to reactivate your account, or your username and email do not match our payment records and we need to link them. Please email Lisa,  or call her at 585-442-5411, for instructions.)

Why are we now subscriber-based? Click here to read more about the reasons behind our decision.