In this week’s issue… Beasley flips Boston – WGBY, NEPR join forces – Lilly re-enters radio – Format shuffle in NH

By SCOTT FYBUSH

Jump to: MENHVTMARICTNYNJ PACanada

*It’s an abbreviated NERW this week – as usual, we returned from a week-plus in Las Vegas both excited and thoroughly exhausted, and so a lot of our usual NERW-writing time these last few days has been spent sound asleep regenerating energy for all our projects ahead.

But there were a few big stories that emerged during the week while so many broadcasters were out west, including one that literally broke while we were at the airport about to board the flight home on Thursday morning.

That was at Beasley’s Boston cluster, where our colleague/Vegas suitemate/RadioInsight proprietor Lance Venta had been tracking domain registrations ahead of what looked like a format flip at “Alt 92.9,” WBOS (92.9 Brookline). After days of waiting, it dropped at 10:30 Thursday morning at the end of the Detroit-based “Dave & Chuck the Freak” morning show, as “Alt” transitioned to “Rock 92.9.”

The flip takes WBOS – which had been on a nice upward ratings trend – away from contemporary alternative rock and into a playlist heavy with classic rock sounds from the 1980s and 1990s, a mix they’re billing as “the next generation of classic rock.” It’s aimed at competitors in the two other big clusters, most notably iHeart’s older classic rock mix at WZLX (100.7) and Entercom’s active rock WAAF (107.3), and so far it arrives without any lineup changes at WBOS, which had already been fairly thinly staffed for a Boston FM. (Beyond the morning show from sister station WRIF, afternoons are also tracked from Detroit.)

There’s at least one staffing change: WBOS eliminated its music director position, and with it the job of Joel Weiss. (Monday update: midday jock Amy Brooks is also out as a result of the flip.) 

Will Beasley’s move prompt any reaction elsewhere in town? Entercom and iHeart both have their own “Alt” stations in big markets including New York (Entercom’s WNYL 92.3) and Los Angeles (iHeart’s KYSR 98.7), and that’s a format niche and branding that ought to have some place in a market like Boston. So far, though, both companies seem to be doing well enough with even their lesser players that there’s no flip appearing to be imminent at signals such as Entercom’s top-40 “AMP” WODS (103.3) or iHeart’s country “Bull” WBWL (101.7).

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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.)

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1 COMMENT

  1. Hey Scott, didn’t see any comment/report about the Bob Savage 1220 AM
    re-app/new CP for 1220 AM, Lakeville, NY, just outside Geneseo, granted April 9. Certainly the first 4 tower AM new construction I have heard of around here, and is extremely rare anywhere. Does Bob know something we don’t know about AM? DK