WBZ (AM)

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WBZ
WBZ (AM) logo.png
City of license Boston, Massachusetts
Broadcast area Greater Boston
Branding "WBZ NewsRadio 1030"
Slogan "New England's Newswatch Never Stops"
Frequency 1030 kHz
(also on HD Radio)
Repeaters (also on HD Radio via WBZ-FM-98.5 HD3)
First air date September 19, 1921 (1921-09-19)
Format News/talk
Power 50,000 watts
Class A
Facility ID 25444
Transmitter coordinates 42°16′44.00″N 70°52′34.00″W / 42.2788889°N 70.8761111°W / 42.2788889; -70.8761111 (WBZ)
Callsign meaning sequentially assigned
Former frequencies 833 kHz (1921–1922)
750 kHz (1922–1923)
710 kHz (1923)
790 kHz (1923)
890 kHz (1923–1925)
900 kHz (1925–1928)
990 kHz (1928–1941)
Affiliations CBS Radio Network
ABC News Radio
AP Radio
Owner CBS Radio
(CBS Radio East, Inc.)
Sister stations WBMX, WBZ-FM, WBZ-TV, WODS, WSBK-TV, WZLX
Webcast Listen Live
Website WBZ website

WBZ is the call sign for an AM radio station in Boston, Massachusetts owned by CBS Radio, itself owned by the CBS Corporation. Originally based in and broadcast from Springfield, Massachusetts, WBZ is the first licensed commercial radio station in the United States.[1] WBZ moved to Boston in 1931 in a swap with a now-defunct synchronous repeater, WBZA. Its studios are in Brighton.

WBZ radio, which broadcasts at 1030 kHz, is the oldest surviving commercial radio station in New England, as it began broadcasting from Springfield in 1921.[1] WBZ currently runs an all-news format during the day and a talk radio format at night, with hosts including Dan Rea and Jordan Rich. The station has long been one of the highest-rated stations in the Boston area,[2] and covers much of the eastern United States and Canada at night with its 50,000-watt clear-channel signal from its transmitter location in Hull, Massachusetts, which has been used by the station since 1940. For this reason, WBZ is a Primary Entry Point (PEP) for the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The transmitter is a two tower directional array where each tower is 160 meters (520 ft) tall.[3] The signal is intentionally directionalized from their coastal location for maximum power transmitted into the continental United States, giving WBZ outstanding multi-state coverage after sunset.

WBZ is an affiliate of the co-owned CBS Radio Network, as well as ABC News Radio and AP Radio for national and international news as well as some features (from 1980 to 2005, the station carried noted radio raconteur Paul Harvey's broadcasts from ABC Radio), but the bulk of the station's schedule, except some weekend programming, is produced in-house. WBZ has also been heavily involved in charitable work, with its annual Christmastime fund drive for Boston's Children's Hospital (which it does along with sister TV station WBZ-TV) being the most high-profile.

It was the home of talkmaster David Brudnoy for 18 years, until the day before his death in 2004. Other notable hosts included talk show host Bob Kennedy, poet/radio host Dick Summer, disc jockeys Bruce Bradley, Jeff Kaye, Ron Landry [4] and later, Larry Justice, jazz DJ turned talkmaster Norm Nathan, late-night talker and humorist Larry Glick, and morning hosts Carl DeSuze, Tom Bergeron and Dave Maynard. It was also the radio home for decades of pioneering Boston meteorologist Don Kent.

From 1929 to 1953, WBZ operated a shortwave station that eventually became known as WBOS; the call sign has since been reassigned to what is now a mainstream rock station. Additionally, from 1940 until 1981, the station made half-hearted attempts to launch FM service, at various points operating FM service on 100.7 (now occupied by WZLX, a current sister to WBZ), 92.9 (now occupied by the aforementioned WBOS, owned by Greater Media) and 106.7 (now WMJX, also owned by Greater Media); these stations were either closed down or sold to other chains, with the WBZ-FM call letters eventually being reused in 2009 on a co-owned sports radio station at 98.5.

History[edit]

1921–1931: Origins in Springfield[edit]

WBZ's initial license, for operation in Springfield, was issued by the Department of Commerce to the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company on September 15, 1921; it was the first license to specify broadcasts on 360 meters (833 kilohertz), and was subsequently deemed to be the first license for a commercial broadcast station. However, other stations, such as WWJ in Detroit, 1XE/WGI in Medford Hillside, and sister station KDKA in Pittsburgh, were already broadcasting under different license classifications.[5]

The station's original transmitter and studios were located at the Westinghouse factory on Page Boulevard in East Springfield. However, WBZ's inaugural program, on September 19, 1921, was a remote broadcast from the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield.[6] The studios were moved to the luxurious Hotel Kimball in Metro Center Springfield by early 1922.[6] The original format was general entertainment and information, which included live music (often classical music and opera), sports, farm reports, special events, and public affairs programming.[6] Despite WBZ being housed in Springfield's top hotel, its location in a mid-sized market rendered it somewhat difficult to attract top-flight artists to the station,[7] leading Westinghouse to open a studio at the Hotel Brunswick in Boston on February 24, 1924.[6] WBZ also expanded its news programming via a partnership with the Boston Herald and Traveler.[6] It also carried a considerable amount of sports broadcasts, including Boston Bruins hockey, Boston Braves baseball, and Harvard Crimson football.[6]

Because of its comparatively wide reach, the station often referred to itself as "WBZ, New England" as opposed to associating itself solely with Springfield or Boston.[6] However, even after several power boosts (the station broadcast at a power of 100 watts in 1921,[7] but was using 2,000 watts in April 1925[8]), the station still had some trouble reaching Boston,[7] leading Westinghouse to sign on WBZA, a 250-watt station at 1240 kHz, on August 20, 1925.[6][9] Efforts were soon made to operate WBZA as a synchronous repeater of WBZ, by then at 900 kHz; this process was difficult, as the two transmitters often interfered with each other even in Boston, and WBZA went back and forth between the two frequencies for nearly a year before finally going to full-time synchronous operation in June 1926.[7] WBZ also continued to boost the power of its primary East Springfield transmitter; it was granted permission to operate with 5,000 watts on March 31, 1926,[9] and by 1927 it was operating with 15,000 watts.[10] Meanwhile, a combination of WBZ's growth and continued difficulties with the WBZA signal led the station to move its Boston studio to the Statler Hotel (now the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers) on June 1, 1927[9] and activate a new WBZA transmitter on June 9.[6] The Federal Radio Commission (FRC) moved WBZ and WBZA to 990 kHz on November 11, 1928.[9]

Amidst the technical changes, WBZ also began engaging in network activities. By 1925, it often shared programs with WJZ in New York City (which Westinghouse had also started in 1921, but sold to the Radio Corporation of America two years later), and a WBZ special commemorating the 150th anniversary of Paul Revere's "Midnight Ride" was also fed to WRC in Washington, D.C. and WGY in Schenectady, New York.[6] This paved the way for the station to become a charter affiliate of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) on November 15, 1926, carrying the WJZ-originated NBC Blue Network beginning on January 1, 1927.[9][11]

1931–1956: NBC affiliation[edit]

By 1931, Westinghouse had concluded that Boston was WBZ's primary market, and on February 21 the station moved to a new transmitter site in Millis,[12][13] a location chosen to also provide service to Worcester and Providence, Rhode Island.[14] WBZA was then moved to the East Springfield transmitter, which now operated with 1,000 watts and served more to bolster WBZ's signal in an area not adequately served from Millis.[15][16] The Boston studios (which now also served as WBZ's main studios) would move as well, relocating to the Hotel Bradford on July 1, 1931;[12] some programs continued to originate from the Springfield studios at the Hotel Kimball, which now belonged to WBZA.[16] The station offered its first Boston Marathon coverage on April 19, 1931.[17] The following year, Westinghouse leased WBZ and WBZA to NBC itself, but maintained ownership of the broadcast licenses.[18] During the late 1930s, WBZ began to offer more local news coverage; previously, only major events were regularly covered.[6]

NBC's management of WBZ and WBZA came to an end on July 1, 1940, and Westinghouse resumed full control over the station.[19] Shortly afterward, on July 27,[20] WBZ moved its transmitter once more, to the current location in Hull.[14] The move was twofold: the Millis site, 25 miles southwest of Boston, did not provide as strong a signal to the market as was intended,[14] even after power increases to 25,000 watts in 1931 and 50,000 watts in 1933;[6] this was due to the signal predominantly traveling through land, whereas the Hull site provides a salt water path to Boston.[14] Additionally, the Hull site allowed ample space for WBZ's shortwave station,[14] which had been founded at Springfield as W1XAZ in November 1929[9] and later operated from Millis as W1XK, ultimately becoming WBOS.[14] WPIT, the shortwave station operated by KDKA in Pittsburgh, also moved its transmitters to Hull at the same time, and in 1941 its operations were folded into WBOS,[14] which soon afterward began carrying government-provided programming (a service that ultimately evolved into the Voice of America) that would remain the shortwave station's primary function until leaving the air permanently in 1953.[14] The Hull site also served as the first home for WBZ's FM station, which operated from there as W1XK, W67B, and then WBZ-FM on several frequencies off and on from November 7, 1940 to November 21, 1948.[21] WBZ moved to its present dial location, 1030 kHz, on March 29, 1941.[14]

WBZ switched from the Blue Network to the NBC Red Network on June 15, 1942;[20][22] this allowed the station to retain a link with NBC after the Justice Department ordered it to divest of one its two radio networks (as NBC opted to sell the Blue Network). Like other major-market network-affiliated radio stations of the time, WBZ also broadcast a few hours of local programming, including Vaudeville-like musical performances from Max Zides, Tom Currier, and others, during those hours when NBC wasn't feeding programs to affiliates.

The station expanded into television on June 9, 1948, when WBZ-TV (channel 4) signed on as an NBC television affiliate. Westinghouse built new studios at 1170 Soldiers Field Road in the Allston section of Boston to house both the radio and television stations, with the new facility opening on June 17 of that year (parts of the new facility containing the master control and TV transmitter had already been in use).[20] The transmission tower built at the studios for WBZ-TV would also replace the Hull site as WBZ-FM's transmitter,[14] where it remained until Hurricane Carol destroyed the tower on August 31, 1954;[23] a power outage caused by the storm would disrupt WBZ's programming for three minutes.[24] Don Kent started as a meteorologist at the station in 1951, for a tenure that would endure for over three decades.[25] The following year, WBZ expanded its broadcasting schedule to 24-hour-a-day programming.[25]

1956–1985: Becoming a full-service powerhouse[edit]

During the 1950s, entertainment shows began moving to television, with the amount of music programming increased as a result. After three decades, WBZ, along with all but one of the other Westinghouse Broadcasting stations (KEX in Portland, Oregon was affiliated with ABC), ended their affiliations with NBC Radio on August 26, 1956 following a dispute over the network's daytime programming,[26] and the station then decided to program popular music around-the-clock. The best known host in WBZ's history, Dave Maynard, joined the station in 1958.[25] Another beloved WBZ host was Carl DeSuze, whose joined WBZ in April 1942[20] and remained at the station until 1985.[27] DeSuze was the station's morning man for over three decades. Another popular WBZ voice was longtime news anchor Gary LaPierre, who began at the station in September 1964.[28]

At the outset, WBZ's full-service music format leaned toward middle of the road music, but also featuring an increasing amount of rock and roll. Within a few years, WBZ was a top 40 rock and roll station,[29] and with its combination of hit music, popular hosts, powerful signal, and top-notch news coverage, WBZ was the dominant radio station in the market.

WBZ re-established an FM station on December 15, 1957, transmitting from the brand new WBZ-TV tower in Needham, operating at 106.7 MHz;[30] this incarnation of WBZ-FM only provided limited simulcasts of the AM station and largely had its own programming, including classical music and Ed Beech's Just Jazz program from WRVR in New York City. The station remained in mono through this period, but beginning on December 31, 1971, an automated top 40 format was launched in stereo, apparently in an attempt to blunt the popularity of WRKO (680 AM). WBZ-FM would be sold by Group W (which Westinghouse had rebranded its broadcasting division in 1963) to Greater Media in 1981, ultimately becoming WMJX.[31]

WBZA continued to serve Springfield with a simulcast of WBZ's programming until July 1962, when it was shut down to allow Westinghouse to purchase WINS in New York City, as the company already owned seven AM radio stations — the maximum allowed by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) at that time.[32] The closure of WBZA ended over 40 years of transmission from East Springfield. The towers continued to stand atop the former Westinghouse plant in East Springfield for five more decades, until their removal on November 5, 2011 to accommodate redevelopment at the site of the factory;[33][34] by then, they were among the oldest broadcast facilities still standing.[35]

Increased competition in the top 40 format — first from WMEX (1510 AM, now WUFC), which had programmed a top 40 format since 1957, then from WRKO, which adopted the format in 1967 — led WBZ to shift its music programming to adult contemporary in 1969, playing several songs an hour between 6 and 9 a.m. (though it was not unheard of for Carl DeSuze to play only one, if any, song an hour during his show), 10 to 12 songs an hour between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and 4 to 6 songs an hour between 4 and 7 p.m.. At night, WBZ programmed talk shows, with such hosts as Guy Mainella, a pioneer in sports talk;[36] Jerry Williams in the evenings; and Larry Glick's overnight show (the latter two held the same popular shifts at WMEX years earlier). Music was also programmed during the day on weekends. This format was similar to sister station KDKA in Pittsburgh. By 1978, Mainella, who had been the host of Calling All Sports since its inception on July 15, 1969,[28][36] had been replaced with Bob Lobel and Upton Bell.[37]

Beginning in the late 1960s, WBZ made a major push into live play-by-play sports. From 1966 through 1979, and again from 1991 through 1994, WBZ was home to radio broadcasts of New England Patriots football; this brought Gil Santos to the station.[28] In the fall of 1969, WBZ regained the radio rights to the Boston Bruins[28] (which it had lost in 1951), and also began carrying Boston Celtics basketball. The Bruins stayed through the 1977-78 season; the Celtics left WBZ after the team's 1980-81 NBA Championship season. During the years when the Bruins and Celtics were both on WBZ and both playing at the same time, one of them (usually the Celtics) would be heard on WBZ-FM. WBZ also broadcast the United States Football League's Boston Breakers during the 1983 season (its lone season in Boston),[38] as well as Boston College Eagles football from 1987[39] through 1991.[40] Starting in 1972, WBZ's football broadcasts featured the play-by-play team of Gil Santos and Gino Cappelletti.[37][38][39]

During the 1970s, WBZ was one of a number of clear channel AM stations that petitioned to be allowed to increase their power; WBZ would have used 500,000 watts transmitting from Provincetown, Massachusetts to reach all of New England during the day. A backlash from smaller stations led to the petition being denied and station protections limited to a 750-mile radius, in effect canceling the entire clear channel service.[29]

WBZ became an affiliate of ABC Radio on January 1, 1980;[27] ABC was the descendant of the Blue Network, which WBZ had dropped 38 years earlier. The ABC affiliation allowed the station to begin airing Paul Harvey's daily broadcasts, which were previously heard in Boston on WEZE (then at 1260 AM, now occupied by WMKI; now at 590 AM) and, later, WECB, the carrier current station at Emerson College.[41] Later in the year, a schedule shuffle ended Carl DeSuze's run on the morning show (which was taken over by Dave Maynard), and he was moved to middays; the overnight show was then taken over by Bob Raleigh,[27] who had been WBZ's midday host since June 1976.[37] Calling All Sports was also dropped in favor of an early evening talk show, hosted at various points by David Finnegan, Lou Marcel, and Peter Meade.[42] Former overnight host Larry Glick was moved first into late evenings and then into afternoons,[43] and ultimately left the station in May 1987.[27]

1985–2003: Becoming a news/talk station[edit]

In the 1980s, WBZ began to cut back on its music programming; for instance, an expanded afternoon news block was launched on December 2, 1985.[27] The following year, David Brudnoy began to host the station's late evening talk show;[27] WBZ replaced his program with Tom Snyder's ABC Radio talk show[44] after the July 13, 1990 broadcast,[45] but listener complaints[46] led the station to return Brudnoy to the air by the end of September.[47] It was also late in 1985 that American Top 40 moved to WBZ from WROR, remaining on WBZ for the rest of its years as a full-service AC station, around the same time WBZ's most famous slogan, "The Spirit of New England" (made famous by a 1987 JAM Creative Productions jingle package of the same name), was introduced.

Former WBZ logo; variations of this logo were used from 1993 until July 1, 2010. During the first year of the current format, a similar logo in the standard Westinghouse Broadcasting typeface was used.

WBZ continued its full-service AC format until January 1991, when Gulf War coverage led the station to stop playing music on a regular basis and adopt a full-time news/talk format.[29][48] (WBZ has, from time to time, played music on special occasions even after the change to news/talk; the station still offered 24 hours of Christmas music beginning on Christmas Eve through 1995, and it has carried the audio of the Boston Pops' Fourth of July concert and fireworks display since 2003;[49] additionally, WBZ, along with sister stations WODS and WZLX, carried the Beatles Let It Be... Naked album premiere on November 13, 2003.[50][51]) When WEEI (then at 590 AM, now occupied by WEZE; now at 850 AM) dropped its all-news format for all-sports programming in September 1991, WBZ began a marketing campaign to convince former WEEI listeners to switch to WBZ;[52] this was followed on January 13, 1992 with a shift to all-news programming during drive time (5 to 10 a.m. in the morning and 3 to 7 p.m. in the afternoon).[53] On September 28 the station became an all-news station from 5 a.m.–7 p.m.[54] following the end of the two midday talk shows hosted by Tom Bergeron, the morning host prior to the launch of the morning news block[55] (the noon hour, which separated the Bergeron shifts, was already occupied by a news program); the station's nighttime programming continued to be filled by David Brudnoy and Bob Raleigh's talk shows.[54]

Initially, the new format was not carried over to WBZ's weekend schedule; while a weekend morning news block was launched,[54] the weekend afternoon schedule remained devoted to specialty talk shows until September 3, 1994, when the station introduced information-oriented sports shows, branded as WBZ Sports Saturday and WBZ Sports Sunday.[56][57] WBZ's sports commitment also included the return of the Boston Bruins Radio Network to the station in 1995;[58] however, the station lost the New England Patriots to WBCN (104.1 FM, now occupied by WBMX) starting with the 1995 season,[59] and for several seasons afterward WBZ was an affiliate of the New York Giants Radio Network. NFL regulations only allowed WBZ to carry Giants' games not played at the same time as Patriots' games.[60] As with the weekday lineup, talk continued to be programmed at night, including three of the specialty shows (Kid Company on Saturday evenings and a revived Calling All Sports and Looking at the Law on Sunday evenings), a Saturday night talk show hosted by Lovell Dyett,[56] and an overnight show with former WHDH (850 AM, now occupied by WEEI) host Norm Nathan.[61]

WBZ added an affiliation with the CBS Radio Network on March 6, 1995, making it one of a handful of stations to carry both CBS Radio and ABC Radio (however, the station ceased an affiliation with CNN Radio).[62] Five months later, on August 1, Westinghouse announced that it was purchasing CBS,[63] a transaction that was completed on November 24;[64] as a result, WBZ came under the CBS Radio banner.[29] 76 years of Westinghouse ownership would come to an end on December 1, 1997, when the Westinghouse Electric Corporation changed its name to CBS Corporation.[65] CBS' radio stations, including WBZ, were spun off into a new public company, Infinity Broadcasting Corporation, in 1998 (a move that removed the Group W name from the station's license);[66] Viacom announced its acquisition of the publicly held stake in Infinity on August 15, 2000 (shortly after it merged with CBS Corporation),[67] a transaction completed on February 21, 2001 (though Viacom, and CBS before the merger, had always held a majority stake in Infinity).[68] Even after coming under common ownership with the CBS Radio Network, it would not be until 2000 before CBS' hourly newscast replaced ABC's during WBZ's overnight programming.[29]

As its ownership shifted, WBZ also continued to modify its program schedule. After Norm Nathan's death on October 29, 1996,[61] his Friday night/Saturday morning show was taken over by Steve LeVeille, and his Saturday night/Sunday morning show went to former WSSH-FM (99.5 FM, now WCRB) morning host Jordan Rich.[69] Bob Lobel (by now WBZ-TV's sports director) and Upton Bell returned to the station on May 17, 1997 for a Sunday night sports show (with Calling All Sports moving to Saturdays).[70] Another sports show, The McDonoughs on Sports with Sean McDonough and Will McDonough aired during the 1997 NFL season as a lead-in to CBS Radio Sports' broadcast of Monday Night Football, preempting David Brudnoy's program;[71] the first two hours of his Friday show were also preempted in favor of a cooking show, Olives' Table with Todd English, from August 1997[72] through August 1998.[73] The Sports Saturday and Sports Sunday blocks were discontinued in April 1998 in favor of an expansion of the all-news format to weekend afternoons;[74] Calling All Sports and The Bob Lobel Show were not affected,[75] though Lobel's show was replaced with Sunday Sports Page with Dan Roche and Steve DeOssie that July after a management-ordered cut-off of a call on the July 12 broadcast drove Lobel to resign from his show on July 13.[76][77] Bob Raleigh began to cut back his on-air presence during the late 1990s, with Kevin Sowyrda taking over the Sunday night/Monday morning slot for a time;[69] he eventually retired on June 9, 1999,[78] with Steve LeVeille taking his place in the overnight hours and Jordan Rich taking over the Friday night/Saturday morning show.[79] Shortly afterward, David Brudnoy gave up the 10 p.m.-12 a.m. portion of his show;[78] this timeslot was given to Lowell Sun columnist and former WLLH (1400 AM) host Paul Sullivan.[80] For a time starting in the fall of 2001, the station relaunched the 1 p.m. hour of the Midday News as the WBZ Business Hour, with an increased focus on business news;[81] this program was similar to one on Los Angeles sister station KNX (WBZ has since returned to regular news in the 1 p.m. hour). Later that year, weekend sports talk was abandoned completely, with Calling All Sports, which had been a leased-time program owned and produced by Norm Resha since its revival in 1991,[82] moving to WTKK (96.9 FM) on December 2.[36] WBZ then launched a Saturday evening talk show hosted by Pat Desmarais, while a simulcast of the CBS television program 60 Minutes was added on Sunday evenings on January 13, 2002.[83]

2003–present: Transition[edit]

David Brudnoy announced on September 23, 2003 that he had skin cancer[84][85] (he had also been fighting AIDS since 1994[58]); a farewell broadcast aired on December 8, 2004, and he died the next day, with tribute shows airing over the following two nights.[86] Per Brudnoy's wish, Paul Sullivan took over the 8 p.m.–midnight time slot in January 2005, with the 7 p.m. hour given to an expansion of the WBZ Afternoon News.[86] That March, WBZ began streaming its programming on the web, along with Infinity's other news and talk stations.[87]

When Viacom split into two companies on December 31, 2005, Infinity became part of the new CBS Corporation and reverted to the CBS Radio name.[88] That same day, WBZ dropped Paul Harvey after the station's contract to carry his broadcasts expired (however, despite coming under the CBS Radio banner once more, the station still maintains an affiliation with ABC News Radio);[89] in addition, the station dropped Looking at the Law, a legal advice show hosted by Neil Chayet, after its January 8, 2006 broadcast in favor of brokered financial programs.[90] Longtime morning news anchor Gary LaPierre, who anchored WBZ's morning newscasts for nearly 40 years, retired from WBZ at the end of 2006. Governor Mitt Romney declared the day of his final broadcast, December 29, 2006, "Gary LaPierre Day". Romney, Senator Ted Kennedy, Mayor Tom Menino, former Mayor Ray Flynn, former Governor Michael Dukakis, and other notables called in during his final broadcast.[91] LaPierre was replaced on the WBZ Morning News with Ed Walsh, a former morning host at WOR in New York City who had been anchoring at WCBS,[92] starting with the 9:30 a.m. half hour of the December 29 Morning News.[91] LaPierre continues to be heard on the station on occasion through voiceover work.[93]

Meanwhile, evening host Paul Sullivan was fighting a brain tumor, which was discovered on November 22, 2004—shortly before Brudnoy's death.[94] After undergoing several surgeries over the next two and a half years, Sullivan announced on June 21, 2007 that he would step down from the evening talk show,[95] with his final show, lead by Jordan Rich, airing on June 28;[93] he would die on September 9.[96] Rich and WBZ-TV reporter Dan Rea served as substitute hosts in the interim;[95] on October 1, Rea, who in the 1970s served as a weekend host for the station before moving to television in 1976, became the new host of the show, renamed NightSide with Dan Rea.[97]

On December 31, 2008, WBZ let go overnight talk show host Steve LeVeille, sports anchor Tom Cuddy and Saturday night talk show hosts Lovell Dyett[98] and Pat Desmarais.[99] LeVeille was replaced by Jon Grayson (whose show originates from St. Louis sister station KMOX), while Dyett and Desmarais were replaced by the syndicated Kim Komando Show. After listener efforts were made to restore LeVeille and Dyett to the station, WBZ announced on January 27, 2009 that LeVeille would reassume his shift on February 2, while Dyett would host a half-hour early morning public affairs program on Sundays.[100] Cuddy would subsequently return to the station as well that May.[101] While Jordan Rich retained his weekend overnight show, the 2–5 a.m. portion of the program began to be simulcast on sister station WCCO in Minneapolis–Saint Paul. Long-time sports director Gil Santos retired after 38 years with the station on January 30, 2006; after a week-long fill-in by Bob Lobel,[102] Walt Perkins took over as morning sports anchor on February 7.[103] The Bruins once again left WBZ following the 2008-09 season, after CBS Radio launched a third incarnation of WBZ-FM at 98.5 FM as an all-sports station, which also took the Patriots from the former WBCN.[104] (The station simulcast WBZ-FM's broadcast of Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals between the Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks, allowing fans in areas of New England not served by a Bruins radio network affiliate to hear the game;[105] additionally, WBZ briefly carried Bruins games that conflict with WBZ-FM's Patriots broadcasts, a function that has since moved to WZLX. WBZ also carried a Boston Celtics broadcast on January 11, 2014, due to conflicts with both a Patriots game on current Celtics flagship station WBZ-FM and a Bruins game on WZLX.[106])

Horizontal version of WBZ's current logo, used since July 1, 2010

Ed Walsh retired after four years as morning news anchor on November 30, 2010;[107] Rod Fritz then took over as interim anchor (with Gary LaPierre guest anchoring for a week in early December),[108] with Joe Mathieu, formerly of Sirius XM Radio's P.O.T.U.S. channel, taking over on May 16, 2011.[109][110] The station added a monthly one-hour interview show hosted by Mathieu, WBZ Newswatch, on January 26, 2012.[111][112] Overnight host Steve LeVeille retired from WBZ on June 8, 2012;[113] after a year of rotating guest hosts that included Jennifer Brien, Morgan White Jr., Bradley Jay, and Dean Johnson, Brien was named the new host on June 25, 2013.[114] On October 3, 2013 the station announced it was canceling the Jen Brien Show with immediate effect.[115]

Hall of Fame[edit]

In February 2007, the station created the WBZ Radio Hall of Fame. Gary LaPierre was the first inductee, on February 16;[116] Gil Santos was the second when he was inducted on July 9, 2009,[117] and Dave Maynard was the third with his induction on September 15, 2009.[118] Carl DeSuze became the fourth inductee (and the first to be inducted posthumously) on September 19, 2011, coinciding with WBZ's 90th anniversary.[119]

Programming[edit]

Daytime[edit]

From 5 a.m.–8 p.m. on weekdays, 5 a.m.–6 p.m. on Saturdays, and 5–10 a.m. and 12–7 p.m. on Sundays, WBZ offers an all-news format. News headlines are provided at the top and bottom of each hour, as well as at  :18 and  :48. Local news is provided by both the station's own reporters and sister station WBZ-TV; national and international news is provided by CBS Radio News, ABC News Radio, and AP Radio. "Traffic and Weather Together on the 3s" provides first a traffic report, then the "WBZ AccuWeather Forecast" every ten minutes on the 3s (:03,  :13,  :23, e.g.) with the weather originating from AccuWeather staff in State College, Pennsylvania (except from 10 a.m.–8 p.m. on weekdays, when it is provided by WBZ-TV; the segments during this time nonetheless still carry the WBZ AccuWeather branding, which is also used for weather segments on WBZ-TV). Financial news from MarketWatch is aired at  :08 and  :38; the station also does its own business report, New England Business, at  :25 during drive time. Sports are carried at various times throughout the half hour, though the 10 a.m.–3 p.m. weekday reports on weekdays are pre-recorded. Several features are also broadcast throughout the broadcast day, including both locally produced segments and syndicated features (largely provided by CBS through Westwood One). The 12:30 p.m. half hour on weekdays is branded as Reporters' Roundup and features reporters discussing their stories with the anchor. WBZ also simulcasts the CBS Evening News at 6:30 p.m. on weeknights and 60 Minutes at 7 p.m. on Sunday evenings.[120] The lone breaks in the all-news format during the daytime come once a month from 11 a.m.–12 p.m., when WBZ airs a one-hour show, WBZ Newswatch, in which Joe Mathieu interviews newsmakers,[111][112] and on Sundays from 10 a.m.–12 p.m., when the station airs Ric Edelman's financial talk show.

Nighttime[edit]

In hours in which WBZ is not providing news programming, the station is formatted as a talk radio station. Dan Rea hosts the main evening talk show, NightSide, from 8 p.m.–midnight. The weekday overnight program, Jay Talking, is hosted by former WBCN DJ Bradley Jay and airs from midnight–5 a.m. Monday through Friday mornings. Saturday and Sunday mornings, Jordan Rich hosts a talk show during this time (though the Sunday morning show ends at 3:30 a.m.), which is simulcast on sister station WCCO in Minneapolis–Saint Paul.

Saturday evening programming includes the brokered financial program Family Financial Focus, produced by 93 Financial Group, from 6–8 p.m., the brokered real estate program Real Estate Radio Boston at 8 p.m., the brokered financial program Roadmap to Wealth from SHP Financial at 9 p.m., and The Morgan Show, hosted by longtime fill-in host Morgan White Jr., from 10 p.m.–midnight. Infomercials are carried from 3:30–4:30 a.m., followed by a half-hour Catholic program. Sunday evening programming includes a simulcast of 60 Minutes at 7 p.m., the brokered financial program Protecting Your Wealth, produced by Rubino & Liang, at 8 p.m., infomercials from 9–10 p.m., and a Sunday night talk show, currently without a permanent host, from 10 p.m.–midnight.

Since 1999, the station has aired a production of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, presented by WBZ producer Michael Coleman and performed by the WBZ staff (as "The WBZ Radio Holiday Players"). Between 2001 and 2004, WBZ also offered a dramatic reading of Richard Paul Evans' The Christmas Box.

Awards[edit]

WBZ received the 2010 Marconi award in the legendary stations category from the National Association of Broadcasters.[121] In 2014, WBZ, along with sister station WBZ-TV, received a Peabody Award for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings.[122]

On-air staff[edit]

Morning Drive

  • Joe Mathieu - Anchor
  • Deb Lawler - Anchor
  • Elliott Abrams - AccuWeather
  • Walt Perkins - Sports
  • Rick Simonson - Traffic
  • Andrew O'Day - MarketWatch

Midday

  • Laurie Kirby - Anchor
  • Rod Fritz - Anchor
  • Tracy Johnke - MarketWatch
  • Todd Gutner - Weather

Afternoon Drive

  • Diane Stern - Anchor
  • Anthony Silva - Anchor
  • Tom Cuddy - Sports
  • Eric Fisher (WBZ-TV chief meteorologist) - Weather
  • Mike King/Scott Eck - Traffic
  • John Wordock - MarketWatch

Reporters

  • Carl Stevens
  • Lana Jones
  • Mark Katic
  • Karen Twomey
  • Kim Tunnicliffe
  • Doug Cope
  • Jim Smith
  • Ben Parker

Weekend News

  • Kendall Buhl
  • Mary Blake
  • Mina Greene
  • Mike Macklin
  • Art Cohen

Talk Show Hosts


Contributors

  • Jon Keller - Keller at Large
  • Dee Lee - Money Matters
  • Dr. Murray Feingold - Medical Minute
  • Mike Carruthers - Something you Should Know
  • Dave Caruso - Before the Bell
  • Neil Chayet - Looking at the Law
  • Charles Osgood - The Osgood File

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://springfield375.org/?p=126
  2. ^ "CBS Radio Stations Win Four NAB Marconi Awards" (Press release). CBS Radio. October 1, 2010. Retrieved April 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/AsrSearch/asrRegistration.jsp?regKey=109231
  4. ^ http://www.wjma.radiohistory.net/WJMA%20Ron%20Landry%20tribute%20page.htm
  5. ^ "A Chronology of AM Radio Broadcasting 1900-1960". History of American Broadcasting. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Halper, Donna L. (January 2, 2001). "WBZ's Early History". The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d Mishkind, Barry (February 10, 2004). "WBZ and WBZA in Boston - Springfield". Hammond Museum of Radio. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Radio Service Bulletin". United States Department of Commerce Bureau of Navigation. May 1, 1925. p. 9. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "WBZ NewsRadio 1030 History – 1920′s". CBS Boston. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  10. ^ Halper, Donna L. (January 2, 2001). "The Boston Radio Timeline: The First Ten Years". The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  11. ^ Mishkind, Barry (December 6, 2009). "The NBC section". The Broadcast Archive. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "WBZ NewsRadio 1030 History – 1930′s". CBS Boston. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Radio Service Bulletin" (PDF). U. S. Department of Commerce Radio Division. March 31, 1931. p. 12. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Fybush, Scott (August 5, 2005). "WBZ: 65 Years in Hull, part I". Tower Site of the Week. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Radio Service Bulletin" (PDF). U. S. Department of Commerce Radio Division. June 30, 1931. p. 22. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  16. ^ a b Fybush, Scott (September 19, 2001). "WBZ at Eighty". Tower Site of the Week. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
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  19. ^ "Westinghouse Takes Over Management And Operation of Four Stations July 1". Broadcasting. July 1, 1940. p. 20. Retrieved April 11, 2011. 
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  61. ^ a b Fybush, Scott (October 31, 1996). "Norm Nathan, 1926-1996". New England RadioWatch. Retrieved April 17, 2011. 
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  63. ^ Fabrikant, Geraldine (August 2, 1995). "CBS accepts bid by Westinghouse". The New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  64. ^ Dow Jones (November 25, 1995). "Westinghouse Completes CBS Acquisition". The New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  65. ^ "Westinghouse 2-Company Plan Dropped". The New York Times. November 15, 1997. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  66. ^ Fybush, Scott (November 13, 1998). "So Long, WWJY". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  67. ^ "Viacom to Buy the Rest of Infinity's Shares". The New York Times. August 16, 2000. Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  68. ^ "Viacom, Infinity seal broadcasting merger". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. February 22, 2001. Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  69. ^ a b Fybush, Scott (January 29, 1998). "A Sinclair Sale". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  70. ^ Fybush, Scott (May 22, 1997). "Back to Boston". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  71. ^ Fybush, Scott (May 1, 1997). "Trouble for Brian Dodge". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  72. ^ Fybush, Scott (August 7, 1997). "A Change of Sale". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  73. ^ Fybush, Scott (August 20, 1998). "Non-Compete -- The Battle Continues". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
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  76. ^ Manly, Howard (July 14, 1998). "Lobel pulls plug on Sunday radio gig". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 20, 2011.  (subscription content preview)
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External links[edit]

Preceded by
590 WEEI
Radio home of the New England Patriots
1991–1995
Succeeded by
104.1 WBCN
Preceded by
590 WBNW
Radio home of the Boston Bruins
1995–2009
Succeeded by
98.5 WBZ