It is with great sorrow that WGBH shares the news that Al Boyns, who was a part of WGBH for many years heading up our Mailroom team, passed away on Fri, 2/5.
Relatives and friends will gather for a funeral service at the John Everett & Sons Funeral Home, 4 Park St, Natick, MA on Wed, 2/10 at 11am. Al’s wife, Nancy, and family will receive visitors at the funeral home on Tues, 2/9 from 4-8pm.
In lieu of flowers, ’GBHers wishing to honor Al’s memory may contribute to Project Bread, 145 Border St, East Boston, MA 02128, the MSPCA, 350 South Huntington Ave, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130, Cancer Research Foundation, 1600 Duke St, Suite 500, Alexandria, VA 22314, or to any agency that is assisting the victims of Haiti.
Our thoughts are with Al’s family and friends during this sad time.
In a city passionate about classical music, a lot of listeners get their fill by catching the Boston Symphony Orchestra and other programming on the radio…
WGBH purchased WCRB this fall, and there is now significantly less classical music on the airwaves than before the sale. It’s also audible in a smaller listening range. So ironically, one group that has lost big in this saving of a classical music station is the classical listening audience itself.
Let’s be clear: it could have been much worse. WGBH’s $14 million purchase of WCRB was surely the best of the various realistic outcomes for the all-classical-music, all-the-time WCRB, whose parent company had put it up for sale. For Boston to lose its only 24-hour classical music station would have been a major blow to a region that prides itself on the richness of its musical offerings.
Gentlemen, start your pledge drives: WGBH ramps up its news programming to compete with WBUR
After a quarter century of snoozing, the slumbering giant of Boston public radio — WGBH 89.7 — is finally waking up. In its morning lineup, the World’s Greatest Broadcast House is throwing NPR dowager Diane Rehm (“My favorite talk show host’’ — Hillary Clinton) up against WBUR 90.9’s yappy Tom Ashbrook. At noon, ’GBH has its franchise TV queen, Emily Rooney, facing off against ’BUR’s honey-voiced Robin Young.
Earlier this month, ’GBH tried to steal a march on market leader ’BUR by rejiggering its weekend schedule. ’BUR rejiggered right back. “I’m not going to let a newcomer into the market and air our critical programming earlier than we do,’’ says a feisty Paul LaCamera, ’BUR’s general manager who formerly ran WCVB-5 television station. “I came out of a competitive commercial broadcasting environment. When someone acts, we respond.’’
WGBH unveiled the centerpiece of its new full-time news radio station: two talk shows hosted by well-known Boston TV personalities.
“The Emily Rooney Show’’ – Rooney also hosts WGBH’s “Greater Boston’’— will start at noon on Jan. 11 on 89.7 FM. The one-hour show will focus on local news and public affairs and feature a segment called “What are YOU hearing?’’ with commentary from local experts and analysts. It will be followed by “The Callie Crossley Show,’’ which will center on current events and regional arts and culture.
“Emily’s is a today show, responding to what is happening in the moment on any given day,’’ Crossley said. “My show is a these-days show. I might respond in the moment, but I may broaden it out to examine other issues.’’
The new shows are part of WGBH’s efforts to reinvent 89.7 FM as Boston’s newest full-time news and information radio station after WGBH bought classical music station WCRB-FM 99.5 for $14 million in September.
BOSTON IS indeed a city passionate about classical music, as critic Jeremy Eichler notes (“A new WCRB, and a shrinking classical dial,’’ Living/Arts, Dec. 18). As we begin our stewardship of 99.5 All Classical, we embrace and respect the views of listeners as we launch our initial plans. But we can all agree on one thing: If WGBH had not stepped up to purchase WCRB, Boston would have only seven hours a day of classical music on the radio, instead of the 24 hours a day we have preserved. And those new 24 hours will include all of the unique concert programs of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, including Tanglewood and the Boston Pops, as well as a host of live performances of local and visiting artists from the WGBH studios. As audiences listen to us, we’ll listen to them as we strive to deliver what Eichler suggests, an exciting 21st century classical public radio service.
WGBH said it plans to air more of its popular TV programs on the radio starting Tuesday as part of its effort to reinvent 89.7 FM as Boston’s next full-time news and information radio station – and set it apart from competitors that dominate the market.
WGBH officials said the station will draw from its catalog of TV programs such as “Beat The Press,’’ “Nova,’’ and “The News Hour’’ and adapt them for 89.7 FM. The station also will give WGBH’s “Greater Boston’’ TV host Emily Rooney and “Beat the Press’’ commentator Callie Crossley a midday weekday show to discuss local news. Their untitled show, set to start Jan. 4, will serve as the centerpiece of the new programming lineup that debuts Tuesday.
The moves are part of WGBH’s purchase in September of classical music station WCRB-FM 99.5 for $14 million. That acquisition allowed WGBH to shift its classical music programming to WCRB to preserve that station as Boston’s only full-time classical outlet. It also enabled WGBH to convert 89.7 to an all news and talk station in an attempt to compete with WBZ-AM 1030 and WBUR-FM 90.9. A smaller NPR affiliate, WUMB at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, also offers news and music programming. …
Paul La Camera, WBUR’s general manager, said WGBH’s new programming “sounds quite creative. It’s very ambitious right out of the box. We wish them well.’’
The Federal Communications Commission yesterday approved WGBH’s purchase of classical station WCRB 99.5 FM from Nassau Broadcasting Partners, station officials said.
The move comes after WGBH said in September it was bidding to buy the Waltham-based classical music station so it could convert 89.7 FM, which currently airs a mix of National Public Radio syndicated programs, classical, and jazz shows, to an all-news talk format. WGBH plans to shift the classical programming to 99.5 FM.
WCRB, one of the country’s few remaining 24-hour commercial classic radio stations, ranks 16th overall in the Boston radio market with a 2.8 percent share of listeners, according to recent Arbitron ratings.