Hark! The Herald! (Listen Up! Edition)

November 5, 2013

From our Walt Whitman desk (Lost in Cyberspace bureau)

It’s no news that the Boston Herald devotes the better part of a news page every day to flacking Boston Herald Radio.

Representative sample from [Monday’s] edition:


Picture 1


Every now and then, though, the Herald surrenders the entire page to self-promotion.

Representative sample from [Tuesday’s] edition:


Picture 2


Boston Herald Radio executive producer Tom Shattuck related his past experience of producing lousy election-night coverage for a real radio station (presumably WTKK) and promises real election-night coverage for his virtual station.

Beginning at 6 p.m. tonight, Boston Herald Radio will air the most comprehensive coverage of the mayoral election available anywhere.

The Herald’s political team of Joe Battenfeld and Hillary Chabot are real reporters and they will serve as in-studio anchors for the evening. Not only do they live and breathe local politics, but they love what they do and they know the subject matter like no one else.

And speaking of resources …


And etc.

The hardlistening staff will try to check it out. Not sure how much company we’ll have.

UPDATE: We forgot to listen. Pretty sure we had a lot of company there.

Herald’s Inside Trick: Credit Defaults

January 6, 2013

The hardreading staff has noted before the occasional tendency of the Boston Herald’s Track Gals (without Megan!) to borrow material without disclosing their sources.

Sad to say, they’re back at it again today.

From the Inside Track’s We Hear section:

• That Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, late of News Talk 96.9, will guest host for two hours on 89.7 WGBH Radio on Tuesday beginning at noon. The pair — he hosts a show on NECN and she is a Herald columnist — will host a segment within the midday show of live, local talk, according to their old WTKK boss Phil Redo, who just so happens to be managing director of ’GBH Radio. Tryout? Do stay tuned.


From yesterday’s Boston Globe:

Former WTKK hosts get one-day gig at WGBH

Two days after they hosted the final talk show broadcast on WTKK-FM, Jim Braude and Margery Eagan have lined up a one-day gig on WGBH-FM that could double as an audition.

WGBH said Friday that the former WTKK morning show hosts will guest host “Boston Public Radio” Jan. 8, filling in for Callie Crossley, Emily Rooney and Kara Miller.

Braude and Eagan hosted the last episode of “Jim & Margery” Wednesday before the station switched to an all-music format.

The pair has no other assignments booked on WGBH, but the station’s managing director, Phil Redo, suggested in an e-mail that there could be more to come.

“I’m a big fan of theirs,” said Redo, who managed WTKK and four other Greater Media Inc. stations in Boston from 2006 to 2009 . . .


Not to get technical about it, but next time the Track Gals should File Under: “We Read.”

Brown: Ex Markeys the Spot in Malden

January 3, 2013

Despite the Boston Herald’s speculation yesterday that Scott Brown (R-Unemployed) might run for governor in 2014, he’s sure acting like a man who wants a return trip to the U.S. Senate.

Today’s Page One Boston Globe story:

Brown swipes at Markey’s residency

Scott Brown, in an attempt to define a potential Senate campaign rival before the race even kicks off, questioned Wednesday whether US Representative Edward J. Markey is a bona fide resident of Massachusetts.

Brown took to talk radio, his favored venue, to question whether Markey, the Malden Democrat whose Senate candidacy top Democrats are rallying around, spends too much time in Washington and not enough time in the Bay State.

The early skirmish was a remind er that the campaign season, seemingly over after the November election, is begin ning again as politicians scramble for the seat likely to be vacated by Senator John F. Kerry, who is expected to be confirmed later this month as secretary of state.

Brown, a Republican who has given strong hints that he is running, is heavily leaning toward another campaign, but has not yet made a decision, according to a person familiar with his deliberations.


The piece notes that Markey has faced this issue before:

During the 2010 election, challenger Gerry ­Dembrowski, a Woburn Republican, videotaped interviews with neighbors in Malden asking whether they had ever seen Markey in his home. Most knew his house was there, but said they had not seen him.

The video called “Ed Markey: The Undocumented Congressman,” was posted on YouTube, but it did not stop Markey from winning that year’s race in a 2-1 landslide.

Said video (which is mildly amusing, if a bit heavy-handed):


Crosstown at the Herald, columnist Margery Eagan seems to have actually gone to Malden.

TED_8370.jpgQuestion hits home with Markey neighbors

In what may be the first salvo in the race for John Kerry’s Senate seat, U.S. Sen. Scott Brown wondered yesterday whether longtime Congressman Ed Markey, who wants Kerry’s job, even lives in his hometown of Malden anymore.

“I’ve come back and forth (from Washington) every weekend,” Brown said yesterday when he called into my last radio show on WTKK. “I see, you know, most of the delegation, and I have never seen Ed on the airplane. … Does he even live here anymore?”

The results of my cursory inquiry of Markey’s Malden neighbors: We’re not quite sure.

Representative samples:

“I don’t see him, to tell you the truth,” said a man who identified himself as Mr. Iacuzzi and has lived next door to Markey on Townsend Street “for more than 30 years.” Iacuzzi thinks he’s seen Markey before, but “it was long time ago.”

“I’m not sure what he even looks like,” said Josh, the manager at Dockside Restaurant, a Malden favorite for fundraisers. So he Googled Markey to make sure. “No, I can’t say that I’ve seen him in here.”

“I have no idea who he is,” said a worker at the legendary Moe’s Cafe.

A Markey spokeswoman had this reply: “(Brown) is already launching false, personal attacks …”

Ha! That’s not even a slapfight. Unlike with Elizabeth Warren, Brown doesn’t have to worry about gender gaps when he jumps ugly on Markey. And there’s not gonna be no People’s Pledge either.

Get ready for some serious smashmouth politics this time around.

Howie Carr’s WTKK Drive-By

December 29, 2012

Boston Herald columnist/WRKO squawker Howie Carr is experiencing an extreme bout of Howenfreude over the demise of FM talk station WTKK. (Full disclosure: The hardreading staff did a weekly segment on the Jim & Margery show.)

Today’s triumphant nyah-nyah from Carr:

PL6Q0092.JPGTalk radio’s not dead, just moonbats’ radio

WTKK wouldn’t be turning off the lights next week if I could have just gotten over there back in 2007. No brag, just fact. And by the way, I’m still damn sorry I didn’t make good my escape from the AM band.

But here in Massachusetts, in the halls of justice, the only justice is in the halls. And you wonder why I dismember so many state judges. Payback is a bitch, you hacks.

Still, WTKK’s failure is not the end of talk radio in Boston. Nature abhors a vacuum, and having no talk station on FM is a gaping hole. Less than 20 percent of the radio audience ever listens to AM radio — and it’s a mighty old audience, too. They don’t call it “Ancient Modulation” for nothing.


In his gleeful victory dance, however, Carr gets his feet all tangled up.

Harry Truman used to say, “If you give people a choice between a Republican and a Republican, they’ll vote for the Republican every time.”

Here’s WTKK’s epitaph: “If you give listeners a choice between NPR and NPR, they’ll pick NPR every time.”

Sorry, Jim and Margery, nobody was giving up “All Things Considered” for you guys.


First of all, what Harry Truman actually said was this: “Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time.” That makes sense, as opposed to Carr’s mushbrained quote.

Second, Jim and Margery are up against “Morning Edition,” not “All Things Considered.”

Not to get technical about it.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the Namesniks have  a slightly kinder – and slightly more optimistic – take.

WTKK to abandon talk radio for music

For an all-talk station, the folks at WTKK aren’t saying much. But we’re told the rumors are true: News Talk 96.9 FM is ditching its lineup of loudmouths in favor of music. The format change, which will take place right after the new year, means no more Michael Graham, who was sent packing last Friday, or midday host Doug Meehan, who actually left Boston a few weeks ago, or Rick Shaffer, cohost of the weekend “Money Show.” We’re told Jim Braude and Margery Eagan will be on the air as usual Wednesday morning, but that will be their last day at WTKK. Fans of “Jim and Margery” will be happy to learn, however, that they’re very likely to show up elsewhere on your radio dial sometime soon. No word on what sort of music 96.9 will be playing, but let’s hope it’s more soothing than Graham’s rants.


Or Howie Carr’s, for that matter.

Hark! The Herald Angles Sing!

December 11, 2012

While the Boston Globe is makes its Pulitzer push with a three-part megaseries about felonious illegal immigrants, the Boston Herald has been scooping up stories hither and yon.

From the feisty local tabloid’s Yon desk: yesterday’s Page One story on Gov. Patrick tolling the bell for Mass. Pike tollbooths.

11afbc_tollsplash_12102012Gov. Deval Patrick plans to take toll on toll takers

Gov. Deval Patrick is putting toll takers on notice and quietly moving forward with a pricey plan to install electronic tolling across the state, despite a budget crisis that’s triggering massive cuts in spending, the Herald Truth Squad has learned.

Patrick’s transportation officials inserted a new clause in a Nov. 21 union contract proposal, obtained by the Truth Squad, that gives the administration power to “have the unlimited right … to eliminate manual toll collection” on all Massachusetts highways.


Both Patrick and the Globe gave the Herald a shoutout today (although the paragraph-eight mention in the Globe was more like a whisperout).

From the feisty local tabloid’s Hither desk comes this scoop:

849694_010307radionl02A possible switch to music is all the talk around WTKK

Keep your ears tuned for some big changes at WTKK-FM (96.9).

WTKK NewsTalk owner Greater Media could soon be switching back to all-music because, experts said, “toxic” all-talk formats aren’t attracting enough younger listeners.

Speculation about a format shift reached a fever pitch yesterday when news broke that Internet domain names such as 969Bostons Beat.com, 969TheBeat.com, and Power969 had been gobbled up.


Not good news at all, at least from our standpoint.  (Full disclosure: The hardyakking staff does a turn every Friday morning on the Jim & Margery show.)

Others, however – like the redoubtable Dan Kennedy – would disagree.

UPDATE: Dan writes, “I specifically said I hope J&M land elsewhere — you make it sound like I’ll be glad when they’re gone.”

Sorry – that was entirely unintentional. It’s the rest of that lot he won’t miss.

Dan also adds this:

“Some scoop for the Herald, eh? That’s what I thought until this got posted [on Media Nation ].”