Special Bulletin -- Sunday, July 28, 2013
Boston Herald Radio Launches August 5 at 6:00 am ET.
EDITORS NOTE: This version corrects previous bulletin to launch date of August 5. The concept of the full-blown, digital-age “media station” predicted and described for the past decade by Michael Harrison and other radio industry visionaries will be taking a giant leap toward coming to fruition at 6:00 am on August 5. The Boston Herald newspaper is unveiling its ambitious new initiative “Boston Herald Radio” – a Boston-centric news/talk/sports radio station that will begin its life as a venue for four live three-hour shows running weekdays from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. These programs include:
- 6:00 am to 9:00 am - “Live from the Newsroom with Jeff Katz” (Katz is a well-known talk industry personality most recent heard in Boston on WRKO and Talk 1200.)
- 9:00 am to 12:00 noon - “Morning Meeting with Jaclyn Cashman and Hillary Chabot” (Cashman is a former Springfield, MA TV anchor/reporter and multimedia consultant and Chabot is the chief political reporter with the Boston Herald.)
- 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm – “The Michael Graham Show” (Graham is a former WTKK host and current Boston Herald op-ed columnist.)
- 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – “Sports Town with Jon Meterparel and Jen Royle” (Meterparel is a former WEEI personality and current Boston College play-by-play announcer and Royle is an Emmy-award winning Major League Baseball reporter, TV/radio host.)
This will be the first news/sports/talk radio platform in the Boston market backed up by a full multimedia newsroom under the brand of a major newspaper and one of a handful of such operations beginning to pop up around the country. News reports will be provided throughout the broadcast day by Boston Herald editors and reporters. Feature elements will include Boston Herald music, TV, movie reviews, political and business reports, style and food segments as well as live reports from staff reporters who travel with all four major teams and provide extensive high school sports coverage.
The stream will be managed by Backbone Networks (the same company working on the forthcoming mid-August launch of TalkersRadio) and carried by Tune In as well its home base on the Boston Herald website and its mobile news and sports apps. The shows will be streamed from a studio adjacent to the Boston Herald newsroom. The studio team includes executive producer Tom Shattuck (formerly of WRKO and WTKK) and two part-time producers (Shattuck pictured above at right, is here with VP of engineering development George Capalbo, at left).
Boston Herald editor-in-chief Joe Sciacca tells TALKERS, "Consumers want news and information that is mobile, and they want to be active participants connecting and collaborating on the issues of the day, not passive receptors being lectured to. That is our mission in print, online, in video presentations and now Boston Herald Radio." Sciacca adds, "I see myself not as a newspaper editor but as the leader of a news organization that creates high-quality, original content for use across platforms -- whether it is print, web or broadcast.” According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who was writing and speaking about the potential of newspaper websites providing radio broadcasters with powerful platforms to operate on the internet as long as 10 years ago, “This amazing development in Boston marks the tipping point in the evolution of the digital-age news and entertainment platform. The brilliant and obvious idea of newspapers and radio stations rubbing their two sticks together (literally and figuratively) will send sparks flying that will potentially proliferate into a 21st century ‘media station’ wildfire. By ‘media station’ I mean an online platform that has the cultural stationality of a radio station, a television station, a newspaper and a magazine combined - all in one location – fueled and synergized by the combined resources of each.” Harrison maintains that the internet alone is not a practical platform. He says, “By itself, the internet has no form, no definition and no prestige, similarly neither do the so called ‘airwaves’ of 20th century audio and video media. The key is to build prestigious, well-defined platforms that will sail across the internet -- the way ships, yachts and ocean liners sail the seas and the way glorious theaters give Broadway its pizzazz or great stadiums separate the big leagues from sandlot baseball. If an actor, dancer or musician is performing ‘on Broadway,’ that could mean they are doing their act on the stage of the Winter Garden or on the sidewalk in front of the Winter Garden. It is the same thing with the internet. Prestigious, well-resourced platforms give you a place to put the key to monetization: a box office!” Walter Sabo, CEO of the New York City-based consultancy firm Sabo Media (whose clients have included SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Parade magazine and numerous leading radio firms and talent), says, “When Jeff Katz or Michael Graham are on the air doing their shows in a studio right next to the Boston Herald newsroom, they will be one door away from an-in house news gathering and processing operation that employs hundreds of journalists. This is a brilliant move!” Sabo adds that his firm has been developing a new division for the past several months that will specialize in advising newspapers in executing this kind of move, stating, “I have been hearing from a number of publications – dailies and weeklies – that are very interested in pursuing these exciting new opportunities, but they realize that they not only need people with on-air broadcast experience, but people who have broadcasting management insight as well. The Boston Herald was smart to hire Tom Shattuck.”
Summing up the synergy aspect of his new media station, Boston Herald editor-in-chief Sciacca tells TALKERS, “Our multimedia reporters are producing award-winning video reports every day, producing broadcast-quality segments with compelling interviews and streaming content. Is this a TV newsroom? An online newsroom? A radio station? A newspaper? It's today's Boston Herald." He continues, "The power of Boston Herald Radio when it comes to breaking news will be incredible. Listeners can be confident they will be not only engaged and entertained by our talk shows, but will be insiders on breaking news in real time." Boston Herald publisher and president Patrick J. Purcell (pictured at above at left with Joe Sciacca, right, in the Boston Herald newsroom) says, “Internet radio is exploding and it makes sense that the Herald rounds out our multimedia platform with talk radio programming. It’s perfect synergy. Boston Herald Radio will be fast-paced, uncensored, entertaining, completely interactive and, most important, very respectful to our listeners. We have a terrific team of seasoned hosts who are smart, respected and extremely versatile. They live in our communities and fully understand and appreciate the complexities of issues folks care about."