WBZ-TV/CBS Studio Development Project | 1170-2000 Soldiers Field Road | Allston

kingofsheeba

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Yup. WBZ 1030-AM is owner by iHeart and is in the Total Traffic Network building on Route 16 near Wellington Station. WBZ-FM (The Sports Hub) is in the Beasley building off Morrissey Blvd.

Amazing how many people get the TV and radio side mixed up.
 

johhn14

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Yup. WBZ 1030-AM is owner by iHeart and is in the Total Traffic Network building on Route 16 near Wellington Station. WBZ-FM (The Sports Hub) is in the Beasley building off Morrissey Blvd.

Amazing how many people get the TV and radio side mixed up.
Why? They were basically the same until 2 years ago.
 

kingofsheeba

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WBZ - radio and tv - operated very closely together. Shared personalities, promotions, marketing, etc.
Ten years ago, I agree. But that was before CBS/Westinghouse wanted to get out of the radio business and divested their radio clusters. I think that most people have figured it out right about now.
 

Norval Elliot

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The WBZ call letters have, I believe, the unique distinction of designating three separately owned broadcast properties: WBZ (iHeart), WBZ-FM (Beasley), and WBZ-TV (ViacomCBS). A licensing agreement with CBS allows the radio stations to continue using the WBZ calls until 2037.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Ten years ago, I agree. But that was before CBS/Westinghouse wanted to get out of the radio business and divested their radio clusters. I think that most people have figured it out right about now.
Sale by CBS to i(*cough* ClearChannel)Heart was only 25 months ago, and they've only been gone to Medford for 18 months. Though with how many local reporters they've axed since then and how much they beat you over the head all day to "listen to us on the iHeart app!" anyone could be forgiven for thinking the old 'BZ NewsRadio died decades ago.
 

Norval Elliot

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Sale by CBS to i(*cough* ClearChannel)Heart was only 25 months ago, and they've only been gone to Medford for 18 months. Though with how many local reporters they've axed since then and how much they beat you over the head all day to "listen to us on the iHeart app!" anyone could be forgiven for thinking the old 'BZ NewsRadio died decades ago.
A recent bankruptcy reorganization essentially shunted iHeart's ownership to lenders eager to minimize their losses. Subsequent cost-cutting has claimed the jobs of popular morning anchor Deb Lawler, a 35-year 'BZ veteran, and overnight talker Bradley Jay. (A fan-based campaign to "Save WBZ 1030" has yielded predictable results.) So long as ratings remain steady, there is no incentive for iHeart to return to its heritage model.

A looming problem for WBZ is its aging, moribund audience. Younger listeners aren't interested in hearing Ancient Modulation, and some don't even know it exists. One can't expect a return to the good ol' days of Carl DeSuze, Bruce Bradley, Jerry Williams, Larry Glick, et al.
 

shmessy

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Ten years ago, I agree. But that was before CBS/Westinghouse wanted to get out of the radio business and divested their radio clusters. I think that most people have figured it out right about now.
King, they LITERALLY all begin with the same three call letters. Why is confusion among the general public so “amazing” to you?

It’s a big world, not everyone is a media industry analyst. I’d bet the vast majority of people under a certain age today have no idea what “Channel 4” even means. (Now I must get back to my roof to adjust the antenna) :giggle:

.
 
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markhb

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Sale by CBS to i(*cough* ClearChannel)Heart was only 25 months ago...
I have to think that the rebranding of near-universally-hated ClearChannel to iHeartRadio was one of the greatest, most successful rebrandings in history.

Do they (CBS) also still own the old TV38 building at 83 Leo Birmingham Parkway (try to read that NOT in the voice of Dana Hersey)?
 

Norval Elliot

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I have to think that the rebranding of near-universally-hated ClearChannel to iHeartRadio was one of the greatest, most successful rebrandings in history.
Are you suggesting the change in branding changed listeners' hearts?
Do they (CBS) also still own the old TV38 building at 83 Leo Birmingham Parkway (try to read that NOT in the voice of Dana Hersey)?
They (ViacomCBS) own it. The building houses Boston's Entercom cluster at present.
I remember when WBZ-TV was the NBC affiliate in Boston.
WBZ radio was also an NBC affiliate—from 1931 to 1956. (NBC managed the Westinghouse-owned station from 1932 till 1940.)
 

markhb

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Are you suggesting the change in branding changed listeners' hearts?
I'm saying that no one who doesn't follow the industry would ever associate iHR with the old ClearChannel, and that they've been able to turn iHR into a "thing" with the app and concerts, etc. that never would have worked under the old name.
And yes, I see what you did there. :) Thanks for the info on the TV 38 building.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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WBZ radio was also an NBC affiliate—from 1931 to 1956. (NBC managed the Westinghouse-owned station from 1932 till 1940.)
'BZ-AM is still a dual CBS+ABC affiliate at picking up national news reports, and they also still cross-source 'BZ-TV audio clip repeats as backfill local reporting (though the live in-studio chats with the TV folk has obviously been cut way back since the split). Which might, given the ultra-long history involved here, actually be a relic of ABC Radio once being the "NBC Blue Network" until the FCC broke up NBC's monopoly during WWII. So there's never really been a sharp set of affiliations there.

I just don't know how they manage to function at all with the staffing levels they're left with, especially with this not being iFart's last round of debt cuts. The local reporter ranks are chopped nearly in half, it's one anchor holding down 4-hour blocs solo now instead of the alternating anchors...meaning on-duty anchors have zero prep time for interviews anymore. No nighttime programming whatsoever anymore except Dan "Promo Code!" Rea, which is choked with such insufferable adspam because it's pretty much downsized to stealth pay-to-play program. And the weekend slate is either pay-to-play financial guru filler or the corpse of Morgan White awaiting his next-ups at an iHeart pinkslip.

I still listen at my morning alarm because it's a quick/efficient headline digest + weather + Traffic-on-the-3's before I jump in the shower, and after 15 mins. when I hear the first re-recap it's built-in cue for me to stop stalling and get the fuck up out of bed. And it's fairly self-insulated from any seeping editorial bias because of the newsread format being so rigid. But that's literally it. I don't know how you can fill 19 hours of daily content that way without a *little* mixing/matching of the story roster by hour and a shortie anchor interview here and there...stuff they used to use until recently to good effect to differentiate themselves from the longer-form NPR stations, but now no longer have any staff to do. Shit, I don't know if Karl Stevens is reduced to semi-retirement work hours now or what, but you're even lucky to even hear one of his whimsical people profile pieces per week these days.

Theoretically at least with iHeart pushing the web presence they'd have an avenue for exposure and bit revenue in ramping up the podcasting presence. But they just eliminated all staff who either were doing podcasting or were the last layer below the last airtime-firewall newsreaders and pay-to-players who had any bandwidth for starting a podcasting presence...so who the fuck knows what the endgame is here. They're being boxed into a corner that doesn't even jibe with where iHeart is making a token name for itself these days. Seems like they're just being packaged to push over the ledge in a subsequent debt dump for sake of that magnificently strong signal strength and will just be "WAAF-'ed" to the highest bidder someday as a repeater station for some automaton Christian broadcasting network or whatever that you'll be able to hear clear as a bell Ottawa, Cape Hatteras, and on unmanned oil rigs across the Atlantic after 8:00pm each day.
 
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Norval Elliot

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I just don't know how they manage to function at all with the staffing levels they're left with, especially with this not being iFart's last round of debt cuts. The local reporter ranks are chopped nearly in half, it's one anchor holding down 4-hour blocs solo now instead of the alternating anchors...meaning on-duty anchors have zero prep time for interviews anymore. No nighttime programming whatsoever anymore except Dan "Promo Code!" Rea, which is choked with such insufferable adspam because it's pretty much downsized to stealth pay-to-play program. And the weekend slate is either pay-to-play financial guru filler or the corpse of Morgan White awaiting his next-ups at an iHeart pinkslip.

I still listen at my morning alarm because it's a quick/efficient headline digest + weather + Traffic-on-the-3's before I jump in the shower, and after 15 mins. when I hear the first re-recap it's built-in cue for me to stop stalling and get the fuck up out of bed. And it's fairly self-insulated from any seeping editorial bias because of the newsread format being so rigid. But that's literally it. I don't know how you can fill 19 hours of daily content that way without a *little* mixing/matching of the story roster by hour and a shortie anchor interview here and there...stuff they used to use until recently to good effect to differentiate themselves from the longer-form NPR stations, but now no longer have any staff to do.
Ah, but you listen—and do so amid radio's most lucrative daypart. Overnights and weekends are dead zones in terms of ad revenue. Instead of airing live, local talk programming overnight, WBZ now reruns news that's local, but no longer live (except for traffic). I expect iHeart to continue its frugal programming as long as people continue to listen. The overarching problem is that radio ad revenue has decreased by more than 60 percent (with adjustments for inflation) over the last 15 years, and continues to decline.
Seems like they're just being packaged to push over the ledge in a subsequent debt dump for sake of that magnificently strong signal strength and will just be "WAAF-'ed" to the highest bidder someday as a repeater station for some automaton Christian broadcasting network or whatever that you'll be able to hear clear as a bell Ottawa, Cape Hatteras, and on unmanned oil rigs across the Atlantic after 8:00pm each day.
The all-news format is viable in major markets because of the large pool of quarter-hour listeners. The successful slogan of 1010 WINS in New York makes that clear: "You give us 22 minutes, we'll give you the world." The station broadcasts "all news all the time" in the form of headlines. Sister station WCBS also reports news continuously with "more than just the headlines." Both rank among the ten highest billing stations in the country. The most recent BIA report shows Hubbard's all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. to be the country's top biller, so to speak.

A ratings jump in January boosted WBZ into third place; in February, the station finished fourth. People continue to listen. In contrast, WAAF closed out 2019 with a .8 share.
 

dhawkins

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I found a clip about the current station being built and was first to bring TV from NY to New England (before satellites) in 1947. Start at 2 minutes in.
WBZ
 

Norval Elliot

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^ WBZ-TV's first broadcast day was 9 June 1948, less than a week ahead of WNHC-TV's in New Haven, Connecticut.
 

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