By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

WRKO’s local moves

It’s so rare to see radio stations move toward quality local programming and away from syndicated screaming that attention must be paid. So here is the latest press release from WRKO Radio (AM 680):

WRKO AM 680, Boston’s talk station, brings together three powerful business news sources — Boston Globe “Downtown” business columnist Steve Bailey, Boston Herald Business Editor Cosmo Macero, and the Wall Street Journal — to create “Boston Business Today,” a local news package which started Monday, January 16.

“Boston Business Today” will cover Boston’s business community with news and thoughtful analysis hourly during “Boston This Morning” and during “The Howie Carr Show.”

Macero and Bailey, two of the city’s top business journalists, will bring to “Boston Business Today” fresh business news and their view of important business stories. Macero will be on live at 6:37 a.m. every weekday, and Bailey will be on at 7:37 a.m. every weekday.

Joe Connolly of the Wall Street Journal will provide hourly business news updates, creating in-depth Greater Boston and New England business coverage to match the Wall Street Journal’s legendary reputation. Connolly’s reports will air during newsbreaks at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. during “Boston This Morning,” and then at 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. during “The Howie Carr Show.”

“This is part of WRKO’s plan to provide Greater Boston with the best local coverage, whether it’s news, politics, business, lifestyle or the Boston Celtics,” said WRKO Operations Director Brian Whittemore. “We’re bringing together three business heavy-hitters to create a must-listen package for anyone in Boston business.”

This brings Bailey back to the airwaves following the meltdown of Brad Bleidt, the sticky-fingered former owner of WBIX Radio (AM 1060), where Bailey and fellow Globe columnist Charlie Stein (who recently took the buyout and left the paper) had an hour-long morning show. (‘BIX is still around, but it’s a ghost of its old self.)

But that’s not all. Mark Jurkowitz reports here on a new substance-abuse-recovery program that WRKO is planning to unveil on Sunday afternoons. I’m skeptical, to put it mildly, but it’s local and it sounds well-intentioned.

And this comes not long after the station replaced “Blute & Scotto” with “Boston This Morning,” which, despite the unexplained jettisoning of Peter Blute, strikes me as a reasonably high-minded attempt to put together something of substance. No one’s going to confuse it with NPR, but we’ve already got that.

Best of all, WRKO recently bumped syndicated hate-monger Michael Savage from 7 to 10 p.m. in order to make way for “Taste of Boston.” Not really my thing, but the fewer listeners Savage has, the better.

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  1. theaguy

    WRKO:I applaude RKO for adding more local programming to the mix but the new advice show is DOA.You will also see more paid programs that are disguised as talk shows soon turn up on The Talk Station. WRKO already airs the Pat Whitless restaurant show, which is nothing more than a 3 hour commercial for the retaurants who play Pat’s pay for play scam. The American Express Financial hour is also a two hour promo for Amex.Now, that Bruce Dumont’s, Beyond the Beltway show has been jettisoned, there is not one moderate voice on the station, except maybe for the guy who broadcasts from Mars each night.The morning show would not be bad if they didn’t interrupt the broadcast evry 10 minutes for a useless traffic report.It will be a longtime before I forgive Brain Whittamore for dumping the John Batchelor show infavor of Michael Savage.Thank God for Sirius, now I can listen to the best information show on the air each night on Satelite.

  2. Anonymous

    Couple of your buddies get jobs at WRKO and you roll over and say these new crappy shows are a step forward? Have you listened to these news shows?

  3. carlinNH

    The content isn’t bad, however, the on air delivery of Bailey is terrible. If he can’t stagger through his own writing, a radio pro should do the read.

  4. Cinema: The Gangster Myth

    Danlet’s talk about your blog on my show; it is out of the range of Boston but here in the far flung forgotten about outpost of Western Massachusetts, we’ve been talking about new journalists and their rise as opinion leaders. Your heading of this blog sounds interesting enough. I’d like to book you for a segment. We regulary have Barbara Anderson and I once upon a time … long long ago worked with Jerry Williams, Gene Burns and David Brudnoy, though I was but a footsoldier for only three years. Still, I’ve worked in two other national markets to do talk radio since then. Please e mail Tony

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