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

Those WBZ Radio cuts

I’ve been looking for a point of entry to comment on the recent cutbacks at WBZ Radio (AM 1030), which have claimed talk-show hosts Lovell Dyett, Steve LeVeille and Pat Desmarais, as well as sports reporter Tom Cuddy. It looks like Scott Fybush’s blistering commentary ought to do the trick.

Unfortunately, I never got to hear those shows, as they were on during a time when I simply never listen to talk radio. Sorry to give fuel to CBS’s fire — no doubt the company’s research showed that I was pretty typical.

But live and local ought to be part of any radio station’s mandate. As Garrett says, if CBS doesn’t want to live up to its responsibilities, let it find a buyer who will. (Via Universal Hub.)

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  1. Aaron Read

    Well, you and I kvetched not long ago about whether or not WBUR should start up a low-cost,local-only talk show. Perhaps the release of Steve LeVeille from WBZ (who has worked at WBUR in the past) and the opening of an hour in the schedule (due to “Day 2 Day’s” impending demise) is all just a fortunate coincidence for WBUR?

  2. O-FISH-L

    The WBZ situation has shades of Pastor Martin Niemöller’s famous poem, “First they came…”Back in the 1980’s, I found it disturbing when Quincy native and WBZ-TV’s meteorologist Don Kent, along with colleague Bruce Schwoegler were phased out of WBZ radio in favor of Accu-weather’s Elliot Abrams, pretending to be a local with his witty banter with Dave Maynard, et al, but actually broadcasting from State College, PA. I don’t recall too many speaking out against it. 20+ years later, here we are with the talk host duties being farmed out as well. In terms of outsourcing, the writing has been on the wall for a while, folks. That said, I will miss LeVeille’s local-live presence, despite frequently disagreeing with his politics.

  3. Doug Haslam

    Ugh, sorry to hear about Steve Leveille– we worked together in Christian Science Monitor and WBUR days. Fingers crossed that all these folks land somewhere welcoming of their talents

  4. io saturnalia!

    Re: the link in Aaron’s post: Some of that Day to Day stuff was frankly unlistenable (features on slang words used by teens and college students, and the like), and its “western content” about as deep as the coverage in most metro newspapers in the American West (read the Seattle papers, the Las Vegas R-J and the Santa Fe paper, whose name now escapes me; don’t worry, it will only take a minute or two).I may be betraying a regional bias, but the demise of Day to Day is probably long overdue.

  5. ron-newman

    What I don’t understand is, why can’t WBZ radio call on the resources of WBZ-TV to provide local news coverage?

  6. Steve

    Whenever I was driving back home from a weekend away, I was glad to be able to hear Lovell Dyett dish some intelligent talk on a Sunday night to keep me company.And I still remember an excellent interview Steve LeVeille conducted with Miles Davis, when Steve was subbing for David Brudnoy back about 15 years ago while Brudnoy was on hiatus. Miles was a notoriously difficult interview subject, but Steve really got him to open up. (I remember Miles telling Steve “sometimes you have to play for a real long time until you learn to play like yourself.”)I’m really sorry to hear of their departure.

  7. Dunwich

    As bad as it is for those losing their jobs -two in particular- I look at the bigger picture and say it’s bad for the broadcast industry. There’s no reason why a half-dozen or so station-giants of a foregone era can’t be maintained, providing original content over their 50k clear-channel signals.

  8. Brad

    What I don’t understand is, why can’t WBZ radio call on the resources of WBZ-TV to provide local news coverage?What makes you think that WBZ-TV has people working there overnight?Perhaps more importantly, TV news is not radio news and vice versa; when you try to fake it, you get shows like “Democracy Now”, which may have great content (as far as their fans are concerned) but definitely sound rather “off”. Check out DN! on WZBC at noon if you want to hear what I mean.

  9. ron-newman

    I didn’t mean run an audio feed of the TV news on the radio, I meant having the WBZ-TV news team produce a shortly hourly radio news summary as well. Obviously they’re around after 8 pm.What good is cross-ownership of a TV and a radio station if you don’t take advantage of it?

  10. Amused

    Now it looks like Gil Santos is on the list. yeah, officially he is “retiring,” but when station management hides behind the “we don’t comment on personal contractissues” mantra, it’s pretty clear that he’s jumping before being pushed. Bob Kraft’s bratty son apparently wants him replaced as voice of the Pats on co-owned WBCN (FM), so it looks fishy.

  11. jeffwestport

    Sad situation. Lovell was an even- handed host and was a longtime WBZ employee and a cheerleader for the station.Why was Jordan Rich retained? and not the other employees? He appears to vbe the last man standing on weekends.JR

  12. Ronald Dubreuil

    As a Canadian listener to WBZ Boston I go back many years to Long John Neble in the 1060’s. I was stunned to hear Steve Leveille had been released. I would rate Steve’s performance from 1 to 10 at 9.99. I herewith thank the people who arranged for Steve’s return. I will now relax in my retirement hears and enjoy Steve’s program from the Nickel capital of the world Sudbury Ontario Canada.

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