WBUR to answer daily local shows at WGBH with one of its own

The battle for ratings between our two bigfoot public-radio stations is stepping up a notch: 'BUR is turning Radio Boston, which now airs only on Fridays, into a daily show.

Take a look at the job postings for executive producer and associate producer.

The former seeks somebody to:

Oversee a new, local daily program (five days a week) which will cover a full range of topics, from public affairs and politics, to the arts and economy, from cutting edge culture to the highs and lows of daily life that matter to the WBUR audience. Responsible for the editorial content of the program and its web-site and manage a six-person broadcast team.

The latter advertises:

[A] brand new daily program that will mix news and culture and which will be fast paced with multiple subjects and a myriad of voices including listener calls.

Via Sean Smyth and Helen Rose (in the comments below).

Ed. note: Yes, 'BUR already has two daily, locally produced shows on its schedule, but neither "On Point" nor "Here and Now" focus primarily on Boston issues.



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    Fascinating. I know that WBUR

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    Fascinating. I know that WBUR had NPR survey its database of listener panelists last week on a range of questions, including their impressions of the radio lineup, which programs they listen to, and when and why they tune out. I've also noticed that in the last week, the hourly headlines have been rebranded as WBUR News (e.g., instead of "from WBUR in Boston, I'm Delores Handy" we get "from WBUR News, I'm Delores Handy.") I don't think there's any question that they're feeling the heat from WGBH, and that's great news for everyone.

    The truth is that WBUR has never really been a local news operation. It's largely focused on nationally-syndicated content. It's striking that The Connection, Here and Now, and even On Point all began with a greater local focus, and evolved into shows that sometimes leverage their Boston connection to land interesting guests or generate topics, but are truly national in orientation. There's very little investigative reporting. Most of what's passed for local news is cribbed from the Globe or Herald, with their reporters recording quotes on tape to produce radio versions of the stories. I don't fault the generally superb reporting staff for that. But it's a tiny operation, particularly compared to the print media, but even held up against the local television news outfits.

    A local call-in show is an excellent way to plug that hole. Radio Boston has been a wonderful addition to the line-up - unquestionably preferable to listening to another hour of Tom Ashbrook (or even worse, reruns) but then, that's a low hurdle. You can fill an hour that way without the production costs of sixty minutes of canned content and prerecorded segments. I happen to love the current format, which uses short, well-reported stories to provide a common factual foundation for the conversations that ensue, and hope that the shift to a five-day schedule won't result in cost-cutting that eliminates those segments. But the good news is, with WGBH and WBUR fighting over the same pool of listeners, there's reason to think that both stations will be spurred to produce more compelling content, and shortchanging local news in favor of national syndication will become a thing of the past.

    Radio Boston is good stuff

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    I like the local stories, and the reporters are talented. Usually learn something every time I listen to it.

    What's really, really bad is the Diane Rehms Show. It's like a bad right wing parody of NPR.


    50-60k for the associate producer job? For an hour-long radio program? Yeah, all the work is done off-air, I realize, but it seems like a great gig.

    Do I have to answer phones during pledge month?


    It takes a lot of time to prepare for a good radio show.

    That's like saying, "Gee,

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    That's like saying, "Gee, three months off in the summer? Being a teacher is cake!" You clearly have no understanding of the hours that go into producing daily radio.

    The question is, could you

    The question is, could you get someone to do the job for 40K?

    Me, me teacher!

    But then, if you lower the salaries of the drones, then someone might start asking questions about executive salaries.

    Competitive Salaries

    You could - but you would then be getting the dregs. People move around now, and the days of hiring only the local townies are over.

    See also: "why there is a shortage of math and science teachers because otherwise prospect-challenged English majors running the unions piss and moan if all teachers aren't paid the same regardless of subject"


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    I can't wait for this show, I love Radio Boston and more importantly, I love local shows of any kind. We need more of this stuff!

    radio boston

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    my worry about radio boston is how they will come up with topics. My perception is that even the weekly show has a difficult time coming up with local interest topics (Census 2010? Really?). Is there enough material for five shows per week?

    Does this mean David Boeri actually gets to host again, instead of being out in the field while Jane Clayson stays in the studio? While I think Boeri is a decent reporter, he's not a very effective program host and seems to flub more often than not when reading lines. Or maybe he just can't read a URL on air without flubbing it.