Will RadioBDC Change The Rules For Webcasters?

RadioBDC Boston.com Boston Globe Henry Santoro Julie Kramer Paul Driscoll Adam 12 WFNXWhen 101.7 WFNX Boston was sold in May to Clear Channel, the last company anybody would’ve expected to launch a replacement would be the Boston Globe and its parent New York Times Company.

The Globe, via its Boston.com website quickly pounced on many of the dismissed WFNX staffers and built a webcaster from the ground up. Bringing aboard at least six staffers from WFNX, RadioBDC hired Operations/Promotions Director Mike Snow, Program Director Paul Driscoll, morning host Henry Santoro, middayer/Music Director Julie Kramer, afternoon host Adam 12, and salesperson Johnny Lavasseur to fill out the staff at the new station.

RadioBDC has something that most webcasters can only dream of: visibility. A full airstaff, dedicated sales, and exposure on the biggest news site in Boston will lead plenty of ears to the new project. If they can get their share of advertisers, and they were already there on day one, it will only make all other webcasters stronger as their visibility and viability increase. This is a major media company that is putting its money in audio programming at a time when traditional broadcasters do that less and less. Nothing could hinder Boston.com from expanding into other formats and taking on other broadcasters. Perhaps filling the void left by WODS’ recent flip?

The audience for Alternative is more likely to seek out their music online. The lack of broadcast transmitter is less likely to be a factor than with other formats. With heavy promotion of their mobile apps, RadioBDC is already on equal footing with Pandora, IHeartRadio, or any other streaming service. Their success would be another vote for hosted, curated radio with local influence.

Radio operators should be watching this very carefully. Any additional competition for their ad revenue needs to be taken seriously as the onslaught from all sides of media is only going to get worse as the lines between newspaper, radio, television, and online continue to blur.

For those interested in how RadioBDC sounds you can listen to the launch at FormatChange.com and here is a sample hour from earlier this evening:
Graffiti6 – Stare Into The Sun
Beastie Boys – Intergalactic
The Black Keys – 10AM Automatic
The Black Keys – Tighten Up
Oberhofer – Away Frm U
The Ramones – I Wanna Be Sedated
Muse – Undisclosed Desires
Stone Roses – Love Spreads
Walk The Moon – Anna Sun
M83 – Don’t Save U From The Flames
Kings Of Leon – Sex On Fire
New Order – Regret
Green Day – Oh Love
Social Distortion – Story Of My Life
Jack White – Sixteen Saltines
The White Stripes – We’re Going To Be Friends
Silversun Pickups – Bloody Mary

  1. MattParker says

    It’s curious that WUMB hasn’t moved in the direction of alternative, the way WFUV and WXPN did.

  2. The Fat Man says

    I agree with you Lance a hundred percent. This is a very bold move by the globe. But we can’t forget similar bold moves that were all ready taken, such as Indie 103.1 in Los Angeles. They left terrestrial radio because of the state of the landscape and now are operating an internet station that isn’t automated. Just like BDC. This doesn’t nullify BDC’s efforts. It just provides further proof for your article. We need this medium to take off. Terrestrial radio is just getting more and more cookie cutter for the mass, with variety, real variety, disappearing fast. Hopefully this will put the mindless “buy an HD Radio and listen to this loop of the same twenty hit songs in this format, without any input or local personality to interact with.” This way they can have a sixth CHR or similar format, Sports Talk, or “Music that won’t embarass you in front of your children” format.

    1. The Fat Man says

      Pressed send accidentally: Ment to finish saying that this would hopefully put an end to the garbage HD-2 and 3 stations being created and force companies like Clear Channel and the dreaded CBS Radio to actually start programming these stations with some thought. What happened to WODS is a disgrace, seeing that they could have just revamped WBMX, which all ready played similar music. But my rant is done.

  3. MattParker says

    If you want to listen away from home – there are apps for that. At least in the Android Market (or Google Play) and the iTunes App Store. Or use your smartphone or tablet browser to go to boston.com (you should get the mobile home page) and it will (probably) give you a link to download the appropriate app for your device.

  4. Rob Wilson says

    We have been streaming a version of WLIR on http://www.wlir.fm since our 92.7 frequency was sold to Univision in 2004. All the classic ‘LIR alt rock and new music, with many of the familiar jocks. Would love a deal like this!

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