7/29/13: Boston Herald to launch live online news/talk radio station

Paul Maloney
July 29, 2013 - 1:10pm

One week from today the Boston Herald will launch its own live (weekdaily 6a-6p) news and talk online radio station.

Boston Herald Radio will focus on news, talk, and sports for the Boston area, leveraging the journalism and technology of the major daily newspaper. Former Boston-area radio and television personalities like Jeff Katz, Jon Meterparel, Jen Royle, and Michael Graham will host daily shows. Herald reporters and editors will provide news throughout the day. Other elements from the newspaper (reviews, political and business reports, style and food segments, and pro, college, and high school sports) will be featured as well, reports Talkers Magazine.

[Pictured is Herald Editor-in-Chief Joe Sciacca (left) and Herald COO Jeff Magram in the new Boston Herald Radio studio.]

Rival paper The Boston Globe owns the online alternative rock music-centric RadioBDC, operated by former WFNX staffers (RAIN coverage here). (WFNX.com was an online-only station operated by the Phoenix Media/Communications Group in conjunction with alternative media newspaper the Boston Phoenix (see RAIN here). The paper and the station both shut down in March.)

Boston Herald Radio will use Backbone Radio technology, including its "Talk Radio" multi-line Internet-based phone system. The system allows for multi-caller and screening capability anywhere an Internet connection is available (meaning, outside the studio).

Talkers Magazine quotes Boston Herald publisher and president Patrick J. Purcell: "Internet radio is exploding and it makes sense that the Herald rounds out our multimedia platform with talk radio programming. It's perfect synergy."

Boston Herald Radio will be available on the newspaper's website, TuneIn Radio (site and apps), and via dedicated mobile apps.

See Talkers Magazine's coverage here. Read more from the Herald itself here.

Paul Maloney
July 29, 2013 - 1:10pm

Performance rights organization ASCAP has filed a petition with the FCC in opposition to webcaster Pandora's purchase of broadcast radio station KXMZ in Radid City, SD.

The webcaster is currently suing ASCAP in rate court (our coverage here) following unsuccessful licensing negotiations between the two. ASCAP (along with BMI and SESAC) administers music composition/publishing rights in the U.S.

Pandora announced the purchase of the station (coverage here) in June. The webcaster wants its service to qualify for the Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) license for the use of copyright song compositions, which affords more favorable licensing tems than those offered by ASCAP for online-only use.

ASCAP argues to the FCC "there can be no doubt Pandora's interests do not lie in providing service to... the greater Rapid City area... Pandora's interests and priorities lie only in its millions of internet music listeners." ASCAP also claims Pandora failed to properly disclose its ownership structure and prove that it meets foreign ownership limits.

Paul Maloney
July 29, 2013 - 1:10pm

Rep. Mel Watt's (N.C.-D) proposed bill, on which we reported here, will actually simply "recognize a performance right" for the use of recordings on AM/FM radio, The Hill reports. The bill itself will not actually require broadcasters to pay royalties, as we had initially reported.

"While an older version of Watt's bill from 2009 made it mandatory for traditional AM/FM radio stations to pay royalties to musicians for the songs that they air, the lawmaker told The Hill that the new bill won’t go that far. The new version of the bill will simply establish that musicians have public performance rights to their work," The Hill wrote.

Watt hopes the measure will lead broadcasters and copyright owners to privately-negotiated deals in the market for the use of recorded music.

Radio broadcasters "would have to sit down with artists and either work out a regime on their own or be subject to litigation about the value of what they're playing," Watt said.

Read coverage in The Hill here.