Boston

Legendary Boston alt rock WFNX alive online as two competing webcasters

Friday, December 21, 2012 - 12:45pm

In summer came news that not one, but two, online "heirs apparent" to heritage Boston alternative rocker WFNX would launch (see RAIN here and here). And the similarities between the two are striking.

Each webcaster has sustained the alternative rock format, staffed by well-known local talent, and works to integrate audio programming with that of its parent media.

Both webcasters are operated by Boston newspaper groups. The Boston Globe (its online presence is Boston.com) launched RadioBDC in August (RAIN coverage here). Phoenix Media, which publishes several alternative newspapers (including one in Boston), retained the WFNX call letters and intellectual property after selling the frequency to Clear Channel (that frequency today became a new Electronic Dance Music station). The same month RadioBDC went live, featuring former WFNX air talent hosting new shows and local events, WFNX.com added well-known DJ Kurt St. Thomas to program and create original content.

"(RadioBDC) felt like a really natural extension of what we do every day on the Web," Jeff Moriarty, VP of digital products for Boston.com, told NetNewsCheck.com. "It was just a new way to connect with people in Boston."

Phoenix Media's objective is quite similar: Content that's integrated with what's in its paper and on its website, with the idea to put "it all together and cross promote each other and work in a completely different way," St. Thomas told NetNewsCheck.com.

"Both stations have attracted new sponsors, most notably beer companies, and are working with them to host high-profile events... (often targeting) the city’s many college students," reports the news source.

Read the article here. H/T to Tom Taylor Now.

IHeartRadio electronic dance stream Evolution lands on Boston FM

Friday, December 21, 2012 - 12:45pm

What began just six weeks ago as iHeartRadio's EDM (electronic dance music) online channel has now taken over a Boston FM frequency Evolution 101.7.

When the EDM stream instantly became iHeartRadio's the most popular digital-only station on the service, Clear Channel execs took notice. At 6pm yesterday the company launched what it calls "the first real EDM station in the country," enlisting legendary British DJ Pete Tong as its voice.

The New York Times wrote today (here), "In what could be interpreted as a bit of symbolism about the tides of the music business, Evolution is taking over the former frequency of WFNX, for decades one of the country’s most influential alternative rock stations. Clear Channel bought the station in May for $14.5 million."

Alt-rock RadioBDC features former WFNX staffers; Triton Digital handling streaming

Monday, August 13, 2012 - 1:50pm

RadioBDCThe new web radio service from Boston.com -- dubbed RadioBDC (as in, Radio-Boston-dot-com) launched today at noon, following a montage of station production and string quartet versions (!) of classic modern rock songs. Dicky Barrett, frontman for local faves The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, called in to congratulate staffers and "front-announce" RadioBDC's first song, The Bosstones' "I Want My City Back."

Boston.com is a regional news portal owned by the Boston Globe. It attracts more than 6 million unique visitors per month. The site announced it would launch an online-only alternative rock web radio station back in June (RAIN coverage here), then hired on-air staff from the local alt rock station WFNX (which flipped formats after its sale to Clear Channel).

Triton Digital announced today that it will provide the station with its content delivery network (CDN), a Flash-based audio player and three mobile apps (available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices), as well as measurement and ad insertion. Additionally, Triton will provide audience engagement solutions including song and artist facts, lyrics, sampling and purchase options, content sharing and more.

The station will stream online at Boston.com (here). It will feature live programming (including news and lifestyle features) from 7am to 10pm every weekday and Sunday morning. At other times RadioBDC will stream alternative music. The stream will also include ads, though the "primary revenue generator" will be sponsored events, the Boston Globe reports (here).

Boston.com's general manager Lisa DeSisto says RadioBDC is "a way to deepen the engagement" of the site's visitors, Radio-Info reports (here).

"It’s all about attracting audiences and getting people to do things with us,” said Christopher Mayer, publisher of the Boston Globe. “We’ve seen people move from print to the Web, and from the Web to mobile. Why wouldn’t they also want our content in audio?”

There may be two, competing "FNX-online" streams in Boston

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 12:10pm

Yesterday we reported Boston.com's announcement that it would launch an Internet radio stream for alternative rock fans when WFNX changes format next month (please see our coverage here). Now, Phoenix Media Group (which is selling the station to Clear Channel) CEO Stephen Mindich says he plans to do the same thing!

Inside Radio says Mindich announced his plan to launch an online alt-rock stream "just hours after the Boston Globe went public." Tom Taylor on Radio-Info reports Mindich "is surprised and not too pleased" about Boston.com's announcement. According to Taylor, the sale of the station "leaves him with the intellectual property of the station he founded 29 years ago." Of course, as we reported yesterday, WFNX PD Paul Driscoll and several FNX on-air personalities (plus sales, operations and promotions vets from the station) will be part of Boston.com's station.

From Inside Radio: "Mindich says the online station will not only retain the FNX branding but also the alt-rocker’s 'unique, independent spirit.' The station has begun promoting the webcast on-air."

Read more in Taylor on Radio-Info here; subscribe to Inside Radio here.

Regional news portal Boston.com will launch online-only alternative rocker with FNX talent

Monday, June 25, 2012 - 11:45am

Boston's alternative rock station WFNX will change formats next month, following its sale to Clear Channel. But regional web portal Boston.com plans to keep the modern rock flag flying. It's announced plans to launch its own online-only alt-rock station, and it has enlisted former WFNX personalities and former WFNX PD Paul Driscoll.

Boston.com offers news and other local content, and is part of New York Times Digital.

In 2009 Boston's legendary heritage rocker WBCN left the on-air dial and soon reappeared as two HD Radio channels, and online simulcasts (here). Chicago alternative Q101 went online-only (RAIN coverage here) after the sale of its frequency; legendary Cincinnati station WOXY and Los Angeles rocker KNAC are well-known for doing the same.

Lisa DeSisto is GM of Boston.com and chief advertising officer for The Boston Globe. She commented, "Boston.com has been at the forefront of multimedia for some time now, producing award-winning videos, live video programming, interactive content, and more. We’ve long thought radio would be a natural extension for us, and we’re fortunate to launch with such an incredible team."

Phoenix Media/Communications sold the station to Clear Channel, and most of the staff was let go immediately when the sale was announced last month. The station will reportedly change format July 23.

Read The Boston Globe's coverage here.

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