June 9, 2014
WGBH’s Boston Public Radio Adding Third Hour
Public broadcaster further expands local commitment
89.7 WGBH’s midday share up 75 percent
BOSTON, Massachusetts (June 9, 2014) – With the support of a growing, loyal audience, WGBH announced today that Boston Public Radio (BPR) will add a third hour starting this fall. The program will air live on weekdays from 11am to 2pm on 89.7 WGBH. The talk show, hosted by Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, is among the fastest growing radio shows in Boston and the region’s highest-rated public radio program in its midday timeslot (weekdays, noon-2pm).
“BPR has evolved into a wonderful expression of what we strive to do on the radio station overall. It offers a combination of local, national and global topics, smart conversations, deeper analysis, local voices and direct access to local opinion leaders, newsmakers and our own neighbors,” said Phil Redo, General Manager of WGBH Radio. “Jim and Margery bring a unique warmth and sense of humor to this audio town square. The success they have achieved over the past 15 months has exceeded our highest expectations.”
Since adding Jim Braude and Margery Eagan to its midday program in February 2013, BPR’s overall market share has grown by more than 75 percent. The show’s market share in the competitive 25-54 demographic has grown more than 150 percent.
“Coming to WGBH has allowed Jim and me to dig deeper in our conversations with each other and newsmakers from across New England than we ever could in commercial radio,” said Boston Public Radio co-host Margery Eagan. “Extending the show by an hour gives us an opportunity to facilitate more conversations and introduce new voices to Boston radio.”
“Boston Public Radio is a truly collaborative show that showcases the reach of the entire WGBH News team,” said Jim Braude, co-host, Boston Public Radio. “We are proud to be a part of the station’s exceptional local growth and look forward to building on that success with a third hour of Boston Public Radio starting this fall.”
BPR – noted for its monthly in-studio appearances with Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and regular ‘open mic’ conversations – will add a number of additional guests in the expanded format, including Charles Sennott, co-founder and editor-at-large of GlobalPost and former foreign correspondent for The Boston Globe. Sennott and GlobalPost recently started a new nonprofit initiative called The GroundTruth Project for in-depth global reporting and established a partnership with WGBH that will allow its journalism fellows’ work to be shared locally and nationally on the public broadcaster’s various programs, including BPR and PRI’s The World, which is produced and broadcast by WGBH. The GroundTruth Project is now located at WGBH’s headquarters in Brighton. Sennott and GlobalPost have a long-standing relationship with WGBH. In 2009, GlobalPost partnered with PRI’s The World on an awarding-winning, 10-part special report on the Taliban and over the last three years, Sennott has served as a special correspondent on two Frontline films on Egypt. WGBH produces Frontline in Boston and distributes the renowned investigative series to PBS for national distribution.
Other regular guests will be announced later this summer. After BPR expands to a third hour in the fall, The Takeaway, WGBH Radio’s co-production with WNYC and Public Radio International, in collaboration with and New York Times Radio, will move from 11am to 10am.
Over the last four years, WGBH has made a significant investment in local news and analysis. The public broadcaster’s local news room has grown from fewer than a half dozen staff to more than 50 reporters, editors, producers, hosts and engineers who work across all electronic platforms and contribute to all of WGBH’s local news programs, including WGBH 2’s Greater Boston, Basic Black and Open Studio with Jared Bowen.
WGBH News launched a reporting partnership last fall with the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, and created a dedicated higher education desk, On Campus, in collaboration with the Forum for the Future of Higher Education and with support from the Lumina Foundation, the Davis Educational Foundation and TIAA CREF Financial Services. The local public broadcasting news division also produces Under the Radar with Callie Crossley and Innovation Hub with Kara Miller, which is now offered to a national audience by PRI.
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web. Television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston Public Radio; 99.5 WCRB; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. Find more information at wgbh.org.