UPDATE: It's official. CBS issued a press release this morning ending the 41-year run of WBCN. Click here to read the full release here.
WBCN-FM, a/k/a the "Rock of Boston," has as storied a history as any Boston radio station. But come August, 'BCN will no longer be a part of Boston's radio landscape. As reported on Phoenix affiliate WFNX this morning. CBS, 'BCN's owner, is moving Mix 98.5 to 104.1, WBCN's frequency, and starting a new, all-sports station--apparently to be dubbed the Sports Hub, and to carry the call letters WBZ-FM--at Mix's spot on the dial. Word is that 'BCN's morning team of Toucher and Rich will do the Sports Hub's morning show when the change is implemented in mid-August, just in time for the Patriots' preseason. (WBCN will, apparently, survive as an Internet station. Any 'BCN listeners excited about that?)
This is good news for WFNX, which competes with WBCN for listeners craving alt-rock fare. But it's bad news--or at least depressing news--for Boston radio as a whole. In its earlier years, 'BCN was known, among other things, for unusually varied programming; for championing talented acts that were still in their infancy, but went on to become superstars; and for showcasing major talents like Charles Laquidara and "News Dissector" Danny Schechter. Of course, the cerebral stylings of Laquidera, Schecter et al. have long since yielded to (among other things) Howard Stern, the execrable Opie & Anthony, and Patriots play-by-play.
So: one less option for rock fans, and one more entry in Boston's already crowded sports media marketplace. I'm told that WEEI.com's Michael Felger and Comcast SportsNet's Gary Tanguay will be doing afternoon shows on the Sports Hub when the station's up and running. Those are nice gets--and as the Sports Hub competes with powerhouse WEEI-AM, it'll need all the talent it can get.
Any thoughts, 'BCN listeners?