The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

20 December 2006

Boston Mayor Tom Menino, Opie and Anthony


Boston Mayor Pressures Radio Stations

Memo to Boston- area radio stations: if you know what's good for you, pay attention to what the mayor tells you to do. Or else.

At least that's what Boston Mayor- For- Life Tom "Mumbles" Menino would like area news and talk stations to believe, especially after he recently vented his rage against FM shock jocks Opie and Anthony.

Given that his tirade was in response to a stunt they pulled in New Jersey, we still can't figure out why the increasingly- erratic Menino (shown in photo, pointing) even made a public comment.

The controversy stems from Opie and Anthony's recent dumping of a busload of homeless men from New York City at a posh Garden State shopping mall. For more on this flap, see your Radio Equalizer's new Inside Radio column.

So how did a Boston radio station run afoul of the mayor? For not reporting on his denouncement of the shock jocks!

As a result, news- talker WBZ- AM, the region's top- rated radio station, has found itself under at least a temporary boycott by the Mayor- For- Life.

From the Boston Herald's Jessica Heslam:

Menino fumes as ’BZ mum on shock jocks

By Jessica Heslam
Boston Herald Media Reporter
Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s latest beef with radio shock jocks Opie & Anthony has been widely reported locally and nationally but it’s been missing from WBZ radio’s headlines.

“Is it news that a radio promotion upset the mayor? Nah - not to me,” WBZ (1030 AM) General Manager Ted Jordan explained.

Over the weekend, Menino became furious when he learned that Opie & Anthony were taking homeless men from New York City, giving them alcohol and setting them free in a tony New Jersey mall. The prank aired on Boston’s WBCN [website]-FM. Both WBCN and WBZ are owned by CBS Radio.

Menino issued a statement lambasting the pair’s PR prank.

“I’d like to think most the time we’re a fairly serious news station and that’s just to me not newsworthy,” Jordan said.“I don’t think that radio station pranks or promotions are ever really worthy of the news for this radio station.”

But Menino said yesterday the radio station’s decision not to air his reaction to “the despicable prank” will affect his relations with WBZ, at least for now.

Sources close to the mayor said when WBZ phoned him in the morning for a live comment on the crime spree hitting downtown Boston, he declined to oblige.

That's quite a tactic: either report what I determine to be news, or find your station cut off from city hall! Has he been taking lessons on media manipulation from Putin and Chavez?

If these stations really want to play it smart, they should return the favor: the next time Mumbles wants the press to cover one of his silly photo- ops, they should all stay home.

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Menino / Summers photo: The Crimson


  • So Mumbles won't talk to WBZ?

    And WBZ thinks that's a bad thing???

    By Blogger SierraSpartan, at 21 December, 2006 00:18  

  • O&A are a bunch of attention hounds, lowest form of radio on the air (becides right wing talk) and Jim Norton is a disgrace to radio, a homophobic, little racist pig

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 21 December, 2006 17:20  

  • Just another example of neocon "Bizarro World", where up is down, and wrong is always "right"....

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 21 December, 2006 22:58  

  • Czar Menino has had a mad-on for Opie and Anthony for several years, after a prank where the two concocted and aired an elaborate series of soundbites reporting Menino's death the night before. O&A were subsequently fired and booted from Boston radio that same day, and have been whining about it since.

    By Blogger Paul, Dammit!, at 22 December, 2006 17:46  

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