Former Providence Mayor Cianci diagnosed with cancer

January 27th, 2014 at 2:56 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci said Monday he has been diagnosed with cancer and the “prognosis is for a full recovery.”

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Tony Mascaro replacing Schwalb as WPRO program director

January 2nd, 2014 at 11:05 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Rhode Island’s top news-talk radio station will soon be under new leadership.

Cumulus Media Inc. announced Thursday that Craig Schwalb, program director at WPRO-AM 630 and business-talk station WPRV-AM 790 since July 2012, is leaving Rhode Island to become program director at 77 WABC-AM in New York, a news-talk station that’s putting a new emphasis on local content.

The new program director at WPRO and WPRV will be Tony Mascaro, who began his career in Providence and is currently the operations manager at 77 WABC, a job Mascaro has held since June 2012.

Barbara Haynes, general manager of the Cumulus stations in Providence, said Schwalb was already in New York on Thursday, while Mascaro’s first day at WPRO will be on Friday.


Former Republican Rep. John Loughlin getting a WPRO show

January 19th, 2013 at 4:19 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

​By Dan McGowan

Republican former state representative and congressional candidate John Loughlin will host a Saturday morning radio show on WPRO beginning next weekend, WPRI.com has learned.

Loughlin was a regular fill-in host on WPRO throughout much of 2012 and assisted with the station’s election coverage late last year.

The 53-year-old, who returned from active duty in Iraq in December 2011, surprised supporters last January when he opted against a rematch versus Democratic Congressman David Cicilline, who defeated Loughlin by six percentage points in 2010.

Loughlin’s new show follows the move of former Saturday WPRO host Gene Valicenti to the station’s weekday morning slot, where he replaced Tara Granahan and Andrew Gobeil. Granahan remains with the station as assistant program director; Gobeil was let go.

WPRO program director Craig Schwalb did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan

92 Pro FM tops nationally in latest Arbitron radio ratings

August 16th, 2011 at 3:52 pm by under Nesi's Notes

The new ratings numbers will be music to the ears of the folks who run the other WPRO.

92.3 WPRO-FM posted the highest ratings of any station last month in the 48 markets that are using Arbitron’s new Portable People Meter (PPM) system, according to a Radio-Info.com article.

92 Pro FM’s average quarter-hour persons (AQH) share was 11.6 in July, up from 10.6 in June, Radio-Info reports. Its fellow pop station in Boston, Kiss 108, was tied for third with a 10.8.

WPRO-FM is owned by Citadel Broadcasting, which also owns WPRO-AM 630/WEAN-FM 99.7, WWLI-FM 105.1, WWKX-FM 106.3 and WPRV-AM 790. Cumulus Media bought Citadel in March.

“With the PPM system, Arbitron’s sample audience carries electronic devices that record all the radio to which they are exposed – at home, in the car, in a supermarket, wherever,” the New York Daily News explained in 2008 that discussed the changes at Arbitron. “Under the old system, respondents would write down what they remembered of their radio listening at the end of each day.”

And speaking of radio, Rhode Island public radio station WRNI says it may soon be moving to 88.1 FM.

WPRO-AM, GoLocalProv no longer ‘media partners’

January 21st, 2011 at 10:06 am by under General Talk

WPRO-AM 630 parent Citadel Broadcasting and startup news site GoLocalProv are no longer media partners, top executives at the two outlets have confirmed.

Citadel and GoLocalProv are “no longer in a partnership,” Barbara Haynes, general manager of the radio company’s Providence division, told me in a brief e-mail on Thursday.

GoLocal co-founder Josh Fenton declined to comment directly on when or why his site’s partnership with the broadcaster ended. “Citadel was a great partner at launch and helped us raise awareness for the GoLocalProv brand,” he said in an e-mail.

While Haynes and Fenton did not offer specifics, it appears they dropped their alliance within the past month or so. The last time a GoLocalProv article referenced WPRO as its “media partner” was Dec. 17, a search of the site’s story archive shows.

In addition to WPRO 630 and its simulcast on WEAN-FM 99.7, Las Vegas-based Citadel owns local stations WPRO-FM 92.3, WWLI-FM 105.1, WWKX-FM 106.3 and WPRV-AM 790. The company, which emerged from bankruptcy last June, owns a total of 225 stations in the U.S.

GoLocalProv debuted last April after more than two years in development. More than 90 percent of the site’s parent company, GoLocalProv.com LLC, is owned by Fenton and his partner Paul Krasinski, Fenton said last fall.

Fenton said GoLocalProv now delivers “about 1 million impressions a month” through its website, videos and e-mail blasts. “We are now a significant media player in the market – we have broken tremendous new ground and enjoy a vibrant advertising base,” he said.

Fenton also suggested he is considering launching versions of the GoLocal model in other Rhode Island communities, and said he expects to see more people consuming news through mobile devices and tablets like the iPad.

The talk show hosts could always go to Chafee

January 13th, 2011 at 4:33 pm by under General Talk

Chafee at a press conference Wednesday

In all the talk about Governor Chafee’s ban on talk radio appearances, one point I haven’t seen made is this: There’s nothing to stop those shows’ hosts from finding the governor (or any other public official) at a press conference or other event to put their questions to him on the spot.

I mention that because it wasn’t clear to me until today whether Chafee’s ban was on taking questions from talk radio hosts, as opposed to just making a guest appearance on their programs.

Chafee’s spokesman, Mike Trainor, told me the governor would take questions at events from any of the hosts – rather than ignore them or refuse to call on them – the same way he takes questions from reporters like my colleagues and me, or members of the public.

I know, for example, WPRO’s John DePetro and Dan Yorke have both come to press conferences in the past – and judging by what Trainor says, Chafee won’t freeze them out.

“We think it might be healthy,” Trainor added, “for the talk show hosts to get out of the studio once in a while.”

Update: A-ha. I’ve been too snow-focused this week and missed this – the terrific Michelle Smith of The Associated Press made the same point via Trainor in a story she filed Tuesday evening (emphasis mine):

Chafee said he will still speak with the [talk-radio] stations’ news reporters and will take questions from talk show hosts who come to his news conferences or other public appearances. He said the ban on talk shows wasn’t “ironclad,” and the administration would make exceptions on occasion when warranted, such as in a public emergency.

Forgive me, Michelle – all I can say is that by the time your story ran, I was already dreading my 3 a.m. snowstorm wake-up call.

(photo: Tim White/WPRI)