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Does Boston Need Another Pop Radio Station?

The radio rumor mill in Boston is churning with news that 96.9 WTKK of Greater Media Boston could turn from talk radio to music radio sometime soon. Does Boston need another pop, rock, or R&B/hip-hop channel?

Change could again be coming to the Boston radio scene.

Not that Boston radio listeners aren't used to it by now, what with the sale of 101.7 WFNX to Clear Channel to form 101.7 The Harbor a few months ago, the launch of 103.3 AMP Radio by CBS and the change from 104.1 WBCN to CBS's MIX 104.1. 

But according to industry blog RadioInsight.com, some sneaky domain registrations indicate that more change could be on the way.

"969BostonsBeat.com969TheBeat.comBostonsBeat969.comPower969.comVariety969.com, and TheStreets969.com were all anonymously registered last week," the blog reported. "The domains were all registered using the same registrar normally used by Greater Media Inc., owner of 96.9 WTKK Boston."

Greater Media Inc.'s 96.9 WTKK has played host to now-infamous radio show personalities such as Don Imus who was fired in 2007 over a comment he made about the Rutgers' women's basketball team, and Jay Severin, who was fired in 2011 after comments he made about sleeping with his interns. 

The 96.9 WTKK recently rebranded itself as NewsTalk 96.9 in September, but it has failed to see any market growth against its competitors, according to RadioInsight.com. 

The blog speculates that 96.9 could turn into a music channel, possibly in an effort to compete with Clear Channel's JAMN 94.5, Kiss 108, and CBS's AMP Radio 103.3. 

A further recent shakeup on the radio scene was the firing of hip-hop radio personality Pebbles from JAMN 94.5 last week, a fact confirmed on her Facebook page on Tuesday. 

"I am in positive spirits and believe that something incredible is out there for me," she wrote. "I do believe in the idea that when one door closes, another one opens." 

Could Pebbles end up at this new mystery radio station? What kind of station would you want to see coming into Boston? Or have you had enough with all the recent changes and now listen to your music on the Internet? 

yogasong December 12, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Boston could really use an adult R & B station. Even New Haven has that kind of station and its awesome!
Gary Chase December 12, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Any movement away from talk radio and towards more music is a positive thing. Bring on the tunes!
j k01 December 12, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Too bad that we'd lose conservative commentator Michael Graham, but it would be a pleasure to lose morning "Obamapologists", Jim Braude and Margery Eagan.
George Drugas December 12, 2012 at 03:49 PM
There are plenty of music stations available - fight to keep 96.9 as talk radio!
Mike Clifford December 12, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Music is a much better option.
Bill Davidson December 12, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Hear, hear!
N R December 13, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Keep it News Talk. There really aren't options for that anywhere in this area, with news updates every 30 minutes
Donna McClure December 13, 2012 at 11:54 PM
There are plenty of music stations. Leave the talk radio alone.
John Clement Max the Million December 14, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Bring Severin back and you will see ratings go up.
Ajax December 14, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Keep WTKK as it is please.
R. Scott White December 14, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Low ratings and high expense has been reported as a problem at WTKK before. They might have just plain had enough. But if talk radio is dying, another startup music station isn't going to help them either as there's just plain too much competition.
Ike January 02, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Glad to see Michael Graham and all the 'CONSERVE - A - NUT ' radio talk show hosts that do nothing but Poison Political discourse in this country for financial gain go . I am however sorry to see Jim Braude ( even though he raises my blood pressure every time he cuts someone off ), Margery Eagan , Michael Smerconish, Matt Shearer, Phil Henrie , John Bachelor, and Doug Meehan go ! I will 'shore as hell' miss all of them including the nuts !
jmorrisonlane January 02, 2013 at 08:37 PM
There is plenty of so called music on the radio. What we are lacking is thought provoking talk radio. I will miss smerconish, who is a really a rational, intelligent, voice of reason. Jim and Margery are a pair that I will miss as well. I hate that when stations make changes that they don't respect their listeners enough to announce the changes in time for people to say goodbye. Instead I am slapped in the face by some jarring representation of hip hop when I was looking for Mr. Smerconish this afternoon. Thanks a lot tkk/newstalk, whoever you are.
Jay January 02, 2013 at 10:33 PM
The fact that there does not appear to be an audience for talk radio is nothing more than proof that we have more mindless people out there that would rather just put their thinking on cruise control rather than stimulate their thinking with real issues in the world. Don't misunderstand me, I'm a musician and love various types of music and find that there are times that I just want to listen to music. Still we need this "town square" kind of forum to listen to the issues today and voice our own insights and opinions whether we agree with them or not. It stimulates your thinking and helps you to form your own convictions. I for one am going to miss them all, even the ones I disagreed with!
Michelle January 03, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Loved the talk radio format in the morning. It was fun and informative. So what young people don't want area info and what the heck does everything have to be geared towards " young" people??? The change sux!
Janet Madsen January 04, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Is there another radio station in this area that Michael Smercornish is carried? I thought I read something yesterday about an AM station that had an X in it. Did not write it down.
Charles Daily January 14, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Stupid move! Another POP radio channel. It was great when it was Smooth Jazz. Boston needs another jazz channel. The 96.9 talk show must be getting pressure from the White house just like Fox News. Fox has toned down their show also. Remember to live in a Socialist state we must all be in step. The Touchee Feelie folks are winning and when all the Illegals start taking over they will wonder what happened. Don't forget to continue to give up your rights.
jesus January 23, 2013 at 02:46 PM
96.9 need to do more muzic hire pebbles and melissa for a show together
Anthony January 28, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Glad to see Boston get an Adult R&B, Throwback station many other major cities have them I was beginning to wonder.. lol Thanks 96.9 No more 94.5 for me..
Matt Anderson January 29, 2013 at 09:14 AM
Look at the stations down south that play the same song only twice maybe 3 times a day not 45 all the station up hear suck I wish I could take over a radio station n I'm a dj drives me nuts
Tony February 05, 2013 at 02:15 AM
We have enough Hip Hop, Oldies, Top 40 and Rock. Why don't they put it back to the format it was before it became talk radio. Smooth Jazz is what we need back here in Boston. How much further behind the times does Boston have to go to realize their slowly losing their audiences in every genre related to entertainment. Let's get busy people...

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