The History of WBZ NewsRadio: The 2000s

Jay McQuaide

Jay McQuaidePhoto: WBZ Archive Photo

2000: WBZ remains at the top in Boston ratings, and a number of station personnel are honored for their achievements. Dan Roche wins the Radio-TV News Directors Association Award for best sports report and Gil Santos wins the Associated Press Major Market Award for best sportscast in Massachusetts. Jay McQuaide wins an Edward R. Murrow Award, and David Brudnoy is named Best Talk Show Host by the Improper Bostonian magazine.

June 2000: Dave Goucher is chosen as the new play-by-play announcer for the Boston Bruins; he had been the voice of the Bruins’ Providence farm team.

July 2000: Longtime announcer and sports reporter Leo Egan dies.

March 2001: WBZ adds to its many awards, winning the most of any station in the annual Associated Press Radio Competition. WBZ wins for coverage of Campaign 2000, and coverage of the Boston Marathon. Carl Stevens also wins an award for one of his commentaries. Also in March, David Brudnoy celebrates his 25th anniversary in radio.

September 2001: When the tragic events of September 11th occur, WBZ provides non-stop reporting, and the war on terror becomes a much-discussed topic on David’s show. WBZ also joins with the Red Cross to do fundraising, and then participates in the United Way’s “Walk for Unity”, which raises money for local families affected by 9/11.

February 2002: The New England Patriots win the Super Bowl, and play by play announcer Gil Santos has the call of Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning kick — that triumphant moment will be replayed many many times on TV and radio.

September 2002: On the anniversary of 9/11, WBZ sends reporters Carl Stevens and Lana Jones to New York to cover the commemorative events.

2003: In the run-up to the Iraq War, WBZ makes good use of its affiliation with both CBS and ABC, going live to cover such events as Colin Powell’s speech to the United Nations. Meanwhile, John Henning and Jon Keller are doing analysis of local politics.

September 23, 2003: In one of the most upsetting local stories, David Brudnoy tells his listeners that he has a rare form of cancer and will soon begin chemotherapy.

David Brudnoy

David BrudnoyPhoto: WBZ Archive Photo

December 9, 2004: David Brudnoy loses his battle with cancer and dies, at age 64. One of his final wishes is to give his shift to Paul Sullivan.

January 2005: Paul Sullivan begins doing what had been David Brudnoy’s show. In a cruel irony, Sullivan found out in December that he too has cancer. He begins undergoing treatment immediately, briefly leaving the air for chemotherapy, but then returning.

March 2005: WBZ begins to offer online streaming audio from its website.

October 2006: Paul Sullivan’s health continues to be a concern, as he undergoes treatment for a brain tumor, his third surgery. Jordan Rich fills in while he recovers.

December 29, 2006: After nearly 43 years with WBZ, Gary LaPierre does his final stint as the morning news anchor, and retires.

January 1, 2007: Ed Walsh, a 25 year radio veteran, replaces Gary LaPierre.

Ed Walsh

Ed WalshPhoto: WBZ Archive Photo

June 28, 2007: Paul Sullivan does his last show for WBZ Radio. In September, he succumbs to the cancer he had fought so courageously.

October 1st, 2007: Longtime WBZ-TV news reporter Dan Rea takes over the 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. shift on WBZ NewsRadio with his new talk show “Nightside with Dan Rea.”

September 24, 2008: David Brudnoy, Larry Glick, and Carl DeSuze are inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame. The Master of Ceremonies for the event is WBZ’s Jordan Rich.

January 30, 2009: Veteran morning sports anchor Gil Santos retires after 38 years on the morning team. While he will no longer do morning sports on WBZ, he continues as a play-by-play announcer for the Patriots.

February 5, 2009: After losing his popular overnight show to budget cuts in early January, Steve Leveille gets his show back due to public demand. Thousands of fans petitioned, called and sent letters. As a result, Steve returns to the WBZ airwaves.

Steve Laveille (Left) and Jordan Rich (Right)

Steve Laveille (Left) and Jordan Rich (Right)Photo: WBZ Archive Photo

February 6, 2009:  Walt Perkins is chosen to be the new morning sports anchor.

March 26, 2009: Overnight talk show legend Larry Glick dies at age 87. His long career included twenty years with WBZ.

March 2, 2010: Don Kent, the dean of WBZ weather forecasters, dies at age 92.

July 8, 2010:  Bradley Jay, longtime WBCN announcer and, formerly, Dan Rea’s executive producer, gets his own Sunday night show, “Jay Talking.”

October 1, 2010: WBZ wins the Marconi Award for “Legendary Radio Station of the Year.”

2010 Marconi Award For Legendary Station

2010 Marconi Award For Legendary StationPhoto: WBZ Archive Photo

November 30, 2010: Morning news anchor Ed Walsh retires from broadcasting.

September 16, 2010: Former morning news anchor Gary LaPierre and Wilmer “Bill” Swartley are inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame. Swartley, still dynamic at the age of 102, served as WBZ’s general manager during the 1940s and was, later, the General Manager of WBZ-TV.

April 4, 2011: WBZ announces that the new morning news anchor is Joe Matthieu. The Emerson College grad has more than two decades of news experience. He had most recently been working in Washington, D.C. His first day is May 16th.

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