Friday, January 2, 2009

Wahlberg and gang take over oyster house

Pat Montheith, WUMB General Manager. Note station logos with the words
"folk radio", an appelation dropped in 2008. Photo by Boston Globe
photographer Harry Brett.
"Wahlberg and gang take over oyster house" by Mark Shanahan & Paysha RhoneGlobe Staff / December 9, 2008 was the headline in the Boston Globe's celebritygossip column, the source of many in the area folk community learning of the demise of the Boston Folk festival. That kind of sums up the way the community was treated by Globe and former folk radio station WUMB.

2008 was a year of change for the Boston-area folk community. In addition to the loss of folk giants Bruce Phillips, Artie Traum and Odetta, we’ll remember 2008 as the year we lost five local mainstays.

“Folk Radio” WUMB replaced by “WUMB Music Mix”.

The Boston Globe’s dropping folk music coverage by Scott Alarik

The Boston Globe's dropping folk concert listings from its print editions.

The Boston Globe’s dropping of folk concert listings from its print

The Boston Folk Festival.

NEFolknRoots members have played their part by capturing and posting media coverage, providing their own original news coverate and stating their own opinions. With each of the five key topics, I have posted a summary of what the first message. To find other information use the group’s “archive” search feature.

Life goes on, we will adjust and adapt. But we are a community of talented people. We have resources. If you have alternatives to help fill the losses, please add here and/or in NEFolknRoots.

I’ll start.

“Folk Radio” WUMB replaced by “WUMB Music Mix”.

WUMB's "big project with the CPB" meetings exclude hinterlanders ... reply to this
email or call Dan Sussman at 617-287-6910. We hope you will be able to attend
and help us make WUMB Radio a better service to the community. Thank you, Pat
Patricia Monteith General Manager, WUMB-FM
Jan 16, 2008
11:26 am

Laurenti new music director at WUMB
See article in today's Boston Globe at
Allan Sherman
Jul 26, 2008
10:09 am

WUMB certainly was not the only radio station in the area playing folk music, what set it apart was that it played more hours per week than any other station, and veterans Marilyn Rae Beyer, Brian Quinn, Dave Palmeter, Dick Pleasants and former music/program director and sometimes host Brian Quinn were some of the area's longest serving and most knowledgeable hosts. Marilyn saw the change coming and left in August 2007. The remaining long-timers' roles were reduced from DJ's who produced/programmed their own shows to automaton "on-air personalities". After two or three decent folk songs are aired, I cringe each time I hear a veteran DJ forced to say something kind about a schmaltzy commercial-sounding klinker. (Case in point, 1/2/09 1pm, Phil Ochs' "There but for Fortune" followed by "Lovely Day"by China Forbes). After the shift from folk to AAA, station management brought in a music director from a AAA rock station and "on air personalities" who could not pronounce folk musicians' names (Eilen Jewell as "Ellen" and Mare Wakefield as "Mare"), and whose knowledge of the music was limited to reading liner notes.

NEFolknRoots offers the community two solutions:

The DATABASE lists the call letters, frequencies and websites of broadcast and internet-based folk stations around the world.

The CALENDAR lists Northeast USA broadcast and internet radio folk programs.

More listings, resources and ideas are welcome.

The Boston Globe’s dropping folk music coverage by Scott Alarik / reduction of folk news and concert reviews.

Globe Drops Folk Music Writer Scott Alarik
... other acoustic music styles."
5 Nov 2008 Boston Globe Drops Folk Music Writer
Scott Alarik Posted in News - Northeast U.S. ...
Jan 1, 2009
11:14 am
Soon after the New York Times Corporation purchased the Boston Globe, local staff began to be reduced and news of local events was replaced by national feeds. The Globe’s “coverage” of the demise of the Boston Folk Festival as on "oh, by the way" throwoff paragraph in a gossip column entitled "Wahlberg and gang take over oyster house?", rather than as a feature story in its arts and/or business sections was an embarrassment to itself and the folk community. Dropping Scott as a feature folk writer and turning his talent into occasional "top pick" pieces is the equivalent to turning one of its award-winning sports writers into the box score copy boy, ranking with WUMB turning its DJ/producers into “on-air personalities”.

What’s done is done, but what are the alternatives?

Scott continues to freelance and write in his own website. Maybe he (and other similarly positioned writers like Steve Morse and Dan Gerwitz, and WUMB’s former DJ’s, if allowed by management) will write blogs similar to Ron Olseko’s “Folk Music Notebook”. If there is quality folk concert coverage out there in other newspapers or blogs, please post links to NEFolknRoots.
See related coverage.

The Boston Globe dropping folk concert listings from its print editions.

Re: WUMB calendar.... and more for 31 Oct.
... think we all get it by now,
WUMB's calendar is f-ed up. To me, a much bigger concern is the Boston Globe,
they have shrunk their Thursday calendar listings down to next-to-nothing. Yea,
they say they have more complete listings on their website ...
Nov 1, 2008
4:16 pm

From an email sent by the former print calendar editor, dated November 11, 2008:

Dear event submitter,

We are no longer printing event listings in The Boston Globe. Instead, we have expanded our listings on the Boston Globe's website,
The newspaper's website is visited by more than 5 million individual readers each month.

You may submit your calendar event listings for free using our online tool at:'s Things To Do/Calendar section offers the following benefits to
your listings:
- It is searchable and can be located 24 hours per day, seven days a week
- The event will feature a map to its location, featuring places to eat in the area
- You have more space available to provide details about the event
- You may post photos related to the event
- You may include a link to the official event site
- If you are part of a venue, you may set up a section in the calendar to feature all events at your facility

Please note that each listing is subject to editing by our listings staff. Once submitted, it may take up to 72 hours for your listings to be edited, approved, and made available to the public. Events must be submitted using the online tool at We will not accept submissions by postal mail, fax, e-mail press release, or telephone. We will not approve events that are advertising or marketing in nature, or are deemed inappropriate for our audience.

For additional questions about submitting your event online, please check out our Help page at If you can't find the answer you need there, please contact our listings staff by e-mail at or call Joan Matelli at 617-929-8795.

We believe this new online tool will increase exposure to your event listings by helping you reach a larger online audience, and allow you to provide more information to your attendees.

Sincerely, staff

So what is the folk community to do? The question was posed last week…
Re: Thin concert pickings, 12-27 through 1/10? ... programmatic. The simplest would require a core of people who would each add from a couple to a several quality
music listings to the calendar of an existing website, then, through the folk
grapevine, spread the word. If you are interested in working together towards a
Dec 28, 2008
4:13 pm
…and we’re waiting for a few dedicated volunteers to step up.

The Boston Folk Festival.
Boston Folk Festival canceled Seen in today's Boston Globe:
_take_over_oyster_house/ Folk fest nixed Yet another...
Dec 9, 2008
9:07 am
NEFolknRoots discussion of the causes for the demise of the Boston Folk Festival was extensive. Members expressed thoughts (I paraphrase) ranging from “it had a good run” to “the ICONS Festival, held the same weekend, presented more acts of interest to folk fans” to “it was mismanaged, the quality diminished over time and with WUMB’s change from folk to AAA its end was inevitable”.

Time will tell if the Boston Folk Festival will come back as a folk festival, or a pop festival, or not at all. In 2009, we can support the ICONS Festival or the Soule Farm festival, held the same weekend. There is even talk of a new indoor/outdoor festival in north-central Massachusetts, to be produced by a commercial music venue.



Wahlberg and gang take over Oyster House

Above: ''Bunker Hill'' crew members outside the Union Oyster House.Above: ''Bunker Hill'' crew members outside the Union Oyster House. (Globe Staff Photo / George Rizer)
By Mark Shanahan & Paysha Rhone
Globe Staff / December 9, 2008
Text size  +
It was barely 10 a.m., and Donnie Wahlberg was sitting at the bar drinking beer. The New Kid nuzzled a young redhead and then joined a few friends for a game of darts. Welcome to "Bunker Hill," the TNT pilot that began filming yesterday inside the historic Union Oyster House. Owner Joe Milano said the cast and crew pulled up ... 

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