The importance of local talk radio

Mark Watson
Sun Nov 23 19:22:07 EST 2008

Don A wrote:

> In the Merrimack Valley, people couldn't get WMEX after dark, but they had 
> WLLH as a secondary Top 40 station.

  WRKO's signal blankets the Merrimack Valley day & night, yet I'm sure many 
Lowell & Lawrence area folks listened to WLLH for their top 40 fix back in 
the day. WLLH was a great sounding top 40 for a smaller market, with lots of 
great talent who went on to bigger places, a few names I recall from the 
70's: Kevin Carter, who used the air name Kevin Ryan went from WLLH to 
Fresno, and eventually to Radio & Records where today he is the CHR/Top 40 
column editor. Michael Burns, who used the air name Michael B. today is the 
overnight host at Magic 106.7 (a spot he's held for about 20 years now) and 
is also the host of "Sunday Morning Country Oldies" on WKLB. Al Freeman, who 
was one of their news reporters (back when both WLLH & WCAP had fully 
staffed newsrooms) went on to the old Mutual Radio Network, not sure where 
he want after that. And Eric Marenghi, who used the air name Ben Franklin, 
went on to WSB in Atlanta and I believe a station in Chicago as well. He 
also was on the staff of the short lived WACQ 1150.

  These folks worked at WLLH in the 70's, when there were many smaller 
stations where talent such as the ones I've named could hone their skills 
and make the move to the bigger markets. Today most smaller market stations 
are either bird-fed or automated, and even major market opportunities aren't 
as plentiful as in the past as they too are relying more on voicetracking 
and/or longer shifts with existing staff. Just a sign of the times I 

Mark Watson 

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