Bob Lobel Recycled

Bob Lobel lands New Hampshire radio station gig

By Jessica Heslam / Media Biz

Photo by Matthew West (file)

While Boston sports radio talk titans battle it out, Hub media icon Bob Lobel is taking to the airwaves north of the border, landing a gig on a New Hampshire radio station.

The legendary sportscaster said he’s anxious to get back to work Wednesday when “The Bob Lobel Show” debuts on WTPL-FM “The Pulse” (107.7).

Lobel, of course, plans to talk mostly sports every weekday from 1 to 3 p.m.

“I’m anxious to get back to work,” Lobel told MediaBiz yesterday. “I’m driving people at home crazy.”

Lobel, 66, spent three decades anchoring sports at WBZ-TV (Ch. 4) but confessed radio is “much more fun” than TV. Lobel has hosted WTPL’s Red Sox [team stats] spring training and Patriots [team stats] training camp shows for the last few years.

“I love radio. It’s much more fun than television. You have much more time to talk about your opinions and editorialize,” Lobel said. “I had a lot of fun when I was on television but it’s not the same thing.”

As for getting on the air at one of Boston’s major sports radio stations – WEEI-AM (850) and “98.5 The Sports Hub” – Lobel said he hasn’t talked with either station. ‘There just haven’t been opportunities,” Lobel said.

The Granite State show is Lobel’s first full-time gig since his month-long stint in 2008 co-hosting the morning-drive program with Karen Blake on WODS-AM (103.3). Grueling back surgeries forced Lobel to give up the job, and although he can now drive, he still uses crutches to walk.

“It seems to bother a lot of people,” Lobel said. “It’s OK. I can manage.”

WTPL program director Bob Lipman said Lobel started his career at another New Hampshire radio station, WGIR-AM (610), and is “very well known” in the Granite State from his WBZ days. “He has a tremendous Rolodex of Boston sports contacts,” Lipman said.

Lobel plans to continue hosting his Sunday morning show with legendary sports figure Upton Bell on Hub conservative talker WXKS-AM (1200). “I’m pretty excited about both things,” Lobel said.

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WBZ-AM (1030) is bringing back legendary newsman Gary LaPierre to man the morning news from Dec. 6 to 10 – the last stretch of the December ratings period.

The news station’s morning-drive anchor, Ed Walsh, steps down Tuesday.

“It’s a nice thing to do for the listeners,” said WBZ news director Peter Casey, who stressed that LaPierre isn’t replacing Walsh.

WBZ-AM weekend anchor and reporter Rod Fritz will fill in until a permanent replacement is named.

• • •

In other WBZ radio news, nighttime talk host Dan Rea received the prestigious Yankee Quill Award earlier this month – the top honor for journalists in New England. Rea, a reporter at WBZ-TV for 31 years, said he was “absolutely overwhelmed” to receive the high honor.

• • •

One Boston TV station has a lot to be thankful for today – and that’s WCVB-TV (Ch. 5). Every single one of the station’s newscasts won first place among total viewers for the 10th month in a row. That’s what the TV ratings showed with one day left in the November “sweeps” ratings period, which ended yesterday.

Among the coveted 25- to 54-year-old viewers, Channel 5 won at 5 a.m., 6 a.m., noon, 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. WFXT-TV (Ch. 25) was the front-runner in that demo at 4:30 a.m. but Channel 5 was a close second, trailing by a mere 1,000 viewers. (WHDH-TV Ch. 7 doesn’t compete at that time).

“I’ve got a great team that really covers this market extremely well and the viewers have responded in kind,” said Channel 5 president and general manager Bill Fine.

Check out all the November ratings on my MediaBiz blog.

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