Reblogged from the Salem News
BEVERLY Radio station North Shore 104.9 FM has been sold and was scheduled to switch to new programming on last Friday, according to people who hosted shows on the station.
Lauren Swanson, the executive director of the Enterprise Center at Salem State University, said she was informed on Wednesday that the show she has hosted for two years has been canceled.
“It’s very disappointing,” Swanson said. “It was a great vehicle for us to talk with regional and business leaders on issues that were important.”
Swanson said she did not know what the new programming format would be.
North Shore 104.9 was owned by Westport Communications. The company bought the station for $4.6 million in 2003, according to Federal Communications Commission records.
Todd Tanger, one of the owners of North Shore 104.9 FM, did not return messages for this story.
The station, which goes by the call letters WBOQ, traces its roots to a classical music station started by Simon Geller of Gloucester in 1964. The station is licensed out of Gloucester and operates from a studio on Enon Street in Beverly. North Shore 104.9 played “adult contemporary” music and aired several local programs on news, sports, food and the arts.
Local shows included North Shore Conversations hosted by Swanson and produced by the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development; Destination Salem hosted by Destination Salem Executive Director Kate Fox; and The North Shore Sports desk co-hosted by Dom Nicastro and Gloucester Daily Times Sports Editor Nick Curcuru.
Swanson said North Shore Conversations was a particularly effective way of communicating during the pandemic. Guests have included local mayors like Kim Driscoll of Salem, Ted Bettencourt of Peabody and Mike Cahill of Beverly and the presidents of Salem State University, North Shore Community College and Montserrat College of Art.
“You could be driving your kids to soccer or be in your kitchen and you could hear local leaders talking about information and why it’s relevant to you,” Swanson said. “It was a great way to be able to spread information to the business community.”
Fox said she did 55 episodes of the Saturday morning Destination Salem show over the last year highlighting the city and its businesses. She said she recorded a show on Wednesday that now will not air.
“It’s done really well. Our audience has been growing,” Fox said.
“We’ll see if we can transition to a podcast, but it’s not the same. For Destination Salem I’m sad that we’re losing our weekly show, but I’m more sad for the people at the station who’ve lost their jobs. That’s a shame.”
Staff Writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2535, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @heardinbeverly.