The latest announcements and updates from WBUR

WBUR Presents "26.2: Beyond the Finish Line"

What happened to Boston on April 15, 2013, and in the year since that fateful marathon day? WBUR presents a special evening of reflection, “26.2: Beyond the Finish Line,” tonight from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the JFK Library.

WBUR & NPR’s On Point host Tom Ashbrook leads the program with a distinguished group of first responders, writers, scholars and musicians including Harvard historian and author Jill Lepore, award-winning author James Carroll, comedian and social observer Jonathan Katz, Boston firefighter Sean O’Brien, The Boston Globe’s Kevin Cullen and Scott Helman, national poetry slam winner Regie Gibson and New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman. The free event will also feature music from singer/songwriter Patty Larkin, Bill Janovitz founder of Buffalo Tom, musician Amanda Palmer and cellist Ronald Feldman of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra.

The event will be broadcast live on 90.9, WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station and online at beginning at 7 p.m. More than 600 guests have reserved seats to attend the event in person. “26.2: Beyond the Finish Line” is part of WBUR’s daylong special coverage of the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. Complete 2014 Boston Marathon coverage is online at and continues all week through race day on Monday, April 21.


AGENDA FOR “26.2: Beyond the Finish Line”

7:00 p.m.

Tom Ashbrook, Host, On Point on WBUR and NPR – Introduction

Ronald Feldman, Suite No. 5 in C minor, “Sarabande,” J.S. Bach

Jill Lepore, Two If By Sorrow: Boston and Its Losses

7:20 p.m.

Conversation with Kevin CullenSean O’BrienAlicia Shambo

Bill JanovitzBest Route

Regie Gibsonboston (a reluctant love poem)

8:00 p.m.

Amanda Palmer, Running Towards the Light

Neil GaimanA reading to be selected by the author

8:10 p.m.

Conversation with James CarrollScott HelmanJonathan Katz

8:55 p.m.

Patty LarkinGood Thing

9:00 p.m.


WBUR Honored with Eight AP Awards

The Massachusetts/Rhode Island Associated Press (AP) announced today that 90.9 WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station, was honored with eight AP Awards, more than any other radio station in New England (Division A). The awards ceremony for the Massachusetts/Rhode Island Radio and TV Contest will take place June 18, 2014 in Boston.

WBUR won awards for breaking news, continuing coverage and newscast (WBUR’s Morning Edition), acknowledging the station’s body of work following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. The best feature award went to Producer/Reporter Lynn Jolicoeur’s story on Boston law firm that witnessed and experienced the bombing. Reporter Bruce Gellerman was honored with best use of sound for his story, “8 Rules of Reporting Breaking News,”about his 36-hour shift in Watertown. The best talk show was Radio Boston for its marathon bombing coverage.  The best sports program was Only a Game, and was named best website.

Listen and explore all of WBUR’s award-winning work below:

BREAKING NEWS WBUR, The Boston Marathon Bombing

CONTINUING COVERAGE WBUR, The Boston Marathon Bombing

FEATURE REPORTING WBUR, Unharmed, At Least Physically: Boylston Street Law Firm Struggles To Regain Normalcy

NEWSCAST WBUR, WBUR’s Morning Edition


TALK SHOW WBUR, Radio Boston (Marathon Bombing Coverage)

USE OF SOUND WBUR, 8 Rules Of Reporting Breaking News


Note: All WBUR awards are in the Division A Radio category.

Save The Date for WBUR On Tap May 1

Our popular free monthly series, WBUR On Tap, continues with host Bob Oakes discussing the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana. A recent WBUR poll showed support gaining for the idea, but opponents raise concerns about the effects on communities – and especially on children. As always, this event takes place in the WBUR Living Room at our Commonwealth Avenue studios, which has a limited capacity – so please register here for your place now! This month we’ll be serving beverages and … appropriate snacks. Bring your ID, as the event is 21+.




 A new WBUR Poll finds Democrat Martha Coakley continuing to hold her position as the frontrunner in the race for Massachusetts governor. She leads in the primary election by a 45 to 14 margin over fellow Democrat Steve Grossman, with the remaining Democratic candidates trailing in the single digits. For the 2014 Massachusetts general election, Coakley leads over Republican front-runner Charlie Baker, 41 to 26. Baker, however, leads over all other Democratic contenders.

“The key to success for Coakley continues to be women voters, who give her a 24 point margin,” said Steve Koczela, president of The MassINC Polling Group which was commissioned by WBUR to conduct the poll. “It’s notable that this is the same margin to which Baker lost women in his 2010 gubernatorial bid against Deval Patrick.”

Both Coakley (2010 Senate) and Baker (2010 Governor) have previously been their party’s nominee for statewide office. Similar to a WBUR Poll released in January, Coakley ranks as the best known candidate overall. She garnered broad favorables and high name recognition, with 49% of the survey participants holding a favorable view of her versus 26% unfavorable. Voters are looking upon Baker favorably as well, after several years out of the spotlight in the private sector. Of the survey respondents, 31% expressed a favorable view of Baker compared to only 13% with an unfavorable view.

Among the other candidates, Democrat Steve Grossman garnered a 23% favorable viewpoint, while all others declared in the race at this point have relatively low name recognition although starting inch up into the higher single-digits.

The poll also explored opinions surrounding several senate races. The junior United States Senator from Massachusetts, Ed Markey, appears to have a strong re-election bid. He looks well positioned against all potential Republican challengers at this point. Survey participants did not recognize the names of his Republican challengers. Markey leads a “generic Republican party candidate” by a comfortable 50 to 29 margin, with a respectable 44 to 25 favorable to unfavorable ratio.

In New Hampshire, reception for a Scott Brown senate run is lukewarm. He has his lowest favorability on record, with 45 favorable compared to a significant 35 unfavorable. Voters are narrowly in favor of his run (40 for compared to 31 against). Even among Republicans, just 56% think it’s a good idea.

“It is still net positive, but a far cry from the heady days with percent favorables in the 50’s and 60’s for Brown,” said Koczela. “A large two-thirds (67%) say he is more closely associated with Massachusetts than New Hampshire, which isn’t helping matters.”

For the WBUR story on the poll, visit the website:

 About the WBUR Poll:

  • 90.9 WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station, commissioned the non-partisan MassINC Polling Group to survey 500 likely voters in the 2014 general election. Polling was conducted March 14-16, 2014.
  • Live telephone interviews were conducted via both landline and cell phone using conventional registration based sampling procedures.
  • The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 4.4 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence.
  • For the complete WBUR Poll report, visit

WBUR Poll: Massachusetts Voters Having Second Thoughts on Casinos and Marijuana

According to a new WBUR Poll released today, opinions about two key social issues—casino gambling and marijuana legalization—are changing in Massachusetts. The WBUR Poll finds casino support has dropped below 50 percent, with 46 percent in favor and 43 percent opposed. Conversely, support to legalize marijuana for recreational use has risen, with 48 percent supporting it, and 41 percent opposed.

The WBUR Poll of 500 likely voters, released today by 90.9 WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station, comes as advocate groups eye ballot measures on both issues. Advocates for marijuana legalization are pushing for a 2016 referendum, while gambling opponents are seeking a measure on the ballot this fall that would repeal the state’s casino law.

“Marijuana legalization is now narrowly favored in Massachusetts,” said Steve Koczela, president of the MassINC Polling Group which was commissioned by WBUR to conduct the poll. “The shift in opinion here echoes national trends showing increased support for legalization.”

A survey last year by the Pew Research Center, conducted March 13-17, 2013 among 1,501 adults, found the majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana. Local and national advocates hope to see Massachusetts join both Colorado and Washington State in legalizing use of the drug.

Unlike attitudes toward marijuana, casino support is suffering a dramatic decline. Four months ago, a poll from the Western New England University Polling Institute showed voters statewide supported casinos by a 60-33 margin (Nov. 2013). In January, the previous WBUR Poll suggested that support was waning. And now, today’s WBUR Poll results reveal an even larger drop; the three-point margin is within the poll’s margin of error of 4.4 percent.

Koczela says it’s difficult to say why public opinion is changing on casinos, but he points to a string of unflattering news stories about the companies vying for one of three casino licenses — and the state regulators reviewing their bids. WBUR Reporter David Scharfenberg conducted follow-up interviews with several poll respondents. He notes in his story for WBUR’s Morning Edition that for some voters, “bedrock concerns about the impact on poor people — and on broader communities — are a factor.”

About the WBUR Poll:

  • 90.9 WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station, commissioned the non-partisan MassINC Polling Group to survey 500 likely voters in the 2014 general election. Polling was conducted March 14-16, 2014.
  • Live telephone interviews were conducted via both landline and cell phone using conventional registration based sampling procedures.
  • The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 4.4 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence.
  • For the complete WBUR Poll report, including topline and crosstabs, visit

Help NPR With A New Website Design, And Earn A Gift In Return

NPR Digital Services is looking for local participants to give their thoughts on websites they are creating for member stations across the country. Fill out the form below, and the folks at NPRDS may contact you to come in for a short, 15-minute interview conducted on either March 21 or March 28 at their offices in Boston’s Seaport District.

NPR Kroc Fellow Gabrielle Emanuel

gabbyWe are pleased to welcome NPR Kroc Fellow Gabrielle Emanuel to WBUR.  She started reporting in our newsroom this week and will be here for three months.  On the fellowship, she has worked for NPR in Washington as an assistant producer on Weekend Edition and as a reporter on the National Desk.

Previously, Gabrielle was a Rhodes Scholar studying social policy at Oxford. She graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth in 2010 with a major in history. She worked for UNAIDS in Mali, on microfinance in India, and on access to higher education in Uganda. Gabrielle has also written a children’s book that is coming out in the fall.

WBUR On Tap: Why I Run


WBUR On Tap: Good conversation, great company, good snacks … and it’s all free. Seats are limited, so RSVP HERE to reserve your spot for Thursday, March 20.

Join WBUR’s Morning Edition host Bob Oakesin the WBUR Living Room for the latest installment of our popular new event series, WBUR On Tap.

This month, Bob looks ahead to the Boston Marathon with special guests from Boston’s elite runner’s community. We’ll ask why marathoners take on the challenge, how it changes them … and whether this year’s race holds special meaning. Plus, we’re serving pasta and craft beer! After all, what’s a runners’ event without carbs?

Our guests include Jack Fultz, a retired American long distance runner who won the 1976 Boston Marathon. He is the adviser to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge. Also joining Bob is Dr. Grayson Kimball, a sports psychologist and author of “Grateful Running: Mental Training for the Long Distance Runner”. He is a 6 time marathoner and sports psychology coach for the 2014 Marathon Coalition Boston Marathon Team.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for mingling and noshing, and the conversation runs from 6 to 7 p.m.

Location: WBUR, 890 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 02215 — 3rd Floor.
WBUR is located at the corner of Comm. Ave. and St. Paul Street; the entrance is on St. Paul Street. The nearest T stop is St. Paul Street on the Green B Line, or Buick Street on the 57 bus.

Parking: Street parking is available near the station and there is a parking lot on Commonwealth Ave. at the Agganis Arena.

WBUR On Tap: Join Bob Oakes To Talk About Gambling

bobWBUR has launched a free monthly series of events, WBUR On Tap, featuring lively conversations with our hosts and invited guests. Join us on a Thursday evening each month to talk about the hot topics of the day — and let us know what subjects you’d like to hear about in future talks.

This month’s WBUR On Tap takes place Thursday, Feb. 27, with Morning Edition host Bob Oakes moderating a discussion of casinos and gambling. What does it mean for the culture of the Commonwealth to bring casinos close to home?

Joining Bob for this provocative talk will be two of the lead researchers from UMass-Amherst who are carrying out a comprehensive, multiyear research project, mandated by the recently passed casino law, on the economic and social impacts of introducing casino gambling in Massachusetts. Dr. Rachel Volberg conducts epidemiological research on gambling and problem gambling throughout the world, and Laurie Salame, JD, has worked in the casino industry and now teaches courses on hospitality law and casino management.

The evening starts with light refreshments at 5:30 p.m., with the conversation taking place from 6 to 7. This event is 21+, so bring your ID … and your questions! The event is free, but registration is required. Please RSVP HERE.


WBUR’s Annual Local Content And Services Report, FY-2013

WBUR’s FY-2013 annual local content and services report, as submitted to the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, is now available as a PDF. You can download it here.

iLab Debuts Stylus, an Experiment in Sound, Music and Listening


WBUR has launched Stylus, the third iLab fellowship project, co-created by Zack Ezor and Conor Gillies. Stylus is an experimental series about sound, music, and listening.

For this three-month series, the team is exploring innovative paths for content production and distribution. Rather than produce traditional documentaries on themes relating to sound, they are spending a month at a time exploring three themes: Seeing and Illustrating Music (February), Sounds of the Earth (March), and Sounds of Science Fiction (April). Over the course of each month, Stylus will share different types of content that deeply explore that theme — highly-produced audio, videos, image galleries, explainer pieces, interviews, blog posts, interesting links and more. These will all be collected together on the Stylus Tumblr, which is the main outlet for this new iLab project.

The series debut, Seeing and Illustrating Music, features “A Brief History of the Waveform,” a 12-minute non-narrated piece that provides a foundation for the rest of the month. The Stylus team has also published a visual history of the waveform to accompany the piece, an extended interview with one of the experts from the piece, and an explainer on what sound is. They hope you’ll follow along, as they release new content every day.

The WBUR iLab is the center for innovation, imagination and ideas at WBUR — a place for experimentation with sight and sound. Explore what we’re working on in the iLab, and let us know what you think. Major funding for the WBUR iLab is provided by Biogen IDEC, committed to science and innovation since 1978.


WBUR Poll: Coakley Has Early Advantage in Governor’s Race

Attorney General Martha Coakley greets patrons at Morin's Diner, in Attleboro, Mass., on Sept. 16, 2013, the day she officially launched her campaign for governor. (Steven Senne/AP)

Attorney General Martha Coakley greets patrons at Morin’s Diner, in Attleboro, Mass., on Sept. 16, 2013, the day she officially launched her campaign for governor. (Steven Senne/AP)

A new WBUR Poll finds Massachusetts gubernatorial hopeful, Democrat Martha Coakley, enjoying an early 39-29 lead over Republican front-runner Charlie Baker. She is the only Democrat leading Baker in the crowded 2014 field, according to a survey of 504 registered voters, conducted by the non-partisan The MassINC Polling Group for WBUR from January 16-19. The remaining Democratic candidates for governor in the 2014 Massachusetts general election trail Baker between 10 and 23 points.

Coakley ranked as the best known candidate at this early stage, and the best liked. She garnered broad favorables and high name recognition, with 53% of the survey participants holding a favorable view of her, compared to 28% unfavorable. Voters are also starting to see Baker favorably, after he disappeared from voters’ minds for several years after his last run. Of the survey respondents, 32% expressed a favorable view of Baker compared to only 14% with an unfavorable view.

“For both Baker and Coakley, their early numbers look good,” said Steve Koczela, president, The MassINC Polling Group. “The question is, as voters tune in and pay closer attention, will they like these candidates’ new messages or will they remember what they didn’t like about them the last time around?”

Both Coakley (2010 Senate) and Baker (2010 Governor) have previously been their party’s nominee for statewide office. Among the other candidates, Democrat Steve Grossman garnered a 22% favorable viewpoint, while all others declared in the race at this point, appear to have barely dented the public consciousness.

According to Koczela’s analysis, Coakley’s lead is built on strong support from women voters, particularly those over age 50. Women have played a pivotal role in recent statewide elections, swinging against Martha Coakley in her matchup with Scott Brown in the 2010 election for US Senate. Overall, the poll shows Coakley with a 17-point edge over Baker among women, far better than her 3-point margin among women in 2010.

“With other Democratic contenders waiting in the wings, the pressure is higher on Martha Coakley to maintain her strong favorables to keep her supporters from looking around for other candidates,” said Koczela.

The poll also explored opinions surrounding approval and performance ratings for current Governor Deval Patrick and the proposed casino developments in the state. For the complete WBUR Poll, including topline findings and crosstab results, see the WBUR story page. 

About the WBUR Poll: Results are based on a survey of 504 likely voters in the 2014 general election in Massachusetts. The poll was conducted January 16-19, 2014. Live telephone interviews were conducted via both landline and cell phone, using conventional registration-based sampling procedures. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 4.4 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence. The poll was sponsored by WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station and conducted by MassINC Polling Group.

Download The New WBUR iPhone App

We know listening to WBUR is important to you, no matter where you are—in your car or kitchen, on your laptop, tablet or phone. That’s why WBUR has completely redesigned our iPhone app, now available for free here or from the App Store.

Updated WBUR iPhone AppThe new WBUR app has a refreshed, streamlined design and simple navigation that allows for quicker access to content.

“We listened to user feedback and reviewed data about how best to improve our old iPhone app and created an entirely new version,” said John Davidow, executive editor, who oversees all digital projects. “This newly engineered app puts WBUR at your fingertips with a design that enhances your listening experience. It also makes it easy to quickly get the latest news headlines and share stories with friends.”

WBUR’s investment in this app demonstrates the station’s commitment to digital distribution of its content as more listeners use online streaming and on-demand podcasts to consume WBUR and NPR’s stories and programs. The app’s audio player has been updated to improve listening to live streams, with greater consistency and stability. The new WBUR app uses the most reliable stream delivery format for iOS today.

Given its live and on demand listening capabilities, the new WBUR app is the most convenient way to stream WBUR on any of your iOS devices.

“WBUR has one foot firmly rooted in the present values of public radio, and the other in the future of digital media,” said WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz. “As we face this radically transforming landscape, WBUR remains committed to our digital audience on the web, on phones and tablets, and in connected cars.”

The Animalist Launches On WBUR

The Animalist, a new multimedia vertical on, covers all animal issues — those in the wild and the ones closer to home, with an emphasis on the connection between humans and other animals.

The Animalist

Reporter Vicki Croke has been covering pets and wildlife for more than two decades, in newspapers, books and magazines, and on TV. She has tracked fossa in Madagascar, polar bears in the Arctic Circle, and Tasmanian devils in, of course, Tasmania.

Producer Christen Goguen is an award-winning graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, focusing on videography and graphic design. Her passion is natural history, and she has collaborated on a number of animal segments airing on television.

Vicki Croke and Christen Goguen.

Vicki Croke and Christen Goguen.

Together with WBUR producer George Hicks, they won a 2013 Edward R. Murrow Award for their piece about “toys for elephants,” which aired on WBUR and was one of’s most popular posts for the year. It’s a fine example of what you’ll be seeing — and hearing — on The Animalist, at, which kicks off with a post about the tiny saw-whet owl and its remarkable migration.

On Twitter, follow @TheAnimalist.

Chris Lydon’s “Open Source” Debuts


Chris Lydon’s return to radio begins Thursday, January, 2 with a program about an elementary school in Brighton, Mass. where every child makes music for three and a half hours a day. The driving idea, spreading worldwide from Venezuela, is that every child wants to play an instrument and can. There’s another way to teach music and maybe a new way to organize a school.

Open Source with Christopher Lydon will be live on 90.9 WBUR and livestreamed on Thursday nights at 9 p.m., rebroadcast at 2 p.m. on Sundays. The website,, will have additional podcasts and prose and ways for you to be part of the project.

If there’s a theme or premise to the new show, it’s that Boston has become (dare we say?) a Hub of the Universe, a radiant center of research and writing and strong gab around ideas that touch the world. Read more about the direction of the show from our announcement on the Open Source website.

We’re on the lookout for flights of fancy, fresh interests, people and questions of all kinds and unconventional takes on what we’re all going through in 2014.

We hope you’ll tune in and be part of the conversation, helping us stretch the spectrum of things we should be talking about. If you have questions or ideas, please feel to reach out to us at

– Mary McGrath, producer, Open Source 

Shannon Dooling Joins WBUR as Morning Edition Field Producer

We are happy to announce that Shannon Dooling has joined WBUR as Morning Edition Field Producer.  She has worked at WBUR over the last 18 months as a freelance producer first at Radio Boston and recently in the newsroom working on Morning Edition.  She is a talented producer and skilled multimedia journalist.

A New Hampshire native, Shannon lives in the seacoast town of Hampton, NH.  She graduated summa cum laude from University of Massachusetts and earned her Master of Journalism degree from the University of British Columbia.  She was a Communications Officer for Citizens Energy and then Director of Resource Development at the United Way of the Greater Seacoast.  Shannon has worked on health care and education projects in the Dominican Republic and in Haiti.  She comes to WBUR with experience in public media, having freelanced as a reporter and producer for New Hampshire Public Radio.

WBUR to Create Ground-Breaking New Listening Experience with NPR

WBUR is joining forces with NPR and five other public radio stations across the country in a collaborative venture to build the most cohesive listening experience that exists for news, arts and culture, transforming public radio for the next generation.

Simulation of WBUR app on an iPhone

The new mobile app will combine on-demand local and national content from NPR, WBUR and member stations.

This collaborative project is being funded locally by WBUR which has committed to raise $400,000 in a matching grant program with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“This is another example of WBUR deepening its relationship with NPR, following closely on the heels of our partnership to expand WBUR’s Here & Now to two hours in collaboration with NPR.  We’re proud that Here & Now is carried on 372 stations nationwide as public radio’s midday news magazine program,” said Charlie Kravetz, general manager of WBUR.  “This new, ground-breaking mobile project demonstrates our shared commitment to reach listeners where they are today … and where they will be tomorrow, with the best spoken-word audio experience anywhere.”

As Boston’s NPR New Station, WBUR continues to work closely with NPR on other important public radio programs including On Point with Tom Ashbrook and Only A Game with Bill Littlefield which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

The station is well underway in its fundraising effort, already having raised more than $100,000. Among the donors in the Greater Boston area who have pledged financial support to this ambitious new listening project are Arthur and Judy Obermayer; Bob and Liz Pozen; and Bruce Hauben.

WBUR produces more news and programming content than any other member station in the country, making it a natural partner for a project that showcases mobile content.

According to eMarketer, 53% of the U.S. population uses internet radio today, and the Pew Research Center reports 50% of Americans cite the internet as a main news source. In light of these trends, WBUR has invested several million dollars in the WBUR iLab (major funding support from Biogen Idec), its innovation unit charged with exploring the transformation of the station from a radio-only to multiplatform news and information station, reaching listeners on-air, online and in-person. Recent iLab projects include a full-length ebook, Bulger on Trial, and a new series, Kind World. Other digital-first WBUR initiatives have included the development of popular online verticals at CommonHealth, Cognoscenti and The ARTery.

The new venture with NPR will further the station’s commitment to digital distribution of its content as more listeners use online streaming and on-demand podcasts to consume WBUR and NPR’s stories and programs.  The new listening project intends to combine local news from WBUR with national and international news from NPR, in addition to programs and segments from other public radio producers.

WBUR reaches 500,000 listeners in the Boston market and more than three million listeners nationally each week.  The station is home to the largest radio newsroom in New England.

Jolicoeur Wins Health Coverage Fellowship

jolicoeur_lynn_square-130x130WBUR producer Lynn Jolicoeur has received a 2014 Health Coverage Fellowship from  The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, one of just 12 awarded to medical journalists nationwide.

The Health Coverage Fellowship is designed to help the media improve its coverage of critical health care issues. The program will run for nine days, beginning April 25, at Babson College’s Center for Executive Education in Wellesley, Mass. It will focus on a series of pressing medical issues, from implementing health care reform to curbing costs, addressing mental illness, and redressing public health threats.

Lynn Jolicoeur is the field producer for WBUR’s All Things Considered. Before joining WBUR, she worked as a television news reporter and anchor for 18 yearsLynn has won numerous journalism awards, including a Boston/New England regional Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in News Reporting. She earned a journalism degree from Boston University.

Host Chris Lydon Returns to WBUR

WBUR announced today that Christopher Lydon, former host of the station’s program The Connection from 1994-2001, will return to WBUR in January 2014. WBUR will launch a new weekly, hour-long program titled Open Source with Christopher Lydon. It will air Thursdays from 9 p.m. – 10 p.m. in Boston, live on 90.9 FM and streaming at, with an encore broadcast over the weekend.

“We’re thrilled to bring Chris back to WBUR. He’s a unique voice and captivating host who manages to be both highly accessible and highly intellectual,” said Charlie Kravetz, WBUR general manager. “Chris also has a keen understanding of the digital space and is an innovator in his own right, pioneering the creation of the nation’s first real podcasting effort through his Open Source website. We know Chris is going to be a great addition to our on-air and online platforms.”

Christopher Lydon

Christopher Lydon

Lydon will be teamed with his long-time Connection senior producer Mary McGrath to create the new program for WBUR. Most recently, they were collaborators on Radio Open Source, a weekly podcast about the arts, ideas and politics at

“We’re bringing Open Source back to our first radio home, WBUR in Boston,” said Lydon. “Drawing on our roots in Boston and our interest in the wider world, we’ll be re-launching radio and online conversation as challenging, as engaging, as various, as irresistible as we can make it.”

The new program’s goal is to explore Boston on its several cutting edges—from brain sciences and poetry to strategic studies and music—all of them outward looking and inextricably linked to the wider world.  Open Source will be drawing on online communities before and after the broadcast to help shape and deepen the public conversation.

Open Source with Christopher Lydon will join the exceptional collection of radio and online content produced by WBUR, including On Point with Tom Ashbrook; the newly expanded, two-hour Here & Now, reaching 367 NPR stations across the country; Only A Game, public radio’s only sports program; Radio Boston, WBUR’s daily exploration of politics, issues, arts and culture in the region; and digital-first content, including, Cognoscenti, The ARTery and the CommonHealth blog.

“In a mobile, digitized world, New England remains vital as an American capital of ideas, teaching, learning and research,” said Lydon. “Our goal, drawing on the almighty human voice and the many extensions of modern media, is to make radio talk as bracing and smart as this Global City we’re living in.”

In addition, the Radio Open Source website will be central to the new WBUR project. Expanding its platform from its current state, the site will produce and offer more podcasts, which will be shared through WBUR’s website at

Before hosting The Connection on WBUR, Lydon covered national politics from Washington for The New York Times and hosted the Ten O’Clock News on WGBH-TV in Boston.  McGrath began her journey in broadcast and online journalism as a science producer at The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.

For more details, see the post from Chris on the Radio Open Source website.

WBUR Releases First E-Book: “Bulger on Trial”

“Best reporting on #Bulger for my money is David Boeri of @WBUR – The only ‘big picture’ perspective seeking TRUTH re Gov’t collusion.” @MickPaddyMack – Michael Patrick MacDonald, Author, All Souls: A Family Story from Southie via Twitter

1112_bulgerAs convicted criminal James “Whitey” Bulger faces sentencing in federal court this week, WBUR Senior Reporter David Boeri challenges the notion that the trial was a success. Bulger On Trial: Boston’s Most Notorious Gangster and the Pursuit of Justice is the new, full-length e-book being released today by WBUR through its iLab, an in-house unit fostering innovative content projects. The e-book is free, and available for download on Kindle, iPad and other devices.

Bulger On Trial: Boston’s Most Notorious Gangster and the Pursuit of Justice is the first book to explore last summer’s trial indepth, and it comes from the perspective of a reporter who’s investigated the story for decades.  An excerpt from Boeri’s introduction:

…What makes Whitey Bulger important, and different, is not so much what he did, but what the government did for him. Among the dramatis personae, a cast of hundreds in one of the longest sagas in local history, none loom so large as the FBI and its parent, the Department of Justice. If the FBI had not made Whitey its favorite mobster, broken the rules and rigged the game to his benefit, Bulger would never have reached as high as he did. More likely, he would have become another small-time casualty of gang warfare fought in the streets of South Boston.

The e-book is a spinoff of WBUR’s Bulger On Trial website, launched in June 2013 to serve as the definitive digital guide to Bulger as his long-anticipated trial began in Boston. It was reported by Boeri and produced by WBUR’s senior innovation producer Lisa Tobin, who spearheads all iLab projects. The website combines historical context, perspective and never-before-seen photos, videos and documents (personally collected and stored by Boeri for years in a converted hayloft in his barn) with minute-by-minute coverage and analysis from the courthouse.

The e-book weaves all of this rich content together into a compelling narrative exploration of Bulger, his victims, his accomplices and the trial. In the end, Boeri finds that justice was lacking because the government agencies that enabled Bulger’s ascent to power were not taken to task and held accountable.

“Bulger’s conviction was assured from the start,” says Boeri. “But the trial failed to provide an open trial in which the public could see the relationship between Bulger, the gangster, and those in government—the FBI and the Department of Justice—who had enabled, empowered and emboldened him. The prosecutors fought against the release of information at every turn. They narrowly focused on Bulger and kept the trial away from questions of who made Bulger what he became and how. In the end, the prosecutors defended the institutions and their secrets, while trying to prosecute Bulger. By doing so, they tried to serve two masters…and ended up angering both the jurors and the families of Bulger’s victims.  Though they won convictions on almost every count, at the heart of their case, they failed to prove to the jury that Bulger had committed eight of 19 murders he was accused of committing.”

Bulger On Trial: Boston’s Most Notorious Gangster and the Pursuit of Justice marks the first time that WBUR and its iLab have released an e-book. The WBUR  iLab, created in 2012, serves as an in-house incubator for the creation of original programming and new content at WBUR. Explore all projects from the WBUR iLab online at


Contact Us
Phone: (617) 353 0909
890 Commonwealth Avenue
3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02215
Radio Frequencies
90.9 FM, WBUR Boston
90.3 FM, WCCT Harwich
Explore WBUR
Browse our staff directory and put a face to the names you hear on air every day.
WBUR FM broadcasts several original programs from our studios in Boston.
Highlights and history of WBUR through the years.
WBUR, a department of Boston University and an NPR member station, is a fast-paced public radio station offering an exciting and creative work environment. Browse our staff directory or internships
Community and business leaders dedicated to supporting and advancing the mission of WBUR and its affiliated stations.
WBUR programs and journalists have won hundreds of awards for reporting, features and news series, documentaries, investigative reports and digital innovation.

Documents and information related to WBUR’s governance and finances.