The latest announcements and updates from WBUR

WBUR, On Assignment In El Salvador

Coming up this week on Morning Edition we’ll be featuring stories from “Beyond the Border,” a WBUR special series which sent reporters David Boeri and Shannon Dooling on assignment in El Salvador. The first piece airs on Tuesday.

Here’s WBUR Senior Reporter David Boeri on gang violence in El Salvador and the causes that lead many young Salvadorans to attempt the dangerous journey to the United States.

Dear Sugar, I know patience is a virtue….but I’m waiting for you. When will we be reunited?

Soon, sweet pea! Yes, it’s true: the universe has good news for the lost, lonely and heartsick. Dear Sugar is back, but this time speaking directly into your ears.

Fans of Dear Sugar know that it began as an advice column on the literary website TheRumpus, where it developed a cult following. Now, WBUR has collaborated with the original “Sugars,” Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, to bring Sugar to you as a podcast.

The first episode debuts Monday, Dec. 15. For now, to tide you over, WBUR is sharing this exclusive excerpt, in which the Sugars explain what it is that draws them to giving advice.

Steve Brown, Midday News Anchor

Ever wondered what it’s like to produce the newscast at the top of the hour? Here’s WBUR’s midday news anchor Steve Brown talking about his work, and the team of news producers who support him on-air.

“We’ve got a strong team in the newscast unit,” says Steve, “and that make my job easy.”

WBUR and The MassINC Polling Group Renew Partnership for 2015

WBUR & The MassINC partnership produced the most accurate polling of the 2014 Massachusetts elections

On the heels of a successful 2014 election cycle, WBUR and The MassINC Polling Group (MPG) announced today the renewal of their polling relationship through 2015. The move continues the partnership that produced the most accurate polling of last month’s Massachusetts governor and U.S. Senate races, as well as pioneering, data-driven analysis of state politics.

“We were thrilled that our WBUR Tracking Poll ended up being right on target in the most important races in last month’s election,” said Charlie Kravetz, General Manager of WBUR. “We felt it was important to give the public a reliable touchstone in the midst of the spin and noise of election season, and the WBUR Tracking Poll did just that.”

The final Tracking Poll, which ran weekly from Labor Day until Election Day, had Republican Charlie Baker defeating Martha Coakley by a single percentage point, a tighter margin than other media pollsters predicted. Baker ended up winning 48 percent to 47 percent. The poll also showed incumbent U.S. Senator Ed Markey defeating his Republican challenger by 25 points; Markey won by 24 points.

0915_pollvault-house-adIn addition to the weekly Tracking Poll, MPG and WBUR also collaborated on Poll Vault, a groundbreaking, data-driven exploration of Massachusetts politics. Using the trail of data generated by Massachusetts elections and politics, Poll Vault covered the quantitative aspects of the campaign with clarity and precision. Poll Vault’s interactive maps and leading-edge graphics make it the go-to resource for those looking for the numbers behind the state’s political stories.

“This was something entirely new,” said MPG founder and President Steve Koczela. “The national playing field is crowded, but there is very little in terms of local and state level journalism that treats political data seriously.”

With no statewide elections in 2015, the partnership will focus on issues and policy, an area where MPG has significant experience, releasing more issues polling to the public than any pollster in Massachusetts in recent years. MPG will also continue to contribute data-driven analysis of polling and politics throughout the year, on and on the airwaves.

“We’ve had years of elections in Massachusetts, and now we’re going to have a chance to focus on the new administration and governing the state,” said Kravetz. “We think the polling and analysis that this partnership will continue to produce fits perfectly with what WBUR does best, which is providing depth and context to the news.”

The partnership will also move beyond the borders of Massachusetts, with polls covering other state-level races and national politics. The details of this component of the partnership will depend on where WBUR polling could be particularly timely and impactful.


You May Have Noticed ‘Morning Edition’ Has Changed — Here’s Why

A note by Sam Fleming, WBUR’s director of news and programming:

If you’ve been a longtime listener of Morning Edition on WBUR, you may notice a few changes this week. After more than 25 years of broadcasting Morning Edition, NPR has decided to change its “clock” — its hourly road map for how the program is produced.

Those changes include how WBUR stories and newscasts about Boston and the region intersperse with national and international news coming from NPR.

The new clock reflects changes in listener habits and consumption, taking into account the fact that those tuning in to Morning Edition may now listen to WBUR not just on a radio but also at other times on a smartphone, tablet or computer.

One noticeable change in the new NPR clock: National news headlines from NPR will be heard more frequently. There will be the traditional national and local newscast headlines at the start of each hour, followed per usual by the most important long-form stories of the day. Headlines will be broadcast again briefly at 20 minutes past each hour and for a third time at 40 minutes past the hour. A second set of ‘BUR headlines focused on the region can be heard in the middle of each hour at 5:30 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

Many of us have busier lives these days and are tuning in and out of Morning Edition several times during the course of most mornings. The new NPR clock tries to accommodate that pattern while still providing the deep long-form stories, conversations and features NPR and ‘BUR are known for — the great narrative stories that can keep us in our cars even after we’ve arrived at work.

The changes took effect Monday, Nov. 17. For those curious, here’s the new clock:

New Morning Edition clock

A Message From WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz

WBUR is deeply saddened by the news that our colleague Tom Ashbrook’s wife, Danielle Guichard-Ashbrook, has died of cancer. Our condolences go out to Tom and his family, who have been by Danielle’s side throughout her long illness.

Tom and Danielle were high school sweethearts from Illinois, lived in India, Tokyo and Hong Kong; they settled and raised their family in Newton, Mass. Danielle was an associate dean at MIT, serving as director of the International Students Office. She is survived by Tom, their three children and one granddaughter.

Tom will be taking some time off from hosting On Point to be with his family. Those who wish to send a message to Tom and the Ashbrook family may do so using the email address:

Here’s Tom’s earlier note about his leave from On Point.

WBUR Mourns Tom Magliozzi of ‘Car Talk’

WBUR is saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague, Tom Magliozzi, co-host of Car Talk.

No one could have imagined, when two native Cambridge guys came into the WBUR studios in 1977 and started taking listeners’ calls about cars, that they would change public radio forever. But in fact that is exactly what happened.

“Genius comes in many forms, and we know that Tom’s came in the form of laughter,” said WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz. “Everyone who loves Car Talk starts with the same question, ‘Which one has the laugh?’ – that was Tommy. He was the definition of self-deprecation as he made fun of everyone, but first and foremost himself. He was smart and wise and funny: an unbeatable combination.”

“Is Car Talk about cars, or is it about life, love, relationships, families and everything in between?” said Sam Fleming, managing director of news and programming. “The simple answer is: yes.”

Every weekend, Tom and Ray Magliozzi, also known as Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, have shared the stories of our lives—and helped us understand that those stories are universal. And of course, Click and Clack have made us laugh a lot.

It all began when WBUR invited six local mechanics to come in and take listeners’ questions about cars. Only one showed up: Tom Magliozzi. The next week, he came back with his little brother and fellow mechanic, Ray.

For the next 10 years, the brothers did the show locally at WBUR, on a volunteer basis. Slowly, they injected more and more humor and off-topic diversions into their discussions of carburetors and wheel bearings—following their natural curiosity and pushing the limits for what was then a typically decorous public radio station.  “Since we weren’t making any money,” Tom once said, “we figured we might as well have fun.”

The brothers’ unique combination of hilarious, self-deprecating banter and trustworthy advice was picked up by NPR in 1987, and Car Talk soon became the network’s most popular entertainment program ever, reaching audiences of more than four million people a week.  The program has continued to be a top-rated show on NPR stations in syndication, even after the brothers stopped recording new shows in 2012.

“Tom was a genuine original with his unapologetic Boston accent,” said Kravetz. “He was from this place, of this town, and a true believer in ‘our fair city.’ His friends at WBUR will miss him deeply because we were blessed with his presence every week.  It is said that everyone is replaceable. Not Tom Magliozzi.”

WBUR will air a special Car Talk rebroadcast tonight at 9 p.m. on 90.9 FM and live-streaming on This weekend, a memorial tribute Car Talk program will air on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 11 a.m., the program’s familiar slot on WBUR.

Fast Forward: David Carr with Jill Abramson

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WBUR kicks off Fast Forward, a new series looking at what lies ahead in culture and public life, on Monday, Oct. 20 with two of the most-buzzed-about stars in the media universe.

David Carr, media and culture critic for The New York Times will talk one-on-one with his former Times executive editor Jill Abramson in what’s certain to be a riveting conversation. Among other topics, the pair will discuss what Carr describes as the “present future,” when the production and distribution of media is in constant flux, with both good and bad results for all of us.

The evening will be introduced by Jeremy Hobson, co-host of WBUR & NPR’s Here & Now, who will also moderate a closing question-and-answer session with the audience. Questions can be submitted in advance to or on Twitter @LouiseWBUR.

Fast Forward: David Carr with Jill Abramson is presented in partnership with Boston University’s College of Communication, and takes place on Monday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. in the Tsai Performance Center. Carr made his debut this fall as the College of Communication’s Andrew R. Lack Professor.

What will they say?  Join us to find out. Although this event is free, registration is required. Please click here to reserve your seat. And stay tuned for upcoming conversations in the Fast Forward series to be announced.

BROADCAST NOTE: This conversation will be recorded and broadcast on WBUR — Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m.

WBUR Becomes First Public Radio Station in U.S. with Google Glassware

WBUR Glass ScreenshotWBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, is the first public radio station in the country to debut on Google Glass.

“As wearable technology, Glass allows for an audio stream experience while you’re doing something else—walking, biking or otherwise on the move—with voice control and simple tap commands,” said John Davidow, Executive Editor, New Media, WBUR. “That made it the perfect platform for what WBUR does, which is broadcast compelling, smart audio news, information and entertainment programs.”

Built by Brookline, Mass.-based developer Lucas Baran, WBUR’s Glassware allows users to listen to WBUR’s live stream via WiFi and from your smart phone’s internet connection via Bluetooth. Users can go about their daily activities and simultaneously access WBUR’s content at all times via Glass.

“WBUR is committed to exploring radio’s future and where it can go in emerging technologies,” said WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz. “We’re always studying consumer behavior when it comes to how people listen to and enjoy WBUR and NPR content. We wanted to be at the forefront of this emerging arena, planting a firm foothold in wearable devices, where we know consumer interest and technology is headed.”

The debut marks WBUR’s first foray into wearable applications. The station is working to further develop its portfolio of mobile product offerings and was one of six stations that developed the new NPR One audio app that connects listeners to a curated, localized stream of public radio news and stories.

Read the first Glass Explorer review on the Glass Almanac and install the WBUR Glassware from the MyGlass site.

Here & Now in New “Top 10″ Markets: New York, D.C. and Atlanta

The NPR & WBUR Midday Newsmagazine Adds WNYC, WAMU AND WRAS

Here & Now, public radio’s midday newsmagazine from NPR and Boston’s WBUR, announced carriage has been added on three stations in the nation’s “Top 10” markets: WNYC-AM, New York City (begins today); WAMU, Washington, D.C. (as of Aug. 4) and WRAS, Atlanta (as of June 30).

Heading into Fall 2014, Here & Now will be heard in eight of the top 10 U.S. metro markets and reach more than 85 percent of the whole country. Here & Now has tripled its audience since expanding from one to two hours in a ground-breaking partnership between NPR and WBUR, Boston last July. The first-ever national Arbitron ratings showed the Here & Now audience was 3.6 million listeners in Fall 2013, compared to 1.3 million in Fall 2012 (Source: Arbitron/Nielsen National data, P12+ as reported in Act 1).

“We set out just over a year ago to fill the gap for a strong, midday news broadcast in public radio, and we’re thrilled to see that both stations and listeners responded,” said WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz. “It’s a meaningful development in the show’s growth that leading stations like WNYC, WAMU and WRAS are carrying it, and becoming part of the Here & Now network.”

NPR chose to collaborate with Here & Now, which has been produced by WBUR since 1997, to create a bridge in midday, between its signature news magazines, Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Recent NPR research shows that the strategy is working: From June 2013–March 2014, All Things Considered grew twice as much, in both AQH and cume, on Here & Now stations in the top 50 markets, compared to stations not airing Here & Now. (Source: Act 1 based on Nielsen Audio PPM Markets, Top 50, Persons 12+, comparison of June 2013 – March 2013 Percent AQH and Percent cume change during the MF 4p-6p daypart).

“We love the energy and ambition of the new Here & Now,” said WAMU General Manager JJ Yore. “The show is quick to jump on top of the news, which makes it a great lead-in to All Things Considered. And Jeremy and Robin are smart, insightful interviewers. We’re happy to have them as part of the new line-up on WAMU.”

Jeremy Hobson Robin Young

Co-hosts Jeremy Hobson and Robin Young.

The show and its co-hosts, Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson, are the voice of breaking news in the middle of the day for NPR stations nationwide, as even the stations who don’t carry it daily will pick it up live whenever news breaks. Since the NPR partnership, Here & Now has delivered numerous big stories in real time: President Obama announcing actions to improve veteran’s healthcare; the Ebola outbreak; turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri; conflicts in Syria and Iraq; and the missing Malaysian airplane.

In addition to up-to-the-minute news, Here & Now has distinguished itself with a robust Contributors Network of more than 25 public radio stations and news networks across the U.S., ensuring the stories reflect what’s happening in a diverse geographic range of communities. To date, more than 525 stories from the Contributors Network have aired on Here & Now since July 2013.

In the last year, Here & Now has become a media destination for top newsmakers, such as recent guests Governors Rick Snyder of Michigan and Jerry Brown of California; Senators Rand Paul, Tim Kaine and Angus King; NASA Chief Administrator Charles Bolden; Retired Admiral William Fallon, former head of United States Central Command during the Iraq War, and notable names in business and the arts including Melinda Gates, Rob Reiner, Neil deGrasse Tyson and MGMT.


WBUR Debuts Poll Vault, Data-Enhanced Coverage of the 2014 Elections

With primary voting less than a week away, a new WBUR Poll finds Democrat Martha Coakley continues to reign as the frontrunner in the Massachusetts governor’s race. The WBUR Poll shows Coakley with a 24-point advantage over her closet Democratic rival, Steve Grossman (47-23). In a hypothetical matchup for the general election, Coakley leads by 9-points over Republican Charlie Baker (40-31), the heavy favorite in the two-way GOP primary.

Poll VaultThis poll marks the first in a series of weekly tracking polls to be featured on WBUR’s Poll Vault, a blog making its debut today at Poll Vault will provide data-enhanced coverage of the upcoming elections to help voters evaluate the candidates as they seek to determine who will offer the best leadership in state government. The WBUR Poll will be in the field each week, polling on the governor’s race and other key issues in Massachusetts and regional politics. WBUR has commissioned MassINC Polling Group to conduct its polls, and President Steve Koczela will serve as Poll Vault host/lead writer.

In the sprint up to Election Day on Nov. 4, Poll Vault will become a comprehensive news destination for the 2014 elections in Massachusetts, harnessing the power of WBUR’s political coverage all in one place. Poll Vault will feature polling data and analysis — from WBUR as well as other nonpartisan sources — and serve as an online hub, constantly aggregating the station’s local political reporting from hosts and reporters including Bob Oakes, Sacha Pfeiffer, Asma Khalid, Steve Brown, and Fred Thys, among others; plus election features, candidate profiles, special debate coverage and more. Poll Vault will also feature a new podcast from WBUR and the State House News Service examining contested races for the State Legislature, and data-driven political stories from Paul McMorrow of Commonwealth Magazine.

WBUR’s Poll Vault, Setting the Bar Higher for Election News: Explore and learn more about Poll Vault, in partnership with The MassINC Polling Group, and see the latest survey of voters in the general election in the WBUR Poll story, at


WBUR to Host Republican Debate for Governor

On Wednesday, Aug. 13, WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station, will host a debate moderated by Morning Edition Host Bob Oakes between the Republican candidates for Governor of Massachusetts—Charlie Baker and Mark Fisher.


WBUR Host Bob Oakes.

The one-hour debate will take place in the WBUR Studios at 9 a.m. It will be broadcast live on 90.9 FM and live streaming online at The debate will also be re-broadcast at 8 p.m. on Wednesday evening.

Similar to WBUR’s June 18 debate with the Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Oakes will explore a wide range of statewide issues including healthcare, income disparity, gun control, taxes and more. WBUR will be live tweeting the debate beginning at 9 a.m. Follow the conversation online @WBUR.

WBUR & Friends at the Cape Playhouse

Following the success of WBUR’s July live show “StarTalk!” with Bill Nye, The Science Guy, at the Provincetown Town Hall, WBUR has announced another special live production on Cape Cod this summer.

Join Robin Young, co-host of Here & Now on WBUR and NPR, on Sunday, Aug. 24 at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis for WBUR & Friends with actors and comedians Michael Ian Black (“The State,” “Ed,” “You’re Not Doing It Right”), Wyatt Cenac (“The Daily Show,” “King of the Hill,” RadioLoveFest) and musician Lucy Wainwright Roche.


Information and tickets for WBUR & Friends, and all WBUR live event productions, can be found in the Events section of the WBUR website.

WBUR Receives $250,000 Knight Foundation Grant to Create "BizLab"

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced that WBUR will be receiving a $250,000 grant to create “BizLab,” a new business unit that will explore fresh opportunities to generate new membership and revenue sources.

The WBUR BizLab will be dedicated to developing new business models to boost public media’s revenue from digital platforms, finding new markets for content, and developing relationships with the business, education and tech community. WBUR intends to share the results and resources developed with the public radio system.

Charlie Kravetz

WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz.

“I hope this will have an impact on the whole public radio system,” said WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz at the announcement hosted by Greater Public at the 2014 Public Media Development & Marketing Conference in Denver.

The WBUR grant award is part of an initiative by the Knight Foundation to fund three new projects, all aimed at helping public media organizations create new ways to engage with audiences, develop diverse revenue streams and discover new content.

“In order to succeed, public media organizations must respond to new audience demands and discover ways to engage a diverse group of supporters, beyond their traditional following,” said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation vice president of journalism and media innovation.

For the official announcement, please visit The Knight Foundation website and also see the related article in the Current newspaper.


WBUR Presents StarTalk Live! in Provincetown

If you’re going to be near Provincetown on July 23, get ready for a thought-provoking evening of science and fun unlike anything else in the universe! WBUR is proud to present StarTalk Live! in Provincetown, with guest host Bill Nye The Science Guy, co-host Eugene Mirman (from Bob’s Burgers, Delocated, Flight of the Conchords) and special guests: David Gallo of the Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionScott Adsit from NBC’s “30 Rock”; and WBUR’s own Jeremy Hobson, co-host of “Here & Now.”

Bill Nye at his home in Studio City, California.

Bill Nye, The Science Guy.

Science, pop culture and comedy collide on this immensely popular podcast and radio show – and you can see it live! Previous guests on StarTalk Live! have included Buzz Aldrin, Alan Alda, Jason Sudeikis, Kristen Schaal, John Oliver, Jim Gaffigan, Sarah Silverman and more. StarTalk Live! is produced by StarTalk Radio and Pretty Good Friends. Please note, Neil deGrasse Tyson is not traveling with this production.

For tickets, go to WBUR Events. To listen to StarTalk Radio, click here.  StarTalk Live! is co-produced by Pretty Good Friends and StarTalk Radio. 

WBUR Day On Cape Cod

To celebrate our new signals on Cape Cod, 92.7 and 89.1, we are broadcasting Radio Boston live from the Hot Chocolate Sparrow at 5 Old Colony Way in Orleans on Tuesday, July 22.

A young listener celebrates WBUR's new Cape & Islands station, with and 89.1 pop.

A young listener celebrates WBUR’s new Cape & Islands station with an 89.1 pop.

Stop by to watch the show with hosts Anthony Brooks and Meghna Chakrabarti. The musical guest will be Patti Larkin. And keep an eye out for the WBUR Street Team, giving away popsicles by The Local Scoop throughout Orleans from 1-3 p.m. — as well as WBUR frisbees and bumper stickers.

WBUR Poll: Mass. Casinos Have Majority Support

One week after the SJC ruled that it would allow a casino repeal measure on the November ballot, the latest WBUR Poll suggests that proponents of gambling in the state have the edge. Steve Koczela, president of The MassINC Polling Group which was commissioned by WBUR to conduct the poll, noted the following takeaways:

  • The SJC decision appears to have sparked upheaval in the casino numbers. We are seeing the largest margin in favor of casinos we have seen since we started polling (+18). This is in contrast to what seemed to be an uneven trend toward narrowing the gap between yes and no. This is just a snapshot of the immediate aftermath of the decision.
  • This positive sentiment is in favor of some pretty significant headwinds: Just 29 percent say the media coverage has been mostly positive, compared to about half who say it has been negative.
  • On the positive side for casinos, more people are buying into the economic argument than the spike in crime argument. This sentiment is closely aligned with support for casinos in general.
  • The Governor’s race numbers have edged a few points more Democratic in recent weeks. In each match-up, the Democrats are doing a few points better than before. Coakley is still by far the strongest against Baker, and Baker vastly outperforms Fisher on the Republican side. These are still the two candidates to beat.

For the full story, see the article on


WBUR: Associated Press "Station of the Year"

Station of the Year - 2014

Station of the Year – 2014

The Massachusetts/Rhode Island Associated Press (AP) named WBUR as “Station of the Year” for 2014 at its annual Massachusetts/Rhode Island Radio and TV Contest awards ceremony in June.

This prestigious designation was in addition to WBUR’s eight AP Awards, more than any other radio station in New England (Division A) which were announced in April.

The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. It is a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism. With its headquarters in New York, The AP operates in more than 280 locations worldwide, including every statehouse in the U.S.

WBUR Hosts Democratic Debate for Governor

WBUR Host Bob OakesOn Wednesday, June 18, WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station, will host a debate moderated by Morning Edition Host Bob Oakes between the three Democratic candidates for Governor of Massachusetts: Attorney General Martha Coakley; Treasurer Steven Grossman; and Former Obama health care administrator, Dr. Donald Berwick.

The one-hour debate, recorded in the WBUR Studios at 10 a.m., will be broadcast at 7 p.m. on Wednesday evening. The debate will cover a wide range of statewide issues including healthcare, income disparity, gun control, taxes and more. WBUR will be live tweeting the debate beginning at 10 a.m. Follow the conversation online @WBUR.

WBUR: Now available on iTunes Radio

WBUR on iTunes Radio

Thanks to a partnership with NPR and Apple, now you can hear a live stream of WBUR on iTunes radio.

Starting today, there is another way to listen to WBUR wherever you are — on the go, at the office, riding the T for your commute or at home on your laptop: iTunes Radio.

To start listening to WBUR and all the programming you love on iTunes, simply search WBUR inside the iTunes Radio tab — be sure to “add” our station to your personal “My Stations” list for easy future listening, too.

You can click this link to go directly to WBUR on iTunes now. Check it out, and let us know what you think. We’re working hard to continue growing our portfolio of offerings and ways to listen to provide you with the best experience possible.

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