The latest announcements and updates from WBUR

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.

Brain Matters: Reporting from the Front Lines of Neuroscience

On Thursday, June 12, WBUR will debut a special seven-part news series, “Brain Matters: Reporting from the Front Lines of Neuroscience.”

Side view of the brain (Courtesy NIH)

Side view of the brain (Courtesy NIH)

Each week, the “Brain Matters” reports will be featured online at wbur.org with video and audio stories, and radio reports will air every Thursday across three key WBUR programs: Morning Edition (5 – 9 a.m.), Radio Boston (3 – 4 p.m.) and All Things Considered (4 – 6:30 p.m.). Weekly topics will include:

June 12: The Intense Focus on the Brain

June 19: What Happens in the Brain to Cause Dyslexia

June 26: The Impact of Abuse and Neglect on the Developing Brain

July 3: Is Addiction a Brain Disease?

July 10: What Are We Learning about the Brain and Memory?

July 17: Music, Language and the Brain

July 24: Can Brain Science Help Us Be Better People?

Special funding for this series provided by Commonwealth Learning Center and Forum Pharmaceuticals.

FUEL Education Founder Robert J. Hildreth Gives $1 Million to Deepen WBUR Education Coverage

Founder and Executive Director of FUEL Education Robert J. Hildreth has donated $1 million to WBUR for a significant expansion of its news coverage focused on education. This is the largest single gift from an individual in the history of WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station. It also marks the first seven-figure gift toward WBUR’s capital campaign, still in its quiet phase.

This investment in WBUR will both deepen and extend coverage of key issues related to both K-12 and higher education. While WBUR frequently covers education-related news on its programs, such as Here & Now, On Point and Radio Boston — and in its newscasts — this gift will serve as a catalyst to develop a dedicated team of education journalists, including a full-time reporter, producer and multi-media developer, tackling wide-ranging facets under the “education” umbrella. Results from this team will be heard on the radio, special podcasts and online as part of a vertical focused on education-related issues.

“A financial gift of this magnitude is transformative, and will enable WBUR to become the region’s leading destination for news related to education,” said WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz. “Our vision is to broadly tackle the topic, from serious issues to more accessible areas like trends, innovations and debates. Bob’s donation makes this possible and reflects his deep commitment to improving education outcomes on a myriad of levels.”

Hildreth had a broad career in Latin American finance at the IMF, Citibank, Drexel Burnham Lambert, and his own brokering company, International Bank Services, before turning his full attention to active philanthropy. His focus is on education reform in the United States, particularly for low-income populations. Hildreth used his financial background to create a matched savings program which evolved into FUEL Education, a non-profit that provides knowledge, resources and financial incentives for underserved families to send their children to college.

Philanthropist Bob Hildreth (center) with FUEL Education participants, graduating high school senior Temi Ashorobi (left) and her mother, Taiye Ashorobi (right). Hildreth’s $1M grant will support education journalism on WBUR.

FUEL Education coaches low-income parents so they can be a powerful ally in their children’s quest for higher education. Since 2009, FUEL Education has empowered hundreds of parents to become informed consumers of higher education. This month, more than 100 FUEL students will graduate from high schools in Boston, Chelsea and Lynn with college savings accounts. A native of Melrose, Mass., Hildreth is a member of the WBUR Board of Overseers and a longtime supporter of the station. He also serves on the Boston University Board of Trustees and has invested substantially in the Boston University/Chelsea Partnership, a 25-year initiative in the Chelsea Public Schools, which led to the development of a nationally recognized early childhood learning center in Chelsea, Mass. He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and to WBUR’s Cognoscenti, an online ideas and opinion page at wbur.org.

“Thanks to this infusion of funding, we’re envisioning a new kind of education reporting, that doesn’t necessarily rely on school committee meetings and test score outcomes,” said Sam Fleming, WBUR managing director of news and programming. “This coverage will have a voice, great narratives, and focus on real people and real world experiences. Bob’s gift will make it possible to innovate and explore ways to make the stories resonate with our audiences.”

WBUR to Debut Cape Cod’s Newest Radio Station at 89.1 FM on May 23

WBUR, Boston’s NPR® News Station, announced it will begin broadcasting tomorrow on a brand-new radio station at 89.1 FM in Brewster, Mass. The new station, WBUH, will simulcast WBUR’s award-winning news and information programming on a full-power “Class B” 50,000-watt signal, making it the first and only non-commercial Cape station of this magnitude.

“The frequency at 89.1 FM has never been used before on the Cape, so this marks the birth of a truly brand-new station,” said WBUR General Manager Charlie Kravetz. “This signal, enhancing our reach all over the Cape and Islands, is something we’ve hoped to achieve for the last decade, and we’re excited that it is becoming a reality.”

The Sagamore Bridge spans Cape Cod Canal. (Drew Bryden/Flickr)

The Sagamore Bridge spans Cape Cod Canal. (Drew Bryden/Flickr)

WBUH 89.1 FM will provide a strong signal across virtually all of Cape Cod, including the Outer and Lower Cape, complementing WBUR’s existing 3,000-watt signal, 92.7 FM on Martha’s Vineyard, which reaches the Upper and Mid Cape, as well as Massachusetts SouthCoast communities. Both 89.1 and 92.7 are in addition to WBUR’s primary 50,000-watt signal, 90.9 FM, which broadcasts across all of metropolitan Boston and eastern Massachusetts.

The genesis of this brand-new radio station is 10 years in the making. WBUR identified the opportunity for a new public radio frequency on Cape Cod in 2004. At that time, however, the FCC had a freeze in place for Non-Commercial Educational (NCE) applications. In 2007, the FCC opened an NCE filing window and received 13 mutually exclusive applications for an outer Cape Cod station on the previously unused frequency of 89.1. After FCC review, WBUR came in second to Home Improvement Ministries, and HIM was issued a three-year construction permit on April 14, 2011.

By fall 2013, HIM had not yet built a station. Recognizing that the permit would soon expire, WBUR offered to cover the minimal expenses HIM had incurred, and HIM accepted. With the construction permit now in hand, WBUR applied for the license, began building the station from scratch with a new transmitter and secured a rental tower for the signal in Eastham, Mass. The FCC officially granted WBUR the license to operate 89.1 WBUH, Brewster, on March 14, 2014. Like all noncommercial licenses, it was free, and so WBUR’s total expenses for 89.1 are a fraction of the usual costs incurred to create such a powerful station.

“We’re looking forward to introducing WBUR-produced programs, like Here & Now, On Point, Only A Game, Car Talk and Radio Boston – as well as our award-winning journalism which covers all of eastern Massachusetts, including the Cape and Islands — to the Outer and Lower Cape for the first time,” said Sam Fleming, managing director of news and programming, WBUR.

WBUR is the preeminent news and information public radio station in Massachusetts, reaching close to 500,000 listeners each week, and is ranked among the Top 10 public radio stations in America. As the most prolific producer of national programming in public radio, WBUR is the home of Car Talk, On Point, Here & Now and Only A Game. With its extensive newsroom, WBUR produces hourly local newscasts, original reporting and investigative and feature series. In addition, it has a robust – and growing – digital presence at wbur.org. WBUR produces a daily news magazine program, Radio Boston, and carries NPR news programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me.

 

Video: ‘26.2: Beyond The Finish Line’ Live Broadcast

At the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library on April 15, 2014, On Point host Tom Ashbrook led a live evening program looking back over the year since the Boston Marathon bombings with a distinguished group of first responders, writers, scholars and musicians.

Guests included 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 event also featured music from singer/songwriter Patty Larkin, Bill Janovitz founder of Buffalo Tom, musician Amanda Palmer and cellist Ronald Feldman of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra.

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 wbur.org 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 wbur.org and continues all week through race day on Monday, April 21.

<<CLICK HERE TO LISTEN LIVE NOW>>

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.

Conclusion

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 wbur.org 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

SPORTS PROGRAM WBUR, Only A Game

TALK SHOW WBUR, Radio Boston (Marathon Bombing Coverage)

USE OF SOUND WBUR, 8 Rules Of Reporting Breaking News

WEB SITE WBUR, WBUR.org

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+.

 

WBUR POLL FINDS COAKLEY LEADING THE PACK FOR 2014 MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR’S RACE

 ED MARKEY STRONG IN SENATE RACE, SCOTT BROWN’S RECEPTION IS WANING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

 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: http://www.wbur.org/2014/03/20/coakley-leads-governors-race

 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 www.wbur.org.

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 www.wbur.org.

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

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

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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, wbur.org 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 wbur.org, 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 wbur.org’s most popular posts for the year. It’s a fine example of what you’ll be seeing — and hearing — on The Animalist, at theanimalist.wbur.org, which kicks off with a post about the tiny saw-whet owl and its remarkable migration.

On Twitter, follow @TheAnimalist.

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