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Charles Laquidara: CBS Radio destroyed WBCN

Posted by Michael Saunders  August 13, 2009 10:16 PM

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"Their bottom line is the bottom line.''

That's longtime WBCN DJ Charles Laquidara, halfway around the world, talking about the ownership that engineered the Rock of Boston's sign-off early Wednesday and replacement by pop radio Mix 104.

On a rainy day in Maui, where Laquidara now lives, he told vacationing Globe reporter Emily Sweeney that destroying radio stations is the business of CBS Radio, the last ownership of 41-year-old 'BCN. Laquidara worked nearly 25 years there.

Fans of "The Big Mattress" and Duane Glasscock will be happy to know that Laquidara will be back in the Hub next month to be inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

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27 comments so far...
  1. Class Act, glad he retired when he did. He summed it up. CBS ruined BCN, BCN isnt the first station ruined by CBS nor will it be the last. As Greg Hughes from Opie and Anthony said on his last day at KROCK in NYC. " YOur mom's box"

    Posted by Anthony Cumina August 13, 09 03:33 PM
  1. Wow, what a riveting interview.

    Posted by Hugo August 13, 09 03:37 PM
  1. Yep

    As Tom Petty says "...the last DJ".

    Posted by Steve L. August 13, 09 03:39 PM
  1. Go Emily!

    Posted by TimberJim August 13, 09 03:40 PM
  1. File under Tom Petty's "The Last Dj"

    Posted by Ric O August 13, 09 04:05 PM
  1. um, ok. Like I offered up earlier today - it was great to relieve the memories. The WBCN that we all loved most died 15 years ago (for me it was like 20). It was unique because the music was good - at least to us. But unlike just about any station on the air today, the DJs were all smart, charismatic, entertaining. That's what made it unique.

    I've heard people say that the last 4 days of BCN music were better than whats was played over the past 15 years. I believe that. But it was BCN's persona that made it truly stand out.

    Indie radio, what's that? Maybe WBCN was indie radio for a month. The name of the game in commercial radio, just like any business, is money - advertising revenue, music promotion. Sorry to burst your bubble

    I LOVED THIS STATION WHEN IT WAS IN ITS PRIME...but I hope the Globe is not going to write about it ad nauseum, invite us to process it all over again in these blogs until we can't stand it any more. I feel like the topic been beaten to death. Enough already Please leave us with our memories, and let's move on

    Posted by ava August 13, 09 04:08 PM
  1. Hi's Richard Hurtz from Holden

    Posted by Dick Hurtz August 13, 09 04:30 PM
  1. Chuccchhhhh!

    Come back!

    Posted by Peter August 13, 09 04:45 PM
  1. Man, he got about as far away from the Commonwealth as he could.

    Posted by biscuits August 13, 09 04:51 PM
  1. Sam Kopper, who was one of WBCN's first DJs when it started in the late 60's, is still going strong. Give a listen to his show called "Sam's Jams" on WATD in MarshVegas.
    He still has that same underground radio philosophy - if it sounds good, play it. No corporate playlists developed from focus groups. Sam mixes it up - the old and the new, the familiar and the obscure.

    Posted by MuddyWaters August 13, 09 05:01 PM
  1. CBS...corporate bastards.

    Posted by Nobbielab August 13, 09 05:36 PM
  1. I think MTV killed radio stations. They managed to coincide for a while but then MTV took their thunder. Fans could get all they wanted from MTV and the music was being shaped by it.

    Posted by Duane Glasscock August 13, 09 05:45 PM
  1. How old is Emily? Does she know Chuck or Duane? I don't think so. I think CBS sent her to Hawaii for a vacation. I remember a time in 1968 0r 69...I was sitting outside, doing a nickle bag, tired of Dave Maynard and whatever 680 AM was in those days. I heard Chuck on my RCA FM radio, and said Holy Shi..... (not sure which expletive I should use now)...that's what I thnk too!!! I told all my friends that BZ and RKO had died and that BCN ruled. (Actually, in those days I believe I said that BCN was f...ckin' far out!!!! I went back to school in Wisconsin and searched for staitons like BCN. I'm out of space...but BCN, Chuck and Duane RULE!!!!!

    Posted by Teddy Ballgame August 13, 09 07:01 PM
  1. There just hasn't been that much great new music out there, or at least WBCN hasn't been helping to cultivate it and bring it to the audience. Further, people who are totally into music have their own IPODs...

    Our musicians today are like our politicians, we take a pretty face from the Mickey Mouse Club and we give them music written by someone else just like we get a politican who can give a good speech and just tell him to read from the teleprompter.

    Posted by john p August 13, 09 07:11 PM
  1. What a piss poor interview this was. Good god.

    Posted by Ensoul August 13, 09 10:20 PM
  1. This is journalism at it's best! This is a must watch video.

    Posted by Ilovepeanutbutter August 13, 09 11:22 PM
  1. Massachusetts has a Broadcasting Hall of Fame?
    Charles is just getting in NOW? What took them so long?

    Posted by Viva Rangoon! August 14, 09 01:10 AM
  1. BCN sucked. I remember when Iggy Pop showed up in the studio and all Laquidara did was hit him with one question about David Bowie after another. After the fourth go-round, Iggy expressed he's had it with the Bowie questions!! (in that, oh, Iggy Pop sort of way) Duhh, uncomfortable D.J. butt-shifting - we didn't do our homework and we're acting like the over-the-hill fat baby boomers that we are but we're BCN so, uh, wh-a-t-ev-a-ah. Then D.J. had a tough time asking Iggy a real question, because, clearly, he had no clue.

    Posted by waxwing August 14, 09 02:06 AM
  1. Video Rendered the Radio Star Unmarketable

    Posted by Just Sayin' August 14, 09 02:48 AM
  1. Chucka...Laqua...Dara!!!
    of Mahgnimarf (That's Framingham spelled backwards.)

    Posted by CygnusX1 August 14, 09 08:39 AM
  1. I've been in radio since 1963, and in Boston radio since 1980. When I moved here nearly 3 decades ago, friends from Washington DC to Houston TX exclaimed to me how wonderful the Boston radio market was, and WBCN was the flagship reason they offered. When I came to town, I was not disappointed. WBCN lived up to the fanfare I had received from folks half-way across the country from Beantown. WBCN's last ten years' slide into becoming a trivial footnote in Boston is sad. Trouble like this comes from the top down.

    Posted by Grady Moates, Owner, LOUD & Clean Broadcast Science August 14, 09 10:59 AM
  1. The same can be said of KOME-FM, San Jose CA. Destroyed by CBS and its management in 1998.

    Posted by Rivergoat August 14, 09 02:02 PM
  1. sorry Chahlie, the times they are achangin - and didn't you get yours?

    Posted by cantstandya August 14, 09 09:20 PM
  1. Let this be a lesson. Trying to appeal to the masses by playing pablum and oldies is not the way to make money. Being innovative and original, with a dedicated niche audience, is how you survive. When BCN thrived, it did so by locating and playing local talent, underground releases, cutting edge stuff that was not available anywhere else. BCN was NEEDED. Over the past 15 years, it became a commodity. It played oldies and top 100 releases. I can find that anywhere. I didn't NEED BCN anymore. CBS corporate philosophy killed BCN, but it was its staff and management that acquiesed. A pox on all houses.

    Posted by atteckus August 14, 09 09:29 PM
  1. Hi Chuck, it's Richard Cranium from CBS Radio. you had no right to make those comments!

    Posted by Richard Cranium August 15, 09 10:18 PM
  1. BCN was the balls you had the chuckster followed by ken Shelton an then Mark Parentaue talk about a triple crown remember wooba gooba wit the greenteeth? how bout national lampoons radiodinner growin up in beantown listening to this gem shaped my warped and twisted existence THANK YOU CHARLES THANK YOU BCN YOU WERE THE ROCK OF BOSTON !!!!!

    Posted by Joe Morris August 21, 09 03:41 PM
  1. Charles,Mark,Ken,Bradley,Albert,Sherman,Carter,Billy,Tom,Chachi,And all of the other core talent of the station without a doubt made notable Rock & Roll history!!

    BCN will always have a warm place in the hearts of Bostonians for the 1980s era.

    Posted by Jack September 29, 09 06:35 PM

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