Celebrating a 20-Year Career at WROR-FM, Morning Show Producer Brian Bell Is Still Having Fun
August 31, 2015
By: Kathy Chang
When Brian Bell began his radio-broadcasting career, he was before his time. “It was 1995—there were no websites. The Internet was this new thing,” he recalled about the start of his career.
Bell, 41, is producer of the Loren & Wally morning show on Greater Media Boston’s 105.7 WROR-FM. Loren & Wally wake up Boston listeners weekdays with such local fan favorites as “Men from Maine,” “Tom’s Townie Tunes” and “Wallyology Reports.”
“I had registered the Loren and Wally website before the radio station even knew what websites were,” he said. “I was a techno nerd and so into [the new phenomenon] of the Internet.”
In a 20-year span, Bell said it is amazing to look at his role as a producer for a morning radio show and how it has evolved and changed. “It is a lot more work now,” he said jokingly.
“Back in my day, when the morning show was done, it was done. Unless if you had an appearance later on, you could be at the bar by 11:30 a.m.” Bell said now after the show, the day is filled with making sure podcasts of the show are posted online for those listeners who missed the morning show that day, tweeting and posting Facebook items, such as what Wally ate for lunch that day, and using Periscope live video streaming.“It’s constant, never ending,” he said.
But all kidding aside, Bell said he would not change a thing. It’s fun and never boring,” he said, adding that every single day is a new experience.
Over the 20 years with the Greater Media station, Bell said there have been many highlights, including holding shows in London and Walt Disney World and interviewing people like astronaut Buzz Aldrin (the second person to walk on the moon in 1969), various comedians and presidential candidates. Bell said the morning show became friendly with former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who passed away October 30, 2014.
“We called city hall one time on a big promotion, not thinking we would get him on the phone,” he recalled. “Within two seconds he was on the phone with us … he was a great guy,” Bell said.
Bell said not only has he had a great 20 years in a fun job, the radio station is where he met Caitlin, his wife of nine years, who came on the show to explain her nonprofit organization, and also where he adopted a boxer, Mazie, 12 years ago when the show was featuring a pet of the month with an animal rescue group.
A typical day for Bell includes a 2:30 a.m. wakeup call, and he is at the studio by 4 a.m.
The morning show airs from 5:30 to 10 a.m. “After the show, we either do additional recordings, answer emails, set up guests, and/or deal with sales,” he said.
Bell said the good thing about the unconventional schedule is he is able to pick up his two young children—son Samuel Joseph and daughter Laila.
He said he has learned so much from the creative-minded people he works with, including the morning show hosts, Loren Owens and Wally Brine, who have been on the air for some 34 years.
“I am having a great time; if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have stuck around,” said Bell, whose nickname at the station is “Lungboy.” “I don’t know if I would make it at a real job. I’m pretty lucky. We come in, and part of the job is to think of ways to entertain and make people laugh and really connect with people.”
Bell said radio stations were the real first social mediums before Facebook, Twitter, and others, sharing what was trending and what was happening, including serious matters such as the 9/11 terroristic attacks. “We have a real community of listeners,” he said. “We are an important part of their routines, and that is really cool and makes us really proud. Radio is the last free entertainment around.”