Blake Lawrence rode The Wave from Tampa Bay to Beantown this week. The former program director at WHVE-FM (102.5) began a similar job at Boston's WCDJ-FM on Monday. Lawrence's hiring was a key element in a total format change for WCDJ, formerly known as WJIB-FM. That adult contemporary station has opted for a jazz playlist after 23-years of playing soft, "beautiful music."
For four years, Lawrence has programed WHVE's mellow, moody mix of music. He also hosted the new-age program Soundscapes on Sunday evenings. Before that tenure, Lawrence worked at WKRL-FM (now WXTB) when it was a classic rock station.
WHVE executives are taking applications for Lawrence's vacated program director position. A replacement should be named within a few weeks.
Boston listeners may wind up with a Wave current similar to WHVE. Lawrence was still uncertain about WCDJ's strategy before he left WHVE last weekend.
"I don't know if it will be exactly the same," Lawrence said. "We still have to see which way we're going to lean. It will be smooth jazz, but we're pushing for a feeling, more than the music."
Lawrence can be expected to pursue the same public exposure for WCDJ as he did and WHVE's staff did for The Wave. That will be especially important in Boston, where jazz programing is limited and has not shown much Arbitron success in the past.
"It's a great opportunity and I'm looking forward to the challenge," Lawrence said.
Before his departure, Lawrence announced two environmental projects sponsored by WHVE.
This month, a compact disc/cassette of Windham Hill new age/jazz artists will be released. Titled Restore the Shore, the package will benefit the Clearwater Marine Science Center.
The compilation album will be available at all major music stores in Tampa Bay, so prices may vary. A donation of $2 from each sale will go to that program.
In addition, The Wave will help sponsor the Hillsborough River Clean-up on November 17. More details on this event will be released in the next few days.
When the Dalai Lama met with Jewish scholars in India last week, WUSF-FM (89.7) news reporter Shoshana Edelberg was there. Edelberg was one of two American reporters granted visas and press access to the spiritual summit.
Tibet's religious leader, the Dalai Lama, met with eight rabbis and scholars, including University of South Florida professor Nathan Katz. The Dalai Lama learned how the Hebrew faith has been preserved through the centuries. He wants to use the same ideas to preserve his Tibetan Buddhism beliefs while in exile.
Edelberg's interviews during the summit were taped and will be broadcast on WUSF on dates to be announced.