Don’t tell Meghna Chakrabarti she’s on the frontlines of Boston’s public radio wars. Chakrabarti hosts “Radio Boston” on WBUR 90.9 FM, which switches to a daily format at 3 p.m. today to compete with WGBH 89.7 FM’s two new local midday shows.
“That’s what people are saying and from the outside it’s easy to interpret it like that.” she said. “But the truth is WBUR committed resources to doing a great local show, that’s why Radio Boston has been around, and it just so happens that now we decided to?— or we’re able to?— put the kind of resources [into it] we feel we need to make a really high quality daily program that reaches the NPR standard.
“The politics of the whole thing, I’m not thinking about that at all.”
Last winter when ’GBH switched from a classical music format to full-time news talk they gave their two biggest TV personalities — Emily Rooney and Callie Crossley — radio shows.
“I think what’s lost in this conversation is we’re really very different,” ’GBH spokeswoman Jeanne Hopkins, said. “WBUR is a terrific radio station, they do local news and breaking news. We’re going to draw on what we do best: an in-depth, public affairs approach on news.”
“Radio Boston” won’t air head to head with ’GBH’s new shows and both camps deny that they will segment the audience.
“That would presume the audience stays the same,” Hopkins said. “What we’ve seen is the overall audiences growing. More listeners are coming to public radio. People who haven’t been here before.”