When listening to Boston radio stations, you may be surprised to know that on nearly every channel, many of the friendly and familiar voices you hear belong to broadcasters who call the North Shore home. Some grew up here, while others were drawn to the beauty of the area and its proximity to Boston.
We talked to some of the most popular radio personalities to find out what they love about living on the North Shore.
Cohost, Morning Magic, Magic 106.7 FM
Sue Tabb grew up in western Massachusetts but has called Newburyport home for the last two decades. It was while working as a marketing manager at a company in Newburyport that Tabb thought radio might be a good fit for her skill set—a love of pop culture and the gift of gab. She began her career on Kiss 108’s Matty in the Morning as the female cohost and traffic reporter. She credits Matt Siegel for taking a chance on a rookie and teaching her how to be authentic on air. Sue enjoyed a successful five-year run before making the decision to leave the show after giving birth to her second daughter.
“Newburyport was our first choice to raise our family because it has so much to offer: beautiful beaches, a quaint downtown with great restaurants and shops, and quick access to Boston,” says Tabb. “My husband was born and raised in Rockport, so we can also visit his family often.”
The North Shore has a distinct personality that we have grown to love,” says Tabb, who leaves her house every morning at 4:30 a.m. to get to the station to go on air at 5:30 a.m. “It is characterized by communities that are unique but interconnected. We have beaches and rocky shores, quaint towns steeped in history, great schools, and plenty of cultural attractions.”
While raising her two daughters, Tabb worked at a North Shore public relations agency. With her girls growing and becoming more independent, an opportunity to get back into radio was too hard to resist. She has cohosted Morning Magic on Magic 106.7 and its Exceptional Women program since 2015 and is a six-time Gracie Award winner for her work as a broadcast journalist.
Cohost, Morning Magic, Magic 106.7 FM
Sue Tabb’s Morning Magic cohost, Kendra Petrone, was born and raised in Methuen, and lived in Haverhill, North Reading, and Bradford before moving to Middleton in 2018.
“Middleton is amazing,” says Petrone. “I love that I can easily drive to New Hampshire for shopping and in the same amount of time, spend the day in Boston. I love the atmosphere in the communities that surround us, and most of all, I love knowing that my three children (two of whom are on the autism spectrum) are in the best schools in the state.”
Petrone, like Tabb, started her radio career at Kiss 108 where she served as the executive producer for the Matty Show for eight years. She doesn’t have to go far for a meal, naming Maggie’s Farm in Middleton and Davio’s in Lynnfield as her favorites.
The North Shore Music Theatre and Shriners Auditorium are Petrone’s favorite entertainment venues on the North Shore. “They are locally run, with so much love and heart,” says Petrone. “I went to the North Shore Music Theatre on field trips as a kid, and now I’m bringing my kids to shows there as a parent. My kids also love the Shriners Circus. It’s a great way to stay close to home, enjoy the wonder of it all, and contribute to an incredible organization.”
Afternoon Drive Host, JAMN 94.5 FM
JAMN’s Pup Dawg was born in Pakistan and grew up in Los Angeles. When offered a behind-the-scenes job at Boston’s popular hip hop station he jumped at the chance. He has been there ever since, moving on-air, as well as becoming the music director and assistant program director. He’s lived in Medford for four years and likes being “about two songs away from the station.”
“I love being able to hop onto the highway and be at the airport in 12 minutes with no traffic,” says Pup Dawg. “Our neighbors have been really welcoming and helped us settle into our North Medford neighborhood.”
The list of celebrities that Pup Dawg, who also hosts a national weekly countdown show, works with continues to grow, and he likes to take them to his favorite spots when they are in town. “I’ve taken Akon to Strega a few times, and I’ve spent time with JCole, Shaggy, Sean Paul, Kat Deluna, Wyclef, and Fat Joe at my favorite spot, Yoki at Station Landing,” says Pup Dawg. “Since Encore opened, celebs have been wanting to check it out. It’s always a good vibe.”
Cohost, ’ROR Morning Show, 105.7 FM, WROR
Bob Bronson began his radio career at Boston’s WMEX and WSSH where he worked for most of the late ’80s and early ’90s. “We always considered WSSH to be a North Shore station and did a lot of promotions at various events in the area,” says Bronson. “I met my wife, Carolyn, who is from Woburn, while working at WSSH.”
Bronson went on to work at stations in North Carolina and New York City but would come back to the North Shore every summer. “My daughters love Crane Beach, and my wife and I have a very special fondness for Wingaersheek.”
Taking over the WROR Morning Show from the legendary Loren & Wally in July 2019 was a dream job for Bronson and when they returned, he and his wife decided Andover was the perfect spot to live.
“We definitely wanted to live north of Boston,” says Bronson. “My wife’s mother lives in Woburn, so we wanted to be close to her. And most of our extended family are either in Maine or New Hampshire, so we found Andover to be the perfect spot.”
“Andover is a great town, and it’s just right for our style,” adds Bronson. “The North Shore has everything . . . the best seafood restaurants, great beaches, proximity to the rest of New England. We are most comfortable here on the North Shore and couldn’t wait to get back to it.”
Morning News Anchor, WBZ News Radio, 1030 AM
Switching to the AM dial, listeners can hear Peabody native Jeff Brown anchor the news from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays on the legendary WBZ, News Radio 1030.
Brown grew up in Peabody on a street with plenty of young families and lots of kids. “After living in a few apartments around town, I bought a house in a new development not far from my original neighborhood and with my wife raised our two girls in a great neighborhood as well.”
In fact, if it weren’t for the station’s location in Medford, Brown might never leave Peabody. One of his favorite places for a nice dinner is Daniella’s, and his choice for a casual meal is Tony C’s, both in Peabody. His favorite summer activity is floating in his pool. He likes to do yardwork in the spring, and his favorite outdoor spot is his backyard. When venturing beyond the Leather City, Brown says the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury is his favorite entertainment venue on the North Shore.
When asked what he loves about living in Peabody, Brown quickly responds, “It’s home. Period.”
Morning Traffic Anchor, WBZ News Radio, 1030 AM
Joining Jeff Brown bright and early on WBZ-AM is Lori Grande, a friendly and familiar voice to Boston radio listeners.
Grande grew up in Lowell and found her love of radio while at UMass Lowell. “I did an internship at WHTT in Boston and fell in love,” Grande exclaims. “I wasn’t sure exactly what role I would play in radio; I just knew I wanted to be in it!” Being back at WBZ is a full-circle moment for Grande, who started her Boston radio career doing traffic at night on the station. She then moved to do news on a few Boston stations. After a stint in Minneapolis, she returned to Boston and had a 15-year run with John Willis (JW), hosting the morning show on Country 102.5.
Grande lived in several different communities before landing in Stoneham for almost 15 years. “I loved Stoneham because it is just 10 miles north of Boston,” says Grande. “It was so easy to get into the city, especially when there is no traffic in the middle of the night.”
For the past five years Grande has lived in Haverhill and has learned so much about the city including that all the “fanciest shoes” were made in Haverhill. In fact, she lives in the home of one of the original mill owners.
Grande names Sylvan Street Grille in both Peabody and Salisbury as favorite places to eat. “My bother lives in Gloucester, and we love to go to Hammond Castle for their haunted house in the fall. Good Harbor Beach is my favorite, but Wingaersheek is stunning as well. We wouldn’t miss George’s restaurant for breakfast.”
“When I visit Gloucester, I always like to take Route 133,” adds Grande. “It is such a beautiful ride. There’s so much history plus fabulous antique shops and the huge flea market at Todd Farm. The North Shore simply can’t be beat.”