LET GO: Ed Oliveira (pictured) and Charlie Padgett (Blast staff photo/Sarah Gordon/File 2009)

LET GO: Ed Oliveira (pictured) and Charlie Padgett (Blast staff photo/Sarah Gordon/File 2009)

We’re just going to assume this isn’t our fault.

WFNX, with new vice president of broadcast operations Mike Tierney, is making huge changes to the station’s lineup.

“The Sandbox,” the popular morning show that Blast sometimes appeared on, has been axed. The Sandbox’s Charlie Padgett and Ed Oliveira were fired, and Dustin Fletcher Matthews and news reader Henry Santoro will join a new morning show with program director Keith Dakin.

WFNX will also no longer air Dr. Drew Pinsky’s syndicated “Loveline” nighttime radio show.

In the afternoon slot. "Big Jim" Murray has been replaced with former WBCN jock Adam 12. Murray will stay at the station but will have an off-air role.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

30 Responses

  1. Displeased

    HUGE Mistake…sounds like the rest of the changes are pretty poor as well. We will see what they keep spinning, but this station may have lost a dedicated listener…

  2. Rob

    This is just another sign of the continuing demise of radio.
    It has nothing to do with the jocks/hosts, it’s all about technology.

    People discovered they can get what THEY want from other sources on demand!
    People only listen to radio in their cars, if that. Since my car has a port for my mp3 player, I really don’t have to deal with usless jocks/Songs I don’t care for and wort of all.. Commercials!

    Radio is dead.


  3. Dan Ziniti

    The jocks were what made that show more appealing than listening to my iPod.

    I’ve got the entire FNX playlist (minus all the crap) at my fingertips, yet I made sure to listen to the Sandbox every morning. Their banter mixed with a (relatively) good selection of (generally) good songs offered a change of pace to the commercial-free, boring radio we’ve gotten used to.

    I dunno, it just seems like we’ve lost one of the few unique things on the radio today.

  4. KoJo

    Well said Dan
    The Sandbox was the only morning show I would ever listen to – the only radio show for that matter. They had great chemistry, good guests, etc. Is is my imagination or were there also a ridiculous amount of commercials this morning??? With FLetcher left, I might see how that plays out – for a while, but if it’s just music I will opt for my ipod.

    Corporate America blows another good thing! – Happy 2010

  5. Mike

    Yea I obviosly don’t know about their finances so maybe it was the only financial choice to be made but In My Opinion the sandbox was what defined WFNX for me what made it different then all the other talk shows out there. When Opie and Anthony was playing and Hill Man Mornings … The reason that I tuned in every day when I drove to work was because of the sandbox …. without the sandbox (and their awesome cast) i can listen to the same (S*&T) on a different station …

    I can go on ranting on about how WFNX is alienating its core base by blowing away the few programs that distinguished it from all the other stations… but … i rather just go listen to my IPhone.

    • Julie

      Mike, I completely agree. The Sandbox was a morning ritual for me. I loved the witty banter that kept me entertained all the way to work. FNX you just lost a loyal listener. Without the sandbox trio, I’ll be another one of the iPod faithful. You should probably request a thank you from Steve Jobs.

  6. Norm

    Getting Rid of Big Jim Murray and replacing his show with Adam 12 is probably the dumbest decision out of all the bad ones just acted on

  7. kelly

    I was so confused Monday morning, I tried it but the new morning show is terrible… I bet Fletcher is miserable 🙁 I won’t listen to WFNX anymore.

  8. sean

    Since I got my new iTouch for X-Mas I hadn’t turned into FNX until this morning. At first, I thought Charlie and Ed were just on vacation. Then it hit me that they must have been canned. However, I think it’s BS that if they were firing those two, then FNX should have let Fletcher go as well. He is the reason why I stopped listening to FNX as much as I have.

  9. In Agreement

    I agree with pretty much all. The only morning show I tolerated was the Sandbox. I tried a couple of times to keep listening to the new one, as it’s the only station with music I listen to, but no go. Bad move FNX. IPOD is playing now.

  10. Joe

    I’m extremely disappointed at the “vanilla” programming thus far on FNX’s “new” morning show. What a big mistake IMO. As a guy that could care less for talk-radio, I found the sandbox to be extraordinarily entertaining.

    +1 for the ipod!

  11. nicole sara

    All I can say was I finally can listen to FNX in the morning now!! The sandbox was just full of prententious arrogant guys with nothing to offer who talked about absolutely nothing. As a long time listener to FNX, I switched to 92.9 in the mornings to actually get music. I am really loving that station now. No loss with losing Big Jim either he was more of the same but at least he did play music.

    As for the comments about vanilla programing – FNX hasnt been truely alternative since the 80’s.

  12. King Don

    Two words. Boo and Hiss.

    Huge mistakes. I used to flip between the Sandbox and Toucher and Rich when they were on WBCN, because the Musical Movie Reviews are awesome.

    Sandbox had the best chemistry of any morning show, the best guests, and best topics. So sad. And Big Jim too? What ever happened to “let the Wookie win”?

    I am in favor of removing Love Line *yawn*, but it had better be for some REAL alterntive music.

    While i’m on that topic, is anybody else sick of hearing Linkin Park, Foo Fighters, and Green Day on our “alternative” station. Ugh. I live in NH, so FNX is my only musical choice. Hell, I LIKE radio. Guess i’m spoiled from growing up in the 5 college area of Western Mass.

    Raaaaargh!, and another thing. I’m pretty sure the Bravery has at least one other song. Christ, Believe isn’t even that good. Seriously. There are 3 better songs on the same CD.

    Whoa. better take my meds…

  13. Ted

    Totally agree with the majority of the posts. I really like Fletcher, Henry and Keith (I’ve missed him on the air!), but I loved the Sandbox and am now surfing around to find other things. Love Line is no loss, in my opinion. I liked Big Jim, even when he was obnoxious. Putting Adam 12 in there is playing with fire, in my opinion. Are they thinking they’ll get BCN listeners to come over? Doubtful!

  14. Robert Wiggin

    Big mistake> I certainly don’t listen to ‘FNX these days for the music; the station is a pale shadow of what it was back in the late ’80’s. I mean, every hour on the hour, Chili Peppers and Beastie Boys. Every frickin’ hour. Nice programming, Dakin. Boring.

    The only reason I listened as much as I have the past couple years have been because of the Sandbox, Kramer’s Leftover Lunch, and Big Jim. Mostly the Sandbox since my job has me on the road during the early morning hours when they were broadcasting. Always something to have me in hysterics.

    Now there’s little reason to listen any more. I don’t need to hear the same crappy songs played over and over. I’ve got my own music I can listen to. Good job, new VP of Opeations.

  15. Steve

    Big mistake. I tried listening this week but was just turned off by whoever replaced Charlie and Ed. Bye FNX!

  16. kerri

    this is BS. the sandbox was my favorite radio show EVAR. I would change the station when they played emo crap music and put it back to hear their crazy banter. a morning show has to have great chemistry and there is NO way it’s gonna work. and don’t even get me started about big jim. sure he was a @sshole at times but you never had to guess how he felt about something. peace out FN-suxs.

  17. WTF in NH

    What a bunch of crap!!!! I am so pissed that the only radio station I have been able to find that is worth listening to here in NH has dropped the best part of their line up. I loved that I could pretty much count on their show to help me start my day with a smile and a laugh. I want to hear talk in the morning. YOU HEAR THAT FNX!!! Not a bunch of the same songs played for the hundreth time that week then a dozen commericals then boring talk then more commericals. The new show is so boring and you guys are right there is no chemistry between them. FNX has definitely lost me a listener. Where do I get one of those MP3 player things?

  18. Big Al

    Wow! I can’t believe it. One guy (Mike Tierney…who ever the hell you are) single-handedly ruined one of the most progressive, intelligent, and entertaining morning shows I’ve ever heard. You did it so sneakily too. No announcement. No apologies. If you, at the very least, acknowledged what a tremendous show the Sandbox was, and admitted you were sorry you had to cancel it, and gave a hint of a reason why, I might have had a shred of respect for you and whatever it is you are trying to formulate now at fnx. Seeing as though you did nothing but surprise everyone with your new pathetic lineup, showcasing your ignorant and contrived management skills(for lack of a better word), my opinion of you is that of a coward, a spineless creep, and someone that cannot be trusted. Did you even listen to the Sandbox before your ego told you to axe it? Did you have any idea of the chemistry or realize the show was in its infancy and very much on the rise. Friends of mine overseas who listened to FNX streaming online have been contacting me to find out what the shite was they heard in place of the Sandbox and when was it coming back. I had no answer because I was betrayed as equally as they were. We all were.

  19. Laura

    I can’t believe Sandbox is gone! Most people flip stations to find music in the morning. I flipped to FNX to hear them talk! The new morning show is terrible. Without the Sandbox I might as well just put on 92.9. I really hope the station sees a dramatic drop in their base to prove this was a stupid thing to do.

  20. Morgan

    The two best parts of FNX are gone!! Firing Charlie AND Ed?! What is going on? Ridiculous!

  21. Devin Lars

    I agree with everyone, the Sandbox was so entertaining! I don’t enjoy talk radio and guess what? I work at Talk Radio!! I work for 5 stations in Maine, and none of them have the chutzpah and talent (and compatibility) that the Sanbox had! Keith Daken is not funny, he should be the one working “off air” instead of Big Jim (whom I also miss very much, though I don’t get to listen to the radio as much in the afternoon). I hope FNX reads this, they need to listen to their listeners… or what’s left of them anyways. Viva Sandbox!

  22. Shain

    This is very disappointing to me. Big Jim was the best afternoon host, and The Sandbox was a great morning show. They had such a great chemistry, and I appreciated their lack of “Shock Jocking”. It’s the only morning show that neither bored me nor insulted my intelligence.

    Oh well, looks like I’m going to turn my iPod back on. Sorry to see you go Charlie and Ed!

  23. Neil

    The new morning show is: BORING, has way too many commercials, plays the same old “new” songs that you can hear everywhere else, and lacks all of the heart and soul that -was- WFNX. Independent radio station my ass – Dakin you suck. Henry’s “no nonsense news” is lame, ditching Big Jim is a HUGE MISTAKE – Adam 12 pales in comparison. The only thing that worth listening to is the wonderful Ms. Julie Kramer, but I’m sure you’ll F* that up too.

    I was sad when WBCN went off the air, but this is worse. Way to go, dickheads.

  24. Jess

    I’m a Massachusetts native who moved out to San Diego a year and half ago. Out of curiousity, I Googled The Sandbox to find out what was happening with those guys back here. I’m so saddened to hear this news. The Sandbox was my absolute favorite radio show. The chemistry between the guys was fantastic – the banter was great. They kept me laughing all the way from the South Shore to Framingham every morning during my commute, and like Shain mentioned above, it was the only morning show that neither bored me nor insulted my intelligence. And losing Big Jim – terrible idea. HUGE mistake FNX. So disappointing.

  25. adam

    Go to Toucher and Rich! So much better than the Sandbox ever was – actually, the Sandbox sucked.

  26. chuck up

    “the popular morning show”. If by “popular” you mean worst rated show on the dial…Good riddence. Just got back from extended work in L.A. and was very pleased to find that this show is gone! It was whiney and arrogant. Play a record you morons.

  27. Matt the Hater

    When this happened, I laughed. I really hated every individual at WFNX. All of the members of The Sandbox had managed to say things that really pissed me off. But what I didn’t realize is how well they worked together. There’s been nothing like it since. Probably was nothing like it before…I don’t know because I never cared for talk shows enough to regularly listen before The Sandbox. I was out of town for 5 months, late ’08 to early ’09, and they weren’t very steady with the podcasts, so I missed a lot of shows from a period when they were just starting to hit their stride. When I got back they were vastly improved. They should have only relegated Henry to the news and being the ‘old guy’ on the show to kick around. The bits Big Jim did with them were great. They should have made him a regular member…had him do the sports, since Ed hated doing them. Then they should have found someone new for Jim’s old spot and kept him for the great voice-over/jingle stuff he did. They should have kept Kramer for afternoons ‘throw-back’ stuff, but fired Dakin because he couldn’t program worth a s***. Should have found someone that could have dug deeper into the vaults of great, old, true alternative for Julie to play. It really seems like this Tierney douche was hired just to destroy the station so Clear Channel could buy it for less. It is such a shame. I’ve been saving up the podcasts since late ’08 and listening to them over time, just so it seems like they’re still around. I really wish there would have been a more thorough recording of The Sandbox…like well-done podcasts of all four hours of every show for the whole 2 1/2 years (plus The Empire stuff that came afterwards.) I’d go back and listen to all the parts I missed and maybe find all the times I made it onto the WTF line. Oh well…now the whole station is gone. What a waste.


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