The Beacon Hill community has found a true friend in local broadcasting luminary Jordan Rich.
Rich, who has enjoyed a highly successful career in broadcasting that spans nearly a half century, including a more than 20-year run on his eponymous late-night “The Jordan Rich Show” on Boston’s WBZ-AM 1030 AM, and is also the author of a “ON AIR: My 50-Year Love Affair with Radio,” his recently published memoir, credits Mark Duffield for helping him first make inroads into Beacon Hill.
Rich and Duffield met when Duffield came on Rich’s late-night show to promote his children’s book, “The Last Shepard & Tales of the Tenth Ornament,” shortly after its 2011 publication.
“I’ve interviewed thousands of authors over the course of my broadcasting career, but I particularly love to talk to creative people and writers like Mark certainly fit the bill,” Rich said, “and his book was so Boston-centric because it’s set right in the heart of Beacon Hill, which makes it so attractive.”
Rich called Framingham his home at this time, but he was still no stranger to Beacon Hill, albeit fleetingly.
When Rich was working at his first radio job at WRKO-AM 680 in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, Phillips Drug, which was located where CVS is today, said Rich, was open 24/7 and thus the only place around to buy a newspaper at odd hours of the night.
As a consequence, Rich said, “I probably spent more time then traveling to Charles Street than anyone else on Planet Earth.”
But besides his regular trips to Phillips Drug, Rich’s exposure to Beacon Hill was essentially limited back then to the typical tourist activities and what he calls the “flyover thing.”
Rich finally became a Boston resident in 2016 when he left the suburbs and he and his wife, Roberta, settled in Downtown Crossing, and it was around this time that Duffield became Rich’s “anchor guy,” as Rich describes him, when he visited Beacon Hill.
“He’s like an ambassador, and he loves to bring people together,” Rich said of Duffield.
And as Rich got to know Beacon Hill better, his appreciation for the neighborhood grew exponentially.
“I loved the vibe down there and the neighborhood feel that it has,” Rich said. “Boston is made up of neighborhoods, and Beacon Hill is not what some people in the suburbs might think it is. It’s really a neighborhood, and I see it as the heartbeat of the city – it’s dead center and a beautiful place to start [exploring].”
In time, Rich’s personal and professional lives collided as he began to highlight Beacon Hill business owners on the air in an effort to promote the neighborhood.
Melissa Fetter, owner of Beacon Hill Books, which is coming soon to 71 Charles St., was guest for a two-part piece with Rich to promote local bookstores, and most recently, he spoke with Lana Baraket, owner of two Charles Street businesses – December Thieves and its sister store and next-door neighbor, Thieves Next Door, said Rich, to discuss “the state of retail and how it comes back.”
Rich is currently the host/producer for the daily feature “Connoisseur’s Corner” with the latest news about restaurants, food trends, cooking, wine and more, as well as host/producer of “The WBZ New England Weekend,” six prime-time segments promoting cultural events in the area. He is also WBZ’s official book reviewer, and his podcasts include “Now Streaming with Jordan” and “The Upside with Jordan,” which highlights positive stories in the news.
Today, Rich said he’s fortunate in that WBZ (WBZ1030.com) gives him “free reign” during his regular 90-second to two-minute segments as he continues to seek out positive news stories to promote Beacon Hill.
“I’m always looking for stories and for people who are saying or doing something positive in the community,” he said.
To pitch Jordan Rich a positive neighborhood news story, email him at [email protected].