At OMW World Headquarters overnight Thursday into Friday morning, we rode through some lines of heavy thunderstorms safely, and didn't lose power or have any problems once. The folks at Clear Channel Akron/Canton wish they could say the same.
OMW hears that lightning directly struck the tall tower behind the CC Akron/Canton building on Freedom Avenue in North Canton, in heavy thunderstorm weather early Friday morning. It's believed the tower was struck at least twice.
The damage was so severe that the mighty WKDD/98.1, the cluster's hot AC station, is now operating off of a $300 Mackie mixer the station bought at a music store. Talker WHLO/640 is operating out of a news booth at the station. Liberal talk WARF/1350 "Radio Free Ohio" is mostly unaffected, though OMW thought we heard some STL noise while sitting in line at the Ohio eCheck station literally in the shadow of 1350's towers off State Road in Cuyahoga Falls. (Yes, it's that time of year for the OMW Mobile.)
Other equipment was also fried, including production gear, ISDN units and the like. The estimated total damage that needs to be repaired or replaced is over $50,000.
And the GOOD news? There was no fire, and very thankfully, there were no injuries. All three stations recovered by afternoon as far as their on-air presence - due to the temporary setup described above.
But if you happen to run into someone in North Canton who smells like they've been in a fire, ask them where they work...