Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Competitive Liberal Talk Situation Akron Never Got

For a few weeks this spring, the Akron market had two liberal talk stations. (Oh, OK, maybe one and a half.)

MediaCom's WJMP/1520 Kent(/Akron/Cleveland/Mars/Jupiter), which has had just about every format under the sun including TV audio, had been running the Air America liberal talk network. Then, the 600 pound gorilla known as Clear Channel showed up in the middle of the market, announcing a change from sports to liberal talk for the station now known as WARF/1350 Akron. The announcement reportedly spurred MediaCom to dump AAR within hours of it, and the station's now running the Fox Sports Radio feed formerly run by...1350.

While Akron never really got a competitive liberal talk situation, Sacramento looks like it's about to get one. AllAccess reports that the market's incumbent station in the format, KSAC/1240, is about ready to take on Jones Radio's syndicated liberal talk product, including Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz in their live clearances. It repeats market rumor that Entercom standards KCTC/1320 is about to flip to the liberal talk format, taking the Air America product that KSAC is moving away from. (KSAC will have one host now associated with Air America, Thom Hartmann, whose national program is now sold by the network's new syndication arm in competition with their own Al Franken. Hartmann also does a local morning show for Clear Channel's KPOJ/620 in Portland OR.)

There is one other market with a nominal "competition" among liberal talk stations. San Antonio has two FM rimshots running the format - one, Clear Channel's KRPT/92.5 Devine TX, the other, KTXX/103.1 Karnes City TX, runs the full Air America schedule...minus Jerry Springer, which KRPT picked up on its own before the deal between the show and Air America was announced. KRPT has the signal advantage, by far, as its signal is somewhat closer to San Antonio.

EDIT: We've been reminded of another recent competitive liberal talk situation, in the Monterey/Salinas/Santa Cruz CA market...where KRXA/540 Carmel Valley CA recently launched, and KOMY/1340 Watsonville CA added some Air America programming. KOMY is the sister station of KSCO/1080 Santa Cruz CA, and its ownership and management is, well, interesting. The station owner recently complained that he found it hard to sell the new liberal talk programming on KOMY, though long-time observers of his operation would likely lay more of the blame on the colorful, controversial owner himself. (Yes, Radio Equalizer's Brian Maloney, former KSCO talk host, we're sure you know this.)

KRXA, by the way, is one of Bill Press' first affiliates, for his show which launched right here in Akron on WARF/1350.

And back locally, aside from the fact that comparing the signal of puny 1000 watt east suburban daytime rimshot WJMP to full-market 5000 watt WARF is a bit unfair, it'd have been interesting to see if WJMP would finally have shown up in the ratings competing with Clear Channel's product. Probably not, still, because of the nature of 1520 itself...a poor "little sister" to MediaCom's dominant talk WNIR/100.1...

And if the new Fox Sports 1520 doesn't pick up disaffected 1350 listeners, even in Kent/Ravenna, it'll be fun to see what format Kaiser Bill and company try next on their little AM station...

We Love Being Quoted In The Newspaper

Though we can't prove it, OMW believes this site is widely read in local broadcast clusters throughout Northeast Ohio. And in the past, our musings on various message boards have even been printed in newspapers.

But this is the first time one of our reports has been quoted directly in a newspaper, as a piece of news.

It's a bit old - as it had to do with the recent flip of Clear Channel's WYBL/98.3 Ashtabula to country "98.3 The Bull" a month and a half ago. But OMW is quoted in the Ashtabula Star-Beacon's article about that new station, back in mid-August. The Star-Beacon's Robert Lebzelter quotes (with attribution!) our report of the new 96.1 Ashtabula FM application, won earlier this year by veteran broadcast engineer Dana Puopolo.

It's a surprise to us, because we've never talked with Mr. Lebzelter, even via E-Mail. And it's kind of a kick, actually, to be quoted and not even know it...though we wonder if the Star-Beacon's readers wondered just what an Ohio Media Watch is.

For newspaper writers from Ashtabula, New Philadelphia or wherever - feel free to quote us, though we'd like this site's URL in the article if your editors will let it in. And you can E-Mail us anytime, and we'll be happy to provide more fodder for you. The E-Mail link is under the "View my complete profile" link to the left of this report.

If only former Beacon Journal radio writer Denise Grollmus had consulted with us first...she wouldn't have prompted Stow's mayor to check into zoning issues for a radio station that would only bear the Summit County city's name on its legal ID once an hour...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Glenn Beck Does Akron

It's been a heck of a year for Premiere's Glenn Beck in Northeast Ohio. After getting unceremoniously dumped by Clear Channel talker WTAM/1100 in Cleveland after a long run, the midday host made a soft landing at sister talk WHLO/640 in Akron. And now, he's making a landing in Akron in person.

OMW hears that Beck's "Christmas Tour" will have Akron's E.J. Thomas Hall on it, on December 13th. Tickets will be sold through Ticketmaster, and will be available starting October 24th. Beck's set to announce the entire list of cities next Monday.

It's the second WHLO-sponsored visit by one of its nationally-syndicated hosts. ABC Radio (and Fox News Channel) host Sean Hannity stopped in Akron on the Sunday before the November 2004 election. Regionally-syndicated morning show "Quinn and Rose" (based at Clear Channel talk WPGB/104.7 in Pittsburgh) has also broadcasted live from the Akron market.

Early ratings would suggest that Beck brought to WHLO at least SOME of the Cleveland market listeners who missed him on WTAM, as WHLO showed up in the Cleveland ratings for the very first time as a talk station in the book after the move. Well, at least in the Clear Channel incarnation of the talk format. OMW doesn't recall if the old Susquehanna-owned "WHLO News/Talk 64" made any appearance in the Cleveland ratings in the mid-70's...though we CAN list the station's entire lineup if you ask us.

In addition to his "southern exposure" into greater Cleveland via WHLO, Beck also makes it into much of the Cleveland market from the west, on Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting talk WEOL/930 Elyria.

Wednesday Short Takes - Wooster and Canton

Just a couple of 'em this time around:

Short Take 1: Someone mentioned this to us some time ago, but we heard it for the first time this week. Dix country/sports WQKT/104.5 Wooster has been airing a local late afternoon drive show called "Best of the Best", weeknights from 5-7 PM. The host is station vet Dave Dial (seen on this WQKT staff page), and the show mixes country music and local news and sports features. Dial was with the station part-time in the 1990's, and returned a few years ago.

For one, it airs frequent local sportscasts, and is the new home for features which used to air on the station's "News on Q" evening show - such as the local stock market report. From listening on Tuesday, it sounded like the station "stayed local" with music in the slot primarily to fit in the heavier commercial and feature load that used to air in the slot once taken not only by "News on Q", but also the former "SportsTalk" program...which aired on WQKT for years, most of those years with local sports legend Roy Bates. There's not a lot of room in the Westwood One satellite country feed to air what used to air then.

Dial's music selection seems to be somewhat more energetic and upbeat than the stuff usually sent down from the satellite folks. As far as OMW knows, it's the first non-news or non-sports local show out of "Wooster Radio" since former program director Dave Forest spun oldies in afternoons on WKVX/960, over 10 years ago...

Short Take 2: Whither WCER/900's announced local talk show? Some weeks ago, the Canton talk/religious station's operations manager announced that a new local talk program would air evenings at 6 PM. We were then told that the show - with Jason Burnette announced as host - would have a delayed debut. This afternoon, while within the station's local signal area, we heard Premiere/Take On The Day advice host Dr. Laura in the 6-7 PM hour, with a promo noting that she was on the air 4-7 PM.

The station, by the way, now calls itself "News/Talk WCER 900", which may or may not be a nod to Cleveland's "NewsRadio WTAM 1100". Though it's mostly second-and-third-tier syndicated secular conservative talk, you can't fully take the religion out of WCER... an attempt to check out TRN's Jerry Doyle one weekday afternoon recently yielded a once-a-week half-hour religious program presented by Canton's Malone College. And even in its promos, the station touts itself as "talk radio with a mission".

Oh, and the WCER legal IDs continue to say "Canton/Akron", which is kinda gutsy for a 500 watt station that is rather scratchy in half of the Akron market. It's still not QUITE to the level of 1000 watt east suburban rimshot daytimer WJMP/1520 Kent ("Fox Sports 1520") including both Akron AND Cleveland in their legal ID, but it's close. If you're in Cleveland proper, and listening to 1520 out of Kent with anything resembling a listenable signal, you've got a heck of a radio, a tuned antenna, and have nulled out local second-adjacent WABQ/1540...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Court to Stop 26 Riverbend: Refinance or Sell

Radio and Records Online reports that it's decision time for Stop 26 Riverbend, which owns 5 Ohio stations, including WRBP/101.9 Hubbard, WGFT/1330 Campbell and WASN/1500 Youngstown, in the Youngstown/Warren market.

The report says that a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Ohio has ordered Stop 26 Riverbend to either refinance the stations (including Columbus' WVKO-AM/FM) or sell them. To that end, the company is reportedly retaining two firms to look into those options...though it's widely believed that the only viable option is putting the stations on the block.

OMW wonders if the financial firms have put an urgent call into Harold Glunt. He'd certainly be a likely buyer, at least in Youngstown...if not in Columbus. All three facilities are somewhat better than nearly all of Glunt's current stations. And OMW has reported before that Glunt has been kicking the tires of stations in markets like Columbus and Pittsburgh, though we're wondering what other companies would be looking at 1580 and 103.1 in the Columbus market.

We don't know how much more money Mr. Glunt is willing to shovel into his Beacon Broadcasting, which now owns 5 stations in the Youngstown/Warren market and the nearby counties of western Pennsylvania. But a move of the Christian rock format on "Freq 107" from Greenville PA's 107.1 to 101.9 would certainly make it a more viable Youngstown market signal, and 1330 and/or 1500 could certainly replace at very least daytimer WRTK/1540 Niles in the Glunt AM arsenal. The only sticking point OMW sees...the full-market 101.9 Hubbard signal would likely draw more moneyed bidders than even Mr. Glunt. If he wants them and has the money for them, 1330/1500 would likely be easy pickings for him.

Since this item moved us into Glunt World, a side note: A drive into the Youngstown market today confirmed that WRTK/1540 is still doing its urban format, even under the new ownership of Mr. Glunt. But it might be gone we heard a "thank you for your support" message directed at listeners and advertisers. The only problem there: the message was voiced by Lynn Tolliver Jr., the former manager of the station (and ex-Cleveland radio "bad boy"), who left some time ago to take a slot at Tampa FL urban combo WTMP-AM/ we're not sure if the message was current.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Triv Wigs Out

When the OMWMobile car radio dropped in on Clear Channel Cleveland talker WTAM/1100 this afternoon, we heard the Gang of Triv doing his afternoon show...without afternoon motormouth Mike Trivisonno present.

So, we figured it was yet another Triv Vacation. After all, the guy has long since passed the late Johnny Carson in the amount of vacation time he gets, so it wasn't a surprise to hear only co-host Kim Mahalik and producers Paul Rado and Marty Allen doing the show without him. And then... we heard them toss to the station's "SkyChief Traffic and Weather Together"...with...Mike Trivisonno.

Yep, apparently Triv had become so ticked by dealing with various callers weighing in on the Cleveland Indians' playoff situation - and what would happen if teams tied up at the end of the year - that he decided to go visit Pat Butler in the station's traffic center, and eventually, take over for him.

It was actually pretty funny, believe it or not. And aside from OMW wincing at Triv messing with the station's core service elements - by making up extravagant fake traffic problems, like the Shoreway under water or I-271 disappearing - we suppose people would immediately discount such items coming out of Triv's mouth. The problem, of course, is that those who NEED those service elements have to sort through his attempts at humor, and it undermines the station's credibility as an information source.

But what really made OMW gasp was a remark aimed at former WTAM "SkyChief" airborne traffic reporter Rick Abell, now cruising the skies in the WOIO "19 Action News" chopper in drive times. Triv joked that he was going on so long that he would be doing "a 27 minute traffic report", then commented that it would turn him into Rick Abell. For her part, Mahalik added that "you mean a long, rambling traffic report with commentary" (or something very similar to that wording). Triv tossed back: "Yeah, that's why he's no longer here".


It's almost enough to make OMW set the TiVo for the "19 Action News" morning show tomorrow, to hear if Rick has any reply to Triv...

Channel 19's "Browns Tonight" - Live From Kronheim's?

If it's Sunday night, it must be time to have some fun with our friends at Reserve Square, home of "Cleveland's CBS 19", "UPN 43" and "19 Action News".

OMW stayed up late enough tonight to catch the station's Sunday Browns wrap show, still in progress as of this writing. And we're definitely expecting a sponsor credit for a local furniture store. Week 3 of "McDonald's Browns Tonight" comes to you from a new set, with a giant brown leather couch (get it, "brown"?) that threatens to eat Brian Duffy, Bob Golic and Hanford Dixon if they don't pay close attention to it.

It must have taken delivery people half the day to figure out how to get the thing down into the basement of Reserve Square. Earlier shows had Duffy, Golic and Dixon around a standard TV "on set" table and sitting on higher chairs. Maybe they thought they needed the big couch to handle the size of the two former football players?

We're not sure we'll be awake long enough to see which Browns player Sharon Reed seductively asks this week to "join (her) tomorrow" - on the station's Monday night "BrownsTown" show. No word, also, on if the couch will be used on that show's set, or if Ms. Reed will invite the player onto it. To sit with her, that is. Oh, and the other hosts.

But we did catch a different face on the regular "19 Action News" show's sports segment. Who is Dan Brady?

Instead of regular weekend sports anchor David Pingalore, who's at the Indianapolis game site with sports director Chuck Galeti, Brady did the sports anchoring on the regular pre-"Browns Tonight" news show. We've seen him before, but can't find any information on him. Our Google searches lead us to Cleveland-based state senator Dan Brady, but the lawmaker is somewhat older than the fill-in TV sports anchor.

And we use this space to correct an error from last Sunday's sports wrap show roundup. It appears Sunday night's WEWS/5 "Sports Extra" wrap show, or whatever it's called, is sponsored by Toyota, and not your Chevy Network Dealers. At least this week. We don't know if they both sponsor WEWS' sports programs, or if they've switched cars (hope they got an employee discount!), or whatever...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

No, Jim...You Can't Run Your Own Voice on TV

A small item in Roger Brown's Friday Plain Dealer column caught OMW's attention.

It appears local NBC affiliate WKYC/3 got the legal smackdown from the National...Football...League over use of Browns action highlights in the background of their Monday night Browns review show, "The Point After". The NFL also slapped WKYC on the wrist with a "cease and desist" order for using audio of the Browns' radio network call of game action, while it showed highlights from the game.

What makes the latter all the more hilarious is that the voice on that radio call is...Channel 3 sports director Jim Donovan, who is, of course, also the Browns' play-by-play voice on that aforementioned Browns Radio Network (flagship: WMMS/100.7 and sister WTAM/1100), and a co-host on "Point After".

Now, OMW doesn't know how much the NFL goes after this on their own - and realizes that it's probably a specific rights issue. But it's not hard to guess where the complaint came from... the smart money, or indeed, all money, is on local Browns pre-season/team show rightsholder WOIO/19. The move has a certain swagger to it. Though we do poke fun at the folks at Reserve Square for their "we own the Browns, not Randy Lerner" attitude, with the NFL behind the move, they presumably have the legal ground to stand upon...and even if it's WKYC's own voice doing the radio call, Channel 3 probably does not have the rights to it, at least during video of game action.

We wonder if Jim Donovan could slip into a voiceover booth at WKYC and re-do the game call on his own for "Point After"...

Oh, Mr. Brown also notes that the Indians/Chicago White Sox series this past week produced FSN Ohio's three top-rated Indians telecasts so far this season. One would assume that a 15.1 rating would be enough to prompt FSN Ohio to jump on the bandwagon and arrange more Indians related special programming, but OMW doesn't control the tight FSN Ohio purse-strings.

We bet that in Boston in 2004, rightsholder NESN was filling their off hours with Red Sox programming...but THEY actually have a studio. If the Indians make it to a certain Series they did reach in 1995 and 1997, will FSN Ohio bother to do anything? They won't be able to run the games, of course, as those rights are held by the over-air Fox network...

Friday, September 23, 2005

WTAM and Cavaliers Re-Up Through 2007-08

If Akron-born superstar LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers manage to bring an NBA championship to Cleveland in the next three seasons, it'll be heard on current Cavaliers flagship WTAM/1100.

The team and the Clear Channel news/talker announced this week that the WTAM deal has been extended through the 2007-2008 season. The Cavaliers are also heard on a number of other Northeast Ohio stations, including Akron's WAKR/1590, Canton's WHBC/1480 and Wooster's WQKT/104.5. The Cavaliers very occasionally move over to Clear Channel sister rock WMMS/100.7 depending on the status of scheduling conflicts with the Indians...and with the hard-charging local baseball team running towards a playoff berth, those conflicts could well happen early in the Cavaliers' season this year.

OMW's reminded of Clear Channel's filing to move WWVA/1170 Wheeling WV into the Cleveland market some time ago (with a proposed city of license of the Akron suburb of Stow), which was pulled back by the company just three months after it was filed with the FCC. If they'd kept the application in the hopper, 1170 could very well have hosted those Cavaliers' games by the end of the WTAM a sports format station.

Your Weekend Glunt Empire Update - Updated Saturday

From the OMW Glunt Bureau: The Warren steel supply magnate is getting all of his radio ducks in a row, officially.

Harold Glunt's application to transfer full control of Beacon Broadcasting, Inc. to himself has been approved and completed. Glunt also filed to purchase daytimer WRTK/1540 Niles (now complete), and WLOA/1470 Farrell PA (approved this week by the FCC), under his own name. They'll both migrate to the Beacon corporate identity shortly, which is just a formality, since he now controls 100% of the company.

The only missing duck in this Glunt row is WRTK. Now that he legally owns it, what happens to the programming? Is it the next link in the "family friendly" oldies simulcast being run out of Beacon's WANR/1570 Warren, now heard on WLOA as well as Beacon sister station WGRP/940 Greenville PA? That's what we've heard. Last time we were in the market, on the way to Pittsburgh earlier this week, 1540 was still running its urban format. That could change, now that Glunt actually owns the frequency. OMW doubts the newly-minted radio chain owner has a taste for urban formatted radio, but then again, we didn't see him spearheading a four-station secular oldies format...

And while we're visiting one of Our Favorite Obsessions, OMW hears that things are not all that harmonious under the Glunt Radio Umbrella, with staffers not thrilled with how things are going. Then again, when is everything all hunky-dory at small AM stations in the Mahoning Valley? And for that matter, what is Beacon sales manager and former majority owner Michael "Angel" Arch doing aside from an occasional fair remote? The commercial load on the 1570/1470/940 simulcast consists entirely of network makegoods and PSAs...every single time we've heard it, both in person in the market, and online.

If the goal for the "family friendly oldies" format is to generate money to help support Mr. Glunt's other efforts, including Christian rocker WEXC/107.1 Greenville PA (Youngstown-targetting "Freq 107"), it isn't working so far, at any rate.

SATURDAY UPDATE: We checked out the WANR/1570 webcast, linked above here. And we heard our very first commercials in the station's current incarnation...a number of spots during a high school football game.

But really, that doesn't count. You could grab someone from behind the counter at McDonald's, and he or she would be able to sell high school sports in the Mahoning Valley without even finishing a coherent sentence.

You don't have to go far for an example. A number of years ago, a high school football playoff game involving the nearest team - Mahoning County's Berlin Center Western Reserve - was sold out on the very same frequency, AM 1570. There's only one problem - the game was at night, and 1570's 116 watt night signal does not reach anywhere NEAR that high school after dark. Yet, the game still sported 12 sponsors...each buying three spots in the game, trying to reach Berlin Center football fans who COULD NOT HEAR THE GAME unless they drove north about 10 miles from the stadium. OMW doesn't remember the other team involved, but it was from outside the Mahoning Valley.

Closer to OMW, it appears the a similar thing happens not far down the road even today. Canton talk/religious WCER/900 aired the game between Akron's St. Vincent-St. Mary and Cuyahoga Falls' Walsh Jesuit last night. This, despite the fact that that WCER's 75 watt night signal struggles to reach even southern Summit County...let alone at the game's location.

Despite some past complaints that WCER's operators may have been, umm, slow to drop power at night during such events, we haven't heard any indication that such behavior is still taking place. And we'll give WCER some benefit of the doubt here...both St. V's and Walsh are large private religious schools with a broad base of students and supporters in the region.

As far as Beacon goes, outside the high school spots, there have been - as near as OMW can tell - NO paid local sponsors on WANR/1570. And the same goes for the other Beacon AMs, except for Shenango Valley spots airing on WLOA/1470 and WGRP/940 during another regular sporting event...Pittsburgh Pirates baseball. Take away the sports, and it's makegoods from ABC's satellite networks and religious PSAs, all the time. Maybe they need to change format again to "All High School Sports, All The Time" to make money?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

BREAKING NEWS: Lanigan and Malone Win Marconi Award

We'd put up the "BREAKING NEWS" graphic, but since it doesn't move and we don't have music, you'll just have to deal with text.

OMW gets the word direct from the NAB Radio Show in Philadelphia of an NAB Marconi Award win for WMJI/105.7 Cleveland morning team John Lanigan and Jimmy Malone. The Clear Channel oldies station's long-time morning show was nominated under the "Large Market Personality of the Year" category. Also nominated were personalities and shows from San Diego, Denver, Minneapolis and Atlanta.

While "Lanigan and Malone" are thanking their co-workers, their bosses, and their family members, OMW would like to thank our good friend Scott Fybush of NorthEast Radio Watch. He passed along the word live from the NAB show...

Ex-Northeast Ohio Air Personality Now VP/Programming in Columbus

OMW would like to congratulate John Crenshaw, Clear Channel country WCOL/Columbus' PD/middayer, who now gets the entire Clear Channel Columbus cluster under his programming oversight. Crenshaw takes the VP/Programming position in the wake of Steve Konrad's exit - Konrad is returning to his former radio home, Hubbard talk KSTP in Minneapolis (and sister FM talk station WFMP, which targets female listeners).

Crenshaw is a veteran of Northeast Ohio radio, with stations like WNCX and WRQC in the Cleveland market, Akron's WKDD (and former 96.5 sister station WCUE/1150, perhaps?) and Canton's WRQK on his resume. He tells AllAccess that the CC Columbus cluster is looking for a program director for news/talk WTVN/610 - which Konrad ran directly - and for new 80's rocker WBRW "The Brew", the former classic rock WFJX which just flipped this week.

A Trip Through Southeast Ohio

Normally, not much farther south than Canton comes to the attention of our OMW Ears... but a recent jaunt down to Pittsburgh for dinner with some friends brought us back the long way, via I-70 and I-77 back into Northeast Ohio. Some random notes from that excursion:

* The talk radio market is actually more competitive in the Wheeling WV/Ohio Valley region. Long-time leader WWVA/1170 Wheeling has a new competitor, and among those involved are former station employees. Former WWVA afternoon drive host George Kellas, originally bounced from the now-Clear Channel owned news/talker for Sean Hannity, is doing afternoons on talk WKKX/1600 Wheeling, known as "The Valley's watchDAWG" (their spelling, not ours!). His show is also being simulcast on Weirton WV's WEIR/1430, which apparently (like certain Youngstown/Warren area AM oldies stations) is being fed via the WKKX Internet feed. Weirton's just across the river from Steubenville, Ohio.

As for his former station, WWVA moved Hannity out of afternoon drive for a local show for two hours, and now the entire afternoon slot on 1170 is filled locally by Steve Novotney, who has hosted a Saturday morning sports talk show for them. "The Drive Home" is not a sports show, however, and Novotney is a much better host than the young man who used to claim 2 hours of the slot.

OMW heard some interesting back and forth between the competing hosts. Kellas passed along local rumors that Wheeling's historic Capitol Music Hall, home of WWVA's "JamboreeUSA", was going to shut down its operations for good at the end of the year. Across the dial on 1170, Novotney proudly pointed out that HIS show didn't spread rumors. The facility, of course, is now owned and operated by WWVA parent Clear Channel. (For the record, OMW has no idea of the status of that building's operations.)

We also heard a promo for former WWVA news reporter David Bloomquist, who does mornings on WKKX, and heard a promo for a show hosted by former WWVA news director Tammie Beagle on WEIR/1430.

The other major talk outlet in the market is WOMP/1290 Bellaire - WSTV/1340 Steubenville, which had mostly syndicated talk programming when we heard it. It's the former local home of Pat Campbell, who now does morning drive for Clear Channel talk WFLF/540 ("NewsRadio 540 WFLA") in the Orlando, FL market.

* Down the road in Cambridge, at the I-77/I-70 interchange, former talker WILE/1270 is now "ESPN 1270", a full-time sports station mostly running the ESPN Radio feed, along with local news and sports updates.

* And in New Philadelphia, on the southern end of the OMW coverage area, we heard still unchanged WJER/1450 and WJER-FM/101.7 with their usual mix of AC-ish music, local news and live air personalities. The reverse LMA, with former owner Gary Petricola operating the stations (and doing remotes!), is apparently open ended for Clear Channel is apparently not planning anything with either facility, at least until their proposed move of 101.7's COL from Dover to North Canton is approved and executed.

That would presumably - when the facilities are built out - send WJER-FM up to Freedom Avenue. But wither the AM? We still find it hard to believe that Clear Channel has even the slightest interest in operating AM 1450. It'd be a standalone in the Dover/New Philadelphia area, as 101.7 would become a Canton market station and 1450's signal really doesn't reach far into Stark County, let alone to the Freedom Avenue complex north of Belden Village Mall.

Our bet here - that Clear Channel sells off 1450 after the 101.7 move is approved or completed. Perhaps WTUZ/99.9 would be a candidate to operate the station in combo with their FM? Or maybe Mr. Petricola hangs onto it? We don't know...but it's hard to imagine Clear Channel Akron/Canton being interested in a 1000 watt AM station that doesn't reach its primary marketing area.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

What Hasn't Happened Yet

As promised, here's some of the stuff that's been rumored, reported or talked about that Hasn't Happened Yet.

* Infinity hot AC WQAL/104.1 "Q104" still has an open afternoon drive slot. Monday, we heard Q104's talented midday personality Jen Toohey in early afternoon drive. It wouldn't be likely to see her move permanently, because she's too vital to the station's midday slot. (And if we were listing the best Talent Swipes of recent memory, once certainly was Infinity picking up Jen from Clear Channel, where she worked at WMVX/106.5, and voicetracked into CC sister WKDD/98.1 down on Freedom Avenue.) Rumblings we've heard about potential replacements for "Fig" - now former afternoon driver Brian Figula - have not materialized in fact...and as far as we know, Q104 PD Allan Fee is still looking.

* We probably should have checked on the radio today, but as far as we know, Rubber City Radio standards WAKR/1590 Akron hasn't put a local personality into the currently satellite-driven midday shift. We presume whoever fills the opening - which includes music director stripes - would air after morning host Ray Horner. Rumors posted here earlier noted that former WMJI/105.7 middayer Mike Ivers could be a candidate for the shift, though we haven't heard any more lately.

* OMW hasn't heard any new rumors of a "JACK FM" launch at Cleveland's Infinity cluster, or anywhere in the market. You might recall that Radio Business Report, an online/E-Mail/FAX newsletter, mentioned such a flip could be coming "soon". That was what, over a month and change ago?

A reminder - the fall book starts SOON - this week. With some of the other rumored changes falling apart, like Infinity moving to push Howard Stern out of his show early, other things linked to them may not happen...and everyone may be sitting on their hands waiting until Stern actually leaves before making major changes - at local Infinity FM stations or elsewhere. (For those keeping track, the widely reported negotiations between Infinity and Chicago morning man "Mancow" Muller to take over for Stern in that market fell apart, and he signed a new deal with his current employer, Emmis rocker "Q101".)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Picking Up On Two Earlier Items

A couple of OMW footnotes:

* We hear it may have indeed been financial issues that torpedoed any possible television coverage of the Cleveland Indians' big 11-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. Part of it - a quick addition of the game to their schedule wouldn't allow Fox Sports Net Ohio to sell advertising for it, so they'd make no money off of doing it. (We're told that FSN Ohio *would* have been able to do it, because ESPN's Sunday rights generally don't extend to day games in the regular season.) But, as OMW also suspected, running baseball up against the NFL - even when the Browns are not directly playing against the baseball game - is often a brutal prospect in the ratings. We'd still like to have had the option, though...and we're told that some FSN Ohio talent would like to have had the option as well.

* As expected, someone's helping us with Brooke Taylor's Northeast Ohio radio resume. Brooke's the new morning co-host at Salem CCM WFHM/95.5 "The Fish" in Cleveland, in an item we reported below. We're told that she worked alongside WKDD afternoon driver/PD/Clear Channel Akron/Canton operations director/guy who does everything but clean the restrooms Keith Kennedy between 1999 and 2001, and that before that, she was at then-country WNPQ/95.9 New Philadelphia/Canton in the mid-90's. Thanks for the update, and the help, folks!

Columbus Classic Rocker Adjusts - Other Changes Ahead?

Clear Channel Columbus market classic rock WFJZ/105.7 "The Fox" has reportedly changed to "The Brew at 105.7" today, with the slogan "Rock With Real Variety".

We're not familiar with "The Fox's" playlist, but the audio loop on the front of the station's new website seems to be somewhat more broader-based than the traditional "classic rock" format, with lots of 80's music emphasized. It could very well be a clone of "97.3 The Brew", a Milwaukee Clear Channel FM that is generally called a "classic/variety rocker". Their website has the tag "Rock of 80's" in its title.

OMW brings this up not only because we'll at least generally mention big format changes even down in Columbus, but because we wonder how this will affect "Fox" classic rockers in the OMW service area. In particular, how about the CC Ashland/Mansfield "Fox Rock Network" trimulcast? (102.3/Galion, 98.3 Fredericktown, 107.7 Loudonville - the latter two joining up just recently) And then, there's the "Fox" classic rocker at 107.5 in the CC Ashtabula cluster. Will they stick to the "Fox" name and classic rock format, or is a change "Brew"ing? OMW suspects that at least some of it is dependent on how much the stations - particularly the Mid-Ohio "Foxes" - depend on Columbus for music and voicetracking...

Monday Morning Short Takes

Short Take 1: When did WOIO/19's airwaves turn into the Sharon Reed Dating Service? OK, so we're mostly joking. But during the station's "McDonald's Browns Tonight" show late Sunday, we did indeed see the "19 Action News" anchor, in the hallways of Lambeau Field, asking Browns star rookie wide receiver Braylon Edwards if he'd "join (her) tomorrow night".

Uh, yeah, on the station's "Browns Town" talk show, she meant, but we'll assume he knew that without her having to say the name of the show. The little quip caught the attention of two of "Browns Tonight"'s co-hosts - WNIR afternoon drive host and former Brown Bob Golic, and former Browns star Hanford Dixon, the third member of the show's hosting trio. Both of 'em joked about it after the recorded segment. Bless you, Bob don't hold back!

The entire exchange, in the back of OMW's minds, was powered by the knowledge that Sharon Reed had well-publicized dating relationships with Philadelphia sports superstars when she was in the City of, umm, Brotherly Love. Sharon, if you don't want to fuel that speculation here in Cleveland, you might not want to question a Browns player on camera like you were asking him on a date... it takes away from your otherwise very capable and professional performance in the station's Browns coverage team. If this doesn't bother you, well, fire away.

Short Take 2: OMW noted while changing channels that Channel 3's late Sunday sports show is also "title sponsored" by McDonald's. Is WJW/8's show open for sponsorship by, say, Wendy's? We know WEWS/5's sports programming is, as last we checked, sponsored by your friendly Chevy Network Dealers. So much for the fast food theme. Oh, and the burps on WTAM/1100 afternoon motormouth Mike Trivisonno's show are sponsored by Mallorca's. Oh, and Miller High Life.

Short Take 3: Continuing our sports theme this Monday, why in the world was the Cleveland Indians' spectacular win over the Kansas City Royals not televised anywhere? There's probably a good reason that the 11-0 blowout did not make TV, we guess...Fox Sports Net Ohio shows most of the Tribe's games, home and away, but 12 games were not on the schedule when the season started. There's probably also a rights problem with ESPN, which we believe may have exclusive Sunday rights. But watching the Tribe dismantle the Royals would have been a nice treat, while waiting for the Browns game. (26-24 Browns, for those who haven't hit the sports section yet.) The Browns game, by the way, looked spectacular not only on the field, but in a very good high definition broadcast via CBS and WOIO-DT.

Short Take 4: You knew we couldn't start the week without visiting the Land of Glunt, didn't you? Just a brief appears OMW does have readers at the studios at Courthouse Square in downtown Warren, the World Headquarters of the Harold Glunt Broadcast Empire, and more specifically, home of "Family Friendly" oldies simulcast base WANR/1570 Warren.

You'll read no more complaints about that station's legal IDs in This Space, because they have actually fixed the regular legal ID to mention all three Beacon Broadcasting AM stations - WANR, and sister WLOA/1470 Farrell PA and WGRP/940 Greenville PA - with the proper call letters and city of license! Every single hour! All day long! (Someone call the media...)

We mention it here because we had what Television Without Pity's "Miss Alli" would call a "shout-out"... an on-air mention that would lead us to believe we're being read by the folks in downtown Warren. After playing the then one-station legal ID that only mentioned WANR, middayer Ron Leader...or was that "Doctor Rock"?... added the other two stations and jokingly berated the recorded announcer for missing them. Heh.

Have fun,'s good to hear friendly, locally-run music radio on small AM stations in a market like Youngstown/Warren...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

We Missed This One: Brooke Taylor to Fish Cleveland Mornings

OMW was getting ready to post a "What Hasn't Happened Yet" update for the beginning of the week, when we wondered...who replaced Robin Swoboda on Salem Cleveland CCM WFHM/95.5 "The Fish"'s morning show? You might remember that the former local TV anchor left the station for family reasons...primarily because her husband's new job made it necessary for her to take her kids to school. That's impossible to do when you're, well, co-hosting a morning drive radio show.

It turns out that we missed it, but "The Fish" has tapped Brooke Taylor to co-host in the morning, joining incumbent host Len Howser. Taylor's bio says she grew up in Northeast Ohio, with family from "North Canton to Milan". It says she comes to WFHM from Green Bay, where she was part of a morning show called "Bear and Brooke in the Morning". A quick Google search reveals that it was on a country station called "Y100" (WNCY/100.3 Neenah-Menasha WI) in that market...a program now called "Bear and Charli". A quick check shows that though the WNCY signal is based near Appleton WI, the powerful station shows at the top of both the Appleton and Green Bay ratings books.

It looks like Brooke's been aboard officially at "The Fish" for a couple of weeks or so.

If Brooke has done radio in Northeast Ohio before, the name doesn't ring a bell, and OMW is sure that we'll hear from folks who remember her...if she did work in radio in this area.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The OMW Glossary

As we hit update #100 for Ohio Media Watch, it's sort of a milestone for us. (And we now officially don't dismiss anyone who says we just can't shut up.) So we thought we'd provide a glossary to some of the regular abbreviations, terms and names we use here.

OMW - Ohio Media Watch.
(And frankly, if you can't figure that one out, you're better off not reading!)

Broadcast Facilities:

CC World Domination HQ in Independence - 6200 Oak Tree Blvd., Fourth Floor, in the Cleveland suburb of Independence. The home of Clear Channel's Cleveland cluster (WTAM/1100, WGAR/99.5, WMJI/105.7, WMVX/106.5, WAKS/96.5). Secondary reference: "on Oak Tree".

Freedom Avenue - The Akron/Canton sister of the CC World Domination HQ, so named due to its location on Freedom Avenue in North Canton (actually, Jackson Township), Stark County (WKDD/98.1, WHLO/640, WARF/1350, with WJER/101.7 and AM 1450 to move up from New Philadelphia at some point). The facility's tall STL tower is visible from I-77, just north of the Portage Avenue exit.

Broadcast Park - The facilities of MediaCom's WNIR/100.1 and WJMP/1520, both licensed to Kent, but targetting the Akron market. Route 59 between Kent and Ravenna, across from a Wal-Mart, and just behind a trailer park which merited a controversial Akron Beacon Journal series a while back.

Akron Radio Center - The Rubber City Radio facilities on West Market Street in Akron (WAKR/1590, WQMX/94.9, WONE/97.5).

Reserve Square - The downtown Cleveland office/condo/apartment complex which houses Raycom's WOIO/19 (CBS) and WUAB/43 (UPN). Last we knew, the WOIO/WUAB facilities were mostly in the basement of that building, a couple of blocks from the Cleveland Greyhound terminal.

Other Terms:

Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) - What you're reading now. Tongue in cheek, as pretty much everything we do is.

The Land of Glunt, Glunt World, etc. - The Mahoning Valley's Beacon Broadcasting, Inc., a frequent OMW obsession, owned now officially by Warren steel supply magnate Harold Glunt. WANR/1570 Warren, WEXC/107.1 Greenville PA and WGRP/940 Greenville PA are under the company's official control, and Glunt has applied to purchase (on his own) WLOA/1470 Farrell PA and WRTK/1540 Niles, and is already operating 1470. But if you're a regular reader, you know all of that already, and could probably win a trip to Hawaii if it was a game show trivia question.

Afternoon motormouth Mike Trivisonno - We're still looking, but we're fairly sure Ohio law requires us to preface any mention of the WTAM afternoon drive talk host with this phrase. They'll have to amend the law if Triv ever leaves afternoons.

The Pain Feeler - Colloquial for the Cleveland market's major daily newspaper, the Plain Dealer. (Feel lucky we haven't yet used colloquial terms for the Akron and Canton newspapers.)

Sphere of Influence - OMW covers radio, TV and other media in the area generally considered Northeast Ohio. That "sphere of influence" generally extends as far as roughly Mansfield/Ashland on the southwest end, Lorain/Elyria on the northwest end, the Pennsylvania counties attached to the Youngstown/Warren market on the east end, and pretty much anything in between. We'll reach towards Sandusky and Toledo, but not usually in much detail. We'll mention big stuff in Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton, but pretty much, we cover anything in the Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Youngstown/Warren markets and nearby. We have a map in our heads about what we generally cover, and if we ever become handy with a mapping program, we'll post it.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Our Latest TV Rant: Fox Sports Net Ohio

The folks at Reserve Square can rest easy this weekend.

This time, OMW's TV sights turn to Fox Sports Net Ohio, which is the sole host of Cleveland Indians local TV games. (Though we note that Fox's WJW/8 is in the running to pick up over-air broadcasts of any Indians playoff games.)

It's not that we have any major problems with the game broadcasts themselves. The FSN Ohio crew is professional, and the on-air talent is fine as well. Our problem - FSN Ohio as a whole seems to be an afterthought, and has no major local (non-game) sports programming. Its sole purpose appears to be to carry the games of the Indians and Cavaliers, and not much else...aside from pre-game shows for both, and pre-game and post-game shows for the Indians.

And those shows have almost a spartan feel to them. As far as we know, FSN Ohio has no studio facilities, so everyone (and we mean everyone) is just positioned in front of cameras at the ballpark. It's like, "we're already here, we may as well do a recap anyway!"

Compare that to FSN down in Pittsburgh, which is one of the better sports operations in that market. FSN Pittsburgh produces a nightly sports-news roundup at 10 PM, and has a live, nightly sports talk show with market veteran Stan Savran (who also does a show on, if we remember right, Clear Channel sports WBGG/970 "Fox Sports 970"). They most assuredly have more off-game programming than we're listing here.

At FSN Ohio, as far as we know, the network does no regular Cleveland sports programming outside the above mentioned game coverage. There's no weekly Browns show. There's no weekly Indians show. There's no Cavaliers show. We caught a preview show for Ohio State football after the Indians game tonight (they won, by the way), but it appears to be produced and actually paid for by the university itself...and is likely produced somewhere in the WOSU/34 complex in Columbus.

It's no wonder, then, that OMW never sees FSN Ohio, except for after 7 PM weeknights.

With the Indians red hot these days, and blasting towards a playoff berth, a smart network would try to take advantage of that outside the game's time slot. It appears FSN Ohio has no plans to do so, or to hook onto the rebuilding Browns' season. It's a lost opportunity, and the local FSN operation either just doesn't have the money (or facilities), just doesn't care, or both.

We're not expecting 24/7 local sports programming, of course. We're just wondering why there is NOTHING else besides the game coverage and pre/post-game shows.

OMW feels obligated to note that FSN Pittsburgh is actually today's version of KBL, the original local sports network in that market. KBL had some local programming back in the day. But FSN Ohio grew out of SportsChannel Ohio, which also had some local programming. The most obvious example is Les Levine's sports talk show, which eventually got kicked off FSN and landed on Cablevision's local system (now Adelphia, soon to be Time Warner). It never should have left. And frankly, we'd love to see Les get a set that doesn't look like a cable access show...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Fig Has Landed

Nearly two weeks ago, OMW mentioned that Infinity hot AC WQAL/104.1 "Q104" Cleveland afternoon driver Brian "Fig" Figula was heading out, destined for a programming gig in another market.

His destination is now public, as AllAccess reports that Fig is heading back to the hometown station where he started as an intern over 10 years ago - Cumulus CHR station WWCK "CK 105.5" in Flint, Michigan. He'll not only take the programming reins, but will also be heard on the air in afternoon drive, starting next Wednesday.

On the home front, OMW hears that Fig's old job may still be open. Fig's still listed in afternoon drive on Q104's website, and though we haven't heard that time slot in a while, we hear nighttimer John Connor and weekender Rick Allen could be among those filling in.

(Rick's younger than OMW's primary editorial voice, but don't make us feel creaky by unearthing memories of listening to a 12 year-old "Rockin' Rick" Allen on WAPS, the Akron Public Schools station which used air students at 89.1's now AAA "91.3 The Summit".)

Oh, and while we're off-tangent, let's go there completely. We noticed on the WAPS website that they're now streaming their audio via one of the Public Broadcasting portals...

Mid-Week Odds And Ends

Just a couple of things on our agenda this late Wednesday evening:

* It appears that even if we can't syndicate a radio show, OMW itself has picked up some, uh, "syndication". While searching for something else, we found one of our entries reprinted on something called "", which apparently aggregates various radio news-oriented blogs in its news section. A quick check of the links shows OMW, along with other sites like Dave Hughes' DCRTV, and our good friends over at Indiana RadioWatch. It appears from the newly-minted front page that the site is run by Radio-Info's Lance Venta, and that he's putting in new blogging software. The "news" page did not make clear which blog a news item came from, so for those looking in from the other side, feel free to click on the "Ohio Media Watch" link, and learn more about us! (The feed appears to be automatic, which explains why our TV-based items like rants about "19 Action News" appear there.)

* Speaking of Radio-Info and its Cleveland board, regular Nathan Obral ("nate81") is taking up a related project very soon. We hear he'll be revamping the website for Lorain County Community College's Internet-based station "The Duck". (Well, it beats "The Salamander"!) Nate's a smart young guy, and should do a fine job working on the Internet presence of the college's radio website.

Akron/Canton-Based Syndicated Radio Show

OMW hears that a new program on the "Sports Byline" network will be originating from a local studio.

"The Joe Average Poker Show"
will be heard on that network, and via its clearance on Sirius satellite radio channel 122, Monday nights at 9 PM ET. The host is long-time local high school sports color commentator Fred Maury, who's been doing the honors on WHLO/640 and now-WARF/1350 for several seasons. But locals who wish to hear the show will have to check in with Sports Byline affiliate WTIG/990 "ESPN 990" in Massillon, or fire up their Sirius units.

OMW is told that the new show is being done from the studios at Clear Channel's Akron/Canton HQ on Freedom Avenue in North Canton.

There have been other announced nationally syndicated programs that were scheduled to originate from the Akron/Canton area, but unfortunately, that has not yet happened. If it ever does, OMW will definitely be the first to report it. But, we're not optimistic...or not even sure that apparatus will be in Northeast Ohio for much longer...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A Brief Stop In The Land of Glunt

No, there's not really anything new going on in that Youngstown/Warren market cluster owned by Beacon Broadcasting, which is in the process of being bought by (say it with us, folks!) Warren steel supply magnate Harold Glunt.

But we neglected to mention this in our last update - you, too, can listen to the Internet feed that is apparently being used to send WANR/1570 Warren's self-described "family friendly" oldies programming to WLOA/1470 Farrell PA, and eventually on to puny WGRP/940 Greenville PA.

This brief webpage contains links to live audio from 1570 AM in most popular formats, including Windows Media Player, RealPlayer and MP3 streaming. It sounds, to OMW, similar in quality to the feed heard on WLOA a few days we access it carefully, lest we contribute to maxing out the number of audio streams available, and inadvertently take WLOA and WGRP off the air! ("Station Silenced By Internet Surfer", anyone?)

The web address is public, and we've heard it given out on the air by the station's midday jock, market veteran Ron Leader.

The audio quality is actually pretty good...we heard WANR/WLOA/WGRP/Whatever Station Is Aboard This Week afternoon driver Johnny Rogers today once again mentally adding 1470 and 940 to his on-air patter, which mostly referenced WANR. And the station still hasn't figured out that little FCC rule that requires them to do a legal ID for ALL the stations airing the programming, and is doing legal IDs for WANR alone. (The occasional frequency references and call letter mentions of WLOA and WGRP do not count, and as far as we know, the station is not automatically doing legal IDs for 1470 and least, we never heard them when we were out there.)

As far as we know, the only time the 1470 and 940 frequencies get legal IDs is during Pittsburgh Pirates broadcasts, which are run separate from 1570, and have an in-house staffer doing a recorded legal ID for those stations alone. Sorry, we know we're ranting...we'll leave the legal ID business to our good friend Brian at Toppy. But, will SOMEONE in the Mahoning Valley print this out and deliver it to the Courthouse Square studios in downtown Warren? Please? It's, all together now, "WANR Warren, WLOA Farrell, WGRP Greenville". Put that on the air once an hour, and you'll save Mr. Glunt a lot of FCC fines...

Monday, September 12, 2005

OK, So NOW Bill Press' Show Has A Syndicator

As OMW does feel responsible for some of this, we continue to watch the radio career of Bill Press, the MSNBC commentator and former CNN "Crossfire" co-host who launched his liberal talk radio show in late May on Akron's WARF/1350 "Radio Free Ohio".

Radio and Records Online reports (along with AllAccess and other trade web sites) that Press' show is now officially being offered for syndication by Jones Radio, which has a hand in selling a number of talk shows, both liberal (P1's Ed Schultz and WYD Media Management's Stephanie Miller, both already on WARF) and otherwise (WSB/Cox's Neal Boortz and Clark Howard, the latter a fixture at news/talk WEOL/930 Elyria).

Press told OMW back in May that the show would air on Sirius Satellite Radio, which eventually did put it on its Sirius Left channel in late June, and would be offered to other over-air stations. But until the Sirius debut, Akron's WARF was the only outlet for his much so that Press' on-air presentation only referred to the local liberal talk outlet in that first month.

After Sirius picked up the show, Press managed to sell his own program to two other outlets, KRXA in the Monterey/Salinas/Santa Cruz, CA market, and KKNS-FM in Missoula, MT. His radio show website now also mentions a station in Chattanooga, TN, recent liberal talk convert WDOD. One presumes Jones - noted for its aggressive sales representatives - will be able to get him in larger markets than Akron at some point.

Oddly enough, despite that history, R&R's story makes it sound like they haven't started it yet. Sounds like a press release rewrite to us...

Starting The Week With Odds and Ends

OMW was still in the area, but mostly away from the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) due to an influx of our out of town friends for a big gathering in Cleveland. But, there are some small bits of news and rumblings on our plate as we return this Monday:

* Early in his show last Wednesday afternoon, we heard WNIR/100.1 afternoon talk host Bob Golic doing the show via a regular telephone line on "The Talk of Akron". That's not new for Golic, who has occasionally done this while he's away from the WNIR studios along Route 59 between Kent and Ravenna. His Saturday afternoon show is often done via phone from Southern California, or recently, from wherever the Cleveland Browns are playing. One of these days, Kaiser Bill and company will discover the magic of modern broadcast technology that makes regular phone lines sound nearly broadcast quality, but we digress...

When he mentioned it Wednesday, Golic said he was a little "under the weather", and it sounded for all the world like he was doing the show from his home.

This is only brought up because OMW is hearing Golic may not have been on the air Thursday and Friday, and we're wondering A) if this was indeed the case, and B) if it was, why...if it was due to his self-mentioned illness, or if it was for other reasons we've heard from the local rumor mill, involving something that happened on the air last week.

Golic is back behind the WNIR microphone today as we update this blog, and was seen late last night as a regular member of WOIO/19's 11:15 PM Cleveland Browns show. Golic also took part in a WOIO event Sunday morning, during the station's early morning newscast. Whatever happened on Golic's WNIR show last week, it appears to be water under the proverbial bridge at this point. And he seems to be in a pretty good mood this afternoon, so if a ton of virtual bricks fell upon him, it doesn't appear to have taken a long-term toll.

* In our "At THIS hour?" category: After spending a late evening with our out-of-town friends Saturday, we flipped on the radio in the OMWMobile at 12:50 AM, to hear the dulcet tones of the one and only Mike Trivisonno doing the station's Indians post-game show on WTAM/1100.

Triv? On Saturday night/Sunday morning at nearly 1 AM? Listeners have heard the WTAM afternoon drive motormouth hype the Tribe's key Sunday night ESPN2 contest with the Minnesota Twins, to the point of prompting the team to offer $5 discount tickets for the game. (By the way, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that 20,000 of the low-priced "Triv" tickets were sold, driving the Sunday night crowd to some 38,000 people. And by the way again, the Indians won 12 to 4, with the entire OMW staff in attendance at Jacobs Field. Go Tribe!)

It's not the first time Triv has commanded the "Big One's" 50,000 watts late on a weekend night. OMW readers likely remember that he actually said he was going to be doing a regular Saturday night sports talk show, because he missed doing straight-ahead sports talk on the station's blowtorch late night signal. Of course, that lasted roughly two to three weeks.

We note that perhaps even a staffing issue prompted WTAM program director Ray Davis to bring Triv to Saturday night's post-game weekend warrior and Indians beat reporter Mark Schwab was in Columbus, watching the Buckeyes choke, er, lose to the Texas Longhorns on Saturday. Weekender Mark Tromba was already busy doing both morning sports updates and "Weekend Sportsline" until 5 PM that day, and we're pretty sure Chad Krispinski (sp?) was in the mix earlier in the day as well...someone had to do the Indians post-game, which we believe is normally Schwabbie's on Kevin Keane's off days, so why not Triv, who'd been pumping the Sunday night game all week on the air, and enjoys doing straight sports talk?

It was fun to hear, at any rate, and we're not really big Triv fans here at your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm)...

Friday, September 09, 2005

"19 Action News" News Director Exits - Warning, Rant Ahead!

This has been around the rumor mill for a day or two, but the Plain Dealer's Julie Washington confirms it in this morning's PD. WOIO/WUAB "19 Action News" news director Steven Doerr is leaving the station at the end of the month, bound for a job with a research company in Dallas. (Doerr will be staying in the Cleveland area, though.)

Washington's article touches on what you'd expect - 19's swashbuckling style under Doerr, including the now-infamous "Body of Art" series featuring unclad anchor Sharon Reed... and also notes 19 hiring former WKBN/27 Youngstown anchor Catherine Bosley as a reporter. Like Reed, viewers saw a bit too much of Bosley after nude pictures of her at a Key West bar flew out over the Internet.

However, OMW would like to make a few comments here:

* Don't expect "19 Action News" to pull back from the edge, with Doerr's departure. The in-your-face tabloid style is clearly the creation of WOIO/WUAB VP/GM Bill Applegate, who's certainly not leaving. Anyone who watches Applegate's televised commentaries would know that. When WOIO was battling Cleveland mayor Jane Campbell's office, Applegate was right there, delivering a strong, impassioned defense of the station's right not to get "shut out of City Hall" by Her Honor. (And while we chuckled at the "We Were Thrown Out of City Hall!" promos, and while the Mayor generally has a right to run her press operations the way she wants, OMW generally thought Ms. Campbell was being petty in that situation.)

As far as a new ND goes - look for a hire along the lines of the former Cleveland Free Press editor who spent a turn in the "19 Action News" newsroom a while back. We're not saying "HIM", as OMW doesn't know why he's no longer there, but someone of that nature...fitting in with WOIO's style.

* We saw Catherine Bosley on "Action News" again yesterday, doing more field reporting. Though we did shed light on her past (even in this missive!), we'd like to "go positive" for a moment or two. Ms. Bosley does a fine job on the air, and despite that past, her hire was a Good Thing for "Action News". The situation which happened was an unfortunate series of events, and poor judgment on her part down in Florida, but it's long over with, and we don't believe Ms. Bosley should have to wear that like the proverbial albatross around her neck the rest of her TV news career.

However, her WOIO counterpart, Ms. Reed, made a conscious decision to do the "Body of Art" series, which her bosses likely instantly drooled over...and not for the nudity, but for the historic sweeps ratings which the series predictably delivered.

Yes, we know Sharon Reed continues to defend the series, and takes the journalistic moral high ground about her "first person" story. And it's not like we don't believe she feels she did the right thing.

But again, we remind her...if it had been WOIO reporter Paul Orlousky pitching a story about going naked at a world-famous photo shoot, he'd have been laughed out of the newsroom. (Or heck, they may have done it, but as a curiosity "look at our guy reporter going naked, ha ha!" funny piece...with a large amount of blurring.)

The series only got done because Sharon is an attractive young woman who shed her clothing on camera, and that combination fueled WOIO's ratings. And anyone who doubts that, need only be pointed to the promos the station ran incessantly - with the station's promo voice imploring viewers to "Watch Sharon Reed's Body...(pause, truck drives through, sun sets and rises again)...of Art!"...

Note, again, this is the station which had a male "regular Cleveland guy" voice on one of its promos talking about how anchor Denise Dufala was "easy on the eyes, if you know what I mean"...

OK, 19 Action News Rant Mode - off!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Two New Cleveland Radio Job Openings

Picked off the Net News section, and the Jobs section, of

* Do you like WAKS/96.5 "KISS FM"'s "Valentine in the Morning" show so much you'd love to get paid to run it locally? OK, so maybe that's not the approach WAKS PD Dan Mason is using:

"CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 WAKS/CLEVELAND local 'VALENTINE IN THE MORNING' show producer KATIE HUTCH exits for her hometown, BOSTON, to join CLEAR CHANNEL TOTAL TRAFFIC. If you have the goods to write and execute hourly news and weather reports, experience with NextGen is helpful, and are open to weekend airshifts for qualified candidates, send a sample news demo and aircheck to WAKS PD DAN MASON, 6200 Oak Tree Blvd., 4th Floor, INDEPENDENCE, OH 44131. No MP3s, please."

* Across the hall at CC World Domination HQ, new WMVX/106.5 "Mix 106.5" PD Don Hallett is looking for some on-air company for long-time morning team "Brian and Joe"...

"WMVX, Cleveland's MIX 106.5 would like to add a member to our morning show. Prior experience in mornings is preferred, but not required. This team has been together for 18 years. Would you like to join them for their next eighteen? Show us what you can bring to the table. Please, no email nor telephone calls. All applications will be reviewed. Send your materials to Don Hallett, Clear Channel, 6200 Oak Tree Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44131. Clear Channel is an equal opportunity employer."

Of course, earlier, Infinity hot AC WQAL/104.1 Cleveland needs not only a new PM driver (and possible APD), but has also been looking for part-timers. And Rubber City Radio standards WAKR/1590 Akron posted a new midday/music director position here a while back, though that post may or may not be filled by a former WMJI'er...

With the rest of our professional life on permanent hold, too bad OMW doesn't have any music radio tapes in our collection...

Katrina Relief: Northeast Ohio TV Fundraiser

The American Red Cross

The Cleveland Plain Dealer confirms the earlier reports of a local TV "roadblock", designed to raise money for Hurricane Katrina.

"Hurricane Katrina: Northern Ohio Responds" will indeed air on "most" local TV stations Friday from 7 to 8 PM. "Most" definitely includes all four major network affiliates (3/5/8/19), 19's UPN sister 43 and WBNX/55 "Cleveland's WB"...along with PBS affiliate WNEO/WEAO 45/49 out of the Akron area. Cleveland PBS affiliate WVIZ/25 will produce (and also air) the special, and local TV news anchors and personalities from all stations will once again - as they did for the similar tsunami relief special - host the show.

The simulcast of those local stations actually spreads into the 8-9 PM hour, as all broadcast networks will carry the national "Shelter from the Storm" Katrina fundraiser in that time slot.

There's still no word whether "i"/PAX TV O&O WVPX/23 will be along for the local special. It was last time, but was represented by local news anchor Eric Mansfield, whose WKYC/3-produced news program recently moved from that station to Time Warner's cable channel 23. Mansfield, at last check, was actually in the region as a National Guardsman, helping out in the Katrina aftermath. Without him or sub Joy Benedict on WVPX anymore, the station has no local air talent.

OMW also wonders why Kent-based MediaCom LPTV combo WAOH-LP 29 Akron/W35AX Cleveland ("The CAT") hasn't been involved in any of these specials. They've had relationships with local full-power network affiliates in the past, as they've run repeats of news programming from WOIO/19's "19 Action News". And if having talent on the air to help host is the question, surely they could spare someone from sister talk WNIR/100.1 (TV vet Bob Golic comes to mind). But OMW guesses that the full-power stations aren't exactly eager to give the LPTV combo even the slightest exposure in that hour slot, even during the cause of disaster relief. It's also possible the MediaCom folks just didn't ask.

Don't Say Mike Trivisonno Never Gave You Anything

NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! OMW now takes this opportunity to say something nice about WTAM afternoon motormouth Mike Trivisonno. (By the way, don't blame us for that title... we are pretty sure it's an Ohio law that we have to call him that.)

Who knows how much of it is staged, but Triv badgered Cleveland Indians public relations chief Bob DiBiasio to get the team to sell $5 discount tickets to Sunday night's big nationally televised tilt (ESPN2) with the Minnesota Twins. The plan came to fruition Wednesday afternoon, when Triv and the gang broadcasted live from the plaza next to Jacobs Field to offer the discounted tickets. They said it'd end after Triv's show Wednesday, but during the evening's game broadcast, Indians broadcaster Tom Hamilton said Internet buyers could still get in on it.

If you're interested, it couldn't hurt to go to, and start the process to buy a ticket for Sunday night, entering the promotional code "TRIV" to get the $5 tickets. Again, we don't know how much of this happened behind the scenes as "radio theatre", but it's a good deal if you're a baseball fan.

And since we're in Triv-land, he's once again in the sights of the Plain Dealer's Roger Brown, for a crude, insensitive comment about the victims of Hurricane Katrina. In a "dog bites man" column on Monday, Mr. Brown calls attention to Triv's remarks about people who live in hurricane-prone areas. As Triv says, "If you live in 'Hurricane Alley,' should you really be surprised when there's a devastating hurricane?" Well, at least those planned 400 evacuees won't be coming to Cleveland after all, so they won't stumble over the WTAM loudmouth.

Again, as we noted the last time Triv got free ink for his's like reporting that there are thunderstorms in Northeast Ohio in the summer.

The American Red Cross

Speaking of Katrina's victims, here's a reminder that the next two mornings, WTAM's morning team "Wills and Coleman" are scheduled to be at that very same location between Jacobs Field and Gund Arena. They'll be taking donations for the American Red Cross during a live 6 to 9 AM broadcast. Or, you can donate by clicking the banner just above this item...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

It's a Land of Glunt, Again

It's been a while since we've spent a lot of time watching the moves of Beacon Broadcasting, the Youngstown/Warren-market based mini-chain coming under the control of Warren steel supply magnate Harold Glunt...but there are some changes to talk about in Glunt Land.

As first tipped on OMW, Beacon's three current AM stations are now simulcasting a locally-originated oldies format, which comes out of the company's WANR/1570 Warren. In fact, it's the very same format, and personalities, that WANR ran solo until this week, while WLOA/1470 Farrell PA was off running jockless oldies on its own as "Wexy 107", along with the occasional presence of WGRP/940 Greenville PA. And of course, this being Beacon Broadcasting, the "Wexy 107" meant nothing other than the frequency of the former owner of the format, WEXC/107.1 Greenville PA, which is now Christian rocker "Freq 107".

You've heard that before, we trust.

Now, all of Beacon's AM Empire is together, all three stations, simulcasting with live air personalities including Johnny Rogers (afternoons) and Ron Leader (middays). In our shot at hearing the format, on Rogers' shift, he still seemed unsure about the new combination, and was getting used to adding the other two stations to 1570's mentions. And the three station combo has new, professionally voiced liners. It'd be nice, however, if they came up with A NAME for it!

Nope, no name here. Instead, it's, and we're Not Making This Up, "1570, 1470 and 940... your Family Friendly Frequencies!" Honest. Each liner started with all three frequencies, and no name for the actual "sum of the parts". Of course, it's interesting to hear the "family friendly" moniker used around songs like "Shake Your Booty" and "Kiss You All Over", but maybe those songs are nearly quaint by 2005 standards?

As for WGRP/ must be operating day and night on the station's puny 2 watt night authorization. Since we could not hear 940 in the OMW mobile in the Sharon/Hermitage area, we did drive north into Greenville, and the station didn't start getting listenable until just under 5 miles south of its city of license. And even in Greenville itself, the 940 signal was fighting with all sorts of electrical static, which didn't go away until...about 2 blocks from the transmitting site. (Our eagle eyed contingent did not see what temporary wire setup WGRP may be using, but we didn't have World Champion Tower Hunter Scott Fybush along for this ride. We'll submit pictures to him later.)

The WLOA/1470 version of the new simulcast sounded like it was coming from a moderate quality Internet feed, as it was somewhat muffled, and was roughly 45 seconds behind the "live" feed out of WANR/1570. 1470 and 940 are hooked up directly, so there would be no further delay in that chain. OMW has no idea where either 940 or 1470 is being operated from, as there didn't appear to be a live operator in the station's abandoned-looking building on McCracken Road just south of downtown Greenville...but someone's somewhere, because 1470 and 940 split from the simulcast to run the Pittsburgh Pirates, as 1570 continued in the oldies, automated, we presume at that point of the evening. The split wasn't without audio pain, as we heard a combination of baseball and low-volume oldies on 1470 until the board op heard it at the break...but we are talking about Beacon here, aren't we?

The soon-to-be fourth AM station in Harold Glunt's pocket is WRTK/1540 Niles. At this time, despite his filing to purchase the station from D & E Communications, WRTK is still running its urban-oriented format.

There's no word if WRTK will turn that really long liner into a "Four Family Frequencies" one ("1570, 1470, 940, AND 1540!"), or if the station will bother to add WRTK, WLOA and WGRP to the WANR legal ID. A word of advice to anyone watching from radio studios along Courthouse Square - you'd better fix that one quick, as it can be very costly, and Mr. Glunt has already dropped a chunk of change on the stations. Here, we'll help:

WANR Warren
WLOA Farrell
WGRP Greenville

Feel free to print this out and read it into a microphone. Oh, and add "WRTK Niles" if needed. OMW won't charge consultant fees for this one.

Katrina Relief: Radio One's Efforts

The American Red Cross

(The above banner will appear above every OMW news item about Hurricane Katrina relief. It's clickable, and will take you to an online donation form at the American Red Cross.)

Radio One's Cleveland cluster - WZAK/93.1, WENZ/107.9, WJMO/1490 and WERE/1300 - has held its own Katrina relief radiothon...a 16 hour effort that started Tuesday morning at 6 AM. Radio and Records Online reports that "at the Randall Park Mall lot in North Randall, OH, station staffers (accepted) donations of items including gift cards from gas-station gift cards, discount stores like Target and Wal-mart and restaurants, along with phone cards and such basic supplies as water, clothing and food. The donations will be sent to New Orleans." R&R also calls Radio One Cleveland a "three-station" cluster. We'll forgive them,'s easy to forget brokered talk WERE when you're counting stations, even if its call letters are in the story...

WKYC/3 reported this morning that the effort raised $85,000, and filled 3 buses, a tractor-trailer and other vehicles.

"Studio 3" Exits at WKYC/3, "Good Company" Enters

OMW happened to be watching WKYC's midday magazine program "Studio 3", which is hosted by Cleveland TV veteran Fred Griffith and WKYC morning weather anchor Hollie Strano.

They noted on the air today that this is the last week for "Studio 3", and that starting next week, a new midday show called "Good Company" will air from 10 AM to 11 AM. From the description, it sounded like an expanded version of "Studio 3", and we'll assume that Griffith will host it as well... as he pointed to himself while talking about the new show. Undetermined - the status of WKYC's 11 AM half-hour newscast, and what program will replace "Studio 3" in the 11:30 AM slot...

UPDATE: We've been pointed to a Plain Dealer article a while back, which confirms all of the above. The popular Strano won't be aboard due to workload issues, and joining Griffith will be "Average Joe" contestant and occasional "Studio 3" contributor Michael Cardamone, along with producer Andrea Vecchio...who will continue to contribute entertainment reports for the new show. WKYC swipes back "Access Hollywood" from WBNX/55 for the 11:30-noon slot. We apologize for missing this one, as OMW doesn't subscribe to the Pain Plain Dealer.

(If WKYC can pick from the Reality TV tree for talent, maybe a Pittsburgh station will pick up the likeable Matt Kennedy Gould, the original "Joe Schmo" [Spike TV] back a few years ago? While we're not big reality TV fans, aside from being obsessed with CBS' smart "The Amazing Race", the Pittsburgh-area native is a good guy and was fun to watch...but we digress. If you miss MKG like we do, try to endure Bravo's current "Battle of the Network Reality Stars" long enough to catch him... he was certainly enough to get us to endure Spike TV back then.)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The I-77 Shuttle Is In Full Gear

OMW's hearing a LOT of rumblings about various local air personalities moving up and down Interstate 77.

Our first tidbit - the Local Rumor Mill(tm) tells us that oldies WMJI/105.7 "Majic 105.7" Cleveland's now-former midday personality Mike Ivers could land in the same time slot down in Akron, taking the opening at WAKR/1590 - recently posted right here on OMW - for a midday personality and music director. Along those lines, the move could very well mean that WAKR moves away from standards, and becomes more of a 50's/60's oldies outlet. With the migration of standards into soft AC, especially by satellite networks like WAKR's own Westwood One feed, this would seem to make sense, and Ivers could certainly deliver the oldies goods for WAKR.

A side note: Starting today, at Ivers' old home, afternoon driver Don "Action" Jackson picks up an extra hour on his shift...he's on the air now starting at 2 PM on "Majic 105.7". Presumably, this is so that Chuck Collier's midday WMJI voicetracks don't fill up as much hard drive space on Prophet NexGen...

Our second tidbit - it's very well possible that a Cleveland program director and an Akron/Canton area program director both had a hunger for sushi for lunch this afternoon, and both at the same time and place. Imagine that! Last we checked, downtown Cleveland is a bit far to drive just for sushi...they do have sushi places down this way, you know.

It'd be pointing out the obvious to note that the Cleveland station recently lost its afternoon drive personality, who's headed for a programming job elsewhere. Can you FIGure out what we're talking about? OMW hears that the open afternoon slot in Cleveland could come with APD stripes as well...

Oh, and part of the I-77 Shuttle that does not involve actual first reported exclusively here on OMW, MediaCom talk WNIR/100.1 Kent/Akron has now joined up with the ABC Information Network for its hourly newscasts. But sister sports talk rimshot daytimer WJMP/1520 Kent ("Fox Sports 1520") is hanging onto the CBS newscasts that ran on WNIR for many, many years. We don't know if this is permanent, or if they just haven't gotten around to programming WJMP's automation computer....

Monday, September 05, 2005

Katrina Relief: Local TV and WSTB/Streetsboro

The American Red Cross

A reminder - it's easy to donate without even listening to the radio or watching TV. Don't wait for later this week. Click this very easy link above, and you can donate to the American Red Cross' Katrina Relief fund without even leaving your computer. It's that easy.

We can't find a lot of details on it - among other places, on the TV stations' own websites - but OMW hears that the Cleveland market's TV stations will do an hour fundraising special for Hurricane Katrina relief called "Northeast Ohio Responds", this coming Friday from 7-8 PM.

It's expected to be similar to a special which aired on all major Northeast Ohio TV stations, after the tsunami which hit southeast Asia. OMW assumes that Channels 3, 5, 8, 19, 25, 43, 45/49 and 55 will air the Katrina special, but we're not sure about WVPX/23...which is no longer being operated by WKYC/3. "23 News" anchor Eric Mansfield, who counts WKYC as his primary employer, represented "PAX 23" on that earlier special.

By the way, Eric's off the air again at "Akron/Canton News", and it's directly related to Katrina. His southwest Ohio-based National Guard unit has been called up to help in the aftermath of the hurricane. "Akron/Canton News" reporter Joy Benedict fills the anchor chair for Eric at 6:30 and 9 PM on Time Warner 23, as Mr. Mansfield once again capably serves his country. While we were looking for news on this, OMW noticed the absence of Akron-based reporter John Friess from the "Akron/Canton News" and WKYC appears WKYC's Vic Gideon is now taking that reporting slot.

GM Bob Long of Streetsboro-based alt-rock/oldies WSTB/88.9 checks in with OMW, and tells us that they'll be participating in the NAB's "Broadcast Unity Day" on Friday, September 9th. More details to come...

Katrina Relief: WTAM/1100 and Indians Event

OMW hasn't heard this on the air yet on the Big One, but this one IS a Big One.

The Cleveland Indians are the driving force in this effort to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, starting this Thursday morning at Jacobs Field. WTAM's involvement includes morning team "Wills and Coleman", who broadcast their show live from Gateway Plaza there Thursday and Friday, and will be collecting money for the American Red Cross' Katrina relief fund.

The team itself will also be collecting money during home games from September 8 through September 11. That last one is a big game - as the Tribe hosts the Minnesota Twins in a nationally televised tilt (ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball").

This press release from the Tribe details it. We reprint it, in full, below. It also mentions another Indians media partner, WEWS/5, but doesn't detail what NewsChannel 5 is doing in this particular effort...presumably, at least, Channel 5 will broadcast public service announcements about the effort.


CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians today announced their plan, with the support of media partners WTAM and WEWS-TV5, to raise a minimum of $100,000 for the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts through monetary contributions from the Indians organization and Tribe fans.

The Indians have scheduled THREE (3) MONETARY COLLECTION DRIVES next week (September 8-11) in addition to the contributions made from the Indians Players and Organization:


WTAM Wills and Coleman Morning Show to broadcast their entire show live from Gateway Plaza at Jacobs Field on September 8 & 9. From 5AM-9AM Tribe fans can come downtown to make monetary contributions. Fans making a cash donation will receive a "special thank you gift" from the Indians while supplies last. The collection booth will be located in front of the WTAM tent on Gateway Plaza. Fans can DRIVE their cars to the collection booth by accessing Gateway Plaza via Eagle Ave. off both Ontario St. and E. 9th St. in downtown Cleveland.


The Indians plan to play host to a monetary collection drive inside Jacobs Field during their home games next week September 8-11. The collection drive will be run from the time gates open for each game until the 7th inning in two locations (Sections 157 & 541). Fans making a cash donation will receive a "special thank you gift" from the Indians while supplies last.


All of the proceeds from CIC's upcoming Silent Auction on Saturday, September 10 to benefit the ARC Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. The auction, located on the main concourse at section 157, will feature an autographed team bat, a game used autographed base and other one of kind Indians memorabilia.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Odds and Ends

Clearing out the files on this early Saturday morning:

* North American Broadcasting rocker WBZX/99.7 "Blitz" Columbus has dropped the syndicated Howard Stern show, citing an FCC investigation of the station due to things aired on Stern's show. Click here for an MP3 of the station's audio explanation of the situation. A locally-produced morning show will replace Stern. As far as how it affects Northeast Ohio, it means we won't have the fall ratings book to see how Cleveland's "Rover" (based at WXTM/92.3) does up against the last few months of Howard Stern, in a market outside Cleveland. The top morning, uh, dog at WXTM airs in Columbus on Infinity rocker WAZU/107.1, which is known as...and no, Northeast Ohio folks, we're not making this up..."The Big Wazoo".

* Back on the Beacon Broadcasting beat again...we hear that returned-silent-returned-silent WGRP/940 Greenville PA could be back up again in a couple of days. And when it does return, it'll likely once again simulcast the oldies format originating at Youngstown market rimshot WLOA/1470 Farrell PA. Only this time, we hear that WANR/1570 Warren may finally come along for the ride, and that the simulcast - presumably with some of the live air personalities that air on 1570 - will not carry the "Wexy 107" name. We'll see.

* OMW asked for input from stations which are doing benefits for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. We've had precious few responses, though it is going into a holiday weekend. We do hear from AllAccess that Radio One gospel WJMO/1490 Cleveland is holding a blood - and financial - drive with help from the American Red Cross next Saturday, the's called "The Praise 1490 Unity in the Community Day". And Clear Channel country WNCO/101.3 Ashland will hold a song auction next Tuesday, soliciting $5 donations for song requests all day...$10 for dedications.

We quite frankly hope the lack of response to our call is due to the Labor Day holiday weekend, and not due to the fact that Northeast Ohio stations aren't doing much in the drive to help Katrina's victims. We know that area program directors, on-air and off-air staffers and others read our words. And we're particularly proud that our former primary employer, in a market smaller than Akron or Canton, raised over a half-million dollars in just over a day between the cluster's 5 radio stations...we know that the people of Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Youngstown are generous folks, and we only expect the best here.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Mike Ivers Out, Chuck Collier In - WMJI Middays

Thanks to Radio-Info Cleveland board regular Johnny Morgan for the tip...

It appears that WMJI/105.7 "Majic 105.7" vet Mike Ivers is out in middays at the CC Cleveland oldies powerhouse. He's been removed from the WMJI website, and has been replaced by Chuck Collier, better known as country WGAR/99.5's afternoon driver. Unless Chuck's slaving over a hot console from 10 AM to 7 PM, we'd have to assume that some of that time is voicetracked, likely on WMJI.

Collier isn't the only voice associated with both stations. Daune Robinson has been on both WMJI and WGAR (not to mention some work reporting and anchoring on WTAM/1100!). Oddly enough, the new CC-standard-issue WGAR website links her under the "On Air" pull-down menu as "Duane Robinson", despite this in her WGAR bio:

"Fun Fact: Her name is not 'Duane!' Her father swore that D-A-U-N-E was the only way he'd ever seen 'Dawn' spelled, and Daune has since learned it's the old Celtic way of spelling the name."

Heh. We hope the WGAR webmaster won't see any of that karate action from Daune...

This isn't the first time Collier's new assignment displaces a Cleveland radio vet. He moved to WGAR's PM drive shift from middays there a few years ago, after the station declined to renew the contract of long-time Cleveland air personality Danny Wright. Danny eventually landed as Jones Radio's syndicated overnight host, and is heard in Northern Ohio on WQXK/105.1 ("K105") Salem and WKFM/96.1 Huron on the "Wright All Night" show.

Rumblings: Q104 PM Driver Leaving For Programming Gig

Message board chatter would indicate that WQAL/104.1 Cleveland ("Q104") afternoon driver Brian "Fig" Figula is heading out of the Infinity hot AC station, destined for an unspecified programming job elsewhere. Assuming that there's a fire under all that smoke, we wish "Fig" well!

One other note: We'd appreciate if people from stations all over Northeast Ohio would give us an update on what they're doing regarding Hurricane Katrina relief. Drop OMW a note - the E-Mail link is under the "View my complete profile" link on the left of each and every page.

And if you'd like to provide some individual help to the Katrina relief effort, visit The American Red Cross' page, and click on the giant red "Donate Now" button...