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 10th...it'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.