* The Plain Dealer's full-article treatment on Ronnie Duncan's new morning radio gig is in today's paper, and surprise, it's written by radio-TV writer Julie Washington and not "Friend of Ronnie" Roger Brown (who's been absent from the PD's pages recently). We were surprised, as calling Cavaliers PA announcer Duncan "the voice of the Cavaliers" - a title usually applied to radio legend Joe Tait - sounded like a Brown-ism.
As it turns out, there were some 30 people auditioning for the new morning show on Radio One's WERE/1300 Cleveland, which takes the company's new "urban talk" format on Monday. And though OMW tipsters' ears did indeed hear WOIO/19-WUAB/43 reporter Harry Boomer, he wasn't a finalist for the gig.
In fact, Gregg Anthony, a local voice-over guy and broadcasting veteran, was one of those finalists... and WERE will tap his services to do local news on the new show. Two other media names were on the short list - former WKYC/3 reporter Ben Holbert, who toiled in the station's Akron/Canton bureau until recently, and WKBN/27-FOX 17/62 Youngstown part-time anchor/reporter Cynthia Barnes.
Washington also notes that "The People's Station" will move daytime brokered programs into other time slots, after Radio One's talk network ends at 7 PM weekdays and on weekends. But the brokered afternoon drive standards music block hosted by WERE OM Jim Davis and local radio vet "Tall Ted" Hallaman won't survive the format change. Hallaman continues a weekly show on standards WKHR/91.5 Bainbridge, the Kenston High School-based non-commercial station.
* More speculation on "The CW Network", the new hybrid which replaces TV's UPN and The WB this fall. Toledo could be an interesting market to watch in this regard. UPN airs in Northwest Ohio on WNGT-LP 48, a scrappy Class A low-power station that's currently in bankruptcy receivership. WB airs on "WT05", a cable channel run by the dominant cable provider in the market, Buckeye Cablesystem.
We're wondering if the Cornerstone Church, which is widely expected to take over control of WNGT, would make any play for the new "CW" programming...or if they'd just do religious programming. Remember, Cornerstone did run dance music on Toledo rimshot 96.9 FM/Wauseon, though they run Christian contemporary music on their WDMN/1520 "Dominion 1520". 96.9, by the way, was sold to CCM powerhouse network "K-Love", and now runs that network's California-based satellite feed.
No, it seems more likely to us that the stronger operation - WT05/Buckeye - becomes "Toledo's CW". The station is run like a regular over-air broadcast affiliate, and even has space on the DirecTV satellite service (Toledo locals, Channel 14 for some reason). It's about as strong a station as you can get without a transmitter.
Youngstown, of course, has no over-air WB or UPN affiiate. It's probably a foregone conclusion that "WBCB", a digital/cable-fed WB affiliate run by NBC affiliate WFMJ/21, will take the CW programming in September.