A couple of items on this early weekend morning:
* It's not often a new radio show starts with a built-in audience, and with some of its affiliates even unaware of it...but that probably happened tonight. Regular listeners to Premiere's "Coast to Coast AM" overnight paranormal-themed talk show know that Art Bell, the show's original and still part-time host, lost his beloved wife Ramona as a result of an asthma attack.
Art's left the show he originated, and come back, and left again. His most recent return brought him back to the "Coast to Coast" microphone at his Pahrump NV home two Sundays per month.
After returning to the show after Ramona's death last week, Art announced that he'd be back on the air again every Saturday and Sunday night starting this week. As he again told listeners just a few minutes ago at this writing, the show allows him to immerse himself in his work...in the process of grieving over his wife's death. (Having lost a very close relative ourselves about 4 years ago, we're certainly aware of that thought.)
The move displaced Ian Punnett, a "Coast to Coast" regular who had been doing the shows Art wasn't doing on weekends. But instead of putting Punnett on the sidelines, the "Coast to Coast" people established a new beachhead for him - "Coast to Coast Live with Ian Punnett", to air every Saturday from 10 PM to 1 AM Eastern time, before Art's Saturday show.
The first "Coast to Coast Live" premiered this Saturday evening. George Noory continues to host the weeknight editions of the program. The Saturday late evening time slot was once occupied by "Dreamland with Whitley Streiber" on a number of "Coast to Coast AM" affiliates...a program started by Bell himself, which eventually moved to an Internet-only broadcast.
The new Punnett show gets an automatic pickup on many "Coast to Coast" affiliates, since they'd been running the show's repeats - the so-called "pre-roll" - for at least part of the time slot. Among those stations - Cleveland Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 and Akron sister station WHLO/640, which both aired Punnett's debut tonight at least in part.
* Speaking of WHLO, OMW spotted this job ad online tonight for it, sister liberal talk WARF/1350 and hot AC WKDD/98.1:
"Clear Channel Radio Akron/Canton is looking for candidates for future expansion in our newsroom at our growing cluster. Daily duties involve gathering, writing, producing, anchoring news coverage across our 3 station group consisting of a conservative news talk, a progressive news talk and a HOT AC/Adult CHR. Newsroom is a 100% digital environment. This is a full time position. Send materials to: News Opening, Clear Channel Radio, 7755 Freedom Avenue NW, North Canton, Ohio 44720, and Attention Keith Kennedy. Clear Channel Radio is an Equal Opportunity Employer."