In a recent OMW item, we put our own kibosh on the rumors that CBS Radio might convert Cleveland classic rocker WNCX/98.5 to a "Free FM" talker, primarily based on the weakness of the morning drive show hosted by Howard Stern's replacement, David Lee Roth.
Here we are in late February/early March, just two months after Roth debuted with much fanfare on Stern's former New York City flagship, along with former Stern stations from Boston to Cleveland. And the former Van Halen frontman is apparently wiped out from doing a four hour daily morning radio show, as he's nabbed what could be the earliest vacation in radio history.
This week, according to the Plain Dealer's Julie Washington, WNCX/98.5 is going local to cover DLR's slot...with a show called "Five Cleveland Mornings". WNCX PD Bill Louis joins popular local musician Alex Bevan through Friday, featuring names linked to local music and radio. Among the guests - former WMMS voices Ed "Flash" Ferenc, Ruby Cheeks, and Len "Boom Boom" Goldberg.
You could almost hear the sigh in WNCX VP/GM Tom Herschel's voice, when Washington asked him why DLR rates something you rarely get in radio, a one-week vacation just two months into your new gig: "He's exhausted. He's a superstar...I don't know why he's taking a vacation."
It's the published sigh of a man who had an aging former rock superstar pushed upon him by CBS corporate as Howard Stern's replacement, that's what it is.
WNCX is not the only DLR affiliate "going local" this week. Flagship WFNY/92.3 New York City is airing their local midday team, "Elvis and JV" (formerly known as San Francisco morning team "The Doghouse"). The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that WYSP/94.1 will run afternoon driver Kidd Chris in morning drive this week. Despite a heavy blitz of publicity, DLR seems to mostly be getting attention by occasional shout-outs to his ex-bandmates for a Van Halen reunion...