Take 1: When we tune our dial to Clear Channel's Cleveland talk powerhouse WTAM/1100, we expect one of three things: 1) A talk show of some sort, either local or a reasonably decent syndicated show. 2) A sports talk show. Or, 3) A sports play-by-play broadcast.
We don't expect a boring infomercial with a monotone voice droning on about mutual funds, but that's what WTAM listeners have been getting for a few weeks now in a reasonably prime weekend slot, 12-1 PM Saturdays. "The Mutual Fund Show" is hosted by a man named Adam Bold, who we suppose wouldn't be bad in small doses as a GUEST on an existing show. As it stands, we have to endure him struggling through the usual "non-radio-guy-hosting-a-show" routine.
Though we could be biased, because we're not really a fan of financial talk, we can't bear to listen for the hour. And that's what talk stations which air infomercials have to decide - is the money we get out of this show enough to endure driving away a large number of listeners for an hour? At 6 AM on Sunday, it's one thing...but in the middle of the day on Saturday afternoon, it's far another.
Saturday afternoons, we expect to hear either a game, or "Weekend Sportsline", or heck, even Premiere's Mike McConnell would be OK. Mutual Fund Radio = a normal "P1" listener to WTAM tuning elsewhere. And if they're lucky, we MIGHT be back at 1 PM to see what they have on...the only saving grace in this situation is the station's 24/7 news update rotation. WTAM may not be actually turning off their transmitter at 12:06 every Saturday afternoon, but for us, the effect is the same.
Take 2: We hear from numerous sources that WNIR's flirtation with modern technology the other night wasn't of their own voilition. The ISDN line used for the Kent State Golden Flashes men's basketball game apparently came from the university, and has been sitting mostly unused by men's basketball carrier WNIR for some time.
We'd hold out hope that WNIR would actually use this technology on their own - after all, they DO have the incoming ISDN line and equipment thanks to Kent State - but it's not to be.
Afternoon drive host Bob Golic is live from the Detroit area this Saturday afternoon, due to his personal commitments involving a Super Bowl-related charity event, and he's on that lovely unequalized phone line the station's Saturday listeners know well from Howie Chizek's remote broadcasts.
Though it's possible the KSU men's basketball game later this afternoon could come via the magic of ISDN, it's still unlikely that Golic would be on the air this afternoon via anything but a regular phone line even if the equipment and line weren't tied up with the game.
Oh, well...we guess you can't drag "The Talk of Akron" kicking and screaming into 2006...