UPDATE: While in line at the grocery store listening on our portable AM radio, OMW heard WTAM news anchor Darren Toms confirm this report during his 4 PM newscast. Today was indeed Springer's last day on WTAM, and a "variety of local hosts" will air in the 9-11:30 AM weekday slot until a permanent local host is named.
Here's radio trade site AllAccess' confirmation of the item below, which you read first right here on OMW...
ALL ACCESS has confirmed a story first reported by OHIO MEDIA WATCH this morning, the dropping of JERRY SPRINGER's syndicated show from CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WTAM-A/CLEVELAND.
The station is replacing SPRINGER with a "checkerboard" of local fill-in talent while a permanent local replacement is sought; SPRINGER, whose CLEAR CHANNEL show has been offered alongside AIR AMERICA RADIO programs as well as independently, will continue the show for the rest of his affiliates. SPRINGER's show has been airing on WTAM for about a year in the 9-11:45a slot.
As we write this item, there is just under an hour left in the Jerry Springer era on Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland.
OMW hears that WTAM is about to cut the Cincinnati-based liberal talk radio host loose. In fact, his program airing right now on Northeast Ohio's version of "The Big One" will be Springer's last on the powerhouse Cleveland talk radio station.
We also hear that WTAM will be definitely going "live and local" in the 9-11:30 AM slot for the first time in ages. We don't have the exact date when WTAM last aired a local program in the late morning hours, but we do know it's been years. Preceding Springer in the slot was Premiere's Glenn Beck (now on Clear Channel Akron talk WHLO/640 and Elyria's WEOL/930) and Premiere/Take On The Day host Dr. Laura Schlessinger (now pretty much in obscurity, with an afternoon clearance on Canton talk/religion WCER/900).
Who will host the show on a regular basis?
OMW hears from all over the place that it hasn't been decided, but we understand you'll hear the voice of Clear Channel talk WSPD/1370 Toledo evening host Bob Frantz first up out of the box next week, starting Monday. (You might recall that back when everyone was wondering what we were talking about, we mentioned this possibility right here in Your Mighty Blog of Fun[tm].)
Frantz has a previous sports stint at WTAM under his belt, and has since moved to general issues talk. He did mornings at WSPD until being moved to the evening "Eye On Toledo" last year. There will be others behind the microphone next week, but we hear Frantz will open up the Local Mid-Morning Talk Era on WTAM on Monday.
In our "musings" section - we believe the move to go local is good move for 'TAM. We have been listening on occasion to the station's "big brother" down in Cincinnati, the original "Big One"...WLW/700. The station was recently added to the XM Satellite Radio lineup.
The more you listen to WLW, the more you hear WTAM as a nearly direct clone of that hugely successful talk radio station. One thing 'TAM lacked in comparison was a heavy local presence. Unlike WTAM, WLW is "live and local" 24 hours a day.
Now, we know that Rush Limbaugh's show isn't (and shouldn't) be going anywhere. But aside from now-former weekender Rick Gilmour, WTAM has had no local issues talk show for a long, long time. (Afternoon motormouth Mike Trivisonno's occasional forays into supporting casino gambling or making fun of whoever Cleveland's mayor is this week barely count.)
If the new local WTAM host - whoever it is - is GOOD, this could open a new era for 1100. The fun begins on Monday...