A midday buffet:
ITEM 1: As expected, it's former WEWS/5 personality and regular station fill-in talk host Brad Sussman occupying the chair in the WTAM/1100 studios for the third mid-morning local talk show in the Clear Channel Cleveland talker's recent history. The show had a different opening today - with the station's imaging voice noting that in "nearly ten years, this time slot has been occupied by a Doctor, a Sick Freak and even a Ringmaster". (For those scoring at home, that's Dr. Laura, Glenn Beck and Jerry Springer, in order. Heh.)
Sussman also indicated that he'd be back next Wednesday. At this point, we don't know if WSPD/1370 Toledo's Bob Frantz is also returning in pattern on Monday and Tuesday of next week.
We've been getting a lot of "votes" on the topic, and we're noting that another potential occupant of the slot - WOIO/19-WUAB/43 sports director and former WTAM "Sunday Morning Sports Page" host Chuck Galeti is getting a lot of mentions among our commenters and E-Mailers. We hear Galeti may be in the rotation for this week or next in the 9 AM-11:30 AM slot, though we don't know if he'd be actually trying out for the permanent gig.
We also heard from folks who have their own take on our "betting line", and we'd like to explain it a little. Remember, we had the very first word in This Space that Frantz (a former WTAMer) may be heard on WTAM doing local issues talk, a good week and a half before "Springer on the Radio" was given its walking papers, and well before anyone expected the station to go local at 9 AM.
While it does appear to OMW that the mid-morning slot is a genuine contest at this point, Frantz was clearly in the picture - and on the minds of station management - when WTAM made the move. We still think it's his gig to lose. That's why he gets the "even money" designation in our original "betting line".
Some wondered why we had longer odds about Galeti, but part of that is because that we're not even sure he's officially in the rotation right now...or if he'd be interested in doing the gig on a regular basis. It doesn't really have much to do with our own personal opinion of how "good" the host is, for better or worse.
ITEM 2: The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes checks in with the announcement of the Adelphia/SportsTime Ohio deal. STO's Jim Liberatore - all but shouting "see, satellite services, we have most of the local cable companies now!" - notes it brings them up to 1.5 million cable homes...with the 350,000 Adelphia contributes.
Though Hoynes says that the deal brings the Indians-owned cable network to viewers in "several Cleveland suburbs", we're pretty sure Adelphia also covers significant parts of Cleveland itself, if not the bulk of the city. Not that we expect much more accuracy on this topic even from the paper's alleged sports media columnist...
Liberatore provides some hope for Comcast subscribers, saying they're "close" to reaching a deal. But he's not using those words for Cox's local systems, just saying they're "still in negotiations" with that service, as well as Wide Open West and Armstrong...the three major holdouts within the immediate Cleveland area. He says they're hoping to be in "90 percent" of the cable homes within a 50 mile radius of Jacobs Field by Opening Day.
Meanwhile, the Lorain Journal reports that Comcast Cleveland also confirms those talks are nearly complete, and Liberatore even gives the paper a timetable. He says STO and Comcast should wrap up those negotiations "in the next three to 10 days". (We don't know if Comcast's management locally consists of diehard baseball fans, as the Indians PR folks felt the need to say about Adelphia regional vice president Pamela Mackenzie in yesterday's news release...)