Saturday, June 17, 2006

Plain Dealer Saturday Folo

Two items from the keyboard of Cleveland Plain Dealer TV/radio writer Julie Washington in the Saturday morning paper:

WMMS SWITCH: A brief item on the WMMS/100.7 replacement of "Sean, Hunter and Cristi" with Premiere's "Bob and Tom". Washington notes that the Indianapolis-based duo has always been brought up when a morning show opening comes up, but now, it's finally happening. She also reminds us that B&T co-host Tom Griswold is a Cleveland-area native.

She quotes Clear Channel regional programming head Kevin Metheny about the outgoing WMMS morning crew (pictured here in a March article in the Scene weekly newspaper): "They are looking elsewhere, and we are attempting to support their search." (That's sure better than physically throwing them to the street and saying "get lost", no?)

And Washington notes that the Clear Channel Cleveland rocker has had "at least 13 morning shows in the past 12 years", after the departure of "Jeff and Flash" in 1994. Has it really been that many? Wow. We're reminded that perhaps the last morning show that gained even any brief traction for 'MMS was "Brian and Joe", the team which got moved over to sister WMVX/106.5...where they remain today.

The volatility of the WMMS morning slot is somewhat amazing, especially when you realize that every other Clear Channel station in the Cleveland market has kept a morning show for YEARS. We believe the newbie in that lineup is WAKS/96.5's syndicated Valentine, who's only the low man on that totem pole because "Kiss FM" has only been around as a station for about 7 years (starting as Lorain-licensed 104.9).

Then, there's WMVX's Brian and Joe, WGAR's Jim Mantel, WTAM's "Wills and Coleman" (nee' "Wills, Webster and Coleman"), and the morning show longevity king at Oak Tree, market icon John Lanigan and partner Jimmy Malone on WMJI/105.7.

We're not sure about the exact order of tenure there, but all four of those shows have been on for some time, and WMMS can't seem to keep a morning show for two or three ratings books. We'll see if "Bob and Tom" change that...

TV RATINGS: Washington's main article on Saturday concerns the local TV news ratings horse race, focusing on an apparent migration of morning news viewers from WKYC/3's "Channel 3 News Today" to WJW/8's "Fox 8 News in the Morning".

FOX 8 president/GM Mike Renda proclaims the latter show's team is "hitting their stride", and notes that roving reporter Kenny Crumpton ("Kickin' It With Kenny", pictured here) is the "straw that stirs the drink".

Meanwhile, over at WKYC, boss Brooke Spectorsky mostly blames NBC's flagging prime-time lineup for the morning show's ratings woes, and hopes that'll begin to improve with the new fall season.

The rest of the day seems to be a news ratings dogfight between three of the four local news operations, WKYC (#1 at 6 and 11 PM), WJW (tops at 5 and 6 AM and 10 PM), and ABC affiliate WEWS/5 (first at noon, closing on WKYC at 11 PM).

Sorry, Reserve Square, you know better than we do that the news is not as good for WOIO/19-WUAB/43's "19 Action News". Washington notes the CBS station's noon show is second to WEWS, but the CBS/UPN combo's newscasts are last in every other daypart. WOIO/WUAB news director Dan Salamone is reduced to digging out a near demographic tie with Channel 3 at 11 PM (viewers 25-54).

WOIO will apparently start a new digital channel, according to the article, though it's not clear what they would add...we'll assume it somehow involves news or weather. There's no new network out there waiting for a home, as both The CW and My Network TV are spoken for (the latter on WOIO sister WUAB), and "The Tube" music video service is already on WUAB's subchannel. Our guess - a weather channel to go after WKYC's "NBC Weather Plus"...

Washington also notes that WEWS/5 investigative reporter Duane Pohlman is off for (planned) health reasons, not related to an apparently quite messy divorce case...we'll leave those details for Washington's article...


Anonymous said...

Speaking of local TV whats up with WOAC-TV? Friday is the big day for the change in programming yet listings say to be announced. Any new owners or progrramming changes? BTW they still list the world famous/favorite new zoo review as being on the schedule as is Ask Gilby! which is produced by the Akron Public Schools from a grant by the scripts howard foundation. In fact all S@H carry it Look at the bottom of the page.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog, and I'm glad I did! Excellent work - keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I would expect Bob and Tom to stick around awhile.

A syndicated show with a proven track record will get a longer chance to get footing in the market than another thrown together local morning show.

Also, it is much cheaper too.

This also means Mark "Munch" Bishop will play a bigger role on the "Lanigan and Malone" show over on "Majic".

If/when Lanigan retires, Munch and Chip Kulik should be spun off on their own show.

They are talented enough to run their own ship.

Anonymous said...

It almost seems like crying "uncle," no? Among the 14 morning shows in 13 years at WMMS:

* Spaceman Scott, Flash and Len Goldberg, (after Jeff Kinsback was let go but before B&J came)
* Brian and Joe (moved to PMD with Liz Wilde's hiring, then scooted to WMVX in '98)
* Liz Wilde ("Radio you can fondle...")
* Wilde's former sidekicks (Cory Lingus, etc)
* Danny Czekalinski and Darla Jaye (fired at the Jacor takeover)
* Matt Harris
* Dick Dale (Ah, the "You don't know Dick" billboards...")
* Wolf and Mulroony (simulcast with an Albany classic rocker)
* Mulroony (the duo split up rather uncerimoniously)
* Seth the Barbarian and Cousin Deke
* Cousin Deke
* Rick & Magalious (Rocko, Rick & Magalious for two weeks)
* Sean, Cristie and Hunter.

Am I missing anyone?

- Nathan Obral

Johnny MORGAN said...


You forgot to add in Ross Brittain, late of Z100 in NYC, blowing off his non-compete along with Spaceman and Boom before B&J came on board.

I think it was 3 weeks-month in April 1994.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't one of the local TV news programs ever try to do something different? It's all the same stuff with varying levels of 'blah blah' banter and anchor attractiveness.

I believe this would work if one station implements it:

-Hard news only - no fluff. Example: No 'talk to the victim's family' emotional interviews or stupid neighbors' comments. Interviews with witnesses to events only, and stick to the facts.

-No 'meaningless live remotes'. EXAMPLE: You don't have to set up a camera by Jacobs Field to talk about the Indians, etc.


-One anchor only. Banter between weather, traffic, sports, and reporters is OK, but 2 anchors talking is slow death to watch.

-Make sure your anchors are young and good looking, regardless of gender.

Anonymous said...

If we're counting all morning spots on mmms let's not forget Jesse. He was on starting in Jan when Rick & Megalis were let go and on until around August when Sean, Cristi, and Hunter came aboard.

Anonymous said...

Riggs was also on for about a month or so after the firing of Rick and Megalis. Jesse and Munch actually beat Rover and ratings were on the upswing when S, C & H were brought in. Riggs was also on Kiss FM, but has since left the area. Jesse now works with Howard Stern at Sirius Satellite in New York.