Sunday, July 16, 2006

Of Ramsey and Collins

No, that's not a law firm, "Ramsey and Collins"...or for that matter, a radio equipment company merger!

BYE, BYE DAVE?: In an earlier OMW item, we talked about the growing number of Salem-owned stations picking up former Premiere host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, mainly their Christian talk/teaching stations. The latest was Dallas FM powerhouse KWRD "The Word".

We also thought that Dr. Laura would make a good schedule mate for homespun Christian-themed money advice guy Dave Ramsey, whose syndicated show airs weekdays here on Salem's WHKW/1220 "The Word".

We might want to rethink that idea of pairing her with Dave Ramsey.

OMW's been reminded of a rumor that's been floating around cyberspace nationwide for a month or two. As it goes, supposedly Dave Ramsey is disappearing from Salem's stations for a very specific reason - money. That's money that Salem is asking Ramsey's syndicator to pay them for his clearances, and money that Ramsey doesn't want to pay.

The move has recently resulted in Ramsey bailing on Salem's Atlanta conservative talk station, WGKA/920, and landing in evenings at Clear Channel Atlanta talk WGST/640. While WGST is certainly a higher-profile station, the bad news for Ramsey is that the 7-10 PM slot will be preempted most nights at least until October for Atlanta Braves baseball.

OMW hears that Salem has nixed the idea of even keeping Ramsey's show on its stations for free to cover non-paid time slots, so it appears likely Ramsey will also disappear from WHKW/1220 Cleveland, and WRFD/880 in the Columbus market, sometime in the next month or so.

We hear that corporate decision is unpopular in Cleveland, where WHKW is happy with his show. If his show goes away on 1220, it probably won't land anywhere else in the market...with no full-market talk outlets that aren't owned by Salem or Clear Channel...and a move to WTAM/1100 - in any capacity - not at all likely.

But the Salem move is no surprise, really.

WHKW and WRFD are both primarily "Christian brokered" stations. Salem makes a truckload of its money off of selling time slots to radio preachers, Christian-themed talk shows and the like. As well as Ramsey's "financial advice with Christian undertones" format works on WHKW, if he's not willing to pay, he's headed for the highway...

HELLO, CHUCK!: Our earlier item, plugging the writing efforts and radio future of one Chuck Collins, has a comment in reply...from none other than Mr. Collins himself.

The former WKDD programmer tells OMW that he is "happy to return to radio".

He won't let us know what capacity he'll fill, but Chuck would seem to hint in his comment that he'll be somewhere within the Akron Radio Center on West Market Street, home to Rubber City Radio's trio of WQMX/94.9, WONE/97.5 and WAKR/1590.

(That would presumably be the "only radio company in Akron" as the other two major Akron market broadcast operations are based in Stark County's Jackson Township and Portage County's Franklin Township...)

In fact, he calls that group "akin to Media Heaven". Ah, that "new job smell"! We know it well.

Again, congratulations to you, Chuck...and let us know when you can take the wraps off of your new gig! We do actually like good news around here...


74WIXYgrad said...

Salem should leave well enough alone. We know that anything Salem owns in this market that is not called "The Fish" is treated as a red headed stepchild. If they were concerned about ministry, which I don't think they are, they would work a deal which would allow Dave to stay in this market. Making money is one thing, as I know they are in business for profit, but if they can't also minister to their audience, they should sell their stations to some company who will.

Anonymous said...

I was a regular listener to dave's show on WHK, but stopped listening due to a work schedule change. I now only get to listen to him on Friday's Ramsey was the only reason I tuned into the station. If Dr. Laura winds up "replacing" dave then I will add 1220 to the list of AM stations I no longer listen too.

Pat Cloonan said...

Theoretically, Ramsey and Dr. Laura were paired on WPIT, Salem's AM 73 in Pittsburgh. Dr. Laura runs on tape delay from noon to 2, then some "ask the pharmacists" show runs until 3 when Ramsey comes on, running until 6. Incidentally, Dr. Laura first was a noon-3 show, then bumped to 11-2, then moved to noon-2. The reason? WPIT runs paid religion from 6 a.m. to noon. It then basically runs the Salem stable from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Weekends is a mix of ethnic shows, religion, some talk and religious-oriented public affairs such as Focus on the Family Weekend.

Anonymous said...

Ramsey airs 3-7pm on Cumulus Toledo's new talker WTOD/Supertalk 1560. Ramsey was #6 Fall book M35-44 for PM drive. WTOD being a daytimer he lost a lot of momentum in winter with early sign off...and has yet to get it back.

Anonymous said...

Dave is now gone from WPIT. :) The station said that it was Dave Ramsey's decision. I called Dave Ramsey's office and they said that they changed affilites and would be looking for new stations. They told me to listen for info. I told them that listening was my problem. This is very sad for Pittsburgh.