Monday is the announced launch date for the national syndication of WLW/700 Cincinnati midday talk star Mike McConnell.
However, unless we've missed it in the regular reading of trade websites over the past couple of months, OMW has yet to see any stations announced for McConnell's syndication effort. A quick Google web and news search also shows no such announcements for the weekday McConnell show.
(The WLW host also fronts "The Weekend with Mike McConnell", syndicated by Premiere on some 120 news/talk stations.)
And Cincinnati Enquirer TV/radio writer John Kiesewetter talks about it on his blog on Friday... calling that day's show the host's "last local show" on WLW. Kiese, however, doesn't mention any stations which have picked up the Monday-Friday version of McConnell's show.
The syndication announcement has always seemed a bit "casual" to us. Instead of being handled by Premiere, like his "Weekend" show, stations wanting to pick up the midday version have been directed to contact Clear Channel Cincinnati AM operations manager Darryl Parks.
That led us to believe, from the start, that the show was basically destined for regional syndication, to air on stations within a few hundred miles of Cincinnati.
That model is well-tested, as various shows have been exchanged between Clear Channel's Cincinnati operations and other nearby company outposts...the biggest current example is the presence of WCKY/1530 "Homer, The Sports Animal"'s local programs on Dayton's sister "Homer" sports outlet at AM 980/1340.
We seem to also recall that WLAP/630 Lexington KY has been involved in picking up programs from both Cincinnati and from WHAS/840 Louisville KY.
The 9 AM-noon ET time slot is the most crowded in talk radio. There must be at least a half-dozen "major" conservative/right-leaning syndicated shows in that time slot...many of them rotated on and off the air by stations like baseball teams rotate winded pitchers.
The landscape of late mornings is littered with the broadcast corpses of players like Oliver North, Tony Snow (who booked to a much higher profile gig at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue) and others. In addition to Premiere's own Glenn Beck, McConnell's show will have to compete with the likes of TRN's Laura Ingraham and FOX News Radio's "Brian and the Judge", and with stations' desires to "go local" in the pre-Rush time slot.
McConnell is a very, very talented host who's done very well for himself in Cincinnati. He's also not just the "same old, same old" among those who are considered "on the right" in the talk radio spectrum. He's excoriated political operatives on the right for such things as their handling of the Terri Schiavo case, and he's more libertarian than conservative.
He also has ratings to back him up.
But...that 9-noon slot is a killer...