Saturday, August 19, 2006

Are Shoes Starting to Drop?

One of the first reports outside of OMW, about the CC/Cumulus swap involving stations here in Northeast Ohio and in Michigan, has now appeared.

"Main St. Tattler", the E-Mail newsletter of the folks behind the Conclave Learning Conference, is reporting that not only is rock WRQK/106.9 Canton headed for Clear Channel, but that CC also gets country powerhouse WQXK/105.1 "K105" and standards WSOM/600 for its Youngstown cluster. The other half of the deal is as has been reported here and at Michiguide, with Clear Channel's Ann Arbor MI and Battle Creek MI clusters going to Cumulus.

(The newsletter has not yet been linked to the Main St. Tattler site yet, but should be on this page in the next few days.)

OMW has heard the rumors about "K105" being a part of this transaction. But we're not at all sure the report is accurate, as we have received no definite word of the involvement of the other two Youngstown-based stations in the deal from any of our numerous sources in either Ohio or Michigan.

Furthermore, any additional stations in the Clear Channel Youngstown cluster would certainly force the company to divest an equivalent amount of existing holdings. There's no way they could fit K105 and WSOM the way the cluster exists now. In fact, CC was forced to sell stations fairly recently...flipping stations like 95.1/Grove City PA, and 1200/1280/92.1 in the New Castle PA area, to other operators.

We have a hard time seeing what stations Clear Channel Youngstown would be happy with divesting. K105 would certainly be a "prize" for South Avenue, but the cluster's existing FM stations all seem like stations they'd want to hang onto.

Anyway, we're just letting you know...


Anonymous said...

WQXK in theory serves BOTH Canton/Youngstown? Could WQXK move its COL to Canton and serve Canton from Freedom Ave? It seems odd that K-105 would be seperated from Cummulus, unless WBBG-FM,and WNCN-FM become Cummulus stations in addition to WNIO-AM? With the rumor that WPIC-AM, and WLLF-FM are for sale (a rumor that has been in the air for years), could Cummulus be ready to exit Youngstown? Is Connoisseur Broadcasting in the mix to take the rest of the Cummulus stations if they do decide to exit?
As for the New Castle stations, does Forever and even Keymarket make a play and come into town? Or even for that matter what about the old stop-26 stations (WRBP,WASN,WGFT)? Can they somehow be apart of this power play?
2 things are known Cummulus wants to shet stations to make up for lost profits/revenues and clear chanel wants a country station in town as proved by them playing more and more country crossover on mix 989.
FOX Sports 600 WSOM-AM?
Radio free/Progressive talk 600 AM Youngstown's progessive talk leader?
105.1 the cat?

timlones said...

It seemed to me that if CC is getting all these Michigan stations from Cumulus that WSOM/WQXK might be involved as well..Interesting developments ahead.

Anonymous said...

If WSOM-AM is sold how does this effect the new 2 hour talk show on my-ytv?

According to the business journal

"For the People, to be produced in cooperation with Cumulus Radio, will be simulcast on WSOM-AM. A live audio stream will also be available at"

The vindi :

"For the People" will be produced by WYTV in cooperation with Cumulus Radio and will be simulcast from 3 to 5 p.m. weekdays on MyYTV and WSOM-AM. A live audio stream at also will be available, and the show will be rebroadcast on the channel from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. weekdays.
The show will originate from the downtown studio and is designed to promote constructive dialog about the serious challenges facing the community as well as possible solutions.
Dave Steele, Doug James, Mary Ann Graff, Scott Kennedy and other Cumulus radio talent also will have guest roles on the show."

Now if that is the case and Clear Channel does snag both WSOM and WQXK, could a incoming station take on country or adult standards?

It seems that if they are on the chopping block, Cumulus will find a home for both country music and adult standards in some form. It looks like Cumulus has some big plans for Youngstown-Warren but what are they?

firebird said...

Unless Cumulus is throwing it into the deal as a freebie, why would CC want 1,000 watt WSOM?

tim lones said...

Even for 1000 watts, WSOM covers a pretty good area during the day being on 600 khz. Clear Channel might have use for it.

Johnny Morgan said...

Well, one thing is clear--WSOM and WNIO are not BOTH going to program standards under CC's watch. Something's gonna go...

Anonymous said...

Johnny's right. CC isn't down with standards as it's target demo is too old. CC is all about 25-54.

Anonymous said...

But in Youngstown adult standards does pretty well. In fact WSOM is higher rated than WWIZ-FM (rock 104) and at times battles with HOT 101 for higher ratings. True CC would like to dump any music made before 1980 but Youngstown has an aging population base that supports this format. This is why the chevy centere sold out with Tony Beneet in addition to having some of Youngstown's legends on-air, one of the two stations will keep adult standards with a mix of 60's and early 70's music.
Remeber WQXK-FM was at one time WSOM-FM so keep the two together might be the reason why they are both on the block. Could WNIo-AM be reunited with former sister WHOT-FM? Very interresting developments are in store.

Anonymous said...


CC wants country do they play country crossocver on mix?!!>!


Look at the music charts..

Rascall Flatts...Carrie underwood...Faith Hill...Taylor hicks are all on the country and AC charts (or were recently)

dats a good one!

Anonymous said...

They play country crossover on mix and when Sahaun Stevens introduced Rascall Flatts bless the broken road it made my stomach turn sick. Yeah they are crossover acts but in the end they still play on country radio and are considered country. The only reason why they sold WICT-FM (WWGY Froggy 95) was the fact that the LMA they had with Gocom was not renewed. They wanted WICt but it was sold to forever instead.

Anonymous said...

Rascal Flatts is getting airplay on CHR Stations.

Please move on.

Anonymous said...

It is true and well after hearing it I almost had to buy a new radio.

Anonymous said...

The CHR/Top 40 chart is supposed to be the biggest hits of that particular moment. Look back at top 40 charts in the 60's and 70's, they were all over the map, but those were the most popular songs!

Listeners don't sit there and say Why did WQAL play rascal flats? That's a country song, not a Hot AC Song? They turn up the radio and sing along because they know the music, they love the song and it makes an emotional connection.

Rascal Flats sold out the Q in July, Sold out Blossom last year. I was there for both shows and their were more than just country listeners. Kiss, WDOK, WQAL, WGAR, all of them had listeners go to the show.

Ohio Media Watch said...

Just clarifying the first comment - we're not sure it was clear, but Keymarket/Forever/etc. are already in possession of the New Castle stations along with the former WICT, now "Froggy 95.1".

We don't have the Official Confer Family Guide to tell you which stations went to which arm of the family.

As far as two standards stations - assuming that CC hangs onto WSOM and also keeps WNIO, one of those two stations would have to change. They won't run two standards stations even in an older skewing market like Y-town.

Our guess? WNIO flips to sports in such a situation. It already has a pretty long history of running play-by-play.

Again, this assumes CC somehow ends up keeping both 600 and 1390, which I don't think we can even remotely assume right now.


Anonymous said...

But could Keymarket/Forever buy more stations in town and Cumulus pull out of Youngstown?

Keymarket has :
WKPL 92.1 FM(old WKST)

Forever has :
WWGY 95.1 FM (old WICT)
WJST 1280
WKST 1200

It seems odd that WQXK and WSOM is on the table. Unless Clear Channel and Cumulus have something bigger in store it does not make sense. Could WQXK move into the Canton market?
Clear Channel Akron-Canton:
FM radio
98.1 FM WKDD
101.7 FM WJER
105.1 FM WQXK
106.7 FM WRQK
AM radio
1350 AM WARF

If they had to maybe on of the AM's could be added to the Cleveland Arbitrion so it could stay under the cap.

rcradiopilot said...

HIGHLY unlikely. Having both
WQXK and WYFM allows Cumulus to dominate the 25-54 demo in the Youngstown market, which allows Cumulus to control the majority of radio revenue in the market. There is also no indication that Cumulus is exiting Youngstown. In fact, Youngstown is one of the company's profitable markets.
I've heard the rumors about Cumulus divesting WRQK, and they make sense. They've been trying to aquire additional stations in Canton to make a separate Canton cluster for over a year now, and I'm guessing that they haven't found anything there at a price they'd be willing to pay. Since that effectively makes WRQK a stand alone, it makes sense to get out. But swapping one of their most profitable stations to a direct competitor, in a market they compete directly in, for some stations in Michegan? I wouldn't be on it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last post. It makes zero sense. What does Cumulus plan to gain out of all of this. Unless this is biiger than being reported I can't figure it out. How long does it take until the staff of K-105 and Cumulus come on the blog and then confront managment or come out into the public?

Ohio Media Watch said...

With that last comment, I'd like to remind people that OMW is not - on our own - reporting the involvement of K105 in this deal.

It's being reported by the Main St. Tattler folks, and at this point, pretty much alone.

That doesn't mean they aren't right. We're just as skeptical as many of you, for many of the reasons we outlined in this item.