We were able to hear the format change at former Youngstown market Spanish-language station WASN/1500, which we reported in an earlier item, because we made our first drive over to the Mahoning Valley in some time on Wednesday afternoon. Price of gas, you know, and all that...but we were finally able to make it over there.
And more leftovers from that excursion about 40 miles east:
STILL REJOICING: OMW reported earlier that ABC Radio Networks was pulling the plug on the gospel 24/7 format "Rejoice - Musical Soul Food"...just weeks after Beacon Broadcasting daytimer WRTK/1540 Niles picked up the satellite feed. The reported end date was July 28th.
As it turns out, "Rejoice" survived its departure from the ABC stable. We don't know who runs the format now, but the format's website gives a new copyright notice at the bottom for "Urban Choice Media". We haven't been able to track the apparent sale of the network to this company, or even any more information about the company.
Locally, WRTK is indeed still running "Rejoice", and the afternoon air personality is the same person we saw listed in earlier listings for the format under ABC - Cedric Bailey.
We heard him note that they didn't currently have any phones, and Bailey invited listeners to E-Mail. We wonder why a format sale didn't include the toll-free request lines, but we're still trying to figure out more about the new owner of "Rejoice"...
PENNSYLVANIA TIME ZONE - OHIO MINUS 5 MINUTES: And while we're in Beacon Land - hey, folks, we haven't had a good Glunt World Empire fix in MONTHS! - can someone tell us why the simulcast of Beacon oldies WANR/1570 Warren is delayed by some 5 minutes on sister stations WLOA/1470 Farrell PA and WGRP/940 Greenville PA?
Actually, we're only sure about the delay on WLOA, which was unnerving as we were criss-crossing the Valley this afternoon. We couldn't pick up WGRP even in Hermitage PA, but as far as we know, it gets an over-air STL from WLOA.
As last we knew, the STL from 1570 to 1470 is actually a computer at the WLOA studio or transmitter facility, pumping out the WANR Internet feed...which is also available to anyone on the station's website. The delay had usually been about 30-40 seconds, and we have no idea why it's 5 minutes behind...
DAVE RAMSEY FALLOUT, PART THREE: As we're basically the outlet that first found out that syndicated money advice talker Dave Ramsey was parting ways with Salem Communications over, well, money...we're surprised we didn't realize this until now.
Ramsey is pulling his self-syndicated show from 21 Salem talk and Christian talk/teaching outlets as of August 10th - one week from today. We already noted that means the show goes away on Salem's WHKW/1220 "The Word" in Cleveland, and its "Word" sister station in Columbus, WRFD/880.
But Ramsey's show also exits a third market...Youngstown, where WHKW is simulcast most of the day on Salem's WHKZ/1440 Warren. We were reminded of that in our bandscan in the market this afternoon...and we also noticed that actual local COMMERCIAL SPOTS (out of WHKW) were being heard on the show!
But, alas...Salem's focus on selling block time on stations like WHKW/WHKZ and WRFD prevails...even if the local management may not like losing a money-making, popular show like Ramsey's. We hear Ramsey drew hundreds to his most recent Cleveland appearance...