There's actually some meat this week, for those of us who take apart Cleveland Plain Dealer sports/media columnist Roger Brown's Monday Media Column...
ESPN NIGHTS: As speculated here repeatedly, Brown reports that "word is" that Radio One talk WERE/1300 may be handling the nighttime ESPN Radio programming commitment in Cleveland, from 7 PM to 6 AM 7 days a week.
The main ESPN Radio affiliation in the market is expected to move from Salem sports WKNR/850 to current gospel outlet WABQ/1540 sometime around mid-October, when new owner Craig Karmazin is expected to take that station over.
If the report is correct, it's likely due to Karmazin duplicating what he does in Milwaukee.
Like in Milwaukee, his to-become ESPN Radio affiliate in Cleveland is a daytime outlet. In Brew City, Karmazin brokers 6 PM-6 AM 7 days a week to run "ESPN Milwaukee" programming on urban talk WMCS/1290 in that market.
We assume that if it happens, the WERE deal would start at 7 PM due to Radio One's incumbent afternoon drive hosts, sports talk duo "The Two Live Stews". In Milwaukee, the first hour of the broker/LMA deal on WMCS includes a local show.
The arrangement solves Karmazin's daytime problem in Milwaukee, for the most part...and would do so here as well. However, winter would mean - in both cities - that there would be a gap between sign-off of the daytime signal (WAUK there, WABQ here) and the resumption of night-time programming on the brokered second signal (WMCS there, WERE here).
WABQ has a small post-sunset authorization, but it is with little power, and we're pretty sure it doesn't last until 7 PM 12 months a year. Perhaps WABQ engineer Chris Quinn, a regular OMW reader, can chime in.
There's also the pesky little problem of promoting two frequencies - "ESPN 1540 Days, 1300 Nights", as it were, as Karmazin does in Milwaukee.
The move - if it takes hold - would seem to signal that Karmazin is hanging onto WABQ as his primary outlet in Cleveland. We'll be checking for moves to upgrade that signal, which is fair to poor everywhere but Cleveland's east side...
ROGER'S PLUGS DEPT.: After plugging long-time column staple Chris Rose's new gig on FSN's college football coverage, the Artful Roger notes that Friend of the Column Ronnie Duncan picks up a new role as "main sports personality" at Winston Broadcasting's WBNX/55.
There isn't much word on Ronnie's workload at the local WB-to-CW affiliate...other than "sports-related segments" on the station and a daily sports webcast on WBNX.com...
TV PROGRAMMING: Brown notes incoming Notre Dame programming on SportsTime Ohio - due to the popularity of the school in Northeast Ohio, says STO boss Jim Liberatore. He also notes that the network has passed on carrying Canadian Football League games.
OTHER STUFF: Brown reports that WJW/8 sports anchor Tony Rizzo gets some work for the network which owns "FOX 8". He'll be on the sidelines as a reporter when FOX airs the Browns' home opener with the New Orleans Saints on September 10th.
Roger says that ratings for Lake County Captains minor league baseball games on WKNR/850 "easily exceeded" expectations of Captains' officials. Of course, he doesn't say what they expected.
He also notes that WOIO/19 news anchor Sharon Reed gets "juicier sports assignments" than her sports department colleagues. Reed gets into the ring as announcer for a boxing event in the Flats next month...