Monday, August 28, 2006

Roger's Monday Media Column Again

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

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...


Neil said...

I can't even hear WABQ in my house in Beachwood. I can't believe ESPN wants to give up WKNR for that.

There must be a "rest of the story" we haven't heard yet.

Anonymous said...

The only ESPN programs that WKNR aired consistently were "Mike and Mike" and The Sunday Night Baseball/Baseball Playoffs package.

And KNR sometimes even skimps on baseball to air infomercials.

ESPN feels they can get more of their programming on a WABQ/WERE combo then WKNR.

With Brinda, Rome, Roda, Rants, Captains Baseball, and OSU football/basketball, (and assorted infomercials), KNR never had any room to be a full ESPN affiliate.

ABC Radio would like stations that carry ESPN to be a more or less full affiliate, just like their Radio Disney stations.

BizDecision said...

Please stop! Roger, thanks for that great news! I'm laughing too hard at Ronnie Duncan being on the same station as that high-pitched girl who's always on (Ali) doing psa's and appearing during children's programming.

Anonymous said...

I liked WKNR best when they had daytime talk shows and then ran SportsByLine and SportsOvernight America from 10pm-6am. They should go back to that format and get some local talk show hosts to fill in the rest of the ESPN time. Forget the infomercials and other nonsense and broadcast sports.

Anonymous said...

With Ronnie Duncan doing sports on WBNX, does that mean there is more in store like producing local sporting events, or a long shot a 10 o'clock news? Why would they hire a face that is outside of the family anyway? Ali, Niel, and Patty are all related (Patty is the mother of Ali and Niel), Annie husband works at the station and Al I think also has a either a relative working at the station or has someone who's a higheer up at Ernie's church. And don't forgot Aunt Judy who was cured of her health problems on the 90 & 9 club preach/heal session.
Can big things be in store? Could Ronnie be used when WBNX turns on the digtial ch 30 with its new sub-channel?

Anonymous said...

Can't Ronnie Duncan just go away please? Why is he still showing up everywhere on the TV Dial?

Anonymous said...

I am curious to where Ronnie Duncan is orginally from? I know when he was on ch 19/43, he said he was on either Mr. Rogers or Seseme street because they showed a video from when he was younger on the sportscasts and it was from one of the two programs. As he would say 3,2,1 I'm out. I do hope he has a large role on ch 55 because I like his style.

Anonymous said...

I know Ronnie Duncan used to work in Columbus too

Anonymous said...

WBNX won't do a 10pm newscast. They don't need to, anyway. After all, "Friends" reruns, just swiped by WUAB, is a good non-news alternative to the newscasts on 8 and 43. Plus, the CW likely won't pressure WBNX to go that route.

Roger's hiring by WBNX to me, means absolutely nothing. Unless if he replaces Jim Cutler as the main VO. Imagine this:

"Toooooooooniiiiiiiight at seeeeeeeeveeennnnnnnn: a full hour of "Eveeeeeeeeeryboooooooooody loves Ray "Rockin' Dog" Raymonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd! On WBNX-TV: The seeeeee-dabauuuuuuuuuuuuu!"

If he would ever do that, my intestines would turn inside out and flee my body. Hell, maybe Sharon Reed could cover that !)

- Nathan Obral

Anonymous said...

For ESPN to go on a pathetic signal like WABQ, combined with a nighttime arrangement on WERE, that is akin to cutting off your nose despite your face. It may work in Milwaukee, but certainally not in Cleveland.

Even in a regional aspect, the last time any daytime station actually succeeded in the entire market was WQIO/1060-Canton in 1977! I believe that WABQ was last competitive under the old "Tiger Radio" banner in 1968 (with Lynn Tolliver, no less). Plus, WSUM went bankrupt after one month of its' sign on in 1975. The station fell silent, was sold and turned into WCCD.

How in the hell will ESPN even succeed at WABQ/WERE - where the first half of "Mike & Mike" will be preempted as WABQ must be off the air in December and January! And what local talent would even want to go there?

The only way this works is if Craig rebuilds the WABQ transmitter from scratch under a higher power, directional license, and then trades it to Radio One for WERE. Then the daytime news/talk format moves to WJMO, with the gospel music returning to WABQ, and at WJMO in the nighttime.

That isn't too far a concept. Radio One has the "talk in the day; gospel at night" format in Detroit and Boston. WERE was a logical choice to put the urban talk format at, given it's history. But Radio One's national talk line should try to expand in several years, which would effectively end the Good Karma "arrangement," no?

- Nathan Obral

Anonymous said...

We think Ronnie "Slam" Duncan has a ton of talent.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha. Patty was and is related to no one at that station. Where do people get this stuff? That guy's theories are way off base.

Anonymous said...

To put to bed the Neil/Ali/Patty connection over at WBNX:

Neil and Ali are in fact brother and sister.

They were born in Philly, and were both Air Force brats who moved from base to base with their father and mother.

Patty was a longtime employee of Grace Cathedral/WBNX who was thrown on the air right after 55 picked up Fox Kids.

Anonymous said...

I think Karmazin is looking to upgrade 1540's signal to be at least 5kw in daytime.

WABQ will never have any decent nighttime clearance due to the fact that 50kw gorillas (such as WCKY 1530 out of Cincy) will overpower it at night.

ESPN at night will benefit WERE, as they are currently running USA Radio at night and ESPN would be a clear upgrade.

Anonymous said...

Radio One has dumped the talk at WILD in Boston. They just sold the FM side of WILD to Entercom, and the AM's on the market, too. They're running black gospel fulltime on the AM (well, sunrise to sunset, anyway) until they can unload it. Most of the staff is already gone.

Anonymous said...

Radio One has dumped the talk at WILD in Boston. They just sold the FM side of WILD to Entercom, and the AM's on the market, too. They're running black gospel fulltime on the AM (well, sunrise to sunset, anyway) until they can unload it. Most of the staff is already gone.

Anonymous said...

WABQ itself will never get any nighttime clearance. The nighttime signal of KXEL-Waterloo and a Carribiean clear channel both share 1540.

Again, the only hope for Craig is to upgrade WABQ as much as possible, then trade it to Radio One for WERE. I did not know about the Boston/WILD situation, perhaps if the format can't take hold in Cleveland, then WERE could become even more of a commodity.

And I too agree that placing ESPN in the nighttime on WERE will constitue a massive upgrade for them. The brokered programming era left WERE with nothing in the overnights. (Heck, even their website simply lists "Network" from 11p-6a!)

Don McGee's brokered sports show at 10pm should also nicely fit into the format as well, and should be kept. But the whole situation is not good for Craig K., simply put. It won't work.

- Nathan Obral

Anonymous said...

WBNX has already found something for Ronnie Duncan to do.

He and Anne Kieth will host the local part of the Jerry Lewis Telethon this weekend.

underwhelmed said...

I remember Duncan being in Columbus, too. Then, one day, he was no longer there. And, yea, there was much rejoicing.

Then I visited back home in Cleveburg and, alas, found him on the airwaves there. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Not wishing to be fooled thrice, I avoided attending any Cavaliers games last year, and even made sure I turned down the volume when watching any Cavs home games on the tube (no offense to the dearly departed Mr. Reghi, RIP).

Roger Brown, acolyte.