Friday, September 08, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: WLEC/Sandusky Flips to Sports

Here at OMW, we often tell you that when we leave town...major changes seem to happen. That truism now seems to apply to our visits *to* a city...or rather, our exit from a visit.

As we'd hinted in an earlier item, Clear Channel standards WLEC/1450 Sandusky has changed formats, from "American Music Classics" to a sports format as "Sports Radio Sandusky". The station's website has already been changed to reflect the new format.

And the format change literally just happened...tonight.

Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) was driving around the Sandusky and nearby areas this afternoon, in part to hear the format change of the last AM in the area to move from music to sports, "ESPN 1510" WLKR, the AM daytime side of WLKR/95.3.

OK, so we were mostly there to enjoy beautiful early September weather near Lake Erie.

But we'd been tipped off to the possible change to WLEC, so the combination of all the above prompted us to put some less expensive gas in the car and head up to the Lake Erie vacationland region this afternoon.

And when we were in the area, WLEC was still serving up the standards late as 6 PM, when we were leaving the region. (We suppose a big high school football evening is a great time to kick off a format in a small market!)

We've been listening to WLEC's Friday night high school football coverage, and the station's Steve Shoffner has been giving some information on the new sports format lineup.

The station will rely on FOX Sports Radio for its network coverage, and will also carry Premiere's Jim Rome in his usual midday time slot.

It'll continue to be the local outlet for all three Cleveland professional teams, and for Ohio State sports, along with all the local coverage of high school sports...and Westwood One/CBS Radio sports programming, including the NFL and baseball coverage.

Shoffner also promoted what we assume is a local weekday sports talk show with Dave Wiedenheft, Monday through Friday from 3-7 PM, and a continued local morning drive show from 6-9 AM...we believe with Shoffner joining host Mark Fogg.

WLEC's Saturday morning local sports show expands to 10 AM to noon, and the station will carry the new Premiere show hosted by Bob Costas from 6-8 AM on Saturdays, starting next week.

Of course, we're listening late tonight via WLEC's Internet simulcast, since they were still doing standards when we left town.'s our timing, again!

NOTE TO WLEC/CC SANDUSKY STAFF: Since we're sure someone up there will read this at some point...

As of just after midnight, your brand new FOX Sports Radio feed is not making it to the Internet simulcast...which is featuring the golden tones of "Dead Air", and has been for some 10 minutes.

We're pretty sure FSR is not on the "can't broadcast online list"...

(We could also point out that we didn't hear a legal ID out of the other new sports station in the area, Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting's WLKR/1510 Norwalk, for at least two hours on Friday afternoon...)


Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm just shocked. I grew up in the Sandusky area, listening to WLEC, and ... wow, just shocked. I'll never forget listening with my dad to the midday report. Sorry - just remembering about a million memories here. I know 99% of you could care less about some small town station, but it's a big deal to me. WLEC was very much a part of the identity of that town. At least it was. I guess it really wasn't in as much in recent years. Everything must come to an end.

Ohio Media Watch said...

We're not at all surprised that standards went away. It's something AM stations are struggling with (see: WAKR). Standards demos are going through the ceiling.

For what it's worth, it doesn't sound like WLEC is just flipping on the satellite. It sounds like both morning and afternoon drive will still be local, just doing sports in afternoons instead of standards music. (We're not sure what form the local morning drive show will take, or if it'll change at all.)

And really, you're right in the "as much". Aside from the golden tones of one Jeff Baxter doing the hour openers, there wasn't much to the WLEC standards format...which was always automated/minimally voice tracked when we heard it.

Don't know about the status of "Midday Report". We suspect they'll keep some long-form news. But they noted Jim Rome will be on from any noon news would have to come in under 6 minutes, since Romey's show has no holes for extended news.

Or, maybe they'll preempt the last few minutes of FSR's late morning show?

No schedule is up yet...just the names of the local sports/host guys and Jim Rome.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I didn't mean to come across as being upset by the move. I'm surprised about the switch, but, truth is, I never cared for the standards format. WLEC just created a lot of memories from growing up there. I always thought the should switch to a local news/talk format, so I am surprised at the sports format. I'm happy to hear about keeping the local side of things.

Anonymous said...

How much sports information is available on radio,TV,and thru print media? Balance that against old standards broadcasting.Sandusky has lost something that is irreplacable. I don't wish the station any bad luck or anything,I just hope they go belly up with the new format.

Anonymous said...

Very unhappy with this format change. I still can't believe it weeks later. What were they thinking?

No, it's not just senior citizens who liked the nice music.

WLEC was synonymous with all that's good about Sandusky.

And especially at Christmas, when they played nothing but great music, music that I didn't hear anywhere on the dial this year.

This is a stinker.