Monday, September 25, 2006

Monday Morning

Starting off the week:

NO NEWS TO US: Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) is no stranger to late night hours, but we hadn't checked in for a while with Clear Channel Cleveland talk WTAM/1100 during the hours devoted to Premiere's George Noory and Art Bell and "Coast to Coast AM".

So it was a surprise to us when an OMW reader informed us that he was no longer hearing WTAM overnight anchor Steve Gatans in the wee hours, and that the station was running FOX News Radio instead.

Sure enough, a late night listen revealed that WTAM is apparently no longer providing local on-air news updates in the post-midnight hours, at least when we listened at 3 AM and 4 AM late last week. We have also noticed that the "WTAM SkyChief Traffic and Weather Together 24/7" positioner is no longer being used during the day, and the traffic folks are certainly not there at 3 AM either.

We also heard a highly produced promo after the FOX News Radio casts, restating the station's commitment to provide breaking news all day and all night.

OMW did hear Gatans during a recent edition of "Wills and Coleman", providing news updates in the 5 AM hour the same morning he was not heard in the overnight updates. It appears likely to us that he's been re-slotted to provide more support for the morning show. (Gatans or whoever's done WTAM overnights has done early reporting/anchoring for it in the past.)

We don't know if weekend overnighter Michael Kelly is still bouncing around Oak Tree, though.

We're conflicted about this, a little.

We certainly understand that frankly, not really much happens in local news at 3 AM in Northeast Ohio. But there's always been a comfort factor in knowing that if you hear a loud explosion or siren or whatever in the overnight hours, you could turn to WTAM, which at least had a live anchor on the air.

From our experience, though, we suspect WTAM likely has at least one person on-call for late night major breaking news, and we assume there's at least one person in the building at Oak Tree overnight that's able to put that "on call" process into motion if needed...

LOOKING FOR KEVIN'S REPLACEMENT: With long-time Rubber City Radio OM/WQMX 94.9 PD Kevin Mason headed for a Nashville record label, the Akron company is scouring the country for his replacement.

It's Rubber City VP/operations Nick Anthony heading up the search, and he tells AllAccess that he's looking for someone with at least 10 years of broadcast experience and a "proven track record" as a programmer.

OMW wonders if the new WQMX PD will also oversee day-to-day operations of sister standards WAKR/1590, as Mason did, or if the natural move would be to hand that role to veteran programmer Chuck Collins. Collins has been instrumental in implementing WAKR's recent move to locally-voiced programming...and is basically acting in the role of PD there, even if he does not have the title yet...


Mike said...

Having worked at WTAM previously when it was WWWE, the overnight news was handled by the board operator of that shift. The last news anchor of the evening was Greg Anthony who ended his shift at 11pm. At that time ABC News was aired at the top of the hour and the local news was aired at bottom of the hour for about a minute. While I was there at WWWE the changeover to all news all the time was a big deal. It never made much sense to me that they just did not hire a board operator like they had previously who could handle the news at that hour. Greg Saber used to do that at WWWE/WTAM. This is one cost cutting measure at WTAM that I agree with.

Anonymous said...

Could WTAM have no overnite news because they are looking for a replacement? It seems odd that the station that claims they are newsradio 24/7 would not have news on the overnites.

On a sports note Ronnie Duncan is now doing sports on WBNX since last week.

Anonymous said...

WJR-Detroit eliminated local newscasts for the overnight (and, IIRC, was probably the only ABC-Citadel O&O not to air an ABC-I 'cast in those hours!) But in the "breaking local news" circumstance, WJR brings one of their reporters in for local 'casts.

BTW, didn't Greg Saber join WTAM in 1997 after the disbanding of WAKC-TV's news staff?

On a side note, previous third-shift newscasters on WTAM included Saber, Gadens, Anita Quinn, Denise Polverine, Darren Toms, David Kelley, Brian Engle, E.J. Becker, Tom Duresky, Helen McKelvey and Harold Mester.

- Nathan Obral

Johnny Morgan said...

kdpxkrNewly minted Newsradio 1020 KDKA in Pittsburgh...turns off the local news at 7pm, throwing it into CBS Radio News feed at the TOH.

So, there's something going for WTAM.

Mike said...

I began working at WWWE in 1994 and Greg Saber was a reporter and also a board operator on weekends and did the news then on Sat afternoons and Sunday overnights. Very nice guy. I preferred the old way WWWE did news. It was not as sensational as news is today.

Anonymous said...

WOAC sold :

Anonymous said... more on woac's sale