Friday, October 27, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Joe Finan Out at "Radio Free Ohio"

Midday local talk show host Joe Finan is out at Clear Channel liberal talk WARF/1350 Akron "Radio Free Ohio".

A station press release touts its "new fall lineup" with the full three hours of Jones Radio's Stephanie Miller show, and the full three hours of Air America Radio's Al Franken show. The change takes effect today, with Miller's show already airing in the former Finan time slot.

Finan has been completely removed from the "Radio Free Ohio" website, including from the list of hosts and from the station's weekday schedule.

Finan joined WARF earlier this year, after retiring from his long-time radio home - MediaCom talk WNIR/100.1 - at the end of 2004.

More as we find out more...


Anonymous said...

Is he out due to ratings or is it a personal issue? You would think that NE Ohio's progressive talk station would have at least some kind of live local show. I did like the program and maybe he has another gig lined up.

I was surfing the internet and found out that WRBP,WASN, and WGFT in Youngstown will have a new home early next year. Does this mean we can see better programming on the ex-stop 26 stations as well.

Anonymous said...

What??? Joe is gone?? Will he have nice things to say about that station, just like all the nice compliments he had about the Klaus family and WNIR after 19 years on the air. Howie rules Akron radio. Joe, you should have saved the payola money from the 1950's. That way, you could have invested it and enjoed a comfortable retirement instead of still working at the age of 80.

Anonymous said...

DOUBLE-WHATTT???? Someone actually listens to WARF?

Anonymous said...

I guess things are't "Finan Dandy" anymore.....

VODood said...

Obviously it's a cost cutting move. It's about that time of year when CC starts making it's cutz.

And IMO Franken's show is crap. Hell, he sucked on SNL as well.

Anonymous said...

re the stop 26 stations...don['t hold your breath......but at least the rent will get paid and the employees will get paid...

Anonymous said...

Is anybody really surprised by this move?

1350 is hardly the flamethrower that WNIR is in signal strength..and I doubt whatever listeners 1350 had knew who Finan was to begin with..he may have firgured this out himself, and left on his own accord..

I doubt 1350 and WHLO make a whole lot of cash for Freedom Avenue to begin with..they cost little or nothing to run, and can be thrown in as freebies to sell CCUs FM stations anyway..

Having Step and Al's entire shows from start to finish can only help, since it would appear Air America skews younger then Finan ever would.

Anonymous said...

I don't think i'd call a 6k fm stick a flamethrower.

Anonymous said...

WHLO and WARF make more than you think...In WHLO's case more than some local FM's, that's for sure!

Anonymous said...

CC is notorious for dumping high paid and veteran, spell that over 60, employes to pinch pennies when budget times get tough. The 6 to 8 buck an hour board ops are the only cc employes with job security.

Pho said...

Finan had a reasonable community of callers, but he show was unlistenable. He took five minutes to make the most basic of points, pauses you could drive a truck through and no real spark.

I'm a Franken fan, so I'm happy to have a full three hours again.

Ohio Media Watch said...

4200 watts is not a flamethrower, no.

It's a good signal for a rimshot mono FM talk station in a relatively compact market, but it's not a flamethrower.

1350 is a fine AM signal that has little problem, except perhaps in some places at night due to the directional pattern. It also does a lot better north/south than WNIR.


BizDecision said...

Thank God that Finan is gone. His show, as vodood wrote, is unlistenable. He should have left a long time ago. The music on 91.5 FM and their jocks are more upbeat and spritely than Joe Finan. An example of some of the things that Joe did that irritated me was when he would talk about Capri Cafaro (not that I liked her)...but anyway, Joe would continuously and I think purposely butcher her name like a silly kid playing on the radio. I wasn't alive when Joe was taking money to play records. I have a hard time believing this guy was something big years ago.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, Joe was HUGE years ago. Back in the payola days he was legendary and even his stint on WHK, back in the 70s and 80's garnered really good numbers (of course he followed Dee).
The saddest commentary here is the fact that one has stayed way too long.
Exit gracefully. He did not.

Village Green said...

Just found your site, and I will be visiting it often.

I agree that Finan's show was painful listening. His stops and starts and stutters ruined any good points he tried to make. Didn't know about the payola scandal link.

I think there is a place for local progressive chat, but it needs to be someone much more lively and attuned to what is going on.

Mike Young said...

I'm sure soon we'll find out the truth about why Joe left it could be health related and again I STRESS COULD BE. Now as true that payola was a part of the radio industry in the '50's it continues today somewhat in Radio put to slam him with that and say how he could ever been big in RADIO IS PETTY BY A LOT OF NOTHIN'HAPPENIN' PEOPLE HIDING BE ANONYMOUS. I worked with Joe at WNIR AND WHILE SOMETIMES WE DIDN'T AGREE ON THINGS THERE WAS AND CONTINUES TO BE RESPECT AND THAT'S WHAT JOE DESERVES NOW. Maybe Joe has decided to complete his book he was working on. Maybe it is Joe's HEALTH. Or with the state of radio and who knows what going on at 1350 and he said I don't need this. We don't know for now but as OMW has stated in the past let's not be petty and tacky. In closing as we all know ANYTHING IN RADIO IS POSSIBLE AND MAYBE WNIR MIGHT BE BRINGING JOE BACK TO REPLACE GOLIC,NO PROOF BUT AGAIN ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE AND THINK ABOUT THE RATINGS SPIKE IT WOULD BRING TO WNIR.

Anonymous said...

Add me to the list the found Finan unlistenable. I occasionally have to drive from Warren to be in Cleveland at 1 p.m., and the fact that I couldn't listen to the end of Stephanie Miller and the first hour of Al Franken always pissed me off. Instead of Finan, I'd opt for the iPod.

Anonymous said...

Joe will not be returning to WNIR.

Finan's return to radio was a mistake both he made as well as Clear Channel. Joe was huge in Cleveland radio. He always had ratings that were steller all the way back to KYW. He was GM of one of the first talk stations in the country in Denver. That station for 20 years was the highest biller in Denver. Mayeb some of you )like me) had a tough time listening to his most recent show. But the guy deserves huge respect as a lifelong entertainer in a field we are all obviously interested in.

His 20 years at WNIR were comfortable for him. As he aged and the body started taking its toll he called it quits. I think mentally he thought he was ready to retire. He wasn't.

When he returned to the radio however it was a whole new world. A producer and phone screener (which he didn't have before), new equipment, a very long drive from Kent to North Canton, and a format around him that was much faster, louder, younger and hipper. He didn't fit in. He knew he didn't fit in.

I give Clear Channel some credi for trying a local show. It didn't work. Not because it was a local show, because they hired the wrong person. Their intentions were good, but they should have never hired Joe. Maybe weekends would have been novel, but not full time.

If 1350 put a good local host on 3P-6P 0r 7P they would give WNIR a run for their money. Of course they won't do that.

Hopefully Joe will finish his book and be able to enjoy retirement.

Tim Lones said...

As I wrote in some comments before on Joe's "retirement" from WNIR..I think there are some who truly don't realize how far back he goes in broadcasting..He did weather reports on channel 3 in the early-mid 1950's..He deserves respect and honor for over 50 years in the business..The time may have just passed him by..

Anonymous said...

Thank God. The FCC should place an age restriction for on-air personalities. Finan tried to twist things so far left I'm surprised he didn't break more of his brittle bones twisting facts.

I can't say I'm a Howie fan anymore, but, Finan's arrogance amazed me. He was smarter than you because he read the New York Times and Newsweek. Ohhh. Those are some high class intellectual materials. In addition, I loved his standard answer "you don't know anything, you need to read more."

Hate to tell you Finan, I could find a magazine/newspaper article or book on anything, telling me anything I did or didnt want to hear if I tried hard enough.

If I could add music to my comment, I would attach Pink Floyd's song "Money" in honor of Mr. Finan.

Mike Young said...

Age restrictions I think I've seen it all,gee Paul Harvey,Dick Goddard,Del Donahue,Fred Griffith we should the broadcast community should just put you on a GIANT RAFT OR ICE GLASIER AND SEND OUT TO SEA. Now gee what age 65,70,75....As long as the personality still has the physical and mental tools they should continue as LONG AS THEY WANT INCLUDING A MAN WHO HAS SEEN IT AND DONE IT ALL IN BROADCASTING JOE FINAN NO MATTER WHAT IS POLITICAL BELIEFS ARE HE IS A LEGEND WHO DESERVES RESPECT,NEXT TIME ANONYMOUS WHEN YOU MAKE A STATEMENT LIKE AGE RESTRICTION SIGN YOUR NAME SO WE KNOW ALL OF US KNOW WHEN TO PUT YOU OUT TO SEA.

Anonymous said...

People tend to forget that this site is discussing radio, not political beliefs. I don't agree with anything Howie Chizek says but he is probably one of the best talk hosts in the country. He gets huge ratings and revenue...the winning formula.

I wouldn't be ignorant enough like the poster above to say we need a radio weight limit so we should send Howie out to pasture.

Anonymous said...

Finan gone. Air America radio going bankrupt. No surprise to me. The way I see it is simple. First and foremost, I am an American. Finally, Thank goodness for Rush Limbaugh, Newsradio WTAM 1100 and FOX News radio and TV.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say this and it will come as no surprise to most, Howie Chisek is NOT a talk show host.

Sure he has ratings. Look at who fills out the Arbitron books. Old people trying to ward off the grim reaper (moth balls don’t work BTW) and the same 8 callers, who have remained unemployed for 10+ years as they are holding out for management positions.

People are not tuning in to hear Howie, but more so the absurd same 8 callers. It’s a real freak show folks, and there is a sucker born every minute.

Howie is nothing more than a phone button pusher. “Hello WNIR Come back to your phone please...” The typical Howie show is this..

10:08am Professor Howard reads the ENTIRE local sections of the Beacon Journal and Plain Dealer in the 1st half hour on the air. TWICE. After the second reading he claims that despite fully staffed newsrooms and beat reporters, BOTH the Beacon and Plain Dealer stole all the stories from the previous days program.

10:30am Commercial break – He promotes a restaurant that has named a menu item after a former morning man at WSLR, but refuses to name a dish after him, despite his repeated off air requests. (However they are considering the “Chisek Fruit Salad”)

10:34-3:00pm Hits the buttons and places callers on the air that have no opinions on anything mentioned in the opening segment, or happening in current events, say in the last 5 years. Did you hear a ship sank on its way from England to America?

Although Howard promotes zero call screening, I have to throw the big BS flag on that one, I don’t buy it. Somebody is there to make sure each caller is unemployable, highly uneducated and suffers from an odd speech impairment, say hair lip. This unrecognized genius at Broadcast Park knew the secret of success would be 7 or 8 daily calls from Old ladies (and I mean really old ladies) confused by their gas bill or that have forgotten how to turn on, and sometimes off their cooking stoves!

12:00pm – He runs or trots, depending on how you see it, to the car during the noon news and listens to Paul Harvey. He takes notes and at 12:30 we hear breaking news, this just in..…A house made of corn!

3:00pm - Heads home and repeats the next day, unless its Sunday. Sundays are special days. He creates a mock show in his basement complete with taking calls from the neighbors goofy kid with a lazy eye.

Anonymous said...

The recap of the Howie show is dead on! I'm LMAO!

But, explain to me why I tune in just about every day to hear the same ole' crap? And why am I disappointed when Howie's away? And, why do I find myself agreeing more with him lately? Is he "righting" himself or am I changing?

Mike Young said...

To Anonymous who accused me of stating that we need a weight limit in radio,one SOBER UP AND RE-READ MY STATEMENT,NOT ONCE DID I SAY ANYTHING ABOUT HOWIE OR HIS GIRTH. The previous Anonymous stated we need to or the FCC should put an age limit on air-talents. I said as long as the host has the physical and mental tools they should continue until they want to retire. The news about Joe being out at Radio Free Ohio,has turned into bashing Joe,defending or making fun of Howie Chizek. While true this is the land of freedom of speech let's really stick to the subject matters at hand,Joe if you have really called it a career GOOD HEALTH AND GOD SPEED AND FINISH THAT BOOK SO WE IN OHIO CAN READ YOUR STORY OF THE ROCK-N-ROLL ERA OF THE FABULOUS 50'S.

Ohio Media Watch said...

And with that, we close comments on this item.

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The Management