OMW hears that the ESPN Radio format has debuted on "Cleveland's ESPN Radio 1540".
And even if you're not within the station's 1000 watt signal range, anyone will notice the rather extensive website which has now popped up at ESPNCleveland.com.
Color us impressed.
The site is very similar to the website for Good Karma Broadcasting's other ESPN Radio outlet, ESPNMilwaukee.com. Some details we've noticed:
NEW CALLS AND INFO: The "Advertising" page notes that the station's new calls will be WWGK. (We'll presume that's for "Good Karma".) For now, the station is legally WBKC, having taken those calls from Dale Edwards' facility at 1460/Painesville.
It also lists the station's dial position, even at launch, as "1540 Days". The site does not appear to be a direct copy of the Milwaukee site, so it wouldn't seem that this was just something they copied over from there. We're still wondering about Mr. Karmazin's efforts to find a nighttime signal.
PROGRAMMING: To that end, the station's program schedule is also listed. It has the usual ESPN Radio lineup, plus...
"The Steve and Craig Show" is on the schedule from 7 PM to 8 PM. With solely the 1540 signal, the show will not actually air in Cleveland at launch - since the station signs off before it begins.
Says the site:
The Steve and Craig Show is a wacky combination of sports talk, comedy and off-beat antics featuring local and national celebrities. Listeners are entertained by the duo’s mix of humor, guests, games, and debates over the topic of the day.
Despite the note about "local" celebrities, this is not a local show. And those guessing about the identity of the "Craig" in the show's name are correct.
Yes, that's Craig Karmazin, the mastermind behind this entire operation and the sole owner of Good Karma Broadcasting.
"The Steve and Craig Show" has been on the air on Craig's sports stations since 1998. We believe it started at Good Karma's first sports outlet, the FM sports talker in Madison now known as "FOX Sports Radio 100.5". It also airs on the sports talker Karmazin owns in the West Palm Beach FL market.
The Good Karma boss apparently started on-air as one-half of a show called "The Wacky Interns" at Philadelphia's iconic sports talk WIP/610, his current co-host being the other half..
A curious item is listed in Karmazin's bio in the ESPN Cleveland "on-air" section, which does not tell listeners that he owns the place:
He has spent the last nine years living in Wisconsin and has recently moved to downtown Cleveland, where he is excited to be within walking distance of three major sports teams.
He's moved here?!?! Wow. (Well, at least in downtown Cleveland, he'd also be within listening distance of his new station's not-so-great signal.)
STREAMING AUDIO - NOT YET: The station trumpets streaming audio with links throughout the new ESPNCleveland.com website.
But we didn't go through the motions of signing up for the station's "club" to get to the stream, because an OMW reader told us that for now, all you get after telling them what local team you want to win a championship is - a link to ESPNRadio.com.
OTHER AUDIO AND STAFF: The ESPN Cleveland "Audio" page already has interviews with Cavaliers coach Mike Brown, and Browns defensive rookie star Kamerion Wimbley.
The interviews were conducted by Aaron Goldhammer and Bernard Bokenyi.
A quick Google search shows Goldhammer as a producer for the company's Steve "The Homer" True show and the aforementioned "Steve and Craig" show. Bokenyi had a long run at Sporting News Radio as a producer and update anchor, until losing his job last year due to cutbacks at the ailing sports radio network...
Anyway, as we said, impressive for a debut site. We'll have to see how the radio product pans out, and what local touches Good Karma adds to the syndicated product which now airs...