Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Update on the Below

Some updates to the items below, and some speculation...with one totally unrelated item:

WKNR'S CHANGES: Of course, when "ESPN Cleveland" launches on WABQ/1540, WERE/1300 or any combination of frequencies, Salem sports talk WKNR/850 has to find a new network, and a new way to fill ESPN Radio's hours. That move could be as soon as next week, as we've previously reported that the ESPN Radio 90 day notice to WKNR ends a week from today.

OMW has not yet heard what WKNR will use to replace ESPN Radio, but we'd be surprised if it was anything but FOX Sports Radio taking that network place on the Cleveland sports talker.

One very big reason for that: the very status of the other major 24/7 sports radio network, Sporting News Radio, is up in the air following Paul Allen's sale of the network's parent magazine to Advance/Newhouse...parent company, by the way, of your Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Though it competes with Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100, WKNR has a long-standing relationship with CC's Premiere Radio, which runs FSR and which syndicates 850 early afternoon mainstay Jim Rome. There's also no indication that WTAM would ever have any interest in long-form FSR talk programming.

And with the shaky status of SNR, WKNR may have no other choice...literally.

OMW has not heard yet what happens in morning drive next week after ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" are no longer heard on AM 850, but we haven't heard peep one about the time slot being filled by a local show, either new or moved. If something other than FSR's Steve Czaban ("First Team on FOX") is heard in morning drive next week, we'd be surprised...but we could be wrong.

We also don't know how long it's been running, but OMW heard - tonight - what we believe is a new legal ID for WKNR...touting the station's 50,000 watt power level. Or, roughly, 50 times the 1000 watt power level of Good Karma Radio's WABQ/1540, which is presumably still - one way or another - destined to take the ESPN mantle from WKNR.

We would also not be surprised, if Good Karma doesn't end up with a single 24-hour signal for "ESPN Cleveland", to hear WKNR position itself as the only "full-time" sports station in Cleveland...a la Good Karma competitor Entercom's imaging at Milwaukee sports outlet WSSP/1250...

OHIO NEWSPAPER WATCH: No, we're not expanding into covering the print world, but we do have an update to our earlier item about Akron Beacon Journal Browns beat reporter Patrick McManamon.

OMW hears that McManamon is keeping the post at least until the end of October. And, should voluntary retirement from other staff make it possible, he could stay on for good as the paper's Browns writer.

McManamon, of perhaps anyone on the ABJ staff, got hit the worst. His long-time service to the paper was interrupted for a brief stint as a writer for the Cleveland Browns' in-house website, ClevelandBrowns.com. If he'd have stayed at the newspaper, this discussion may not be happening at all...

REUNION: And our "totally unrelated" item.

OMW hears that a radio reunion will take place tomorrow on ideaStream NPR outlet WCPN/90.3 Cleveland. The "Around Noon" show will feature Specs Howard and Harry Martin, who were last heard together locally on then-WKYC/1100 in 1966. The pair broke up as a radio duo shortly after that. WCPN's Jim Goldurs gets the honor of hosting their appearance.

The segment - slotted for about 12:40 PM on Wednesday - is meant to mark their induction this weekend into the Radio and TV Broadcasters Hall of Fame in Akron...


Anonymous said...

But would radio one be up to that. I thought they are commited to urban talk and was going to try to make it work. I think a 1490 urban talk/gospal/preacher format is perfect and fits the demo perfect. I alot of R@B and rap stations for example carry chruch services/gospal services on Sunday's so it does work. But how does this effect WEOL & WJMP? Would WKNR demand exculsive market that would inculde Lorain And Kent? I would think that may be apart of the deal since WKNR would not want to complete with other stations in the general area.

I know this has been talked about on various radio boards but what is the chance they upgrade to a 24/7 signal? For WABQ if they could clean up the signal, make it a little more powerful and change the direction of the antenna they could use this a bargining chip for somekind of trade for WERE?
ESPN radio on 1300 24/7
Urban talk on 1490 24/7
Gospal 24/7 (low power for nitetime coverage) on 1540.

Anonymous said...

WKNR's 4,700 watt night signal is fair to non-existant even when you get into Avon and Elyria. Plus, the daytime signal is so directional that while WKNR's signal booms out into Lorain and Erie County, it must have a null as close as Akron. That's why WJMP (and beforehand, WTOU/1350) is able to carry Jim Rome.

Plus, WEOL really is more of a news/talk/sports station that picked up FSR at the last minute following AP ANR's shutdown. They have FSR 6pm-10pm Mon-Fri; and after 12pm on weekends. Already, they overlap to a sizable extent with WLEC/1450. Add in WKNR, and that would get interesting.

I have doubts myself about FSR going to WKNR. Guess we'll have to wait: likely not for long...

For WABQ, the only possible option is to rebuild the transmitter and ground system, which I'm presuming hasn't been since their 1947 sign-on (as WJMO, BTW). Aside from that, they can't get the 18 or 4 watt night coverage beyond the post-sunset authority. The signal is so boxed in that it can't get any daytime power increases either.

WABQ can only be a successful station if it falls into the hands of Radio One with this swap. The existing gospel audience will migrate over to WBKC, and there's no way in hell that Good Karma can turn a profit with it...

- Nathan Obral

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that WABQ could not go for a power upgrade and shut down 1540 in Niles and Uhrichsville for a stonger 1540 WABQ. From the short spacing to poor location, I just donot get how they will pull this off. Could this be the begining of another frequeny swap? With Cleveland being as large as it is ABC/Disney wants a 24/7 statio in town but unless there is a frequency swap, I don't see how it is going to happen.

Anonymous said...

WABQ not only has to compete with WBTC (which HAS 4 whopping nighttime watts; I thought that it too fell under KXEL's DX shadow), but also WJMP/1520 in Kent, WRTK in Youngstown, a 50kW CBE/1550 in Winsdor, plus WTOD/1560 in Toledo (and the previous contours of the now-silent WATJ/1560). Not to mention any night power would have to compete with (very) powerful co-adjacent WCKY/1530 (which is, of all things, an FSR affil!)...

All in all, that's why I consider WABQ so boxed in, they can't improve. When soon-to-be-former CE Chris Quinn pretty much says that nothing major can be done to seriously boost the signal, well, that's the end of that.

Again, the only thing that CAN be does is rebuilding the ground system likely does need to be rebuilt. That could help the coverage area along with cleaning up the overall sound quality.

WABQ is a good East Side signal, and an adult urban or gospel format is far more cohesive that a sports format. Good Karma better pray - literally - that this rumored swap of 1300 for 1540 does go through.

- Nathan Obral

raccoonradio said...

J.T. the Brick on Fox Sports Radio has hinted that he had "good news for Cleveland" and that "on Monday we'll have an annoucement that we're going on in a big sports town", etc. Once I heard 'KNR was parting ways with
ESPN I figured they'd pick up FSR.

raccoonradio said...

...Roger Brown's column now confirms
FSR to WKNR this weekend