Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cleveland's ESPN Radio 1540's First Local Talk Show Host Is...

The first person to take to the microphone on new Good Karma Broadcasting sports outlet WWGK/1540 "Cleveland's ESPN Radio 1540" as a local talk show host will be...

Tony Rizzo.

Well, at least for one day.

The station announced on its website that the FOX 8 sports anchor will host a special two-hour local show Saturday from 10 AM to noon, devoted to all things Ohio State...before the Buckeyes' highly-touted clash with Michigan for a shot to go to the BCS national championship game.

(Or, perhaps, a shot for a rematch in that game.)

The game itself, of course, is on competing Salem sports talker WKNR/850, the Cleveland market affiliate of the Ohio State University radio network.

From the WWGK website:

Join Fox 8 sports anchor Tony Rizzo on Saturday morning from 10 to 12pm. "The Rizz" will preview every angle and give you a chance to sound off on the Buckeyes before kickoff. You can reach the show at (216) 229-7500.

WWGK's blurb on the special show (one day only, as far as we know) says it'll be streamed on

Well, at this point, we can't find any sign of local streaming out of the Good Karma operation... and we know that station boss Craig Karmazin has been a reader here, so we'll assume it'll be up sometime in the next couple of days. (Hint!)

Because as it did before, signing up for the station's club under the "listen live" link only takes one to a link to Not to mention that there's no "login" system, so you have to enter your information EVERY SINGLE TIME.

If there's a link for "Cleveland's ESPN Radio 1540"'s own in-house streaming, we can't find it.

Rizzo, of course, is far too busy to take to the radio airwaves during the week, but would be a rather interesting choice to become a regular local host on WWGK.

Local sports radio fans generally fondly remember him from his time at once-populist sports talk outlet WHK/1420 "The Fan" (now a Salem-owned conservative talk station)...not to mention for his long stint doing sports on WMJI/105.7.

As WJW's primary sports anchor, Rizzo is on the air at FOX 8 during the presumptive hole for a local show on the local ESPN Radio outlet - afternoon drive. But we wouldn't be surprised to hear him as a regular on 1540 on weekends...


RadioInsider said...

This is a steal for Mr. Karmazin. Riz was one of the top radio personalities when lil ole' WHK built its cult following. With Les Levine right around the corner - Karmazin only lacks a legitimate consistent signal at this point before it starts dominating a ratings "war" with the OCB pipeline.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ohio Media Watch,

Does anybody know how I might be able to get in touch with ESPN 1540?

I think it's time for a comeback.

Bill Needle
WKNR, 1991-1997

Ohio Media Watch said...


Assuming it's you - or even if it's not - here you go!

Cleveland's ESPN Radio 1540
8000 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44103
Phone: 216-229-7400
Fax: 216-583-9231

Good luck!

-The Management

Anonymous said...

I was listening to the KSU football game last week, with Bill Needle as the play-by-play guy...and while he has a pleasant speaking voice, his entire delivery just sounds so "arrogant" for some everything he says, he's just talking "down" to the listener. It was very annoying, and then I remembered why I didn't care for him on WKNR years ago (yes, I was one of the loyal early listeners). He even had the audacity to say Pete Franklin used smoke-and-mirrors (I can still hear the arrogant comment), so I have no desire to hear the needler back on the airwaves. Oh wait, no one can hear this tiny little station, anyway.

Anonymous said...


Yes, it is me. Thanks for the info. We'll see what happens.


Bill Needle said...

While Mr. (or Ms.) Anonymous thinks I may have been arrogant on WKNR - and he/she isn't alone in that thought - one ought to get his/her facts right before posting.

I broadcast the Kent State Men's Basketball games in Columbus last week, not the football.

Guess it must have been another arrogant broadcaster. Ain't anonymity grand?

"The Needler"
(I do thank Mr./Ms. Anonymous for the nickname - I like it)

Question Me an Answer said...

I remember Rizzo on 14K but the description I would use is definitely not "fondly".

"Totally unlistenable" is more like it, because of the growling bellowing sidekick who made Trivisonno sound almost human by comparison.

Relative of Isabel and Bob said...

Hey "Needler": Whatever happened to your old KNR colleague Robert J. Wright?

He left there much too soon. He was one of the best talk hosts (sports or otherwise) I ever enjoyed listening to.

Anonymous said...

Rizzo's aidekick was, yes, WMJI newsman Chip Kullick - aka the immortal "Red."

- Nathan Obral

Anonymous said...

Bill Needle was not on the Kent Football Broadcast last week. Thats the main reason the broadcast against VTECH sounded waaaaayyyyy betttteeeeer than it ever has.

a typical needle call:

needle has it at the 10, needle has it at the 9, needle at the 8, needle at the the time needle makes it into the endzone, the touchdown already happened and the extra point was already kicked.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a soaper to me.

Anonymous said...

Is Skip Sterling's hair still perfect?

morning dude said...

Anonymous ragging on Needle. You should spend more time educating yourself instead of acting like a typical 10-year old moron. It could very well be possible it is a delay issue. Unless you're willing to use your REAL name, you should probably refrain from taking your shots from that grassy knoll. The only people you might (key word) be impressing are your fellow elementary school friends on the playground.

WKNR ex-employee said...

To the first person who claimed Needle was arrogant. I worked with the man at WKNR he is extremely arrogant and he thinks way too much of himself. I think working as Bruce Drennan's producer probably helped him along that way. Cleveland needs fresh new hosts on the air not Bill Needle.

Ohio Media Watch said...

With that, as the comments deteriorate again, we're closing the topic.

OMW's comment area is not meant for back and forth sniping or insults.

If you'd like to take this up further, please do so on one of the various local message boards.

As we've said about 100 times, we have no desire to become a message board or elsewhere.

-The Management