Friday, November 10, 2006

Half a Six-Pack, Plus An Extra

And for us, it's half of a six-pack of iced tea, since we don't drink, with an extra non-alcoholic chaser:

LEWIS TO STC: We heard rumblings about this, and now get it officially from head honcho Paul Belfi.

Former WKNR/850 sports talk host Kendall Lewis is now taking noon-2 PM weekdays on the Internet sports talk outlet...which, of course, was once the online presence of the Salem Cleveland sports talk station. Until that falling out thing, that is.

There are plenty of ex-'KNR types bouncing around STC, mostly producers and the like, but Lewis is the second high-profile former WKNR host in Paul Belfi's stable. The other is former WKNR morning drive/midday host Bruce Drennan, who - as far as we know - will return to the online outlet when he's able to do so.

Lewis left Cleveland after being let go by WKNR in a "budget cutting" move, and took up a gig at a Memphis sports talk radio station...where he was bounced around the schedule a few times...

AKRONNEWSNOW: A reader sends us word that Rubber City Radio has gotten its site up and running.

The site is pretty extensive, with local, state and national news, sports, traffic and weather. The local news, sports and traffic content appears to be updated in-house at the company's newsroom which services news/standards WAKR/1590, country WQMX/94.9 and rock WONE/97.5.

There's also an option to hear or podcast the station's latest newscast (presumably from WAKR), which we couldn't get working this afternoon. Maybe they're in "dress rehearsal" mode?

CINCY SHOE DROPS: To use our usual shoe metaphor, at this point format changes in the Cincinnati market are dropping enough shoes to start a shoe store.

This time, it's the final (we presume) format for 94.9 FM in that market. You know, the station which used to be the "jammin' oldies" outlet "Mojo". You know, the format which moved to new market move-in 100.3 and got tweaked in the process by Radio One. You know, the frequency which was trumpeted as the new home of country WYGY "The Star"...which itself got tweaked and just landed as "97.3 The Wolf".

Oh, we already have a headache, and we have to check our generic pain killer for metal pieces.

The format wheel lands on the "rock" selection for 94.9. Well, sort of between "rock" and "alternative rock", which would certainly explain the announcements on then-WAQZ/97.3 telling the alt-rock station's listeners to give 94.9 a try.

The Entercom-run station is calling itself "94-9 The Sound". (The sound of what? Did they get that from WUAB/43's old "The Block" on-air moniker?).

If you want to hear the 9,490 songs being played featuring everyone from the Dave Matthews Band to the Beastie Boys, point your browser at the station's website,

We're pretty sure that wraps up the massive format changes in the Queen City. We think...

BYE, BYE LIBERAL TALK - IN MADISON?: This is not really a local item, but it gives a local broadcaster a choice to make.

For whatever reason, a station that's usually held up as an example of progressive/liberal talk radio's success is dumping the format.

Clear Channel's WXXM/92.1 Sun Prairie WI, otherwise known as Madison market liberal talk outlet "92.1 The Mic", is flipping to FOX Sports Radio in January...dumping not only Air America programming from Al Franken and Randi Rhodes, but Jones Radio's Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz. All four hosts are heard here on Clear Channel Akron liberal talk outlet WARF/1350 "Radio Free Ohio".

(Please. No back and forth sniping about the worth of the format here. It only ends up ugly, and any attempt to compare the situation to, say, the future of the format here is a stretch.)

We only bring it up because the move will take the attention of a Cleveland station owner for a while.

The current FSR affiliate in the Madison market is none other than WTLX/100.5 "FOX Sports Radio Madison", which is owned guessed it, Good Karma Broadcasting.

Good Karma's Craig Karmazin has moved to Cleveland, either temporarily or permanently, but now has to figure out what to do with his Madison sports outlet from here.

And no, the answer isn't "ESPN Radio Madison" - at least as far as we know. The new FSR affiliate at 92.1 will actually co-exist with the market's long-time ESPN Radio outlet, Clear Channel sister station WTSO/1070.

Whenever Good Karma's WWGK/1540 "Cleveland's ESPN Radio 1540" gets enough hours on its daytime schedule to broadcast past 7 PM, the station will feature Karmazin and his co-host's hour-long "Steve and Craig Show", which originates in part from his Madison outlet. And in part, here, due to Karmazin's presence in Cleveland...


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the callsign/call letters for 94.9 The Sound will be?

Ohio Media Watch said...

Good question.

At the moment, at least as of an hour or so ago when we dipped into their stream (aahhhh), 94.9 is still legally WYGY.

Oddly enough, the underlying URL for the streaming audio contains the WPRV call letters, which legally sit right now on the FORMER WYGY, 96.5, the home of "SuperTalk FM".

But that could be explained by the fact that the WPRV calls were on the frequency since "Mojo" left it in September. It could just be that they never changed the URL.

John Kiesewetter at the Enquirer says the WYGY calls head to "97.3 The Wolf", even if they may not use them on air. But that makes sense given that the WYGY morning team and a couple of other jocks have landed there...

Whew. Where's that non-metal-containing generic pain killer?


VODood said...

The format will get some high sampling, but won't dent WEBN. 97-3's format didn't fly, neither will this one.

And the imaging... bland. Maybe Gen-Y likes that "JACK" like "I dont care" blaise delivery. I find it anemic and a bore.

I see Valentine got picked up by WW One. Interesting in that they're syndicating him and not Cumulus.

Anonymous said...

Two things:

1. The fact that STC would hire Drennan back after that knob gets out of prison proves how desperate he is, and displays a complete lack of morals and ethics.

2. Liberal talk shouldn't disappear in Madison. It should disappear everywhere. It's horrible.

Okay, I lied. It was 3 things:

3. Kendall Lewis is not good. The fact that he still uses his abominable "BSK" monikor is proof positive of my point. WKNR did a wise thing when they dropped that over-paid, over-hyped nobody.

Anonymous said...

The demise of Liberal Talk in Madison is somewhat of a bellwether. Madison has one of the most liberal populations in the Midwest. If the format can't make it there, its days are numbered.

IMHO, Liberal Talk is not failing because of the message, it's failing because of the messengers. Air America is BAD RADIO. Hosts like Springer and Franken are booooring and sound like they're reading propaganda off the DNC TelePrompTer. Rush Limbaugh is successful not because he's a Conservative. He's successful because he's a top-rate air personality who happens to be of that political stripe. Put articulate and entertaining Liberals on the air and the format might have a chance.

raccoonradio said...

>>failing because of the messengers.

Agreed with the last comment by
anonymous. Wonder if CC will drop
AAR in Boston too--in a state where
about 95 per cent of politicians
are Democrats, the AAR stations are getting...well, one-SIXTH the
number (12 +) that WXXM was getting.
Maybe liberals in Boston are tuning into public station WBUR instead.

Ohio Media Watch said...

Though I do actually agree with much of the above criticism...

I don't think this is a case of "it can't make it in liberal Madison, how can it make it anywhere?".

The station actually has done fairly well.

The last 12-plus book for Madison (Summer '06) shows WXXM as the 11th most popular station in the entire market, and it has more listeners than the sister sports station it will start echoing, WTSO/1070. It shows a significant bump up from even the previous book.

It is also doing much better in the 12-plus numbers than the third talk station in the market, WTDY/1670, which has a mix of hosts (both liberal and conservative) including local hosts. MUCH better.

It's not that no one was listening.

It's probably as we suggested: CC can make more money off of sports station number two than it can even off of reasonably successful liberal talk station number one. As we've said a dozen or three times, sports sells beyond its ratings.

Generalizations don't get you very far on this one.

To turn this around locally, note that local liberal talk outlet WARF/1350 has a pretty healthy sports lineup outside of the talk, being the home of the Akron Zips, the Aeros, etc., along with the teams' associated talk shows.

And that well could have sealed it for the Madison outlet. It was pure liberal talk aimed at pure listeners, and the place probably would have been burned to the ground if they tried putting sports play-by-play on the air amid the liberal talk format.

If they were able to be more flexible about this, maybe "FOX Sports Radio 92.1" would have never happened. But it would be unlikely, as the menu of sports they were talking about (UW Volleyball???) would never fit in the current

And yes, we've also said it before - liberal talk hosts, like conservatives, need to be entertainers and not ideologues. Some get it (Stephanie Miller), some don't (Jerry Springer and most of his AAR counterparts).


newsnomore said...

Akron News Now has a decent look, however the content is woefully outdated.

Not a good sign of a site that is suppose to be "News Now."

So far, it's Akron News Yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody actually ever listen to the Jedi Webmaster's sports "station"? I bet most people would never know that the site even existed except for its former association with WKNR.

Anonymous said...

The question that hasn't been answered is, why is Babyface Craig losing the Fox Sports affiliation in Madison?

ltr said...

The question is, why is WTLX losing FOX Sports (as presumed)?

The answer? FOX Sports Radio is owned by... Premiere, aka Clear Channel.

I wonder what WTLX will do now. Sporting News Radio is the only option left for sports. Do they return to hot talk (they had Stern at one time, but didn't really get any ratings with it) or do they pick up WXXM's liberal talk programming?

In an interview with Craig a couple years back (at the time of AAR's debut), he sounded pretty intrigued by the format, but nowadays Good Karma has a lot invested in sports radio, especially in Wisconsin.