Wednesday, November 15, 2006

News About WJER Popping Up All Over

Some very big news is about to break regarding Dover/New Philadelphia stations WJER/1450 and WJER-FM 101.7, the latter station getting ready to make a move north into Clear Channel's Akron/Canton cluster.

To that end, OMW hears that you can circle - in pencil, depending on weather - December 11th on your calendar...if you're hoping to hear at least the first sounds of the new FM 101.7 from its facility at 22nd and Whipple in Canton...whatever those sounds are.

We note the weather, because the move depends on how long it takes for the tower to be erected at that location. We mentioned here yesterday that earth is moving again at the cleared tower site, which means they'd have to have the new tower for WRQK/106.9 and the future 101.7 completed in just under a month to make that date.

OMW hears that WJER operator Gary Petricola has been given a "drop dead" end date of December 10th for his operation of FM 101.7.

And to THAT end, OMW hears that it should be official soon: Petricola, who has been running the Dover/New Philadelphia stations under an LMA with Clear Channel since the company bought them from him a couple of years ago, will hang onto AM 1450 when 101.7 moves to its new Canton-area facilities.

We hear that all is done but the dotting of the proverbial I's and crossing of the proverbial T's, and Petricola will buy back his former AM station from Clear Channel to keep it in the Tuscarawas Valley.

It would put into motion a process that's basically already been happening on the air for some time, with WJER mainly consolidating its AM and FM operations in preparation for the departure of the FM side to the Clear Channel World Domination HQ/Southern Command on Freedom Avenue.

The move was also telegraphed by the logo above, which appeared on WJER's website months ago.

And a clarification to our earlier item. It appears WJER's AM side is still mounting a separate morning show with Randy Fox, alongside the FM's show hosted by Bill Morgan. We're told by local listeners there that the stations basically simulcast otherwise now, except for some sports events in the evenings and on weekends appearing only on AM 1450...


Anonymous said...

Get ready for an Urban CHR or straight Top 40 CHR for JER-FM. Back to Oldies for Q92?

Anonymous said...




After all the time and effort spent on getting JER in the first place, CCU is NOT going to program a format that has proven it cannot succeed in the Canton/Akron market..or harm the CHR it already has in Cleveland..

Look for some sort of Oldies or Soft Rock to take dead aim at NextMedia's struggling Canton combo..

Anonymous said...

I agree CCU will bring on Oldies/or Soft Rock to dead aim WHBC. If that happens DON'T BE SURPRISED FOR THE OWNERS TO SELL-OFF QUICKLY OR MASSIVE EXODUS AT AM/FM 'HBC. Q92 will take a wait/see position but as a format switch yes/no. What CCU does formatically impacts 92,if CCU Does Oldies,92 swiches if CCU does soft rock,92 wouldn't go back to a format they dumped several years ago. It would be an admiting they made a mistake in the first place by dumping oldies,WHAT STATION TV/OR RADIO HAS EVER DONE THAT???????? Answer=NOBODY

Anonymous said...

Oh come on...Just because CC is putting a station on the air everyone is going to run and hide under the blankets?..Or fold the tents and leave town.These are the same people who bought this station over 3 years ago and are just now POSSIBLY ready to take over. This format must be INCREDIBLE to take this much time to premiere. I tend to believe these guys have no clue and with all the internal issues with the company-let's get ready for cookie cutter radio volume #123/Canton.

Anonymous said...

What is forgotten in this discussion is the fact that CCU has five stations it can load up on one rate card, along with billboards, which it dominates from Canton to Cleveland, and sell the hell out of it..

Meanwhile, NextMedia's Canton cluster is on its third sales manager, and fourth GM, in the last five years..where is a client going to put his or her cash?

Granted, you'll likely have syndicated mornings, voice tracked weekends and overnights--but that's pretty much an industry standard..

Anonymous said...

yeah..i think anything 'JER does will be aimed at WHBC FM.......which will make their situation worse in the eyes of the owners/investors of the station...
word is they are trying to recruit a GM for the combo and folks are turning them down....very late in negotiations........maybe it's' time for a local owner to buy them that doesn't have the same kind of rules and regs hanging over their heads...

Anonymous said...

Let’s be smart about this people.
Examine the population of Stark County where the 101.7 signal will reach. Look at the holes….hello? anybody…bueller? The choices are:
1- Urban Stark is 27% African American. There are NO stations targeting these valuable consumers.
2- Urban Oldies : See above.
3- Country, K105 gave up on Stark County a long time ago. WQMX has enough of a problem with Akron

While Urban is an obvious choice they won’t do it. They won’t be able to sell it.
Country? Usually CC does not dump marketing $$ in smaller market launches and with the possible buyout happening they will be saving every penny.

So… you’ll all think I’m crazy….CHR it is.


1. Look at the market…its another hole…smaller than the above three, but it’s there.
2. A signal in Canton will not have an effect on Kiss in Cleveland
3. The tools are there for an easy launch. Imaging, jingles, jocks etc. It’s an easy move.
4. $$. Since Keith is the Ops Mgr at CC and he programs WKDD an aggressive hot ac, the step up to a CHR is not as big of a leap as country or urban. I doubt they will hire another PD.
5. The personality conflicts between the current CHR and CC are well known. CC has a history although more in the Jacor days, to fly the f-you flag above the building. Dave Crowl is back in the market and he was one of the dirtiest players in Jacors army. (in a good way)
6. CC can do it better than DP3 and JS1 in the cornfield.


Anonymous said...

WJER AM needs to stay in the hands of CC and should not be sold back to Gary Petricola.

Anonymous said...

I agree. It is a done deal and the winner is (drum roll)...


It could possibly fragment a bit of KDD's listenership on the young end but it is an "ease of use" issue. Plug and play. Get out the cookie cutter....

Anonymous said...

Please read this. We have some cross-communications going on right now.

Anonymous said...

''Look at the market...its another hole..smaller then the above three..but its there..''


Outside of one book, Q92 can't sell the format..period..listen to their stop sets..enough already..

KISS does well enough with VTing and syndication to probably hit their target budget goals..but it has suburban Cleveland to draw from..

Please explain to me how a CHR, in Stark County, where the average age of the population is 44, where, according to Arbitron, the top two magazines read year in and year out are ''Readers Digest'' and ''T-V Guide'', are you going to make any money at all..

There are not enough 18-34 listeners in Stark County to make it work..and WKDD already has the lion''s share of them with its Hot AC why would CCU canalbilize one of its serious money makers? Unless according to today's news, the Akron Canton cluster could be for sale anyway?

I like the Urban idea..but again, can you bill with it..forget about ratings..they don't matter in today's radio..the key, and the only thing that matters, is what you, this week, this month, this quarter..

I can't make it any simpler..

Anonymous said...

>>or harm the CHR it already has in Cleveland..<<

How in the world would 101.7 harm WAKS???? Puleez. Regardless of the tower move, 101.7 will barely scratch the surface in Cleveland. A better argument would ne it harming WAKZ/Youngstown!

Anonymous said...

While you talk about WJER as if it were an inanimate object, you should keep in mind that to the people of this area this station was alive and meant alot. Gary Petricola built this station and poured his heart and soul into serving his community for 40 years. We have been well served by both him and WJER, and both deserve more respect. Before you bash him, the station, or the community, please remember that this is an emotional issue and that there are real people involved. I don't know how CC normally does business, but they were suppose to stay here and continue serving our community in the manner that Mr.Petricola did all his life.