Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Random Items, Mostly to the South

News once again happens geographically, as most of these items are from south of Northeast Ohio:

FURMAN OUT: The radio game of Big News Musical Chairs hasn't yet stopped in Cincinnati, and there's more news still...with word from Cincinnati Enquirer TV/radio guru John Kiesewetter that WLW/700's Andy Furman has been fired.

This didn't just come out of nowhere.

Furman has been absent from the airwaves of the Clear Channel talk powerhouse since earlier this month, after getting into hot water over on-air comments about Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

Kiesewetter reports that Furman ripped into Houshmandzadeh and called him a "racist" on his weeknight "SportsTalk" show, a day after the Bengals star missed a paid on-air appearance on the station. Furman was suspended with pay shortly thereafter.

Furman's attorney tells the Enquirer that the decision to let the sports personality go after 18 years came from Clear Channel suits in San Antonio, not from local cluster management.

We'd ask WLW/CC Cincinnati programming guru Darryl Parks about it, but this has been one issue he's been silent on. (And that's saying a lot for Parks, who will openly comment on just about anything regarding his stations.)

The Cincinnati AM operations manager has been able to overcome a lot of heat about his staffers, as we've pointed out here, but the boiling point on this one - and a potential suit from the Bengals wide receiver - was just too hot even for him to handle.

A Parks memo to staffers, helpfully reprinted by Kiesewetter online, tells them that Bill "Seg" Dennison will continue to fill in as host of the evening SportsTalk show, as they look for a new host "to continue on the long tradition of this program"...

MORE CINCINNATI STUFF: The changes just keep coming in that Entercom/Cumulus/CBS Radio swap/deal/etc.

This time, it's country WYGY which will not stick around on the 94.9 frequency where it just set up shop.

The Cincinnati Business Courier reports that Entercom, which actually started LMAing the CBS Radio stations today and is taking over the station now known as "94-9 The Star", is getting ready to move the country format the 97.3 frequency that's been occupied for some time by CBS alt-rock WAQZ.

That's the station which just fired a large chunk of its airstaff.

(Hang on, we have to take a breath.)

The Business Courier reports that the new Entercom-owned country outlet on 97.3 will be a younger-skewing station called "The Wolf", and will keep WYGY's morning show ("Ken and Kitty") and "Star" middayer Jesse Tack.

The logo pictured here is from Entercom sister country KKWF/100.7 Seattle, which apparently started the "Wolf" branding for the company's country stations.

It's likely to start up sometime over the weekend, according to media broker Robert Riggsbee, who wrote the article for the business newspaper.
The move is intended to provide, as expected, a country format "flanker" to the outlet's new sister station, now-Entercom country outlet WUBE/105.1.

(Hang on, we're too old for this!)

Back at 96.5, the once-Susquehanna-turned-Cumulus-former-WYGY, AllAccess reports that the frequency will light up with the Cumulus "SuperTalk" format on Thursday.

In addition to the previously reported entry of TRN FM's "Mancow in the Morning", Westwood One's Bill O'Reilly, and syndicated Nashville-based afternoon drive host Phil Valentine, the new FM talk station will also air Premiere's Glenn Beck (!), two segments of Sporting News Radio - before and after Valentine, and TRN's Rusty Humphries in late nights.

And there's still one more shoe to drop here...and it's the reported likelihood (according to Riggsbee) of Entercom planting an active rock format on the 94.9 frequency which had been warmed up by country WYGY for a while.

You should be thankful we don't hold quizzes on this stuff. We wrote it, and even we're confused. This is starting to make Cleveland's Great Frequency Swap of 2001 look like a minor game...

COLUMBUS GETS LEBRON: On the radio that is, as the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers sign up a radio affiliate in the State Capital.

That affiliate would be Clear Channel liberal talker WTPG/1230 "Progressive Talk". The station signs up just in time for opening night tonight, with the Cavs taking on the Washington Wizards.

It's the 19th station on the (say it with us) Cleveland Cavaliers Radio Basketball Network.

And speaking of long-time Cavs radio voice Joe Tait, Akron Beacon Journal sportswriter Terry Pluto has a nice article on him in Tuesday's Beacon...


Anonymous said...

I don't know what Furman did with Houshmanzadeh, but I do know that Furman is a pretty talented sports-talk host. I wonder if someone else will pick him up, though it won't likely be in the Cincinnati market, unless Cumulus wants to try a late night sports talk on the new 96.5.

Anonymous said...

Why in the WORLD would they move the country format AGAIN!?!?!?!

You inevitably lost some listeners in the first place going from 96.5 to 94.9 and now, mere weeks later, they will tell them to chage their presets AGAIN to 97.3!?!?!

I don't get it.