Just this past weekend, your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) wrote an "open letter" to Craig Karmazin, the man behind Good Karma Broadcasting and owner of new Cleveland sports radio outlet WWGK/1540 "ESPN Radio 1540".
We didn't think he'd respond so soon.
As it turns out, Mr. Karmazin is not new to the Mighty Blog. He tells us, in an E-Mail, that he's actually been a reader here for over a year and a half...which even dates back before anyone knew he had any interest in owning a station in Northeast Ohio.
Karmazin tells OMW that in addition to "Mike and Mike in the Morning", co-hosted by Cleveland native Mike Golic, the new ESPN outlet is "also very committed to Colin Cowherd and Dan Patrick".
While "Mike and Mike" occupied morning drive on Salem's WKNR/850 during the latter years of that station's run as the local ESPN affiliate, Cowherd and Patrick have not been heard in Cleveland until now.
But the Good Karma boss also notes that the station does "have plans for local programming seven days a week".
Craig? You don't have to copy the schedule and circle the afternoon drive time slot to make it any clearer...we're just waiting to see what will supplant ESPN's "Sports Bash" in afternoons, and when. (We've heard some very interesting names kicked around, but no rumors solid enough to "go to press" with.)
Karmazin seems almost resigned - if you can be so with text - to the station's current signal situation.
He notes to OMW that new processing has been installed - indeed, there is a difference to these ears since the format debuted on Sunday - and says the station is "very happy" with its signal at this point:
With a strong signal downtown and a non-directional radius around it, we can serve a large community during our over the air hours. While we would love to cover all of NE Ohio and beyond, all we can do is put out the best product that will satisfy our listeners and advertisers.
He also does not address the apparently dead deal to run the station's nighttime ESPN Radio programming on Radio One talk WERE/1300, and doesn't hint to any similar deal happening soon:
There are no current plans to extend the hours of the station, although our website www.espncleveland.com will be a destination for both podcasts as well as live programming even during hours when we are not on the air.
Karmazin also notes that the station is interested in play-by-play sports, with NASCAR already on the air starting this weekend, and college football also specifically mentioned...but notes that "that is one area where our hours of operations could restrict our opportunities."
We'll say it again. He's patient.
At this point, Karmazin appears to be content to run along on the existing 1000 watt daytime signal, but we'd almost bet the OMW World Headquarters that he'll be talking signal upgrades of some sort in the next year or so.
Again, we've said it before, we'll say it again - despite apparent plans for a local afternoon drive show, despite whatever efforts are made in regards to local programming and marketing, the station doesn't have a chance of knocking off WKNR with a 1000 watt east-side daytime signal.
Karmazin's "all of NE Ohio" comment isn't the problem here...it's the fact that residents of Bay Village, Westlake and other western Cleveland suburbs have an easier shot at hearing CBC Radio One's 1550 AM out of Windsor Ontario, than they do of picking up the new WWGK.
In a related item, an OMW reader - known in the local sports/Internet community as "Sportsboy Tony" - tells us he found the streaming audio feed for Karmazin's show with Steve Politizer ("Craig and Steve"), which would air on "ESPN Radio 1540" if it weren't for that pesky pre-7 PM signoff.
Tony tells us that the WWGK owner said on the show that he was doing his part of the show from Cleveland, and said the show would be "heard and streaming" in Cleveland soon.
We'll assume the latter, unless they plan to run the show recorded on weekends or something, or unless Mr. Karmazin has that nighttime signal thing inside his magical hat and ready to pull out like a rabbit, and isn't letting on with us yet...