Friday, December 29, 2006

Year-End Closeout Sale


Oh, sorry, not that kind of "closeout". We're just looking under the chair here for some leftover items, and some updates...

MORE BOOM: Tributes and funny stories keep pouring in for Len "Boom" Goldberg, the long-time WMMS/100.7 voice who passed away this week.

The Plain Dealer's Julie Washington has a story in Friday's paper about the man almost everyone calls simply Boom. Washington says Boom was found dead in his South Euclid home on Wednesday, and died at the age of 74.

Washington says Goldberg's family is planning a service next week at Faulhaber Funeral Home in Broadview Heights.

One funny story we've heard from OMW reader, Cumulus talk WTOD/1560 Toledo program director and voice-over guy Chuck Matthews: a recording is floating around somewhere of a recording session between Boom and Mitch Todd, one of "THOSE" big voices you hear doing various imaging work for stations across the country.

It seems Mitch was trying to school Boom on how to pronounced "Cleveland". We'll let Chuck pick it up from a recent comment:

Boom tells Mitch, on the audio, that he's been saying "Cleeeeve-land" longer than Mitch has been alive. Sounding like a whipped little boy Mitch's reply "Ok Boom, whatever you say." FUNNNYYYY!

Our thanks for the corrections on this - we had the wrong production voice. It was Mitch Todd, who is now doing production for Sirius Satellite Radio.

We never met Boom...we've only heard his voice. But it sounds like Boom enjoyed a funny story or two, or five, or ten, over the years...

THE OSU BUCKEYES IN THE BCS TITLE GAME ON...WHK?: Salem Cleveland talker WHK/1420 has been advertising its broadcast of the Bowl Championship Series title game January 8th, featuring THE Ohio State University Buckeyes battling with the Florida Gators.

Umm, aren't WHK and sports talker WKNR/850 no longer being operated by the same people?

As it turns out, WHK has picked up the rights to the national radio broadcast of the game by ESPN Radio, with Brent Musburger and former Buckeye Kirk Herbstreit on the call.

The Buckeyes Radio Network feed, of course, will be heard on WKNR...the local affiliate now operated by Good Karma Broadcasting, though still technically owned by Salem until the $7 million sale is finalized...

WAPS FUNDRAISING: A tip of the OMW hat (if only we wore them) to the Akron Public Schools-owned AAA outlet, WAPS/91.3 "The Summit".

The Akron Beacon Journal's Jim Carney focuses on the station's "Future Radio Campaign", where it's raising $300,000 for new equipment. About half the money is being raised from listeners.

The station's page on the campaign promises the new money will go for a "new, higher-powered transmitter", a panel antenna aimed at "dramatically improving" the station's signal, and equipment to take "The Summit" into the HD Radio age.

We have no idea what power increase WAPS could get, if any, as any paperwork that would be required to do so has not been filed yet...

More Reflections on "Boom"

Like those local radio icons who passed before him in recent weeks, WMMS veteran Len "Boom" Goldberg basically defined what happened around him on the radio.

Like Jaybird Drennan, whose voice you instantly hear in your head when you think about long-time Akron country outlet WSLR "Whistler 1350", "Boom" was the voice of "The Buzzard".

He was also the station's longest running air personality, continuing with weekend airshifts on WMMS long after others took over his full-time duties.

Former WMMS programmer John Gorman checks in with OMW, and offers this reaction to the news:

The news is a shock to all of us. I just spoke with Boom a few days ago and we were planning to have lunch in a couple of weeks. He was in good spirits and felt well when we talked.

From what I understand Boom's now teaching God how to get a thunderous, authoritative voice like his.

Boom's long-time radio home has started airing a number of his old sweepers and other production. WMMS has also put up the beginning of a tribute page here, which opens up with classic Boom production audio, and the page promises to add more.

To that end, OMW hears that anyone who has more audio to contribute should contact the folks at 'MMS, as they are actively looking for more.

As we write this item, we wonder what radio or whatever it turns into will be like in 40 or 50 years. Will there be someone on whatever the equivalent of a blog is, reminiscing about one of today's younger "stars" after his or her 30 or 40 year run?

Probably not. Unless radio gets its act together and realizes that PEOPLE, particularly locally, bring local PEOPLE to the radio.

RIP, "Boom"...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: WMMS Voice Len "Boom" Goldberg Passes Away

We don't have many details on this, but OMW hears that iconic WMMS voice Len "Boom" Goldberg has died. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

"Boom" was quite simply THE voice of Cleveland's world-famous rock radio station for some three decades. When you thought of "The Buzzard" in your head, it was Len Goldberg's voice you were hearing...even if you never listened to 100.7, as he was also the "Voice of WMMS" on various advertisements and in promotions.

More information as it becomes available...

BREAKING NEWS: WRQK Swap to Clear Channel Filed

And when they say "long-rumored", AllAccess means "reported on OMW months ago".

The popular trade website reports that the swap between Cumulus and Clear Channel, involving rock WRQK/106.9 Canton locally, has been filed with the FCC. The official FCC filing for the proposed WRQK transfer can be found here.

As previously reported here on OMW (many, many times), Cumulus gets the Clear Channel clusters in Ann Arbor and Battle Creek in Michigan in exchange for sending WRQK to the Clear Channel Akron/Canton World Domination HQ/Southern Command on Freedom Avenue.

And as we've reported many times, the new tower now erected at 22nd and Whipple NW in Canton is meant to hold the antenna for WRQK, along with one for incoming Clear Channel outlet WHOF(FM) North Canton...the 101.7 signal known until yesterday as Dover's WJER-FM.

More later...

Some Other Topics, And Some Updates

Regular readers of OMW know that we kind of go in cycles...when certain news events swirl around, we swirl around with them.

So, with one update to a previous item, and another update to another previous item later, let's start with a new update to...umm, a previous item...

WEWS IN HD, AND WOIO?: One of our regular sources at 3001 Euclid Avenue confirms further what we saw on Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5 a while back...the station is indeed readying for HDTV news.

Our source tells us you can expect to see Ted Henry, Lee Jordan, Leon Bibb, Danita Harris and the gang in HD "by late January".

Not only that, the scuttlebutt is - and are you sitting down, folks? - that Raycom Media CBS/MyNetworkTV combo WOIO/19-WUAB/43's "19 Action News" is also getting ready for an HDTV local news conversion. The rumor mill says that was actually also supposed to be done next month, but will be WEWS would presumably beat WOIO to the HD punch.

Whenever "19 Action News" completes its HD control room, that will make Cleveland - as far as we know - the only television market in the country with all four of its local news operations in HD. (We forgot to check the sky around Reserve Square for airborne porcine creatures.)

Our source at WEWS expresses some skepticism about an HD helicopter in the air at any of the four local operations, though we have heard separate rumblings that at least two local stations were seen "kicking the tires" on such systems at trade shows.

And we also harken back to an article we reprinted from a trade publication a few months ago, where WJW/8's engineering folks talked about a future expansion in HD production and news gathering at the FOX O&O down the road, including a "SkyFOX" retrofit for HD.

At least a part of the wait there was looking for a 720p camera that would work in the helicopter (720p is WJW's HD format), and of course, the transmission system overhaul needed to be able to do HD "live" outside the studio.

WEWS, meanwhile, is the only local station able to run syndicated, recorded HD programming, such as "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy" weeknights...

WHBC STUFF: Some of the rumored changes to WHBC/1480's programming are about to come to fruition at the NextMedia oldies outlet in Canton.

OMW hears that the station plans to start carrying Westwood One's "Jim Bohannon Show" in late nights in January, along with Sporting News Radio in act as sports programming on nights the station is not carrying local or regional sports events (high school, Browns/Cavs/Indians, etc.).

The move will not displace staff, so we're told, as overnighter John Allen will stick around to do various production duties.

We also hear the station is continuing to talk to talk radio syndicators looking for other talk programming, though as we've said repeatedly, there really is not much "out there" that hasn't been locked up locally...either by Clear Channel talk WHLO/640 Akron (which claims Canton rights to programming), or even talk/religious WCER/900 in Canton itself.

To that end, OMW would expect even existing on-air personalities to dial back on music more and more, and fill time with information instead of songs. It's not that big of a stretch for a station that runs news updates four times per hour even outside of drive time.

By the way, Bohannon is actually making something of a return to WHBC. The station was, long ago, an affiliate of Mutual Radio's "Larry King Show", the overnight talk show that made today's CNN host what he is today. Bohannon was King's regular fill-in, so we're sure he was heard quite often over the years on 1480...

And across the hall, we hear new WHBC-FM/94.1 program director Hunter Scott tried the microphone on for size doing a fill-in this week for the station's Steve Rockford. And could his presence liven up the music mix on "Mix"?

COLUMBUS TALK PROTEST: A group of regular listeners to Clear Channel talk WTPG/1230 "Progressive 1230" is hoping to repeat recent liberal talk radio history.

They've launched a website hoping to get online signatures in support of the company keeping the station's liberal talk lineup, instead of implementing the station's announced change to a mix of conservative and sports talk as WYTS "Talk 1230, Your Talk Station" on January 8th.

The group is hoping to reap the same success as a series of efforts in Madison WI, where Clear Channel reversed its announced change of liberal talk WXXM/92.1 "The Mic" to sports talk a few days ago.

And we hear from some of those involved that they're also encouraging advertisers to 1230 in Columbus to redirect some of their advertising money to the online stream of Ohio's only remaining liberal talk outlet, Akron's WARF/1350 "Radio Free Ohio".

The site has audio of one group member, "Dave from Columbus", calling Jones Radio's Ed Schultz show on Wednesday, and Schultz's own call to his guest-hosted show about the topic.

Dave's also a regular caller to another WTPG staple about to lose its Columbus home - Jones' Stephanie Miller show...where he identifies himself as "Dave from Columbus (Gahanna, actually)".

The reference comes from the fact that 1230 in Columbus was one of Miller's first two affiliates and her first large market affiliate, and many of the show's callers in those early days were referring to their locations by Columbus-area suburbs and landmarks...

Station Owner Passes

We've been meaning to put this up since it was brought to our attention by long-time friend and colleague Scott Fybush over at NorthEast Radio Watch...

Dick Plessinger was perhaps best known in Ohio for running the country's only "all-Elvis" radio station, Cincinnati market AM outlet WCVG/1320 Covington KY. Plessinger, who recently sold that station - now Regional Mexican "La Ley" - to Davidson Media Group, passed away December 19th.

We're reminded that Plessinger also owned Cincinnati market rimshots WAOL/99.5 Ripley and WAXZ/97.7 Georgetown, which were eventually sold to First Broadcasting...and are now paired up with WOXY/97.7 Oxford as adult hits outlet "MAX FM".

Scott tells us that Plessinger was especially proud of the "all-Elvis" format on WCVG, which gained the small station worldwide attention. If we recall correctly, it was NOT a "stunt", but actually lasted at least a year or two.

RIP, Mr. your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) appreciates involved local owners with a flair, we mark your passing...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


OMW hears that Dover's WJER-FM 101.7 has officially signed off the air, after a day and change airing a loop with staff members urging listeners to tune to WJER(AM) 1450.

The AM frequency continues the programming that had been simulcasted on both frequencies the past few months...and as reported earlier, the 101.7 frequency is expected to return to the airwaves sometime after the first of the year from its new Canton transmitter site with...a new format...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

No Bull, Or Star, Or Whatever - Yet

As promised, the latest update in our ongoing saga regarding the move of 101.7 FM to the Canton area.

As it appears now, the move of the station now known as WJER-FM won't happen in full until shortly after the first of the year.

Last night, WJER itself signed off regular programming on the FM side, after its annual presentation of "A Christmas Carol" from 11 PM until midnight.

After that, 101.7 began airing a continuous loop of announcements from various staff members directing listeners to the station's new AM-only operation - and the station's live Internet feed at

OMW hears that this will continue for the next day or so.

After equipment is removed from Dover and the station's Strasburg main tower site, WJER has the option of continuing this loop from its auxiliary 101.7 transmitter site at the WJER studio complex on Boulevard in Dover until the new signal signs on from Canton. At this point, we don't know if the loop will continue in that fashion.

Back at 22nd and Whipple, OMW has pulled a few teeth to find out that the new site for the station to become WHOF(FM) will not broadcast the new Canton market signal for 101.7 until shortly after January 2nd.

It's a timing issue, we've heard...certain crews necessary to do things like hang antennas on top of towers will not be working through this holiday week.

Meanwhile, we hear from other folks who have been by the site that most of the other work is done...for the tower and site which will also become home for Cumulus rock WRQK/106.9.

WRQK, of course, is the original reason the tower was its own tower just across the way on 22nd Street is a strong gust away from being one with the ground.

So, all of you playing the What Format Will 101.7 Adopt in Canton Home Game (plastic tower replica sold separately!), move your chess pieces around on the Imaginary Radio Format board for a week or two more.

One other note: someone who looks into such FCC-related things for us tells us that the call letter change from WJER-FM to WHOF(FM) will take place at midnight on the 28th. So, if WJER management continues to operate the "tune to AM 1450 loop" on the auxiliary transmitter, they'll have to ID with the new calls after that point.

We haven't been given a target date for the new station's launch, so we're just guessing here. But we'd imagine January 8th would be a good place to start looking...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Holiday Greetings

On behalf of the entire editorial staff at your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), our heartfelt wishes to all of our readers for a most joyous holiday season.

OMW will resume publication on Tuesday, December 26th. We will then have sporadic updates through Tuesday, January 2nd, when we resume a reasonably normal schedule.

Please note, as always, that OMW is updated at our discretion, and when we are able to do so.

We're especially thankful at this holiday season.

Not only for our enthusiastic readership, but for things like family, and friends...and new friends, to boot. As someone we've come to know once said, "there's always room for new friends".

Take good care of yourself, and those close to you, and enjoy this season in peace and matter how you mark or celebrate it, or even if you do not...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Weekend Potpourri

Barring unforeseen events, this is probably our last update before Christmas Day, and we've put off a lot in the focus on our two or three major news stories this past week.

We're also planning a special Holiday Message/State of OMW post some time in the next few days...yes, more navel gazing is in the cards. Until then...let's clear out our "inbox"...

FURMAN TO WFTK: We spent a lot of time on this back when he was fired from WLW/700, the Clear Channel talk powerhouse in Cincinnati, so it's only right for us to wrap up loose ends.

Those loose ends were tied up as expected, and even rumored. Former WLW "SportsTalk" host Andy Furman has indeed landed on the FM dial, where he'll do an afternoon drive show for Cumulus talk WFTK/96.5 "SuperTalk FM" starting January 8.

The Cincinnati Business Courier notes Furman's history of high-profile interviews, with everyone from Pete Rose and Sparky Anderson, to Nick Lachay.

And speaking of interviews...writer Robert Riggsbee, a local media consultant who provides the Business Courier with TV/radio coverage, says Furman hopes to interview T.J. Houshmandzadeh on his new "Prime Time Sports" show on the FM talker.

Yes, the same Cincinnati Bengals player Furman called a "racist" on his WLW show, an incident which eventually led to his dismissal from "The Big One"...

WILLS AND SNYDER: It's no surprise, really, but Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 has officially renamed its morning drive program after the passing of station vet and long-time Cleveland sports icon Casey Coleman.

The program that has been called "Wills and Coleman" is now "Wills and Snyder", with WTAM sports director Mike Snyder permanently sliding into the chair alongside Bill Wills. Snyder has already been there for some time, as he filled in for Mr. Coleman while he was away from the microphone.

We haven't heard if the other change prompted by this unfortunate turn of events is permanent: sports anchor Mark Schwab's presence on the WTAM afternoon drive foodfest hosted by one Mike Trivisonno...

WEWS HD NEWS: You think, maybe, that Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5 is converting its newscasts to the HDTV format?


Maybe that's why "NewsChannel 5" has done roughly 20 stories on buying a new HDTV set in the past week or so. We don't spend a LOT of time with the station, but we keep seeing those stories.

And we did happen to catch confirmation of an item the station first hinted about on its own website, which we passed along a few months ago: Anchor Leon Bibb noted the other day that "NewsChannel 5" will start being broadcast in HD "sometime next month".

The move makes WEWS the third (!) HDTV news operation in the Cleveland market, turning Northeast Ohio into an elite market for HD news. WJW/8 "FOX 8" started the trend, and NBC affiliate WKYC/3 followed a few months ago.

We haven't checked the list, but we believe Cleveland is one of maybe three markets in the country with three competing HDTV news operations.

As of yet, we don't know how the station will handle video from outside the studio. WJW still shoots all field video in 4:3 format, while live shots are 16:9 SD. WKYC does 16:9 SD for both live shots and recorded local field video (in most cases).

Both have HD "live cams". WJW has mounted one off of its South Marginal Road roof and WKYC has one at Jacobs Field, the result of its partnership with SportsTime Ohio and its HD Cleveland Indians broadcasts.

We can't help but repeat the pesky rumor that WEWS may end up with an HD helicopter, as it was poking around a recent trade show looking at one...and we wouldn't be surprised if "SkyFOX" also makes the HD conversion.

And feel free to suggest that Raycom Media CBS/UPN combo WOIO-19/WUAB-43's "19 Action News" will make it four for four in HDTV newscasts. We can always use a good laugh...

ROGER'S BACK: And while we're talking about the folks at Reserve Square...

Yes, as hinted and rumored around the time that former Cleveland Plain Dealer sports/media columnist Roger Brown left the paper after taking a budget-driven buyout, he will indeed appear as a contributor on "19 Action News".

PD radio/TV columnist Julie Washington reports that Brown will host a twice-weekly segment called "Roger Brown's Insider Report"...Mondays and Thursdays on the station starting on January 15th.

(We're curious if there's any overlap between Brown's new segment and one featuring a certain well-fed afternoon drive radio host...we'd almost pay to watch that one.)

Here's the quote of the weekend, though, from Ms. Washington's item:

"Channel 19 is definitely the most provocative and most willing to push the envelope. I definitely fit in with that."

Uh huh, Roger. OK.

The segment will apparently not be limited to the world of sports, though we're sure that's a base. We have no word at this time on when real estate news will be featured.

Julie also touches on the previously-reported-by-OMW changes in WEWS/5's anchor lineup, and says news director John Butte hopes to name permanent "Good Morning Cleveland" anchors by January.

And she visits with syndicated women's-oriented weekend radio show "Family Matters"...which airs weekends on Salem's WFHM/95.5 "The Fish" and talk WHK/1420 in Cleveland, as well as Cumulus Toledo talker WTOD/1560 and a station in Rhode Island...

BAISDEN TO LIMA: And a tip of the hat to a regular OMW reader who's back in the Buckeye State.

Former Sandusky and Mount Vernon radio type Dan Baisden has landed in Lima, where he's taking a new job as program director at the Maverick Media cluster there. He'll oversee hot AC WZOQ and AC WDOH.

Baisden has been in Lafayette IN, where he's programmed top 40 WAZY, country WLFF and classic country WLAS(AM).

Maverick Lima PD Justin Kase slides to the west, where he'll program a Maverick AC outlet in Rockford IL...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Those Columbus AM Changes

OMW readers in Central Ohio tell us that rumored changes at Clear Channel's two Columbus AM outlets have been announced, officially.

This afternoon on talk WTVN/610, station management announced another reshuffling of the station's talk show lineup.

Losing yet another large market Clear Channel talk station clearance is Premiere's Glenn Beck, who will be bounced off of WTVN's mid-morning slot in favor of...local host Joel Riley, who's currently on the schedule from 6-9 PM.

The Riley move to the 9 AM-noon slot allows the station to expand popular afternoon drive host John Corby another hour (3-7 PM), and ABC Radio host Sean Hannity's show moves up to 7-10 PM. Hannity's show took hold in late evenings after the station dumped long-time late night host Steve "Boom Boom" Cannon.

We also are hearing what will happen to sister liberal talk outlet WTPG/1230 "Progressive Talk 1230".

According to those who heard the above mentioned WTVN appearance, 1230 will become a sister talk station (without the current liberal lineup) to 610.

The lineup presented to us - starting January 8th - would include:

* WPGB/104.7 Pittsburgh-based Jim Quinn and Rose Somma-Tennant's "War Room" in morning drive.

* TRN's Laura Ingraham in mid-mornings.

* Premiere sports talk star Jim Rome making his return to both Columbus and an old frequency in the noon-3 slot.

* Self-syndicated money advice guru Dave Ramsey in afternoon drive.

* And...TRN's Michael Savage in evenings.

We hear Westwood One's Bill O'Reilly may also be in the mix, along with what we'd assume is a new affiliation for sister WLW/700-based syndicated overnight trucking show "America's Truckin' Network with Steve Sommers".

We know of one other change for 1230, thanks to long-time Friend of OMW Scott Fybush, keeper of world-famous radio/TV data site

He tells us that WTPG has picked up new call letters...WYTS. ("Your Talk Station", perhaps?)

And when we say "world-famous", we mean it.

We'd probably fall over backwards and have a heart attack if we saw OMW as the subject of an answer on "Jeopardy!", like good ol' 100K was recently.

(By the way...the contestant buzzed in that the question was "What are electric...power plants?" Ah, well...)

Bull or No Bull?

With apologies to Howie Mandel of NBC game show fame...

After our last item, we're continuing to get mixed signals about the future of Clear Channel's new 101.7 move-in to the Canton market.

And to balance our last item, we'll also pass along some interesting Internet sleuthing done by some of our readers...many of whom believe that the "101.7 The Bull" website uncovered here yesterday is an act of slight of hand by those at the World Domination HQ/Southern Command on Freedom Avenue.

LITE?: A reader points out that there's yet another domain name that would presumably be attached to the 101.7 move in, that's redirecting to WKDD's website.

Like "", "" deposits you at the online home for Clear Channel's 98.1 hot AC outlet.

STAR?: Another reader also points out that what would presumably be the website "staging area" for the station which will take the WHOF calls - "" - is currently - unlike the "" site - password protected.

This is significant, as an open Clear Channel-run site for Cumulus rock WRQK/106.9 Canton was under the "" we reported earlier. (And yes, we believe that sometime within our lifetime, Clear Channel will eventually purchase that station. Honest.)

But look at what happens when you try to access the password protected site presumably linked with WHOF, and aren't successful:

Apache/1.3.37 Server at Port 80

Long-time OMW readers note that we found the original Clear Channel country "Bull" in Northeast Ohio this way, via the website error message for a site that eventually became the online home of WYBL/98.3 in Ashtabula.

Going to the "Star FM" site listed above gives the same password prompt and error message.

Clear Channel, of course, operates AC format WREO/97.1 Ashtabula under the "Star" banner, and has other "Star" AC stations elsewhere in the country.

AND IN CONCLUSION: Only one thing appears to be clear at this point...someone at Freedom Avenue is trying to put a lot of balls in the air to confuse everyone...including your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), apparently.

We're getting word from anonymous, unidentified sources about an 11 AM staff meeting where the "Bull" country format was supposedly unveiled to staff and clients, complete with country music.

But right now? We don't believe anything. At this point, we wouldn't be surprised to see "Rumba 101.7", or female-targetted rhythmic AC with Whoopi Goldberg, even. OK, maybe we'd be a little surprised to see it flip to a Spanish-language format.

If you want to sort out all the rumors, the other "non-country" rumblings we've heard in the past few weeks include 101.7 mounting an AC format to combat crosstown WHBC-FM/94.1 - which is rumored to be tweaking its own format - and even rhythmic CHR (!!!), which would presumably fit under the "Kiss Canton" service mark.

Believe nothing you read on this...that's our current motto.

This is an Internet misinformation campaign the likes of which we have never seen in our long time in the business. The only TRUE answer may come out of your radio at 101.7 FM round about December 27th.

We're not betting against "The Bull" right now...but we'd also be cautious betting FOR it....

Thursday, December 21, 2006

EXCLUSIVE: Bull About To Ride in Canton?

It's just under a week before Clear Channel takes over the station now known as WJER-FM/101.7 Dover, and turns it into...a Canton market radio station.

We may have an idea of what you'll hear on 101.7 when it starts transmitting from the now-nearly complete transmitter site at The World's Biggest Radio Tower Tourist Attraction at 22nd and Whipple NW in Canton.

Thanks to an OMW tipster, we've uncovered a Clear Channel-run website for "101.7 The Bull", which would appear to be pretty much a complete site for a country format on the new Clear Channel incarnation of the 101.7 frequency out of the Canton site.

The site promises "Canton's Better Country", and a 25,000 song "no commercial" start.

There are also some very interesting things we've spotted, assuming this is not one giant Internet stunt meant to bring out, well, folks like us:

STAFF: On the "On-Air" link, a pull down menu promises, among other things, "Bull Mornings with Terry and Jessica".

We don't know who "Jessica" is, but we wouldn't at all be surprised to see former WHBC-FM morning co-host/operations manager Terry Simmons as the "Terry". That's just a wild guess on our part, though we're now being told by our original source that it is NOT the same "Terry".

Also listed, in afternoons, is long-time WKDD/98.1 utility player Jon Marochino.

CALL LETTERS: The "Contact" web page lists the station's toll-free request line number as 888-444-WHOF.

That'd be a darn good set of call letters for a country radio station based in the "Hall of Fame City", no?

And sure enough, yesterday, a Clear Channel license subsidiary which happens to hold the license for the in-transit 101.7 FM filed a request for the WHOF call letters...

LISTENING LIVE: The station will apparently launch with live streaming audio, per the links on the website.

AND A REMINDER: We did some searching on back items here, and noticed that the "" URL is still up and running, and still dutifully forwarding web surfers to the site of sister station WKDD/98.1...which we find a bit odd.

Clear Channel has been known to set up "smokescreen" format websites before. We caution that though we're pretty sure about this - and honestly, the rumors we've been getting have been running about 80 percent in the "country" category - anything could happen.

Our sources within the Clear Channel Akron/Canton compound on Freedom Avenue are unusually quiet on this, and won't even approach this information we got from a tipster - who doesn't appear to have any connection to their building.

So, we're left to wonder, but this bull seems ready to ride from this soon as December 27th or thereabouts...

WKNR's On Air Research

Yes, yes, response to what feels like dozens of E-Mails (please, keep 'em coming!), we heard that new WKNR/850 owner Craig Karmazin was on with afternoon drive host Kenny Roda on Good Karma Broadcasting's new Cleveland sports radio acquisition.

Based on what we heard, both described to us and on the radio with our own ears - Karmazin started at 4 PM, and took listener calls with Roda for the rest of the show in a 3 hour session, give or take a sports interview - it appears the new 'KNR boss wants to hear from basically everyone with a pulse and who is interested in sports radio in Cleveland.

We heard him joke (we presume) that the "on air research" saved him $200,000 in paid research.

Anyway, the calls are as you'd expect they were, at least what we heard. People weighed in in favor (and not in favor) of current hosts, told Karmazin that they wanted a local morning drive show - though some were happy with either ESPN's Mike and Mike and FSR's Steve Czaban - and made other suggestions.

Names of Cleveland Sports Radio Past got mentioned, including former 'KNR host Kendall Lewis, who now does middays at Paul Belfi's Internet outlet,

And you can pretty much go down the list of former WKNR hosts or other prominent Cleveland sports names not on the radio right now (Paging Les Levine! Hello, Bruce Drennan! Chuck Booms, come on down! etc...) to hear some of the other suggestions. We hear Booms got specific mention from Roda, who is apparently a friend of his.

In addition to kicking around morning drive, Karmazin also mentioned in response to a caller that the evening slot (7-10 PM, he framed it) was also important to a sports radio station, as it is when various events are going on.

He didn't say he was going to expand the station's programming in that regard, and didn't commit to a local morning drive show - or anything - in the time we heard, but he was clearly trying to get input.

To that end, OMW hears that "Cleveland's ESPN 1540 Insiders" - those who signed up for the online club at the website for now WKNR-sister station WWGK/1540 - have also gotten an extensive "what do you like, what don't you like" questionnaire. We'll post it as a comment to this item as soon as we can find it.

He's also welcoming public E-Mail comments, with his address now published on the WKNR website "Contact" page.

(We notice there that the list of E-Mail addresses has been pared down significantly, with only Karmazin, his sales executives, promotions director Jason Gibbs, sports director Greg Brinda and Roda now listed.)

Karmazin noted that Premiere syndicated host Jim Rome (noon-3 on 850) E-Mailed him immediately upon learning of his purchase of the show's Cleveland affiliate, and offered to his "full support".

OMW hears that Karmazin also confirmed a report we posted here shortly after the WKNR acquisition was announced...both stations will move into the Galleria shopping mall/office complex on East 9th Street in Downtown Cleveland, a Dave Zastudil punt or five away from Cleveland Browns Stadium.

After his run with Roda, Karmazin slipped into another studio - we presume at the WKNR facilities on Broadview Road - to do his "Steve and Craig" hour-long evening show for some of his other stations. The show is expected to air on WWGK when the station's hours permit it to do so...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Finan Followup

Tributes to local broadcast legend Joe Finan continue to pour in, after his death earlier today at the age of 79.

Finan's last broadcast home, Clear Channel liberal talk WARF/1350 Akron "Radio Free Ohio", has posted audio of his last program on the station on October 10th on the page we linked earlier. There are also pictures of Finan during his debut broadcast, and at various station remotes.

And as we saw before with the death of another local broadcast icon, WSLR/1350 morning star Jaybird Drennan, the Northeast Ohio broadcast community has once again reached behind "competitive lines" to share news of another prominent voice being stilled by death.

Rubber City Radio's AkronNewsNow (WAKR/WQMX/WONE) has its own tribute page to a host who never even had any connection with any of the company's three Akron stations. It has audio from WARF, a link to a story by WKYC news anchor Dick Russ with an excellent timeline of Finan's career, and even a link to, umm, the item below this one on OMW.

It's a line on that AkronNewsNow page, written by WAKR/1590 program director Chuck Collins with help from Rubber City news director Ed Esposito, that jumped out at us tonight.

Finan is the third northeast Ohio broadcast legend to pass away in the past three months; WSLR morning great Jaybird Drennan passed away a week and a half ago and WTAM sports anchor Casey Coleman died November 27 after a heroic battle with pancreatic cancer.

Wow. They really do "happen in threes", don't they?

Since late last month, Northeast Ohio has lost three voices that were really a vital part of the fabric of the local broadcast community.

We understand that hosts on the talk station which employed Finan for nearly 20 years in afternoon drive, WNIR/100.1, talked about his passing today. In fact, just this evening, we heard WNIR evening host Tom Erickson reading a bit from our very own item just below this.

With all the tributes, we're reminded of some of the things we didn't remember about Joe Finan. We knew he was a popular DJ "back in the day" at AM top 40 stations in Cleveland (WIXY/1260, WHK/1420, KYW/1100), and you certainly couldn't forget his role in the payola scandal.

But we'd forgotten that he was considered Ohio's first on-camera TV weatherman, at the station then known as WNBK/4 (now NBC affiliate WKYC/3).

Not everyone "liked" Joe Finan. We think Joe would be the first to admit to it...he didn't rub everyone the right way, at least in "public".

But we're particularly affected by some of the private things Joe did well away from the spotlight. As an admitted recovering alcoholic, Joe watched out for those having the same troubles. From our comment page on the earlier item:

While working with Joe at 1350, he would take the telephone numbers from callers off the air that had issues with alcohol. He would spend his off hours in the evening helping people by just being a friend on the phone. I can't even tell you how many thank you calls we took off the air from people who were helped by Joe Finan.

And then there's this comment, which shows how Joe mentored aspiring broadcasters. It's from Mason Meyer, a former WNIR staffer who once hosted the weekend editions of a station staple, "The Dating Show":

My first meeting with was Joe the day after Clinton got elected in 1992. I had no idea what to expect and wasn't much interested in talk radio. He brought me into the station after he signed off the air and we talked for nearly three hours. Here's a guy who has been in broadcasting forever, worked with the greats, had no reason to sit with a snot-nosed kid who maybe wanted to get into radio after his 4 hour show.

Joe was always there. A few rough times in my life I needed a friend at 3AM and his door was always open. He really loved people and was one of the most giving individuals I've ever known. He has made a huge impression on my life and for that alone I thank him.

What's the line? Something about doing things when no one is looking?

That'd appear to describe one Joe Finan, an irascible old guy who thought to do good deeds and reach out to his fellow man when no one was keeping track.

Joe? We're keeping track, now...


Joe Finan Passes Away

OMW has just learned that long-time Northeast Ohio broadcaster Joe Finan has passed away at the age of 79.

Finan, until earlier this year, was the midday talk host at Clear Channel liberal talk WARF/1350 Akron "Radio Free Ohio". But he's most known recently for his nearly 20 year stint in afternoon drive at talk WNIR/100.1 Kent "The Talk of Akron".

Long before any of this, Finan was a popular disk jockey in Cleveland, Denver and other cities.

OMW hears this afternoon that Finan was scheduled for surgery this morning, and unfortunately, did not make it through.

There is only word at this hour of a private family memorial. If there is word of any public gathering, we'll pass it along.

Finan's last home radio station, WARF, has posted about Finan's passing here.

Monday, December 18, 2006


The title here stands for "What Would Clear Channel Sell?", believe it or not.

We already know that the company has announced spinoffs of many small market clusters, above the top 100, as part of its recent announced sale to two private equity funds.

But the folks at Inside Radio report today that it would appear CC is willing to sell off "extra" stations in many large markets, grandfathered into its ownership...but with that grandfathering going away with a company sale.

The trade website has gone through the numbers and has come up with a list of markets where Clear Channel would have to sell at least one station to come under the ownership caps. The timing on this would appear to be "sometime by the end of 2007", presumably in time to clear the way for the sale to the private equity funds.

Ohio appears on Inside Radio's list four times, including Dayton (2 FMs), nearby Springfield (2 FMs), and the already-tagged-for-sale Lima market.

But for us here at OMW, it is Cleveland that is the problem.

The current group of 5 FMs in the Cleveland Clear Channel cluster is apparently one above what FCC regulations would allow, according to the Inside Radio list, though we're still unclear about the status of Akron-licensed WAKS/96.5 "Kiss FM".

If you're Clear Channel, which FM station do you sell at Oak Tree? (Of course, the company is in no danger on the AM side, with WTAM/1100 being its sole signal on that band.)

Keep in mind that formats can be moved and the like.

Is the 96.5 signal the automatic sell, and if so, what do you do with "KISS FM" and the remaining formats?

Welcome to Speculation City.

Since it may be a few months before any of this hits the fan, feel free to join in for once. Just, please, no personal attacks, and keep it professional...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Catching Up, Big Time

We apologize for being less active lately. We've kind of been preoccupied lately (which is a very, very good thing), so here's our catchup item for Saturday:

WEWS CHANGES?: We have a tip on some changes in the works at Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5 "NewsChannel 5".

After recent changes involving former anchor Stephanie Schaefer - now NBC "iVillage Live"'s Sissy Schaefer (we hear it's a long-time nickname for her, dating back to childhood) - WEWS seems to be settling on an anchor pattern.

OMW hears that Danita Harris is taking the co-anchor role at noon and 6 PM, with "Live on Five" continuing with Lee Jordan alongside Leon Bibb. Jordan will also continue alongside veteran anchor Ted Henry at 11 PM.

The Harris move would impact "Good Morning Cleveland", but we have no word who will take her place on that program... as far as we can tell, she won't be working 5 AM to 6 PM...

WWOW CHANGES: It's no surprise to us, since we reported here first that Conneaut AM station WWOW/1360 was being sold to Gates Mills-based Cause Plus Marketing for $200,000.

An OMW reader quickly pointed out Cause Plus and president John Marra Jr. was the operator of "BOGO Wines" ("Buy One, Give One"), a religious-backed website that sells wine to raise money for adult stem cell research.

A quick look at the comments on the front of the BOGO Wines page shows testimonials from the conservative Family Research Council, and Catholic radio operator Ave Maria.

That brings us to an item in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where Marra tells the PD's Julie Washington that the ABC "Real Oldies Channel" format is indeed going away on WWOW, and will be replaced by Catholic-based religious programming from the Eternal Word Television Network.

We believe Canton outlet WILB/1060 "Living Bread Radio" runs the EWTN feed, which was also heard on WLOA/1470 Farrell PA, the Youngstown market rimshot which recently flipped to Sporting News Radio from a simulcast of Beacon Broadcasting sister oldies outlet WANR/1570 Warren.

Marra tells Ms. Washington that he doesn't know how it would affect local on-air staffing. We THINK WWOW has had a local show in morning drive, but we find it hard to see how that would continue with the EWTN feed...

BIG CHUCK/LIL JOHN PARTY: It's kind of a sore spot for us here at OMW, since we got a lot of heat from our exclusive item that WJW/8 "FOX 8" was nudging long-time fixture "Big Chuck and Lil John" off the schedule next year.

"Big Chuck" Schodowski then took the High and Classy Road, and told the aforementioned Julie Washington that he was contemplating retirement in 2007.

Today, Julie reports that the show aired a 40th Anniversary Special this morning at 10...but don't worry, if you missed it, they'll air it again late tonight at 12:30 AM.

The "Big Chuck and Lil John Fan Club" contributed material, including a new opening built on decades of clips from the show and its predecessor, "Hoolihan and Big Chuck".

And yes, we're aware the fan club folks were not thrilled with our original item, which we stand by even today. Like some of our other exclusive items, please aim your ire at the source, which would be WJW and FOX itself.

It's water under the bridge, anyway, because Big Chuck himself has taken the heat away with his own retirement announcement. We wish him well, and admire his class and grace. He could have easily launched into his employer, but he did not... for that matter, he could have easily launched into us, and he did not...

BYE, BYE DAN: AllAccess and Radio and Records Online report that former WAKS/96.5 "Kiss FM" program director Dan Mason, who left the Clear Channel Cleveland top 40 outlet to program sister Miami top 40 WHYI "Y100", has now left that station.

We don't know why. Mason tells both trade publications that he's "ready for his next opportunity", and AllAccess hints that a "major market Midwest PD" could be in line to replace him in Miami...

TAKING THE WEEKEND OFF: And that's it for us until Monday.

Short of a radio station making a major format change, or a TV station dumping its entire staff, we're walking away from the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) entirely until Monday. We do, though, have someone watching the comments, and will be alerted if anything needs to be removed.

Do us a favor...go out and enjoy the weekend after you read this. Don't come here until Monday. Step away from the keyboard, enjoy the warm weather, and perhaps get together with a nice friend and enjoy the day.

That's what we plan to do... so we're just letting you know that you won't see anything new here until Monday. Enjoy!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Columbus Clear Channel AM Changes?

It's kind of tough not to notice that Clear Channel Columbus talker WTVN/610, and liberal talk sister WTPG/1230, are signaling "Changes are coming" on both stations' web pages.

The banners are identical, except for color and logo/name changes.


Clear Channel Cincinnati's WSAI/1360 just dumped its moved-from-WCKY/1530 liberal talk format in favor of "", a radio station named after its Internet site, which features various advice and consumer-oriented shows.

Clearly, the liberal talk format is in trouble - or has been pulled - in many places.

One of those places is New Orleans, where Entercom pulled the plug on recently resurrected liberal talk WSMB/1350 in favor of...turning it into a time-shifted repeater of the company's big AM/FM news/talk combo, WWL.

We have not heard what Clear Channel is planning between 610 and 1230 in Columbus. Not even a rumor. (And we also remind you that the company put up that infamous "We're taking over a station!" banner ad a ways back...which turned out to be, as we guessed, a gas station promotion.)

But...assuming all of the above...wouldn't it be interesting if Clear Channel in Columbus copied Entercom's move in New Orleans? "WTVN-2", anyone?

OK, we mean interesting as in "a radio move", not necessarily as far as programming is concerned. We're generally against using a full-power in-market radio transmitter to emulate a radio time shifting device, to rebroadcast shows from a sister station out of pattern.

We have not heard anything, as we said. We're just throwing it out there, and maybe we'll look like Radio Geniuses(tm) if it actually happens! The odds, based on educated guesses, would actually seem to prefer a "" clone.

Oh, and for those just waiting to leap to the keyboard to proclaim how awful a certain format is, and why it deserves to be burned into tiny ashes, and those who believe that such a format should be guaranteed in the Constitution...both sides sure to clash here:

There are probably, in our opinion, three major factors to what's happening to liberal talk radio right now.

1) Air America. While many liberal talk outlets are weaning away from the iconic libtalk syndicator, and run hours of programming by Jones Radio and others, the future of Air America is in flux. AAR's big star host is either on his way out, running for the U.S. Senate or otherwise not expected to return to the airwaves...even if the financial situation straightens out.

2) The election. Those who listen to Air America and other liberal shows - aside from those who listen for the entertainment, like your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) - got what they wished for... Democrats are taking over Capitol Hill. The "throw the bums out" heat has been removed from liberal talk radio, and even the better hosts are trying to figure out what to do next.

Election seasons always, no matter what the viewpoint, heat up talk radio ratings...and it's almost like cleaning up the confetti from the Acceptance Speech Ballroom right now in talk radio. (If you've watched C-SPAN, you know no one watches the guy pushing the broom after everyone's gone home.)

Even the established conservative talk hosts see downturns after white-hot election-fueled ratings. Liberal talk as a full-fledged format hasn't been around long enough to weather a lot of downward change.

3) The format's Dirty Little Secret. Though some stations in the format may see ratings success, liberal talk - especially of the Air America variety - is not really advertiser friendly.

Oh, sure, even the soon-to-be-dark liberal talk outlet in stronghold Madison WI has had advertisers lining up protesting the change. But the list is basically "socially conscious" smaller advertisers (with a few exceptions).

Large companies may not be very likely to buy ads on programming where large companies are excoriated for their actions.

This sort of thing is not a Big Issue, for example, for the more commercially-friendly Jones Radio stable of talkers. We've checked in with Stephanie Miller, for example, and you don't hear a lot of yelling about how bad Major Multiglobal Corporation is...the same Major Multiglobal Corporation that owns potential advertiser car company A, or oil company/gas station chain B, etc.

The Madison situation should be quite indicative.

The station, "92.1 The Mic", has built up pretty decent ratings...nearly double what the former AC format did on the rimshot frequency. But if it can't be sold to advertisers with decent amounts of money to spend...they look to a format which can be sold.

We don't know how liberal talk WARF/1350 "Radio Free Ohio" in Akron is doing. We haven't heard any rumblings that the format is going away here.

But WARF does one thing some of the other liberal talk outlets won't do (for fear of scaring away diehard format listeners) - it runs Akron Zips football and basketball, and Akron Aeros baseball, just like it would in any other format...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Jaybird Tribute on WAKR Friday

It's almost an advertisement, it would seem, but we'd like to direct you to Rubber City Radio's WAKR/1590 Akron on Friday morning - for an on-air tribute to legendary local broadcaster Jaybird Drennan, who passed away last Sunday.

To go along with the tribute during the station's Ray Horner Show, WAKR's "AkronNewsNow" has put up a new tribute page. This one has audio and video, including from a WKYC/3 "Del's Folks" profile of Jaybird that would appear to have originally aired shortly after he learned of his induction into the Country Radio Broadcasters DJ Hall of Fame.

We've had a few inquiries here about Jaybird, from people who never had a chance to hear That Voice. The items on the AkronNewsNow page should more than satisfy the curiosity.

Friday night at 7 PM, Akron says a final "goodbye" to "the ol' Jaybird" perhaps the only stage truly worth of hosting such an event in Akron, the Akron Civic Theater. But while we may say goodbye...the voice, and the kindness he paid to so many over his long career, we'll never forget...

WHBC-FM Hunted For New PD

As hinted here on OMW, a former WMMS voice has taken over as program director of NextMedia Canton AC outlet WHBC-FM/94.1 "Mix 94.1".

And the voice is a recent former employee of the Cleveland FM rock station.

Hunter Scott takes the programming reins at 'HBC-FM, and OMW hears that unlike former "Mix" operations manager Terry Simmons, Scott won't have a regular on-air shift at 94.1.

In case you're searching your brain trying to figure out who he is - no, he's not former 'MMS voice "Spaceman Scott" - think "more recent".

Hunter Scott was the "Hunter" of WMMS' last local morning drive program..."Sean, Hunter and Cristi".

That's the show which was cancelled this past June in favor of the Clear Channel rocker airing Premiere syndicated morning show "Bob and Tom"...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


In our "not like it was any surprise" department:

Radio and Records Online reports that long-time Salem sports WKNR/850 Cleveland program director Michael Luczak has left the the wake of the station's recent takeover by Craig Karmazin's Good Karma Broadcasting.

Luczak says he's a "free agent" again, and looking for his "next broadcast challenge"...

Midweek Mix

A few mostly unrelated items:

'HBC PD?: OMW hears that staffers at NextMedia AC WHBC-FM/94.1 Canton "Mix 94.1" were being introduced to a new program director on Tuesday.

Who is that programmer?

We only hear that he may have a "Buzzard" past. But that's about all we know. We'll let you know when we hear more.

JAYBIRD TRIBUTE: Rubber City Radio news/standards WAKR/1590 Akron is planning a full-fledged tribute to late local country radio icon Jaybird Drennan on Friday's "Ray Horner Show".

WAKR/Rubber City news director Ed Esposito tells OMW that they hope to have some recordings of Jaybird, which are hard to find. If you are hanging onto any audio of Jaybird and would like to share, please contact Rubber City...we're sure they'd be appreciative of the contributions.

And we're sure listeners would also appreciate the audio being put up on Rubber City's AkronNewsNow. We've had at least two requests for us to share such audio, but unfortunately, A) we have none and B) OMW has no capability to host anything other than text and pictures.

If we hear anything more about online samples of Jaybird's golden voice, we'll let you know...

WHILE WE'RE STOPPING (VIRTUALLY) AT WAKR: Mr. Esposito reminds us that the Akron outlet of the Cleveland Indians recently signed a contract extension to keep carrying the Tribe in the market.

The five year deal was announced late last month, but it somehow missed the OMW Radar...

LAW LEAVES ST. LOUIS: Former WSPD/1370 Toledo program director Al Brady Law is leaving his St. Louis station, CH Holdings talk KTRS/550.

The departure is described by both parties as "amicable", though there's no question Law went through a lot in his time at the station.

You see, "CH Holdings" is actually the corporate name for the station owned by the St. Louis Cardinals baseball club, and the venerable talk station has gone through quite a number of changes since the baseball team got involved.

And that's not even counting the KTRS host who had an infamous slip of the tongue, and got fired (with national attention) for inadvertently airing a racial slur.

Law tells Radio and Records Online:

"I'm up for finding a troubled radio station that is looking for some help. My last two stations have improved greatly under my leadership and I'm ready to do it again."

What are the chances of Law heading back to Ohio?

We haven't heard anything, but are reminded that he has long-standing ties to Clear Channel Cleveland-based programming VP Kevin Metheny...

CVCO BUYS IN ALABAMA - AGAIN: Christian Voice of Central Ohio, the radio group based at Columbus market CCM outlet WCVO/104.9, is buying its second Alabama radio station.

This time, it's sports WTKI/1450 Huntsville AL joining the CVCO stable, which also includes WCVO "River" sister station WCVZ/92.7 South Zanesville.

The company's first acquisition in Alabama, religious WAJF/1490 Decatur AL, now sports the calls WDPT. Decatur is just down the highway from Huntsville...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Browns, Clear Channel Renew Through 2008 with Option

If new sports talk WKNR/850 owner Good Karma Broadcasting was thinking of putting together some package to pick up the radio rights to the NFL Cleveland Browns, they're gonna have to wait.

The team and Clear Channel have announced a multi-year extension of the agreement between the football team and the local radio cluster. The new pact runs through the 2008 season, with a club option to extend it another year through the 2009 season.

Quoting a Clear Channel press release:

“We are thrilled to extend our relationship with the Cleveland Browns,” said Mike Kenney, President & Market Manager for Clear Channel Radio. “Our highly successful partnership with the Browns allows fans from all over the region to follow Cleveland Browns Football at home, at work, at the stadium, or wherever they travel. The heritage of WMMS and WTAM within the community is the perfect match with the heritage of the Cleveland Browns.”

And from the Browns' end:

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Clear Channel”, said Browns CFO Michael Keenan. “We believe the wide array of quality sports and news programming Clear Channel provides will benefit Browns fans everywhere.”

The release does indeed state that rock WMMS/100.7 will continue to be the Browns flagship, with WTAM/1100 continuing to take its traditional AM flagship role when it doesn't have Indians or Cavaliers conflicts.

While the sports radio landscape was shaken up recently by Good Karma's purchase of long-lumbering sports outlet WKNR, there weren't a lot of people betting on any other outcome for the Browns rights.

One of Good Karma's biggest hurdles was beyond its control, if owner Craig Karmazin was even thinking of trying to get the Browns rights - it owns no FM stations in the market.

Any attempt to dislodge the Browns from Clear Channel would have to involve an FM station, and some point out that they're not entirely sure Good Karma would feel good about partnering with, say, CBS Radio...there is family history there, and it's not really favorable.

With the Browns locked up at Oak Tree, and the Indians and Cavaliers both in long-term contracts with Clear Channel as well, the new WKNR will have to focus on Other Things... like, perhaps, local sports talk programming that may remind one of an early spot on Mr. Karmazin's resume, WIP/610 in Philadelphia...

Some 101.7 Quick Hits

It turns out that December 12th is a pretty eventful day surrounding Northeast Ohio's 101.7 FM frequency, as two separate events are happening even as we post this item.

First, OMW readers tell us that steel has finally arrived this morning at the World Famous Future Transmitter Site location at 22nd and Whipple NW in Canton, and that said steel is being erected starting today.

Second, OMW ears in the Dover/New Philadelphia area report that today is the last "solo" morning show for the WJER stations, and that it's being announced that the reported "merger" of the AM and FM shows will begin tomorrow...completing the full simulcast of the two facilities, at least while 101.7 still broadcasts from the area.

To that end, OMW hears that the new show, which will air only on WJER(AM) 1450 after FM 101.7 ends service to Dover/New Philadelphia on December 26th, will be hosted by current AM host Randy Fox...with FM host (and WJER sports director) Bill Morgan contributing sports and otherwise taking part in the effort...

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Jaybird Follow-Up

Services for long-time WSLR/1350 Akron "Whistler" voice Jaybird Drennan have been set.

A public viewing will be held Thursday from 1 to 8 PM at Riverwood Community Chapel, which is at 1407 Fairchild Avenue in Kent. Services, being called a "celebration of Jaybird's life", will be held Friday at 7 PM at a place that may well be necessary for its size and class - the Akron Civic Theater.

Other links we haven't shared, or information we have yet to share:

The Akron Beacon Journal had a story on Jaybird's passing in Monday's newspaper, which you can read here.

It, and the AkronNewsNow article on Jaybird's services, clarify the cause of his death. Jaybird was at a local shopping center when he fell and suffered a broken ankle. But it was surgery on that ankle that resulted in the complications - a blood clot - which stilled the mighty iconic voice of Akron radio history.

The Institutional Memory of OMW also did not realize that Rubber City Radio VP Nick Anthony also served as WSLR's program director in the 1980's. (OK, so we're still stuck on Nick's role in the old WHLO/640 talk format.)

An excellent collection of tributes, audio and otherwise, is posted on the AkronNewsNow site. And no, we aren't just saying that because Rubber City news director Ed Esposito mentioned OMW, and gave a link to our earlier item.

The entry has audio of listeners to Akron's present-day country station, WQMX/94.9, remembering Jaybird, and also audio from new WQMX program director Sue Wilson, along with WAKR/1590 program director (and WSLR veteran) Chuck Collins. And thanks, by the way, to Chuck - via AkronNewsNow - for the above picture from Jaybird's 1994 retirement party.

That's one of the interesting things about the Akron radio market.

We've found rather quickly, in recent days, how close-knit the market really is.

Not only do you have the examples of former WSLR types Nick Anthony and Chuck Collins working together now at Rubber City Radio. We're also reminded that Sue Wilson was the wife of late WSLR afternoon drive host Phil Cordle, even 78 year-old Jaybird Drennan, died too young.

And even those who didn't work directly with Jaybird, or who only know of his legend... the lines and E-Mails have been burning up in shared grief among what seems like every single person with even the most remote connection to Akron radio.

And that includes your Primary Editorial Voice(tm), who has never regularly been associated with any station in the market.

You always hear "good things" about the recently departed.

We get the idea, from everything we've heard about Jaybird Drennan, that the good words said in his honor may actually only be scratching the surface...

WJW News Director Heads to Dallas

We've been a bit delayed on posting this one, so bear with us...

OMW hears from numerous sources that long-time WJW/8 "FOX 8" news director Greg Easterly is leaving the FOX owned-and-operated outlet in Cleveland for a big job - news director of CBS-owned KTVT/11 in the Dallas-Ft. Worth market.

But it's not just a big market jump that prompted the move. OMW hears that one reason for Easterly taking the job in Texas could be its proximity to his family.

We don't have any inside word on who might replace Easterly, who held the ND post for 10 years at WJW, though rumblings from within South Marginal Road say an internal promotion seems "unlikely"...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Jaybird Drennan Passes Away

Iconic country music radio personality "Jaybird" Drennan passed away Sunday afternoon at the age of 78. AkronNewsNow, the news website operated by Rubber City Radio (owner of country WQMX/94.9) has more here.

Jaybird collapsed in front of a local store last week, and was in a coma until his passing.

For decades, Jaybird Drennan was synonymous with country music radio in Akron, if not most of Northeast Ohio.

His signature "Howdy, Partner" graced the airwaves for 27 years on Akron country outlet WSLR/1350, which was universally known as "Whistler". And in the years when Cleveland listeners had no access to country music on the radio, he served audiences in that market as well.

Jaybird did country music on AM radio well into the 1990's. He retired from his morning drive show in the mid-1990's, and continued for another year or so with a Saturday morning "classic country" show...until then-WSLR owner Barnstable converted 1350 to satellite-fed urban AC music as WTOU "The Touch".

Though the station is now today's liberal talk WARF, owned by Clear Channel, Rubber City Radio had a long-time connection with "Jaybird" due to the company's operation of a country FM station.

As such, Rubber City VP Nick Anthony calls the man known only on his birth certificate as Jerry William Drennan a "giant" in the industry, and says Jaybird had "a giant heart" as well.

Former WQMX programmer Kevin Mason, now working for Nashville's Rust Records, tells AkronNewsNow that Jaybird was "the essence of professionalism and dedication," and says "his impact on not only Akron radio but country radio was a real testament not only to broadcasting but also his humanity."

And Anthony and Mason, who say one of their "proudest moments" was when Jaybird was inducted into the Country Radio Broadcasters DJ Hall of Fame in 2004, placed a memory of him at the Akron Radio Center.

Rubber City news director Ed Esposito tells OMW that "a plaque commemorating Jaybird sits right outside the control room window at WQMX as a constant reminder to our staff of the contributions Jaybird made not only to the industry, but also to the community we call home."

And OMW hears that even now, a picture of Jaybird with a star graces the walls of Clear Channel's Akron/Canton HQ on Freedom Avenue in Jackson Township...a full 10 years after the end of the WSLR country format, when the company didn't even own the station.

The station which once broadcast Jaybird's golden tones, as mentioned, is now talk WARF/1350 "Radio Free Ohio". They've put up a tribute page to Jaybird here.

You might have to be of a certain age to really appreciate what Jaybird did in this region. Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) isn't really a country music listener, but even we would check in with Jaybird from time to time just to hear "that" voice.

We missed most of Jaybird's years on Whistler. By the time we caught up with him, WSLR was in its final years as a country outlet.

But talented broadcasters don't fade away. To the end, Jaybird did voice work for radio clients. We heard a spot just a month or two back for a center catering to seniors.

RIP, Jaybird....

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Weekend Potpourri

Just some random followup, or other new items:

CP APPROVED: It's a formality, of course, but the construction permit for WJER-FM/101.7's move to North Canton has been approved. According to the FCC online database, the agency gave its official stamp of approval on the application on Friday.

We assumed that the timing would be such, since Clear Channel will be actually lighting up the station sometime after the current operator abandons programming 101.7 on December 26th. The construction permit for Cumulus rock WRQK/106.9's new stick on the forthcoming tower at 22nd and Whipple NW was approved in 2004.

The new incarnation of 101.7 FM will, of course, take new call letters and presumably a new format. We have not heard any official word about that new format, but rumors incoming to OMW would seem to suggest that country would be the leading candidate for it...followed closely by some sort of AC format to pair with sister hot AC outlet WKDD/98.1...

WHIZ-FM AND WCVZ: Apparently following up on our earlier report of speculation on WHIZ-FM/102.5 Zanesville's interest in crosstown WCVZ/92.7 South Zanesville "92.7 The River", that interest was real.

The Zanesville Times Recorder reports that the WHIZ Media Group did make an offer for the Christian Voice of Central Ohio-owned CCM station, which was not accepted. The new station would have been the presumptive replacement for 102.5, which holds a construction permit to move to a new site serving the Columbus radio market near the town of Baltimore.

While WHIZ officials continue to insist that they're just "exploring" the possibility of the relocation of 102.5, we are a bit more skeptical. If you were expecting a possible $7-10 million payday for a new Columbus FM station, would YOU pass it up? And clearly, WHIZ itself does not intend on operating a Columbus market station. The phrase "fish out of water" would come to mind.

Our best guess - if WHIZ can't get 92.7 in their stable, they'll go after the only other commercial FM that serves Zanesville...rimshot WYBZ/107.3 Crooksville. It's not as good a signal in the Y-Bridge City as WCVZ, but it'd still work for them...

ANOTHER WKNR FOLLOWUP: This time, to our ongoing coverage of the sale of sports talk WKNR/850 to Good Karma Broadcasting.

Would you like a look at some of the financial figures Good Karma Broadcasting boss Craig Karmazin saw before he agreed to purchase the station from Salem?

Here, take a look. (Thanks to an alert OMW reader for finding this one!)

The income figures were included in an 8K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Here's the relevant info from the filing:

On December 4, 2006, Salem Communications Corporation ("Salem") issued a press release regarding its agreement to sell radio station WKNR Sports Talk 850AM ("WKNR-AM") to Good Karma Broadcasting, L.L.C. for $7 million.

In addition to the terms of the sale as described in the press release, net broadcasting revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2006 for WKNR-AM was $1.8 million and station operating income for the nine months ended September 30, 2006 for this station was $0.3 million.

For the year ended December 31, 2005, WKNR-AM generated net broadcasting revenue of $2.6 million and station operating income of $0.5 million. WKNR-AM was acquired on August 24, 2000, as part as an eight station acquisition. The allocated purchase price was $4.7 million.

Anyone trying to compare figures - notice that the 2006 numbers are through September 30th, and the 2005 numbers are for the entire year.

And the other comparison here?

Salem is saying it spent $4.7 million to buy the station now known as WKNR (then WRMR) as a part of its other purchases, which in this case includes the station now known as WFHM/95.5. Assuming that's correct, they actually made a profit on the sale to Good Karma. (We'll invite folks with much better grasp on financials than we do, to take this apart.)

Not that Mr. Karmazin didn't get a good deal, though.

Salem had, if you believe the rumblings, been asking upwards of $14 million for the 850 signal originally. At some point, they "cut their losses", and if the figures above are to be believed, actually made a little coin...

WWOW SOLD: And our colleague and long-time friend Scott Fybush at NorthEast Radio Watch passes this news of a local radio sale along. It's not as big as the WKNR sale, but it's a radio station sale nonetheless...

Conneaut oldies outlet WWOW/1360 has been sold for $200,000. Owner Developing Radio is flipping it to another local concern, Gates Mills-based Cause Plus Marketing, which is headed by John Marra Jr. (Anyone know who this is?) Pittsburgh-based media broker Ray Rosenblum handled the sale.

The outlet in extreme Northeast Ohio has been running ABC Radio's "True Oldies Channel", the 24/7 satellite feed headed up by long-time broadcaster Scott Shannon, outside of morning drive. Before that format change a year and a half ago, it was a news/talk outlet...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Peter Brown Checks In

Back in the day, when dinosaurs roamed the, wait...when new Cleveland sports talk radio station WKNR/1220 started making its mark in Northeast Ohio, your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) checked in more than once as a listener with Peter Brown, the station's controversial afternoon drive host.

Fast forward to 2006, and Peter Brown checks in with OMW.

In a missive directly to Your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), Mr. Brown tells us that he's "flattered" that his name is being mentioned as part of the mix of possible changes at the new Good Karma-owned incarnation of his former station, now at 850 AM.

But no, Peter says, he has NOT talked with Good Karma boss Craig Karmazin about any possible role on the revamped sports talk station, though he said he would make his own contact with Mr. Karmazin "in the near future".

Peter Brown competed with Good Karma sports talk outlet WAUK/1510(-WMCS/1290) "ESPN Milwaukee" as the afternoon drive host at WSSP/1250 "SportsRadio 1250".

Well, until recently, when the Entercom station said goodbye to the former WKNR host.

And he has nothing but good things to say about the man who's taken over his former Cleveland radio home, saying it would be "an honor and a privilege" to work with Mr. Karmazin:

I have great respect for Craig Karmazin and Good Karma Broadcasting. He has a great sense of what a market needs, and the correct way to operate a successful sports station. I admire the fact that he continually defeated a much larger company in Entercom with less money and a weaker signal. Present company excluded, of course.

With the last line, Brown notes that he bested WAUK's highest-profile local host, Steve "The Homer" True, in the last ratings period.

After his stints outside Northeast Ohio radio, including runs at both ESPN Radio and Sporting News Radio, Peter says this area still has "a special place in my heart", and notes that not only did he find his first afternoon drive gig here - he met his wife here.

(He also notes that he was NOT fired from WKNR the first time around...saying he turned down a raise from a modest salary and went without work for a few months, before ESPN Radio hired him. He tells us he continued to live in the area after taking that job.)

Mr. Brown calls Karmazin "an innovative mind" in a business he says is now "filled with mediocrity".

So, yes, it would appear Peter Brown IS interested in returning to Cleveland. We don't know yet if Mr. Karmazin is returning the interest.

We have heard his name kicked around on the Who Could Good Karma Hire List, but we've heard a few names kicked around - as far as we know, no one's actually been hired yet, even seemingly sure lock Tony Rizzo, the only name of all of them who has actually done sports talk radio work for WKNR's new owner - even if only for one weekend morning.

But Peter Brown being even in the "possible" mix has sure kicked up some dust here...

Glenn Beck Loves Akron

Well, we don't know for sure if Glenn Beck "loves" Akron, but the Premiere syndicated mid-morning talk host has made Akron a stop on one of his tours again. At very least, he knows how to get to the former Rubber Capital of the World.

Beck's annual Christmas tour descends upon Akron's E.J. Thomas Hall tomorrow would appear tickets are still available (here).

But Beck is also going have another public appearance in the area.

As he usually does when he goes on tour, Glenn is going to tape a segment for his CNN Headline News program here. The taping will take place at noon on Saturday at the USO of Northern Ohio in Jackson Township in Stark County, 4932 Shuffel Drive...or a very short drive from the Clear Channel World Domination HQ/Southern Command, home of affiliate WHLO/640 Akron.

While we're talking about Mr. Beck, we'll pass a link to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's "Friday" magazine feature about him - which we saw last week, but promptly forgot to link here...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Random Evidence of a Cluttered Media Mind

Just some stuff, and some previews:

HARVE'S BACK: This item could also be titled "Northeast Ohio: Now and Again".

NextMedia has announced that Harve Alan takes over as company VP of programming, replacing Steve Davis. Alan comes aboard from research firm Mercury Radio Research.

We read this item yesterday in the various radio trade publications, and we were having trouble remembering why Harve Alan's name sounded familiar.

As it turns out, we're reminded that among various larger market programming jobs and work at radio networks and national companies, Harve Alan also has Akron on his resume... as former program director at Rubber City Radio rock WONE/97.5.

And that's where our first line comes in. In his new role, he'll oversee programmers at NextMedia stations across the country, including Canton's WHBC/1480 and WHBC-FM/94.1. Well, at the AM side for right now, as 94.1 is still looking for an operations manager following the departure of Terry Simmons a while back.

OMW hears there could be a replacement for Simmons already in the works at "Mix 94.1". We also hear that the new programmer could be overseeing a format tweak on the FM side after the Christmas music goes away later this month...

HD BROWNIES: We were wondering about this, and it's official tonight - WJW/8 "FOX 8" is broadcasting the NFL Network-produced contest between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers in HDTV.

This seems to be a new thing this year - cable TV games offered to local NFL markets with teams in the game are being made available in HD format.

Of course, with how badly the Browns are playing so far, maybe we were charitable in calling it a "contest"...but at least it looks good!

AND A TEASER: We won't say who yet, but one of the names rumored as a possible talk show host under Good Karma Broadcasting's new reign at WKNR/850 has found OMW, and has dropped us a note.

You'll be surprised at his comments, which we'll publish sometime on Friday. Let's just say that he's been nice to us.

We'd like to repeat, again, that though we've heard rumblings about new possible Good Karma employees, we have heard NOTHING about the status of current WKNR employees under the new ownership.

We tend to believe that it will continue to be status quo at least until the start of the year, and we get the idea that the new WKNR management is looking to significantly expand local programming.

We've heard a lot of rumblings about this transaction, and have yet to hear that "X person is gone" in the current WKNR firmament of on-air personalities (or off-air staff, or other).

So, if you hear it, you're probably not hearing the truth. We get the idea that Those Decisions haven't been made yet...and let these people enjoy their holidays, OK?

That WJER Update

Fire up those word processors at the Times-Reporter again, as OMW is about to weigh in again on the last days of Dover-based WJER-FM/101.7, soon to move to a Canton transmitter location and off the airwaves of Tuscarawas County...

As we hinted below, WJER operator Gary Petricola has officially announced on his own station the disposition of FM 101.7, and his impending re-purchase of AM 1450 - which has moved from hint to rumor to fact here on OMW for months.

From the station's news section on, which may change by the time you read this (the page updates with news daily):

WJER Radio, Inc. will no longer provide programming for the FM 101.7 frequency as of December 26th. All local programming will remain on WJER AM 1450 as former station owner Gary Petricola and a group of investors is buying the station back. Clear Channel Communications, which has owned both WJER FM and AM since 2003, is moving the FM operations to North Canton in the coming weeks. New call letters and staffing for the 101.7 station have yet to be announced. Petricola says he’s pleased to retain the AM 1450 operations that have been part of the community since 1950.

Again, anticlimactic, as we've kicked this around here for a long time, complete with the impending date - which, of course, has been pushed back a few days for various reasons, including weather and construction, and other logistics involved in moving a radio station.

OMW hears that WJER will merge the two separate morning shows with FM host Bill Morgan, and AM host Randy Fox, into a single morning program featuring both as a team.

That morning drive merger is expected to start as soon as next week, while 101.7 is still in Dover, so it would basically complete the full AM/FM simulcast until 101.7 heads north a couple of weeks later.

And we haven't been to the Transmitter Site Tourist Attraction yet at 22nd and Whipple NW in Canton, but we're told that concrete has been poured. We hear the tower itself should start going up in about a week...

BREAKING NEWS: "The Revolution of Talk Radio" Runs Out of Gas in Cincy

Not like we didn't see this coming.

Clear Channel talk WSAI/1360 in Cincinnati is dropping the liberal talk format that has been "home base" for ex-Queen City mayor and TV anchor (and trash TV host) Jerry Springer, according to Cincinnati Enquirer TV/radio guru John Kiesewetter.

Starting Monday, the station will be known, both on-air and online, as "". It'll keep talking, but with advice and consumer shows instead of liberal politics, with Jones Radio's Clark Howard playing a key role (airing in afternoon AND morning drive, the latter a repeat of the previous day's show).

The station's new incarnation also returns former Premiere host Dr. Laura Schlessinger not only to the Cincinnati airwaves, but to her first major Ohio market in some time. Until now, she's been relegated to places like Findlay and Canton as far as her affiliate base goes...a long cry from when she was heard on major Clear Channel news/talkers all over the state.

"" will also air a number of existing advice-based talk programs from sister WKRC/550, including the Cincinnati-based Clear Channel show "At Home with Gary Sullivan" and other such shows - on delay.

It's also the second Clear Channel talk outlet in the country to brand on-air with its website URL. Talk WRNO/99.5 in New Orleans is known on the air as "".

As for the format dump of liberal talk?

Just about anyone who's spent over five minutes in a news/talk radio station could have told you it would happen, once local name Jerry Springer's radio show was abandoned. And even with "Jerry, Jerry, Jerry" aboard, the station had trouble drawing any significant audience...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Random Stuff Out of Nowhere

...and for no particular reason than it's time for an update:

WJER ANNOUNCEMENT?: We haven't verified it, so we won't run all of it, but an anonymous comment to one of our earlier items says WJER/Dover-New Philadelphia operator Gary Petricola has announced - on air, officially, on his own station - the impending departure of the FM 101.7 signal later this month, and his impending (re-)purchase of WJER(AM) 1450 with other investors, which will remain in Dover.

None of the above is any surprise to anyone who reads this blog, of course, or for that matter, anyone who's been reading the recent channeling of OMW through the Times-Reporter newspaper. But it is news that it's apparently been told to listeners on the air.

The anonymous contributor says the announcement happened during the station's 5 PM news report this evening...

ZANESVILLE MOVE?: While we're talking about radio stations moving, OMW readers already know that WHIZ-FM/102.5 Zanesville is heading for a new license city of Baltimore, a small spot on the map just southeast of Columbus. It'll be a Columbus move-in for someone, and probably not the WHIZ Media Group.

Instead, it looks like they could have their eyes on one of the rumored possibilities for a WHIZ-FM replacement.

OMW reader Kyle McPeck, on his "King of Zanesville" blog, says he's heard employees of CCM WCVZ/92.7 "92.7 The River" South Zanesville, the sister of Columbus-based WCVO/104.9, have been given their walking papers.

While he isn't saying for sure, Kyle speculates that the WHIZ Media Group will take over 92.7 as the replacement for the departing 102.5, and that WCVZ is rumored to be looking at putting up a new non-commercial outlet in Licking County.

It makes sense to us, too. The WHIZ folks aren't the kind of operation to either A) run a Columbus-based FM or B) vacate the FM dial in their home city, and taking over 92.7 would be a good solution for them.

WHIZ/1240 and WHIZ-TV/18 (NBC affiliate) remain no matter how this pans out...

BORDER FORMAT CHANGE: Back in the day, we'd have done a whole item on this.

Long-time readers know our particular obsession with Beacon Broadcasting, the Warren-based chain of five outlets stradding the Ohio/Pennsylvania border owned by steel supply magnate Harold Glunt.

Beacon has split up the three-station simulcast of oldies music based at Warren's WANR/1570.

AllAccess reports that simulcasters WLOA/1470 Farrell PA and WGRP/940 Greenville PA have flipped to sports, using Sporting News Radio, and continuing as the area affiliates of Pittsburgh Pirates baseball. Even in the WANR simulcast, WLOA and WGRP split away for baseball.

"Family Friendly Oldies" continue at WANR, presumably without the wordy three-station liners...

Beacon also owns Christian rocker WEXC/107.1 Greenville PA, a Youngstown-market rimshot known as "Freq 107", and gospel daytimer WRTK/1540 Niles, which runs the satellite format "Rejoice - Musical Soul Food"...

SPEAKING OF 1540: As if we haven't enough these days, another (original) item on Good Karma's original sports outlet in Cleveland, WWGK/1540 "Cleveland's ESPN Radio 1540". You know, that Good Karma sports station that is NOT WKNR/850...

When he dropped us a note after reading our last item, Good Karma boss Craig Karmazin let us know that the station was airing a James Brown interview with Jim Brown...the former, the FOX Sports TV star, the latter, the iconic Hall of Fame running back who set the standard in a Cleveland Browns uniform.

It airs at 11:30 on Sunday, right before WWGK carries Westwood One's NFL coverage - the Indianapolis Colts play the Jacksonville Jaguars. That's right, it's another network sports package the station adds to its WW1 college football coverage.

Mr. Karmazin tells OMW that the Browns/Steelers clash on Thursday Night Football tomorrow allows the 1 PM game to air on his station. NFL rules normally prohibit such contests from airing in that slot.

And a tip of the OMW hat to Cleveland Plain Dealer media writer Julie Washington, who has an excellent article on the whole Good Karma/WKNR situation in Wednesday's PD. It may be the only media-related newspaper article we've ever seen with not a single error...

More Cuts

And something that isn't connected to the sale of a certain sports radio outlet:

OMW had been hearing rumblings of cuts last Friday at the now-former CBS Radio outlets in Columbus, which were taken over by Wilks Broadcasting that day.

Unfortunately, those rumblings turned out to be true at the stations, country WHOK/95.5 "K95", rock WLVQ/96.3 "QFM96" and alt-rock WAZU/107.1 "The Big Wazoo".

AllAccess reports that cluster operations manager Dave Cooper is out, along with WHOK news director Kim Taylor and night personality Heather Black, WLVQ traffic reporter "Officer Al" and assistant program director/midday personality Dave Man, along with cluster engineer John Marocchi.

Staying in Columbus, where we were still waiting for confirmation on one reported layoff at the Clear Channel cluster there - WLZT/93.3 "Lite FM" programmer Steve Cherry.

Unfortunately, that appears to have come true, shortly after he became a new father - his wife Anna (middayer at sister 80's rocker WBRW/105.7 "The Brew") gave birth to a new son.

Cherry's name has disappeared from the WLZT website, and the "Program Director" contact info E-Mail now directs to sister WNCI/97.9 programmer Michael McCoy.

Unfortunately, there's even more job loss news in this item.

OMW told you earlier of a number of people let go from Clear Channel's Cincinnati cluster. It appears "a number" wasn't nearly as high as it should have been.

In an item which gave us a lot of pause, Cincinnati Enquirer radio/TV guru John Kiesewetter counted up the forced departures at the Kenwood HQ of the company, and came up with...19 people out the door at eight stations.


If you want the gruesome details, and a list of some of the folks we didn't have, it's at Kiesewetter's blog here.

Kiesewetter notes that the number of 19 layoffs does NOT include, believe it or not, Jerry Springer's producer Stephanie Tyler. The end of her position is tied to that show's demise, not to the station's budget cuts.

And we now wonder why any young person even considers a career in this business in 2006...