Monday, January 15, 2007

WHOF About To Launch, And WRQK Now Clear Channel's

UPDATE 1/15/07 8:35 PM: The countdown started, we're told, somewhere during the 4 PM hour, and is timed for a station launch at what sounds like exactly 4 PM on Tuesday.

Intermixed with the "tick, tock" of the countdown clock is a female voice announcing: "This is 101.7, where a new radio station begins in (x) hours." A simple "This...is WHOF North Canton" legal ID is inserted by the automation computer at or near the appropriate time. The tick, tock sound also has long periods of time without any announcements.

Various OMW listeners report that the station has put, at least on good radios, a listenable signal into much of the Akron area...though it loses its "punch" the closer you get to the Ohio Turnpike on the north fringes of the signal.

To our ears, it's not quite as strong as now-Clear Channel rock sister station WRQK/106.9, or NextMedia's WHBC-FM/94.1...which is no surprise considering the class A 6,000 watt signal just northwest of downtown Canton. And WRQK, of course, is running 27,500 watts with a class B signal from the very same location.

We do, though, have at least two radios at the OMW World Headquarters that can pick up the 101.7 signal with clarity...including the same Sony boombox which could pick up WJER-FM from its previous Dover location with some interference.

On the other end, we know people can hear the signal in its former home city, Dover, but we don't believe it reaches southern Tuscarawas County with a listenable signal.

Some OMW listeners, via the comments on this entry, report that the WHOF signal carries an IBOC/HD carrier from launch.

Here at OMW, we aren't able to get that signal on our Accurian HD radio (otherwise known as the Radio Shack $99 special), though that same radio picks up a clear analog signal from WHOF with the long FM antenna included with the radio.

But that's a similar circumstance on the same radio and same antenna, with other analog signals that reach it from nearby markets.

We know, for example, that Cumulus country giant WQXK/105.1 Salem runs HD, and we've never been able to get that...or for that matter, CBS alt-rock/talk WXRK/92.3's signal from Cleveland's east side.

And we have to have the antenna put up just the right way at our second floor window to get a lock on the HD signal on Elyria-based smooth jazz outlet WNWV/107.3 "The Wave".

Another update from Clear Channel's pair of new Canton FM stations: AllAccess reports that long-time WRQK middayer Keith Hamilton has been named program director of "Rock 107".

Our original item is below...

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OMW hears that in just over a half hour from this writing, at 4 PM, Clear Channel will finally "light up" its new Canton market station, officially known as WHOF(FM) 101.7 North Canton.

The first day of broadcasting from the new facility will apparently, from what we've been able to figure out from various sources, consist of a computerized countdown to "a new radio station".

The countdown will last 24 hours, with the new format - whatever it is - set to debut on 101.7 FM at 4 PM Tuesday afternoon.

And no, we do not have any idea what the format will be...any more of an idea than we've had over the past month or so.

Elsewhere involving Freedom Avenue, we hear that Clear Channel has officially taken over Cumulus rock WRQK/106.9 on its short-term-until-sale-clears LMA.

With the switch, exiting are program director Garrett Hart and market manager Dave Kelly. Kelly moves over to Cumulus' sister cluster in Youngstown, we believe in a sales management role.

And also exiting is 7 PM to midnight "Rock 107" personality Joe Kleon. We haven't heard of any other on-air impact of the transition to Clear Channel at this time...

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Right, the day isn't over yet.

Anonymous said...

CHANNEL 101-7 / CANTON'S HIT MUSIC SPACE

In less than 24 hours.

Anonymous said...

Countdown just started @ 4:25P

Anonymous said...

No hearing anything down in Tuscarawas county

Anonymous said...

Coshocton County is also silent :(. I find things like this very interesting. Any updates on what the format may be?

Anonymous said...

Is there anyway someone could try to get the portion of the countdown and post it? I would like to hear what it is and I am outside the coverage area.

Anonymous said...

101.7 TICK-FM... The station you and your kids can sync your watch to! With Tick Tock in the morning and Grandfather Clock for the ride home! Then smooth tickin' at night to relax you... Set your radio, and your CLOCK radios, to the new 101.7 TICK-FM

Anonymous said...

101.7 TICK-FM... The station you and your kids can sync your watch to! With Tick Tock in the morning and Grandfather Clock for the ride home! Then smooth tickin' at night to relax you... Set your radio, and your CLOCK radios, to the new 101.7 TICK-FM

Anonymous said...

All Polka all the time 101.7!!

Anonymous said...

RDS in my car says "Inform" as programming type...

Another CC stunt or maybe Canton's Hottest Talk?!? =)

Anonymous said...

There is just a sound effect of a ticking clock on the frequency. But it's coming in fairly clearly in Dover/New Philadelphia at the moment. Just a bit of static which wouldn't be as noticable if music were playing.

Anonymous said...

IT'S IN HD!!!!

Locked it right in on my Accurian!
Canton's first HD channel!!!

Anonymous said...

WOW, HD in Canton!! I have heard that the CC engineers are the best at doing HD installs.

Anonymous said...

I Wonder if they will do HD-2...Any speculation on what format they will do on that??? :)!!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear about Joe Kleon. I have known him for over ten years and he is a great jock and a really nice guy. Few people in the area know rock music like he does. I hope he stays in the area.

How long will it take for Clear Channel to completely ruin Rock 107? Seems they are of to a good start.

Let the voice tracked boredom begin!

gary p. said...

Is 101.7 FM broadcasting a ticking sound? I didn't know that.

Anonymous said...

The ticking is better then what was on WJER since inception.

Anonymous said...

We'd like to thank Joe Kleon for checking into the board.

I don't know joe, never worked with him, never met him. I would say his delivery was typical of a radio DeeJay. People need to sounds like humans on the radio not announcers...when will people learn?

trefdawg said...

Can't hear the tick tock in Dean Martin's home town...guess I'll have to check it out the next time the wife and I head out to Amish country!

Anonymous said...

Is it true WJER is playing a "Cha-Ching" sound effect on a loop. I guess G.P is happy a clock isnt ticking on his station, but then again he's hoping people still listen to AM.

Anonymous said...

The tick Tock format will be more entertaining and Original than whatever cookie cutter format CC goes to. I'll bet Kennedy and Lankford have been brainstorming for months to come up with this incredible and original stunt..ho-hum...

Anonymous said...

I can get the station with great difficulty in Southern Tuscarawas County.

Anonymous said...

WWV still does this format better.

Anonymous said...

I hear the "tick tock" in Columbiana County.. Little bit of interfernce from WORD 101.5 FM from Pittsburgh.

DP3 is my daddy said...

to the cookie cutter format CC guy, who seems to use it in every post...we get it. Thanks for using it in every post you make, why it's almost like all your posts are the same...ya know...cookie cutter.

Hey DP3's tires need a good cleaning.

collegedj86 said...

Reception of the 101.7 signal in Wadsworth is pretty good even on clock radios inside the house. Haven't checked it in the car yet.

I am hoping I can find a decent spot in the house to use my RadioShark to record the launch and the back end of the ticking.

OMW, any suggestions/ideas as to how long the opening announcement may be?

Sgt. Jay Santos said...

I'd have to agree with the above poster. Yes, Clear Channel has cookie cutter formats.
Kiss, Mix, The Bull etc, and I’ll ask, who cares? Those are brands, and branding works from coast to coast. Ask McDonalds, Wendy's or Pizza Hut. When you walk into a McDonalds in Maine the burgers taste the same as the burgers at McDonalds in Sacramento. (and don’t give me this McDonalds is bland…you don’t sell 43 Billion burgers a day being bland, and yeah there are ton’s of local places to get a better burger, but McDonalds owns the market and yes, their burgers suck)I'd argue that yes, radio is different, but you can't tell me that listeners to a pop music station in Boise like different pop music than listeners in Richmond. There are subtle differences and I believe the for the most part, CC allows local markets to select their slant on the brand. Kiss in Cleveland is different than a Kiss elsewhere.
The term "Cookie Cutter" comes from the early days of consolidation where CC would create the same liners and jingles and playlist for several markets. They quickly realized how bad that sucked and stopped.

Listeners use the radio to hear their favorite songs. It’s rare to hear a 30 year old woman say “that Kiss Station is just a cookie cutter rip off of the Kiss in LA”. Only Radio people say that. Usually those in smaller markets who are so insecure in their own talents and abilities to compete with the mammoth corporations, they simply turn to the “well….yeah……yeah…...they are corporately owned!” Usually the advertiser and the listeners will say the same thing…. I don’t give a sweet Jesus

Lil' Red House said...

The Rock 107 story is ironic if you read between the lines. Keith Hamilton has been chummy chummy with Keith Kennedy for years. Kennedy brings Hamilton in as PD.

If Hamilton was PD material he would have been PD at Rock 107 a long time ago. How many PDs did they have in the last 10 years? 5 or 6? Why was Keith never promoted? When I was at Rock 107 a few years before Garrett we went for over a year with no PD !!! Keith was there and had been for a long time! He never got the job.

Look at it from a business point of view. For the last few years, Cumulus chose to pay Garrett Hart to be an OFF AIR PD rather than promoting Keith and making him an ON AIR PD. Makes you go hmmmmm.

When Pam Allen left the writing was on the wall. I'm glad I got out when the gettin' was good.

Anonymous said...

Here comes Country. QMX and QXK both had decent books in Canton. Plenty of shares to fragment. Pull on your boots and giddy up!

Anonymous said...

Too much hype. Who cares what format it becomes.

Anonymous said...

Too much hype for who? All the radio geeks that live in a bubble? LOL... Let the listeners in the market decide who cares and who doesn't, ok!

Anonymous said...

"WWV still does this format better"
Personallly, I prefer CHU, although they do have to play ticks from Canadian watches at least 40% of the time :->

Anonymous said...

WWV's been broadcasting with the atomic time clock count since 1921, IIRC. THAT'S experience there.

- Nathan Obral

Anonymous said...

Yikes!

WZKL had a terrible book for a CHR. Mostly older men?!?!?!

Time for Kiss 101.7

Anonymous said...

Around 3 years ago Joe Kleon showed me a picture of himself and Keith Hamilton from when they were in high school. He said they have been friends for a long time.

Was firing his high school buddy the first thing Keith Hamilton did as PD?? Way to go Keith. Swallow the Clear Channel line and toss out your freinds.

Who's next? Fish Head?

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is the new format that Clear Channel is pushing for 2007. The Time Sync Channel 101.7... it's the new JACK-FM of 2007.

Tim Lones said...

I smell a comment close coming soon...

Anonymous said...

THIS IS 101.7 .. We're a new radio station begins in 52 mins. WHOF- North Canton

Anonymous said...

Good one, tom. Just wanted to say that before it happened.

Ohio Media Watch said...

Good call, Tim, and the commenter in question has just stepped upon my last nerve.

Upon the debut of the format, we'll post a news item about it, then OMW goes on indefinite hiatus. We'll be back, we just don't know when.

We had already planned to do so, but this has turned it into reality. We needed a break, anyway.

-The Management

Ohio Media Watch said...

Oh, and upon deletion of the comment Tim mentioned, we close this item for comments.

Feel free to comment to the post about 101.7's debut, but any similar comments will result in the closure of comments on that item as well.

-The Management