Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It's Lewis With Levine For Rants

As hinted earlier, from even the same source, former WKNR sports talk host Kendall Lewis is "back on the airwaves". Well, the cable lines and satellite waves.

Akron Beacon Journal sports media columnist George M. Thomas reports that Lewis will join FOX Sports Net Ohio's 2007 version of "Cleveland Rants", co-hosting with FSN Ohio's Les Levine. The show's new season starts March 5th.

The show aired last year with Levine and WKNR/850's Neil Bender, but the 2007 version will not be simulcast on the Good Karma sports talk outlet. Thomas reports that this year, it will also only air Monday through Friday, after Indians and Cavaliers' games.

However, Thomas reports that Lewis' voice will be heard on his former radio home soon, at least for a one-time stint. "The BSK" is set for a guest stint on 'KNR on March 3rd. The former WKNR talker has been heard on Paul Belfi's Internet sports outlet SportsTalkCleveland.com, and we haven't heard if that relationship will continue or not.

While we've got WKNR on the mind, we hear that the station ran ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" and "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" in the 9-noon slot normally occupied by local host Greg Brinda.

We're told on-air announcements said Brinda was out due to the inclement weather, and would return tomorrow. We're also told that the ESPN shows were presented as "a special presentation of Cleveland's ESPN Radio 1540".

Is this a sign that "Mike and Mike", in particular, are primed for a return to the WKNR airwaves in morning drive? It may be too early to predict it, but the ESPN programming being used as a fill-in vs. whatever FOX Sports Radio airs in that slot might be a positive sign in that direction...

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

How upset do you guys think Josh Sabo was when Karmazin told him (Sorry, we'll be doing professional radio today, so you won't be doing fill-in work.")

You had to feel for him, he's there in the studio and instead of filling in for Brinda, they went with mike and mike.

Anonymous said...

I have it from a good source that Greg Brinda has been fired and replaced with Tony Rizzo

Anonymous said...

I think KNR was just giving a sampling of what is usually on it's "little brother" to a wider audience to give them a taste of what 1540 is about.

FSR has a show called "Out of Bounds" that airs from 9-noon that KNR pre-empts anyway, so they just simulcast 1540.

Radio Insider said...

I also have heard that Brinda has been fired. Anyone confirm this?

Anonymous said...

KNR's new management is obviously not going to give any of those younger weekend guys a chance unfortunately. First Levine and now Lewis fills in along with Rizzo. As far as Lewis goes, no way FSN had him on their radar first, the man is untalented and it will not work with Levine.

Anonymous said...

If the new owners listened to the weekend show, then pulled it, i shall consider the new owners to be quality broadcasters.

If they keep the weekend show, they will remain the largest laughing stock of the radio community in cleveland with the honarable exception of Bob Conrad who still claims to have been forced to sell WCLV to save it, as if somone held a gun to his temple. (and anyhing operating out of Salem Communications)

Anonymous said...

Boy, this poster (above at 8:44) just won't give it a rest. He's obviously some embittered former "something" who just likes to bash on the Saturday guys---because they had something he'll never have: a quality, entertaining program.

Like the guy above him said, it looks like Craig has just fallen back into the same old tripe we used to endure. He has made some critical mistakes already on Sat. morning, and I look for him to continue his massacre of the station throughout the day/week. It's sad. All this station needed was a power boost and a local morning show. But Karmazin thinks his parade of fools will increase listenership? Think again, buddy.

Anonymous said...

Some people need to check their "sources". Brinda was not fired, he got snowed in like alot of people and gee what do you know, made it in for his show today. Nothing like spreading rumors that aren't true

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that people think that experimenting with a 3 hour show on Saturdays is ruining the station. Where else are you going to try out your talent? On the weekdays when ratings matter? Puh-leaze!!!

Anonymous said...

Let's say this again...

The ONLY reason why Catan, Bender, Sabo, Winters, etc., were even HOSTING that show is because Salem obviously saw NO incentive to invest into the station. No new hires of existing talent, no promoting logical choices like Metro anchors Matt Loede, Jeff Thomas or Ryan McNaughton. Wouldn't it be a bad thing to hear them before offering it to the other guys?

Remember: now-long-gone PD Mike Luczak was only there to carry the water for the Salem trolls (to wit, Steve Legurski was canned because he didn't want any part of it...)

For those bashers who hold the now-former Saturday Sports Show in high regard (all 5 of them), take note: when Craig finally gives WKNR that makeover it sorely needs, radio listeners will be better off for it. Mark my words.

Oh, and Robert Conrad wasn't FORCED to trade the 95.5 signal. But he was ahead of the times: admittedly, having a classical station on lower power A signal and donated to the local arts institutions is better than having none at all. He tried to do the same with WRMR, but it didn't work. Had that not been a part of the equation, WCLV's classical format would've been on BOTH 1420 and 104.9 - and WKNR would have flipped to conservatalk long beforehand.

Case in point: commercial classical stalwart WGMS/Washington died last month after 60 years (!!) on the air. It's death was a poorly veiled secret, so much so that WGMS's owners (Bonneville/LDS) got pressure by members of the gov't to reconsider.

Then, public station WETA voted to dump it's NPR/talk format if WGMS died (coincidentally enough, it had a classical format for many years beforehand). Strangely enough, BOTH Bonneville and WETA actually worked out a deal to transfer the format, music library and PD (but not the air staff) from WGMS to WETA.

Circumstances like WCLV and WGMS are very rare. Just ask classical fans in Philly and Detroit, who lost their stations some time earlier. Or to those stations (NYT's WQXR/NY or the now-gone WGMS) that sacrificed their format for a more simplified presentation and cheaping of the art form...

Oh, and it was God-awful yesterday in Wild West Avon... Elyria, where Brinda does live at, was also hit pretty bad.

- Nathan Obral

Anonymous said...

Ummm same old tripe? Kendall Lewis should have NEVER been fired from 'KNR. It was a money grubbing move by Salem and my guess is that because he wasn't a homer and wasn't particularly enamored of Cleveland sports teams that he got shown the door. What's amazing to me is that when he got shown the door, Lewis had the highest ratings on the station, a fact confirmed with three independent sources. Hopefully Karmazin will infuse the station with some much needed capital - only time will tell. He's going in the right direction by getting them out of that dungeon-like studio in Broadview Heights.