Saturday, February 03, 2007

One More WKNR Item

That "trickle" of changes coming out of Good Karma Broadcasting's local sports operations doesn't stop for a weekend.

Long-time WKNR/850 staple "The High School Sports Show" is moving to sister WWGK/1540 starting next weekend, according to an announcement on the show this morning by host Jim Isabella.

And the callers, at least, were not happy - particularly those outside of the immediate Cleveland area, where "Cleveland's ESPN Radio 1540" is but a rumor signal-wise. For that matter, you could say the same in places like Westlake and Bay Village.

Isabella informed callers who weren't happy with the move to contact station boss Craig Karmazin via the contact page on He also reminded them that the show would be heard on

Next week, the "Saturday Morning Sports Show" moves to 9 AM to noon, following the "WKNR Golf Show" with mid-morning host Greg Brinda and Jim Hanlon (which will air 7-9 AM).

And what of "Rizzo on the Radio", as it's being called this morning on WKNR?

Don't expect it every Saturday, according to FOX 8 sports anchor and "fill-in" host Tony Rizzo.

He notes that if WKNR's Karmazin asked him to fill in next week, he'd "probably say no", as he considers Saturday to be his "day off".

And for those (like us, and apparently like other local media beat writers) wondering of his permanent role in the Good Karma sports radio empire?

Rizzo said he had "nothing to say" about any greater role on WKNR other than an occasional fill-in, and that "they've only asked me to be here today". He spent a good minute talking about this.

Surrounding that minute, Rizzo relived his time on the former "Large One", then-sports talk WHK/1420, and clearly he missed doing it. He said so, again and again.

What he didn't do, at least as far as we can figure, is deny that he'll have a regular presence (weekday or otherwise) on WKNR.

He said he wasn't talking about anything in that regard, and said he was "only a fill-in", but he didn't, as far as we can tell, say "I won't be doing (fill in possible WKNR role here)"...his only "won't", that we heard, concerned doing a regular Saturday show.

And Rizzo very, very much misses doing radio. He has said so every time he's done fill-in for Good Karma, including that Ohio State Buckeyes-themed show he first did on 1540 the day of the Michigan game.

Our thoughts?

We still expect him to be on WKNR in some regular capacity, at some point in the future.

One thing that might be a wrench in the works: his time issues.

We're reminded by more than one OMW reader that Rizzo gave up radio regularly, back in the days when he was doing sports for WMJI/105.7 morning icon John Lanigan, because it was becoming a time sink with his duties on WJW/8.

To us, this could only indicate that he wouldn't do a morning drive show. Stretching the work clock from 6 AM until 11 PM (the end of FOX 8's 10 PM show) is not a good thing for one's health.

But would he do something in mid-to-late mornings? That, we don't know.

Rizzo wants to be on the radio. We heard that on the WWGK OSU-Michigan show, where he said it repeatedly, and indicated that only his bosses at FOX 8 would presumably stand in the way of a regular radio gig.

He very much enjoys being on the radio, and in the end, we figure that Rizzo, Good Karma and FOX 8 will figure out a way for him to do more than just an occasional "fill-in" for WKNR.

One other note if you're around this Saturday: Rizzo has been promoting the very first airing of Good Karma's "Steve and Craig Show" in Cleveland, a special Live From Super Bowl Radio Row edition from Miami...1 to 3 PM today on WKNR. The "Craig", of course, is Good Karma kingpin Craig Karmazin himself.

Whenever WWGK/1540's daytime schedule allows, "Steve and Craig" will be heard on that station from 7-8 PM weekdays...


Anonymous said...

Wheeeew I can't take Tony Rizzo on the radio anymore than I can on TV. Please do not put him on the radio too!

board-op 35 said...

"Anonymous" is obviously either Jim Isabella or the guys from the Saturday show. Rizzo is a radio pro, the guy will clearly get better ratings than anyone else that's currently at the station. My sources tell me it's only a matter of time (the syndication contracts are holding everything up). There will be "sweeping" changes at that point.

It's about time.

Anonymous said...

Isabella is a class act and deserves to be on the higher power WKNR. I really do enjoy the High School show and Izzy does a great job. I hope the move is only until everything else gets straightened out. He was moved as a way to help avoid the bloodletting that MIGHT be coming.

As for the kids, I really am hoping that they use the lower power station to let them get some regular air shifts. With some time and more practice, they will be ready for prime time. They are not ready now, but they will be within a year.


Anonymous said...

"With some time and more practice, they will be ready for prime time."

That's not how the business works. Either you can entertain or you can't. Let's seem them go elsewhere and see if they can get ratings. If not, then they certainly won't be able to get them here. Just putting garbage on the radio won't miraculously turn it to radio gold from experience...

Board Op Brett said...

Greg Brinda has managed to stay on the air for 25 years and he has produced garbage. Why are you knocking the new guys at WKNR? I d rather hear a fresh take from one of the WKNR new guys then Brinda sighing and saying well you know....

Anonymous said...

Now wait a minute - for what the young guys have done, I have heard growth in under so pretty bad conditions. Radio is like any other job - with time, most people improve.

The young guys have been basically thrown onto the air with nobody really grooming them. Given the fact that Good Karma seems to be willing to invest in some veterans, why couldn't they get better with more work. A low power station is a great opportunity for them. Why not give the kids a chance?


Tired of same old sports said...

The reason they won;t give anybody new a chance because Cleveland just enjoys hearing a Steelers fan in Afternoon drive and Greg Brinda sighing for 3 hours and Kevin Keane thinking every single cleveland team will win every game and win a championship. Don't we deserve more intelligent sports talk than this? I ll take Bender,Catan,Gelsinger,Gibbs or Winters anyday over the same people we have had