Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday Stuff

Three items, including two semi-related, maybe. Or maybe not:

MORE LES STILL: At this rate, we're going to have to start charging local sports media personality Les Levine for ad space.

But we can't help it if the fast moving developments in local sports radio and TV lately all seem to involve him, for whatever reason.

This time, it's Mr. Levine's second straight appearance on the "Saturday Morning Sports Show" on Good Karma sports talker WKNR/850 this morning. But unlike last week, where Les did the show solo, his partner was former WKNR host Kendall Lewis.

It, presumably, was something of an audio preview of the upcoming season of FSN Ohio's "Cleveland Rants", where Lewis will join Levine as his new co-host, along with "roving reporter" Kim Mihalik (WNCX/98.5). We didn't get to hear the show, though.

We're starting to agree with other observers...the Saturday show appears to officially be Good Karma boss Craig Karmazin's "audition show" for personalities he might want to add in the future.

One big reason for our agreement: Lewis had already been scheduled for a March 3rd WKNR fill-in.

We didn't realize until looking at the calendar that March 3rd is a Saturday, which would put him in the "Saturday Morning Sports Show" slot as a solo host. Today's appearance was apparently added very recently, at least after Lewis told the Akron Beacon Journal's George M. Thomas about the March 3rd show.

One thought we can't shake, though it's just a guess on our part: Somewhere in there, we have to believe that Mr. Karmazin wants at least one two-person show on his daily lineup.

The two-person sports talk show is iconic in the format. Though several popular hosts basically run solo (Jim Rome, etc.), nearly every sports talk station features a popular show with two hosts bantering back and forth about sports.

You can come up with examples without even trying. America's most popular local sports talk show is WFAN/660 New York City's "Mike and the Mad Dog", which owns sports talk radio in that market.

And though they do have solo hosts, the format at Philadelphia sports station WIP/610 is also littered with dually-hosted shows. Even market icon Angelo Cataldi has a credited co-host/sidekick in morning drive now (Al Morganti).

That last station is important, for it's the sports talk station which helped form the views of a certain new WKNR owner.

Mr. Karmazin began his own radio career as an intern at WIP, along with fellow intern Steve Politziner - now co-host along with him of Good Karma syndicated show "Steve and Craig". Good Karma's WWGK/1540 "Cleveland's ESPN Radio 1540" will begin airing that show in early March after the Daylight Saving Time change, when the station's broadcast hours extend past 7 PM due to a later sunset.

And Karmazin himself uses the format at some of his other stations.

Though his highest profile show at WAUK/1510 Milwaukee is a solo show hosted by market veteran Steve "The Homer" True in afternoon drive, "ESPN Milwaukee"'s mid-morning show "The D-List" features sportswriter Drew Olson and "a group of co-hosts featuring WISN 12's Dan Needles and The Game's former co-host Bill Johnson in a light-hearted look at the sports world from Milwaukee's premiere sports enthusiasts."

With the "auditions", and the longer the station waits to make an on-air overhaul of its overall sound (for the love of Pete, please get rid of the Michael Luczak liners!!!), we have to wonder if Something Big is coming in the next few weeks. We just don't know when, though some would suggest by the end of the month...

TIME WARNER ONE: Yet another in our series of continuing updates on this certain group of stories.

This time, an OMW reader who subscribes to Time Warner Cable's Akron/Canton system notes the recent addition of a channel identified as "Time Warner One" to that system, on, well, cable channel 1.

For now, there is no programming on "Time Warner One", which features ongoing instructional video about hooking up your cable equipment. The onscreen programming guide only has the words "Coming Soon!" on the channel.

But...we wonder. Is more headed for "One"?

Again, just a wonder here. We have no information that the channel will become anything but a place your cable box points to, when you are "welcomed" to the system (or when the cable box resets, etc.).

We'd also have to note that you need a cable box to tune to any channel 1, so if it were destined for something more, "Time Warner One" would have to be remapped to another channel for analog customers.

It's just another data point, and may mean nothing. But wouldn't "Time Warner One" make a great name for a local programming channel? And why would the system put "Coming Soon!" on the programming guide if there's nothing more destined for "One" than setup videos?

On the former Adelphia system serving greater Cleveland and parts of western Summit County, cable channel 1 is the relatively new home for "Time Warner On Demand"...

ROB OUT: OMW hears that WKDD/98.1 overnight/swing/weekend jock Rob Mckenzie has parted ways with the Clear Channel Akron/Canton hot AC outlet.

In addition to being heard overnight and weekends, Rob also held down traffic/co-host duties with WKDD program director Keith Kennedy in afternoon drive.

Rob, as the saying goes, is "looking for his next opportunity". Drop him a line at robmichaels81 - at - yahoo - dot - com, without all the dashes and substitutions...


SportsBoyTony said...

Les and the BSK were an interesting mix this morning. It did seem like Kendall was monopolizing most of the airtime (mostly because his old callers were flooding the phone lines).

The ability to garner a "cult" following is what makes both of them very unique. I'm not completely sure that the chemistry is what someone like Mr. K would be looking for. But it was an enjoyable listen regardless.

And I sincerely hope the comments section isn't on it's "last legs."

Anonymous said...

I'm rather predjudiced, because I've known Les Levine for quite a while, but let me tell you he is one of the class acts in broadcasting in this area. He is a "mensch", a human being.
I am aware there are those who say he's "old school", but there are few others who know how to create and put out an entertaining, contemporary, and informative sports talk show as well as Les.
I want to hear Les back on the electric radio on a regular basis.
'Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Good Afternoon All,

Time Warner Cable Channel one coming to all areas Very Soon. And When I say Soon I mean really Soon and there met be a Big Surprize coming soon and I mean really soon. I will gave a small idea what that is. It's a City Near Cleveland that onces Had a ABC stations that all I can give. But you met be Surprize on what met happen soon.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else notice that WOIO-HD is not in 5.1 surround sound anymore? They weer still in 5.1 on Monday during CSI:Miami. On Wed. during CSI:NY, my receiver said Dolby Digital 2/0 and it sounded like downconverted or compressed 2 channel audio because the background music drowned out the talking. The sound was fine on analog channel 13.

Anonymous said...

les and lewis in the morning? sounds like a show to me. they both did what they do, host a great show that interacts with the listener. they are both savvy when it comes to sports knowledge and when to chastise a player or team. ( unlike the 2 current screamers). the flood of callers ( and good ones at that) should show ck what he needs to know BOTH les and bsk have a great relationship with the fan. KNR has lost most of its best callers because the host are idiot and belittle the them or just yell overtop of them, or just cut them short.

the one bad thing about jim rome's mantra "more of me and less of you is a good thing" is that the local hacks all think: well if rome can rant for a segment or 8 and not take any calls, I can do that too, wrong kenny, wrong brinda. there is a big difference, he has bigtime talent and rating, and you.................don't

craig, please, please , please, save us and cleveland sports radio and blow the thing up and fix it...

Anonymous said...

Kim Mihalik is going to be doing sports talk? Has she not failed enough with a morning show and afternoon show? Why is it in Cleveland we are subjected to listening to the worst talent on radio?

Honesty said...

Rob Mckenzie knows what it is like to work with the worst talent on radio. How much of that Kennedy ego can one take, before running for the hills???

Anonymous said...

Before the rumor mill gets outta hand...

without going into too much detail, I was in the studio area when this went down on Thursday. I can tell you this had nothing to do with Kennedy. Rob is a talented kid...he made a stupid mistake and it cost him his job, he knows this, I've talked to him about it. It would have happened to anybody, fulltime partime, intern dosen't matter. Being young and talented in this business can sometimes be a bad combo and it gets the best of you, it did in this case.

You all come on here and bash people you don't know, make wild acusations about people you've never worked with or met and it's all BS. If you think for one second this had anything to do with ego, you are dead wrong.

So lay off the bash trips, you clearly don't have the facts.

Anonymous said...

Les Levine and class act in the same sentance!?!?! ROTF!!!

it seems to be chic to question his broadcast ablity and skill set, i happen to think he's a very talented broadcaster.
He is however a ruthless business man. Not that there is anything wrong with's just that class act is not a proper way to decribe him.

I hope Les gets a shot on the new KNR. It would give his critics a chance to hear how good he really can be...or prove them right.

I'd like to know. said...

Concerning the Rob McKenzie post just above: dude, you just opened up a BIG can o' worms..nowhere in the post was any of what you're talking about mentioned. So, what the heck happened?

Ohio Media Watch said...

The previous comment is correct - nowhere in our post do we mention "what happened".

And with the "can o' worms" opened, a friendly reminder from The Management - if it opens and the worms crawl around too much, this topic will be closed for comments.

-The Management

Anonymous said...

So ONE person here thinks the Les & BSK pairing was good, huh? There's a consensus to run, with Karmazin!!

BSK, indeed, hogged the mic, as he ALWAYS does, offered little in the way of intelligent dialogue, and rates a lowly "1" compared to recent "10" talent on WKNR Saturdays.

This, of course, is not a race issue, but Craig, just because a person is of color does not mean he is qualified to talk sports on your station. He was canned once, for good reason. Not good. He may have his 2 or 3 friends who call everytime he sneaks back on the air, but there was NO OUTRAGE when he was fired the first time. Leave well enough alone.

Anonymous said...

Wait..i'm not the biggest BSK fan in the world, but one thing you can't say about him is that he doesn't bring "intelligent dialog. He's a pretty smart dude, has interesting perspective that others don't have, and he uses at least one word per hour that i have to look up. To be honest you're last attack sounds personal.

Anonymous said...

''Before the rumor mill gets outta hand''...

So, for those of us even a smidge curious..what are the ''facts'' regarding this little incident?

Anonymous said...

Who is Rob McKenzie?

Radio Insider said...

If Rants wanted to hire a female reporter for their show why didn't they hire Sue Ann Robak from Channel 5? At least she has talent and knows sports. All Kim will do is giggle and agree with everything that is said by Les and Kendall much like she does on WNCX and with Triv on WTAM. Bad choice FSN Ohio!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I can't stand Robak's michigan accent (Cheeeyannnal Fahyyyyve Sports). But her looks are extremely tolerable.