Friday, February 23, 2007

WKNR Part 2

The other shoe has dropped in the "WKNR Makeover Sweepstakes".

As expected, as rumored, WJW/8 "FOX 8" lead sports anchor Tony Rizzo will make his return to regular sports talk radio Monday, as host of "Rizzo on the Radio" on the newly-rechristened "ESPN 850 WKNR".

Rizzo guested at 4 PM with the sports station's afternoon drive host, Kenny Roda. He told Roda that he and producer Aaron Goldhammer will "let the show evolve" in the weeks after it starts airing, and see what kind of features and such work for the new audience.

We say "new audience", since Rizzo was last heard doing regular sports talk radio in the old WHK/1420 sports talk format in the 1990's. He acknowledged enjoying that run, but says the new show won't necessarily be a repeat of those days.

He called new WKNR owner Craig Karmazin "a young guy, who works hard, loves sports, and loves sports radio".

Rizzo thanked his WJW bosses, saying the FOX O&O's local management "were very kind" in letting him do a two-hour daily radio show. Of course, Rizzo will continue to be the local FOX affiliate's lead sports anchor, and promoted a FOX 8 story on his new radio show tonight.

Oh, and he apologized for leading local newspaper columnists - like George M. Thomas at the Akron Beacon Journal, Lake County News-Herald/Lorain Morning Journal and ex-Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Roger Brown, and "that lady at the Plain Dealer" - astray. (We'll assume that's PD media columnist Julie Washington.)

The other part of this equation:

Current mid-morning host Greg Brinda, who will be displaced by Rizzo's show and the last hour of ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike", lands in weekday evenings from 6 to 9 PM. That means Roda's "Happy Hour" will take a 3 hour slot, from 3 to 6 PM.

Over at the new "Cleveland's AM 1540 - KNR2" (there's definitely a missing W in the branding), FOX Sports Radio's Steve Czaban takes over mornings, followed by an hour of FSR's James Washington and Craig Sheman from 9-10 AM, then the existing ESPN Radio shows: Colin Cowherd 10 AM-1 PM, and Dan Patrick 1-4 PM.

But WWGK/1540 won't be staying with ESPN's "Sports Bash" at 4 PM, taking FSR's afternoon drive show with Chris Myers instead.

Karmazin also confirmed what we posted here earlier, as WKNR's "Boxing Show" with Antonio Castro moves to 1540, after the High School Sports Show with Jim Isabella on Saturdays...


Anonymous said...

What is the next big announcement? They are going to bring back the Fabulous Sports Babe?

Steve in Cleveland said...

No I think the next big announcement will be the return of Bill Needle. That would be exciting (Yawn)

Anonymous said...

For all intents and purposes, WKNR and WWGK swapped affiliations with ESPN going to 850 and Fox Sports going to 1540.

Steve Czaban, "Out of Bounds", and Chris Myers are all on "KNR2", which for OoB and Myers, is their Cleveland debuts.

Anonymous said...

Double yawn.

Craig just refused to give us our local show on WKNR...and thus, you miss all of the NEO audience who will still be tuned into WTAM. Savvy move, there, Big K.

Thanks for sticking the non-descript Rizzo show in a slot I have absolutely no chance of hearing.

And at least Brinda can now be heard by some...and will give us an alternative to Keane and/or the insanely boring Cavs coaches show, pre-game, etc.

So, bottom line, WKNR has screwed itself every morning, plus Saturdays. So much for young owners and alleged improvement.

VODood said...

I wonder how long it will be before "Red" makes an appearance on Riz's show.

LOVE "Red" :0)

*and yes, I do know "Red's" real identity.

Anonymous said...

the real yawn is how long it is taking to change the station. Why are they still runnning that gawd-awful imaging from twgpd?

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows Red is Chip Kulick(sp) the newsman with Lanigan.

Ed in Parma said...

Why could Craig not put on a local morning sports talk show? Nobody wants to hear syndicated sports talk in the morning especially Mike/Mike. Well guess I have to listen to WTAM in the morning still.

Ohio Media Watch said...

The comment below was posted by us on one of the other 'KNR items, but we wanted to bring it to the most recent one:


Random thoughts:

I wouldn't expect Bruce Drennan back on 'KNR based upon a comment Craig Karmazin made on the Saturday show.

Someone asked him about Bruce, and Mr. Karmazin kept repeating: Drennan wasn't one of the highest rated shows in surveying. Drennan didn't rate among the top shows. Etc.

It sounded to us like he was ruling Drennan out. Similar questions about other hosts (Kendall Lewis, Les Levine, etc.) were answered quite differently.

Oh, and the new imaging voice is indeed the same voice now heard on 1540, but is not Jim Cutler (who is WTAM/1100's voice) - it's veteran sports radio imaging voice Paul Turner.

We'll put up another item sometime between now and Monday...we just wanted a bit of a "KNR Breather" with all the items up here now.

-The Management

Anonymous said...

For everybody who wants local talk in the morning:

There is only so much local sports talk in Cleveland.

Indians, Browns, Cavs, OSU.

You can only talk about these 4 things so much before it gets redundant and boring.

And if you start getting into the Lake Erie Monsters or CSU, you'll be out of business.

Between Rizzo, Roda, Brinda, and Karlovec (Wine & Gold/10th Inning), you have 10 hours per day of local talk on KNR.

With the limited spectrum of sports in Cleveland, that is just about right for one station.

Anonymous said...

speaking of 'sports babe" is she still alive ?????
i seem to remember she was fighting an illness ( breast cancer perhaps gawd forbid)...have not heard about her or thought about her until annon posted about her

Sports Babe.... said...

Anonymous said...

The argument against local mornings is wrong. Some people ONLY listen to the radio in the morning, therefore Rizzo, Roda & Brinda's presence means nothing. We are a pro sports market, and we WANT to hear about OUR TEAMS' performance the morning-after. This is a serious, costly error by Craig.

Also, all those whining for Kendall Lewis & Geoff Sindelar...WHY?????? They are so awful, it's not worth even commenting. Two windbags full of bluster and no content.

Boxing? NASCAR? Golf? Yeah, just keep catering to those audiences, CK, and you'll be out of business in this town.

Anonymous said...

Finally a host who can interact with the callers. So far the first half hour of the Riz show is 10 times better than anything i've been hearing.

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