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...