Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More Comings, Goings And Other Stuff

As it turns out, Tuesday was a very busy day...

JOY BENEDICT JUMPS TWO CHANNELS: And exclusive, as far as we know...

OMW hears that WKYC/3 Akron Bureau reporter Joy Benedict is leaving to join ABC affiliate WEWS/5.

We hear she'll take the morning reporting position on the station's "Good Morning Cleveland", presumably as a direct replacement for now-former "NewsChannel 5" reporter Michelle Relerford. Benedict starts March 16th at Channel 5.

While she was at WKYC, Benedict not only reported Akron/Canton news for the local NBC affiliate, but was also the fill-in anchor for Eric Mansfield on the station's "Akron/Canton News", which airs weeknights on Time Warner Cable.

You know, the local news show on cable channel 23 in Akron/Canton, and some day, maybe if we're good and beg and scream loud enough, on the Summit County part of former Adelphia system now run by Time Warner.

(Sorry, old habits. But really, TWC and WKYC folks, we could have built our own TV news studio by hand, in the time it's taken you guys to get together on this...)

TWO SIGHTINGS OUT OF CANTON: Well, one far away and one near, of personalities who used to air in the Hall of Fame City.

AllAccess reports that former AC WHBC-FM/94.1 Canton "Mix 94.1" afternoon personality Steve Rockford has landed at 106.9.

No, not Clear Channel rock WRQK "Rock 106.9" in Canton, but as program director of hot AC outlet WKZA/106.9 in Lakewood NY, near Jamestown.

We could have also spooked you out another way and said "at "Kiss FM", because the station carries that slogan also used by many Clear Channel top 40 outlets, including Cleveland-based WAKS/96.5.

But alas, it's owned by a company called Cross Country Communications. We'll assume that's a locally-owned outfit, despite the "outsized" name.

In case you're not sure where WKZA is, it serves extreme southern New York State, and the station's signal also covers a chunk of northwestern Pennsylvania. Not a heavily populated chunk, but a chunk nonetheless. If you head up to the Peak n' Peak ski resort, you'll hear the station there.

And closer to home, a denizen of Freedom Avenue lands on Smyth Avenue, as former WKDD/98.1 swing/weekend/traffic guy Rob Mackenzie lands at D.A. Peterson top 40 WZKL/92.5 Alliance for overnights and weekends...

WHK'S 85TH ANNIVERSARY: Salem Cleveland talk outlet WHK/1420 has begun trumpeting the station's 85th anniversary on the air.

We're not all that surprised, as we gave you the heads up a while ago of the upcoming production of an 85th Anniversary on-air special, which we assume will air sometime this month.

But along with frequent on-air mentions, we're told that WHK now has an anniversary timeline up on the station's website.

The folks at Salem don't even shy away from some of the more controversial history of the station, with a mention of the one and only Gary Dee (and a newspaper wedding announcement picture with Dee and former wife Liz Richards) gracing the 70's entry.

Of course, it's kind of hard to produce anything even remotely resembling a WHK timeline without a nod to one of its signature personalities of the past.

And they also nod to the popular "Voice of the Fan" sports format of the mid-90's.

We're told that former WHK sports talk host Les Levine, who hosts FOX Sports Net Ohio's "Cleveland Rants" and has done occasional fill-in for Good Karma sports WKNR/850, has voiced a liner or two to mark WHK's anniversary...

WHILE WE'RE SEGUEING: ...between WHK and WKNR, we're told by an OMW reader that WHK is running promos for the "Inside the Great Outdoors" weekend outdoor sports show, which has run for some time on the station once known as "SportsTalk 850".

The reader suspects the outdoors show is paying its way onto WHK, which sells block time on weekends for local programming...and WHK, of course, is no longer co-owned with WKNR. The time given, at least to us, is Saturdays from 2-4 PM.

"Inside the Great Outdoors" disappeared from WKNR a while back, round about the time that Premiere's "Costas on the Radio" got nudged into a Sunday morning time slot...in the station's recent schedule shuffle...

JOHN TESH CROSSES THE STREET IN LIMA: OK, even programmer Dan Baisden would have to admit that syndicated host John Tesh has probably never visited Lima, Ohio, let alone actually "crossed the street" there.

But Baisden tells OMW that Tesh's radio show is moving - from Clear Channel AC outlet WMLX/103.3 St. Mary's OH to Maverick Media's WDOH/107.1 Delphos OH, which he programs. (For those not Western Ohio Conversant, both cities are near Lima and serve the Lima market.)

Tesh's release says he's "privileged" to join WDOH, and touts the radio station's "great playlist".

What, he's gonna say anything bad about a new affiliate?

Just once, we'd like a syndicated host's boilerplate quote about a new affiliate to say something like "You know, this station really stinks, but they paid us enough money, so what the heck! It beats not being on at all in, umm, what market is this again?"

Our guess is if you put "Lima" in front of Tesh and he wasn't aware the text was about a new affiliate, he'd pronounce it like the city in Peru.

(This is just a general comment about network/syndicated show press releases, and not the station in question...)

WDOH starts Tesh next Monday, from 7 PM-12 midnight...


david5258 said...

oa--when i was a teenager, our family vacationed in chautauqua. THE station to listen to up there was KISS, WKSN 99.5. Thats the station I first heard the Stones do "(I can;t get no)SAtisfaction."
The KISS moniker goes back to the mid/late 60s--long before randy micheals trademarked the format for jacor/amfm/clearchannel.

Anonymous said...

WHK had HUGE ratings in the late seventies when Gary Dee, Joe Finan and Don Imus were on the station playing country music. It blew the market away for about 4 years. And now look at it. Very sad how times have changed.

Anonymous said...

Considering how it was Salem that pulled the plug on the Sports Voice of the Fan in Cleveland, it's cruelly ironic that the station now wants to even mention that era in the anniversary "celebration".

For many of us, there's not much reason to celebrate at this time.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Michelle Relerford?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for spreading the news about our move of John Tesh. He is the #1 show in Lima with Women 35-54 and I couldnt be happier to place him on afternoon drive on our station. This really gives WDOH an advantage over the competition in that drive time.

As for WKZA, if I am not mistaken, Jimmy Steele (former PD of WNCI and Kiss Buffalo) is a partner in Cross Country. He also is the stations voice last I heard. Congrats to Rockford.

Thanks for your accurate reporting:
Dan Baisden

Anonymous said...

Salem pulled the plug on the standards format. I was listening the last day the standards were on.
Spooky how the standards/oldies format was dropped after the week that classic Cleveland broadcaster Bill Randle passed away.

Anonymous said...

That's just the way AM Radio is these days folks.

Everybody is just going after a particular niche these days and not focused on attracting an overall audience.

WTAM is all about local talk and carrying the sports teams.

WKNR is primarily local sports talk.

WHK wants the conservatives.

WERE caters to minorities and liberals.

WWGK is national sports talk.

WWMK wants kids and teens.

WHKW is for the believers.

Back in the day, it was more about getting as many people to listen as you can, and terms like "demographics" and "target audience" weren't so freely thrown around.

It's just a different time.

Anonymous said...

Michelle Rutherford left TV-5 because she wanted an anchor gig, and it wasn't happening at WEWS.

Ed Richards said...

Put COMPELLING personalities on the police band and you will draw a crowd.

Recall the late 70's- early 80's when Lanigan and Dee had HUGE numbers at a time when the Cleveland market and WMMS had the highest FM penetration rate in the country.

Ed Richards said...

Put COMPELLING personalities on the police band and you will draw a crowd.

Recall the late 70's- early 80's when 1220/WGAR's Lanigan and WHK's Dee had HUGE numbers at a time when the Cleveland market and WMMS had the highest FM penetration rate in the country.

Anonymous said...

he he...you said penetration

Johnny Morgan said...

Anonymous, re: standards...

Salem didn't pull the plug the week after Bill Randle passed away.

They did it TWO DAYS after he died.

Now, mind you, it was already slated to be yanked that Sunday night anyway, but the ignomony was still terrible.

Anonymous said...

You think a standards station could work in Cleveland today?

How well does WHK's Sunday Afternoon standards show do in the ratings?

Anonymous said...

Put Eddie Mularz and Mike Catan on WKNR that will draw huge numbers.

Anonymous said...

WKSN was never on 99.5 in J'town - it was (and is) on 1340, with a sister FM, WHUG, that was on 101.7 and is now on 101.9. Yes, "Huggin" and "Kissin." In the sixties and early seventies, the stations were owned by Lowell "Bud" Paxson, long before he gave the world HSN and Pax. (99.5 in WNY is religious WDCX outta Buffalo.)

Anonymous said...

Well, it MUST be noted that the history of WHK radically deviates when we get to 2001: the intellictual unit and callsign moved to AM/1220, while the tx and signal was traded to WCLV, inherited WRMR/850's intellictual prorperty in the process from Salem (while originally intended as a simulcast on 104.9) became WCLV (AM) and then WRMR. WCLV sold off WRMR back to Salem, which killed off the standards, installed the conservatalk format and brought back the WHK call sign.

Makes sense. Only WHK's old intellicual unit ("The Word" format) is still at 1220. Hell, (hehe) it even added a "W" to their WHK callsign! For all intents and purposes, the "new" WHK that took over WRMR is a new, different property that only shares the call letters. Nothing more.

Oh, and the time line erroniously states that WHK unveiled their current talk format in 2005; in reality, it was the year before. I don't know the complexities, but it shouldn't have taken THAT long for the FCC to change a stations callsign, no? (Unless Mike Luczak was just so vain that he WANTED to hear himself say "WRMR Cleveland" at the TOH!)

- Nathan Obral

VODood said...

Standards in Cleveland was good for Top 6 when it flipped. But I doubt it was making money.

WTOD/Supertalk 1560 Toledo carries "The Sounds of Sinatra" with Sid Mark Sundays 12n-2p, and then "American Standards by the Sea" with Dick Robinson 2-4pm.

Toledo is an older market, a mini Cleveland. Standards was good for 2 share 12 plus on WCWA/1230. But it wasn't making money.

Standards are on WTOD on Sundays only due to the HUGELY populuar polka show, celebrating 60 years April 29. Made sense to put on programming that would target the polka listeners, who for the most part only come to the station for polka and not for the talk programming during the week.

Doctor W said...

Re Mike Young's Sunday afternoon show on 14K: He keeps begging for money just like the non-commercial FM's. So obviously his ratings are not attracting advertisers.

Uncle Charlie's nephew said...

Among all the frequency swapping and format changing back in 2001: Although WHK's "The Word" format went directly from the 1420/98.1 combo to 1220 AM, the call sign actually didn't. It took a short detour by way of 1000 AM.

Big Man Yesterday said...

Contrary to comment above, Dilbert and Finan didn't really play country music per se. They would come out of TOH news with a record just for imaging, and then spend the rest of the hour just talking.

Other station hosts played country music.

BTW anyone who ever enjoyed hearing Dilbert do nothing but insult callers should check out Michael Savage. He does it too, but only when the callers deserve it. And once in awhile he actually says something worth hearing.

Ohio Media Watch said...

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