Saturday, March 03, 2007

Welcome To March

On the heels of items mentioned before, and sometimes more so...

WRQK INVADES AKRON?: Clear Channel's new rocker WRQK/106.9 Canton has surely had at least some Akron listeners over the years, even with the presence of competing Rubber City rock WONE/97.5 and the station's general focus on Canton itself in the Cumulus years - give or take throwaway Akron mentions, like in the station's legal ID.

And with the WRQK signal recently juiced back up to normal with its new tower site, we've wondered if the dual-city-aware folks at Clear Channel's Freedom Avenue compound would start adding Akron to their domain at the newly-acquired "Rock 107".

Wonder no more.

WRQK, which has redubbed itself "Rock 106.9" and changed its on-air imaging, is now much more conversant with that five letter "A word".

The first clue comes by visiting the newly-relaunched website at

That address, for now, redirects to a second website:

We believe that is likely temporary, as even with the new imaging, the station is still promoting on the air. But it's an interesting choice of a URL, no?

Our second clue comes on the actual website itself, which proclaims at the top: "Rock 106.9 Canton and Akron's place to Rock".

No, we don't believe the Clear Channel-run WRQK is abandoning the Hall of Fame City for greater treasures up north. Even with a class B signal covering most of greater Akron, it's still basically a Canton station.

But we wouldn't be surprised if the station widened its vision north of the Akron/Canton Airport, and not just on its website. And given the dual-city operation of its new owner, it would make sense to do so.

By the way, like sister AC WHOF/101.7 "My 101.7"'s website had at launch, the new "Rock 106.9" site also has a "Listen Live" link - which is not functional at this time. One would assume that streaming will eventually come to both stations...

WHILE WE'RE IN CANTON: Electronically, that is...

There's nothing official yet, but could NextMedia oldies WHBC/1480 be about ready to hire its first regular local talk show host?

We haven't heard if anyone else has auditioned, but of course, former WHBC-FM/94.1 "Mix 94.1" afternoon host Brady Russell warmed up the talk radio pipes a while back in an unusual Sunday night shift on the AM side of the WHBC ledger.

Maybe we better listen this weekend - to hear if Brady, or anyone else, does more weekend talk that may or may not be an audition for regular work. We don't know when that regular work would be on the schedule, or how it would affect anyone else currently on the air at 1480 - or even if it would. (Feel free to attach the "speculation" tag to this post.)

While we're talking about the WHBC Stations, we can't help but be moved by all the comments about engineer Bill Glasser, who retired from his post there earlier this week. To a person, our commenters and E-Mailers have painted a picture of Glasser as a professional, a mentor and teacher.

Hope retirement treats you well, Mr. Glasser...

ANOTHER REGULAR TOPIC: We don't have much more to say about it, since we actually mentioned this weeks ago, but former WKNR/850 Cleveland host Kendall "The Big Sports Kahuna" Lewis is next up in the 9 AM-noon "Saturday Morning Sports Show" this week at the Good Karma sports station now known as "ESPN 850".

But since we're talking about 'KNR, a question. Is anyone else hearing very annoying electrical "pulsing" on the station, particularly when no audio is heard from host or caller for a couple of seconds?

Turn up the radio, and wait for a pause, and see if you hear it...we've heard it on a car radio, on every radio here in the OMW World Headquarters, and more, even within close range of the station's nighttime signal.

UPDATE 3/3/07 10:57 AM: We thought it might be a nighttime-only problem, but we just heard it this Saturday morning.

Oh, and Good Karma has officially consolidated the websites of its two sports stations, merging WKNR content into WWGK/1540's site at

It's clearly a stopgap until the station's promised new site is completed "in a few months", but now redirects to the other site...officially killing the former Salem-run site for the station once known as "SportsTalk 850"...

MORE ON WYTV: A tip of the OMW hat to the Youngstown Business Journal's Andrea Wood, who recognizes witty writing when she reads it.

OK, so she recognizes what passes for it here, pointing out our "life boats" headline on the item directly below this one - the news that WYTV/33 news director Pat Livingston is out before the "33 News" ship sinks, heading to Toledo NBC affiliate WNWO/24 "NBC 24".

But Livingston tells the Business Journal that his move was in the works "long before" a new company named Parkin Broadcasting announced its planned takeover of the Youngstown ABC affiliate, which is set to happen later this year.

Already happening is the takeover of WKBN/27-WYFX "FOX 17/62" by New Vision Television, which took the keys of the CBS/FOX combo at midnight, March 1st.

And how's this for inspiring confidence in your future? Wood reports that the company basically told employees that if they showed up for work on March 1st, they were accepting the new company's employment terms. It's "like what we are doing or don't show up", we guess.

The Business Journal reports no changes to existing wages or benefits at WKBN/WYFX, but no seniority, either.

That plays into what will likely happen with WYTV, when Parkin takes over and likely implements a shared newsroom with WKBN/WYFX.

If this plays out like it has in other markets, expect the new operation to be mostly comprised of WKBN "27 First News" folks, with any WYTV newscasts done out of the WKBN/WYFX facilities.

But we wouldn't be surprised if New Vision takes over the contracts of at least some higher profile WYTV personalities, like the market's iconic weatherman Stan Boney.

The only problem with that?

We don't know if New Vision wants to spend money. And Stan's got to be making a decent chunk of change by this point in his lengthy career, even if it's by Youngstown market standards...


Anonymous said...

This morning's BSK on KNR was a clear-cut case in point of why listeners flee in droves. So b-o-r-i-n-g. Just because a person is a minority, and a few people squawk about the station needing a no reason why this guy should be put behind a mic again. Geez, even CK was better last week, and HE was awful.

Such a shame the station screwed with a timeslot that wasn't broken. I used to look forward to three hours on KNR every Saturday. No more, though.

Anonymous said...

Johnny Kay and Dick Thompson has retired frrom WSOM-600. Their last show was yesterday. I hope they enjoy their time off and they will be missed alot.

Anonymous said...

Since the sell price for WYTV/MY-YTV was 15 million plus 586,000 for all of the improvements they made, could then new downtown news studio be used instead of the sunset studio?

If this SSA does go though, could the laid off employees somehow try to form another independent newsroom? With ch 52 low power and ch 29 low power, could they be used as a basis for a low power independent that targets the city surrounding areas?

You can assume that their will be layoffs on both WYTV/MY-YTV and WKBN/WYFX since they will use the best of both stations as oposed to just the 27 first news team. Just the thought of WKBN/WYFX's pissy graphics and cheap set on both ch 27 and 33 makes me sike.

From my understanding ABC requires their stations to air at least 1 hour of news a day and if this does go though, I expect them to do a live 5:30 PM news, and maybe a 11 PM news on both ch 27 and 33 and that is about it. Unless they do what the have done in Jacksonville with first coast news,expect to see more reuns on WYTV/MY-YTV.

Anonymous said...

There is one awesome part of the new Rock 106.9 website.


I know listeners will flock by the thousands to read those!!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

I was in Medina last night, by I-71 and some country station was walking all over Rock 107.

The new transmitter doesn't seem to "just rock."

For the last hour, the website says, under the "now playing" box, "more rock in minutes!"

They must be doing a 45 minute stopset, or Clear Channel launched the website before it was running properly.


Tiger Woodie said...

WRQK used to sound like a well oiled machine. Now it sounds like a really bad internet station.

Keith Hamilton's golf tips? Who wants him telling people how to hold their shaft?

Anonymous said...

I've got an idea! Let's take a brand that has been well known and loved for 20 years and completely change it! Let's alienate all our core listeners and try for Akron, where we cannot even be heard, in many locations and suburbs.

Rock 106.9 is not going to "invade" Akron.
What they are doing is losing all their P1s.

Was their whole idea for the "launch" of this new "invading" force a front page article on OMW? Did they put anything into the new "launch" besides a Clear Channel clone logo, more bad imaging, and a website that does not even work properly?

The original face and feel of Rock 107, which had lasted through other ownership changes, is gone.

All hail the Clear Channel copy machine.

Anonymous said...

My magic eight ball told me LORD GRIZZLY BROWN from toledo's WIOT will soon be heard on WRQK.

WIOT - It Just Rocks!
WRQK - It Just Rocks!

How original.

Maxwell on afternoons. Lord Grizzly Brown (?) on nights. Not a live person within 20 miles of Freedom Ave from 3pm-5am.

Clear Channel - It just rocks.

Anonymous said...

Bret Warden and Greg Steele, two guys who should have NEVER been on the radio in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Maxwell is leaving WMMS and going to Atlanta.

Oak Tree is attempting to keep him here rather than Project 96.1, but what can they offer? It's cleveland and it's WMMS...The uhaul surely is in the drive.

Anonymous said...

Maxwell is staying. Re-upped for 3 years.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed this problem with WKNR's carrier signal. It's gone way back to 2002, and usually includes a scratchy or hissing noise. OMW's got it right on the nose... more frustrating is that it will occasionally die down from time to time, but flare back up.

The audio problem on WKNR likely is coming from the studios... who knows just how OLD the wiring is? (Even though the studios were remodeled in 1991, some stuff has to date back to the late 70's and WGAR/1220!)

What makes it more obvious is that the North Royalton tx is state-of-the-art, by 1999 standards. Hopefully it will go away with the move to the Galleria later this year.

- Nathan Obral

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1, please provide examples about BSK, rather than pointing out that he is a minority. I'm not the biggest fan of the BSK, but he does have bigger following than Brinda, that you must admit. He brings a whole different sent of listeners to his show that wouldn't otherwise be listening to the lily white station. Don't think advertisers don't pay attention to that gaping whole of demographics.

Anonymous said...

nobody will miss dick and johnny...despite outside appearences they were terrible to work it their way or they ain't interested......

they are past their prime...witness the fact that wnio has been beating us for some time...glad i don't have to work with them anymore....

(industry insider)

Rick Dallasandro said...

Why don't you anonymous posters start using your real names?

If you believe in your writings/beliefs/programming philosophies have the testicular fortitude to at the very least sign your name.

Too many of you Canton radio carnies hide behind the anonymous option and attempt to use these forums in feeble attempts to get into the heads of the competition.

I’d suggest getting offline and going to a movie or something.

Anonymous said...

Clear Channel has ruined WRQK! Bring back Bob abd Tom, Bring Back Keith Hamilton, Bring Back Fish Head, Bring back Freddie the Frog!

And what's with this 106.9 stuff? That has nothing to do with the frequency of the station. Change it to Rock 108 or Rock 109 maybe, but 106.9?

Anonymous said...

No good movies out right now or I would. That new one with Tim Allen is lousy froim what I heard.

Everyone and their mother and brother knows that 106.9 is Rock 107! Everyone in Canton does! A name change was completely pointless.

There was a voice on WKDD earlier today that I did not recognize. I wonder if he is WAN'ed or local and who it is. I didn't catch a name, you could barely hear him over the music. Probably mailed in, I just answered my own question.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone in Akron knows Rock 107 is on 106.9

rob mackenzie said...

I heard they hired Jim Steele (as in ex-WZKL and ex-WRQK) to do my old weekend shows. Was probably him that you heard.

Anonymous said...

But no one in Akron will care what you call it! You have WMMS and WONE all coming in twice as strong, plus WXRK at least northern Akron so what do you need WRQK for? You dont!

Anonymous said...

WONE does a good job of targeting the M-45-64 demo..lots of rock from the '60's and '70's. WRQK skews younger, most of the clock is dedicated to rock from 1990 to today, M18-34. There is a hole.

Anonymous said...

While I feel the Keiths have their hands tied on this matter, they really should have left it a Canton Rock station. I do like the logo much better, but I digress.

It looks like Canton radio may soon be down to 2 operators. Rumors are starting to creep through the streets of the city that another merger is in the works with a new combined studios out by Walsh. Wonder who it could be? I last heard that it may become a 2FM, 2AM operation. Any guesses?

Anonymous said...

100.7 WMMS and 92-3 K Rock.

You say there is a hole (my opinion differs, the above two stations handle that demo), but there is no signal! WRQK doesn't even come close to the signals that WHBC-FM and WKDD have in Akron.

Mason Meyer said...

Using an exact frequency such as 106.9 is a great idea when you want people to remember exactly how to write it down in an Arbitron diary. You wouldn't invite someone to your house and give them an address of "The 2200 block of Smith Street." You would say "2207 Smith Street." Most people write down frequency in diaries. You might as well give them exactly what to write down.