Friday, March 23, 2007

Where Else Does Dennis Go?

The latest entertainment industry entrant into the talk radio realm debuts his Westwood One syndicated talk show Monday.

And at launch or soon after, comedian/commentator/former football TV voice/actor/raconteur (whew!) Dennis Miller will have over 80 affiliates in his list, including some in reasonably large markets - including a clearance in his hometown of Pittsburgh, on CBS Radio's new FM talk station WRKZ/93.7.

Well, it's rocker WRKZ now. Starting April 2nd it'll be WTZN "The Zone - Pittsburgh's Man Station". (Umm, OK. Was "He Man Woman Haters Club" trademarked by someone?) We also wonder if CBS Radio's "Free FM" brand is a part of the past now, but that's another story.

Regular readers of OMW already know that Mr. Miller will be mixing his 21st and 17th century cultural references on at least one Northeast Ohio outlet, with NextMedia's WHBC/1480 Canton set to carry the show starting April 2nd (noon-3 PM) in its official start as a full-time talk outlet.

Where else will Dennis Miller air in this region?

Well, how about Salem talk WHK/1420 Cleveland? Not yet, at least.

We bring up that station because Salem's "Where Your Opinion Counts" talkers in a number of major markets have made some sort of commitment to carry the Dennis Miller radio show.

Quoting conservative power website

The former "Saturday Night Live” star’s show will run in seven of the top 10 markets, including Salem Communications stations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas and Detroit.

Many of the announced clearances are in evenings, either 6-9 PM or 9-midnight. In Seattle, the Salem talker (KKOL/1300) will run Miller from noon to 3 PM (PT, of course), and Chicago's WIND/560 has him slotted noon to 2 PM (CT).

We haven't heard any official or even rumored word about Cleveland, but WHK would be Miller's only full-market option. We believe WTAM's Mike Trivisonno would give up eating all food - on-air or off - before the Clear Channel talker would pick up a unproven Westwood One show.

We wouldn't be surprised to see him show up on the "NewsTalk 1420" lineup at some point down the road, given how Salem's conservative talk outlets usually run in lockstep across the nation. For one, they picked up TRN's Laura Ingraham show one after the other.

Where? Our guess - and it's only a guess - is that Dennis Miller would bump TRN's Michael Savage to later hours, and air 9 PM-midnight. That's what Salem's Philadelphia talker, WNTP/990 is doing.

And in Akron, where Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 carries Westwood One's Jim Bohannon late nights, along with Bill O'Reilly and Lars Larson on weekend evenings, we would also not at all be surprised to see Miller's show end up somewhere in the non-prime lineup of "The Talk Of Akron".

Again, only a semi-educated guess...


Anonymous said...

Miller was -fairly- liberal earlier in his standup. The conservative bent is fairly recently. I always wondered if it was done for showbiz purposes. His intellect is certainly a liberal trait. Usually.

Anonymous said...

Miller rolls out with 80 stations..20 more than Rush Limbaugh started with when he began syndication some 20 years ago..

Miller has made regular guest slots on Fox News over the past year or so..the question here is, does he have to taught radio, as Al Franken was..or can he go full bore from the outset? Time will tell..

Anonymous said...

Here's some things I don't understand. He must be going to a conservative slant because Salem would never pick up a moderate or heaven forbid (Sorry for the pun) a liberal talk show. What is more weird is that Pittsburgh's new WRKZ 93.7 The Zone talk station will mix Opie and Anthony mornings and Scott Paulsen (former DVE'er) evenings with Miller? It seems hard to believe that a show on a Salem owned station would also be on the same station as O and A.

As for WNIR...I wish to the almighty they would drop that HORRID Mike Gallagher show. Like mentioned Jim Bohannon is WW One and WNIR has had relationships with them over the years. Maybe they'll jump on the bandwagon and go from there.

As for Miller succeeding...comedians have not had the best track records for doing talk. Two names come to mind of failed comedian national talk shows...Joan Rivers (I think was WOR Talk) and David Brenner. Have there been others?

Anonymous said...

"Two names come to mind of failed comedian national talk shows...Joan Rivers (I think was WOR Talk) and David Brenner. Have there been others?"

Al Franken!!

Anonymous said...

psst....a little birdy tells me that DM begins on WHBC this Monday, along with all the rest of the new talk lineup. Just FYI...

Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting that former Clear Channel Cleveland boss Jim Meltzer is in charge of the FMs in Pittsburgh for CBS. I guess the game is on for WPGB now!

Anonymous said...

Add Chuck Booms to the list of stand up comedians who have done talk radio and fallen flat.

bizdecision said...

As a Stark County native, I can say that I don't see how Dennis Miller will survive on WHBC AM. He is too abstract for the audience.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't exactly say that Al Franken was a failed broadcaster. He didn't get fired or canceled in his slot. He left to run for political office. He had about the highest ratings on Air America and did very well in a number of large markets.

I know many didn't like his show and I was one of them. But that doesn't mean I would consider him a failed broadcaster.

Anonymous said...

Talk could very easily work at WHBC--they do have the signal for it. Too badd this line-up isn't gonna work---too way upstarts and secondary people in the line-up..not to mention blowing off the entire news/issues talk audience every evening and weekend with yet more sports programming.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind seeing Miller on WTAM from say 10p-1a.

He'll get rid of that schmuck Kevin Keane following the Indians/Cavs post-game show and on non game nights limit Keane to 7-10p.

And as far as Miller's politics are concerned:

He himself has said that he is a conservative on fiscal and national security matters, but moderate/liberal on social matters.

Anonymous said...

Chuck Booms and Kevin Keane can start a show. How to be homers and never criticize Cleveland teams. Does anyone get tired of hearing Chuck Booms call the local talk shows and kiss up to the hosts and then later trash them?

Anonymous said...

Paul Tapie was another comedian who failed on the radio, but Soupy Sales had a successful talk show in New York in the late 1980's.