Monday, April 02, 2007

Back Into It

Since there's not much "new" at the moment, we'll go back and touch on updates to ongoing items...

1350 SWITCH FALLOUT: As reported and expected, Clear Channel's WARF/1350 Akron dropped the liberal talk format Friday morning for sports as "Sports Radio 1350".

It was a pretty uneventful flip. Jones Radio syndicated host Bill Press - whose current show started solely on WARF - threw out quick a "Goodbye, Akron!" just moments before the previously scheduled 8:58:50 spot break.

Then, the station slammed right into its new format, with a new "Sports Radio 1350" legal ID - voiced by the same guy who's been doing WARF's voice work as a progressive talker - right into Sporting News Radio.

And at least two OMW readers noticed that the new logo, which has been on the station's new website since Friday, shares its colors with the University of Akron Zips. 1350 is, and will continue to be, the Zips' flagship station for football and basketball.

There was a local sports news update after SNR's 9 AM report, but we didn't stick around to see if that'll be done regularly. In its previous incarnation as "FOX Sports Radio 1350", the station occasionally used drive-time updates fed down the Clear Channel WAN by WTAM/1100's sports anchors.

And in that previous stint in the sports format, 1350 also hung onto its previous calls the entire WTOU. The calls, of course, come from the ABC 24/7 urban oldies format "The Touch", which ran on 1350 before it first flipped to sports.

To that end, OMW hears that there are no plans to change the "WARF" calls adopted by the station when it became "Radio Free Ohio" ("Akron Radio Free"?).

And while we're on a side topic, we're hearing rumblings that the 1350 format change may once again prompt a change at the east side rimshot daytimer AM station that seems to exist solely to react to other format changes in the market.

OMW hears that it's at least possible that Media-Com's WJMP/1520 Kent "FOX Sports Radio 1520" (aka "WNIR's Poorer Sister Station") could go - yes - back to liberal talk. We don't know at this point - if it happens - if the station will rejoin Air America Radio sunup to sundown, or if they'll be smarter and talk to Jones Radio at least about Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz.

It would appear to be at least technically possible, as WJMP now flips between FSR and Premiere's separately syndicated Jim Rome, who is not fed on the main FSR satellite channel.

Though many FSR affiliates take him, and the network does not mount original programming against Romey, the main channel airs a repeat of an earlier show in the noon-3 PM slot. FOX Sports Radio, of course, is actually a branded arm of Premiere.

Either WJMP goes back to liberal talk, or they'll mount their 50th shot at standards or oldies. But, that's just our guess. It sure beats a return to running the audio of TV sister stations WAOH-LP 29 Akron/W35AX Cleveland, otherwise known as "The Cat"...

ABOUT THAT "AKRON/CANTON NEWS" EXPANSION: It appears there's a wrench in the works regarding that much-awaited expansion of Time Warner Cable/WKYC's "Akron/Canton News" to the systems the cable company recently purchased from Adelphia.

Yes, former Adelphia subscribers in Summit County will see the newscast, finally...TWC has officially announced it.

Unfortunately, the expansion - at least for now - does not include ALL former Adelphia subscribers in the Akron area.

As it turns out, only those in the western end of the former Adelphia Summit County areas - in places like Bath, Copley, the former Northampton Township area now part of Cuyahoga Falls and the like - will get "Akron/Canton News". It'll air on local channel 15 there, which has another impact we'll explain later.

Those in the eastern part of Summit County who used to be on Adelphia - in places like Macedonia and Hudson - will not be getting the newscast.

Explains TWC spokesman Bill Jasso to OMW:

Those areas have a slew of “access channels” required by franchise, and so we do not have any channel slot for a local programming channel.

Jasso also tells OMW that time slot considerations - "Akron/Canton News" airs at 6:30 and 10 PM - mean that those now getting the newscast will also see a half-hour less of sports talk show host Les Levine's daily program. This was first necessitated when the "legacy" TWC systems in Akron/Canton picked up Les' show - and "More Sports" now has a hard break at just before 6:30 to accommodate this.

We'll assume that those not in Summit County won't be affected. And as far as we know, "More Sports" will continue to air in full during its 11 PM rebroadcast on all the systems.

ALL BETS ARE OFF: ...on the debut of the sports TV talk show of that same name by controversial host Bruce Drennan on SportsTime Ohio.

Though we are a bit curious how a man with an ankle bracelet tracking his every movement does a daily TV show, we have yet to watch "All Bets Are Off", which premiered at 7 PM Sunday night.

It's sitting right there, recorded, waiting for us.

But it's standing policy here at OMW. We don't judge a host on his/her/their first show.

We waited for months before weighing in on the amazingly awful David Lee Roth show, and still haven't said anything about its local replacement.

We dipped into a recording of Dennis Miller's Westwood One show this weekend, but didn't really hear enough of it to review it. He didn't embarrass himself like Roth did on Day One, and at least knew where to find the phone number, but it's just a first show.

We did hear Drennan's appearance on WTAM's Bob Frantz show Friday.

And we'll pass along that Drennan told Frantz that "All Bets Are Off" and other gambling references were not his idea - like the advertisement that pictures him with his back turned to the camera with the caption - "Drennan's Back - Bet On It". He said it was the idea of STO "higher ups".

So, we'll assume the logo above is not his idea, either.

For Ohioans who haven't been to Las Vegas, or haven't seen a TV show based there, it's a clear attempt to ape the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign. Or at least the sign which existed back in the days of the TV show "Vega$", with Robert Urich playing Vegas detective Dan Tanna...


Anonymous said...

You haven't talked about DLR's replacement? Why not? They are worse then DLR, if you can imagine that. I head a rumor they faked the death of WNCX personality Mr. Classic, as an April fools joke.

Not funny - just like the rest of their show.

Anonymous said...

I watched the first hour of Drennan's "comeback" last night. His opening missive on his plight and what he's learned from it was interesting, as long as you could stand his delivery (I'm still not a fan of it; makes me work too hard). Got tired of all all the "welcome back" calls and e-mails, however, and had to turn it off. As noted, once all that stuff is out of the way, then maybe we can get a true reading on this show.

Anonymous said...

Miles Hlivko, the imaging director for WAKS/WMMS is the voice of WARF.

Anonymous said...

Valentine is off of 95.9 KISS FM/Youngstown's website. They're also running a countdown clock that looks like it will expire Monday morning at 6a. New morning show there I would assume.

Anonymous said...

a local show maybe?

I doubt it.
I'd bet on Bobby Bones from Austin or more likely, Columbus' Dave and Jimmy.
Morning Zoo member Kelsey Webb hails from Youngstown.

Anonymous said...

Drennan is an absolute joke and embarassment.

What's worse is the fact that STO throws his gambling issues in our face on a MLB team-owned station.

Funny - I thought MLB had SERIOUS ISSUES with ANYTHING even remotely related to gambling associated with MLB? Yet the Indians hire an admitted gambler who served time and wears an ankle bracelet? Drennan admitted to being 'so successful in his gambling which is why he got busted'?

He BRAGS about it to this day.

Silly me...

Drennan looks like he has aged 10 years - he's horrible for TV.

I find it commical that for YEARS he crucified WTAM and it's management (especially Ray Davis) and went out of his way to tell anyone and everyone how subhuman he is and the next thing I know he is posing for pictures with Davis at WTAM.

Drennan is a hypocrite and for as bad as he was on radio he's even worse on TV.

I wonder if he will start to kiss the Indians' collective asses now that he is employed by them?

What a joke. STO is amazingly horrible but since they are a Dolan owned property I expect no less.

But look at the bright side - after 2 or 3 weeks nobody will care about Drennan - you can bet on that.

Anonymous said...

Smart money is on Dave & Jimmy.

Anonymous said...

Going a bit off topic..

The ''Welcome to Las Vegas'' sign has exsisted since the was incorporated into the NBA All Star Logo this past winter..the sign itself is about a mile or so from Mandalay Bay, on the South Side of the Las Vegas Strip..a similar sign exsists in Downtown Las Vegas..

Anonymous said...

The new WNCX Morning show stinks. When are they going to replace Dum Mook and Mihalik already?

Rick Rydell said...

I agree the WNCX Morning show stinks.

Anonymous said...

bobby bones....okay i give up....who he...and why would a texas morning show translate in ohio...

Anonymous said...

What is there to comment about the WNCX morning show. It makes Maddogs and Englishmen listenable. I don't know who is the worst person of that trio. Mud Mike and Kim are equally bad.