Just going through our "to do" list, with news and comment (no, not involving Paul Harvey)...there's still more, that we'll get to later tonight...
KISSED OFF?: It looks like Clear Channel Youngstown top 40 WAKZ/95.9 "Kiss FM" is the latest CC Ohio top 40 station going a different direction in morning drive.
On the heels of sister Cincinnati "Kiss" outlet WKFS/107.1, WAKZ appears to be ending its relationship with Los Angeles-based Sean Valentine, the afternoon driver at L.A.'s original "Kiss FM" who has been voicetracking a morning drive show for other stations.
"Valentine in the Morning" has been taken off the WAKZ web page, and a new live counter touts a change coming - from the timer - Monday morning at 6 AM...complete with a series of question marks as the header to the item.
Rumblings - as of yet not even remotely confirmed - are pointing to a possible clearance for WNCI/97.9 Columbus-based syndicated morning show "Dave and Jimmy". As we said, not confirmed, as we haven't heard anything even quasi-official that it's happening. The show is carried in two other regional markets, Louisville and Lexington, in addition to its home base.
WKNR'S NEW ERA, REDUX: Long-time WKNR/850 sports talk show host Greg Brinda has been batted around the station's schedule over the years like a baseball being hit by Grady Sizemore.
In just the past 2 years, Brinda's solo-hosted mid-mornings, hosted the same slot with a co-host (Kendall Lewis), sent to do special programming and Indians post-game hosting, brought back to mid-mornings as a solo host (Bruce Drennan's troubles), bounced down to evenings, and finally, back to Indians post-game show work.
But in all that movement, he stayed on 850 - or 1220, the station's original frequency.
Because Good Karma's flagship sports station was staying with regular programming during the Cleveland Indians daytime season opener with Chicago, "The Miller Lite 10th Inning Show" had to be moved...to Siberia.
OK, so that's not the city of license of the company's 1000-watt original station, daytimer WWGK/1540, now operating as a sister station to WKNR as "Cleveland's AM 1540, KNR2".
But 1540 AM was where you had to go to find Brinda doing the very first Indians postgame show for WKNR, as the 50,000 watt powerhouse aired the opening of "Munch on Sports" with new afternoon drive host Mark "Munch" Bishop, and Kenny Roda's regular show (now in evenings) - with the host live in Atlanta for the NCAA championship of men's basketball. We'll spare you the result, if you haven't seen it already.
We almost felt sorry for Brinda, who sounded like his volume was turned up to 11 (Spinal Tap reference), and got no calls that we heard.
And we're pretty sure at least a portion of the show was heard on WWGK's 21-ish watt "critical hours" pre-sunset power reduction, which means you basically had to be driving on Euclid Avenue to hear the show clearly. From our position not THAT terribly far from the station's tower, we felt like we were listening to shortwave radio, with the signals of WXEL/Waterloo IA and CHIN/Toronto trying to mix in.
We know Brinda gets his share of critics, and know some of them are probably jumping at the chance to hit our comments section.
But we'll say this - he's been a professional throughout all this. He could have easily complained of being shuffled off to the lightbulb power sister station, but he didn't. He has taken whatever role he's been assigned with little complaining, at least from what we've heard.
And though his role in WKNR's future would seem to be much smaller than his role in its past, he soldiers on.
And as we listened to Greg Brinda talking pretty much directly to us and maybe a dozen others who were tuned to 1540, we couldn't get it out of our head.
We're making a prediction here - within a year, 1540 will not be "KNR2". We find it very hard to believe that Good Karma boss Craig Karmazin won't pursue a better signal for the station now officially anointed as WKNR's sister station.
One big reason we believe this: If "KNR2" is going to act as an overflow station for 850, it can't do so at night for a large chunk of the year.
By the way, Brinda announced that the "10th Inning Show" will air regularly on AM 1540 after Indians weekday afternoon games...
WHILE WE'RE IN THE WORLD OF SPORTS: OMW hears it is official, as expected - new Clear Channel sports outlet WARF/1350 Akron "Sportsradio 1350" will join the Columbus Blue Jackets radio network.
The NHL action starts Saturday night on 1350, as the Blue Jackets tangle with Anaheim. (Mighty Ducks, right?) And our thanks to Hockey Nation for correcting us, again, on the two-word name of Ohio's only NHL team. We'll get it right one of these years.
WARF's primary sports contracts are with the Akron Aeros, who start off tonight on 1350 with an exhibition against the Cleveland Indians' other local minor league affiliate, the class A Lake County Captains, and the University of Akron Zips football and basketball teams...
AND A BRIEF STOP IN LIMA: This one is thanks to OMW reader Dan Baisden, who is program director at Maverick Media's WZOQ and WDOH in the Lima market.
WZOQ has flipped from hot AC "92 ZOO" to top 40/mainstream "Star 92.1", promising top 40 hits without rhythmic titles. The move pushes syndicated "Bob and Shari" to sister WDOH "Lite Rock 107.1", where local host Jeff Wittler slides into middays.
And Maverick's sister classic rock WUZZ/104.9 picks up the handle "104.9 The Eagle"....