Friday, April 06, 2007

Weekend Loose Ends, April Edition

After enough snow delays to stop a baseball game four times, time to clear out the odds and ends before we hit the weekend...

ANOTHER WHBC CHANGE: OMW hears that NextMedia talk WHBC/1480 Canton, now finishing its second week as "NewsTalk 1480", is making another adjustment to its new format.

And judging from the feedback we get here, it's one that will please many of our readers.

We hear that WHBC weekend mainstay Jim Albright will premiere a Saturday morning talk/information program starting tomorrow from 6-10 AM.

The show's described to us as a "full service" show - with a combination of local and national news, sports and weather, along with talk, trivia and calls from listeners.

We'd assume that it'd be basically a Saturday, solo-hosted version of the station's "Fred and Pam" weekday morning drive show - a bit more laid-back for the weekend audience, and pretty much a staple on many news/talk outlets across America.

Albright moves up the schedule from his former Saturday afternoon oldies show.

WHBC continues to air FOX Sports Radio the rest of the weekend...

WEWS CHANGES, CURRENT AND COMING: We've had a tip or two reminding us that Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5 has given its 11 PM newscast a name.

No, not "NewsChannel 5", which is the name for the station's entire news operation - and also extends to non-news branding.

The name applied to the 11 PM newscast is "NewsChannel 5 Nightbeat".

As with most such "different" names, it's even being used by live reporters in the field in their so-called "lockouts".

OMW hears that WEWS crime beat reporter Joe Pagonakis will change gears sometime in the next few weeks. He'll go from covering shooters to being a "troubleshooter". (Nice turn of phrase, if we do say so ourselves.) We're told to expect the change before the end of April.

The change will not affect current consumer reporter Angie Lau, who will continue in her current role...

WBNX REDUX: We warned you, and sure enough, the new digital signal of Cleveland market CW affiliate WBNX/55 Akron has left the airwaves.

A brief check for WBNX-DT on and off today revealed no signal each time we checked in, including as we write this item on Friday night.

Again, no surprise. It's quite typical for stations to have periods of testing, adjustment and whatnot before finally going fully live. It's the same process Youngstown CBS affiliate WKBN/27 went through when it launched WKBN-DT.

When WBNX-DT was up, they were having some problems with screen dropouts, or so many have told us. The station wasn't putting up CW programming in HDTV, but we don't know if that's just something they haven't "turned on" yet.

If you do have a digital tuner and want to keep looking - WBNX's digital signal is on RF channel 30...

SPORTS CONFUSION: The "It Really Didn't Count" Cleveland Indians home opener caused a lot of scrambling on both radio and TV.

For one, it nudged the game on Indians flagship Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 right into the Cleveland Cavaliers/Washington Wizards game...the latter scheduled for 8 PM, the former originally scheduled for 4:05 PM, but delayed by snow for hours until they finally gave up and called it off.

It also nudged non-rightsholder Good Karma sports WKNR/850 "ESPN 850"'s post-game show with Greg Brinda into the late evening hours, which made it the direct lead-in for the "Wine and Gold Cavaliers Post-Game Show" with new station addition Michael Reghi.

One other WKNR note from earlier: In the radio equivalent of trying to program against the Super Bowl, Good Karma boss Craig Karmazin took the station's afternoon drive shift himself on Friday.

The co-host of his company's "The Steve and Craig Show" - which doesn't sound like it's going to be airing on sister station WWGK/1540 "KNR2" after all - took over the post-4 PM slot after station hosts Tony Rizzo, Mark "Munch" Bishop and Kenny Roda did their shows during a live block from a downtown nightclub from 10 AM to 4 PM.

We're not knocking Mr. Karmazin, at all - but we figure about the only way he'd program himself in afternoon drive time on WKNR would be with the assumption that most listeners will be elsewhere with the Indians home opener underway.

For one, Karmazin is a smart, young radio guy. He knows he's not regular afternoon drive talk material in a market the size of Cleveland, even on a station he owns. If he thought so, or if his on-air career was the driver for him, he'd have slotted "Steve and Craig" at 7 PM on WKNR.

At this point, as indicated above, we're not even sure the show he co-hosts will be heard on 1,000 watt "KNR2". The website has removed "Steve and Craig" from the program lineup, even on the WWGK side of things.

While we're on the subject of the Good Karma stations' website, we're reminded that AM 1540 has debuted "Thistledown Track Talk", another specialty show on the WWGK lineup. The horse racing show airs Thursday from 6-7 PM on "The KNR Deuce", as it were.

A quick check listening to the show this week has us believing that it's not just a title sponsorship, but that Thistledown actually pays for the show. That's just a guess, though.

Sports fans...remember when such shows were actually staples of the main WKNR lineup at 7 PM?


~~NPHSQUAKER said...

My question is, Was this a good choice for 1480 WHBC for the format change???
OMW & others, your opinions on this mean alot from what I'm asking.


Anonymous said...

Sure they were. Why do people listen to 1480 in the first place? Was it the 150 oldies they played over and over and over and over again? No. It is the news and information they provide (and very well I may add.) The music was filler but was starting to be very unfresh. Having more information in the form of mostly local talk is better suited for the overall full service format than sticking some overplayed songs in between the info.

I will say that Dennis Miller does nothing for me. He seems to not be anything near the Dennis Miller on HBO stardom. Also Brady Russell doesn't seem to have what it takes for local talk. Seems like a phony and pretty shallow.

Fox sports on weekends won't be helpful but according to OMW that is going to be temporary.

Anonymous said...

We'll see how Dennis Miller does but I think WHBC would be smart to pick up Stephanie Miller or Ed Shultz for the Noon to 3 slot.

Anonymous said...

Fox Sports on weekends is not ''temporary'' for WHBC-AM..its a cornerstone of the new format, designed to pull 18-34 and 25-54 Men to the new format..1480 must also promo its other weekday programming, in the hope somebody might actually tune in after 10am..

''The news and information they provide'' has been about 3 minutes at the top of the hour after five the one Saturday morning slot that will be local..and is gone from the Sunday lineup entirely..

The move with Albright is the one smart thing NextMedia has done lately..long long overdue..

Golf Show Must Go said...

Well the Golf Show is still part of WKNR's lineup and that show is as exciting as listening to crickets chirping.

Anonymous said...

I listened to WHBC this morning and Albright did a great job. It was fun to listen without the "How old are you and what do you look like" stuff.

MUCH better than the national sports stuff.

Anonymous said...

WTAM also has a golf show with Gary (brother of Mike) Trivisonno and Russ Jenske.

This show and Brinda's show were a result of everybody suddenly becoming a golf fan (especially due to that Tiger guy).

God help us if soccer gets popular.

Anonymous said...

HEY! Dammit, soccer IS popular! More people play that then any other sport in the world!

Anonymous said...

But, do you want to hear soccer talk on the radio?

"I would like to trade 2 of our midfielders and our backup goalie for David Beckham."

Anonymous said...

#1: Everyone is NOT a golf fan. Hope KNR is getting paid well for that "lost" two-hours on Sat. morning. A good excuse to sleep late.

#2: Sorry, Munch just does NOT cut it for me as a drive-time talk show host. Who in the world thought this would be a good idea? Oh, Craig...too much tinkering has created stinkering.

#3: Gelsinger or Gibbs (can't recall which "G" guy) was okay during Sat. am. show, but he is the weakest of the 4 guys they had hosting prior to Craig's messing. I suggest they get the tandems rotating again to make it listenable.

Anonymous said...

I see Jim Albright is self promoting himself again. Now there is a voice no one should have to listen to any day of the week. I agree, Brady Russell is already dead on the vine. Get back to rock fast! And Ron Ponder isn't really a professional, so I won't even comment on that 2 hour mess. Dennis Miller is just plain blah.

Anonymous said...

You seem extremely angry with everything. Take some prozac and relax. Typical radio blog. Someone gets a few compliments and they are "self-promoting."

david5258 said...

driving to stuebenville today, i heard jim albright fielding q/a from listeners on the format change. most were upset with the loss of music, until jim explained the licensing fees that staions are charged by bmi. ascap and sesac regardless of how much music is actually played. another listener asked jim to have fred and pam sing at 645 so she could wake up to music again, and another lady missed hearing reed funeral home sponsor the daily obits at 615pm.....
heard ponder yesterday morning on the same drive. his style is reminiscent of joe finan getting people to discuss both sides of an issue, how much leeway ponder will have remains to be seen. after all joe wasn't calle emporer for nothing.
haven't heard miller and brady.

Anonymous said...

I just got back Friday from a two week vacation. I read this site occasionally but am not in radio. I own a small business that advertises on the radio and my office of six people listen to radio all day long.

Back in the mid to late 90's all we had on all day was WNIR. Stan, Howie, Joe and Jim in the evening. That's all I listened to. After Joe and Jim left I still like Stan and Howie but the newer guys just don't cut it for me or my office.

I know Joe died recently and I had heard that Jim had a heart attack or heart surgery a few years ago. I tuned in WHBC yesterday and there he was sounding great. I didn't know he was going to be on WHBC because I thought he was an Akron guy but it was a pleasure to hear him again. I'll be listening on Saturday mornings.

I have thought about XM or Serius satellite radio recently. Any feedback on those services? I like local talk radio though and you can't get that on satellite.

Anonymous said...

>>Fox Sports on weekends is not ''temporary'' for WHBC-AM..its a cornerstone of the new format, designed to pull 18-34 and 25-54 Men to the new format..1480 must also promo its other weekday programming, in the hope somebody might actually tune in after 10am.<<

They must be kidding...sports play-by-play will pull those male demos to WHBC, but Fox Sports---you are dreaming. People I know (which can't be all that untypical of a sample) are NOT interested in hearing talk about sports teams in other parts of the country. So I expect them to continue listening to WKNR and WTAM and not swicth over to WHBC during the satellite stuff

Anonymous said...

I agree. I am a sports fan but mostly only care about NE Ohio sports. Tribe, Browns, Cavs, MAC, OSU, etc. Besides maybe a little national sports talk when OSU was in the Final 4 I will only listen to local sports. Triv on WTAM, formerly Brinda and Roda on KNR, Steve French on WNIR. No one will listen to WHBC for national sports talk. Plus isn't that little AM in Massillon still on the air with ESPN?

Anonymous said...

Great point. WHBC is trading the 5000 current listeners for the 200 WTIG has currently. The thing to remember is, they are the 200 WHBC wants. It is a great trade....

Anonymous said...

I find it absolutely amazing the number of people who post on this site and who seem to want to just take "personal attacks" on many of the on-air personalities. I am not saying you have to like everyone, and it is ok to disagree with a station's format, but it would appear that some of you have a personal issue with some of the people. As far as WHBC is concerned, only time will tell if it will work or not. It has been rough in spots, but I do notice that the on air presentation is getting better. I did hear the 1488 GM talking on air last week, and he did say that FOX sports on the weekend is more of a filler-type programming. He did say that they will be hiring local hosts for the weekends and possibly some local sports weekend talk, but right now it is hard because of the amount of Indians and Cavs games on during the weekend. He did say also that the jury is still out on the Dennis Miller show, especially on the national level as it is new and it cannot be predicted on how it will go. On an additional note, I did hear Bryce Lewis on the new 101.7 on Friday and he sounded pretty good-as did the music mix they were playing.

Anonymous said...

''I did hear the 1480 GM talking on the air last week, and he did say that Fox Sports on the weekend is more of a filler type programming''.

No kidding? Damage control already?

Allow me to translate.

''We slapped this talk format together so fast we still have no idea what will stick and what won't...and the guys in Denver keep yelling at me on the speaker phone..MOMMY!!''

''He did say that they will be hiring local hosts for the weekends and possibly some local sports weekend talk, but right now its hard with all the Indians and Cavs games..''

Wow..the Indians play every weekend for six months..never seemed to bother WTAM in the slightest..

Are they going to hire people with talk experience this time?

None of this is going to happen until Jim Johnson's salary is off the books in a couple of months from now..if Denver gives the green light..

Ever heard sports talk on WHBC on Football Friday nights? You'll get the same guys who have never seen a grown woman naked, living in Mom's basement, who lie awake at night and wonder if Massillon recruits and what to do about it..

There's compelling weekend programming for you..

I have an about ''Best of Brady'', ''Best of Dennis'' and ''Best of Ron''...oh wait a second..this makes sense..cost effective..promotes weekday programming..would never fly on WHBC-AM..gotta do it the hard way..

Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt you could get a "Best of..." weekend out of these three even after six months. Maybe a "Best of..." break, but not an entire weekend.

It is eerily similar to the failed DLR experiment. But he was going to "find his audience" after a period of time. Remember? NCX has never and will never recover. Ditto to the "Radio Tradition". Ouch!

Anonymous said...

Does Kim Mihalik have a job and if so why?

Anonymous said...

I don't like all talk, but I can see, if they get charged the same rates no matter how much music they play, why it would be hard.
Thing is, they have a *great* thing, IMO, in their Friday Night high school football coverage. Talk about pros, they really did seem like ESPN the last few years since they started that, frm the pregame to the postgame.
My point is that WHBC-AM knows how to do talk, but sometimes, it's hard for people in Denver to understand that that's what sports and programming we're interested in here in Stark County - local. Who needs all this overhyped nonsense - look, I'm a baseball fan, I dont' listen to radio very often, but if I have some time on my hands, and I'm doing something else, too, sure I'll listen to stuff about baseball from any part of the country. So, I understand how some are the same way about other sports. However, I'm not the same way on all sports. Not like some fans in, say, New York, or Chicago, or Boston, or someplace else.
And, I just don't think Canton's listeners, demographically, are going to go for the national stuff. I think, in general, in news and sports, there's just an overload of it. I don't need to hear hours on end of talk about every single issue.
But, I guess that's more a cmplaint against talk formats in general. I was a big Barry Manilow fan as a teen, though, so it kind of figures I'd grow up enjoying just nice, easy listening, without all the garbage of today's music - which is actually worse than talk radio, to me.