Thursday, May 31, 2007

New Landings

Our title this Thursday is appropriate, at least, for the first two items:

A NEW KLEON: WRQK/106.9 nighttime personality Joe Kleon exited the Canton rock station shortly after Clear Channel took over the station's operations from Cumulus.

AllAccess reports that Kleon has landed at crosstown D.A. Peterson top 40 WZKL/92.5 "Q92" and sister soft AC WDPN/1310 Alliance as that station's new promotions manager.

Yes, that's the same job once given to a Louisville KY radio guy now better known in his home market for getting into huge trouble for operating a charity of questionable worth.

Thankfully for the "Q92" folks, the man who actually took the job, Josh Miely, could actually show up for work.

But Miely is now leaving "Q92", headed back for his mid-Atlantic home region for a "new opportunity" in Washington DC. Best of luck to both Mr. Miely and Mr. Kleon...

WEEKEND WITH THE CLIPPERS: In an earlier item, we outlined the odd radio situation for the AAA Columbus Clippers baseball team - with no full-power in-market outlet carrying the team's games.

Now, the Washington Nationals' top minor-league affiliate won't have to point to an in-stadium sub-low-power station as its only Columbus "radio" outlet.

The team has announced that it's hooked up again this year with North American standards WMNI/920 to air "Weekend With The Clippers". WMNI aired 14 such games last year, and will broadcast about 42 games in the 2007 season on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The team will continue to air selected games on its out-of-market stations, including WCLT/1430 Newark and the easternmost half of the "980 Homer" Dayton market sports simulcast, WIZE/1340 Springfield.

Oh, and the release linked above has some information we didn't know about. The Clippers games also air on the HD2 subchannel of WCLT's FM sister station, country WCLT/100.3.

A quick check of the WCLT website shows that the AM station is simulcast on 100's HD3 subchannel, so we're not sure what else airs on the HD2 subchannel besides the Clippers, or if that's a typo by the WCLT webmaster.

Or, perhaps, if the Clippers only end up on the 100.3 digital signal if the AM side is carrying their games.

And of course, sub-micro-not-quite-LPFM 101.9 - no relation to nearby Delaware OH's WINF-LP - continues to pump out all the Clippers' games within a few feet of the concession stands...

ANOTHER RADIO ARTICLE: We told you earlier about the mention of Good Karma sports WKNR/850 midday host Tony Rizzo in the Monday "TipOff" column in the Plain Dealer.

But since we eschewed the Sunday PD, we missed the lengthy examination by PD writer John Petkovic on "The State of Radio".

Petkovic talks to everyone from WTAM/1100 afternoon driver Mike Trivisonno and former WMMS/100.7 programmer and consultant John Gorman (complete with a plug for his upcoming book on 'MMS, "Buzzard"), to local consultant Mike McVay.

It hits the highlights, or rather, low-lights, of the consolidation of radio, the rise of major corporations, and the looming satellite and non-radio competition (iPods, etc.).

But the article is wrapped around a visit to WKNR's new afternoon drive host Mark "Munch" Bishop's show on Thursday of last week.

Petkovic uses Bishop and his hiring by Good Karma Top Man Craig Karmazin as a sign that at least one radio operator is looking to hire more local talent to reach to a local audience. Both Bishop and Rizzo are long-time Cleveland sports guys who live and die by their local teams. And in our opinion, it's very hard to be a Cleveland sports talk show host without having your own personal, painful memories of "The Drive", "The Fumble", et al.

(And we're convinced, like a commenter to one of our earlier items said, that "Munch on Sports" producer Bernard Bokenyi and "Rizzo on the Radio"'s Aaron Goldhammer may actually be living at WKNR's Broadview Heights studios. At least it seems like both 'KNR staffers cross back and forth among various roles at all hours of the day and night...)

Over at the Clear Channel World Domination HQ on Oak Tree, Triv checks in about the failing fortunes of music on FM radio, agreeing with Gorman that the pie is shrinking when music can be delivered by so many other means, more customized to the user.

Enter OMW's "FM Talk Watch", where we note another new entrant - long-time AM news/talk outlet WILK in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA, which has been broadcasting on three Northeast Pennsylvania AM outlets, has added a four station - an FM.

And WILK's website has a new logo, which clearly promotes the new 103.1 frequency "on top".

The march continues.

And we'll repeat our earlier prediction that least one local radio operator in Cleveland will end up doing talk of SOME sort full-time on the FM band by the end of 2007. Following, of course, Akron market FM talk staple WNIR/100.1 "The Talk of Akron" by roughly 26 years...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

An Early Midweek

Thanks to the Memorial Day holiday and a relatively slow local media news pace, this is our first update of the week...

THE CAT HAS LANDED: Those who remember the old top 40 format on Cleveland's "Power 108" - known today as Radio One urban WENZ/107.9 "Z107.9" - might remember Cat Thomas.

Thomas was PD at then-WPHR, and was originally heard in nights. Though he was apparently nudged into morning drive at one point, most people who remember the station at all remember John "Records" Landecker...the legendary Chicago air personality who did mornings at "Power".

(By the way, maybe we shouldn't put quotes around that middle Landecker has always said, "Records is REALLY my middle name", legally, that is.)

Anyway, Thomas went on to a lot of success at Cox top 40 outlet WAPE in Jacksonville FL. He was operations manager for the Cox cluster there until his departure just a couple of months ago.

AllAccess reports Tuesday that The Cat Has Landed - as operations manager of Entercom Radio's cluster in Austin TX. The group includes an AC and a Hot AC station, along with an AM talk outlet known as "The Juice"...

WE MISSED IT: We don't know how we missed it, but Good Karma sports WKNR/850 Cleveland "ESPN 850 WKNR" let go a long-time station employee recently.

A Google search brought us to an article by Akron Beacon Journal sports/media writer George M. Thomas, who reported a couple of weeks ago that 'KNR staple Neil Bender was let go by the station.

Says Mr. Thomas:

Anyone who listened to the station's coverage of the Cavaliers or watched FSN Ohio's Cleveland Rants would recognize Bender's voice and face. He earned respect because of his knowledge of all sports, but he impressed with his knowledge of basketball. He asked tough and insightful questions.

We hadn't heard much of Mr. Bender in recent months. His most recent assignment would appear to have been handling the morning local sports updates on WKNR's low-wattage sister station WWGK/1540 "AM 1540, KNR2". Fellow long-time 'KNR holdover staffer Josh Sabo does the updates in afternoons, last time we checked.

For whatever reason, the local sports updates are still done separately in Good Karma land between "ESPN 850 WKNR" - handled by Metro Networks-based anchors Jeff Thomas and Daryl Ruiter, also holdovers from the station's former ownership - and, well, what we'll call "Mini-KNR".

We don't know who has the 1540 morning sports update shift after Bender's departure, but we last heard Bernard Bokenyi doing them.

And Mr. Thomas' column linked above also notes WKNR's rising ratings in the most recent Winter book.

Those ratings were accomplished before Good Karma owner Craig Karmazin made his two biggest moves, hiring WJW "FOX 8" sports anchor Tony Rizzo for middays and WMJI morning sports voice Mark "Munch" Bishop away from Clear Channel for afternoon drive.

While we're talking about Rizz, Cleveland's Multi-Media Sports Star (heh) got some publicity in the Cleveland Plain Dealer's "TipOff" column on Monday, where the PD's Michael K. McIntyre explored the whole "John Shaver" phenomenon - now a catch phrase/name on "Rizzo on the Radio".

It apparently started with a friend of Mr. Shaver's, who called in with his name as a guess for the show's regular "Who Said That?" contest. John Shaver is apparently a local postal worker, with no sports connection other than a brief stint on his high school football team...

NO KARMA?: A brief item also from Good Karma land.

For whatever reason, Mr. Karmazin has apparently decided not to air his own evening sports talk show - "The Steve and Craig Show" with co-host Steve Politziner - in Cleveland.

It was originally expected to air on Good Karma's first local radio acquisition, the station now known as "Cleveland's AM 1540, KNR2", when the WWGK daytime broadcast hours allowed it to air.

Fast forward to today, where 1540's broadcast day ends after 8 PM, and the station is now listing FOX Sports Radio in the show's live 7-8 PM time slot.

Of course, aside from a special weekend appearance or two during coverage of major sports events, "Steve and Craig" was not ever expected to air regularly on the Good Karma flagship sports outlet in Cleveland, WKNR.

For that matter, with his hands full running his two Cleveland stations - along with all the others in the Good Karma World Empire - we have no idea how often Mr. Karmazin's show airs on even his original outlets...

TURNING ON THE HD: Our colleagues to the east at note a new HD Radio sign-on in Northeast Ohio - just across the Ohio/Pennsylvania border, where Clear Channel hot AC WMXY/98.9 "Mix 98.9" in Youngstown has apparently joined the digital over-air radio world.

PBRTV's contributor in the nearby Shenango Valley area, Tom Lavery, notes that WMXY is only broadcasting its main signal on the HD Radio carrier for now, and offers no HD2 format - at least as of yet.

Elsewhere in Northeast Ohio, OMW hears another local station could be almost ready to join the HD Radio world...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Packaging Up The Week

This update will hopefully clear out the ol' inbox for the weekend.

We're not going on an official "hiatus" over the holiday weekend, and will update anything major (format changes, major personnel changes at local TV and radio outlets and the like). But since it will be a holiday weekend, we don't expect much...

WJW MOVES COMING: We have no idea why, but we get at least a handful of E-Mails out of nowhere every single week asking us when FOX O&O WJW/8 "FOX 8" Cleveland will adopt the company's "FOX Look" on its local newscasts.

In fact, just hours after the latest request for a status report out of nowhere, we got an answer, again, unsolicited.

A reliable OMW source says the "FOX-ification" of "FOX 8 News" in Cleveland is nearly at hand.

And by "nearly", we mean sometime in the next few weeks. We hear that the local station is about to build a new set, which will require a pause in live shows for "That's Life with Robin Swoboda". They'll put in pre-taped shows to fill the gap.

(And before some of you go running to the comments section at the mere mention of Robin's name...we already know what you're going to type.)

Anyway, "That's Life" has to go on hiatus, because WJW will move the existing news set into that studio, and air "FOX 8 News" from there while the new set is being built.

A few weeks later, you'll see what's long been anticipated by OMW readers - a new set, and an update of graphics to the new FOX O&O style, which is basically patterned after the network's FOX News Channel.

The graphics will also be HD-style, as opposed to the current upconversion...

TO THE SPORTS DEPARTMENT: ...where we find The Overworked Sue Ann Robak at WEWS "NewsChannel 5" now being helped by the capable Andy Baskin. He's the former WKYC/3 sports reporter/anchor who left to start his own production company, and has done fill-in for The Only Large Market Station In America With One Solo Full-Time Sports Anchor.

Well, not quite.

We hear the situation at CBS affiliate WKMG in Orlando is even worse as they await the Cleveland Cavaliers to release WOIO/19 "19 Action News" weekend sports anchor David Pingalore, who isn't leaving town or the CBS affiliate here until the Cavaliers get knocked out of the playoffs, or, as is about as likely as the Space Shuttle landing on I-77, until they win it all.

We understand that a news anchor at WKMG has even taken to reading a brief sports summary, while they continue to watch the NBA basketball bounce in Detroit and Cleveland and wait for "Ping" to head south.

Anyway, back to 3001 Euclid and Andy Baskin.

OMW hears that he continues to impress the management at WEWS, and with good timing, too... the station may finally name a new sports director soon.

We are NOT hearing that Baskin has the job in hand, but that he's being "strongly considered" for it.

But, we're putting all these rumblings together in our head, and we'd be surprised if he didn't land the gig. But that's just a gut feeling on our part.

And a tip of the hat to Ms. Robak, who's been an ironwoman, as it were, after both of her co-workers left for other jobs...she's certainly improved her own standing, if not at WEWS, than somewhere else...

AND WHILE WE'RE TALKING TV (AND ADDING RADIO): We don't dive into ratings much, but OMW hears that your May TV sweeps "winners" are WJW/8 and WKYC/3, with WEWS/5 and WOIO/19 on the down side.

And over in radioland, the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Julie Washington has an excellent rundown of the Cleveland ratings in Saturday's PD.

We won't delve into it piece by piece, but the top 12-plus all-day finisher in the Winter book was Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100.

Top finishing shows in their appropriate demos include Clear Channel oldies WMJI/105.7 mainstays John Lanigan and Jimmy Malone and CBS Radio alt-rock/talk WXRK/92.3's once-again-hometown show "Rover's Morning Glory" with Shane "Rover" French in morning drive.

In afternoons, it's WTAM's Mike "I Have Never Found Free Food I Wouldn't Eat On The Air" Trivisonno and Radio One urban AC WZAK/93.1 syndicated host Michael Baisden's relatively new show.

Notice, if you will, that all four shows are basically talk shows, even on the FM side.

And Julie points out that the home of Rock and Roll isn't treating its rock stations well, with the highest-rated traditional rocker in ninth-place 12-plus. (By "traditional", we mean that Ms. Washington apparently isn't including alt-rock WXRK, which airs eight hours a day of talk, in that list.)

We won't go much beyond this, because the PD has the ability to publish more ratings than we do (and they have much more expensive lawyers).

Julie has much more at the link above...

YEP, IT'S WKRI: As reported in Radio & Records Online on Thursday, and speculated here earlier, WXRK/92.3 Cleveland Heights will sport new call letters soon... after sister station WFNY in New York City reclaimed their historic calls in a format flip from talk back to rock.

"92.3 K-Rock", the Cleveland version, will legally become WKRI(FM) as soon as all the paperwork shuffling (or bit twiddling) is completed at the FCC...and WXRK(FM) ends up in the Big Apple, that station also returning to the "92.3 K-Rock" on-air handle.

OMW hears that there are no programming changes expected for the local 92.3.

A tip of the hat to RadioInsight's Lance Venta, who makes a habit of call letter searches and surfing through new domain information...he let us know about this as well.

THE WOLF RETURNS?: It's Lance who also provides us the launching pad for this one.

He tells us Clear Channel just registered, which redirects to the website to the company's rocker WNCD/93.3 Youngstown.

And sure enough, there it is, a new "93.3 The Wolf" logo staring us right in the face.

Since we haven't heard the station since, well, forever, we can't tell yet if they're positioning like that on the air. (We tried picking up their online feed tonight, but haven't been successful due to local computer issues.)

But long-time listeners in the Mahoning Valley know the station is actually returning to its roots.

WNCD launched under its original ownership (Dominic Baragona et al.) at 106.1 Niles, as "CD 106, The Wolf". The animal is a long-time original brand for the station, which Clear Channel eventually bought and swapped its frequency with that of oldies WBBG - the latter now camping out at the aforementioned 106.1.

WNCD has been known recently as "93-3 NCD". We don't know when it was "de-wolf-ified".

And if you want further confusion, WNCD at 106.1 was once the sister station of WNIO. No, not today's Clear Channel-owned standards outlet at 1390, but the original WNIO, at 1540 Niles.

To close up the chain, 1540 is now WRTK - sporting calls moved from 1390 once intended for a short lived talk format.

And today's WRTK/1540 is a satellite-driven gospel outlet owned by the king of single-owner radio in the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys, Harold Glunt's Beacon Broadcasting (WANR/1570 Warren, WLOA/1470 Farrell PA, and WGRP/940-WEXC/107.1 Greenville PA).

There'll be a quiz, later, especially for Glunt Watchers...

AND 85TH REDUX: And OMW hears that if you missed Salem talk WHK/1420 Cleveland's 85th Anniversary Special, you'll get to hear it again this weekend.

We're told that the special, hosted by former WHK disk jockey Johnny Holliday, will re-air on "NewsTalk 1420" this Saturday - later today, by the time you read this - at 7 PM...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

No Longer "Free"

A format flip in New York City may have minor, or future, effects on Cleveland.

CBS Radio talk WFNY/92.3 "Free FM" in the Big Apple has dumped the talk format. AllAccess reports that later today, the station will return to its old "K-Rock" slogan and rock format, focusing on 90's rock and "some currents and 80's titles".

At least for now, morning drive team Opie & Anthony - normally shared with XM Satellite Radio - remain in the new "92.3 K-Rock" lineup...staying in mornings on the otherwise rock-formatted station much like not-quite-immediate predecessor Howard Stern did for many years.

How does all this affect Cleveland?

Well, we'll be scouring for call letter changes, as we'd bet rather heavily that CBS Radio will swipe the station's historic WXRK calls from Cleveland's own "92.3 K-Rock" - which took the call letters after their NYC sister station went to "Free FM" talk. Could the Cleveland alt-rocker become "WXTM" again, if only out of convenience?

Programming-wise, there won't be much fallout here, since O&A - who air in afternoon drive on Cleveland's "K-Rock" - are still in that contract with CBS.

But, with CBS flipping away from "Free FM" in two large markets - San Francisco's KIFR/106.9 dumped the format a few days ago for a resurrection of classic hits KFRC - does this mean CBS Radio is cooling on "FM talk", at least the "hot talk" variety?

We've chronicled here persistent rumors that one or two Cleveland FM stations have been sniffing at an FM talk format for at least a year or two.

But wither CBS?

Does the company's new programming leadership under Dan Mason (the elder, of course, not the former "96-5 Kiss FM" PD) mean a move away from hot talk aimed at young men? Both "Free FM" flips happened after Mason took CBS Radio's top national programming job.

Does that mean the current WXRK/92.3 here isn't likely to expand its talk beyond "Rover's Morning Glory" and O&A?

And this is not really related, but sort item we have heard about that we just can't find another place for. And in an item about local FM talk, it would seem to fit.

OMW hears from numerous sources that Clear Channel rock WMMS/100.7 afternoon driver Maxwell got into quite a tiff with a member of "The Doors" rock band over the legacy of legendary frontman Jim Morrison.

The on-air interview with Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek got so heated, we hear, that Maxwell actually left the studio in mid-segment, and got into a tangle or three with roadies out of the studio.

Though much of this gets played up for ratings, we're told by a mole inside Oak Tree that this one was real, away from the microphone...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My 1-0-OOPS

Clear Channel Canton market AC outlet WHOF/101.7 "my 101.7" is a family-friendly, female-friendly standard-issue AC format station.

Which is what makes what happened there Monday all the more out of place.

Canton Repository entertainment writer Dan Kane reports that a "string of profane words" aired during a recorded segment at 6:30 on Monday's morning drive show - by the timing, it was presumably a newscast.

And as a result, WHOF news anchor and co-host Jesse Johnson is "no longer with the company". Host Gary Rivers has been suspended for a week, and is back at his morning show perch next Tuesday.

Johnson's bio and other information have been removed from the WHOF website.

The mistake would probably have been apologized away in the past.

But given the FCC's intense scrutiny of "offensive" broadcast comments, management has to move much more quickly than in past years.

An inadvertently-aired off-air sexually laced conversation with a stripper on an Atlanta FM station's morning show resulted in the suspension, and later firing, of a team known as "The Regular Guys".

What happened on "my 101.7" on Monday morning is pretty tame by comparison. But there's no room for error involving "bad language" in today's regulatory environment...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tuesday Night Musings

Some stuff to get out of the hopper, so we can work on other things...

BLAME LEBRON: As OMW - thanks to an Orlando newspaper writer - reported back in April, Raycom Media CBS affiliate WOIO/19 "19 Action News" is losing weekend sports anchor/reporter David Pingalore to Orlando's WKMG/6, the CBS affiliate in that Florida city.

Well, eventually.

OMW hears via Orlando blogger Roger Simmons' TV blog - which quotes TV news/gossip site NewsBlues - that Mr. Pingalore hasn't left the North Coast yet for a good reason.

LeBron James.

Well, to be specific, the Akron superstar's team, the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers. It appears Mr. Pingalore promised "Action News" that he wouldn't head to Orlando until after the Cavaliers' playoff run.

Even if the Cavaliers lose to the hated Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals, it could keep the WOIO sports anchor here until at very least next Tuesday (the scheduled Game 4), and much later if the local team manages to advance to the Finals...

BIG TEN PUSH: With our earlier item confirming that the Big Ten Network hasn't yet reached an agreement with Time Warner Cable, a web search on it apparently led the cable/satellite network's media types to put us on their mailing list.

Apparently, though, they think we're a Big Ten school-related fan blog.

We got an open letter from BTN president Mark Silverman, who addresses, among other things, the network's carriage situation.

Since they've helpfully passed along a link to an FAQ on the network's website, we'll let you follow along.

Silverman mentions the existing deals with DirecTV and AT&T's video arm (which is not yet available here in Ohio), and addresses negotiations with major multi-state cable, say, a certain company going by the initials "TWC":

We have had productive conversations with larger cable operators. Getting those deals done is more complicated because we're talking about several different kinds of services in several different markets.

These deals take longer to complete due to their complexity, but the fact that DirecTV, AT&T and others have agreed to carry the Big Ten Network is a good sign that all cable and satellite operators – both big and small nationwide – understand the value of our programming.

This is a very standard "New Network Playbook" move, most recently employed here in this region by SportsTime Ohio - before its first year launch. Basically: "We have programming of value".

BTN also, as STO did last year and other networks have done, encourages would-be viewers to call their local provider:

We urge all Big Ten fans, whether they are inside or outside of the Big Ten footprint, to contact their cable or satellite provider to ask if they plan on carrying the Big Ten Network.

We fully expect all cable systems and satellite providers to carry the network because they understand your passion and love for your team, and thus how important this programming is to you. By calling to inquire if your provider plans to carry the Big Ten Network, you will reinforce what they already know.

Back to that "value" proposition for a second.

Big Ten Network does indeed intend to carry popular sports like the conference's football games.

But it reminds us of the NFL Network's struggle to get cable deals after starting to air live NFL games.

Sure, they'll carry, for example, games involving schools that aren't being shown on the main feeds of ABC/ESPN/ESPN2/etc.

But an Ohio State fan will generally find the Buckeye football team on those channels, no? (We're reminded of the furor, though, over one game that was only seen on "ESPNU", which was at the time not carried on the majority of local cable systems, even in Columbus...)

Most of the BTN "big sport" games will be stuff like Iowa vs. Illinois - second-and-third tier contests that don't make it to the "big networks". And like Columbus-based Columbus Sports Network - aka WCSN-LP 32 - Big Ten Network will have a schedule also chock full of "non-high-profile" sports.

But in the end, the most popular sports involving the local Big Ten team will be on over-air networks, or the widely available ESPN or ESPN2 networks.

We suspect that the end result will be that BTN will come down somewhat from its reported $1.10-per-subscriber figure for cable systems in the Big Ten states...

Monday, May 21, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: WKYC Hires New Sports Reporter

There's a new sports reporter joining up with a local TV station - but it's not the station which is down to the bare minimum in that department.

WKYC/3 has announced that Joe Brown joins the "Channel 3 News" sports department alongside sports director Jim Donovan and reporter/anchor Brian Colleran. The first heads up, as usual, comes from WKYC senior director Frank Macek's "Director's Cut" blog.

Brown has an extensive resume, but was most recently the studio pre-game/post-game host for Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche games for regional sports network Altitude Sports in Denver.

Brown arrives at the Cleveland NBC affiliate just in time to cover the Cleveland Cavaliers' NBA Eastern Conference Finals series with the Detroit Pistons.

Meanwhile, ABC affiliate WEWS/5's sports department hangs in there with just one full-time on-air employee - The Overworked Sue Ann Robak - being occasionally spelled by fill-in Andy Baskin.

Back to WKYC, where we looked at Brian Colleran's bio and realized that he joined Channel 3 from WPMI/15 in Mobile AL, where he anchored weekend sports for over four years.

OMW wonders if he's burning up the phone lines back to Mobile to give them a heads up on former WKYC news director Mike McCormick - who's about to take over the newsroom at WPMI...

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Newsy, Newsy Week's End

(Our apologies for posting this without allowing's a mistake that has been corrected. Thanks! -- The Management)

Local media news items are stacking up like so many planes trying to land, so we'll try to close them out as we close out the week. And since we've done a lot of TV items recently, let's start on the radio side...

WERE, WJMO SWAP: Radio One, on the heels of selling off its Dayton stations (we'll revisit that below), has announced major changes in Cleveland involving its two AM outlets.

Starting Monday, June 4th, Radio One swaps frequencies between urban talk WERE, which moves from 1300 to 1490, and gospel WJMO, which moves from 1490 to 1300. Cleveland Plain Dealer entertainment/media columnist Julie Washington has the story online Friday, and presumably in the Dead Trees edition of the paper on Saturday.

The move shuttles WERE local morning driver Ronnie Duncan, and Radio One talkers Al Sharpton and the Two Live Stews, to the less-powerful 1490 frequency (1,000 watts), while WJMO syndicated morning host Yolanda Adams and local afternoon driver Ronny Knight end up on the more powerful 5,000 watt, but directional, signal of 1300 AM.

In between Ms. Adams and Mr. Knight - a new local midday show hosted by Radio One sister WZAK/93.1 mainstay Grace Roberts.

Radio One local VP/GM Chris Forgy tells Washington that the new frequency will allow WJMO's gospel format to better serve African-American listeners who've moved out to the southern and western suburbs.

Meanwhile, Forgy says research says "most" WERE listeners will still be able to listen on the talk format on 1490.

Who's the "winner" here? Clearly, it's the "Praise" crew moving to 1300.

1300 is not even the fourth best signal in the market, and its advantages aren't as clear over 1490 as the power level would indicate. Some listeners will actually lose the gospel format after it moves to 1300, due to a tight directional pattern.

But the station IS five times more powerful than 1490, at least in the direction the signal goes. And in AM radio these days, it's all about boosting the power in core areas to overcome new noise and interference, from anything from power lines to computers to fluorescent lights.

Not only that, the article would seem to indicate a larger promotional push for the WJMO move, with Ms. Adams even recording telephone calls to inform listeners of the new frequency. And WJMO adds a new local personality. Meanwhile, WERE is relegated to a "most people can still hear it" comment from Mr. Forgy.

By the way, Radio One is exiting the Dayton market entirely, as well as selling all but one of its Louisville KY stations. The buyer is Main Line Broadcasting, the broadcasting arm of Washington DC private equity fund Arlington Capital Partners. Main Line got rolling with stations it bought in Richmond VA.

The company says it is shedding the stations so it can exit "non-core markets" with smaller African-American population.

In both markets, Radio One operates many stations outside their traditional urban radio core, including country WKSW and sports WING in Dayton...

A second item on Ms. Washington's plate is a big one... WJW/8 veteran (super-veteran) (mainstay) (iconic) meteorologist Dick Goddard will no longer be going solo in the evening.

It's "FOX 8 News In The Morning"'s Andre Bernier moving a week from Monday to the evening editions of "FOX 8 News" alongside Goddard, where the two meteorologists will forecast together. Scott Sabol picks up Bernier's morning show duties.

New WJW VP/GM Greg Easterly, fresh up from his news director job, moves quickly to dispel notions that Bernier being moved is a sign that Goddard will soon retire after 40-plus years of forecasting the weather, in Ms. Washington's article:

"Dick has no plans to go, and we want him here as long as he wants to be."

Congratulations to Mr. Easterly for taking the "Joe Tait Route", much like Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has done. Dick Goddard, like the popular Cavs radio voice, makes his own retirement date, and any manager who thinks otherwise does so at his or her own peril.

Julie also reports what we'd reported earlier: the elevation of Sonya Thompson into the WJW news director's post vacated by Easterly's upward movement...

WE THOUGHT HE LEFT: But Ms. Washington has an item we didn't already have.

It turns out the search for a replacement for Renita Jablonski as local host on WKSU/89.7's "Morning Edition" has been much more difficult than imagined.

So much so, that a familiar voice will fill in the slot from June 4th through roughly September: long-time former host Leonard Will.

Yep, that's the same Leonard Will who retired with much fanfare a few months ago, in January.

WKSU PR guru Bob Burford tells the PD that Will's return won't be permanent...

BC & LJ REDUX: And we have another Julie Washington item that both follows up on our earlier post, and adds new information.

Ms. Washington reports that WJW "FOX 8" will air that previously expected prime-time retrospective looking back on the career of retiring "Big Chuck" Schodowski and the show which made him famous, "Big Chuck & Lil' John".

And, of course, its predecessor, "Hoolihan and Big Chuck", along with the WJW veteran's early days on the "Ghoulardi" show with Ernie Anderson.

The show will air at 8 PM on Friday, June 22nd, around which time the show itself will presumably end for good...

AND MORE TV NEWS: This one is an exclusive item, though it's basically tying up loose ends.

OMW hears that former WKYC/3 news director Mike McCormick has indeed landed in the Gulf Coast region job-wise, not far from his hometown of Jacksonville FL. (Well, that's "not far" as in "somewhat closer than Cleveland".)

We hear McCormick starts on June 11th as news director of WPMI/15, the Clear Channel-owned (for now) NBC affiliate in Mobile AL. That's the second interview stop we were alerted about in an earlier E-Mail.

Clear Channel, of course, is in the process of selling its TV assets...

SPATZ IS BACK: And an item not related to Cleveland radio or TV, but one we spotted on AllAccess this afternoon.

Former WWIZ/103.9 "Rock 104" program director Matt Spatz, who left the Cumulus Youngstown market rocker in March 2006 to program Clear Channel rock WROV/96.3 in Roanoke VA, is heading back home.

This time, it's Clear Channel rock WNCD/93.3 Youngstown that'll be Spatz's destination, where he takes over the PD reins left behind a couple of months ago, when Steve Granato moved over to program sister hot AC WMXY/98.9 "Mix 98.9".

Welcome back "home", Matt!


An OMW reader just found this item on WKYC/3 senior director Frank Macek's excellent "Director's Cut" blog.

Frank reports that WOIO/19 investigative reporter Tom Meyer will be coming to "Channel 3 News" as Chief Investigative Reporter.

In the end, it basically amounts to a "trade" between the local NBC affiliate and CBS affiliate, if a bit removed.

Former "Channel 3 News" investigative reporter Carl Monday left WKYC bound for "19 Action News", though he's had to sit off camera to wait out a non-compete. WOIO has teased his upcoming start, telling viewers to E-Mail "CM Investigations" in short promos.

The WKYC press release, linked on the "Director's Cut" blog above, says Meyer has to go through the same waiting game as well, in this quote from Channel 3 VP/GM Brooke Spectorsky:

"Tom will join channel 3 starting in mid-October and on the air by mid-January. For now, Tom is still under contract with WOIO, so Northeast Ohio viewers will need to be a bit patient before they can see him on Channel 3."

Meanwhile, OMW hears that Carl Monday and Tom Meyer may not exactly get along under the same roof, which is why it doesn't surprise us that Meyer has jumped to Monday's former employer.

No word on who gets custody of the library stories...

Thursday, May 17, 2007


It hasn't been that long since we pointed out a new way the FCC does business with radio stations, and how the agency now handles such things as changing a station's community of license.

In the past, in the process followed by Clear Channel to move the allocation of WJER-FM/101.7 Dover to North Canton, a company had to bring up a mountain of evidence to change an FM allocation - then, after that was approved, file a construction permit under that new allocation and wait for it to be approved.

101.7, of course, eventually got approval to move to North Canton as today's AC WHOF(FM), otherwise known as "my 101.7".

Under the new "one step" rules, the license community change is a "minor change", and can be filed as a part of a new construction permit application.

That's exactly what Clear Channel has just done with WHOF's sister Canton-licensed hot AC, WKDD/98.1.

A reader we've never encountered before dropped us a note: why hadn't we mentioned that WKDD has filed for a new COL of the Akron suburb of Munroe Falls?

The answer: we didn't know.

But here it is in the FCC's FM Query lookup.

You'll notice, if you dig into it, that the new application basically only deals with the COL change, and does not propose any change in facilities for the station - which now broadcasts from a tower outside of Hartville in Stark County.

The application also has the evidence meant to support the change from Canton to Munroe Falls, including our favorite part, the inclusion of the Kimpton Middle School newsletter to parents as an "information source" aimed at Munroe Falls residents.

Why is Clear Channel doing this?

Just a guess here, which would seem to be a valid one: they're "planting the flag" for some sort of future move of the 98.1 facility into the Akron market.

Not the station itself, per se. The report on ownership attached to the application notes that 98.1 is already attributed into the Akron Arbitron market, which obviously wouldn't change with the new COL.

But the new application doesn't specify a technical facility change.

Another guess here: any physical move of the 98.1 facility north would require a lot of technical coordination with facilities like, just to name three, second-adjacent CBS classic rock WNCX/98.5 Cleveland, and two sister Clear Channel first-adjacent stations: classic rock WXXR/98.3 Fredericktown, and newly-dropped-in country WYBL/98.3 "The Bull" in Ashtabula.

While those last coordinations are "in-house" for now, of course, Clear Channel has filed to sell WYBL and its sister Ashtabula stations to Tom Embrescia's "Sweet Home Ashtabula", and WXXR will eventually end up with a new owner as well.

One presumes if Clear Channel eventually has any designs to nudge WKDD/98.1 north, physically, the company would make an agreement of some sort with the new buyers for mutually-acceptable engineering.

Anyway, the application makes the argument that since no technical facilities changes are proposed within it, spacing rules don't need to be considered.

At least, yet...

Thursday Mix - Serious To Funny

And therefore removing any doubt that items just fall together here, with no particular rhyme or reason...until they start running together coherently, as if by magic...

BIG TEN, NOT YET: An OMW reader tipped us to this article on the "Bucknuts" site, which is an independent sports news site catering to All Things Athletic concerning The Ohio State University. (We hear there's a state law prohibiting one from referring to that big university in Columbus without using the article "The" in front. We can't afford the fines.)

The article features a visit to Buckeye Nation from Mark Silverman, the president of the new Big Ten Network. The cable/satellite network will showcase all the conference's sports that don't already air on major network or cable outlets like ABC, ESPN and the like - including football and basketball games that used to air on "ESPNPlus", the local/regional syndicator.

This line in the article caught our reader's eyes:

And unlike other startup networks such as NFL Network and ESPNU, Big Ten Network has enjoyed immediate success reaching deals with such broadcasting giants as DirectTV and Time Warner (TW serves 65 percent of the cable customers in Central Ohio).

We don't remember reading anything about a deal between Time Warner Cable and the Big Ten Network, so we asked our contact with TWC's Northeast Ohio operations, long-time VP Bill Jasso.

Jasso tells OMW that there is no TWC deal with "BTN", at least not at this time:

Yes, the article does sound like we have a deal, but we don't. Any deal would be statewide at least, and probably national in scope.

Mr. Jasso says that there are "serious talks" going on between Time Warner and the Big Ten Network, though, and he'll let us know when there's anything to tell.

We suspect there will be a deal, at least in Ohio, given the popularity of the Buckeyes. But the "Bucknuts" article repeats something we've heard, as well:

A media member cited a published report that stated the Big Ten Network wanted $1.10 per customer from the cable/satellite providers and asked if that was a possible sticking point with negotiations and if the BTN came down off of that figure.

“I can’t comment on particulars,” Silverman said. “But what I can tell you is that we are looking for are two types of deals: There’s a deal for the eight states within the Big Ten, and there’s a deal for the states outside of the eight. Those deals vary tremendously and we believe the deals we have on the table are fair.”

That $1.10 figure we've seen in trade reports is apparently for those eight Big Ten states - cablers outside the Big Ten region would be charged something on the order of 10 cents a customer.

Again, this assumes that a national deal isn't struck with, for example, TWC.

One Ohio cable company has already agreed to carry the Big Ten Network. Multichannel News reports that Toledo's Buckeye Cablesystem has signed up for All Big Ten, All The Time TV. Buckeye will also carry the HD feed the BTN folks will offer...

WHILE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HD SPORTS: Good news for Cleveland Browns fans with high-definition TV sets.

CBS, the broadcast network which carries AFC games - and thus, carries the bulk of the Browns' schedule - is ramping up HDTV coverage of its NFL games.

A network spokeswoman tells some media writers - including San Diego Union-Tribune sports media writer Jay Posner, who had first word - that CBS will carry "up to 6" NFL games each week in HDTV format.

Jay's item - in the article linked above - says "5 or 6". Each of the Sunday daytime NFL carriers, CBS and FOX, generally have no more than 6 games per week.

On FOX, the odd-game-out is usually upconverted from SD to 720p HD widescreen. On CBS, the non-HD games will still be - as far as we know - in non-widescreen SD.

The count by those keeping track: only 7 of CBS's 107 games in 2007 will not be in HD, and at least six weeks in the NFL season will have ALL games in HD on all network carriers.

Of course, the Browns being the them land some of those non-HD games. But many, many more Browns games will be in HD this coming season, and the NFL has decreed that all games for all teams will be in HD in 2008...

AND THE "FUNNY" PART: Anyone who's watched late night Cleveland TV the past few years is well aware of Marc Norton, the owner of Norton's Furniture - and his odd TV commercials. You know, the ones which end with him saying "...and you can count on it".

It would appear Mr. Norton is trying to branch out.

We noticed that he's putting a new website URL onscreen during his TV spots -

So, we visited, and it appears he's trying to expand his self-made commercial presence into a media business. The site offers "The Marc Norton Show" on video for $1.39 an episode ("First Episode Now Available!"), along with links to his TV spots and other related material, including outtakes.

Quoting - we believe - the furniture store owner and would-be TV producer, as posted on the site:

I have become popular all over the North East Ohio, and even the nation. I have been shown on show such as Midnight Madness and Talk Soup. I am in negotions with major TV networks as well as talk radio superstars! Be sure you have the ability to Laugh out loud when you move into my site, I don't want to be responsible for you getting fired when your boss sees you having too much fun.

We say "we believe" because the site spells his first name "Mark" in most of its writings, despite the correct spelling even being in the URL for it...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Midweek Teasers

Well, mostly teasers, as it's a motley collection of semi-developed items and rumblings...with SOME very solid news...

FAREWELL SOON: OMW was the very first place where the impending retirement of WJW/8 "FOX 8"'s Big Chuck and Lil John was reported in October 2006, much to the chagrin of, well, management on South Marginal Road.

Just one day later, Plain Dealer entertainment/media writer Julie Washington talked to "Big Chuck" Schodowski, who told her that he was considering retirement...oh, right about now, in the summer of 2007.

This clashed with our account that Schodowski and co-host "Lil John" Rinaldi were basically being nudged to the exit door after many years by FOX corporate - not the local management, as we painstakingly said at the time, but the New York-based overseers of our local FOX affiliate here in Cleveland.

Water under the bridge, as far as we're concerned.

Whoever prompted what, Schodowski was gracious about it, and we were reminded that despite appearing ageless, the long-time weekend movie/sketch show host was 72 years old.

So, here we are in May 2007, and OMW hears rumblings that "Big Chuck and Lil John" are about ready to tape their final show. "Is that all there is?"

To that end, OMW readers tell us that Schodowski has been talking on the air about his impending retirement, including a series of spotlights on various regular skit cast members, and talk of a "Best Of" show in prime-time.

It appears the last original show featuring the local TV icons will air sometime late next month...

SMOKE ABOVE SOUTH MARGINAL: According to the latest update of Rick Gevers' "ND List", "FOX 8" has indeed named its new news director:

WJW-TV, Cleveland, OH...late this afternoon SONYA THOMPSON was named ND for this FOX o-and-o. Sonya's been the Assistant ND here for more than ten years. She'll replace as ND the man who promoted her, GREG EASTERLY, who himself was promoted to General Manager last week. Long time EP ANDY FISHMAN has been named Assistant ND to replace Sonya.

We reported here earlier that WJW was looking at two strong in-house candidates...

OVER AT LAKESIDE: We haven't yet learned who'll take the same job (ND) at Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3, though we think that job is also down to two candidates as well - if not one.

But someone's apparently stalking former WKYC/3 news director Mike McCormick. Out of nowhere, we received an unsigned note claiming he'd interviewed for yet another ND opening in the Gulf Coast'll recall that the gossip site NewsBlues earlier reported his interest in running the newsroom at New Orleans' WWL/4.

Both stations would be within relative easy travel distance of McCormick's original home base of Jacksonville FL.

We won't say more than that, as we can't vouch for the veracity of the anonymous note...

NOT "GOOD" FOR ASHLAND/MANSFIELD: That's not "Good" as in "Not GoodRadio.TV", as the official list of Clear Channel small market Ohio spinoffs to that company is out.

And according to AllAccess, as expected, the company's Ashland/Mansfield cluster is not on the list of stations being picked up by former PAX TV/Ion Networks executive Dean Goodman's new radio company.

The other clusters listed here are on the list, including Lima, Findlay, Tiffin, Sandusky, Chillicothe and Marion, as well as Clear Channel's cluster in nearby Wheeling WV - yes, including the 50,000 blowtorch WWVA/1170.

That is particularly interesting, when you remember that Clear Channel filed in 2004 to MOVE that station out of Wheeling to a new COL of the Akron suburb of Stow. The move, of course, was vacated later that year by Clear Channel, for reasons having nothing to do with zoning radio stations in Stow. (Sorry, Denise! Couldn't resist!)

Oh, and AllAccess notes that WSRW-FM/106.7 Hillsboro and WMRN-FM/106.9 Marion's "original facilities" aren't included in the sales, both stations having filed for COL moves under Clear Channel. Both stations' sister AM outlets will stay with GoodRadio.TV, it appears.

WMRN-FM, we presume, stays with Clear Channel whenever it manages to move into Columbus, and we believe WSRW-FM moves to Chillicothe. There's a frequency change or two in there as well.

CC's Ashtabula stations, as reported earlier, are going to veteran Cleveland radio executive Tom Embrescia's "Sweet Home Ashtabula". Yes, Matt is his son, and no, Tom doesn't own the Jamestown NY MediaOne stations, which are owned by his brother.

What about CC's Ashland/Mansfield stations?

Well, one of the biggest problems is that the "Mid-Ohio" cluster is incredibly spread out geographically, with signals bordered on the north by the Sandusky stations, on the northeast by Canton and Akron, and to the south by Columbus.

We've heard the name of Saga thrown out there as a possible suitor, but we can't see them absorbing all those facilities...and would expect that some of the outer stations (i.e. like "Fox Classic Rock" simulcasters WXXF/107.7 Loudonville and WXXR/98.3 Fredericktown) might get split off from the heart of the cluster.

Just a guess on our part...

Monday, May 14, 2007

We're Still Here

OMW publishes as frequently as possible, given news events in the local media world, and the schedule of your Primary Editorial Voice(tm).

So, this is not an official "hiatus" announcement - if it had been, the attention signal you just heard in your head would have been followed by more hallucinations. But we may not be able to get around to updating this report until sometime Tuesday evening.

We'll try to post "breaking" media news as soon as possible, and we could be back sooner than then.

Thank you, and enjoy!

-- The Management

Friday, May 11, 2007

Closing The Week

We've got a bunch of items just waiting to see air. Or, umm, pixels...

NEWS DIRECTOR SHUFFLE: Cleveland has been one of the larger TV markets to have two news director openings at the same time.

OMW hears noise that one of the two positions is all but filled, and the other has some strong candidates.

We'll get to that one first.

We're told by sources walking by South Marginal Road that two in-house candidates are among the top contenders for the job to replace Greg Easterly at FOX O&O WJW/8 - a couple of station news producers. Easterly, of course, moved up to the station's general manager post recently.

Over at Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3, just about anyone who has even been near 13th and Lakeside tells us that acting news director Rita Andolsen is well-liked, well-respected by staffers and a good candidate.

But another name has surfaced connected to the opening at Channel 3 News - someone who's already in the building and has ND experience.

Hmm. Why do we feel the need to rent the DVD of the 90's TV sitcom "Night Court"?...

WHILE WE'RE WATCHING (SO TO SPEAK) CLEVELAND TV: At another station, in another job competition, OMW hears that a popular former Cleveland Browns player will do some anchor fill-in this weekend on Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 "NewsChannel 5's" sportscasts.

Yes, it's Reggie Rucker, who was most recently seen working on Channel 5 as a part of the station's Cleveland Browns draft coverage.

We don't get any indication that it's more than a fill-in for Rucker, as the station sorts through what to do with All Sports On-Air Positions Aside From Sue Ann Robak's Job. Former WKYC/3 sports anchor Andy Baskin continues his regular fill-in on WEWS.

Speaking of former Cleveland Browns players doing TV - we wonder if Raycom Media CBS affiliate WOIO/19 will tap WNIR/100.1 afternoon drive talk host Bob Golic again to do fill-in... with the departure of David Pingalore to Orlando.

We believe we heard, or perhaps read somewhere, that "19 Action News" will put reporter Tony Zarella at the sports anchor desk as a fill-in. We would credit the proper source on that, but we can't remember where we saw it...

THE VOICE OF STEELE - ER, TYLER: Maverick Media Lima programmer and OMW reader Dan Baisden passes along that he's tabbed Shannon Steele as the new female station imaging voice for his cluster's top 40 WWSR/92.1 "Star 92.1".

Steele is not only the midday star at Entercom Buffalo's WKSE/98.5 "Kiss FM" (one of the few not owned by Clear Channel), but, well, she's also Sue Tyler of Northeast Ohio radio fame.

Most recently on D.A. Peterson top 40 WZKL/92.5 "Q92" in the Canton market, Sue's resume includes stations from WMMS/100.7 and then-WZJM/92.3 in the Cleveland market, to WKDD/then-96.5 and WRQK/106.9 in the Akron and Canton markets.

We've had people wondering how to contact her, but she doesn't appear to have put up a website for her imaging work. originalsteele - at - hotmail - dot - com should get you to her directly, if you're not a spambot and can reconstruct that address...

HOMERUN?: We haven't independently confirmed this, but our source is usually pretty reliable about this topic.

"Moohead Radio"
, the sports-oriented website run by the head bovine otherwise known as Marc Steenbarger in real life, says that the satellite service DirecTV may finally relent on its now second-year prohibition limiting the distribution of SportsTime Ohio.

Last year, and again this year, the Cleveland Indians' TV network is only available to DirecTV customers in certain areas - most notably Northeast Ohio. The areas are known internally as Zone 1 and Zone 2.

Moohead, er, Marc, tells us that DirecTV has agreed to open up STO and the Tribe to the other two zones in the rights area for the Indians - Zone 3 and Zone 4.

But...not until next year.

Moohead notes that those wishing to get the Tribe on satellite TV this year - and are in those areas outside of Northeast Ohio, etc. - will still have to use Dish Network, which has carried STO in all of the Cleveland market zones since the network launched...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday In-Box Clear Out

Just some random stuff we've been sitting on for a while...

FLYING ND: We catch up with a lot of news about Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC/3 without even having to contact anyone - by way of station senior director Frank Macek's "Director's Cut" blog.

This time, Frank checks in with former WKYC news director Dick Moore, who left the station for a teaching job in the journalism school at the University of South Carolina.

Moore is on a break from that teaching gig to fly around the country in a fuel-injected single engine plane, fulfilling a dream of many years. (Though we're not sure how we feel about really small planes, the overall idea sounds very, very interesting to us.)

In case you want to catch up with the former top guy at "Channel 3 News", Mr. Moore is - well, blogging his trip.

The blog carries a rather extensive account of the trip, which, yes, will include a stop in Cleveland...

WHILE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT FORMER WKYC NEWS BOSSES: OMW hears that the most recent news director at Channel 3, Mike McCormick, is interviewing for the vacant news director position at WWL/4 New Orleans, the Louisiana market's CBS affiliate.

OK, so we "hear" it from a regular OMW source who passed along word posted on the popular news/gossip site "NewsBlues", so it's probably not news to anyone who actually works in a local TV newsroom.

But we harken back to this quote from one of our earlier items on McCormick's departure, which had us bouncing off a quote the ex-WKYC ND gave the Plain Dealer's Julie Washington:

McCormick tells Washington he was "tiring" of commuting between Cleveland and Jacksonville FL to "see his family", and denies that he was being thrown under the bus due to lower ratings at the local NBC affiliate.

So, if McCormick gets the New Orleans job, he'd still be commuting to see his Jacksonville family - though that commute would be 546 miles, or about 8 hours (thanks to Google Maps for that figure).

At least it's somewhat closer than Cleveland to Jacksonville...

THE BIG JUAN: OMW doesn't have much to say about Clear Channel talk WLW/700 Cincinnati's latest successful attempt to get itself free publicity in the local media.

But in case you missed it, WLW has been garnering controversy (and free newspaper/TV mentions) for its latest billboard campaign, which started out with a visual of the Mexican flag, and ended with the picture of a man with the caption "The Big Juan", a play on the station's long time "Big One" slogan.

A notice posted on the WLW website isn't enough for local leaders of Cincinnati's Hispanic community, who are calling for a written apology for the billboard campaign.

(By the way, the station says all of the "Big Juan" billboards are now history. And there's no word on if an apology to Lawrence Welk is in there anywhere.)

More on the controversy can be found on the blog of Cincinnati Enquirer TV/radio guru John Kiesewetter.

Again, not a lot to say here. Clear Channel talkers in general, and WLW in particular, have honed this into a fine art. Get some group against something your station aired, get them to protest, and you can't beat the publicity that you can't buy for any price.

As we hinted above, it reminds us of fictional Cincinnati radio station WKRP corralling elderly protesters underneath the station's logo, so the TV cameras could catch them protesting the end of the station's "beautiful music" format.

And somewhere at Kenwood, WLW and CC Cincinnati AM operations chief Darryl Parks is laughing...

AND WHILE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT MR. PARKS: The man in charge of running WLW's programming and operations is, as many know, also the station's Saturday midday talk show host.

"Midday with Darryl Parks" has run for some time from 9 AM to noon on Saturdays, the Saturday companion to long-time weekday "Midday" host Mike McConnell's now-syndicated show.

Well, it DID run from 9 AM to noon.

The Enquirer's Kiesewetter reported in his blog recently that Parks' show has been trimmed an hour - presumably at his own bidding - so WLW can run the syndicated financial infomercial "The Mutual Fund Hour With Adam Bold" from 11 AM to noon.

Yep, that's the same piece of radio goodness (cough, gag) aired by other Clear Channel talkers on Saturdays, including WTAM/1100 up in this part of the state.

We have no opinion on whether Mr. Bold's show provides any useful information - even beyond any sales pitches for his company. But its mere presence in the daytime lineup, even weekends, on major talk radio stations like WLW and WTAM, causes us much indigestion and concern.

We suspect Parks didn't have much choice but to go along with making the one-hour reduction in his own show. The kind of money likely offered probably made his general manager salivate.

And we suspect we don't have to remind a talented programmer like Mr. Parks that talk radio P1 listeners go away when a boring (yes, boring) paid commercial for a mutual fund company takes over the airwaves.

Here at OMW World Headquarters, we've often missed hours of WTAM's programming by the mere act of turning off the radio at noon on Saturdays, and forgetting to turn it back on later...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A New Ohio Sports Outlet

OK, so Columbus is a ways away from our Northeast Ohio home base, but you'd think we would have heard about this by now.

The folks in Central Ohio have a brand new regional sports network, to compete with the likes of FSN Ohio for Columbus-market sports viewers. Well, sort of a "network".

It's the Columbus Sports Network, alternatively abbreviated as either "CS" (per the logo) or "CSN" (like the Comcast folks call their sports networks). It launched in late March.

"CSN" aims to fill a hyper-local sports niche for Central Ohio sports fans.

Though there's plenty for the most rabid Ohio State football or basketball fans, with talk shows and sports news shows talking Buckeyes, the network will air contests from a wide variety of OSU sports that don't get wide coverage.

Want to watch the OSU women's volleyball team? Don't think Buckeye baseball gets enough TV coverage? This is your place.

Of course, the "big stuff" in Buckeye-land remains on ABC, ESPN, the upcoming Big Ten Network and the like.

The network also provides play-by-play coverage of the Arena Football League Columbus Destroyers, the MLS Columbus Crew, and the AAA Columbus Clippers baseball team. The market's only major professional team, the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets (see, we got it right!), are seen on the NHL's national outlets (NBC, Versus), and locally on FSN Ohio.

The Clippers deal (14 games through the end of the 2007 season) is fairly significant, as the Clippers don't even have an in-market radio broadcast outlet this season.

After losing Stop 26 Riverbend-to-Bernard Radio's WVKO/1580 when the station went off the air last year, the Clippers hooked up with North American Broadcasting standards WMNI/920 for some weekend games in 2006. (By the way, OMW hears tower work continues on Morse Road for the replacement for WVKO's abandoned site, with three towers now up.)

The Clippers/WMNI relationship did not renew in 2007. The Clippers can only be heard over the radio in Columbus if you're driving in front of Cooper Stadium, where the webcast from airs on a low-power Part 15 outlet on 101.9 FM.

Curiously enough, we've heard that a couple of out-of-market stations carry selected games - WCLT/1430 Newark and the Springfield half of the WONE/980 Dayton-based sports simulcast "980 Homer", WIZE/1340. This must be the only radio baseball network in the nation without a flagship station in its own market.

We suspect things will change dramatically when the Clippers open up a new stadium in 2009.

Anyway, back to Columbus Sports Network. Is it really a regional sports "network"?

Though it's carried on all the major Columbus cable providers, it is actually based out of low-power TV station WCSN-LP 32...which just nabbed a power upgrade that should give it a pretty good signal in much of the area.

The CSN folks do mention the over-air signal, but the station is fronted like any other RSN, and cable coverage is emphasized strongly.

In case you're wondering how Columbus got a new LPTV outlet on channel 32, it actually is a move for a long-time LPTVer in the small town of Bucyrus.

The former owners of W54AF sold the station to the Florida-based company which is a major CSN investor - United Media Acquisitions - for a reported cost of $800,000.

While that's small change for even an LPTVer in a market the size of Columbus, we're surprised no one noticed this back in 2004, when United bought the then-Bucyrus station. $800K is a large amount for an LPTV station in a rural city.

United Media Acquisitions owns one other station, KBTU-LP in Salt Lake City. But they're LMAing (and selling) that outlet to Bustos Media, which operates it as a locally-programmed Spanish-language station.

Anyway, we've never seen Columbus Sports Network, but we're told by those who have that it has a professional look you wouldn't expect from such an outlet...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Ashtabula CC Pickup A Local One

In our continuing coverage of the disposition of the Clear Channel small market clusters in Ohio, we've noted that the company's Ashtabula cluster was one that is apparently NOT going to GoodRadio.TV, the company started by former PAX-TV/ION Networks president Dean Goodman out of Florida.

It turns out that we were correct. And the identity of the buyer may be quite an interesting surprise for local media types.

AllAccess reports that Clear Channel's Ashtabula stations are being sold to a new company called "Sweet Home Ashtabula".

And though the company name means nothing to anyone, the big name behind it is certainly familiar to long-time Cleveland radio types: company chairman Tom Embrescia.

We wrote about Mr. Embrescia back in October of last year, when he was listed as one of a number of creditors in the Air America Radio bankruptcy filing.

The former owner of then-WWWE/1100 (today's Clear Channel talk WTAM) and WDOK/102.1 (now owned by CBS Radio) has been doing a lot of non-radio things, including holding the rights to a top-level domain and selling framed artwork online.

It would now appear that he's ready to jump back into the business of owning radio stations, at least in Ashtabula, at any rate. (We're told he may own stations in the Jamestown NY area, though we can't identify which stations those would be.)

The Ashtabula Clear Channel cluster includes talk WFUN/970, AC WREO/97.1 "Star 97.1", top 40 WZOO/102.5 "102 ZOO", rock WFXJ/107.5 "The Fox", and the newcomer in the stable, country WYBL/98.3 "The Bull".

Matt Embrescia is listed as president of the new company. We'll assume that's a son of Tom's or other relative.

OMW has no indications, at this time, that Mr. Embrescia plans to expand his new broadcast empire beyond the northeastern most radio market in Ohio. But we're sure folks will speculate about that...right here...

BREAKING NEWS: Carole Chandler Returns To WKYC Part-Time

A former WKYC/3 mainstay is returning to "Channel 3 News".

WKYC senior director Frank Macek reports on his "Director's Cut" blog this afternoon that former morning news co-anchor Carole Sullivan is back at the local NBC affiliate on a part-time basis, working as a reporter two days a week (Tuesday and Wednesday, starting May 15th).

"Channel 3 News" viewers first knew her as Carole Chandler, before the morning anchor married football coach Mike Sullivan and changed her on-air name. She left WKYC when her husband took a job coaching at Western Michigan University.

With his return to Cleveland as a member of the Cleveland Browns staff, Carole has been back in town, and the speculation on her return to local TV has been constant...

Monday, May 07, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: GoodRadio Coming To Ohio

UPDATE 8:36 PM 5/7/07: Thanks to a comment by an OMW reader, we tracked down this Lima News article from Saturday, which has the Clear Channel Lima and Findlay stations going to GoodRadio.

But...that's not all, according to this quote from the article:

The company has reportedly sold its six Lima station, along with stations in Findlay, Tiffin, Marion, Sandusky and Chillicothe, to the Iowa-based Good Radio.TV.

Add in the Ohio Valley stations based in Wheeling (see below), and that's a large chunk of Clear Channel's small market holdings in Ohio.

Missing from the list is the company's extensive Mid-Ohio cluster out of Mansfield/Ashland, and the CC Ashtabula cluster. OMW had heard that the Mansfield/Ashland based stations were not expected to go to GoodRadio, but that has just been a rumor...

And we haven't seen a complete list of the CC/GoodRadio spinoffs, though we're told to expect one in the next day or two.

Our original report is below...


OMW has its first evidence that former PAX TV/ION Networks executive Dean Goodman's GoodRadio.TV is picking up Clear Channel small market radio stations here in Ohio.

Wheeling's WTRF/7 is reporting that GoodRadio has confirmed that it is buying all six of the company's local stations in that region.

In addition, the article also notes a number of states where GoodRadio will be operating, and Ohio is on that list.

We'd have to revisit the list of Clear Channel stations, but we're pretty sure the six stations include outlets on both sides of the Ohio/West Virginia border. And we'd also guess that other Ohio markets will follow in the GoodRadio acquisition...

BREAKING NEWS: Paul Kiska Named Anchor Of "Good Morning Cleveland"

In our "They Took THIS Long To Replace Adam Shapiro?" department:

OMW hears that it's official this morning...Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5 has named reporter Paul Kiska as permanent anchor on the station's morning show, "Good Morning Cleveland".

And it's actually a homecoming for Kiska. We're reminded that Kiska joined WEWS some seven years ago from South Bend IN, as a reporter for the very same show...

Monday's Here

Yeah, we know...we're as excited as you are. But at least the weather may be nice...

PD #1 (RADIO): Nearly all of our items this Monday are follow-ups on articles in the Cleveland Plain Dealer over the weekend, as the area's largest newspaper seems to have rediscovered local media for some reason.

Well, OK, PD entertainment columnist Julie Washington always has the media on her beat here in Northeast Ohio, but Saturday's column was a bit more extensive than usual.

We'll start with an item we have not already carried here at your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm). Washington reports that Mark Uyrcki, a former WKSU/89.7 reporter, is returning to the Kent State University-based NPR outlet as program director.

Uyrcki is back at 89.7 to replace Vincent Duffy, who left the station to join the public radio outlets of the University of Michigan.

And a sub-item we have, and that's not in the Julie Washington piece - it's WKYC/3 Akron Bureau chief and "Akron/Canton News" anchor Eric Mansfield replacing Duffy on the TV side, as moderator of WNEO/45-WEAO/49's weekly news panel discussion "NewsNight Akron".

Back to the PD, where Ms. Washington's article tells us that former WDOK/102.1 afternoon driver Chris Fox departed the CBS Radio AC station in Cleveland because he "wanted to be a morning host," something that's just not happening - at least at WDOK - with Trapper Jack cemented into the shift.

That's according to a quote from WDOK program director and OMW reader Scott Miller.

PD #2 (TV): Ms. Washington also brings a small tidbit we knew about, but hadn't posted yet.

With what she accurately calls the "abrupt" departure of WKYC/3 news director Mike McCormick, assistant news director Rita Andolsen steps in as interim news director.

We don't know if she has the job yet, but OMW hears from a few people at 13th and Lakeside that Ms. Andolsen is a popular choice, morale-wise, in the local NBC affiliate's newsroom.

The bulk of Julie Washington's Saturday media article is something that's been covered here extensively, the chess-piece-moving done on-air by a number of local stations.

Particularly, the morning show changes done by both WKYC and WEWS.

Addressing a question oft-asked here, including by readers, WKYC general manager Brooke Spectorsky says now-former morning anchor Kim Wheeler's placement on the show "didn't work out", and as reported here, she's back to education reporting and weekend anchoring.

Spectorsky tells Washington that they haven't made a decision on who takes over weekday mornings for Wheeler.

Ditto across town at "NewsChannel 5", where it appears it's - for now - Paul Kiska, Lorna Barrett and weather anchor Susanne Horgan handling "Good Morning Cleveland", with assistance from ex-WKYC'er Joy Benedict in the field and Jack "Air" Marschall above it all.

Like Wheeler, a lot of viewers wonder (to us, for one) about Barrett and her placement on the station she has temporarily rejoined after filling in for anchor Tracy Carloss during her maternity leave.

Quoting the PD article:

But you may not see this lineup for long. Barrett does not have a permanent hold on that fifth slot, but she is a candidate for the job, Butte said.

Something that Butte and WEWS already know - when it comes to local TV news, "change is not good". OMW readers tell us, constantly, that the frequent experimentation with anchors on "Good Morning Cleveland" is not making them happy.

The viewers, of course, don't understand the Every Ratings Point battle between WEWS, WKYC and FOX O&O (and dominant local morning station) WJW/8...

And on the John Chandler situation - where Washington reports what we hinted at here from our own sources at 3001 Euclid... the now-former WEWS/5 sports anchor "thought he detected signals" that he wouldn't get the weekday sports anchor job vacated by Chris Miller, who went to Washington DC's Comcast SportsNet.

"There were no signals," claims WEWS's Butte, who told Washington what we'd already reported as well - the station would not make its decision on the main sports job until after the May sweeps, currently in progress...

AND TWO PD QUICKIES: Different articles this time...

The PD's John Petkovic does an excellent, extensive profile of iconic Cleveland Cavaliers radio voice Joe Tait in Sunday's editions.

And updating another story we brought you before almost anyone, anywhere, the PD's Tom Feran reports on the movement of the effective date of the new, incredibly expensive Internet radio copyright rates from May 15th to June 15th.

The interesting note here: WKSU/89.7's Bob Burford tells Feran that the station's "Folk Alley" folk music stream would cost upwards of (and we mean upwards of) $66,000 a year under the new rate.

Even for a pubradio outlet doing as well as WKSU, that's a large chunk of change to stream folk music on the Internet...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Friday Leftovers

And, closing out our weekday additions to the MBoF(tm):

WHERE WERE THEY THEN?: We hadn't checked in with the excellent "Director's Cut" blog, crafted with care by WKYC/3 senior director Frank Macek on local NBC affiliate's website, so we visited again today.

And Frank's top item is one touting a package airing at 11 PM tonight on "Channel 3 News", where reporter Chris Tye revisits the early broadcasting careers of some of the station's current staff members, with decent doses of humor.

Eric Mansfield, Akron/Canton Bureau Chief who doubles as anchor of the WKYC-produced "Akron/Canton News" on Time Warner Cable 23/15, actually talked about the story a few days ago in one of his blog entries:

"I checked through my old VHS tapes and found a 1993 WAKC (the old channel 23) liveshot on Christmas eve from the now-defunct Super K-Mart in Montrose. Mark Nolan and I were live with your basic 'last-minute X-mas shopping' story. It's hilarious to say the least. We're both in our early 20's and skinny. Our microphones are those long sticks that everyone makes fun of now. At one point, Mark picks up a stuffed animal and turns the sketch into high comedy. As Mark would later say, 'this is what happens when you let kids play with television.'"

Set your DVRs, as Mr. Macek says...

CLASSIC TUBE: Also, the WKYC senior director/blogger points out a new local media blog we've been meaning to mention.

No, it's not a clone of the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm).

"Cleveland Classic Media" is an excellent resource for information about the history of local television and media, written by OMW reader Tim Lones of Canton.

Tim's into a series right now about the beginnings of TV in the Youngstown market, with a copy of a newspaper ad in the Youngstown Vindicator...which appeared at the debut of CBS affiliate WKBN/27.

If you'd like to go back into the local media "wayback" machine, stop on by Tim's new blog...

AND ABOUT THAT AD: We've had several requests for the "Help Wanted" ad looking for a new operations manager for a group-owned radio station that we felt was obvious by the content of the ad.

The ad itself appeared in the AllAccess "Job Market" section, and was looking for a news/talk operations manager for a station that sounded a lot like a station the company in question owns here in Northeast Ohio...which has recently adopted the format.

(We're not going to reprint it here, but a commenter has added it to the original item.)

We haven't spent a lot of time dissecting it.

For one, it does appear that the station here would be the company's only such station fitting the description given in the ad - based on our knowledge. We could be wrong, so we aren't going out on a limb.

We also don't know what the advertised position would do to the current structure at this station.

We just thought it was interesting...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: WDOK Hires Dan Deely For PM Drive

It's been speculated about here, but OMW hears it has been officially announced: Dan Deely will take the afternoon drive shift at CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1 Cleveland.

Deely, the former afternoon driver at crosstown Salem CCM WFHM/95.5 "The Fish", takes the opening left when Chris Fox departed the station a while back.

WDOK program director (and OMW reader) Scott Miller talks about it in the official press release on Deely's hiring:

".. Before I comment on Dan, let me take the time to acknowledge the long list of talented people that I had the pleasure to interview and spend time getting to know. I wish I had jobs for all of them. There are many Cleveland radio veterans that are not working and that's a shame. That fact made the decision a difficult one.

At this time and the evolution of WDOK, Dan Deely brings a marquee presence to the station. Dan's market history along with his on air capabilities and his investment in the community are just the tip of the many qualities he brings to WDOK. Listeners love him, clients love him and the CBS Radio-Cleveland family welcomes him with open arms."

Deely starts in the afternoon drive slot next Monday, May 7th...

Thursday Check-In

We're still more in a "Days Of The Week" mood...

DAVE AND JIMMY EXPANSION: On the heels of being added for mornings at Clear Channel top 40 WAKZ/95.9 "Kiss FM" in the Youngstown market, top 40 WNCI/97.9 Columbus' morning drive team, "Dave and Jimmy", continue their syndication expansion in Ohio.

This time, it's Clear Channel Dayton top 40 WDKF/94.5 "Channel 94-5" picking up the show, with Dave Kaelin and Jimmy Jam apparently replacing a show called the "Morning Mess".

(And no, we have no idea if that show had any connection with WHKF/Harrisburg PA's "Morning Mess" - the latter show having moved to KDND in Sacramento - which is now programmed by former WAKS/96.5 "Kiss FM" programmer Dan Mason.)

The AllAccess item on the move quotes WNCI PD Michael McCoy, saying "there's more to come!".

We had been hearing rumors that the Columbus-based show would land "one or two" new affiliates in the coming days. We wonder: Who's number two, if there is a second new "Dave and Jimmy" station? We'll be watching...

RATINGS: Regular readers know that we generally don't go into details when the ratings numbers come out.

There are many reasons for that, not the least of which is that we do not have full access to the ratings, and are not experts at reading all the nuances of the numbers.

The other reason is that only 12-plus audience ratings are released to the public - the so-called "Beauty Pageant". This site has no license to run even those ratings.

But...what do they mean?

Hardly anything, in these days of sliced and diced demographically-perfect numbers.

With that in mind, we simply note that the Winter '05 Cleveland ratings are out, and from what we've read elsewhere, we believe we can rank the top 10 stations in that report - again, 12-plus only.

1. WTAM/1100
2. WMJI/105.7
3. WZAK/93.1
4. WDOK/102.1
5. WGAR/99.5
6. WNWV/107.3
7. WENZ/107.9
8. WAKS/96.5
9. WNCX/98.5
10. (tie) WQAL/104.1, WMVX/106.5

The fully-released 12-plus numbers are available from the usual trade websites.

You're more than welcome to comment, but please, do not post actual numbers as a comment to this item. They'll be quickly deleted - unless you're willing to pay for a lawyer when we get an order to take down the numbers from the ratings companies. (And if we hear from them about the general rankings posted above, we'll have to pull this part of the post.)

You can, though, make general comments about a station's rise, decline, steadiness, changes impacting the numbers, etc...with the reminder that the rankings above are 12-plus.

General comments, specifics either within the 12-plus numbers or other ratings unpublished...

AND A NOTE: In the OMW "We're Just Sayin'" Department...

Not many details yet, but what if your parent company put out an advertisement looking for an operations manager, in one particular format, with a description of the station in need of a new programming boss exactly matching one station?

In fact, what if that description ONLY matched one station, among the company's holdings?


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

RUMOR MILL: "GoodRadio" Coming To Ohio?

UPDATE 8:40 AM 5/3/07: Inside Radio reports this morning that it appears GoodRadio gets "just shy" of 180 of the Clear Channel small market spinoffs, in what looks to be half of the 72 markets mentioned below.

There's no word on what markets are involved, or if any of them are in Ohio - though those numbers would make it appear favorable that the company would pick up at least some Ohio stations.

More as we find out more...


We've read some reports, heard some rumblings, and are ready to put some speculation on the line: It looks like the company "GoodRadio" may be the winner in the sweepstakes to buy at least some of the Clear Channel small market stations the company has put on the block in Ohio.

We're just doing the math here, starting with a rumor passed along Wednesday by the radio trade press, with word that Clear Channel has announced the sale of 362 of the 448 small market stations it put up for bid with the move to go private.

The company hasn't disclosed the buyers of those stations in 72 small markets, with 17 markets left to go.

Inside Radio reports that it "believes Dean Goodman’s new GoodRadio will claim many of them."

AllAccess also chimed in that "rumors are circulating that DEAN GOODMAN, who recently has been active in buying small-market Midwestern stations, is among the buyers."

Dean Goodman is former president of the Ion TV network (formerly PAX TV), which owns Cleveland market affiliate WVPX/23 Akron. He left the company last October, after a long stint which started with Lowell "Bud" Paxson's group of radio stations in Florida.

And GoodRadio is his current company.

Or perhaps, it's named "" for his web domain, which currently redirects to a simple contact page at "". (Gotta love his creative naming style, no?)

And we did a search, which led us to a job posting on the Iowa Broadcasters Association job webpage:

General Managers - GoodRadio.TV is in a nationwide acquisition mode and is looking for General Managers and Regional Managers to join our growing company. If you have a strong sales orientation and believe in growing your people by motivating and working directly with team members and clients, we woudl like to talk to you. GoodRadio.TV is acquiring small market stations where our radio stations are integrated with communities we serve. Direct Sales experience a must. Send your resume to: GoodRadio.TV is a Equal Opportunity Employer.

OK, now YOU do the math.

It adds up for us, that GoodRadio says it is looking to expand nationwide, and Ohio not only has a few small market CC clusters up for sale, but it isn't that terribly far from Iowa. Well, as opposed to, say, Oregon.

It gets better.

OMW hears that GoodRadio apparently lists former NextMedia executive Carl Hirsch - a name very familiar to Cleveland radio - as a "minority investor".

And though it really means nothing, while searching under Dean Goodman's name, we found this press release on the initial launch of then-WVPX's "Akron-Canton News", which was originally aired by the local PAX TV affiliate, and still airs today on Time Warner Cable - as always, produced by Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC/3.

Nothing special there, just a quote from Goodman about how happy PAX TV was to be a part of the Akron-based newscast's launch back in 2001.

We are hearing rumors that GoodRadio may buy more than one of the Ohio CC small market clusters, perhaps somewhat more than one.

But we'd be kind of surprised if Goodman's operation didn't end up with at least a couple of them...if only because he's branching out from the Midwest, and there are a lot of small market CC clusters up for sale in Ohio.

Again, this is only rumor and speculation based upon that, which we try to clearly identify. We're just patting ourselves on the virtual back(s) a little, since it seems to line up in our eyes...

Catching Up, Midweek Edition

We're sorry for those of you who are used to daily updates out of us...but we're back for a new round on this Wednesday. We think we give you the best publishing frequency you're likely to get out of a site that doesn't charge for subscriptions, after all...

DEELY AND WDOK: No less an authority than WDOK/102.1 program director Scott Miller has checked in with your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) about a rare bit of uncertainty at the CBS Radio Cleveland AC outlet.

A number of OMW readers caught now-former WFHM/95.5 "The Fish" afternoon driver Dan Deely, who left the Salem Cleveland CCM station, on WDOK on Saturday afternoon.

PD Miller checked in with OMW to let us know:

"Dan Deely was gracious enough to step in and help me with a scheduling problem on Saturday.

WDOK actually believes that having a live jock on the air. Even on the weekends."

Ah, but as we noted in our item at the start of this week, WDOK has something very rare right now - a gaping hole in its full-time schedule in afternoon drive, thanks to the recent departure of Chris Fox.

Is Dan Deely in line for the job? Scott Miller isn't saying:

"I've had number of very talented people in my office over the past 3 weeks. Dan is one of them."

Scott says we should know about a new afternoon drive host for WDOK, whoever it is, later this week.

Now, the above is basically everything the WDOK PD had to say about this to us. He gave no indication of his decision.

But we wouldn't be surprised to see market veteran Dan Deely in afternoon drive when it's all said and done. That's just a gut feeling part because it would seem to be a perfect fit.

Oh, and Scott reminds us about something we never got around to mentioning - the 20th anniversary at WDOK of midday host Nancy Alden. Now, that's longevity!

CHERRY LANDS: We recall spending some time determining the job status of Steve Cherry, then program director of Clear Channel AC WLZT/93.3 in the Columbus market.

As it turns out, Cherry was indeed let go in that large round of job cuts at the CC Columbus cluster.

But he's now landed.

AllAccess reports that Cherry has taken a job at NextMedia in suburban Chicago, as program director of hot AC WZSR/105.5 "Star 105.5" and operations manager of both WZSR and urban oldies WWYW/103.9 "Y103.9".

But there's more than just a "Columbus radio guy lands in new gig" story here.

Cherry and NextMedia group programming VP Harve Alan are both former Akron radio types. Alan, at Rubber City Radio's WAKR/1590, and Cherry, at the company's country WQMX/94.9 - we believe before WAKR/WONE made WQMX a sister station. (We're sure those with longer memories can fill that blank in.)

Quoting Cherry from the AllAccess item:

"It's great to work with HARVE again. The last time we saw each other was pouring over diaries at ARBITRON when we both worked in AKRON."

That's Northeast Ohio again, the crossroads of media...

AND A CLARIFICATION: When we posted the item below about WJW/8 "FOX 8" news director Greg Easterly's rise to the station's general manager post, we were under the impression that it wasn't widely known.

So, an OMW apology to Plain Dealer entertainment/media writer Julie Washington, who actually had the story on Friday afternoon on the Entertainment blog.

There are policies we try to hold to, without exception. One of them is "giving credit where credit is due".

Though we did not get the story either directly or indirectly from Ms. Washington, and our primary source was direct, we didn't know her article was up online. (It apparently didn't make it into the Dead Trees edition of the PD, and we hadn't looked at the Entertainment blog for a long while.)

In the past, we've also not been used to newspaper reporters covering the media beat getting things right, let alone getting a jump on us, after our kudos to Julie Washington, and our sincere apologies for A) missing the item and B) not noting that she had already put the item out...