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...


Anonymous said...

If he's bought the CC clusters in Findlay or Lima, I might just throw a resume his way.

Anonymous said...

You also have other Clear Channel stations for sell in Parkersburg, WV./Marrietta, OH. and tthe Wheeling metro where I believe at least one county in the metro is in Ohio.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be nice to see Good Radio pick up Clear Channel's two losers in Cleveland: MMS & MIX. It would put Carl Hirsch back in Cleveland. The best radio Cleveland ever had was when Carl Hirsch was running Malrite from the mid 70s to mid 80s (WMMS & WHK) and Legacy/OmniAmerica in the 90s with WMJI, WMMS, and WHK.) That is when WMJI went "full oldies" (CKLW-style jingles, personalities) and WMMS went "Next Generation" new rock. Both stations dominated their target demos. WHK may not have been a ratings winner against WKNR but they successfully turned it into the real "Voice of the Fan" and were able to tear into the local sports teams whereas WKNR had to remain politically correct. Carl Hirsch, please come back home. Cleveland radio could be great again.

Anonymous said...

Whatever money Carl Hirsch was able to scrape out of NextMedia's safe isnt coming to Cleveland..this is a chance for Carl to bring the Clear Channel business model to the small markets..something he tried to do with NextMedia..and failed..

Anonymous said...

Take it from a former employee, working for Carl Hirsch is not all peaches and cream.

And please consider his track record as an "owner". It's in-and-out quickly, with an eye toward turning a fast, short term profit on the sale, not on the revenues.

Anonymous said...

From what I understand is that although Carl was an investor he gave up the day to day running of Next Media to Steve Dinetz and had some major disagreements with him. The intent of Next Media was to buy up small and adjacent markets and spin them off to Clear Channel and other acquiring companies. The rift started when Carl wanted to sell off the chain when Clear Channel was interested but Dinetz wanted to hang on to them for a better price. Next Media was never a Carl Hirsch company like Legacy and OmniAmerica were.

I know a few people that worked for Carl at Omni America and loved working for him. His stations were the best sounding in both programming and audio processing in the market. They had unique and original promotion and marketing including the localized WMJI spots with listeners and the controversal WMMS alternative spot featuring a flash of nudity. He also had very low turnover. The same could also be said for WMMS when he was president of Malrite. A year after he left the company Malrite started having high turnover and lost Scott Shannon and Shadow at Z100 in New York and Gorman,Sanders and a few others at WMMS.

I don't blame Carl for selling Omni America. I am sure he had other investors that pressured him to sell when Nationwide and Chancellor offered him far more than what the stations were worth. It is a business after all.

Anonymous said...

>>And please consider his track record as an "owner". It's in-and-out quickly, with an eye toward turning a fast, short term profit on the sale, not on the revenues.<<

He had WMJI for almost 7 years. Is that in-and-out quickly?

WMMS and WHK were closed well before the 1996 bill was even dreamed up. I doubt he had that in mind when buying the Shamrock properties.

Anonymous said...

Carl Hirsch was out of Malrite and doing Legacy long before Scott Shannon even started at Z100 in New York. I was working for Malrite at the time Shannon took Z "from worst to first" and Hirsch was strictly distant history at that point.

His ownership at Legacy was hardly long-term.

And he was trying to sell out Omni well before the final deal (remember the proposed sale to Citicasters).

Look, Carl Hirsch is certainly a talented broadcaster, and yes, it's certainly all about making money.

But a little realism, please. Working for Carl Hirsch is not near so dreamy as anonymous 7:48AM seems to think.