Monday, August 27, 2007

A Lot For A Monday

It's a pretty full breakfast plate for us on a Monday morning. Hmm, we're getting hungry...

MORE ON THE WNIR MORNING DRIVE OPENING: Though we'd mentioned that the full-week auditions for the open chair on Akron market talk WNIR/100.1's morning drive show were slowing down, we heard another "auditioner" last week sitting alongside Stan Piatt, Jim Midock and Steve French.

Near the end of the program, which is pretty much nearly all of what we'd heard, Piatt made it clear - on the air - that the Akron Beacon Journal's Kim Hone-McMahan was not there to officially compete for the job long-time host Maggie Fuller left in June. (Fuller, of course, was busy on her own last week. More on that in a bit.)

The one-day visit to a hard-to-find small building on Route 59 in Portage County became the basis for "Must love caffeine and schoolboy humor", an article Hone-McMahan wrote in Sunday's paper.

And oh, are we going to have fun with this one.

Writes Kim:

Don't get me wrong, I like my job at the Beacon Journal and don't have any interest in leaving (unless it's for a six-figure salary).

And after spending an entire morning at WNIR...noting "a testosterone-filled studio with worn-out carpet and a girlie calendar"..."with a rather antiquated phone system"...Ms. Hone-McMahan now probably realizes that any such salary offer would only be "six figures" if two of those figures were on the other side of a decimal point.

Anyway, she wasn't bad for an untrained radio newbie, at least in the little we heard, and we'd have thought she was an auditioner until Mr. Piatt said otherwise.

And is a resolution coming soon, with the "female co-host" role filled permanently?

It would appear not. For one, considering the station's management, every day they don't regularly pay someone to take Ms. Fuller's position is a day they don't have to cut even a modest check.

This is, after all, the same radio station which operates its regular, weekly remotes from a long-time sponsor's location via an unequalized phone line. Remotes from a location close enough to the station's studios that you could almost walk there.

But that's a soapbox we've climbed upon so much, we have worn footprints into the top, and it's about to break...

AND MORE ON THE FORMER CO-HOST: Not much more, actually, but Maggie Fuller just completed a week in her own auditioning role - alongside talk WEOL/930 Elyria morning drive host Les Sekely on "Les in the Morning". (Well, at least it's not "More News and Les Sekely"!)

Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to hear any of her on WEOL, and we don't know, yet, how it went.

It'll be an adjustment for Maggie, at least a little. Referring back to the "schoolboy jokes" line of the Akron Beacon Journal article linked above, WNIR's morning show and WEOL's morning show are two different animals. (And no, that's not a joke about Stan Piatt, though he may act like one at times on the air. One would assume Mr. Sekely isn't telling slightly-cleaned up jokes heard at local comedy clubs, to boot.)

From what we've heard of Ms. Fuller at WNIR, we suspect she won't have a problem "toning it down" for the audience of the station which carries mostly a straight-ahead diet of news and talk for Lorain and Medina counties...

STREAMING IN: We found out a while back that Clear Channel talk WHLO/640 Akron is finally streaming its signal via the website, making it the last station in the Clear Channel World Domination/Southern Command compound on Freedom Avenue to webcast.

Of course, WHLO has virtually no daily local programming, so the lineup of hosts like "Quinn and Rose", Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage et al. won't sound any different than it does on a gazillion Clear Channnel (and other) talk stations that carry the same shows across the country, give or take whatever local imaging makes it through the commercial replacement system for the online feed.

But it gives an Internet voice to people like WHLO's Tom Duresky (news), and whoever will do the high school football games that end up on 640 this year.

In that vein, OMW hears that both WHLO and sister sports outlet WARF will indeed do high school football this season, as we hinted earlier - with "SportsRadio 1350" joining in the fun after the Akron Aeros complete their Eastern League baseball run.

We're also told that the games will be made available via the stations' websites in podcast form, for mothers and fathers who want to replay the call of Johnny's touchdown pass again and again...

LOCAL RADIO NEWS LEGEND RECOVERING: OMW hears that veteran retired Northeast Ohio radio newsman Ken Courtright is going through some serious health problems, though the latest news seems to be better for him.

Family members tell us that the surgery Courtright underwent Friday went "better than expected", and that he's now recovering in a New Philadelphia health care facility.

We're told he last appeared in public at the 2006 Woolybear Festival, along with his daughter, WOBL/1320 Oberlin news reporter Julie Courtright. And it's been a long, tough health road for him since, though hopefully, the latest turn of events will be better for him.

Ken started his radio career at the age of 14 at WJER in New Philadelphia, and went on to a long and storied career at stations like Cleveland's WWWE/1100 "3WE", along then-WJW/850, WERE/1300, as well as then-WDBN/94.9 Medina and then-WSLR/1350 Akron. (We trust regular readers already know the current calls, format and dispositions of all those stations.)

We're told after becoming news director at WBTC/1540 Uhrichsville in the final stage of his long run doing radio news, Mr. Courtright returned to the station now known as WTAM for part-time work.

And upon his retirement, his daughter took the news torch from her father.

Julie Courtright started her own career in under the watchful eye and tutelage of her father in Tuscarawas County, at WTUZ/99.9 Uhrichsville, before moving up to Lorain County.

We're told Ken would love to hear from people who remember him, and can be reached at the Schoenbrunn Health Care facility in New Philadelphia...

EMMY CALL: And here's our annual plug for the local Emmy Awards ceremony for Cleveland, and all the various markets included in the regional competition...isn't Indianapolis in there for some reason?


The 38th Annual Emmy Awards is Saturday, September 8 at the downtown Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 Carnegie Avenue, right across from Jacobs Field. Cocktails begin at 5pm, dinner at 6pm and the Emmy Awards at 7pm. Tickets and complete information is available on the chapter website: and are $75 for members. Also, the Hilton has rooms available at only $99 per night for the event.


Since we're pretty sure just about everyone who might attend the ceremony is reading this report, we're happy to help...


74WIXYgrad said...

Ken Courtright's son Alan had sent me a very kind email about a year ago in response to a comment I posted here. I feel with that much respect for those who remember his father, the Courtrights must have done a great job bringing up their children.

WERC alum said...

I worked, briefly, with Alan some time ago. He certainly knew how to make radio fun for the listener and the broadcaster.

Here's wishing the best for the entire Courtright family.