UPDATED! See below...
We've been quiet here at the OMW ranch for a couple of days, but mostly because we haven't had much to write about. We've found enough...
THIS JUST IN: An alert OMW reader tips below that Good Karma sports WKNR/850 "ESPN 850" in Cleveland has signed up to be the home of the American Hockey League's Lake Erie Monsters.
Here's the blurb on ESPNCleveland.com:
The Lake Erie Monsters and WKNR announced on Wednesday that ESPN 850 WKNR will be the exclusive radio home for Monsters games! The announcement was made by Monsters President Kerry Bubolz and Good Karma Broadcasting President Craig Karmazin.
For more information, check out news and views. The puck drops October 6th.
The local top-level minor league hockey team starting this fall is owned by NBA Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.
The Cavaliers are in the midst of a multi-year deal with Clear Channel, and air on talk powerhouse WTAM/1100, with local sports radio legend Joe Tait calling the play-by-play...
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL - WHERE?: A little birdie reminded us that we're upon a Season of Obsession in Northeast Ohio...high school football season.
As we once told an out-of-town manager, broadcasting high school football on the radio in this part of the world is about as close as you can get to printing money. We then proceeded to prove our theory right - by getting the games, airing them, and selling more from those games than the rest of the station sold in spots.
Needless to say, most community-oriented outlets in the region will feature some sort of high school football game this weekend.
We haven't checked the entire list, but we suspect you'll find the usual suspects on it (and we mean in a good way)...stations in Akron (WAKR/1590, WHLO/640, WARF/1350), Canton (WHBC/1480, WCER/900), Elyria (WEOL/930) and Wooster (WQKT/104.5) will carry a lot of games. If we missed your station, please feel free to provide details in the comments on this post.
And then, there's WTAM/1100.
Huh? WTAM is doing high school football?
Well, not quite.
We heard "Weekend Sportsline" host Mark Schwab tout the station's coverage of high school games, starting this Friday night. But, as you might expect, the games won't be on the radio.
We can't find where they'll be, yet, but WTAM is webcasting high school football games this year somewhere on WTAM.com. "Schwabbie" himself will be one of the voices heard, if we remember right, along with station personalities like Browns beat reporters Andre Knott and midday host Bob Frantz, and maybe a producer or two.
We're wondering if the games will be heard on the main WTAM stream, considering that Cleveland Indians baseball will be heard most Friday nights on the air...and not on the Internet via WTAM's website, due to MLB regulations and all.
On the radio dial itself, WTAM competitor WKNR has weighed in, promoting its high school football coverage in this blurb on its website:
Friday nights will never be the same as ESPN 850 WKNR presents High School Hysteria! Each week Bob Karlovec and Bernard Bokenyi will have the call of a feature game of the week.
Aaron Goldhammer will anchor coverage with reports from all the top games of the week plus interviews of all the coaches each week.
The opening contest: Traditional Cleveland powerhouse St. Edward at Strongsville.
We'll touch on where "HSFB" will be seen on TV in a post later this week...but the local TV news operations are certainly gearing up for their all-out high school football coverage, usually seen as an extended broadcast after the Friday night editions of their newscasts...
SINCE WE MENTIONED WTAM: It would appear that WTAM's Dave Ramos has landed a beachhead as a weekend and fill-in talk show host.
Ramos is the producer on Bob Frantz's midday show, and recently filled in for the host one Friday morning. And we heard him with his own Saturday afternoon 2-hour program...complete with produced liners by the station's on-air voice. In one, the voice mockingly joked that "OK, you whined enough, here (the liner) is".
Since WTAM's website schedule is etched in electronic water, due to the shifting nature of programs because of sports events, we don't see him listed there. In fact, we can't even find Ramos on Mr. Frantz's page.
But many remember that he started on the air as one of the station's "Total Traffic" reporters, and took over for Ryan Gohmann producing Frantz's show when Mr. G moved to Florida (WFLA/970 Tampa). Like with Gohmann, Mr. Ramos' job involves a decent amount of on-air banter with Bob.
We're not sure how permanent this weekend show is, though.
WTAM has shuffled various hosts and concepts through the weekend afternoons and evenings, including a stint by sister rock WMMS/100.7 afternoon driver Maxwell. If we remember right, even Gohmann did a couple of weekend shows.
But we'll assume the Big Booming Station Voice recording liners is a good sign for Mr. Ramos...
A BIG DEMAND: We noted earlier the latest controversy at Clear Channel talk WLW/700 Cincinnati, where a national Hispanic group was upset at on-air promos the group considered stereotypical.
That followed the "Big Juan" billboard campaign, much in the same vein.
Now, the group is pulling out the Big Guns, as it were.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the League of United Latin American Citizens has laid down an ultimatum to Clear Channel Cincinnati market manager Chuck Fredrick - give a plan by the end of the week that will stop such promotions from happening again, or they'll unleash a Clear Channel boycott.
Quoting the article:
(Ohio Deputy Director Jason) Riveiro said if Fredrick does not meet their demands, the group will target Clear Channel’s top 10 Hispanic markets by urging listeners to tune out and businesses to pull their ads.
That idea was clearly driven by the national LULAC folks, with an eye to the Hispanic listener base...that's much larger in other markets than it is in Cincinnati.
The group and other organizations protested WLW's Kenwood studios earlier this week, with about 20 people out in front of the Clear Channel building during the afternoon drive time period.
We're not sure if this is the kind of fodder used on the comedy talk show hosted by Gary Burbank, but we'd not be at all surprised if WLW brought its microphones - both news and promotion - out front of the building.
Remember the protest by older listeners of the fictional "WKRP in Cincinnati"? "It's a NEWS story, Les...Jennifer, call all the newspapers...."
Just get the call letters right...WLW...
ANOTHER BRIEF CINCY STOP OR TWO: And that's courtesy of Enquirer radio/TV guru John Kiesewetter and his blog...
Kiese notes that WVXU/91.7's HD Radio signal is online. But though the move allows the two dozen HD Radio owners in southwest Ohio to pick up NPR news and talk digitally, it's being hailed for something that won't happen until next Monday at noon.
That's when the Cincinnati Public Radio folks will launch WVXU's HD2 channel, a rebroadcast of what has been only an Internet feed of a once-legendary local station, nationally-known alt-rocker WOXY.
The station became a cult favorite in Cincinnati from its perch outside of town, on the 97.7/Oxford signal which is now occupied by a part of the "MAX FM" adult hits simulcast.
After the sale to First Broadcasting, the "Future of Rock and Roll" (BAM!) turned out to be on the Internet, where WOXY.com has struggled to remain viable.
We'll assume that the presence of WOXY's feed on a non-commercial station's HD2 feed will mean the format will be available free of charge to HD Radio owners, and won't have commercials mixed in...
Kiese also reports the start of Cincinnati's first HDTV newscast, offered by ABC affiliate WCPO/9.
The HD newscasts started rolling last Sunday night at 6 PM, which has become the traditional time for stations to launch such an effort.
But a slight correction for Kiese:
Cleveland and Columbus stations started local news in HDTV earlier this year.
Well, most of them started within the past year. But Cleveland FOX O&O WJW/8 "FOX 8 News" has been doing HD newscasts since November, 2004...
WE DON'T HAVE TODD KELLY TO KICK AROUND ANYMORE: Readers who have been with us a while remember the story of Todd Kelly Smith, the Louisville KY radio personality who landed a job at Canton market top 40 outlet WZKL/92.5 "Q92" as promotions director.
Well, he landed it until it was revealed that he was in major, major legal hot water, accused of starting a bogus charity for a condition he apparently lied about having.
News of the "Todd Kelly Foundation" and its troubles apparently never reached Smyth Avenue before Mr. Kelly's hiring, because when the Stuff Hit The Fan in trade websites and right here on OMW, newspaper reporters were quickly alerted of his pending job - which would have been rather difficult to do from a Kentucky jail cell.
Mr. Kelly Smith never made it to Stark County, and his post was filled by someone not awaiting a criminal trial.
Well, we have an update, courtesy of the folks at Louisville market NBC affiliate WAVE/3:
Former Louisville radio personality Todd Kelly, pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to charges he faked Lou Gehrig's disease and cancer, then stole as much as $150,000 donated to a foundation in his name.
Kelly, whose real name is Todd Smith, admitted guilt Tuesday to mail and wire fraud as well as money laundering. He is expected to receive a 7-year federal prison term and must pay more than $74,000 in restitution.
Yes, it's kinda difficult to do a radio job when you're serving 7 years in a federal prison...