Friday, September 14, 2007

Death Of The Buzzard

We'd like to point out this fascinating article by the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Michael Heaton - on Cleveland.com today, presumably in the Dead Trees edition of the newspaper Saturday.

It's all about rumblings we had here earlier this week, with Clear Channel rock WMMS/100.7 Cleveland rapidly de-emphasizing its call letters on air - the station is now mostly known on-air solely by its 100.7 frequency.

And it would appear that WMMS, er, 100.7, is sending the well-known "Buzzard" mascot to fly away somewhere else. 100.7 programmer Bo Matthews tells Heaton that it's not about changes in format, or killing iconic call letters or mascots:

"Nobody's killing anything. Chief Wahoo is not on every piece of Indians promotional material they send out. Ronald McDonald is not in every McDonald's commercial you see. We're not losing the letters. All we're doing is shifting an image. We do a lot of research, and it tell us our listeners feel that music content is the star. We're just reflecting that."

Matthews, and Clear Channel regional programming VP Kevin Metheny, point to the WMMS calls, and the "Buzzard" slogan and cartoon mascot, as being more revered by listeners who are off listening to other stations - presumably older skewing listeners spending most of their time with CBS Radio classic rock WNCX/98.5.

Former WMMS programmer John Gorman also weighs in, suggesting that the earlier, unsuccessful attempt to get rid of the "Buzzard" mascot may have diluted the brand's importance to the station for good.

There's no indication, or questioning, in the article about the newly minted "100.7" changing format.

As we noted before, there's plenty of speculation about it, but we have absolutely no information that a full format change (aside from rock playlist changes) is in the works at the station now whispering the "WMMS" call letters.

And if you think OUR comments get a bit wild (or used to), check out the comments on the Cleveland.com story...

3 comments:

radiomayor said...

i think taht by virtue of the fact that mine is the only comment...that there is no interest in the death of...the demotion of.....the lack of use of...THE BUZZARD........

times change.....GET OVER IT...

Captain Kenny Clean said...

Still dig the Buzzard - always have.

But, as Michael Stanley says . . .
"All you get to keep are the memories,
So you gotta make the good ones last."

Enjoy the memories and keep making more. The Buzzard continues to mean so much to so many - we'll just have to make more as time goes on.

74WIXYgrad said...

Many aging baby boomers have good memories of the buzzard. Maybe somewhere down the road we will see a tribute site. I posted some of my memories of the buzzard from the seventies.

http://wixygrad.blogspot.com/2007/09/home-of-buzzard-w-m-m-s-cleveland.html