As it turns out, Clear Channel talk WLW/700 personality Bill Cunningham was on a shorter leash than we realized - when he took over the former Matt Drudge Sunday night show syndicated by Clear Channel's Premiere.
But the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Kiesewetter reports that "Willie" says he's earned a full-year renewal for "Live On Sunday Night, It's Bill Cunningham". The show airs Sunday from 10 PM to 1 AM Eastern, though flagship WLW only carries the first two hours. (Think "America's Trucking Network", and its required 12 AM start.)
Cunningham tells Kiese that the show's initial presence in that time slot was actually only a three-month audition:
"The idea was: Let's see," Cunningham says. "We lost no affiliates. The PDs (program directors) are happy."
The programmers may be happy, but Willie's "we lost no affiliates" line isn't exactly correct.
After the Sunday night show debuted, we produced a list of affiliates - some of them major - who defected after Drudge's departure. The biggest was Los Angeles talk powerhouse KFI, where Drudge actually hosted his shows when in Southern California.
But enough affiliates apparently stayed aboard to make it worthwhile for Premiere, and Cunningham says he's been notified by an E-Mail that "Live on Sunday Night" got a pickup through the year 2008...