No, no announcement yet...just a couple of updates, though! Well, it was a "couple of updates", but it grows by the hour...
WKSU RESPONDS: OMW reported the end of Kent State University NPR outlet WKSU/89.7's "Your Way Home", hosted most recently by staffer Daniel Hockensmith.
With Hockensmith's departure to the Crain Business Media Empire - in specific, Akron-based "Plastics News" - he won't be replaced as host, and the show will no longer air.
But WKSU public relations chief and regular OMW reader Bob Burford checks in with a clarification on the show's end:
For the record, we made the decision to discontinue “Your Way Home” primarily because 1) our audience has indicated they prefer our local reports to be integrated into the national news magazines, and 2) we felt the program never really reached its potential. Staffing had nothing to do with the move, as we will replace Daniel Hockensmith and will maintain the same number of reporters as we’ve had the last couple of years.
Bob points us to a note about the changes on WKSU general manager Al Bartholet's blog. (Wow, imagine that, getting official information from a blog! Heh.)
Mr. Bartholet cites station research that showed "more than 70 percent" of listeners preferred "All Things Considered" in the 6 PM slot, and echoes Bob Burford's note above...promising more in-depth local news reports within "ATC" and its morning drive sister show, "Morning Edition"...
STAFFER EXITS IN CANTON: We don't know much about this yet, but OMW hears that NextMedia AC WHBC-FM/94.1 Canton "Mix 94.1" on-air personality Madison Woods is out of the building, having been let go by the station on Friday.
We don't know the circumstances behind her departure from Market South.
Madison was best known at "Mix" as the one-time co-host of the station's morning drive show, most of that time with former 94.1 program director Terry Simmons....
SOMEONE SEND EXTRA NO-DOZ TO THE GALLERIA: A year ago, shortly after Craig Karmazin's Good Karma Broadcasting took over Cleveland sports talker WKNR/850 from Salem, then-afternoon driver Kenny Roda was dispatched on a plane to Arizona, where the Ohio State Buckeyes football team was about to get beat in the "BCS National Championship Game" by a team from Florida.
We remember Roda basically firing up the fancy phone codec machine in his hotel room just hours after he got off a plane from Cleveland, and we noted that the effort was something Salem wouldn't have done in its time as WKNR's owner.
Fast forward to this year, where WKNR is planning large chunks of Ohio State-related programming for THIS year's championship game against LSU.
We're not sure if Roda is in New Orleans, the site of this year's game. But we do know that two WKNR staff members are there - midday host Tony Rizzo and usual "KNR Overtime" host and general utility/fill-in host Michael Reghi.
We know for sure that WKNR is going along for the ride with Rizzo, who was sent to Louisiana by his primary employer, WJW/8 "FOX 8". We haven't checked, but we assume the same is true for Reghi and FOX Sports Net Ohio. That's one advantage to hiring guys with TV jobs...they're already there at the site of a big event, and the TV station has already paid the largest chunk of the tab.
"ESPN 850" is planning a large amount of live, local sports talk focusing on the Buckeyes, starting Saturday, with live appearances by Reghi, Greg Brinda and even a 1:30-4 PM Saturday edition of "Rizzo on the Radio", with the aforementioned Rizzo also on site in New Orleans.
Sunday features a show hosted by Roda and Jordan Sherwood, and another hour and a half with Reghi, who presumably gets out of the way at 12:30 for WKNR's carriage of NFL playoff coverage.
But it's Monday itself where the "No Doz" would come in handy, both at WKNR's Galleria studios, and in New Orleans.
WKNR promotes its coverage as "24 Hours of Buckeyes", and it runs from 4 AM Monday morning until the same time on Tuesday.
After a replay of the most recent "Buckeye Roundtable" show from the Buckeyes Radio Network, Greg Brinda will do a live, local show from 6-9 AM on Monday.
The schedule continues with a three-hour "Rizzo on the Radio", with Rizz and Hammer taking that coveted third hour at 9. Kenny Roda and Michael Reghi follow at noon, then Mark "Munch" Bishop, and a combination of Munch, Roda and Jordan Sherwood leads into the Buckeyes network pre-game and game coverage.
It all tops off with Munch, Roda and Sherwood with a four hour "wrapup" post game show scheduled to end at 4 AM. That's...Tuesday morning at 4.
It's enough Buckeye Talk (and game coverage) to make even the most diehard Scarlet and Gray fan to look for, well, something else. Unless the Buckeyes win, and then fans they'll probably want to talk about the win for another 24 hours.
The live shows on Monday will displace ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike", and Premiere's Jim Rome - which WKNR will move for the day to lightbulb powered sister station WWGK/1540 "KNR 2".
And that'll basically remove those popular shows that day from radios in the Akron area, for example. ESPN Radio has no affiliate in Akron these days, and Rome's show airs on another lightbulb powered station, Media-Com sports WJMP/1520 Kent(/Akron/Cleveland/Mars) "FOX Sports 1520".
On a good day, you MIGHT be able to hear WJMP without static 5 miles away from Brady Lake.
For that matter, it'll also force "Mike & Mike" and Romey fans in Cleveland suburbs like Bay Village to endure massive static, if they're not into the local Buckeyes talk...
AND IT'S OFFICIAL: It's almost a footnote at this point, but Clear Channel has won approval to actually purchase the Canton rock radio outlet it's been operating for many months in a local marketing agreement.
OMW hears, and has confirmed via the FCC database online, that the FCC approved the license transfer of WRQK/106.9 "Rock 106.9" from Cumulus to Clear Channel on December 20th.
The only step left is for Clear Channel to financially close on the purchase, which was tied in a swap with Clear Channel stations in Michigan that have been swapped to Cumulus.
And since Clear Channel has been operating WRQK, there's basically nothing left to do besides send back paperwork to the FCC to nail down the purchase. But since we covered this story and had a long-time exclusive on it, we felt the need to wrap it up...