Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Thursday Smorgasbord

We''l stop in Columbus, first, before ending our trio of notes all about talk radio with a curious Cleveland item...

COLLINS OUT: Everyone's being kind of mum about it, but Clear Channel talk WTVN/610 Columbus program director Bruce Collins is out.

The veteran programmer (Oklahoma City, Nashville, Atlanta, all at Clear Channel talk stations) tells the folks at Radio & Records that he basically won't say anything about his departure, but will say "are you hiring?" to a prospective new employer.

The top programmer in the building at Clear Channel Columbus, occasional OMW reader John Crenshaw, is also not talking about the reasons for the departure. R&R has this:

He did say that he is seeking Collins’ replacement and interested candidates should send materials via any available method including carrier pigeon, which Crenshaw says would work well since he has a ledge outside of his office window.

It's probably best to forgo the carrier pigeon. They could very well mess up your T&R package, if only by natural means.

We'll save John the trouble, by only sending him candidates who can figure out how to reach him without our help...

LOOKING FOR DONATIONS: Collins also oversaw programming at WTVN sister talker WYTS/1230 "Your Talk Station", which became a general market conservative talker after dumping the liberal talk format it ran under the call letters WTPG.

Bernard Radio's WVKO/1580 picked up the format in Columbus some time later, under the LMA operation of Gary Richards' "Cowtown Communications, LLC", and has a similar schedule.

It also is actively soliciting listener contributions on a new web page:

Due to slow advertising sales, WVKO is currently having trouble paying its bills. Good, progressive Salespeople are hard to find in Central Ohio, especially for a startup mom-and-pop station like WVKO. The station now finds itself with unpaid bills, and may have to shut down if $50,000 is not raised within the next few weeks.

We're surprised, and we're not.

We felt that the station's sports programming would at least help keep the lights on at WVKO. Not only that, the minor league baseball Columbus Clippers, we hear, are actually paying the station to run their play-by-play schedule.

The sports programming preempts liberal talk favorites like Air America's Rachel Maddow, to much grumbling from diehard listeners, but it's apparently more money than the station is getting from selling regular advertising time.

Contrary to popular belief among many WVKO partisans, we're not hoping or wishing for the station's demise. We're even fans of some of the programming, as we've said quite often.

But it just underlines the struggle a low-budget station has in staying on the air in a large, expensive radio market, with little ability to afford outside promotion or build an audience, and up against large and mega-large broadcast companies as competitors.

Those big name competitors are able to absorb flagging stations and formats in the larger firmament of the company's bottom line....stations like, oh, let's say, WYTS...which isn't exactly burning up the ratings in Columbus.

And if we wanted WVKO to fail, would we link to their contributions page above, a page that allows PayPal donations? Of course not.

We've long expressed a fondness for the "little guy" in big media, and feel it makes for a more diverse and interesting broadcast dial.

We'll be watching to see how they do down on 4th Street in Columbus...

SIT WITH TRIV: It would appear WTVN's sister station in Cleveland, talk WTAM/1100, is officially advertising for the opening created by the departure of "Alison", who until recently occupied the Designated Female Contributor Chair on the station's afternoon drive show with Mike Trivisonno.

Well, we'll assume that's what they are asking for, in this job listing seen on AllAccess:

Newsradio WTAM 1100 in Cleveland, Ohio offers a full time opportunity on the Mike Trivisonno show in PM Drive.

Radio experience a plus but not required. No Phone calls. Attach resume and a MP3 demo no longer than two minutes to:

Resumes and CD demos also accepted via mail. Send to:

Attn: Ray Davis, Program Director
6200 Oak Tree Blvd, #400
Cleveland, OH 44131

Clear Channel Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

There's no mention of not only the actual job ("on the Mike Trivisonno show"), or for that matter, the prospective applicant's ability to endure in-studio eating.

It also could be possible that this is a perfunctory EEO ad. We haven't heard anything about potential new members of the Triv Show cast, though we haven't listened to the show at length for months...


WERC alum said...

Did the station (or anyone else) ever say what happened to Alison?

yekimi said...

Triv ate her.

RussKC said...

Thanks for covering the WVKO "contributions" story.

I just want to head-off any speculation from the readers of this blog: The problem is NOT the lack of advertisers ... the problem is finding good, Progressive-minded Salespeople willing to work for a startup like WVKO. The advertisers are out there: the station just needs Salespeople to approach them.

gargamel said...

Not just in-studio eating, it includes farting too.