Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Follow-Up Or Three

Followups, clarification and other stuff...

THE SAVAGE FALLOUT: When we passed along word that Salem Cleveland talk outlet WHK/1420 was dumping Talk Radio Network host Michael Savage over recent remarks about autism, we didn't know what the station would do in the 9-11 PM time slot until August 4th, when it announced it would start a new lineup.

Friday, WHK aired Savage's show as normal, and the station did so again on Monday night.

WHK/Salem Cleveland general manager Mark Jaycox announced last week that ABC/Citadel syndicated host Mark Levin would take over for Savage, but that clearance doesn't start till next week.

By the way, we're just the messenger here.

We've been pelted with E-Mail from campaigns from both sides of the controversy - those pushing for Savage to be pushed off the air as a scourge of radio, and those defending the host as a champion of free speech - and we aren't passing along any of it.

We'll continue to pass along news of how the program does as far as affiliates go, particularly in Ohio, but not much else. Please hold your E-Mail campaigns for those who care.

Repeat after us: It's a radio show. It's just a radio show.

It is a radio show that has a couple of more Northern Ohio affiliates than we realized when we wrote the last item.

Cumulus talk WTOD/1560 Toledo carries "The Savage Nation", though it does not during the winter months due to WTOD's daytimer status.

And we didn't remember that Clear Channel talk WKBN/570 Youngstown still carried Savage until we heard the show ourselves on Friday evening. (And thanks to the OMW readers who also reminded us.)

AND SPEAKING OF WKBN: When we heard Savage on WKBN, we also heard frequent on-air announcements that mean ABC Radio mainstay Paul Harvey is losing another talk radio affiliate.

Starting Monday, WKBN moved Harvey off its own airwaves, but the Chicago-based commentator stays in the family on South Avenue...his various segments now air on WKBN's sister standards outlet, WNIO/1390.

In moving Mr. Harvey off of WKBN, Clear Channel Youngstown had a ready-made place to land his program...an option most other Clear Channel talk stations (WTAM, etc.) did not have.

Paul Harvey has mostly been absent from his own program in recent months. He's been ill, and mourning the loss of his beloved wife Angel a while back. Though we haven't heard it, we understand Harvey is returning to the airwaves part-time, starting with doing his 15 minute Saturday newscast.

In addition to the standards format, WNIO also carries newscasts from WKBN (and those produced for WKBN elsewhere in the Clear Channel system), and is the flagship for the New York-Penn League minor league baseball team the Mahoning Valley Scrappers...

A SAFE RATINGS STATEMENT: Regular readers of OMW know that we generally don't do radio ratings posts.

For one, most of the publicly available numbers are "12-plus", the counting of listeners 12 and over that is known as radio's "Beauty Contest". They're pretty to look at, nice to point to, but in the end, don't really mean much on the business side.

For another, it's very easy to slice and dice demographic numbers to make them fit a broadcaster's point. ("Look, we're number one in men 18 to 22 who eat cheese!")

But we feel comfortable enough to make one assessment, based on numbers we've seen and really can't put up here.

It does appear that new WMMS/100.7 morning host Shane "Rover" French had a significant debut on his new affiliate. We've heard that out of Oak Tree, but we have seen numbers - from elsewhere - to back it up, with "Rover's Morning Glory" bringing a significant listener boost to the WMMS morning drive slot.

A caveat or two: For one, it remains to be seen if the ratings in question hold up in the long-term, and how much of the listenership increase is "sampling" - due to the show's well-publicized move from WXRK/92.3 "K-Rock" to WMMS.

But if Mr. French and his crew hang onto a decent chunk of it over a few books, the once-busy revolving door of WMMS Morning Drive may be getting a long rest.

We wish we could go into detail, but OMW and all other online sources are not allowed to reprint in-demo numbers, let alone 12-plus numbers. (We know at least one message board claims that they can print rankings, and that's it, in the 12-plus demo. We don't have lawyers on retainer, so we won't do even that.)

But what would appear to be a coming stability in the WMMS morning drive slot, after years of a rotating cast of hosts along with one attempt at airing syndication (Bob & Tom), is definitely news...


firebird said...

It's a radio show. It's just a radio show!

It's a radio show. It's just a radio show!

Okay....I'm all better now! Let's get on with life!

Neil said...


> "Friday, WHK aired Savage's show as normal, and the station did so again on Monday night."

(end quote)

More than normal Monday night. 14K actually aired the third hour of Savage at 11 PM sted the usual snake-oil informercial.

Neil said...


" >Though we haven't heard it, we understand Harvey is returning to the airwaves part-time, starting with doing his 15 minute Saturday newscast."

(end quote)

You can catch up on any Paul Harvey broadcasts you miss (News & Comment only, not "Rest of the Story") at www.paulharvey.com.