Friday, February 13, 2009

NextMedia Lays Down Axe In Canton

UPDATE 2/13/09 3:35 PM: OMW also hears that there are two part-time staff cuts on the FM side at Market Avenue South - "Mix 94.1" part-time air personalities Richard Nemec and Amanda Leary, bringing the total to eight - six full-time and two part-time - out the door at NextMedia Canton. The part-timers may still do holiday fill-in, but are losing regular work.

We also aren't sure if Sam Bourqin's new afternoon drive show will be sports-related, or general issues talk. Via the 1480 stream, we confirm that Sam is on the air this afternoon in the time slot formerly occupied by Jim Albright. It doesn't sound like a sports-only show so far.

A caller asked Bourquin where Albright was, and Bourquin was forthright - "Jim is no longer with the station", and talked openly about the state of the radio business and the economy..."lots of good people are losing their jobs, not just here, it's hitting the business everywhere"...saying today was "one of the tougher days in the business".

Our original item is below...


OMW hears that NextMedia has taken out the budget axe in Canton, and it's cut into the company's talk WHBC/1480 "NewsTalk 1480".

We're hearing that a total of six staffers at NextMedia's Canton cluster are now out of work, including afternoon drive talk host Jim Albright, his producer Don Guisinger, midday talk producer/"Tradio" host Tom Jarrett, production director John Knoblach, and production staffer Doug Ankerman were tabbed in the cutbacks.

And out the door along with the other five is another WHBC veteran, assistant news director Steve Luke, who we're told is "leaving on his own". (We haven't heard yet which lifeboat Mr. Luke found out of Market Avenue South.)

OMW hears that a new afternoon drive local show hosted by sports director Sam Bourquin will take the place of Albright's show...though as of this writing, we don't know if Sam will take the airwaves as soon as, well, about 15 minutes from now.

At the moment, we don't know if the job cuts also affected sister AC WHBC-FM "Mix 94.1"...aside from the staffers it shares with the AM side...


Anonymous said...

It's too bad to hear about Jim Albright. He is one of the good guys and it was nice to hear his voice on the radio again after his taking a leave from WNIR after years of late night "Dating Show".

Avondale Listener said...

It's too bad that they cut the wrong people. They didn't make their decision with any taste in mind. Steve Luke was a great news guy-- Doug Ankerman (while most have not heard of him) was a stabilizing factor on the production side. His wit and humor in commercials scripts was always fresh, clever, and on point for advertisers. He was THE production go to guy ... and always with a quick smile.

Let's ponder why Ponder didn't head up the list!?! Talk about a guy who lacks preparation daily as he sits in front of the mic-- un-reasoned, illogical, and a radio neophyte-- still!

It Said said...

Avondale Listener makes some good points..there is NO production staff left at WHBC..none..Ponder isnt going anywhere..he's African American..and WHBC is scared to death of getting nailed in the community by cutting him loose..he'll have gig for as long as he wants it..

Shu said...

I agree with the postings above. Albright was the one reason I listened to WHBC - he was a bit of a comfort food for me in the afternoons. Ponder is terrible and the streamed Dennis Miller not much better. Bad call on this one WHBC.

Sue said...

It is a sad time for media in general, but such a sad time for WHBC. You couldn't have found a more honest, honorable, decent group of working people than those who were let go. They all understood the magical place that was WHBC, and knew the listeners were truly the most important customers. They worked hard to maintain the integrity of the stations. I felt very blessed and privileged to have worked with them. Class acts, period.

LisaG said...

Sam Bourquin said it best Friday night when he said it was a "sad day" at WHBC when some good people got fired. Tom Jarrett, Steve Luke, Jim Albright, Don Guisinger, all fan favorites. The audience liked them. It didn't matter what the radio audience thinks anymore. I thought it was the listeners who
mattered. When WHBC was bought by Next Media, I knew something like this would happen. Their GM is nothing more than a hatchet man. They are just like the other stations. Ron Ponder and Dennis Miller need to go. Pam and Fred need to watch their backs, they may be next. I hope Next Media is proud of their actions. Way to go, Next Media. You truly don't know Canton or what our city is all about.


Rabbitt Doe said...

It took years to find Jim Albright after he left WNIR and now he is gone again? I can barely get the WHBC signal where I live and work but listened anyway to hear Jim.
Well at least he is in good company with Bill O'Reilly giving up his radio show. How sad.

Rabbitt Doe said...

Dear wayne-in-akron : You wouldn't happen to be THE Wayne that calls WNIR frequently and knows everything that goes on in Akron?
If so, I adore listening to what you have to say and your voice.