Monday, March 02, 2009

Monday's Stack

UPDATE 3/2/09 6:30 PM: We'd forgotten Paul Harvey's third regional affiliate here - NextMedia talk WHBC/1480 Canton. WHBC has a link to the Paul Harvey site, which now allows you to hear this week's daily tributes to Mr. Harvey, done by Gil Gross.

Here's the rest of our original item...


Here's our look from a Monday morning perspective...

PAUL HARVEY: Tributes continue to pour in throughout the world of broadcasting, and beyond, after the death of iconic radio newsman and commentator Paul Harvey on Saturday. ABC Radio Networks reports that Harvey died surrounded by family at a hospital near his winter home in Phoenix.

Mr. Harvey has lost some affiliates in recent years in Ohio, as he's battled with health issues and mourned the death of his beloved "Angel".

Most stations that have dropped him were mostly concerned that he wasn't on the air much anymore...and had no interest in carrying his substitutes. Clear Channel talk WTVN/610 in Columbus was the most recent station to make this decision.

Still, there are two more Paul Harvey News affiliates we haven't mentioned yet. Clear Channel's Youngstown cluster was still carrying the Harvey Cast on standards WNIO/1390, and Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting talk WEOL/930 kept Paul Harvey's broadcasts through the end.

WEOL has not only tributes to Harvey on its website, but also has an MP3 link to ABC News Radio's weekend hour-long tribute to the veteran broadcaster - hosted by ABC's Gil Gross. (Gross was one of Harvey's regular substitutes, and today hosts an afternoon local talk show on Citadel talk giant KGO in San Francisco.)

Another broadcaster paying tribute to Paul Harvey is Tribune's WGN/720 and WGN's television side, known nationally as the cable/satellite WGN America.

WGN Radio has an extensive Harvey page, with a treasure trove of audio from some of his most notable broadcasts (and the aforementioned ABC special). Despite the fact that Chicago-based Paul Harvey News was owned by Citadel's ABC Radio Networks, and Citadel owns talk WLS/890 there, WGN has been Harvey's long-time affiliate in the market.

Watching the classic sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati" Sunday evening on WGN America, the channel aired an "in memory" piece for Paul Harvey frequently.

The Ohio connection, of course, is that WGN Radio is now programmed by former Clear Channel Cleveland VP/programming Kevin Metheny, and Tribune's chief operating officer is former Clear Channel/Jacor radio head and suburban Cincinnati resident Randy Michaels. We're guessing that took something of a very quick phone call to put into motion.

So, what "after Harvey"? ABC News Radio will program a week's worth of Harvey tributes in the Paul Harvey News time slots, with classic audio from the legendary broadcaster.

After that? Gil Gross indicated in the weekend tribute special that the network will continue to air "news and comment" segments, but without Harvey's classic "twist of phrase".

(Our guess - the network will try to slide stations over to former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee's "Huckabee Report", though we expect many stations to bail...and not many in radio expect ABC/Citadel to anoint an official successor to the late radio giant.)

Gross said Harvey's son, Paul Harvey Jr., will continue to write and voice "The Rest of the Story".

We keep using words like "icon" and "legend" to describe Paul Harvey. At times, those of us who put words together about passing broadcasters sometimes use those words too easily...but with Paul Harvey and his impact on radio, broadcasting and America, they seem like empty words that don't quite reach high enough...

WAHOO WEEK: It's that time of the year when area radio and TV stations send reporters out to Arizona to broadcast from baseball's spring training, and this week is the week when many radio shows dedicate a week of broadcasts to the team.

The planes were heading for Phoenix this year for Indians radio affiliates, since the Tribe abandoned Winter Haven, Florida for a sparkling new complex in suburban Goodyear, Arizona.

This week, Indians flagship Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland sends morning host Bill Wills to Goodyear, leaving behind co-host and sports director Mike Snyder. For good reason, we assume, since Snyder is up to his eyeballs in his duties for the Cleveland Cavaliers Radio Network.

As far as we know, WTAM afternoon driver Mike Trivisonno won't be in Arizona this year.

Indians affiliates are going to Goodyear as well, with Rubber City Radio oldies/news WAKR/1590 Akron sending morning host Ray Horner and news director Ed Esposito to the desert this week.

The aforementioned WEOL in Elyria is advertising their own "Wahoo Week" broadcasts, with staffer Tim Alcorn watching the Tribe in Arizona...

NEW GIG FOR EX-Q'ER: AllAccess noted Friday that a former personality at CBS Radio Cleveland hot AC WQAL/104.1 "Q104" has a new job.

NextMedia hot AC WGER/106.3 Saginaw MI has named Brian "Fig" Figula as its new program director. Fig slides over Friday from his current job as creative services director of Citadel hot AC WDVD/adult hits WDRQ in Detroit.

Fig was well-regarded here, in his stint as afternoon driver and assistant program director for "Q104".

He left "Q" for a programming job in Flint MI, and WQAL middayer Jen Toohey made an easy transition into afternoon drive...

TWITTER US: Since announcing our presence on Twitter, your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) has already garnered 49 followers.

We've spotted at least two TV station Twitter accounts in our follower list, and...someone who would appear to be ESPN Radio's Mike Tirico. (We say "appear to be", since we haven't confirmed the account is actually his.)

Tirico, or whoever was steering the account, took the time to ask us how he was doing in his clearance on Good Karma sports WWGK/1540 Cleveland "KNR2". Tirico and fellow ESPNer Scott Van Pelt air middays on WWGK.

Ummm...we don't have Cleveland ratings handy, but we're pretty sure poor WWGK doesn't really show up with a lot of listeners.

In case Tirico is reading, we'll repeat what we said...1540 is, of course, waiting for a signal upgrade.

We assume that when it takes place (and OMW hears that the plan to move 1540 to the WKNR/850 site in North Royalton is not necessarily dead yet), he'll have a better shot at garnering listeners...for now, it's not really even fair to check out his ratings on the current WWGK signal...

1 comment:

Tony Mazur said...

I highly doubt that that is Mike Tirico's Twitter account. There are too many sexual harassment and anti-Hubie Brown jokes for that to be Tirico. Although the account is rather humorous.