Thursday, March 05, 2009

Thursday's Here

We've been in one of those writing moods...where we put everything in one daily bag. And it continues...

PAUL HARVEY'S NON-REPLACEMENTS: ABC Radio Network has announced the names of the two men who will not replace Paul Harvey.

We say that because conventional wisdom would tell us that the late commentator, who passed away Saturday in Arizona at the age of 90, won't actually be replaced permanently.

But ABC Radio says the network's Gil Gross and Doug Limerick will provide feeds in the former Paul Harvey News time slots starting next Monday.

Gross will take the "News and Comment" time slots - the five-minute morning drive and 15 minute midday (weekday and Saturday) broadcasts. He's been handling the network's week-long tribute to Harvey this week.

Northeast Ohio listeners may remember Gil as the host of CBS Radio's "Gil Gross Show", which was carried in late nights in the 1990s on Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 "The Talk of Akron". And until recently, he was the evening (Eastern) anchor on ABC News Radio's Information Network.

Limerick will fill the time formerly occupied by "The Rest of the Story", weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings, with a combination of news and "folksy stories"...not in the "Rest of the Story" format.

Both voices are very familiar to long-time Paul Harvey listeners, as regular fill-ins for the man over the years.

There's the assumption, at least from this corner, that both Gross and Limerick will keep their "day jobs"...Limerick is the ABC Information Network morning drive (Eastern) anchor, and Gross is now a local talk show host for ABC/Citadel talk giant KGO in San Francisco.

We're also assuming that ABC will eventually shut down the Paul Harvey News franchise, but is giving its 900 affiliates time to find something else...we presume they'll push Gov. Mike Huckabee's "The Huckabee Report" hard, but Gov. Huckabee is not really a fit for PHN affiliates which aren't conservative talk stations.

This announcement just came out last night, so we have no idea what the current Paul Harvey affiliates in Ohio plan to do with Mr. Harvey's former time slots, or how many of the stations will cintinue to carry Gil Gross and Doug Limerick.

As near as we can tell, that Northern Ohio Paul Harvey station list includes, but is not limited to: Rubber City Radio oldies/news WAKR/1590 Akron, Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting talk WEOL/930 Elyria, NextMedia talk WHBC/1480 Canton, Clear Channel standards WNIO/1390 Youngstown, and Cumulus country WKKO/99.9 "K100" Toledo. (If we missed one, let us know.)

In Central Ohio, Columbus lost its long-time Harvey affiliate recently, as Clear Channel talk WTVN/610 just dropped the program.

We find it hard to imagine that the non-talkers in that list would be happy with Mike Huckabee...and we imagine that music stations are going to move pretty quickly to end the Harvey broadcasts, no matter who ABC would offer...

BYE, MR. COSTAS: Bob Costas is once again leaving radio.

The popular NBC sportscaster - who once hosted the syndicated show "Costas Coast to Coast" - has been hosting the Premiere-syndicated show "Costas on the Radio". The latest show airs on weekends on some 200 stations, including Good Karma sports WKNR/850 "ESPN 850" Cleveland, and Clear Channel talkers WHLO/640 Akron and WKBN/570 Youngstown.

Like "Coast to Coast", the show often features a mix of guests from the world of sports, and guests on other topics.

A Premiere statement says Costas has "decided to step down" from his radio gig so he can focus on "upcoming projects".

We presume his new role with baseball's MLB Network, which includes an interview show and some live play-by-play work, would be one reason for his radio exit. (Of course, he also continues his busy NBC Sports schedule, including football and Olympics hosting work.)

Premiere says its syndication of "Costas on the Radio" and its associated short form features will end on May 31st.

Costas voiced promos for his show on WKNR humorously noting his time slot on the Cleveland sports station - "Sunday at 6 AM - 6 AM???"...

LOCAL RADIO SYNDICATION EXEC HONORED: We've actually been handed a segue here that we didn't realize we had.

Costas, like many broadcasters who gained major fame, went to Syracuse University...and another Syracuse alumnus who has become a broadcasting executive in Northeast Ohio is getting honored. And he's also involved in syndicated radio.

Envision Radio Networks' president/CEO Danno Wolkoff has been named one of the first four members of the "WJPZ Hall of Fame". WJPZ is the student-run station at Syracuse University, which moved from carrier current to over-air FM in 1985.

Quoting a press release from the Beachwood-based syndicator:

The ceremonies were held during The 24th Annual WJPZ Birthday Bash, which featured legendary syndicated radio personality Elvis Duran as this year’s special keynote speaker.

Wolkoff commented on the honor, “I am truly honored to be inducted into the WJPZ Hall of Fame with friends and colleagues I worked with at the radio station. Rocco Macri, Rob Berrell and Professor Rick Wright are truly successful and accomplished people. To be recognized with these other professionals for my work in radio is the best compliment of all.”

And the final Cleveland-area connection in this story - Duran's syndicated show is heard locally on Clear Channel top 40 WAKS/96.5 "Kiss FM"...


Andrew said...

The WUAB-TV guide listings via WOIO's website now has programming information for This TV. I don't see anything 43.2 (as a matter of fact it's entirely blank now), but it looks like it will light up with programming soon.

Anonymous said...

On or after March 31, 2009, the following channels will be dropped from line ups serving the Dover, New Philly and Newcomerstown areas: WTRF

Neil Parks said...

WJR, for one, is NOT carrying any successor to Paul Harvey at 8:30 AM.