Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday's Mixed Bag

This time, we promise we're not going to inadvertently insert ourselves into contract negotiations...

DAVE AND JIMMY MINUS DAYTON: We don't spend a lot of time watching the Dayton radio market these days, particularly with the attention now paid to Southwest Ohio by Jeremy Moses' Tri-State Media Watch out of Cincinnati.

But this one affects Columbus, one of our secondary markets.

Radio-Info.com columnist Tom Taylor picks up word that Clear Channel Dayton top 40 outlet WDKF/94.5 is apparently moving forward without syndicated morning team "Dave & Jimmy", based out of Columbus sister station WNCI/97.9.

(With WNCI's powerhouse signal, we imagine at least some Dayton market listeners will able to pick them up directly on the Dave & Jimmy Mothership.)

Sure enough, a brief digital walk to the "Channel 945" website shows the station telling listeners to "Embrace the change in Morning Drive", and asking them to text "change" to the messaging short code 62582 for more details. And, presumably, that enables WDKF to text message listeners with more station promotion in the future.

There's no word as to what "change" listeners to WDKF may be asked to "embrace", or if it'll be Change They Can Believe In.

In addition to WNCI, "Dave & Jimmy" are also heard up here in Northeast Ohio, on Clear Channel top 40 sister station WAKZ/95.9 "Kiss FM" in the Youngstown market...and the pair has affiliates in Lima, Louisville and Lexington KY, and Albany NY, among other cities...

FROM PRISON TO TALK: Well, he certainly isn't the first former political type to go from serving prison time to talk radio.

We're talking about former southeast Ohio congressman Bob Ney, who has started a new career as a talk radio host not that far from his former district.

Ney started Monday as the 1-3 PM host at Monroe Communications talk WVLY/1370 Moundsville WV, near Wheeling.

In case you need a refresher as to why Ney is just coming out of prison, here's a refresher courtesy of an article on the website of Steubenville NBC affiliate WTOV/9:

Ney pleaded guilty to a felony bribery charge and was linked to the Jack Abramoff scandal in 2006. Ney was sentenced to 30 months in prison but was released after 17 months.

Wheeling CBS/ABC/Fox affiliate WTRF/7 chimes in, with a quote from Howard Monroe, WVLY morning host and station owner:

"The buzz? It's been quite frankly surprising. I expected a lot of negative feedback. Let's face it, the man was the poster child for corruption. While I've gotten some of that it's no where near the amount I expected. So, we'll get the show going and see what happens when the calls start coming in." Monroe told 7News.

Ney became a free man after being released from prison in August. (And it's not often that a boss calls his new employee a "poster child for corruption"!)

Again, as we noted, Ney would hardly be the first former political type to turn to talk radio not long after his release from prison. That distinction would likely go to former White House figure G. Gordon Liddy, who became a very successful syndicated talk show host after landing in the lineup of Washington DC talk superstation WJFK/106.7.

(WJFK is still in the format, and Liddy is long gone from that station...his syndication effort continues, with a much smaller affiliate base than in the WJFK-based days, and with a different syndicator than Westwood One.)

As for Ney's new radio home, it's a rimshot into Wheeling from the south, and pretty much the third-ranked talk station in that crowded field (WWVA/1170 and WKKX/1600 are number one and two).

WVLY's listenable, static-free signal basically does not reach the bulk of the former congressman's Southeast Ohio district, though we note from the station's website that it's offering Ney to other stations. For now, Monroe's own morning show is only on one other station, a small Fairmont WV talk outlet...

OH, DINO: We once had a hobby here...tracking the moves of bombastic former local sports radio host Dino Costa.

You could almost put an asterisk next to "local" there.

Costa was in the Cleveland market for roughly a cup of coffee on a short-lived sports talk station that barely reached out of Geauga County - the now-silent daytimer WATJ/1560 Chardon ("SportsRadio 1560"). In its brief attempt at local sports talk, the tiny rimshot outlet also had Time Warner Cable host Les Levine ("More Sports and Les Levine") on board.

WATJ went dark after station owner Music Express decided to concentrate on its main station, country WKKY/104.7 Geneva.

After WATJ, Costa headed for places like Jacksonville FL, where he was noted for posting breathless help wanted ads for a talk station which got pulled out from under him by ownership. ("Our 50,000 watt transmitter just arrived!!")

But for the bulk of his career, Dino Costa has been a sports talk radio host with a flair for self-promotion, usually on second-tier and third-tier stations. WATJ would probably have been "fourth-tier" or "fifth-tier" by those standards.

Costa landed in Denver, where he held forth on something called the "Radio Colorado Network" - until that operation flipped to a business radio format under new owners. He started in the market on Crawford sports talk KLZ/560 "ESPN 560".

Dino's back, and he's promoting again.

He's launching Internet sports outlet "DenverSportsRadio.com" next week, and at least if you believe his self-publicity, the station has actually picked up some known hosts...and some new names. (Of course, Costa himself will host a show. You think you could keep him away from a microphone on an outlet he runs?)

From here, it looks like Costa is basically duplicating Cleveland's own SportsTalkCleveland.com (aka SportsTalkNetwork.com), Paul Belfi's long-time online sports "talk station".

We don't know if Costa is even aware of the Cleveland operation, though. And "STC" started out as the Internet arm of then-Salem sports talk WKNR/850 before striking out on its own. Costa's new site has no connection to a radio outlet.

But some of the same elements are there, including a promise to do various remotes, and a similar mix of known and unknown hosts.

"DenverSportsRadio.com" is set to launch on April 20. If you'd like to hear Costa talking about the future online sports station, the website features audio of him...

6 comments:

Neil said...

The most noteworthy thing about WATJ is that it spent more weeks promoting Les Levine than actually airing him. :-)

WERC alum said...

There was a time when 1560 was WBKC and served Geauga county with local programming. Although never a powerhouse (1kw directional with almost no post sunrise authority), WBKC managed to provide some service to its area.

Dino said...

Uh, based upon what I see, this feels, looks, and sounds NOTHING like that of the former failed amateur web based Cleveland thingie - to lump us in with that former endeavor is extremely unfair - not to mention biased on your behalf.

But we appreciate you watching us and keeping tabs, promoting the website as you have done.

When you get back to me with your company, your new or established enterprise, your success's that may be documented and confirmed, please let me know.

If anything, one would think that you would applaud the efforts being made by those taking part in this project.

As for your claims of self-promotion, again, evidence confirming your claims would go a long way toward bolstering your credibility.

Credibility? You have a 'blog', the highest form of Internet graffiti available.

If you have any questions about me, our new company, our objectives, always feel free to contact me at anytime.

Thank you again for the publicity - and let us also note I responded to you on this matter, after you mentioned us, not the other way around.

Cleveland radio sucks by the way - just like the majority of Denver based radio.

We're trying to do something about it - how bout' you?

Next time, do some homework, ask some questions, check your facts, get up off of your ass and make some inquiries -- and and try not to present your theories and or conjecture as fact...when it is clearly not the case.

74WIXYgrad said...

It appears that this Dino dude don't like you much.

He also appears to be somewhat full of himself.

Ohio Media Watch said...

Welcome to OMW Sports Radio! And, now it's time to take a call...Dino in Denver, Colorado, you're on OMW Sports Radio!

"Uh, based upon what I see, this feels, looks, and sounds NOTHING like that of the former failed amateur web based Cleveland thingie - to lump us in with that former endeavor is extremely unfair - not to mention biased on your behalf."

Thanks for joining us, Dino. You might want to check out the URL SportsTalkCleveland.com, as, hey, look, IT IS STILL IN BUSINESS! We suspect Mr. Belfi may have a problem with your contention that STC a "failed former amateur-based Cleveland web thingie".

And the lineup comparison was quite accurate.

STC has brought on a number of "name" hosts over the past few years. Veteran Cleveland sportscaster Bruce Drennan was even program director of the STC operation - before serving his 5 month prison sentence. Drennan, of course, is now host of "All Bets Are Off" on SportsTime Ohio.

Since you were here for basically 10 minutes on a station that had trouble reaching the near eastern Cleveland suburb of Mayfield Heights, you might not remember Bruce. SportsTime Ohio is the new RSN owned by the Dolan Family (CLeveland Indians owners).

As for your operation, the mix seems similar to STC - known sports media names mixed in with "fans" and some amateurs.

If you consider that an insult, it wasn't our intent...it was just a comparison that seemed valid to us. If we recall your latest press release, you proudly noted hiring a pair of guys with no radio experience you heard arguing sports in a bar.

Nothing wrong with that. After all, the current highly-rated occupant of WTAM/1100's afternoon drive slot got started as an amateur caller to Pete Franklin's show known as "Mr. Know-It-All".

"But we appreciate you watching us and keeping tabs, promoting the website as you have done."

You know, we admire your promotional skills.

"When you get back to me with your company, your new or established enterprise, your success's that may be documented and confirmed, please let me know."

Since Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) is not identified here, on purpose, all we have to show in public is the success of Ohio Media Watch itself.

Since OMW was established in 2005, this report has grown to a regular, non-duplicated audience of around 1,500 to 2,000 readers a day.

A quick look at our Twitter account shows nearly 250 "followers", people who have taken the time and trouble to actually receive our Twitter updates. We'd consider that roughly the equivalent of talk radio callers, and for a limited topic blog that only focuses on one state, we'd consider that pretty good.

If you'll look at our follower list, you'll see a whole host of local media personalities, off-air workers and the names of many major media outlets.

If you're looking for a direct comparison regarding sports radio, we're not in doing that.

If you're looking to break out the "you can't match our success, you're just graffiti online" - you're no Steve French.

And oddly enough, both of you seem to care enough about what we write here, to respond. If someone scrawls about you on a wall on the side of a grocery store, do you take out a marker and respond?

"If anything, one would think that you would applaud the efforts being made by those taking part in this project."

You're a bit oversensitive there, Dino. We're not trashing DenverSportsRadio.com or your involvement in starting it and running it. It's actually rather interesting to us.

Sure...your talent for over-the-top self promotion is amusing to us. But we didn't say your new site is going to stink.

"As for your claims of self-promotion, again, evidence confirming your claims would go a long way toward bolstering your credibility."

Go back and put your name into our search box up top, and you'll see our previous history talking about you.

You're in sports radio, Dino. Did we say self-promotion was wrong?

Heck, it's part and parcel of the business!

You put yourself out there like no one else, and that's not meant to be an insult.

"Credibility? You have a 'blog', the highest form of Internet graffiti available."

And you have a "sports radio website". We're both on the Internet. At this point, we have a larger readership (see above) than you have an audience, only because you haven't started yet.

Other than that, we're not "playing on the same field". OMW doesn't talk about sports, aside from covering sports media outlets and personalities like yourself.

"Thank you again for the publicity - and let us also note I responded to you on this matter, after you mentioned us, not the other way around."

WHen we've written about you, we haven't done so with expectation that you'd find or read the wording. We don't really care. We didn't write for you as an audience.

"Cleveland radio sucks by the way - just like the majority of Denver based radio."

You act like we'd fully disagree with that statement.

"We're trying to do something about it - how bout' you?"

We're not a sports talk radio operation. This is a blog. If listeners, or even industry observers like OMW, want to "do something about" bad radio, we can stop listening.

"Next time, do some homework, ask some questions, check your facts, get up off of your ass and make some inquiries -- and and try not to present your theories and or conjecture as fact...when it is clearly not the case."

Take a look up at the top, Dino. It says "news and musings". These are musings. This is a blog. This is not even a column in a local newspaper. Considering the lack of coverage of media by the declining print industry, we kind of fill a similar role...but we're not a newspaper column.

Your biggest problem here appears to be that we compared to your new venture to an operation you thought was no longer in business.

You haven't been here in Northeast Ohio in some time, so we'll forgive the ignorance there. We don't expect you to track the market or that particular operation.

We aren't even saying that DenverSportsRadio.com will eventually directly resemble whatever state Mr. Belfi's operation is still in. And from here, it would appear that he is doing pretty well. He certainly has sponsors, for one.

For all we know, DenverSportsRadio.com will be so incredibly successful that it'll draw thousands of listeners away from Denver's well-established sports radio operations and hosts.

We do, sincerely, wish you well. More listening options are good. You obviously have talent, and a listener base.

Sure, we'll poke fun at your promotional acumen...but we aren't attacking what you're doing, and we'll check in when you start up next week.

--The Management

Ohio Media Watch said...

Oh, and by the way, we continue to poke fun at the WATJ operation.

We don't blame what happened there on you, or on any perceived "rejection" of your time on the station.

1560's problems were far beyond anything you had any part in. It was a tiny, daytime rimshot station. It had absolutely no chance at garnering an audience of any size, save for in small parts of Geauga County.

We no more blame you for that than we blame Les Levine, whose "cup of coffee" on WATJ lasted roughly a week or so. The entire attempt at local sports talk programming lasted what, a month or two?

You both got "drawn into" this operation, and did what you could, and you both moved on.

Les Levine is now the host of Time Warner Cable's popular "More Sports and Les Levine", which airs weekdays on TWC cable channel 23 ("NEON").

You ended up doing both sports and talk radio in Jacksonville, and are now a sports media personality in Denver...a good sized market.

-The Management