We're back for a Monday morning update, with some new stuff, and not one direct mention of Something Else that's been kicking around the local media world recently. But this update appears to be All About Clear Channel...like most of last week...
A CLEVELAND VALENTINE: OMW reported last week that Los Angeles-based Sean Valentine, he of the one-named "Valentine in the Morning", would be once again expanding his empire to Cleveland.
The hot AC KBIG/104.3 "My 104.3" host's syndicated offering was once heard on Clear Channel top 40 WAKS/96.5 "Kiss FM" in the market...a long run that wrapped up recently when WAKS became one of the earliest affiliates of New York-based Elvis Duran's morning show - now syndicated by CC's Premiere Radio.
It's official: Valentine starts his return to Cleveland radio this morning at hot AC WMVX/106.5 "Mix 106.5", taking the place occupied for many years by now-deposed local morning drivers "Brian and Joe".
Quoting a Clear Channel press release:
“Kicking mornings off with an amazing talent like Valentine gives this station a strong foundation for success,” said Chris Miller, Program Director for Mix 106.5. He continued, “I guarantee listeners are going to love what they hear on Cleveland’s Best Mix, Mix 106.5.”
“I know every song they play on Mix 106.5 and you're going to sing along with me…even though you're probably a better singer,” said Valentine. He continued, “It is great to back on the air in Cleveland!”
Of course, when Valentine's voicetracked show was on WAKS, "every song they play" was different. But, nevermind on that...with the Valentine show, it's not about the music they play around all the "Hollywood interviews" and other such content.
The station release confirmed who's left, locally, at "Mix":
Cleveland’s Best Mix, Mix 106.5 continues to be home for Cleveland broadcasting veterans Daune Robinson and Jay Hudson.
Now, it can be told. During the heat of the Clear Channel layoff crunch on Tuesday, there were very loud, very strong rumors that Jay Hudson was on the Involuntary Exit list.
If you go back and read our items from that day, you'll note that we talked about two unconfirmed names being rumored as being out at Oak Tree, that we were not ready to report.
Our reliable sources in the building indicated that the on-air cut list ended at four - WMVX's "Brian and Joe", along with WTAM producer/co-hosts Marty Allen and Paul Rado...information which turned out to be accurate.
Unlike some who post online, we don't just throw up stuff here to see if it sticks. We're not perfect, we don't know everything, but there IS a filter here...
WRAPPING UP CC DEPARTURES, WE THINK: We're still missing some names from Clear Channel's Purge of People last week, but someone did pass along some names we haven't printed.
This blog deals mostly with on-air or programming employees at radio stations, and we don't usually talk about office staff...but one of our sources passed along the off-air casualties of Clear Channel's 590 employee layoff a week ago. (Or is that 900 employees? Some trade reports suggest that's close to the final staff reduction numbers...)
One of our sources at the Clear Channel World Domination HQ on Oak Tree in suburban Cleveland gives us a list of the off-air exits there last week:
Suzanne Holley, long-time human resources director
Adria Dudzinski (Redmon), administrative assistant (and former producer of classic hits WMJI/105.7's "Lanigan and Malone", though we suspect former co-host John Webster was still in the mix at that time as well...and the station didn't shy away from the "o" word back then, either)
Jim Brusse, traffic director
Two others, including a full-time IT assistant and a part-time assistant in national sales
In Clear Channel's Ashland/Mansfield cluster, an Alert OMW Reader passes along this story from the Mansfield News Journal over the weekend:
Veteran reporter and news anchor Dave Pennell of WMAN-1400 AM is a victim of Clear Channel Communications Inc.'s recent round of job cuts.
Clear Channel, the largest owner of U.S. radio stations, announced almost 600 job cuts Tuesday that included some on-air personalities. It was the company's second round of layoffs this year
Market Manager Dan Lankford wouldn't release the positions or names of Mansfield and Ashland station employees who lost their jobs, but said he doesn't foresee further cuts.
We don't know who is left, if anyone, in the newsroom at talk WMAN/1400.
You might recall from our earlier report on the expanding Clear Channel "news hub" system that Ashland/Mansfield was a market tabbed to receive remote-anchored reports from the company's Columbus newsroom at talk WTVN/610.
In some areas, so far at least, the remote reports haven't fully taken over - even if they've forced other news employees into job changes. For now, talk WIMA/1150 Lima still has two news employees, and newscasts out of WTVN occupy middays there - along with FM morning drive casts.
We heard talk WKBN/570 Youngstown's Jim Michaels last week in a role he filled last time the station's news anchoring came from Oak Tree - doing a report from the field. How long will that last? We don't know.
But it would appear that WTAM/1100's Darren Toms, Ken Robinson and others are doing the regular anchor work on WKBN now...after the exit of veteran WKBN news director John Nagy in the Clear Channel cuts last week...
SPEAKING OF CLEAR CHANNEL NEWS EXITS: The wave of Clear Channel-related news this past week has been so strong and furious, even your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) can't directly track news items from the company in Ohio.
So, we quote this item from Friday's AllAccess Net News scroll - a Clear Channel departure not caused directly by last's weeks round of job cuts, but affected by it:
CLEAR CHANNEL TOLEDO Director of News Operations CASSIE WILSON has announced her resignation, effective MAY 19th. WILSON tells ALL ACCESS that she is "really proud of my work here, and that I was able to use my major-market experience from BALTIMORE, WASHINGTON, DC and ATLANTA and create an award-winning news department at WSPD" and is looking for new opportunities in light of CLEAR CHANNEL's news "hub" outsourcing.
OMW reported earlier that Toledo was on the receiving end of that "news hub" list, with non-drivetime newscasts being fed out of the company's Cincinnati newsroom at talk WLW/700.
It's actually the second time around for WSPD/1370 as far as being a receiver of remote anchoring from another Clear Channel station...when the "news hub" system first started here in Ohio, WSPD received newscasts from Columbus' WTVN.
As far as we know, Cassie Wilson's departure doesn't affect her husband's presence at the Toledo news/talker....he's WSPD program director and afternoon drive host Brian Wilson, who continues both as PD and 3-6 PM host on the station.
As far as the "news hub" story is concerned, the same AllAccess scroll links to an article out of Denver-based weekly newspaper Westword, with more on the process from Colorado...
SPEAKING FRENCH: We thought it was a joke at first.
An OMW reader told us last week that WTAM Saturday afternoon host Simon Badinter and his "Simon Rendezvous" were coming to Chicago, where the French advertising executive would be heard on Tribune talk powerhouse WGN/720.
Ummm...it's no joke.
Quoting Lewis Lazare in the Chicago Sun-Times last week:
Perhaps the most intriguing hire is Simon Badinter, a native Parisian and the son of French Sen. Robert Badinter and Elisabeth Badinter, a feminist writer. Described as a highly opinionated advertising executive who loves life, Badinter will host a show called "Simon Rendezvous," which (WGN program director Kevin) Metheny indicated would be unlike any other WGN program or anything on Chicago radio.
Yeah, no kidding.
Sure enough, "Simon Rendezvous" now airs 6-9 PM Sunday on the Chicago talker. (And Badinter must be rich enough to live in both Cleveland and Chicago, as his WGN bio says he's been "proudly living and working in Chicago, IL for many years", much like his WTAM bio said for Cleveland.)
When Badinter's show began its run on WTAM in late 2007, we briefly mentioned it, but declined to spend a lot of time talking about it. It was our impression that the heavily-accented ad executive broke out the checkbook and paid for the two hour weekly show as a vanity project in Cleveland.
(We don't know the actual financial status of "Simon Rendezvous". They could well be paying him the standard going rate for non-employee weekend hosts.)
But, who knows this time around?
The connection, of course, is obvious. WGN programmer Metheny is the former programming vice president at Clear Channel's Cleveland cluster on Oak Tree, before heading into the Land of Former Jacor People at Tribune under the company's COO - ex-Jacor/Clear Channel Radio head Randy Michaels.
We're pretty sure there's at least one former Jacor employee who hasn't followed suburban Cincinnati resident Michaels to Tribune. Maybe two.
We're not sure if Badinter's show is technically still on the WTAM schedule. It's effectively pre-empted for much of the next few months due to Cleveland Indians baseball. Simon still shows up on the master WTAM Saturday schedule on non-Indians game days, but isn't found on the "Other Personalities" page at WTAM.com.
Neither the Sun-Times article, nor a brief item by Radio-Info.com columnist Tom Taylor in his E-mail newsletter this morning, mention Simon's run at WTAM.
Maybe "Simon Rendezvous" is more fit for Chicago, a "world city", than for Cleveland, a "desparately wants to be a world city"...and maybe we're missing a trend here. We never claimed to be news/talk programmers...