Some local radio veterans now on "the beach" are plotting their next move.
Local morning drive radio mainstays Brian Fowler and Joe Cronauer were unceremoniously dumped from their long-time spot on Clear Channel Cleveland hot AC WMVX/106.5 "Mix 106.5" in late April, part of a nationwide job purge by the San Antonio-based radio giant.
The duo had to ride out a Clear Channel non-compete, which expired September 1st.
"Brian and Joe" aren't back on the radio just yet, but they've found a microphone. And they aren't the only victims of the April Clear Channel job massacre to do so.
"The Brian and Joe Show" has launched in podcast form on the pair's new website, conveniently called BrianAndJoeShow.com, which also has blogs, pictures from the duo's long career, and information about personal appearances.
Don't expect a full 4 hour radio-like show, of course. The "showcast" segments are just a few minutes long, but enough to keep the voices of the former "Mix" morning team in your head while they're looking for their next opportunity.
Quoting the site:
We’ve been working together in radio for 21 years and back at the end of April – we were told “see ya!” Due to legal mumbo jumbo we weren’t allowed to do any radio or broadcast for the last four months. Now we’re finally allowed to do our thing again! Are we going to show up on radio? Time will tell – but we can’t wait any longer to do our show for you,
In the opening "showcast", Brian and Joe make it clear that they are hoping to return to radio, somehow, though they're obviously aware of the economic conditions facing the business both here and elsewhere.
Those conditions are somewhat muted compared to even the spring of 2008, when former WXTM/92.3 "Xtreme Radio" morning man Shane "Rover" French was able to bounce over to Clear Channel's WMMS/100.7 in a lucrative new deal.
"Rover's Morning Glory" landed on WMMS on April Fools' Day 2008 - just 13 months before "Brian and Joe" became WMVX's former morning show.
Then...the worldwide economy collapsed.
(Since then, of course, WMVX imported Los Angeles-based Sean Valentine - formerly heard on sister top 40 WAKS/96.5 "Kiss FM" - for its morning drive slot. Oh, and WXTM became jock-free WKRK "Radio 92.3".)
We'll be watching to see if "Brian and Joe" find a microphone with a radio transmitter attached to it, somehow. For now, they've managed to get some big name sponsors for their website (like Cleveland banking giant KeyBank, which has them doing an appearance this weekend at one branch). Bringing sponsor money with you is not exactly a bad thing, of course.
The "showcast" is being produced at the downtown Cleveland studio of Broadcast Media Ideas, the agency run by former Cleveland TV veteran Michael Settoni. BMI is headquartered at the Galleria in downtown Cleveland, a short elevator ride from the studios of Good Karma sports WKNR/850 "ESPN 850" in that same complex.
We'll also be watching the radio fate of another former Clear Channel employee let loose by the company in the April job bloodbath, who's also launched his online radio presence.
Former talk WTAM/1100 afternoon drive producer Marty "Big Daddy" Allen is now doing regular live Internet radio broadcasts at his own website.
The current schedule for the live Internet version of "The Marty Allen Show" is listed as Monday-Wednesday and Fridays at 9 PM (Eastern, of course). It looks like Marty is using the services of popular live video streamer UStream.
Based on some of Marty's previously recorded efforts, it's probably not a "G-rated" show...with no FCC guidelines on the Internet and the late evening time slot.
Allen has made no secret of his desire to "strike out on his own" after a long stint as a studio producer/on-air sidekick for WTAM afternoon driver Mike Trivisonno.
We wish him well, but he also faces the same hurdles as "Brian and Joe" - it's not exactly a seller's market when it comes to radio personalities in 2009, even those with recognized names and local broadcast history.
As always, we're rooting for people to overcome the current radio environment, land in new gigs, and prosper.
As of yet, we've heard nothing about the media plans of the other WTAM afternoon drive producer let go in the April Clear Channel purge - Paul Rado. We believe he's been promoting game tournaments for charity in the Cleveland area, and Trivisonno even mentioned that in response to a caller recently.
And that's a hint to displaced Northeast Ohio radio personalities doing new ventures, no matter what.
We're more than happy to give you the publicity and the links.
While much of OMW's readership lies within local media operations, we're also the first place many regular listeners reach when looking for their favorite now-former personalities.
Back in April, we reported extensively about both "Brian and Joe" and Marty Allen's departures from Oak Tree. Those posts get indexed by Google (which owns Blogger, by the way, our blogging platform), and if people do a search for "where is (personality)", it often brings them right to OMW.
Thus, we get E-mail from folks asking us "Whatever happened to Brian and Joe?", "Where's Marty Allen now", etc.
(We believe we still get an E-mail every couple of months asking about the whereabouts of now-split-up now-out-of-Cincinnati country morning radio team "Ken and Kitty".)
We had to find out about both of these new Internet ventures through third parties.
So, add us to your list...it'll help you...