Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Outside Our Area, But...

Occasionally, we feature items from outside the main OMW Coverage Area...but with comments relating the items to things that could happen here. This is one of those collections...

SMOOTH JAZZ LOSES ANOTHER: The ailing smooth jazz format has lost another big city outlet.

This time, it's CBS Radio's WVMV/98.7 Detroit, which stopped playing smooth jazz Friday. After a bit of weekend stunting, it's carrying one of CBS' current pet formats - top 40, under the moniker "98.7 AMP Radio".

That's the same on-air name adopted by CBS Radio's former FM talker in Los Angeles, KLSX/97.1, when it moved to top 40.

CBS also uses "Now" as a top 40 format name, at one-time Howard Stern/Opie and Anthony flagship WXRK/92.3, the station formerly known as "K-Rock". (We'll give you some time to sort out the call letter/slogan relationship with 92.3 in the Cleveland market. You may use the search box at the top of OMW for your answer quest.)

CBS' other big "pet" format is FM sports talk, which has seen great success on another CBS Detroit station, WXYT-FM/97.1 "The Fan".

Smooth jazz is in peril nationwide because it apparently doesn't fare well at all in the Portable People Meter ratings, and PPM measurement is just now getting underway in Northeast Ohio.

That's where the smooth jazz format has a long mainstay - Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting's WNWV/107.3 Elyria "The Wave", which has presumably made a boatload of money off of the upscale format in the Cleveland market over the years.

The move in Detroit, along with earlier smooth jazz shutdowns in markets like Chicago, has many wondering how long WNWV can hang on.

There are different factors here.

For one, ELB is a small, local ownership company that doesn't have a roster of pet "new" formats like CBS does. If 107.3's smooth jazz format falls out of the bottom of the PPM ratings, the folks in Elyria don't have backup plan B on a hard drive somewhere....well, aside from whatever they're doing these days on the HD2 signal of 107.3.

We tend to think "The Wave" will hang in there as long as it is able to do so, given the unique situation of its parent company. And even in the depressed advertising market, WNWV may be making more money than the company's two daily newspapers in Elyria and Medina...

NOT HERE: When the sale of three urban-targetted Pittsburgh radio stations to a Catholic broadcaster made news, it had a little impact on the southeastern edge of our coverage area.

That's because in recent years, legendary Pittsburgh market urban outlet WAMO-FM had been on a frequency that reached a decent chunk of the Pennsylvania side of the Youngstown radio market - 106.7 FM, licensed to Beaver Falls PA. Folks in Youngstown-centric suburbs like New Castle and Sharon had little trouble picking it up.

It's now silent, because new owner Saint Joseph Missions has yet to finish replacement studios to operate WAMO-FM, and its AM sisters, with Catholic-oriented programming.

With much fanfare, former WPTT/22 owner Eddie Edwards Sr. announced that he'd bought a station to help fill the void in programming aimed at Pittsburgh's African-American community.

Surely, the message board wags thought, he'd pry one of the big signal FMs from Clear Channel, Keymarket or whoever, and remount WAMO-FM's youth-oriented urban format.

Uh, not quite.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Edwards is buying Langer Broadcasting talk WPYT/660 Wilkinsburg PA, a 1400 watt daytimer with no night authorization. The P-G writes that Edwards "plans to launch a news and talk format aimed primarily at the African-American community."

So, instead of a replacement for WAMO-FM, it appears he's mounting a replacement for WAMO-AM 860, which most recently was running gospel, but has run a number of urban talk programs over the years (including one hosted by Pittsburgh's own Bev Smith).

The P-G's Adrian McCoy writes:

Mr. Edwards called the WPYT acquisition the first step in that process. He also hopes to buy an FM station that would have a classic R&B music format targeted at older listeners.

So, even with an FM station on his shopping doesn't appear Edwards is trying for younger listeners looking for hip-hop music that once aired on 106.7 FM.

Of course, African-American listeners in the Youngstown market are served by stations like Bernard Radio's WRBP/101.9 Hubbard "The Beat", which we believe is also closer to an urban AC...

TOLEDO OPENING: Reprinting this opening at a Toledo Clear Channel outlet entirely from the good folks at AllAccess:

CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40/Mainstream WVKS (92-5 KISS FM)/TOLEDO is looking for its next morning show co-host for its "ANDREW Z in the Morning" show. The co-host should be highly motivated, organized, friendly and hard working, with a minimum of three years on-air experience.

Candidates must also be willing to help the producer with editing and other projects, live remotes and other duties laid out by the Program Director. Tapes and resumes to Dir./Operations BILL MICHAELS, 125 S. Superior St., TOLEDO, OH. 43604. Females strongly encouraged to apply. CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO is an equal opportunity employer.

AND HELLO, DINO!: It looks like one of our favorite OMW foils, er, readers, has landed again.

We've had a lot of good natured fun with former now-silent WATJ/1560 Chardon sports talk host and OMW reader Dino Costa, who most recently exited from his online sports talk site in Denver.

AllAccess reports that he has a new "radio home":

Veteran sports talker DINO COSTA reports that he'll be heard nationally on SIRIUS XM RADIO's MAD DOG RADIO sports channel nightly starting (Monday night).

COSTA, who most recently was part of the launch of online DENVER SPORTS RADIO and has been heard in DENVER and JACKSONVILLE, among other places, will air 8p-1a ET weeknights on the channel.

Sure enough, there's Costa on the "Mad Dog" schedule:

The Dino Costa Show
Weekdays 8 pm - 1 am ET
Get Dino's one-of-a-kind take on the action while it's happening around the country. From the opening faceoff to the final hoop, Dino keeps you on top of all the big moments while interviewing some of the top names of the night.

Colorado-based Westword, a weekly paper that's apparently had just as much fun with Dino as we have, has more. (By the way, in looking for more in a Google search, we found that one of our articles on Mr. Costa lands at the top of a Google search on his name.)

Congratulations to Dino, sincerely. It sure beats trying to aim at Cleveland sports radio listeners from a 1,000 watt directional daytime AM station out in Geauga County.

Feel free to bang any promotional drums...the ones you play so well. And if you bragged about a new 50,000 watt AM transmitter in Florida, we can only imagine how you'll brag about an entire set of satellites in the sky.

"Mad Dog" is the channel that features former WFAN/660 "The Fan" New York City afternoon drive co-host Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, who reportedly has a hand in assembling the schedule.

One name that was thought to have been on the early "Mad Dog" schedule was another sports talker with some Northeast Ohio ties - former WHLO/640 Akron evening host Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton.

The deal was never worked out with the former World Hockey Association Cleveland Crusaders play-by-play voice (we're talking the 1970's, here, and the current WTAM/1100 was WWWE "3WE"!), who eventually landed cross-satellite from "Mad Dog" doing weekends on XM's "Home Plate" major league baseball channel.

We earlier reported that "Hacksaw" was rumored to be headed back to the local airwaves in San Diego - on his former radio boss' current sports talk operation, cross-border sports outlet XEPRS/1090 "XX 1090", blasting English-language sports talk into San Diego from a transmitter in Mexico.

Just to confirm here - the rumors were true, and Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton is once again blanketing San Diego weekday afternoons with his unique style of sports talk on that station...

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