The altered state of reality here at the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) means that, well, we missed some stuff...some that affects the coming year.
So, here's at least some of What We Missed, and other updates, with a year-end message still to come...
FREEDOM AVENUE CHANGES: There have been so many changes at Clear Channel's Akron/Canton cluster on Freedom Avenue that we wouldn't be surprised if you'd mistake it for a bus or train station, as opposed to a radio station cluster.
First, as long advertised, 30-plus year Akron market veteran host Matt Patrick left his perch in mornings at hot AC WKDD/98.1...a station he'd anchored since it was on 96.5 (now Clear Channel sister top 40 WAKS "Kiss FM"). He also left his 9 AM-noon talk show on sister talk WHLO/640.
Slipping in upon Patrick's departure from the WKDD morning drive show was, as many expected, WKDD program director/CC Akron-Canton operations director/now former afternoon drive air personality/OMW reader Keith Kennedy, and there's no truth to the rumor that WKDD will take the moniker "Keith FM". Kennedy now hosts morning drive with Patrick's most recent co-host, Krissy Taylor.
Taking afternoon drive on the WKDD schedule is station mainstay Jon Marochino. (More on him later.)
Taking Patrick's WHLO time slot is a delayed version of Pittsburgh-based syndicated morning show "Quinn and Rose", which has aired live in morning drive on WHLO until now.
Taking the WHLO morning drive slot? Akron and Canton radio veteran Jim Albright. From a station release on the new show, which airs starting January 4th:
Akron/Canton news, traffic, sports and weather will be the primary focus on the new show, presented in a fast paced, modern format. Listeners will hear all the information in a tight ten minute package, which is about the length of the average commute in Akron/Canton. “Our Goal is to give you everything you need in 10 minutes or less” said Albright.
Albright will be joined by the station's morning news anchor, John Amrhein.
“WHLO is a heritage set of call letters, and I’m thrilled to be able to say them on the air very soon” said Albright. “The Akron/Canton has been my home my entire life and I can’t imagine being anywhere else” he added. “This will be my last job in radio! They will have to pry me from the studio equipment in 30 years”.
Albright was most recently afternoon drive host at NextMedia talk WHBC/1480 in Canton, but gained his local fame as the host of the long-running "Dating Show" on Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 "The Talk of Akron" in the Akron market...a local radio staple in the 70's, 80's and 90's. Budget cuts ended his run at WHBC, in a time slot now occupied by station veteran Sam Bourquin.
Back to Jon Marochino, who's a key player in Freedom Avenue's third move.
He'll host "The Jon Marochino Show", a weekday, 3-6 PM local sports talk show on sports WARF/1350 Akron "Fox Sports 1350". Quoting another station release:
Listeners will be able to express their thoughts on teams such as the Zips, Kent St., Aeros, Cavs, Browns, Indians, and Buckeyes. The program will also devote time to coverage of High School Sports.
“For the first time, listeners in Akron won’t have to tune to a station in Cleveland for their daily dose of Northeast Ohio sports” said Marochino. “We are two guys who scream and yell at the TV when our teams aren’t playing well, we’re not clubhouse or locker room reporters, we’re fans who happen to have a radio show” Marochino added.
The "two guys" refers to Marochino and sports update anchor Todd Fisher. As with Albright's new WHLO show, the new WARF afternoon drive local show starts January 4th.
And yes, Marochino is listed as the afternoon drive replacement on WKDD for now-morning driver Keith Kennedy.
We'll assume the Magic of Voicetracking(tm) will allow that, and that Marochino won't be doing both shows simultaneously...a la an old "Saturday Night Live" skit with Dan Aykroyd doing both AM and FM shows at the same time...
BOOM: A week earlier than expected, and as reported here below, Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting debuted its new "Boom!" AAA format on WNWV/107.3 Elyria...nudging the 20-year plus "Wave" smooth jazz format to WNWV's HD2 signal (and an Internet stream).
(By the way, the station has been called both "107.3 Boom!" and "Boom! 107.3" by ELB, so we don't know which it is.)
The opening music set at noon Monday, thanks to Lance Venta's RadioInsight:
Thievery Corporation – Radio Retaliation
Bruce Springsteen – Radio Nowhere
Coldplay – Clocks
Sarah McLachlan – Possession
Train – Hey Soul Sister
COLUMBUS STUFF: Columbus FM talker WTDA/103.9 is no longer "Talk FM". It dropped a lineup of mostly syndicated second-tier talkers and a local morning show to become "Classic Hits 103.9", using a Dial Global satellite-delivered format.
The move to music on WTDA means Clear Channel sports WYTS/1230 "Fox Sports 1230" is able to pick up the midday program hosted by Dan Patrick, who normally airs on the FSR feed....but WTDA had his Columbus market rights due to an earlier agreement to carry him in the Content Factory syndication deal.
Though Patrick is off this holiday week, WYTS is already carrying his program.
The Columbus station, and other FSR affiliates including Akron's WARF, are also carrying the network's new morning drive program with former ESPN Radio host Stephen A. Smith. Smith replaces Steve Czaban, who was shown the door at FSR a while back...
CURRENCY: Thursday is a big day for Cleveland radio.
Arbitron's Portable People Meter ratings results become "currency" with tomorrow's report. Local stations have already had "pre-currency" numbers, and changes have already happened - Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting cited the new ratings system in its decision to send "The Wave" packing on 107.3. (The jury's out on whether the new AAA format is any more "PPM friendly" than the long-time smooth jazz format.)
Regular OMW readers know we don't spend a lot of time with ratings for various reasons, not the least of which is that they can be sliced, diced and interpreted many different ways. But we'll try to get something up here about the first PPM "currency" book in Cleveland after the first of the year.
And if the numbers prompt any format or personality changes, we'll definitely cover that...