Monday, January 11, 2010

Out Of The Chute

A lot of items on our plate, from all over the map, physically and topic-wise...let's have at it.

"SUMMIT" EXPANDS TO MAHONING: Akron Public Schools AAA outlet WAPS/91.3 "The Summit" is indeed, as noted in our previous item, being heard in the Mahoning Valley.

An OMW listener in WAPS' signal range reported hearing a mention of a simulcast on WKTL/90.7 Struthers, the school district owned station which puts a decent signal into most of the Valley. A Valley listener confirmed the simulcast from the Youngstown-area end.

And now, we know details.

WAPS program director Bill Gruber tells OMW about the arrangement between the Akron station and the Struthers station:

WKTL 90.7 in Struthers/Youngstown has begun carrying WAPS 91.3 The Summit’s programming during the hours and days WKTL previously would be off-the-air.

Local WKTL student-related content, and weekend nationality programs, remain on-air.

Gruber calls it "a very logical and relatively simple" cooperation between two Northeast Ohio community public radio station - allowing the WKTL student and community program to continue as is, but allowing Mahoning Valley listeners to catch the "Summit" programming when 90.7 would otherwise be silent.

Says Gruber: "This allows WKTL to operate as a 24 hour, full-time radio station for the first time ever, with a regional Akron/Canton/Youngstown focus, without the need to turn to satellite or syndicated programming."

Gruber says WAPS has already gotten E-mails from Youngstown-area listeners thankful for their new radio option...

SPEAKING OF SIMULCASTS: A format change for a North Central Ohio station has yet to be noted by this corner.

Clear Channel classic hits/oldies WSWR/100.1 Shelby, part of the company's extensive Ashland/Mansfield cluster, has become "My 100.1".

But unlike the company's Canton market WHOF/101.7 North Canton ("My 101.7"), the WSWR format has moved towards a classic rock direction. Previously, the station had run Citadel's classic hits format ("Classic Hits Radio", also known as ABC's "Oldies Radio" and ABC/SMN's "Pure Gold", one of about a half-dozen Northern Ohio stations once doing so).

And despite the frequency in the moniker, WSWR's "My 100.1" is actually a simulcast. An OMW listener reported hearing it also on WXXR/98.3 Fredericktown, which has long been part of the "Fox" rock format trimulcast. "Fox" is now down to WFXN/102.3 Galion and WXXF/107.7 Loudonville. (We haven't compared playlists to differentiate "Fox" and "My". We get the idea that "My" is a softer classic rock station than "Fox".)

Sure enough, long-time Friend and Colleague of OMW Scott Fybush at NorthEast Radio Watch confirmed and taped the legal ID for "My 100.1" on one of his recent trips through OMW Land...with WXXR on the ID and in the simulcast...

MORE GANG BACK TOGETHER: The former Clear Channel/Jacor mass gathering under Randy Michaels at Tribune has grown by one.

Former Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 imaging director Chris Duffy has become the latest to join Tribune, taking similar duties at the company's sole radio station, WGN/720 Chicago.

Of course, any regular reader won't have to search to remember that former Clear Channel Cleveland programming VP Kevin Metheny was Duffy's ultimate programming boss at WTAM, and is now programming WGN...let alone have to search for Tribune CEO Randy Michaels' background running Clear Channel and Jacor's radio operations...

AND SPEAKING OF WTAM: We haven't asked yet, but it sounds like former WKDD/WHLO'er Matt Patrick will be back in the Saturday afternoon (4-7 PM) time slot on WTAM next week, after former Congressman-turned-con Jim Traficant's high profile show.

That's putting it mildly - high profile - as Jimbo's debut Saturday attracted a flotilla of TV cameras (and a bunch of his relatives, apparently).

Patrick's 3 hour show got no outside attention other than from the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), but a decent number of his Akron/Canton area listeners got into the phone lines Saturday, saying they were happy he was "back on the air".

That may have been a bit confusing to Cleveland-area listeners who didn't know him from his 30 year-plus run on WKDD or his local issues talk show on WHLO, both of which ended in mid-December.

Patrick didn't explain his radio past just down I-77 from Oak Tree, though he did mention it when prompted by callers.

He assured his new audience that despite spending his radio career "20 miles south of here", he was a native Clevelander, born and raised on the East Side (either Shaker Heights or East Cleveland, we believe he said)...

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