Some follow-up, mostly, and some other stuff...
BEACON FOLLOWUP: Some additional information about our weekend story on the death of Beacon Broadcasting owner Harold Glunt, who passed away last week at the age of 75.
Beacon's Gregg Allen, not a stranger to the Mighty Blog, shared some of his thoughts in the comment section of the original item...noting Mr. Glunt's passage with "great sadness":
To most at the Beacon family, Mr. Glunt was much more than an owner and a boss, he was a friend and a second father. He was always quick with a smile, a prayer, and even a joke to make you smile.
As for the future of the five Mahoning and Shenango Valley stations under Glunt's ownership, after his death, Allen writes:
It was his wish for the radio stations to continue after his death, and that is EXACTLY what we are going to do.
Some of this may be beyond the staff's control, however.
OMW hears there have been talks with a potential ownership group that wants to buy at least one of the stations, Christian/eclectic/rock/talk WEXC/107.1 Greenville PA "Indie 107.1". The talks apparently took place, initially, while Harold Glunt was still alive.
Whether this group wishes to resume the talks - with Glunt's surviving family members - hasn't yet been determined, and it's not known if these potential investors would be interested in the four AMs in the Beacon chain now that Harold Glunt has passed on.
We also don't have a firm handle on the group itself, or its financial backing....or if Glunt's heirs have any desire to continue operating his radio stations.
So, with all that uncertainty, it appears the five stations will continue operating as they have...at least in the short term.
Allen notes that "Indie 107.1" is sending two party busloads of listeners to a Christian CHR concert, "Winter Jam 2010", this Friday...and is dedicating their sponsorship of the event to their late owner...
AIRLESS AMERICA: Unless you were under a media rock this past week, you're aware that as of this writing, liberal talk network Air America has gone dark.
The network announced that it was filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and ending all programming. Air America ended live programming last week, and offered up repeats for remaining affiliates until Monday night. Unlike previous bankruptcy filings, this one was a total liquidation.
This would have been a much bigger story in OMW a few years ago.
But...we're scratching our heads trying to figure out if there are any stations still running liberal talk programming in the state.
We believe tiny WAIS/770 Nelsonville (near Athens) was running Ed Schultz, but Ed is not - and has never been - part of Air America.
Neither has Stephanie Miller, who like Schultz is syndicated by the Dial Global folks. Both Miller and Schultz once counted at least some popularity, within the format, at Clear Channel liberal talkers in Columbus and Akron, and Schultz also ran on the company's liberal talk station in Cincinnati. All of the stations have long since changed format to conservative talk or sports.
We think there may still be a liberal talker owned by Clear Channel in the Portsmouth/Ironton area, but it may have flipped to sports while we weren't looking.
And of the stations listed, we're not sure any were still carrying Air America programming. In its final days, the "trailblazing" network of liberal talk was but a footnote...
SPEAKING OF EX-AIR AMERICANS: Jerry, Jerry, Jerry...could he be getting back into political talk?
No, not on the radio, but in Jerry Springer's more natural medium, television.
The Cincinnati Enquirer's John Kiesewetter has recently passed along word of a new pilot project involving the former Cincinnati mayor, trash TV talker, and former Air America host...with an interesting partner - a former co-worker of Jerry's at Clear Channel Cincinnati:
Score Round One for Jerry Springer. That’s my take on the “Jerry & Bill Show,” the pilot for a weekly debate show starring Springer and 700 WLW-AM’s Bill Cunningham that aired Sunday night (Jan. 10th) on WXIX-TV (Ch 19).
Though the pilot aired locally in Cincinnati on Raycom-owned "Fox 19", Kiesewetter noted that cable/satellite channel WGN America also aired the pilot, which was apparently developed for Tribune owned stations...by...oh, wait, this is too easy to guess...Tribune executives Randy Michaels and Sean Compton, both former Clear Channel (and WLW!) employees.
We'll have to see how far "Jerry & Bill", and Jerry and Bill, go in the format in the future. Jerry wasn't really a good radio host (we're being kind), so it may provide a measure on how he'll hold up in his "home medium" when people aren't throwing chairs around...