Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Ohio Connection

Here are a couple of very unrelated items about Northeast Ohioans in or near the national media spotlight...

CONVENTION TIME: Those in local radio and TV are noticing that many people have left Ohio for Las Vegas this week, site of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) annual convention.

Long-time OMW readers are aware that a regular reader of the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), Rubber City Radio Group VP/information media Ed Esposito, has been involved with what is now the Radio-Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and is the current chairman of the associated Radio-Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF). Rubber City owns oldies/news WAKR/1590, rock WONE/97.5 and country WQMX/94.9 in the Akron market.

The organization's middle letters were switched recently - ND for "News Directors" became DN for "Digital News", in an effort to broaden and modernize the group.

Ed is wrapping up his service to RTDNA/F, and he's in Las Vegas this week as a part of the RTDNA@NAB convention. He was RTDNA chairman before moving to the same role at the Foundation side of things.

And you can see some of what Mr. Esposito is doing in Las Vegas, with this YouTube video interview with CBS News mainstay Steve Kroft, honored by the RTDNA with the 2010 "Paul White Award":

The interview is available here in case you can't do embedded YouTube video.

And a reminder - Esposito is not the only newsie with local ties affiliated with what is now RTDNA/F. President-emeritus Barbara Cochran, a veteran newswoman, is an Akron native...

NATIONAL AND LOCAL: With the popularity of the political Tea Party movement among talk radio listeners, it's no surprise that a virtual train of talk radio hosts has attached themselves to the effort. Or maybe we should say "bus lineup".

The latest incarnation of the Tea Party movement is the third Tea Party Express bus tour across America, which showed up in Berea at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds on Sunday, talk show hosts in tow.

For one, the national chairman of the Tea Party Express tour is a California radio talk show host - former KFBK/Sacramento host Mark Williams, who still does remote ISDN fill-in (much like Clear Channel talk WSPD/1370 program director/afternoon drive host Brian Wilson does) for stations across the country.

Dial Global syndicated host Neal Boortz is on the schedule for the tour's final stop, a tax protest in Washington DC on Tax Day 2010.

But the local hosts are not ignoring one of the biggest political movements in many years, according to an article from the Akron Beacon Journal.

Take Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 weekend host Matt Patrick - the former hot AC WKDD/98.1 morning driver and talk WHLO/640 midday host out of Clear Channel's Akron/Canton Freedom Avenue complex in northern Stark County, now appearing out of the company's Cleveland market hub at Oak Tree.

Matt has taken the stage at a number of Tea Party-linked events, and was a local emcee for the Berea event. He'll also be fronting Tea Party rallies in Akron and Medina in the next few days. It may be easier to list what Tea Party events Patrick is not attending locally.

And his WTAM co-worker, evening/weekend host Bob Frantz, is also getting into the Tea Party mix, emceeing a Tax Day event in Cleveland. Not only that, WPGB/Pittsburgh-based syndicated host Jim Quinn ("The War Room") is scheduled for a University Heights event on Thursday. Quinn's show is heard middays on WHLO on delay - the replacement for Patrick's old program.

Of course, Frantz, Patrick, Quinn and even national chairman Williams - a regular on cable TV news shows - are somewhat overshadowed by the movement's biggest name... former Alaska governor, 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate and current Fox News contributor Sarah Palin.

A note: Back and forth political sniping will be deleted in the comments. We're not writing about the political policies of the Tea Party movement one way or the other, just the involvement of local radio hosts in it...


Anonymous said...

This is not meant to be a political comment.

The situation with the Tea Party this year is very similar to that of last year's recall election of a certain politician. These radio hosts get involved because there is a certain segment of their audience that is very vocal. If the radio hosts are involved, then this creates increased ratings for such hosts.

74WIXYgrad said...

My guess is that Matt Patrick will be involved as much as he is because he is being groomed as Triv's replacement when Mike hangs it up at the end of his contract.

Cliff Note: You didn't say anything about stirring up other controversy;)

nathanobral said...

I actually think that Bob Frantz is Triv's natural successor whenever he retires, with Matt taking over for Bob's utility infielder-esque status in the evenings (Extra Innings, however, could easily go to Nick Camino without much issue).

Nothing against Matt at all, but the long time he was at WKDD may work against him. He still has name recognition in Akron, but do many people north of Brecksville know who he is? Aside from those that listened to WKDD prior to the 2001 frequency swap...