THIS JUST IN: It’s Curtains For WCER

UPDATE (03-31-2011 at 5:29PM): Or is it? We’ve heard from different sources that WCER may have changed their minds about signing off today or tonight. More on this as details emerge…

The original post as follows:

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**This is a developing story… please keep checking back for the latest developments! **

We’ve also received word that another AM radio station in Canton has decided to throw in the towel and go silent.

This time, it’s Melodynamic talk/religious WCER/900 that has decided to turn off their transmitter sometime today or tonight. (As of right now, the station is still broadcasting both on-air on on-line… but we have recieved confirmation that the station’s folding is imminent.)

And no, it’s not because of a giant government conspiracy to silence controversial syndicated host Alex Jones.

Rather, it’s due to former operations manager Jack Ambrozic’s retirement (WCER’s most recent FCC ownership report lists Ambrozic’s new South Carolina address), and Leodis Harris – the other partner in WCER’s owner Melodynamic – has no interest in keeping the station’s rather unique mix of conservative talk and fundamentalist religious preachers on the air.

The move costs United Stations’ Lou Dobbs, self-syndicated Dave Rasmey, “Free Talk Live” and the aforementioned Jones their de-facto Cleveland outlets (Ramsey moved to WCER after being dropped from WHKW/1220 admist a syndication dispute with WHKW’s parent, Salem Radio.) It also comes weeks after another syndicated host – Leerfield Communications co-founder Derry Brownfieldpassed away. In recent years, WCER also aired Dr. Laura prior to her outright departure from terrestrial radio, TRN’s Micheal Savage, and others.

Also on the outside looking in is local big-band host Dick Waco, whose show aired for many years on Saturday mornings.

Of course, WCER’s actions come just three weeks after hard-luck gospel WINW/1520 was off the air for so long, the FCC deleted its’ license and is now known in their respective database as DWINW.  Which brings up an interesting connection: WINW’s one-time FM sister station – Clear Channel active rocker WRQK/106.9 – whose studios were previously at WINW’s ‘little red building’ on Martindale, began as the original sister station to AM/900, even during the late 1960s when both stations were WNYN – aka “Nine.” (No, not this “NINE!”)

If Melodynamic doesn’t elect to donate the license to a regional college (Malone University, perhaps?) or sell it to another party, and turn the license over to the FCC outright, it will be another sad close in Canton AM history. Only two AM stations will remain in the market – NextMedia news/talk WHBC/1480 and religious WILB/1060 “Living Bread Radio”.

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14 Responses to THIS JUST IN: It’s Curtains For WCER

  1. yekimi says:

    They must be finished, as of 1:30 PM I tried listening online and there’s nothing. [ok, as of 2:00 PM they are still on OTA.] Not the first time they’ve gone silent, a little less than 30 years or so ago when they were WNYN [country format from a bird in the sky] I applied there. After interviewing me, they hired me and said to come back in a week for orientation. A week later, I went back and the place was dark, looking through the windows it appeared the place had been cleaned out. {If I remember correctly, they were broadcasting out of a house that had been converted to broadcast studios, I think it was on W. Tuscarawas in Canton} I tried calling several times, business line just rang with no answer. I had found out about a year later the power had been turned off because they hadn’t paid their electric bill. Where I was living at the time I could not pick them up and didn’t know they had gone dark and didn’t even think about tuning them in on my car radio when I drove down there. I should have gathered something was up when I was first there cause things seemed a little “off”, like an air of quiet desperation permeated the place. Years later I got to thinking that the reason I was being hired is that people prior to me probably hadn’t been paid and walked away in protest and they figured maybe they had another sucker they could string along for two weeks to just push buttons for the local breaks. Live and learn!

  2. Keith says:

    There are 4 AMs remaining that are licensed to Stark Proper.

    WHBC- 1480am
    WLIB – 1060am
    WTIG – 990am
    WDPN – 1310am

    Dave Ramsey remains on 640 WHLO weeknights at 9pm. Dave has been on both stations for just shy of two years.

    • Secondary Editorial Voice (tm) says:

      Indeed, you’re correct on Dave Ramsey being on WHLO. (Heck, is he still on CKLW/800 in the evenings?)

      In fact, WCER’s carriage of Savage was aborted when they tried to air it opposite Rush (and then in morning drive!) and WHLO successfully made the exclusivity argument for the Akron/Canton market.

      Interestingly, some talk stations today – including WSOM/600 Salem, IIRC – now do that same counter-programming of Savage against Rush that WCER tried.

      • keith says:

        Rumors – We never had rights for Savage in both markets. Other shows, yes, but not that one. What really happened is a better story for another time.

        IIRC Were the WBTX calls on 900 at one time?

        -KK

      • Secondary Editorial Voice (tm) says:

        Close – per the FCC records, the 900 facility was WBXT between 1988 and 1992.

        My apologies about the rights for Savage. Admittedly that stuff can be easily confused.

  3. RadioFan says:

    I think Malone University should pick up 900 or 1520. It would certainly be an improvement over the barely heard 1610. Someone should contact the school’s Communication Arts department and should suggest the make the frequency move.

  4. John Amrhein says:

    I have it from a good source that WCER is NOT going off the air today – possible sale in the works?

  5. Tim Lones says:

    Actually this morning I sent a comment to Bible Broadcasting Network’s website detailing the fact that WCER may go off the air today and mentioned this might be an opportunity for them..I seriously doubt the WCER folks sell to BBN, but stranger things have happened..

  6. Tim says:

    Stream of WCER 900 went silent at 12:04 AM today after a news update. I heard the stream through the TuneIn Radio app on my Android.

    • Secondary Editorial Voice (tm) says:

      Gotcha. I’ll check it right now.

      Are you (or anyone else) close to WCER’s broadcast range?

      • Secondary Editorial Voice (tm) says:

        Stream is back up with whatever conservatalker show was scheduled. It might have been either an automation glitch or something (apparently this has been getting worse throughout the course of the day). I’m too far away from the night pattern to see if the transmitter is still on the air. Your guess is as good as mine.

  7. Tim Lones says:

    Still on the air in Southwest Canton..right in the middle of the 75-watt night pattern

  8. John Amrhein says:

    I wouldn’t hold my breath on this one. Jack Ambrozic is still controlling partner of Melodynamic and my source says Ambrozic changed his mind about the shutdown. It could be a pending sale or it could be any of a number of other reasons.

  9. As of 10:15 AM 4/5/11, their stream is still working…

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