Chad And Larry
December 4, 2012 2 Comments
Two names have dominated local media news the past few days. Let’s start with the most recent update…
CHAD’S OUT: It was pure speculation in our last item…a prediction that comedian and Clear Channel rock/talk WMMS/100.7 afternoon co-host Chad Zumock would ride out the storm of an OVI arrest in Lakewood, his second in the past four years.
Here, let’s just see how wrong we were:
He might get a brief suspension under Clear Channel policy (as far as we know, Zumock wasn’t on the air Friday), but that’s about it, we predict…and at some point, he’ll probably mine it for comedic effect both in his standup routine, and with Alan Cox, Erika Lauren and the gang on WMMS…
Instead, Chad Zumock is on the outside looking in at Oak Tree (not the tree he’s charged with hitting), leaving “The Alan Cox Show” without a co-host in the multi-person afternoon drive show…except for on-air contributions by “Real World: DC” alumnus Lauren.
The E-mails and tweets came down fast and furious on Monday afternoon…Chad Zumock had been FIRED (their caps) as a result of his alleged drunk driving incident tangling with a tree.
“Dismissed” is the term we’ve heard from Oak Tree sources.
A good source of information on WMMS’ afternoon talk show is, well, WMMS’ afternoon talk show, where Alan Cox himself briefly addressed Zumock’s departure during the show’s Monday opening.
In the grand tradition of OMW, we’ll transcribe the important parts of Cox’s opening from the show’s podcast:
ALAN: (after noting Erika Lauren’s presence “behind the glass”) And, uh…Chad is no longer a member of this show.
Chad Zumock is gone from this program. He is no longer an employee of the company.
And, uh, I guess for anyone who’s tuning into the show, even five minutes late…you’re gonna miss all this.
So, T-Bag came into me before the show, and he said, “hey, how do you want me to deal with people who are, you know, they’re gonna be invariably calling about Chad, and what happened and blah-blah-blah.”
I said, “Well, there’s really not much for me to say. There really isn’t.”
ERIKA: It never was our business.
ALAN: It really wasn’t, no.
And I had pretty much the same information that everyone else had. On Friday, Chad was out, you know, and anybody who’s been reading the news online or whatever, I mean, you know as much as I do.
But, he had had a contract with the station and with the show, and as anybody with a contract knows, there are certain things in that contract that if they go awry, the thing gets voided.
So that’s pretty much the long and short of it. I wish the guy nothing but the best…
Cox went on to note that “for all the crap he took from the audience, it’s almost impossible to dislike Chad”…reminding listeners that Zumock was still doing standup comedy and has a Twitter presence, and eventually, Cox and Lauren said “the show much go on”.
Cox noted that Zumock’s official exit from the building came on the same day that he started his morning drive show on Clear Channel brother rock station WDTW-FM/106.7 “The D” in Detroit. “The Alan Cox Show” Cleveland cast is not connected to the Detroit show, which features just Alan Cox and music.
As for Zumock, he E-mailed a statement to Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5′s NewsChannel 5, which was posted on the station’s NewsNet5.com website:
Have you seen my mugshot yet? I’m pretty sure it’s worse than Nick Nolte’s. But I guess I now have my next comedy album cover, so I’ve got that going for me.
Please know I am taking this incident very seriously. I’m very sorry for all the damage this has caused.
I will say this: Working at WMMS was meant a lot to me on so many levels. I put my heart and soul into the show and I hope a lot of you saw that.
I bleed Cleveland. This is my city and the best people in the world live here. We love a good come back. Let me get my act together and I’ll show you a great come back.
Thank you, Chad Zumock
Tuesday afternoon, Zumock posted a longer statement on his Tumblr blog….
LARRY’S ALMOST OUT: Cleveland Indians owner Larry Dolan hasn’t YET sold regional sports network SportsTime Ohio to the News Corporation’s Fox Sports empire, but everyone short of the children’s magazine “Highlights” seems to be reporting that the deal is imminent.
We’ll pick from one article filled with the most details, the one written by Plain Dealer Indians beat writer Paul Hoynes.
Fox Sports Ohio is close to purchasing SportsTime Ohio for between $200 million and $250 million, said a source familiar with the negotiations. The sale could be completed by the end of December and would increase the Indians’ rights fees for broadcasting their games from $30 million to an estimated $40 million a year.
That end-of-the-year deadline, which we’ve also heard from our own sources, has a possible reason, says Hoynes:
Fox and STO reportedly want the deal done by the end of the year because of new tax ramifications in 2013.
Fox is obviously buying the network to regain the Indians TV rights, which Fox Sports Ohio had until 2006′s debut of the quasi-in-house SportsTime Ohio.
But Hoynes says Fox can’t just flip a switch and turn STO into dust:
There were rumblings that STO would cease to exist after Fox’s purchase, but it appears that Fox will need two networks in Ohio to carry its programming. STO is expected to exist in some form through the Indians’ 2013 baseball season because there might not be enough time between the sale and Opening Day for Fox to complete its takeover.
Separately, Hoynes notes that Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 has “a contract for the 2013 season” to be the Indians’ over-air TV home. SportsTime Ohio’s production facilities are currently housed in the WKYC “Digital Broadcast Center” at 13th and Lakeside.
In a final, brief note, Hoynes reports what’s already been all but officially announced here and elsewhere: the Indians radio play-by-play rights will return to Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100.
But as Hoynes notes, the deal has not yet been officially announced either by the team or Clear Channel.
We’re wondering if all this activity on the TV side of things is delaying things on the team side.
One other note: Hoynes says while Tribe radio team Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus are paid by the Indians, TV broadcasters Rick Manning, Matt Underwood and Al Pawlowski get their paychecks from SportsTime Ohio.
That has been a Distinction Without A Difference, until now…