There have been so many stories that have popped up over the past week (notwithstanding the flap between Matt Patrick and the entire Michigan State Spartans fanbase for his remarks on coach Mike D’Antonio back on Monday… so much has been said that this list of articles across the country should suffice).
As OMW’s Primary Editorial Voice ™ noted late last week, a guest editor would likely be brought aboard to help out as a Secondary Editorial Voice ™. As such, this will be my first “guest post” on OMW. So, without further ado, here we go with the latest radio/TV news:
“CAPTAIN TONY” LANDS: The former producer for country WGAR/99.5′s former morning host, Jim Mantel, now has a new gig in the Pine Tree State.
“Captain Tony” McGinty is headed to Nassau Broadcasting country WTHT/99.9 Auburn/Portland to produce the “Dave and Michelle” morning show on “99.9 The Wolf,” hosted by Dave Winsor and Michelle Taylor, respectively.
McGinty was let go along with Jim Mantel from WGAR back on August 17 after Clear Channel declined to renew Mantel’s contract… and Tony was tied into any Mantel deal with WGAR.
There’s no word yet on a start date at “99.9 The Wolf,” but they do stream online.
BREAKING – DARYL RUITER LEAVES WKNR: In what seems to be a common occurrence at WKNR/850, yet another long-time staffer at the Good Karma-owner sports talker has left the building.
Daryl Ruiter, the station’s update anchor during “Munch in the Morning” and “Mike & Mike,” Browns beat reporter, webmaster and station engineer, departed from “ESPN 850″ yesterday. He confirmed that Friday was his last day on Twitter, saying that it was “sad to say goodbye after 12 wonderful years but looking forward to the opportunities the future brings.”
Ruiter had been heard off and on at WKNR since 1998, but most of that time was working at Metro Networks’ Independence facility before Good Karma hired him internally to do engineering work and produce what was then Mark “Munch” Bishop’s afternoon show. Eventually, it later evolved into doing update anchoring, Browns beat reporting, and occasional fill-in hosting on the weekends… all at the same time.
Ruiter’s departure not only leaves WKNR short of a Browns beat reporter… it comes after WKNR jettisoned update anchor Jeff Thomas, reporter Bob Karlovec, and board-op/engineer Eddie Mularz back in May. (More on the first two later on in this post.)
At this same time, a group called Digital Sports Network made the following post on their twitter account:
“DSN would like to officially welcome Daryl Ruiter to our team. Stay tuned for our broadcast lineup coming soon.”
The Digital Sports Network advertise themselves as “your source for Cleveland Sports – COMING IN TWO WEEKS! Radio Programming and Blogs Featuring Cleveland Sports! Also partnering with Cleveland.com.” For the past month or so, a companion WordPress blog and Facebook fan page have been in operation, offering Cleveland sports news and opinion. Among the staffers listed on the blog are former Metro Networks/WKNR staffer Matt Loede (who is also a sports announcer with WEOL/930 Elyria) and Tony Mazur.
As for DSN’s radio programming plans… the domain sportsradiocleveland.com has been mentioned by people supposedly close to this venture, but it is an undeveloped page, with the GoDaddy.com material still on there. But Ruiter, Loede, and Mazur would have to be a part of said plans, even as they still faces an mammoth battle against WKNR, if not just because of the terrestrial radio vs. internet radio factor.
Smart phone technology, and the future of wireless internet radio, do show promise of leveling the playing field… but it will take serious time for this effort to develop, and to make some headway into the local media scene. The addition of Ruiter into the mix is a very smart and solid move.
Q104, SOON TO BE LESS “WILDE”: For those who follow OMW’s Twitter feed, Hot AC WQAL/104.1 personality Rebecca Wilde dropped a bombshell of sorts on her Twitter page on Wednesday, September 15:
“Off to travel the world!! Last day at the Q is Oct. 29th!”
On September 22, the “Wilde and Fee” co-host officially confirmed her departure on her bio page/blog on Q104′s website. And indeed, she’s leaving WQAL on October 29 for an extended travel sabbatical… with little to no sign that she may make a reentry into radio:
“There is a whole big world out there that has been calling my name and I have finally decided it’s time to go check it out. I will miss Cleveland like you cannot even imagine. I have some time before my final goodbye but I want to thank you for everything…….for all the love, the success and the joy that you and this city have bestowed upon me. I truly feel like I will be leaving a huge family and many friends behind.”
Wilde will leave the station just one month shy of her 10th anniversary over there; co-host Allan Fee celebrated his in late July. Of course, Fee originally was WQAL’s off-air program director before assuming the morning host position that Danny Czekalinski vacated in 2004… Wilde herself started in middays before succeeding Carole Chandler (Sullivan) as morning co-host in 2003.
Now the attention is directed towards who will replace Rebecca Wilde on the morning show; the smart money should have to be on current afternoon host Jen Toohey. And Rebecca, best of wishes upon your upcoming travels. Would we all be so lucky or fortunate…
PUTTING THE “NEW” IN NEWS GRAPHICS: Lest we forget the fine folks at Reserve Square, Raycom CBS affiliate WOIO/19 made a very noticeable change this past weekend.
One could make the case that, after “19 Action News” made the conversion to HD back in November 2007, they ended up with one of the ugliest graphics packages in town. So much could be said about that look, but by far, the biggest offensive was the massive “19ActionNewsHD” logo that compressed the text on the L3 graphics.
Fortunately on Monday (and no doubt coinciding with the start of CBS’ fall lineup) WOIO unveiled an updated graphics package. The on-air look is cleaner and crisper, and the bottom-of-the-screen ticker was refreshed as well. The biggest improvement was the merciful excising of the “HD” from the Action News logo.
Of course, in comparison to WOIO’s sister station (and former FOX O&O/Local TV outlet) in Birmingham, Fox affiliate WBRC/6… well, there IS no comparison…
DOWN ON THE FARM: Whiplash Radio LLC’s WRTK/1540 Niles continues to make additions to their “Farm” classic country format.
WRTK has picked up three weekend programs; first, Dial-Global’s “America’s Grand Ole Opry Weekend” on Saturday mornings from 9am-11am, “Country Music Greats with Jim Ed Brown” on Saturdays from 11am-1pm, and “Country Gold with Rowdy Yates” on Sunday mornings at 9am. But the most noteworthy addition, however, is the “Wheeling Jamboree,” which WRTK now carries on Saturdays from 1pm-3pm.
Yes, this is the very same program that originated on WWVA/1170 Wheeling for nearly 80 years, first as the “WWVA Jamboree,” and later “Jamboree USA,” before being quietly canceled on December 6, 2008 after three years worth of reruns. Since then, Clear Channel’s concert arm LiveNation spun off the program to a local non-profit, and sold off its’ longtime host venue, the Capitol Music Hall, to the Wheeling Convention Bureau. (The Capitol still hosts studio space for the entire Clear Channel Wheeling cluster.)
The Wheeling Jamboree now airs on “The Watchdawg,” WKKX/1600 Wheeling, WWVA’s all-local talk rival, and has since entered syndication, owing to WKKX’s non-existent 33 watt night signal (as opposed to WWVA’s massive 50kW signal).
Plus, as noted in this tweet from The Farm, the recent purchase of WRTK and Fox Sports affiliate WANR/1570 Warren may not be the last major move made by station owner Chris Lash. I guess we shall have to wait and see…
OTHER Y-TOWN NEWS: I was tipped off on some changes that occurred at Bernard Radio’s WASN/1500 Youngstown some months ago. Back in early January, WASN changed formats from gospel music to an urban talk format.
WASN has a local morning show hosted by “Tracey and Friends” from 7am-10am, followed by Syndication One hosts Warren Ballentine (10am-1pm) and the Rev. Al Sharpton (1pm-4pm), and Citadel host Michael Basiden (3pm-7pm), respectively. Basiden even did his show live from WASN’s studios this past Wednesday as part of his One Million Mentors tour, which had a stop in Youngstown.
The switch to urban talk also meant that a WASN mainstay, a local talk show hosted by Louie Free (which aired regardless of WASN’s past gospel and Hispanic formats), made the move to sister station WGFT/1330 Campbell, which sports a conservative talk format as “1330TALK.” Even though both stations are daytime-only, both WASN and WGFT‘s websites now feature 24-hour web streaming.
Also, there have been some rumblings that a significant station in said market could be sold in the very near future, but it’s still a very developing situation. Stay tuned…
KARLOVEC!!!: Newly minted WEOL/930 Elyria morning host Jeff Thomas isn’t the only former WKNR staffer that has seen a revival of, well… “good karma…” in Lorain County, even.
Since the start of the high school football season, former WKNR producer/host/Browns beat reporter Bob Karlovec has been the lead play-by-play man for classic country WOBL/1320 Oberlin’s HFSB broadcasts, joined alongside Darryl Maynard and sideline reporter Eric Girod.
Karlovec is hardly a stranger to Lorain County; he called games for WEOL from 1977 until 1992, and served as that station’s sports director for much of the same time. He joined WKNR upon the station’s July 1990 launch on the AM/1220 facility, and was there in numerous capacities until his dismissal on May 4, which was concurrent with Jeff Thomas’ release.
Bob’s addition also meant that former WOBL color man Jason Gibbs (who is also WKNR’s program director) was shuffled over to sister station WDLW/1380 Lorain’s broadcast crew, and is now teamed up with longtime play-by-play man Don Vincent and sideline reporter Rick Amador.
As for Jeff, he quietly returned to the field of play-by-play, serving as a fill-in sideline reporter for WEOL’s tape-delayed “Medina County Matchup” back on September 10. (Due to the big-time, big deal Elyria-Elyria Catholic game the previous night, his services were no doubt needed.)
WELL, HELLO (AGAIN) LARRY: Former Clevelander Larry Elder will be returning to the radio airwaves, on venerable Citadel talk station KABC/790 Los Angeles. The official announcement was made Wednesday afternoon during Sean Hannity’s own program.
It’s also a return to KABC for “The Sage of South Central,” where his show was once even nationally syndicated at, from 2002 until 2007 (ABC Radio replaced his show with WABC’s Mark Levin).
Back in the late 1980s, Elder hosted a public affairs show on PBS affiliate WVIZ/25 Cleveland, which eventually moved to then-Fox affiliate WOIO/19 as “The Larry Elder Show.”
That’s it from here… have a great weekend!