From TV To FM Radio

And it’s mostly an FM thing this time…but let’s start with some TV…

DR. GONE: Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 made a big deal out of its choice to replace Oprah Winfrey at 4 PM, when the queen of TV talk left the over-air airwaves for her own “OWN” – “Oprah Winfrey Network”.

Dr. Mehmet Oz from the Oprah Universe, who had already been airing on WEWS at 10 AM weekdays, would air also at 4…with the later edition being his “newest” show, and the 10 AM airing a repeat from a week earlier.

“Dr. Oz” is no longer practicing TV medicine on Channel 5 at 4 PM, in an abrupt move made a while back.

We noticed it when we turned to WEWS a couple of weeks ago, and found two airings of the half-hour video clip show “RightThisMinute”. The show has aired at various times on Channel 5 in the past.

Why so abrupt a change?

Maybe the folks at 3001 Euclid were tired of “Dr. Oz”‘s sagging ratings, and for that matter, were worried about its effect on NewsChannel 5′s “Live on Five” at 5 PM…a show that we hear has definitely seen better ratings days. You could well say the same for the station’s “Good Morning Cleveland”.

As the folks at 3001 Euclid are fond of doing, “Live on Five” has undergone tweaking…that apparently isn’t helping the ratings.

We’re told that “RightThisMinute” isn’t really improving things so far in the former “Dr. Oz” slot, though it is early. (“RTM” is owned by a consortium including Scripps, and WOIO/19-WUAB/43 owner Raycom Media.)

“Dr. Oz” continues on WEWS in its original 10 AM time slot, and according to listings, also airs at 1:37 AM…

GRACE FINALLY MAKES IT: Shortly after Akron’s Rubber City Radio Group bought WNWV/107.3 and returned it to its historic “Wave” identity, back in early 2012, we noticed a new staff member:

Also aboard the new “Wave” is Grace Roberts, who started her career at the station (under Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting ownership, of course), and eventually became a mainstay at Radio One urban AC WZAK/93.1 and gospel WJMO/1300.

There was only one problem with our item.

Despite the fact that Rubber City even added Grace to its new website, she never actually took the job at WNWV…choosing, we heard later, to stay with Radio One instead.

It turns out the announcement of Grace joining the Wave was about a year and nine months premature, as Roberts does indeed now join the “107.3 The Wave” staff…really.

From AllAccess:

RUBBER CITY RADIO GROUP Smooth AC WNWV (107.3 THE WAVE) has named GRACE ROBERTS as its new Community Affairs Director. ROBERTS will also join the WAVE MORNING SHOW team, with longtime host DAN DEELY beginning OCTOBER 28th.

Roberts tells the AllAccess folks that she’s followed Deely’s career over the years, and says it’s an honor to be working with him.

As we noted in the first item, Grace Roberts is well known for her stint as WZAK’s long-time overnighter, and her work in middays at sister gospel WJMO…and started her career at the first incarnation of WNWV under Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting’s ownership…

NEW WKSU PD: Kent State University public outlet WKSU/89.7-and-its-many-simulcasters has named a new program director. She’s Ele Ellis, who comes to the Kent-based station from WUGA in Athens GA.

Quoting WKSU executive director Dan Skinner in a release sent to us by (say it with us!) long-time personal and professional Friend of OMW Ann VerWiebe, the station’s marketing/public relations guru:

“We feel very fortunate to have Ele on board to help lead the station into an undiscovered public radio future. Her knowledge of programming – including news, classical music and even folk music – and her obvious love of public radio makes her an ideal fit for WKSU.”

Yes, “even folk music”, as Ellis rose from show host to program director of AAA/Americana/variety WNCW in Spindale NC. She hosted the bluegrass program “Goin’ Across The Mountain”.

WNCW is well-known in public radio circles for its music, and covers a wide swath of the Asheville NC and western North Carolina area, with translators in Charlotte and other cities.

WUGA’s schedule appears much like WKSU’s, before it added news/talk programming in middays…

THIS IS NPR: If you spend even a little time listening to WKSU and other NPR stations, you probably can hear the voice in your head…”This is NPR”, which used to be followed by “National Public Radio”.

That voice was Frank Tavares, who intoned the above and read thousands of underwriting announcements from his Connecticut home for three decades.

The public radio giant announced this week that a female voice will replace Tavares on the air, Sabrina Farhi.

From NPR’s press release, quoted on Jim Romenesko’s site.

Listeners will begin to hear Farhi’s own articulation of “Support for NPR comes from…” in November, as she reminds audiences of the multitude of Member stations, corporations and institutions who contribute funding to NPR and public radio.

But the little reported news involves those NPR online sponsor credits, which, according to the public media trade publication “Current”, were voiced by someone within the OMW Coverage Area:

Joe Gunderman, a production coordinator at WKSU in Kent, Ohio, and an announcer of NPR’s digital sponsorship credits, will also be replaced. Gunderman and Tavares were invited to apply for the new position, according to NPR.

And to complete the WKSU part of this story, of course, NPR VP/programming Eric Nuzum is an alumnus of the local station as well, starting his career as a student employee, and later becoming one of Ellis’ predecessors as program director…

AND ONE MORE ON WKSU: And believe it or not, this one didn’t come from (see above).

We were stumbling across the FCC databases tonight when we found an application earlier this year for a WKSU translator in Mansfield.

The 22 watt signal at 95.1 would not be a powerhouse, but would restore NPR news/talk programming to much of Mansfield that lost it when Ohio State University’s WOSU-FM decided to mount the station’s all-classical service (based at newly acquired WOSA/101.1 “Classical 101″ Grove City/Columbus) on WOSV in that Mid-Ohio city.

The proposed Mansfield translator lists WKSU’s nearest full-power repeater signal, WKRW/89.3 Wooster, as its intended primary.

WKSU also operates 80 watt W239AZ/95.7 in Ashland, another translator that doesn’t made it to the heart of Mansfield.

The WKSU translator in Boardman in Mahoning County is now off the air, and has disappeared from all databases…

Updates And More Updates

In which more is revealed, and new things come out…

WKNR CHANGES: The Semi-Extreme Makeover of Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850″ has some more details attached to it.

For that, we thank two people…Good Karma boss Craig Karmazin, and Akron Beacon Journal sportswriter George M. Thomas for writing about Karmazin’s appearance Wednesday afternoon on his station.

And the lineup changes prompted by the dismissal of 21 year veteran Kenny Roda, along with Will Burge and T.J. Zuppe and the essential demotion of Roda’s former co-host, Michael Reghi, become clear.

Here’s your new “ESPN 850″ schedule:

6 AM-3 PM: Unchanged, with ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning”, “The Really Big Show” with Tony Rizzo and the newly moved “Cleveland Browns Daily” in their current time slots.

3-6 PM: “The Hooligans” retains Bruce Hooley, but replaces Greg Brinda with former football star and former “3 Deep” co-host Je’Rod Cherry, along with that show’s Emmitt Golden.

Notice that we said the WKNR schedule was unchanged after 6 AM, as Mark “Munch” Bishop moves from his pre-”Mike and Mike” time slot at 5 AM, to a new show from 6-8 PM.

And after that, according to Thomas?

Game-related programming will fill the prime-time hours until Greg Brinda, once part of The Hooligans, returns to late evenings to host postgame coverage related to the Indians and Cavs.

So, it’s not quite a total retreat from local evening programming, though we’d honestly expect a lot of ESPN Radio between Bishop’s 8 PM signoff and whenever the game Brinda’s covering ends.

And we do still believe it’s budget related, and nothing in the changed lineup will dissuade that thought.

For one, three people are totally gone from the Galleria, and station management admits they won’t be immediately replaced.

“Munch” is already (presumably) under contract with the station, and is just moving into the evening hours from pre-dawn duty.

For that matter, Brinda and Reghi are still (presumably) under contract, even with their now-reduced roles.

But, the station has set Kenny Roda free, and also saves money by not paying Zuppe or Burge. And there’s no attempt to regularly fill the 9 PM-midnight “Cleveland Sports Night” time slot, except by whatever post-game shows Brinda airs. (For that matter, even Bishop is only slated for two of the three hours formerly filled by “3 Deep”.)

And again, how much DID Good Karma pay to nab the AM side of the Cleveland Browns contract? We honestly don’t know, but would love to make the comparison.

Both Burge and Zuppe indicate (via Twitter) that they’ll be back soon, which could well have them following former WKNR type Chris Fedor in some part-time/weekend role with CBS Radio sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan”.

But we haven’t heard about any impending hiring of any of the three former WKNR personalities at the Halle Building (or anywhere else). And there would appear to be no room in a full-time role for Roda, either at “The Fan” or elsewhere…though, as always, we could be wrong…

NO STAN GONE, YET: Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 “The Talk of Akron” morning mainstay Stan Piatt is still on the station, and still in Akron.

But really…don’t expect that to last for THAT much longer.

OMW hears from basically all over the Akron market that the question isn’t IF Stan Piatt is leaving, but WHEN.

We hear the Klaus Brothers – WNIR managers Bill and Bob Klaus – are pulling out all the stops to get Stan to stay…through 2013.

But no matter what those stops are, it appears that Piatt will eventually leave Northeast Ohio for a new life in Pittsburgh, likely away from the radio microphone…for personal happiness.

And since we’re talking personal life issues and not a contract/money dispute here, there doesn’t appear to be anything the folks at Broadcast Park can do about it…

NEW WZAK’ER: The departure of afternoon drive syndicated host Michael Baisden left a big hole in the lineup of Radio One urban AC WZAK/93.1.

We hadn’t seen detailed ratings, but we’ve always heard that Baisden did very well for WZAK…and presumably Skip Murphy, Reach Media’s replacement for Baisden, wasn’t the answer.

Maybe D.L. Hughley is that answer.

WZAK welcomes the comedian/actor to its lineup Monday…he’ll replace Murphy nationwide in the former Baisden time slot.

WZAK’s Sam Sylk interviewed Hughley, and you can hear that interview on the station’s website.

Hughley is no stranger to radio, having done mornings at WRKS in New York City (now ESPN Radio’s WEPN) for about a year…on a show that was intended for national syndication.

You might remember him from the sitcom “The Hughleys”, which aired on ABC from 1998 to 2000, then moved to UPN until it was cancelled in 2002…

NEW CLEVELAND SOUND: The hybrid FM/TV station programming a combination of alt-rock and adult alternative music known as “Cleveland’s Sound” has a new programmer directing that sound.

All Access reports that he’s Ryan Benes, late of CBS Radio and Clear Channel who joined Murray Hill Broadcasting’s WLFM-LP/87.7 (TV 6) as production director at its launch.

As OMW readers already know, Benes replaces Kim Monroe…and as All Access reports, he’s backed up by new music director “Bull”, the alt-rock veteran who has been heard middays on “Cleveland’s Sound”. “Lyd the Kid” took the WLFM afternoon drive slot once occupied by Rachel Steele…

WHLO CHANGES: Clear Channel Akron/Canton talk WHLO/640 morning news anchor John Amhrein has left the building.

CC regional operations manager and OMW reader Keith Kennedy confirmed the news as a comment on an earlier OMW item:

John Amhrein left to focus on his growing computer business. He had been burning the candle at both ends for some time.

We believe the business in question is Stark Laptops…and we may just buy one from John.

To put in the books what we weren’t around to talk about when it happened: WHLO, after having moved the WPGB/104.7-based syndicated “Quinn and Rose” show from morning drive to middays, and back again to mornings when Jim Albright’s local show moved to 9 AM shortly after the death of WNIR’s Howie Chizek, took “Q&R” off the air entirely last month.

The short explanation out of Freedom Avenue? “Quinn and Rose”, while great to work with, weren’t performing in the ratings and revenue department on WHLO.

The station points web readers to the WPGB website, and the iHeartRadio apps, for those who miss the show.

WHLO replaced “Q&R” with the syndicated “Wall Street Journal This Morning”….

Rover And Kidd And Dave

A status update, first…Life is Intervening(tm) much less than it was, and we should be back to more regular blog updates soon.

We’re still mulling around a regular schedule, but for now…let’s delve in…

ROVER’S NEW GLORY: As posted below this, Clear Channel rock/talk WMMS/100.7 morning doggie Rover has been in the legal doghouse as of late.

But instead of his court schedule being on the TV news, the man known on his driver’s license as Shane French is getting attention for something much more positive.

The show’s annual “RoverFest”, which again drew thousands to Cleveland’s Voinovich Park, drew one visitor who got national attention…Amanda Berry.

Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight are known worldwide for surviving 10 years being held captive in a West Side home, then escaping to safety.

Two days after the womens’ now admitted captor accepted a plea agreement that basically gives him a “life-plus” sentence (1000 years), Amanda decided to enjoy herself at “RoverFest”.

Here’s the video, from the Rover Radio YouTube channel:

Beaming throughout, Berry’s appearance – apparently not scripted by the show or Rover in advance – got positive reviews.

And yes, if you believe Rover talking to the Plain Dealer’s John Caniglia on Monday, Amanda Berry’s RoverFest visit was unplanned:

Shane French, who uses the Rover tag for morning drive-time show, said he had mentioned on-air in the weeks leading up to RoverFest that the three women should go to the show to enjoy themselves. About 6 p.m. Saturday, three security guards told him that Berry was at the show.

“I was as surprised as anyone,” he said.

He said he asked a family member if Berry would want to go on stage. The cousin, however, said no. He asked Berry if it would be OK to tell the crowd that she was there.

“She asked me, ‘If I go out there, will you if you go with me?’ I said, ‘Sure. We can bring your family and friends, too,’ ” he said.

After her appearance, Berry returned after being called upon by rapper Nelly, dancing with her sister.

How is the RoverFest appearance going with her attorney? Caniglia has a quote:

“She looked happy,” said her attorney James Wooley. “She went to a concert. That’s it. People are asking me if she is breaking her reclusiveness. There’s nothing to it. She’s happy. She had a huge smile. And I loved seeing it.”

The day after RoverFest, Gina DeJesus and her mother talked to Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 reporter Stephanie Ramirez about a newly constructed privacy fence at their Cleveland home.

It appears that with the fate of their captor being sealed, at least two of the women he held captive have made moves to get their lives back….

KIDD PASSES: The big news nationally in the radio business is the unfortunate passing over the weekend of nationally syndicated morning host Kidd Kraddick, whose YEA Networks show airs on dozens of stations from its Dallas-area studio, near flagship station Clear Channel top 40 KHKS/106.1 “Kiss FM”.

The Dallas Morning News reports that it appears Kraddick died of cardiac disease, an enlarged heart according to a preliminary autopsy by an area coroner.

Kraddick, according to his Wikipedia page born in Northwest Ohio (Napoleon, outside Toledo), never had a huge presence on the radio in the Buckeye State.

A quick check of our archives places him in the past on the old top 40 WZOO/102.5 “102 Zoo” in Ashtabula, and on Cumulus top 40 WTWR/98.3 Luna Pier MI/Toledo. (102.5 is now Media One Group classic hits “Magic Oldies 102.5″, and WTWR is now AC WMIM “My 98.3″, aiming at Toledo’s Michigan suburbs.)

But make no mistake…David “Kidd” Kraddick, who died while attending a charity golf tournament in New Orleans on Saturday, made a huge impression on the radio industry as a whole.

Saturday on various Twitter feeds and Facebook pages, and in media stories covering reaction to his death, it was clear that Kidd Kraddick was a talented, hard working air personality who went the extra mile to make life better for children facing terminal illness (“Kidd’s Kids”)…

DAVE’S MOVE: We’ve probably received two dozen questions about this, and only put this here to end the questions.

Yes, we’re well aware of the involuntary departure of host/producer Dave Ramos from Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100.

We have heard numerous stories about “what happened”, but can verify very few of them.

About all we’re willing to say is that his departure comes amid rumblings that he may not have seen eye to eye with some of his colleagues at Oak Tree, particularly elsewhere in the cluster.

We reported earlier on Twitter that we hear Ramos has landed, as a part-time “20/20″ sports update anchor at CBS Radio sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan”, but we haven’t heard him there yet…

L’Affaire Rover

So, it’s been a season for local media personalities to get into trouble with the law.

Just below this item, we shared news of OVI charges against two of them – sportscaster Chuck Galeti, still off SportsTime Ohio, and reporter Kenny Crumpton, seen this past week back once again “Kickin’ It With Kenny” on Local TV LLC Fox affiliate WJW/8′s “Fox 8 News in the Morning”.

(Oh, and as a brief mention, WJW and the other Local TV LLC stations are being sold to Tribune. More on that, some other time.)

And then came Rover. Boy, then came Rover.

The radio host known off-air as Shane French, ringmaster of “Rover’s Morning Glory” on Clear Channel rock/talk WMMS/100.7 (and at least one other station in Rochester NY), comes along to make us say “Chuck did what? Kenny had a huh?”.

A late night session with homemade fireworks at Whiskey Island early Friday morning, and yes, fueled with alcohol, got Rover in major trouble with the law.

Here’s the basics from a Friday Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com article by Michael Sangiacomo:

(French and another man) are accused of shooting fireworks at an off-duty police officer, shoving him and running away when he tried to arrest them, according to the Cleveland Police report on the incident.

The article says the two men were “highly intoxicated”, according to the off-duty officer, Steven Kinas, making it an alcohol-fueled Trouble Trifecta for recent news about local media personalities.

(Well, possibly involving four media personalities, assuming the other man involved is a cast member of the “RMG” variety.)

As we update this, very early Saturday, the PD article says French is still in jail. Cleveland court records say he’s due for arraignment on a felonious assault charge in just a few hours from now.

Wow. We’re going to need some time to digest this one.

And we’re going to need even more time to even start to speculate on what this means for Rover and his career.

This would certainly be a test for Clear Channel, which sent Chad Zumock packing from WMMS’ afternoon drive powerhouse, “The Alan Cox Show”, after an OVI case.

Then again, there’s sidekick/co-host Chad Zumock and then there’s Shane “Rover” French, the station’s most prominent personality.

For now, we’ll watch the case make its way through the legal system…

Welcome To A Busy 2013

And as usual when we start a new year, or return from a hiatus, there’s stuff waiting to land like so many airplanes.

We are probably missing a topic or three, so don’t be surprised if there’s a crash…we’ll pick up where we left off in a future update…

UPDATE 1:35 AM 1/5/13: Cox and Raycom have reached an agreement, and OMW social media followers tell us that the local stations, WOIO/19 and WUAB/43, are back in the Cox lineup.

Here’s part of what we originally wrote before Friday evening’s agreement…

THIS IS NOT CBS: A reported 65,000 subscribers to Cox Cable in 11 Cleveland suburbs went without CBS and MyNetwork TV programming since the start of 2013.

You read about them often, these programming cost disputes between TV station operators and cable systems…but they usually get solved, even at past-the-last-minute like two recent disputes involving Gannett, owner of Cleveland market NBC affiliate WKYC/3.

This one, involving Raycom’s stations including Cleveland market CBS affiliate WOIO/19 “CBS 19″ and MyNetwork TV affiliate WUAB/43 “My 43 The Block”, took the local stations off Cox’s Cleveland suburban lineup immediately after the ball dropped in Times Square…

TEMPORARY WEWS GM: We generally don’t get into personal medical details here, but it says something that Scripps, owner of local ABC affiliate WEWS/5, is bringing in an interim general manager to push the station into 2013.

That’s sister WCPO/9 Cincinnati VP/general manager Steve Thaxton, who heads to Cleveland as a temporary detour from his planned exit from Scripps to pursue a graduate degree.

Cincinnati Enquirer media guru John Kiesewetter writes:

Scripps executives asked if he “would remain with the company and serve as the interim General Manager at WEWS in Cleveland on a temporary basis as Sam Rosenwasser remains out on a medical leave of absence. I have agreed to do so and will use that time as a transition period for both the company and myself. I have committed to be in Cleveland next Monday as they have been without a General Manager for several weeks.”

By all accounts we’ve heard, Rosenwasser is well-liked at 3001 Euclid, and is missed in the building.

We give our sincere wishes that his medical situation turns into a full recovery, and that he’ll be welcomed back into that building soon…a wish shared by high-level Scripps executives.

As noted above, Thaxton starts his temporary role at WEWS on Monday…

CBS…SPORTS RADIO!: OK, so that’s not a good textual imitation of the new sports network’s jingle, but it’s all over the place after CBS launched its full-time schedule this week.

At midnight on Tuesday night-into-Wednesday morning locally, CBS sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan” made the switch from Fox Sports Radio to its company’s own network, bringing a taste of mid-1990′s sports talk with Scott Ferrall’s “Ferrall on the Bench”. (He’s even using the same show name that he did in his first run with Westwood One.)

But at the same time, “92.3 The Fan” put the old “Radio 92.3″ alt-rock format to rest on its HD2 channel, supplanting the music kicked off the main channel by sports talk with…sports talk.

WKRK/92.3 HD2 is now the 24/7 home of the national CBS Sports Radio feed, the “Radio 92.3″ format announcing its exit on Twitter:

Tonight we say goodbye to our home on 92.3 HD2 and welcome CBS Sports Radio. Thanks for listening and have a prosperous 2013. Rock On!

And unlike many HD2 formats, “Radio 92.3″ never added an Internet stream as a companion service, so it’s gone…presumably ceding the alt-rock battle to Clear Channel’s W256BT/99.1-WMMS/100.7 HD2, known better as “99X”, with a side to Murray Hill Broadcasting’s AAA/alt-rock WLFM-LP/6 87.7 “Cleveland’s Sound”.

That isn’t even the biggest news about CBS Sports Radio from the Halle Building in downtown Cleveland.

One of “92.3 The Fan”‘s biggest stars will have his own place on the network’s national lineup, as “Fan” afternoon drive co-host Adam “The Bull” Gerstenhaber will host on CBS Sports Radio nationwide from 10 PM-2 AM (ET) on Saturday nights.

Despite numerous questions posted by Adam’s Twitter followers, no, Adam “The Bull” is not leaving either Cleveland or WKRK, where he is paired with former Ohio State Buckeyes player and Canton native Dustin Fox on “Bull & Fox”.

The CBS Sports Radio show will be a sixth day in the host’s workweek, and will even be heard on the local “Fan” as well – give or take play-by-play sports runover, like Saturday’s coverage of the NFL playoffs that bumps Adam “The Bull”‘s national debut on 92.3 until about 11 PM.

As noted, the 24/7 network feed is not only on 92.3′s HD2 sidechannel now, but also online and via the CBS “Radio.com” app…

AND MORE SPORTS RADIO: The recent moves by CBS and others have shaken up the sports talk radio landscape in Northeast Ohio.

* CBS Sports Radio has displaced ESPN Radio on a number of Cumulus-owned stations, including Youngstown’s WBBW/1240 (extending that station’s local afternoon drive show ” “Ryan, Christian & Ellis” to a 3-6 PM time slot) and across-border WLLF/96.7 Mercer PA.

* It’s also played heck with sports talk host Jim Rome’s affiliate list, as “Romey” signed up with CBS Sports Radio after years with Clear Channel’s Premiere Radio Networks.

In Cleveland, Rome stays (for now, at least) on Good Karma Broadcasting’s two sports talk stations – on WWGK/1540 “ESPN 1540 KNR 2″ from noon to 1 PM (where he’ll be heard on parts of Euclid Avenue), then on WKNR/850 from 1 to 3 PM.

In Youngstown, Rome moves from Clear Channel sports WNIO/1390 “The Sports Animal” to WBBW, and will also be heard on WLLF.

In Akron, Rome loses his clearance on Clear Channel sports WARF/1350 “Fox Sports 1350″, and Rome fans in Cleveland lose a backup signal for the first hour of the show.

The Clear Channel-owned Fox Sports Radio affiliates are pretty much moving en masse to the network’s “replacement” for the Rome show – a new FSR show hosted by comedian and frequent Rome sub Jay Mohr.

Rome’s Premiere program was separately syndicated, and even full-time FSR affiliates didn’t automatically get “The Jungle”…so FSR filled its own satellite feed from noon-3 (ET) with a repeat of the network’s morning drive show.

As a practical matter, nearly all FSR affiliates also carried Rome. But with his departure, FSR is now programming the new Mohr show down the network line.

And yes, in Youngstown, Mohr was subbing for Rome the day that “The Sports Animal” debuted, wasting no time ripping Mahoning Valley native son Bernie Kosar, Mohr not knowing (or caring) that he was being heard for the first time on the radio in Bernie’s hometown of Boardman.

We don’t generally cover Columbus these days, but a brief note: the CBS Sports Radio Jim Rome affiliate list put out before the switch listed Wilks country WNKK/107.1 Circleville – a Columbus rimshot which ran Cleveland’s “Rover’s Morning Glory” in its days as CBS-owned alt-rock WAZU “The Big Wazoo”.

WNKK was later removed from the list, leading us to wonder if someone at CBS jumped the gun on a format change there that may, or may not, happen.

One other side note about CBS Sports Radio: it has taken one former Northeast Ohio radio personality off the air, at least for now.

Cumulus is heavily invested in the joint venture with CBS, and in Fort Smith AR, it decided to flip rocker KLSZ/100.7 “Rock 100.7″ to CBS Sports Radio as “The Ticket”…and that flipped former Rubber City Radio country WQMX/94.9 personality George McFly off the air. He recently started doing afternoon drive for the station.

We believe George is “still employed”, judging from his social network updates, so we hope he lands safely in Arkansas soon…

THE COUGAR/MIX MYSTERY: Some of our own social network followers have been asking us about two signs visible at a shopping strip center across the street from the Kmart in Mentor.

The signs, pictured here in a photo sent by one of our Twitter followers, proclaim a presence for two radio stations – “Cougar 93.7″ and “Mix 97.1″.

We think we’ve solved some of the mystery.

93.7, as reported here earlier, is the new FM frequency licensed to North Madison…won in a 2010 auction by South Shore Broadcasting, owned by Leslie and Chris Kidner. The station took the call letters WQGR (which would certainly be a good match for a radio station with the name “Cougar”) and has a construction permit now.

97.1 is owned by Ashtabula’s Media One Group (nee’ Sweet Home Ashtabula), and – when its full 50,000 watt signal is in operation, makes no secret of its desire to cover Lake County, which happens to be where Mentor is located. 97.1 is currently still using the name “Star 97.1″, but various websites indicate it’ll become “Mix 97.1″ soon…like this site hosted on a page of the current “Star” site.

Where’s the connection?

Consider the Family Maduri.

Chris Maduri is a long-time Cleveland radio executive best known for his stint running CBS Radio’s Cleveland cluster. He’s now in a similar management role at the aforementioned WLFM-LP 6/87.7, which operates as a AAA/alt-rock radio station under the name “87.7 Cleveland’s Sound”.

Maduri’s wife Valerie is president of X-Factor Media, Chris Maduri is “managing partner” and both X-Factor and Valerie (with her first name misspelled) are listed on the WQGR FCC application. Both are listed as having no ownership stake in WQGR licensee South Shore.

And of course, Media One Group provides that final connection, as both Media One and WLFM have members of the Embrescia family present.

Others might take this further, speculating that 97.1 is being prepped for a move west towards Cleveland as an eventual radio replacement for WLFM-LP when, or before, it loses its analog TV license in 2015.

We have no evidence that this is about to happen…so we’re not moving the chess pieces around. We’ve also been told numerous times that the 97.1 signal can’t really get close enough to Cleveland to be a credible rimshot.

Last time we did this sort of FCC sleuthing with the Ashtabula group, we got a nastygram from someone there, and no help to correct whatever they think we got wrong.

Our gut tells us that South Shore intends to superserve Lake County with its new “Cougar 93.7″, something Media One has tried to do for years with that big 97.1 signal out of Ashtabula…and that shopping center across from the Mentor Kmart is a good place to place a Lake County presence for both stations, no matter what their formal or official relationship…

NEW STATUS: As we reported here earlier, it’s finally happened…with the new year, now-Ideastream owned classical outlet WCLV/104.9 has moved to non-commercial status.

Long-time WCLV president, co-founder and regular OMW reader Robert Conrad explains the change for listeners on the station’s website, after mentioning the success of many non-commercial classical outlets elsewhere:

And given the volatility in all media these days, it has become apparent that WCLV’s future also lies in the land of listener and community support. So on January 1, 2013, WCLV became the nation’s newsst public radio station. This completes the transition of WCLV into the ideastream
family and now gives listeners who appreciate classical music on the radio as well as businesses, foundations and other organizations, the opportunity to support this institution which has become so much a part of the quality of life in the greater Cleveland area.

Yes, commercial free doesn’t mean “free”, so the station moves into asking for donations and support…you’ll find a link to do so on that page.

When the move to non-commercial status under Ideastream was first announced, we speculated openly that the change would allow WCLV’s signal to be heard on Ideastream NPR outlet WCPN/90.3′s HD2 channel, and sure enough…Robert Conrad tells OMW that it has happened with the New Year:

One big piece of news, WCLV’s programming is now being carried on 90.3WCPN’s HD 2 channel, making it possible for listeners in Geauga and Lake Counties who lost WCLV’s singal when it went to 104.9 to receive it once again with an HD radio.

Of course, with WCLV in commercial mode before 2013, putting its signal on non-commercial WCPN’s HD2 channel would not be possible…

A QUICK VISIT: Electronically, that is, with Rubber City Radio Group owner/general manager Thom Mandel, who talked about his Cleveland market station with Plain Dealer columnist/”The Minister of Culture”/brother of a famous actress Michael Heaton.

Mandel goes into the process which led the Akron-based company to change back to “The Wave” identity from Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting’s last format on the station, AAA “V107.3″:

And we found that most of the folks we identified as being listeners of Adult Alternative thought they were getting it from other stations. No one told us they thought they could find it on 107.3. What we also found was that, even though it had been off the air for two years, “The Wave” was still Cleveland’s third-best-known radio brand name, after “Majic” and “The Buzzard.” Whatever we did, we knew we had to bring back the name.

Mandel also offers up an opinion about what happened to “V” (“advertisers couldn’t figure out who or what they are. The ratings sucked.”) and notes that everything that could go wrong for the station did, including the economic crash.

He also explains the differences between the current “Wave” and the ELB-launched smooth jazz format which preceded “V107.3″ for decades, saying the current incarnation of WNWV is “a lot more multidimensional (than) it was”.

The “Wave” owner gives props to his staff, including middayer Mark Ribbins, a “Wave” veteran recently named operations manager for the station since it moved to Independence as the Cleveland arm of Rubber City Radio.

The article doesn’t mention Mandel’s Akron cluster, which includes oldies/news WAKR/1590, rock WONE/97.5, country WQMX/94.9 and online operations including the news site AkronNewsNow.com. Heaton only notes that Bath Township resident Mandel “has been in the radio business for more than 35 years, virtually all of it in Northeast Ohio”…

*** BREAK! BREAK! *** This is a long item, and the remainder of it is primarily about the Youngstown market, though there is a Cleveland connection to the next item. Time to rest your eyes, and if you have no interest in the Mahoning Valley, we’ll see you next time…

HE’S RETIRING, NOT DICK: As a long-time viewer of Cleveland TV news, your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) remembers Mark Koontz as the weekend/backup meterologist to Cleveland TV legend Dick Goddard on WJW/8 (now Local TV’s “Fox 8″).

It was said more than once that Koontz was waiting around South Marginal Road, perhaps hoping to take over the top spot at WJW when Goddard retired, which of course, he hasn’t, even now after 50-plus years on local TV and over 80 years on the planet.

That presumably led Mark to a job to the southeast of Cleveland, where he joined Vindicator NBC affiliate WFMJ/21 Youngstown as a weekend meteorolgist in 2002 and took over the station’s top weather spot in 2007.

He’s now retired, before Goddard, even.

Koontz’s last day at WFMJ was Friday, and he’ll be replaced by former AccuWeather senior meteorologist Mark Wilhelm…a New Philadelphia native and a graduate of tOSU (The Ohio State University).

WFMJ is also announcing that Jess Briganti officially takes the morning weather spot on the station’s “WFMJ Today” morning show…she’s been there on a fill-in basis after the departure of Mark Monstrola…

NOT K-LOVE OR AIR 1, YET: California-based Christian radio mega-operator Educational Media Foundation was supposed to take over control of Bernard Radio’s urban WRBP/101.9 Hubbard, and change the Valley station’s format to one of its satellite formats…but that hasn’t happened yet.

Since the first of the year, numerous listeners tell us that 101.9 has been playing not “K-Love” or “Air 1″, or the previous “Jamz” urban format, but…the Sounds of Silence, and we’re not talking about the Simon & Garfunkel hit.

What happened?

It’s been pointed out to us that FCC records show that EMF’s applications to take over 101.9 and to change it to non-commercial status are still in the pending “ACCEPTED FOR FILING” mode. For that matter, the station’s May 2012 license renewal filing shows the same status.

Now, the EMF folks could well work up a programming agreement to put one of their formats on WRBP until the sale closed, but they apparently haven’t done so. EMF programmed “K-Love” on then-Beacon Broadcasting’s WEXC/107.1 (now WLVX) Greenville PA while awaiting their purchase of that station to close.

We’ve heard that the original intent was to launch one of the EMF formats on 101.9 right after the calendar changed to 2013.

So, we don’t know why they haven’t done so with 101.9, and we still don’t know for sure if the current WRBP will relaunch with “K-Love” (still heard on 107.1) or “Air 1″ as a complimentary format to that PA rimshot signal.

We do know that Bernard’s urban talk/AC WASN/1500 Youngstown is noting its last day on the air on its website, January 31st. (We aren’t nearly close enough to the signal to know if it’s still on the air at this writing.)

The rumor mill says either WASN, classic hits WGFT/1330 Campbell “Oldies 1330″ or both will end up in new ownership hands, and that one of the stations will be paired with FM translator W233AI/94.3 Niles.

That translator is in the process of being sold to Helen Bednarcyk, who is (as far as we know) the wife of Bernard’s general manager in Youngstown, Skip Bednarcyk.

The 94.3 translator would certainly be upgraded from the current 2 watt licensed power level at 2 meters (!) to a much more powerful signal, up to the translator limit of 250 watts. Such a signal could cover much of the populated area of the Mahoning Valley.

What happens to the 1500-or-1330/94.3 combo when all the pieces are in place?

Well, there’s certainly an urban hole in the market with the move of Bernard’s 101.9 to Christian format operator EMF…a hole that Sagittarius Broadcasting’s WHTX/1570 Warren is going to try to fill to some degree, if only on AM.

If it hasn’t happened already, the standards outlet now owned by Nelson Cintron plans to flip to the urban AC format “The Touch”, which was heard in Akron on then-WTOU/1350 back right after Jaybird Drennan and the “Whistler” country format went away. (The station is now, of course, Clear Channel sports WARF/1350 “Fox Sports 1350″, see above item about Jay Mohr.)

“The Touch” is a satellite 24/7 format offering from Cumulus Media, and 1350′s use of the format was so long ago that ABC Radio/SMN ran the format then…

Posting To The Holidays

This will be the last regular news post of 2012, barring any major (and we mean major) Northeast Ohio media news. We’ll continue to put breaking media bulletins and other observations on the OMW Social Media Presence(tm) (uh, our Twitter and Facebook accounts).

May all of our readers have a very happy holiday season, and we’ll see you in January…but, until then…

AL BARTHOLET’S REPLACEMENT: Kent State University public radio outlet WKSU/89.7-and-its-many-simulcasters has found its replacement for retiring general manager Al Bartholet.

Dan Skinner

Daniel E. Skinner comes in from San Antonio-based Texas Public Radio, where he’s been president and general manager for the past six years.

Skinner has been in public radio for 32 years, with 20 years of general manager experience.

Quoting a release sent our way from (you knew it was coming!) long-time personal and professional Friend of OMW Ann VerWiebe:

Based in San Antonio, TPR operates KSTX FM, an award-winning news and information station; KPAC FM, a classical music station; and KTXI FM, a news and classical music station in the Texas Hill Country.

Previously, he was department head and general manager of Purdue University’s WBAA AM & FM (1992-2006); program manager and then manager of internal operations and programming for Ball State University’s WBST (1987-1992); and operations manager and then program director for Hutchinson Community College’s KHCC (1980-1987).

Skinner is a longtime advocate for public radio. He has been a member of Public Radio in Mid-America (PRIMA) since 1995 and is its current vice president. The organization serves as a forum on issues in public radio, advances the public radio industry and its services, and offers numerous professional-development opportunities.

He was also vice chair of the Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations, a statewide consortium of public television and radio stations, and served on its executive committee.

Skinner takes over the general manager’s chair at WKSU on January 2, 2013.

And for the incoming GM, here’s a list of WKSU-and-its-many-simulcasters, courtesy of “Ann’s Corner”:

WKSU broadcasts NPR & Classical Music at 89.7 FM. WKSU programming is also heard on WKRW 89.3 FM in Wooster, WKRJ 91.5 FM in Dover/New Philadelphia, WKSV 89.1 FM in Thompson, WNRK 90.7 in Norwalk and W239AZ 95.7 FM in Ashland. The station broadcasts four HD Radio channels – adding WKSU-2 Folk Alley, WKSU-3 The Classical Channel and WKSU-4 The News Channel to the analog broadcast schedule. The WKSU website is http://www.wksu.org.

THE LAKE NEEDS A CAPTAIN: Due to Tony Matteo’s departure for the operations manager job at Clear Channel’s Wichita KS cluster, there’s an opening at the company’s adult hits WHLK/106.5 “The Lake” in Cleveland.

Ah, but the Oak Tree folks are doing things differently.

With sister country WGAR/99.5 program director Charley Connolly adding PD stripes for WHLK, the station needs, uh, a “captain” for “The Lake”. (Get it?)

If you’re just the kind of, uh, mate who wants to help Connolly steer the ship, here’s the ad for 106.5′s new Executive Producer slot:

Clear Channel Media + Entertainment Cleveland is looking for an ‘out of box’ creative thinker to be the Executive Producer of 106.5 The Lake. Candidates need to know how to make a radio brand come to life through creative and engaging imaging.

Creativity is a must; but so are killer organizational skills, incredible attention to detail and excellent follow through.

We are looking for candidates with a strong knowledge of programming and past experience is a major plus!

Production skills and knowledge of NexGen helpful.

Please rush an email with materials (sample writing, production, programming philosophy or anything else that would sell you to us) to (charleyconnolly-at-clearchannel-dot-com).

Though Clear Channel didn’t place the ad here, we did, we remind you that “Clear Channel Media + Entertainment is an Equal Opportunity Employer”.

You know that’s real because we didn’t add the “Pork Rinds” part…

FILLING THE GAP: Well, as much as you can fill the gap after letting someone like now-former Clear Channel top 40 WAKS/96.5 “Kiss FM” assistant program director/music director/afternoon personality Kasper get away in a budget cut, at any rate.

Java Joel

Cleveland’s “Kiss FM” has moved night slammer* “Java Joel” Murphy into Kasper’s former afternoon drive time slot, and another voice familiar to many Cleveland listeners takes over nights.

But unlike his time at One Radio Lane (RIP 2012), Rob Kruz won’t be back here in Cleveland.

Kruz

Kruz (without the first name) left CBS Radio hot AC WQAL/104.1 “Q104″ here in February 2010 to take the night gig at Clear Channel top 40 WIHT/99.5 “Hot 99.5″ in Washington DC.

Thus, he will be heard on the local top 40 outlet via the magic of voicetracking from somewhere in the suburbia of our Nation’s Capital, unless perhaps he happens to be visiting his old hometown.

“Java Joel” is, as far as we know, still broadcasting live and direct from the Oak Tree Clear Channel Media+Entertainment+Pork Rinds World Domination HQ in the Cleveland suburb of Independence.

* – And yes, we believe it’s some sort of radio trade publication law that we have to call the night personality at a hit radio station a “night slammer”…

HOWIE’S ESTATE: The late radio icon Howie Chizek was mainly a private man when he turned off the microphone at Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 “The Talk of Akron”, where he held forth in middays for nearly 40 years.

Those who know him are probably cringing about a front page story in the Akron Beacon Journal, where Phil Trexler laid out a lot of information on the disposition of Howie’s estate.

We’re not going to retread the ground well covered by Trexler’s piece in this Mighty Blog(tm). Anyone who’s interested can go to the story link…

AMANDA GONE: Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 reporter/anchor Amanda Barren has left the building (13th and Lakeside) to return to West Virginia.

Amanda Barren

Barren came to Channel 3 News from WSAZ/3, the Charleston/Huntington market’s NBC affiliate, where she was a weekend anchor and reporter. She returns to WSAZ to co-anchor the station’s 5 PM newscast.

In addition to morning reporting, Barren was also part of the WKYC “Live on Lakeside” midday news magazine team.

Video of that show saying goodbye to her is here, and video from “Channel 3 News Today” is here

K-LOVE OR AIR 1: Just the other day, a regular reader asked us what was taking so long in the sale of Bernard Radio urban AC WRBP/101.9 “Jamz” in the Youngstown market to religious broadcasting giant Educational Media Foundation.

Today, we have an answer.

The Youngstown Vindicator’s Guy D’Astolfo reports that the sale of WRBP to EMF will close in January, and the local urban format on 101.9 will go away on December 30th…to be replaced by Christian radio on January 1st.

Quoting:

Jamz DJs have begun to tell listeners about the coming change.

“We’re saying goodbye on the air now, letting folks know we are going away,” said (station manager Skip) Bednarczyk. “Most of our listeners knew about the sale but assumed nothing would change.”

Those listeners obviously haven’t followed the history of EMF, which invariably changes newly acquired stations to one of its two satellite formats: “K-Love” (Christian contemporary) or “Air 1″ (Christian rock).

And EMF already has a “K-Love” outlet serving the Mahoning Valley…rimshot WLVX/107.1 Greenville PA.

At this point, we don’t know if EMF will install “Air 1″ on 101.9 on January 1st, or if there’ll be some sort of shuffle with the “K-Love” feed on 107.1.

But we do know, thanks to the Vindicator article, that WRBP’s move into the EMF fold will silence another Bernard Radio station in Youngstown:

As a result of the sale, Jamz 101.9’s sister station, (urban talk) WASN-AM 1500, will go off the air.

Jamz was the radio group’s money-maker, and it kept WASN afloat, according to Bednarczyk.

Without Jamz, there was no choice but to shut down WASN.

Unlike before, where EMF bought 107.1′s two AM sister stations (WGRP/940 Greenville PA and WLOA/1470 Farrell PA) and even ran “K-Love” on them for a while before selling them off, EMF did not purchase WASN. As a rule, despite stragglers like WNWT/1520 in the Toledo market, EMF has a distaste for AM radio.

The financial loss of the income from “Jamz 101.9″ was apparently too much to consider keeping its AM daytimer sister station going after the sale…even if it was a place, Bednarczyk told the newspaper, where “the black community expressed its concerns and issues and had a dialog.”

Presumably, Bernard sister classic hits WGFT/1330 “Oldies 1330″ is staying on the air. Though really, Bernard Radio’s sole purpose as an operating company is to keep radio stations going until the highest bidder comes along…

CHANGES IN SPORTS: Readers in the Youngstown radio market tell us that local hosts on Cumulus sports WBBW/1240 are hinting at upcoming programming changes.

The changes are no secret to anyone who reads this blog.

Cumulus will flip something on the order of 50-plus sports stations from ESPN to CBS Sports Radio, when the latter’s 24/7 feed starts in January. Cumulus is heavily involved in CBS Sports Radio in a joint venture.

Thus, the lineup on/name of “ESPN 1240″ (and same for its Cumulus sibling across the PA border, “ESPN 96.7″) is going the way of the do-do bird at the end of the year.

We don’t know what Cumulus will call WBBW and WLLF/96.7 Mercer PA… perhaps they’ll adopt a “Fan” style name in markets where CBS doesn’t already have such a station…

HOLIDAY CHEER: And time for some public radio holiday cheer, now that the commercial stations that are going to play holiday music have started doing so in one form or another.

First, a release from “Ann’s Corner” about holiday themed music and programming at the aforementioned WKSU.

Then, we’ll have a note about a new stream at Ideastream public outlet WCPN/90.3 in Cleveland.

But, Ann goes first, as always. She sent us the release over a week ago, so some of the events have already passed…

—–

WKSU makes the season sparkle with a series of holiday-themed programs and classical and folk music streams for the month of December. Holiday music streams are currently available online or through WKSU’s iPhone and Android apps. Music moves to WKSU’s HD-2: Folk Alley and HD-3: Classical HD Radio channels on Dec. 10 with Christmas classical music being added with more frequency to general on-air broadcasts through Dec. 25. Access the music streams and find the complete holiday programming schedule online at www.wksu.org/features/holiday2012 .

Special, stand-alone programs start on Monday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m. with a new installment of NPR’s Hanukkah Lights featuring Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz. The next week, evenings at 8 p.m. offer a variety of Christmas music, from early music on Monday and classic works on Tuesday and Wednesday to carols on Thursday and Celtic selections on Friday (which also hosts other folk shows until midnight).

On Saturday, Dec. 22, at 6 p.m., Garrison Keillor presents a holiday-centered A Prairie Home Companion (re-aired on Dec. 23 at 10 a.m.), followed by folk host Jim Blum’s annual mix of holiday music – new and old. The schedule for Sunday, Dec. 23, includes more public radio music programs for the holidays and Baroque Era Christmas with host David Roden.

On Christmas Eve morning, WKSU airs the traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols live from King’s College in Cambridge. The Christmas Day celebration starts early with non-stop classical Christmas music beginning after NPR’s All Things Considered on Dec. 24 and airing until the return of Morning Edition at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

Holiday observations continue on Dec. 26, at 8 p.m. with the Kwanzaa program, A Season’s Griot, hosted by storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson. Seasonal programming comes to an end on WKSU with the traditional New Year’s Day performance by the Vienna Philharmonic, live from the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein. The concert of waltzes, polkas and other lively tunes begins at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, with the orchestra under the baton of Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst.

—–

Now, it’s WCPN’s turn:

“Swingin’ Sounds of the Season” is a 24 hour a day holiday jazz music stream at
http://www.ideastream.org/holiday/swingin
The stream will run through New Year’s Day.

For a uniquely swingin’ and jazzy approach to holiday music – where no one gets run over by a reindeer – tune in! ideastream’s own jazz authority Dan Polletta has spent hours carefully blending classic holiday recordings by greats including Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Dexter Gordon with new takes on seasonal songs from the likes of Carla Bley, Cyrus Chestnut and Wynton Marsalis that will help warm you up during the winter holiday season. With so many tunes randomly streamed, you’re assured a unique jazz combo every time you listen. Enjoy!

All Over The Map

UPDATE 12:10 AM 10/11/12: Jim Davison tells OMW that he will continue as operations manager of WHTX/1570 Warren, which will continue in its current standards format as “The Fabulous 1570″ and retain its current staff and features.

Jim also confirms that WYCL/1540 Niles has changed from classic country to a Spanish-language format as of Tuesday afternoon…

—–

We’re catching up again with a wide variety of media items, both in kind and location…

DISH DEAL: Viewers to Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3, and visitors to the station’s WKYC.com, were warned…if the broadcast chain didn’t reach a deal with the folks at Dish Network, Channel 3 could disappear from that satellite service by October 8th…that was this past Monday (early morning).

When midnight came and went with WKYC still available to Dish Network subscribers, we wondered what was going on.

As it turns out, the parties extended their negotiations into Monday morning, and finally announced a deal had been reached…meaning WKYC and other Gannett stations were never removed from the Dish lineup.

Beyond the brief press releases from each side, there’s a story.

Yes, it’s the Hopper DVR, a Dish Network box that can zap commercials automatically from network prime-time programming (“AutoHop”), the same feature CBS honcho Les Moonves recently said “cannot exist”.

We’ll let Variety’s Jill Goldsmith explain:

Gannett’s retransmission deal with Dish expired at midnight Sunday, and the disagreement was resolved by Monday morning with no blackouts but a significant rate increase to cover Dish’s controversial Hopper DVR feature, which lets viewers watch network primetime shows commercial free the day after they air. Broadcasters have sued for copyright infringement, and a judge in Los Angeles is considering a request for a preliminary injunction.

Dish had said that Gannett was looking for a “300 percent” increase in retransmission fees, the extra fees presumably to make up for the Hopper’s “AutoHop” feature serving up shows without commercials.

As the court case and Mr. Moonves’ statement would indicate, this will probably not be the last such fight.

But for now, Dish Network customers in the Cleveland TV market won’t lose WKYC and NBC programming…

THE SHARON HAS LANDED: You knew that when controversial anchor Sharon Reed left Reserve Square, she’d land somewhere else…eventually.

That “somewhere else” is St. Louis.

The former Raycom CBS/MyNet WOIO/19-WUAB/43 “19 Action News” anchor has nabbed a prime gig in the Gateway City…5, 6 and 10 PM co-anchor at Belo CBS affiliate KMOV/4. The station itself announces her impending arrival, with an October 30th start, here.

What KMOV does not mention is something local viewers and OMW readers know all too well…her nationwide notoriety for removing her clothes on camera in WOIO’s now-infamous “Body of Art” series.

That’s covered by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Hollerman:

Reed made national headlines in 2004 when she agreed to be recorded disrobing for artist Spencer Tunick’s nude group photo shoot in Cleveland. Reed was covering Tunick’s shoot for WOIO Channel 19. The segment reportedly sent ratings through the roof and earned Reed an appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

Yes, Sharon Reed will always be known as “The Naked Anchorwoman”.

And with that, we’re done poking fun at Ms. Reed, a capable journalist who has made some questionable career choices in her past.

You won’t see us talking about her again unless she makes more such choices in Missouri…or if she gains positive national attention for her journalistic skills…

STO AND FRANCONA: Unless you’ve been under a rock the past few days, you know that former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona has been hired to manage the Cleveland Indians.

All of Cleveland’s sports-oriented radio stations, Clear Channel talk and Indians flagship WTAM/1100, Good Karma sports WKNR/850 and CBS Radio sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan”, covered Francona’s introductory press conference on Monday live.

TV stations kept to regular programming for the most part (many streaming the press conference online), but SportsTime Ohio also carried the Francona press conference live.

That’s no surprise, considering that STO is owned by the Dolan family, owners of the Indians.

What was a surprise to us is how the local regional sports network (RSN) handled the press conference.

At the scheduled 11 AM start of Francona’s press conference, it hadn’t begun yet…so STO dutifully played the scheduled “Zumba Fitness” infomercial.

A few minutes later, just before Francona and Indians general manager Chris Antonetti took to the stage, STO broke in with a very brief introduction by the network’s Ashley Collins…and then a live shot of the empty stage (with reporters seated in front of it).

When the press conference was finished, Collins came on again, and basically just said goodbye. STO cut back immediately to the infomercial then in progress.

Is this any way to run a sports network connected to the team itself?

Our social media suggestion was for STO to go on at 11 straight up with one of its primary hosts, with discussion and walk-up to the press conference, and a recap afterwards.

If Bruce Drennan, Chuck Galeti or Al Pawlowski weren’t around, maybe they could have borrowed whichever sports anchor was elsewhere in the WKYC building…WKYC is, after all, the Indians over-air TV home.

It wasn’t Ashley Collins’ fault.

And there was clearly some preparation by the SportsTime Ohio folks…the network put numerous explainer graphics onscreen during the press conference itself. (And they could have even printed out that material shown onscreen and given Ms. Collins something to talk about.)

No, if you tuned into STO at 11 AM expecting the Francona press conference, you’d have learned of a remarkable way to firm up your abs. (We don’t know if Zumba Fitness is any good, we’re just making an offhand comment…)

BACK IN THE JUNGLE: You read it here on OMW…when Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850″ scooted the first hour of Premiere’s “Jim Rome Show” over to its half-lung sister, er, brother station, WWGK/1540 “KNR2″ (we call it “Puny 1540″), WKNR “The Really Big Show” midday ringmaster Tony Rizzo was taken out of the fill-in rotation for Rome.

He’s baaaack.

In what sounded like a very last minute decision, Rizzo and co-host Aaron Goldhammer filled in for Rome…today, Wednesday, October 10th.

Rizzo was open about the situation to his once-again national audience, explaining that management’s decision to expand “The Really Big Show” to 1 PM bounced Rome’s show off of 850 AM…and bounced Rizzo off the fill-in list.

The move had one odd effect: With its own Tony Rizzo hosting the Rome show, the show’s first hour returned to 850 for one day. (It was also airing in its usual place on “KNR2″.)

Rizzo even joked about how many people Rome’s producers had to call for the emergency fill-in before finally turning to him.

Of course, as we’ve already reported, “The Jim Rome Show” moves to the CBS Sports Radio network next January…

WREO UPDATE: An OMW reader tells us that Media One hot AC WREO/97.1 Ashtabula “Star 97.1″ has indeed returned to the airwaves outside Ashtabula County.

As we mentioned earlier, massive antenna destruction by a storm has meant that WREO wasn’t being heard much past Geneva or Conneaut…and now, presumably, it’s back on the air for listeners in Lake County and in Erie PA.

Just don’t get used to that familiar “Star” handle.

Domain supersnoop Lance Venta at RadioInsight tells us that the domain mix971fm.com has been registered by Media One’s Roger McCoy, program director of two sister stations – country WYBL/98.3 “The Bull” and classic hits WZOO/102.5 “Magic Oldies”.

Mix 97.1 logoFurther snooping by Lance revealed a starter Facebook page for “Mix 97.1″, complete with a logo…shown here.

(We don’t know for sure that it’s connected with the Ashtabula stations, though the page says “A community page for WREO-FM” – usually marked on non-official sites compiled by Facebook itself.)

The “Mix” handle would certainly fit with WREO’s existing hot AC format, and it’s not even being used in Cleveland anymore…the old WMVX/106.5 “Mix 106.5″ having transformed into adult hits WHLK/106.5 “The Lake”…

CHRIS SELLS OFF: Long-time OMW reader Chris Lash is no longer a radio station owner in the OMW coverage area.

Chris’ Whiplash Radio is selling its two Mahoning Valley stations, classic country WYCL/1540 Niles “The Farm”, and standards WHTX/1570 Warren “The Fabulous 1570″. FCC filings indicate that Whiplash sold the stations to Nelson Cintron Jr.’s Sagittarius Communications LLC for $150.000.

The sale means that another OMW reader – Jim Davison – will no longer be operating the Youngstown market AM pair for Whiplash. Jim and his partner Laurel Taylor started off LMAing 1540, and later added 1570 to their oversight.

Chris gave OMW the following statement:

“For the first time in 13 years, my company doesn’t own a radio station. My family and doctors are hoping to keep it that way. I want to wish Nelson and his company all the best with our former Youngstown stations.

And I want to thank Jim Davison and his staff for doing such a great job with the stations during their LMA period. Jim has become a great friend, and besides being one of the foremost authorities on Cleveland radio history, he proved that he can be a very good operator of a radio station.

I’ve retired to Florida, and we’ll see what the future holds with the radio business. I will always have the passion for it.”

We can’t check from here, but OMW hears that WYCL/1540 may have already flipped to a Spanish-language format.

And that’s no surprise, considering that former Cleveland City Council member Cintron has been involved in the Cleveland market’s newest Spanish-language radio station, non-commercial WHWN/88.3 Painesville.

(The FCC application indicates that he has 33% of WHWN’s ownership…we presume he divested the rest so he could buy two commercial radio stations…) A quick check of the FCC ownership records for WHWN shows that Cintron has always had 33% ownership of the station, the rest split with two family members…

HD ACTION AT FREEDOM AVENUE: There are two new additions to the family among HD Radio sidechannels at Freedom Avenue, otherwise known to new readers as the Clear Channel Media+Entertainment+Ice Cream Akron/Canton cluster. (Yes, we’re just kidding about the frozen dessert part.)

Both are specialty channels, but only one is new.

That’s Golden Flashes Radio, a 24/7 stream heard on rock WRQK/106.9′s HD2 sidechannel, dedicated to Kent State University sports.

In addition to both replay and live Golden Flashes sports contests – and not just football and basketball – Golden Flashes Radio will feature a daily Kent State sports show and other university related content.

In between the Kent State content, Golden Flashes Radio is playing AAA music…presumably from Clear Channel’s Premium Choice/IHeartRadio channel dedicated to the format…at least at launch.

If you’re not among the handful of people with an HD radio set, Golden Flashes Radio is available via IHeartRadio here, and in the various IHeartRadio mobile apps for smartphones and tablets. The station’s on-air ID is prominently featuring the IHeartRadio feed.

The second new HD sidechannel at Freedom Avenue is something we knew was coming.

EMF, the California-based parent of the Christian contemporary “K-Love” and Christian pop “Air1″ formats, will indeed use hot AC WKDD/98.1′s HD3 channel to feed its translators.

We don’t know yet which service will use WKDD HD3 to feed the translators. Our guess is that it’ll be Air1, which counts translators including W273BL/102.5 Akron.

But we don’t know which translators will be fed by WKDD HD3. And we don’t know if the newly restarted W291BV/Solon, another Air1 outlet recently heard repeating Clear Channel country WGAR/99.5, will be fed from there, or via a new HD sidechannel of WGAR itself.

And we also don’t know if either “Air1″ or “K-Love” has made it to WKDD HD3 yet. Our HD radio set is currently not working.

Of course, the analog/HD1 formats of all of the above stations aren’t changing at all. You’ll still hear hot AC music on WKDD, rock on WRQK and country on WGAR.

And the placement of an EMF format on WKDD’s HD3 sidechannel means that the station is keeping the HD2 simulcast of talk WHLO/640 Akron on WKDD’s HD2 channel…but we don’t know if Golden Flashes Radio bumps the WHLO simulcast that had been heard on WRQK HD2…

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