July 31, 2005
There won’t be a big production number about it, because Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland doesn’t carry full-length network newscasts…but it appears they’ve turned the corner with FOX News Radio.
In the past day or two, OMW has heard WTAM using only FNR wraps in their locally-produced newscasts. WTAM has also used FOX reporters for morning drive live hits, though that’s been going on for a while (and they’ve also used ABC reporters in the mix).
(UPDATE: Sunday afternoon, we did hear an ABC wrap in a WTAM local newscast.)
Unlike CC sister talk station WHLO/640 Akron, you may never know when ABC is “gone for good” at WTAM. The end of the contract with ABC will solely involve WTAM not playing ABC network spots, and they can add FNR before losing ABC.
WHLO’s transition will be more abrupt, as you’ll hear it – sometime in the coming couple of weeks – start running FNR’s new top of the hour newscast instead of ABC’s Information Network cast. Then, ABC’s product will show up on talk WNIR/100.1, as reported earlier here on OMW. We hear ABC will consider WNIR the “Cleveland market” Information Network clearance, as no other Cleveland station will pick up that “main” feed. There’s really no home for it, with no other major news/talkers in the Cleveland market, and Salem’s talk WHK/1420 (or sports WKNR/850) certainly isn’t going to pick up the ABC Information Network feed.
One note: As far as we know, WTAM will continue to run veteran commentator Paul Harvey, even after losing the ABC News product. And no, it’s not true that they’ll hang onto Paul Harvey because Triv demanded the extra 5 minutes rest at the beginning of his show. (It’s a joke, folks…)
As reported earlier on OMW, WHLO liberal talk sister WARF/1350 Akron “Radio Free Ohio” will hang onto an ABC newscast after the change, though not the same one they’re running now…the Information cast, in tandem with WHLO. In fact, aside from the sounders in the automation computer, WHLO and WARF pretty much simulcast every hour for the first 5 minutes or so…something which will change when the network newscasts change.