March 29, 2007
Just a note: This is not one of our much-ballyhooed “hiatuses”, but we’ll be mostly be taking the rest of the week off from the beast that has become the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm).
We’re recharging the batteries, as it were. Expect us back by Monday, or before if we get bored. Just don’t expect multiple daily updates until early next week.
To hold you over until then…some stuff we’re clearing out of the “inbox” from this week, along with stuff from various sites. We won’t go into much detail about the non-original material, some of which has been out there for a day or three…
RADIO FREE FALL: In an unusual move for a station about to change format, Clear Channel’s WARF/1350 Akron has brought out some numbers – to the public – to explain the flip Friday from liberal talk to sports.
Quoting from the very same “Radio Free Ohio” page we linked earlier, now updated:
While Progessive Radio is surviving in parts of the country, it has not in Akron. In two years ratings have not improved, and revenue has declined, despite the remainder of the market seeing an increase in revenue.
Before the format switch to Progressive Talk, 1350am was an all sports station. In the Winter of 2005, (the last ratings period for the station as sports) 1350am had 17,000 weekly listeners. In the latest release of ratings, for the Fall of 06, WARF had 11,600 weekly listeners, and was on the decline.* (Source: Arbitron Fall 05 and Winter 06 Akron Metro Persons 12+ Monday-Sunday 6am – Midnight)
Now, we know you can slice and dice Arbitron numbers in any way, and the 12-plus numbers are, as anyone in the business knows, “vanity” numbers.
But the facts remain as we pointed out earlier. Simply put: even with similar (lower) ratings, sports outsells liberal talk, at least at this juncture. It “sells above its numbers”.
The phrase “revenue has declined” says it all here, about why the current format at Akron’s 1350 is going away Friday morning…
Y-TOWN PD SHUFFLE: Two Clear Channel Youngstown properties are getting new program directors, according to AllAccess.
And one of those new programmers is an existing one, as rock WNCD/93.3 PD Steve Granato takes over the same duties sister hot AC WMXY/98.9 “Mix 98.9″.
That job is open because of a departure – sister top 40 WAKZ/95.9 “Kiss FM” PD Jerry Mac, who’s been there for some time and also programmed “Mix”, is headed for new duties as operations manager of the NextMedia cluster in coastal North Carolina (Wilmington, et al.).
The move has left PD openings at WNCD and WAKZ. Can one person fill both? We’re just asking a question, not dropping any hints…
THE DENNIS MILLER WATCH: This one is an original, thanks to a tip by regular OMW reader Nathan Obral.
Nathan tells us that Westwood One’s newly launched syndicated talker, Dennis Miller, has landed in Columbus on North American Broadcasting FM talker WTDA/103.9 “Talk FM”.
And his presence on the WTDA schedule pushes aside, umm, someone who’s used to being dumped for other hosts – Take On The Day syndicated advice talker Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
First, pushed off one station by Glenn Beck. Then, dumped to make way for Dennis Miller. What’s next for Dr. Laura, losing a clearance to Jerry Doyle?
We’re still surprised she hasn’t shown up on more of Salem’s conservative talk stations – though as reported here, they’ve hooked up with WW1 for Miller in a number of markets.
Or for that matter, on Salem’s teaching/talk outlets like Cleveland’s WHKW/1220 “The Word” – or to replace her lost Columbus station, WRFD/880 “The Word” in the Columbus market.
By the way, your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) has not heard one pip out of Mr. Miller’s new show. Though it’s only carried in Northeast Ohio on NextMedia’s WHBC/1480, it’s widely available online…we just haven’t caught up with it yet.
We’ll give the erudite comedian/host a few days or weeks to get his show together…
CINCINNATI CALLING: Keith Mitchell has been programming Cumulus oldies WGRR/103.5 in Cincinnati. We don’t know how long he’s been doing so, or who hired him, since that massive swap in calls, frequencies, owners and formats down in the Queen City has us all confused.
WGRR has now installed Mitchell in the afternoon drive time slot…saying the former WMOJ “Mojo 94.9″ morning host was needed on the air. (And yes, that was the former “Jammin’ Oldies” incarnation of Mojo, before Radio One bought the name and the calls for the incoming 100.3 FM, and then tweaked the format.)
We hear the move displaces Jim LaBarbara from afternoon drive. The name didn’t ring any bells for us, but we’re probably too young – he had a stint as one of the WIXY/1260 “Supermen” in Cleveland.
We don’t know where LaBarbara lands – perhaps elsewhere on the WGRR schedule? He’s still listed in afternoon drive on the station’s website…which says he’s been on the airwaves in Southwest Ohio since 1969…