Harvey To Huckabee

UPDATE 3/19/09 1:28 PM: Take another one off the Huckabee List.

Rubber City Radio VP/Information Media and OMW reader Ed Esposito tells us that Akron’s WAKR/1590 does not plan to carry “The Huckabee Report” when it starts airing Monday in the former Paul Harvey News time slots…and that the Paul Harvey Era on WAKR will come to a close after this Saturday’s “News and Comment” midday airing with ABC’s Gil Gross (at 12:06 PM).

Ed tells us:

Interesting that ABC is also suggesting other long-form content hosts may be in the works. We haven’t closed the door in that regard, but don’t feel Huckabee is strong enough alone on his own at this point to carry the programs.

We’re still awaiting word from the two other Harvey affiliates in Northeast Ohio, Elyria’s WEOL/930 and Canton’s WHBC/1480.

Our original item is below…

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Word is coming out this morning that ABC Radio Networks will feed commentator and former presidential candidate/former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee’s “The Huckabee Report” down the network which formerly aired Paul Harvey, starting Monday.

Inside Radio reports that though Huckabee will be among “a menu of commentators” ABC Radio Networks offers to former Paul Harvey affiliates, he will be the one heard on the same satellite channel/time slots which once delivered Harvey, who died recently at the age of 90. (No, we don’t know which choices are on that ABC commentator “menu”.)

The past few weeks, ABC Radio has been offering Paul Harvey News affiliates segments hosted by long-time Harvey fill-ins Gil Gross and Doug Limerick.

But…well? We’ll crow about this one…we were right.

This very blog predicted that the Gross/Limerick fill-in gigs would be temporary, and that the appearances would only serve to provide Mr. Harvey’s former affiliates compatible programming until a decision was made by the network on the future of the Paul Harvey franchise.

We also predicted that Huckabee’s existing segments would be offered up as replacement programming in the Paul Harvey time slots, a prediction that seemed more obvious to us when the network added an afternoon version of “The Huckabee Report” in the past week.

OK, so it didn’t take the proverbial rocket scientist to figure all this out. We didn’t feel we were “out on a limb”, to use another cliche.

But some trade publications and websites, and mainstream media outlets, announced Gross and Limerick as “Paul Harvey’s replacements” with little consideration as to how long they would be there.

Gil Gross and Doug Limerick are two of the most talented radio news broadcasters in America. Their presence in Mr. Harvey’s former time slot was likely of much comfort to those who followed Harvey’s broadcasts over the years.

But, as we believe should happen, the Paul Harvey News franchise will be laid to rest along with the late iconic broadcaster himself. And we suspect Gross and Limerick feel the same way.

Gross continues as an afternoon talk host on Citadel/ABC’s powerhouse San Francisco station, KGO/810. Limerick continues as the ABC News Radio Information Network morning drive (Eastern) anchor…a job which, oddly enough, puts his voice on Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 “The Talk of Akron”, the region’s ABC Information Network affiliate.

Paul Harvey News had four major affiliates in the region: Rubber City Radio oldies/news WAKR/1590 Akron, NextMedia talk WHBC/1480 Canton, Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting talk WEOL/930 Elyria, and Clear Channel standards WNIO/1390 Youngstown.

We’ve already heard from sources at WNIO/Clear Channel Youngstown, and the word out of South Avenue is that WNIO will not be clearing the Huckabee broadcasts. WNIO picked up Paul Harvey News after it was moved over from Harvey’s long-time affiliate, sister talk WKBN/570.

We’re in the process of finding out if the other three will continue with Gov. Huckabee starting Monday…and will update this item when we learn more…

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