Tuesday’s Mixed Bag

This time, we promise we’re not going to inadvertently insert ourselves into contract negotiations…

DAVE AND JIMMY MINUS DAYTON: We don’t spend a lot of time watching the Dayton radio market these days, particularly with the attention now paid to Southwest Ohio by Jeremy Moses’ Tri-State Media Watch out of Cincinnati.

But this one affects Columbus, one of our secondary markets.

Radio-Info.com columnist Tom Taylor picks up word that Clear Channel Dayton top 40 outlet WDKF/94.5 is apparently moving forward without syndicated morning team “Dave & Jimmy”, based out of Columbus sister station WNCI/97.9.

(With WNCI’s powerhouse signal, we imagine at least some Dayton market listeners will able to pick them up directly on the Dave & Jimmy Mothership.)

Sure enough, a brief digital walk to the “Channel 945” website shows the station telling listeners to “Embrace the change in Morning Drive”, and asking them to text “change” to the messaging short code 62582 for more details. And, presumably, that enables WDKF to text message listeners with more station promotion in the future.

There’s no word as to what “change” listeners to WDKF may be asked to “embrace”, or if it’ll be Change They Can Believe In.

In addition to WNCI, “Dave & Jimmy” are also heard up here in Northeast Ohio, on Clear Channel top 40 sister station WAKZ/95.9 “Kiss FM” in the Youngstown market…and the pair has affiliates in Lima, Louisville and Lexington KY, and Albany NY, among other cities…

FROM PRISON TO TALK: Well, he certainly isn’t the first former political type to go from serving prison time to talk radio.

We’re talking about former southeast Ohio congressman Bob Ney, who has started a new career as a talk radio host not that far from his former district.

Ney started Monday as the 1-3 PM host at Monroe Communications talk WVLY/1370 Moundsville WV, near Wheeling.

In case you need a refresher as to why Ney is just coming out of prison, here’s a refresher courtesy of an article on the website of Steubenville NBC affiliate WTOV/9:

Ney pleaded guilty to a felony bribery charge and was linked to the Jack Abramoff scandal in 2006. Ney was sentenced to 30 months in prison but was released after 17 months.

Wheeling CBS/ABC/Fox affiliate WTRF/7 chimes in, with a quote from Howard Monroe, WVLY morning host and station owner:

“The buzz? It’s been quite frankly surprising. I expected a lot of negative feedback. Let’s face it, the man was the poster child for corruption. While I’ve gotten some of that it’s no where near the amount I expected. So, we’ll get the show going and see what happens when the calls start coming in.” Monroe told 7News.

Ney became a free man after being released from prison in August. (And it’s not often that a boss calls his new employee a “poster child for corruption”!)

Again, as we noted, Ney would hardly be the first former political type to turn to talk radio not long after his release from prison. That distinction would likely go to former White House figure G. Gordon Liddy, who became a very successful syndicated talk show host after landing in the lineup of Washington DC talk superstation WJFK/106.7.

(WJFK is still in the format, and Liddy is long gone from that station…his syndication effort continues, with a much smaller affiliate base than in the WJFK-based days, and with a different syndicator than Westwood One.)

As for Ney’s new radio home, it’s a rimshot into Wheeling from the south, and pretty much the third-ranked talk station in that crowded field (WWVA/1170 and WKKX/1600 are number one and two).

WVLY’s listenable, static-free signal basically does not reach the bulk of the former congressman’s Southeast Ohio district, though we note from the station’s website that it’s offering Ney to other stations. For now, Monroe’s own morning show is only on one other station, a small Fairmont WV talk outlet…

OH, DINO: We once had a hobby here…tracking the moves of bombastic former local sports radio host Dino Costa.

You could almost put an asterisk next to “local” there.

Costa was in the Cleveland market for roughly a cup of coffee on a short-lived sports talk station that barely reached out of Geauga County – the now-silent daytimer WATJ/1560 Chardon (“SportsRadio 1560”). In its brief attempt at local sports talk, the tiny rimshot outlet also had Time Warner Cable host Les Levine (“More Sports and Les Levine”) on board.

WATJ went dark after station owner Music Express decided to concentrate on its main station, country WKKY/104.7 Geneva.

After WATJ, Costa headed for places like Jacksonville FL, where he was noted for posting breathless help wanted ads for a talk station which got pulled out from under him by ownership. (“Our 50,000 watt transmitter just arrived!!”)

But for the bulk of his career, Dino Costa has been a sports talk radio host with a flair for self-promotion, usually on second-tier and third-tier stations. WATJ would probably have been “fourth-tier” or “fifth-tier” by those standards.

Costa landed in Denver, where he held forth on something called the “Radio Colorado Network” – until that operation flipped to a business radio format under new owners. He started in the market on Crawford sports talk KLZ/560 “ESPN 560”.

Dino’s back, and he’s promoting again.

He’s launching Internet sports outlet “DenverSportsRadio.com” next week, and at least if you believe his self-publicity, the station has actually picked up some known hosts…and some new names. (Of course, Costa himself will host a show. You think you could keep him away from a microphone on an outlet he runs?)

From here, it looks like Costa is basically duplicating Cleveland’s own SportsTalkCleveland.com (aka SportsTalkNetwork.com), Paul Belfi’s long-time online sports “talk station”.

We don’t know if Costa is even aware of the Cleveland operation, though. And “STC” started out as the Internet arm of then-Salem sports talk WKNR/850 before striking out on its own. Costa’s new site has no connection to a radio outlet.

But some of the same elements are there, including a promise to do various remotes, and a similar mix of known and unknown hosts.

“DenverSportsRadio.com” is set to launch on April 20. If you’d like to hear Costa talking about the future online sports station, the website features audio of him…


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