You’ll Need A Scorecard

You’ll definitely need a scorecard to keep track of weekend talk radio in Ohio and beyond…in four steps…

STEP ONE: We’ll start off at the Clear Channel complex in the Kenwood area of Cincinnati, where sister talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland weekender and former WKDD/98.1-WHLO/640 Akron voice Matt Patrick, as scheduled, did a 12 noon-3 PM Saturday shift on the original “Big One”…WLW/700.

As we pointed out before, WLW is filling that time slot – formerly occupied by now-former WLW host Mike McConnell’s Premiere syndicated “The Weekend” – locally. Scott Sloan, who has been subbing in WLW’s weekday midday time slot since McConnell left, did the show on WLW last week.

(More on both McConnell, and “The Weekend”, later.)

Patrick was almost directly preceded by the man who could decide if he appears on WLW in the future: Darryl Parks, CC Cincinnati AM operations chief, who also regularly hosts the 9-11 AM Saturday “Midday” show…though his immediate lead-in was a quasi-infomercial hour we won’t mention here again unless the host pays us…

STEP TWO: With Matt Patrick in Southwest Ohio for the day, someone had to take the 1-4 PM Saturday shift he has been occupying back at WTAM…and who took the shift is sure a surprise.

That Saturday afternoon shift was filled by former sister hot AC WMVX/106.5 “Mix 106.5” co-host Brian Fowler, marking his return to Oak Tree since “Brian and Joe” were canned for budget reasons.

Joe Cronauer, by the way, was recently heard filling in for Trapper Jack on CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1 “Soft Rock 102.1″…and Fowler had an earlier turn filling in for Scott Miller at CBS Radio classic rock WNCX/98.5.

The pair has not been on the air together since leaving WMVX, though they have produced a regular podcast we’ve already mentioned. Fowler now has a regular “day job” with a local advertising agency.

Like Patrick in Cincinnati, Fowler gave the impression the WTAM show was a one-time appearance, unless he hears any more from the station. (Curiously, Fowler got liners done by the regular station voice, though we would not read too much into it…)

STEP THREE: And it appears McConnell is not long for “The Weekend”, or, it not long for him.

News out of Chicago places him in afternoons on WGN/720 starting in August – as expected, WGN’s Steve Cochran was told his last show in the 1-3 PM time slot was Friday. (It’s not known how the station will divide time between McConnell and earlier host John Williams, who is presumably staying.)

Maybe that finality led to McConnell’s run on “The Weekend” finishing a little earlier than expected.

On the web stream of Louisville KY’s WHAS/840, we heard KFI/640 Los Angeles host Tim Conway Jr. do the Saturday “Weekend” show, announcing that he had “signed a three year deal” to be the show’s permanent host…but that he’d be gone most of the summer due to a pre-scheduled vacation, with fill-in hosts rotating on the show.

We’re not all that familiar with Los Angeles talk radio, so we don’t know if any of that was accurate or not a joke.

But McConnell’s name has been officially excised from the show’s open, in a quick edit job.

Two Ohio notes in all this: We’re told by WTVN/610 Columbus weekender Dirk Thompson that the station hasn’t run “The Weekend” in “over a year”, though we seem to recall Cincinnati Enquirer TV/radio guru John Kiesewetter noting the post-WLW “Weekend” with McConnell hosting airing on both WTVN and WHAS.

And yes, Tim Conway Jr. is the son of THAT Tim Conway, the Cleveland-area native actor and comedian known worldwide for his stints on “The Carol Burnett Show” and “McHale’s Navy”, not to mention “Dorf on Golf”…

AND STEP FOUR: We received a tip confirmed by long-time OMW reader/Lorain County-based tipster Nathan Obral, of a fill-in at a local talk station.

And Nathan tells us it was a return to the airwaves Friday morning by long-time local radio voice Jeff Thomas, subbing on Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting talk WEOL/930 Elyria’s morning show.

We hear that Jeff could repeat the fill-in one day next week.

We’re also told that Jeff did a regular talk show, and wasn’t doing a sports show – despite his lengthy sports radio background as the morning update voice on Good Karma sports WKNR/850 (via Metro Networks).

Of course, WEOL would have a good reason to try out a new voice…as incumbent morning drive host Les Sekely is leaving the station in August, heading for full-time teaching work. But we don’t know if Jeff is the only voice getting a try-out…

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5 Responses to You’ll Need A Scorecard

  1. victor malar says:

    Jeff Thomas certainly deserves a shot at his own show after so many years as a sports anchor/sidekick for ‘KNR.

    • Nathan says:

      I totally agree. Even with the material being topical and non-sports centered, Jeff sounded as solid as ever. More’s the pity for WKNR for never giving him a chance in the first place.

  2. Nathan says:

    John Williams cannot shift to a later time slot; after his 9a-1p show ends on WGN, he then hosts a 1p-4p show on WCCO-AM in Minneapolis. (Apparently he moved or is moving to Minneapolis and could still work for WGN on ISDN, right now, the WCCO show is ISDN-fed.) He’d have to leave WGN if McConnell took his current show time. That alone could have been the reason why WGN & Co. apparently tried to get Bill Cunningham into the fold as well.

    By the way, Tim Conway, Jr. was also one of the “hot talk” hosts at CBS’s then-“FreeFM” station KLSX/LA, which is now KAMP “AMP Radio.”

    • Indeed, and there was speculation that Williams was gone as well – particularly when McConnell told John Kiesewetter he’d be on WGN at 9 AM.

      As it turns out, Williams is staying..,the OMW Gut tells me that WGN will slice an hour off of Williams’ show, and slot him 9-noon, and McConnell noon-3.

      And yes, Tim Conway Jr. “cut his (talk radio) teeth” at KLSX, as co-host of that station’s “Conway and Steckler” evening show. KLSX had been doing FM talk for years, and only in recent years (like sister WJFK/Washington) had adopted CBS Radio’s “Free FM” tag. WJFK is all sports now, of course…

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