The Next Batch

News seems to be coming in batches, so here’s our next one…

CBS MOVES CARVER: Steve Carver literally didn’t have enough time to unpack in Northeast Ohio.

Not long after CBS Radio announced he was taking the job of VP/market manager at the company’s Cleveland cluster (AC WDOK/102.1, hot AC WQAL/104.1, classic rock WNCX/98.5 and alt-rock WKRK/92.3), he’s leaving town…according to numerous trade reports, he’ll take oversight of CBS’ cluster in West Palm Beach FL.

Taking over the four CBS stations in Cleveland is cluster vet Tom Herschel.

But…for how long, at least as a CBS Radio employee?

We’ve recounted rumblings and rumors that CBS Radio has sold/is about to/will/could sell its stations in Cleveland and as many as four other cities.

Is Herschel CBS’ caretaker for a set of properties that aren’t long for the company?

We would think/assume that if the situation is otherwise, the company would not have brought in Mr. Carver, and would have handed the keys to Mr. Herschel a few weeks ago.

But we warn again – we have no solid information, or even “solid rumor”, other than unconfirmed rumblings that there’s some sort of sale of the CBS Radio Cleveland cluster in the works.

We have no evidence that it’s actually happening, or that there’s actually fire underneath all that smoke.

But…we’re watching…

FORMAT CHANGE IN CENTRAL OHIO: A relatively new Columbus market radio station changed format on Monday afternoon.

Clear Channel’s WRXS/106.7 was on its first format after the company moved it from Marion, where it was once WMRN-FM “Buckeye Country” at 106.9. (The format and calls in that area moved to 94.3/Caledonia, which itself moved closer to Marion from its former home in Upper Sandusky.)

But the alt-rockish “Radio 106.7” gave way to “Gen X Radio” on Monday, based (on what we hear) on Clear Channel’s Louisville KY station of the same moniker.

Here, let’s let Radio-Info columnist Tom Taylor – who recounted some of the CBS sale rumblings – do the heavy music description listing…noting that Arbitron’s PPM ratings system starts soon in Columbus:

Big-cumeing stations tend to perform better in PPM, and maybe that’s what Clear Channel is thinking with “Gen X” – which typically jams together songs that were hits on either rhythmic/top 40 or rock-leaning stations.

Taylor says WRXS is taking the new-format-appropriate calls WCGX.

“Gen X Radio” could be destined for wider adoption within Clear Channel, or at very least, it could be the early 2010s version of Jammin’ Oldies.

We’ll actually get a chance to hear it in the market this week, though our lack of musical knowledge won’t give you much more insight after we get back from the Columbus area.

One set of ears in the market tells us it sounds like a young-music-skewing version of “Jack FM”, the “playing what we want” format that is usually based in classic hit selections.

What we won’t hear in Columbus is Shane “Rover” French, unless we happen to get freak reception on 100.7 – or fire up the show’s “IHeartRadio” channel on our Android device.

Yep, the “Radio 106.7” move to “Gen X” has taken WMMS/Cleveland-based “Rover’s Morning Glory” off the Columbus airwaves again. We hear the station is totally without air personalities for now, not just without Rover and his cast.

“RMG” was previously heard in Columbus some time ago on rimshot then-WAZU/107.1 Circleville “The Big Wazoo”, which was sold by CBS Radio to Wilks, and changed to country WNKK “The Hawk” “Wink” (sorry, we got 107.1’s country format confused with sister station 95.5!). And if you think “Rover’s Morning Glory” doesn’t fit with a young-skewing jukebox-ish format with no air personalities, it certainly doesn’t fit with a country format…

WHILE WE’RE IN COLUMBUS: Electronically, tonight, at least…

Lance Venta at RadioInsight and his “net gnomes” are at it again, spotting two domain registrations that could signal a future for a new signal in Columbus:

A move of Columbus, OH’s Alternative ‘CD101’ WWCD appears to be on the horizon. A pair of domain registrations hint at a new frequency for the longtime independently owned station. CD101at1025.com and CD1025.com were both registered anonymously but pointing to the servers of the Columbus area ISP that host WWCD’s online operations.

102.5 FM in the Columbus market, as long-time OMW readers could cite without searching, is WCVZ/Baltimore, the new home of the former 102.5 signal in Zanesville.

Southeastern Ohio Broadcasting System moved the WHIZ-FM “Z102” hot AC format and calls to the former WCVZ/92.7 South Zanesville, once known as CCM “The River”…and former 92.7 owner Christian Voice of Central Ohio decamped in the area to new non-comm WZNP/89.3 Newark “The Promise”. 92.7 took the “Z” moniker as “Z92.7”.

And 102.5 then moved to its spanking new facility southeast of Columbus, one of the market’s better rimshot signals. It’s been running loosely automated country run by the WHIZ folks under the name “Highway 102”.

(And we mean “loosely”. You could drive an 18 wheeler through some of the breaks between songs and spots!)

Could “CD101” take up a new home on 102.5/Baltimore, and will owner Ingleside keep – at least in the short term – the existing 101.1/Grove City signal?

We’ll see…possibly soon…

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8 Responses to The Next Batch

  1. Tom Lavery says:

    Surprisingly in Columbus 102.5 is next to the WHOK translator at 102.3. Must be as story there.

    • In our travels Wednesday, the 102.3 translator appeared to be off the air, even within sight of downtown Columbus.

      • Tom Lavery says:

        I wonder if it is gone. I haven’t been through Columbus in a few months but found it very odd. Too bad more stations could not do what The Hawk is doing with classic country.

  2. Tristan says:

    That new “Gen X Radio” format sounds appealing. I wish the new 106.7 in Columbus. Makes me wonder if that and/or the 80’s-focused Adult Hits format on Rewind 94.9 in Cincinnati could work in Cleveland. I’m surprised that the “Radio” alternative format ended in Columbus. It seems to work very well in Cleveland on 92.3. Maybe since CD 101 is thinking about moving to a different frequency, maybe 101.1 could pick up the abandoned “Radio” format, while 102.5 picks up the CD 101 version of alternative.

    Speaking of 92.3, they once were the Jammin’ Oldies station from 1999 to 2001. They replaced the dance Top 40 station Jammin’ 92.3, which angry thousands of young listeners who wanted to hear the latest hits. The station seemed like they were doing well, but after constant staff changes and repetition in its playlist, they suffered big time and dropped out of the Top 10 in ratings before 2000 arrived, and remained between 11 and 15 until the arrival of “Xtreme Radio,” which gave way to “K-Rock” and now “Radio.”

  3. Tim says:

    If CBS sells off its cluster, I think Radio 92.3 would be the only station to expect a change of format. WDOK ratings speak for themselves. WNCX does good in male demos and WQAL does ok with women but don’t know if it is hot ac or top40. Does anyone out there see more possible format changes coming?

    • Nathan says:

      Re: changing 92.3’s format: that would be welcome news for V 107-3, that’s for sure. But consider that 92.3 has done decently consider they have no on-air staff whatsoever. Maybe a flip BACK to CHR to challenge KissFM?

      WNCX looks and sounds like they’ve been trapped in amber for the past fifteen years, just waiting for the Jurassic Park folk to use their DNA to revive the dinosaurs. I’ve heard of not wanting to mess with success, but this is ridiculous!

      • Tristan says:

        Maybe they can bring back Jammin’ 92.3 and make it a Rhythmic/Dance Top 40 station to also challenge Z107.9. Speaking of WNCX, is there any rumblings about their morning show?

  4. We apologize for confusing Wilks’ two country stations…107.1 became “Wink”, not “The Hawk” (the moniker taken by 95.5). The item has been corrected.

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