Busy Monday

It’s a busy Monday both on and off the radio dial, so let’s line up all the changes.

NO, NOT FOLGERS: CBS Radio classic rock WNCX/98.5’s new morning show is one of two new morning shows in the CBS Radio Cleveland cluster this morning.

It’s a set of voices familiar to afternoon listeners, and in the case of WNCX, those who spent time with Clear Channel rock WMMS/100.7 before that station declined to renew the contract of “Maxwell” and his co-horts.

Now, the trio (including “Stansbury” and “Chunk”), after cooling contractural heels, lands on WNCX.

No, we didn’t hear the debut, which was set (today only) to start at 7:30 AM. The show’s regular time slot, starting tomorrow, will be 5:30-10 AM.

But we heard an unusual lack of hype about the new show on WNCX’s airwaves over the weekend.

In fact, in occasional listening, we only heard one “Maxwell Show” mention – a sponsored promo for regular appearances by former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar, who otherwise appears regularly on Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850” and does pre-season color commentary for the team’s games on WKYC/3.

That’s rather odd, since the station has very much hyped its new morning show on the WNCX website, the station’s Twitter account and elsewhere.

The juxtaposition of “Maxwell” and the classic rock format will be interesting, and apparently, more natural than we realized.

WNCX program director Bill Louis tells the Plain Dealer’s Julie Washington:

The show will mix Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith with talk.

And Maxwell mentioned that classic rock mainstay, Led Zeppelin, in an interview aired last week with Michael Stanley, on the station’s afternoon drive show…telling Stanley that his previous station’s management apparently didn’t have the full grasp of the extensive Led Zeppelin catalog.

The “Maxwell Move” does indeed displace the now former WNCX morning drive show, which featured local radio vet (and ex-WDOK/102.1 program director) Scott Miller, comedian Jeff Blanchard, and in a surprise to us, WNCX mainstay (and one-time OMW reader) Dave Jockers…

AND ELSEWHERE AT CBS: It’s a natural move at hot AC WQAL/104.1 “Q104”, as afternoon driver Jen Toohey adjusts her alarm clock to “Holy crap!”, taking over as the station’s new morning drive co-host, alongside Allan Fee.

That move happened because the “Wilde” of “Wilde and Fee”, Rebecca Wilde, left the station to pursue extensive travel…so the story goes, at least.

The Q104 afternoon drive slot is wide open on the station’s website schedule, and we don’t know what the permanent plans are to replace Toohey in afternoons.

If we had to guess, midday host Tim Richards will be at very least temporarily heard in afternoon drive…but that is just a guess…

AND OFF THE AIR: The latest entrant into the Cleveland market, uh, audio sports sweepstakes has officially taken the airw…er…to the Internet.

And there’s already an addition to the online sports outlet’s schedule, and it’s a high-profile addition.

Brian Fowler, known best to Cleveland radio listeners as half of former WMVX/106.5 (and WMMS/100.7) team “Brian and Joe”, joins the Cleveland.com-backed “Digital Sports Network” as co-host of the station’s midday show – “Locked and Loaded”.

Fowler’s addition turns the 10 AM-noon show into a three person effort with sports writer Greg Kozarik, and radio sports veteran Matt Loede. Kozarik is one “DSN” contributor who spent time at competitor SportsTalkCleveland.com.

It is by far not Fowler’s “day job”…he’s been working in the advertising business full-time since he and co-host Joe Cronaeur were dumped in Clear Channel budget cuts.

Like its online sports talk competitor SportsTalkCleveland.com, “DSN” features a video feed, though it’s basically a webcam…and in station breaks, you can take in the exciting sight of the hosts checking their E-mail, Twitter and Facebook accounts and other activities.

Oh, and here’s bad timing for “DSN” – it makes its debut on a rare Fall Monday that doesn’t involve the aftermath of a Browns game. The local NFL team had a bye week on Sunday…

DISHING IT OUT: On the TV side, NewsCorp/Fox and Dish Network came to a carriage agreement late last week, returning networks such as Fox Sports Ohio to TVs of area Dish subscribers.

The pact also means that Cleveland Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8” did not disappear from Dish Network today.

Those who don’t keep track of carriage disputes may not realize that it’s generally not the network affiliation behind such disputes – most network affiliates are owned by other companies (Local TV, LLC in WJW’s case), which handle their carriage deals separately from the network.

But WJW was indeed owned by Fox until recently, and the network had “proxy” to represent Local TV in the contract talks with Dish. That “proxy” apparently only existed with the Dish Network deal, as the station was not threatened in a recent dispute with Time Warner Cable…

CHANGES COMING: One Mahoning Valley radio group, owned by an OMW reader, is announcing current and future changes.

First, Chris Lash passes on word of new hires at his Whiplash Communications stations, classic country WRTK/1540 Niles and sports WANR/1570 Warren:

1540 The Farm, WRTK welcomes Michael J. Daniels from Pittsburgh to Youngstown as the new host of the “High Noon Saloon”, a this day in country music history lunch feature weekdays beginning in mid November. We’re also talking with several other former Youngstown personalities for afternoon drive.

Marc Means joins 1570 WANR and 1540 The Farm from WBBW ESPN 1240. Marc was a former play by play voice of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers baseball club. He’ll be wearing a variety of hats including sports, sales and overseeing 1570 WANR. 1570 WANR can also confirm that we have picked up the Pittsburgh Penguins, and will begin airing them in the next week or two, with their season already in progress.

Lash also tells us that the Fox Sports Radio-based sports talk format is going away at WANR soon, though the station will continue to air sports content.

Lash says the station will target Warren directly “with a new format, heavy with local news, sports and information. All I can tell you, is there’s a Blizzard coming to Warren soon, featuring legendary personalities, news, and sports”…


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