Two Really Big Items

An update on two big Cleveland items, one TV, one radio related…

THE RS SHOW: Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8” has replaced “The Robin Swoboda Show” with…”The Robin Swoboda Show”, at least for now.

As expected, the station aired a repeat of a previous “RS” show on Monday, and OMW hears that it will do so again on Tuesday.

Starting Wednesday, we’re told, a live, local 10 AM show will resume, with WJW entertainment reporter David Moss expected to be a fill-in host. We don’t know how long “The Mossman” will take that role, or what other fill-in hosts might be used…or if someone else will be seen on Wednesday, though we expect to see Moss.

We also don’t know what “Fox 8” will call the show. The running joke is that the station hopes to find a host named “RS”, so it can re-use the graphics and set put together for Swoboda.

We do know, thanks to a Pennsylvania newspaper article we put up over the weekend, that incoming meteorologist Kristi Capel – late of WBRE/28 in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre PA market – will play some role on an “entertainment show” in middays on the station.

And one of our earlier pieces of speculation was confirmed by the Plain Dealer Saturday, thanks to, well, Robin herself…in an article by the PD’s Michael Heaton:

“They went left, and I went right,” said Swoboda, calling from the station, where she was packing up her office. “We’re still friends. They made me a nice offer, but the show is going in a different direction. It’s going to be more sales-driven, more advertorial. My style is more zany and off-the-cuff.”

You can bet that when announcing the new 10 AM show, suits at South Marginal won’t proclaim that “it’ll have more sponsored content!”…but what format it WILL have, we just don’t know yet…

TRIV VS. RIZZO: The rumor has been peppering our inbox and Twitter and Facebook accounts for the past couple of weeks.

“Will,” readers ask us, “WKNR’s Tony Rizzo move his show to afternoon drive?”

We can’t answer that question definitively yet…but the man “ESPN 850 WKNR”‘s mid-morning host would compete against if he does move “The Really Big Show” to PM drive believes it’s going to happen.

Consider this tweet/Facebook status update from the one and only Mike Trivisonno, the afternoon mouth who has led Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 to dominant ratings over the years:


Though it would appear Triv’s show staffers generally update his Facebook/Twitter presence, we’re making the assumption that the all upper case updates are directly from Triv.

For Rizzo’s part, he hasn’t announced anything – yet.

The station has a “big announcement” scheduled for, we believe, Friday, which would certainly be a good time to announce a major lineup change that would presumably take effect on Monday.

But Rizzo, on Monday’s “RBS”, said he doesn’t know what the announcement is, and “it doesn’t involve me”. (Our guess: some OTHER non-Rizzo-related announcement will be made, and the lineup change will be attached to it.)

If Rizzo is indeed moving to PM drive, this is clearly the biggest challenge Triv has faced since CBS Radio alt-rock WKRK/WXRK/WXTM/WKRI/whichever call letters it had then/92.3 delayed ran syndicated hosts “Opie and Anthony” into afternoon drive, twice. (Our friends at CursedCleveland remind us that O&A’s first afternoon drive stint was live.)

We seem to recall that “O&A” indeed knocked Triv off of his #1 afternoon drive perch – the first time, but were not as successful in their return.

One of our readers (G_Conley on Twitter) pointed out that, of course, Trivisonno already has talk “competition” in afternoon drive…with WMMS/100.7’s “Alan Cox Show”.

But WMMS is a Clear Channel sister station to WTAM, and the goal, presumably, is to dominate all male demos between the two shows – Alan Cox taking the younger end, and Mike Trivisonno taking the older end.

Demographically, Tony Rizzo would be much more of a direct competitor to Triv than Alan Cox is, and is working for another company.

The way to Rizzo’s rumored move was paved by his recent departure from his long-time gig as evening sports anchor at WJW “Fox 8”.

And we’ve reported here that Rizzo is said to have taken an ownership stake of some sort in Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting, owner of WKNR, WWGK/1540 “KNR2”, and nine other stations.

We know that exact number (11 total) because Rizzo indicated on Monday’s “RBS” that he was going to take a tour of all 11 Good Karma stations…something someone with an ownership stake in the entire company would certainly do.

Anyway, we will keep our eyes and ears open. We expect Triv to make either direct or indirect reference to this on his show this afternoon, and expect callers to pepper current “ESPN 850 WKNR” afternoon drive hosts Michael Reghi and Kenny Roda with questions, not to mention Rizzo himself.

And assuming this is indeed in the works, we have questions.

Will “Afternoon R&R” become “Midday R&R”, with Reghi and Roda swapping into the 9-noon slot? Or, maybe 10-noon, returning the fourth hour of ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning” from sister station “KNR2”?

Again, this is all rumor, and that’s only speculation on our part, and we’re only talking about it here because one of the competitors in this rumored afternoon drive battle believes it is about to become reality, and is talking about it…


6 Responses to Two Really Big Items

  1. Jim Larson says:

    Is it just me or does anyone else (of a certain age that is) see the great similarities in the verbal style and intellignece of Michael Reghi and Ted Baxter of the Mary Tyler Moore Show? I’ve listened to him enough to form the opinion that he never uses a single word when a dozen or more will do. Even if those words are malaprops or have utterly nothing to do with the topic at hand. I find it very difficult to understand how someone with his verbal skills could be selected for a commentary/talk show. However, I do like Kenny Roda. Has a point of view and something to say. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the program that they are jointly supposed to host has either one or the other so frequently. If they are considering this change, it isn’t because the current program is such a screaming success, that’s for sure. Just had to say something. Enjoy your blog very much.

    • Joe says:

      Well put! 1984 becomes nineteen hundred in eighty-four…over and over. I remember once at the old Coliseum there was a ceremony at halftime that Michael Reghi hosted and he went on soooooo long that they had to cut it off to get the 2nd half started. All that said, he seems like a nice, albeit old school radio guy. Just ask Sabrina Parr…lol.

  2. Joe says:

    As a long time listener of WKNR, I would doubt that The Really Big Show featuring Tony Rizzo, unfortunately would not make much of a dent into Triv’s core listeners for a myriad of reasons, mostly swirling around Aaron Goldhammer:
    ^ He is constantly hanging up on callers for little to no reason. Rizz protests and does NOTHING about it.
    ^ Hates Ohio State and talks about it non-stop…like trying to be the Peter Brown of Cleveland.
    ^ Plays and discusses 13 year old girlie bumper music all the time.
    ^ Talks about Denver, Wisconsin and New York City constantly…alright already – we get it!
    ^ Likes to “speak for Cleveland” on local stories with national implications. He can’t speak for Cleveland – someone else PLEASE step up over there.
    ^ Has “techinal difficulties” ALL the time and makes a joke about it.
    ^ Has a nasally, stuffed up sound to his voice pretty much daily.
    ^ Interupts Rizz constantly and thinks it adds to the show?

    There…got some of it off my chest. Yeah, much as I like Rizz, I do not think Triv is too concerned…

    Keep up the great work on the Ohio Media Watch blog! Thank you.

    • Bradley says:

      Well put Joe. I tried to listen, but Goldhammer and Chris Fedor make that show unbearable. I wish Rizzo would dump those two. I’m convinced the only reason Goldhammer has that job is his father’s connection to some radio exec (I can’t remember his name).

    • victor malar says:

      As long as Craig Karmazin can put one foot in front of the other, Hammer goes nowhere.

      That’s CK’s little buddy he brought over from Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, so therefore, Ol’ Aaron’s gonna have the run of the place.

      He does the “speaking for Cleveland” thing just so he can get some face time on the Worldwide Leader, because eventually, he fancies himself as a national guy.

      Now to be fair, he has been pulled off the board (now run by Chris “Negative Ned” Fedor, who is at least a competent board op) and had earlier been removed as assistant program director (or “@$$ PD” as Rizz would say) due to him getting a little big for his britches.

      But as long as Good Karma is running things, Hammer is gonna be heard somewhere (maybe eventually spinning off to his own show).

    • Secondary Editorial Voice (tm) says:

      Agreed on all points.

      However, if they did put tRBS up against Triv, I wouldn’t be surprised, either. Apparently someone got the idea somewhere that it is a good idea. But it won’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell.

      Primarily because, with no live/local talk programming of note after 10am (Rover doesn’t count because of his program is syndicated simulcast on a lowly alt-rock station in Rochester) Rizz gets decent ratings by default. One would only imagine how better it would be if he wasn’t saddled by such a miserable support cast. Goldhammer and Ned can’t even hold a candle to Triv’s relatively new support cast of Gohmann, Seth (The Barbarian) and Jennifer.

      Triv was definitely way more amused than scared with the FB posting.

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