That WKNR Fallout

When Good Karma sports WKNR/850 Cleveland “ESPN 850” makes one of its “major announcements”, there’s always a follow up, and there’s no exception in this case.

The most detail comes from Crain’s Cleveland Business, where an article by the paper’s Joel Hammond showed up on the paper’s website at 9:01 AM Wednesday – two and a half hours before WKNR announced “Cleveland Browns Daily” on “The Really Big Show” with Tony Rizzo.

(For that matter, the Browns sent out their press release shortly thereafter, and only personal, off-blog logistics prevented us from posting our own item Wednesday morning.)

For one, the NFL’s on-going labor situation could affect the start date of the new show. Hammond quotes Browns senior VP/business development Jim Ross:

“Our hope is the season starts as scheduled and we’d start the show later this summer,” he said. “But it’s fluid. We’re not going to ignore what’s going on with the labor situation. If it looks like it will be extended for a long time, we might alter our plans. But absent that, we plan to launch this summer.”

We had heard that the show was originally offered to the Browns flagships, Clear Channel rock/talk WMMS/100.7 and talk WTAM/1100, but they were unwilling to pre-empt their drive-time and other sports programming (Indians, Cavaliers, etc.), which Ross does confirm to Crain’s:

Mr. Ross said the team spoke with Clear Channel Communications, the parent company of the Browns’ flagship radio station, WTAM-AM 1100, about the show. But the Browns wanted the prime 6 p.m. time slot, and WTAM — with the Mike Trivosonno Show and Cavaliers and Indians programming — could not offer it.

And presumably, pre-empting the last hour of WMMS’ “Alan Cox Show” was not in the cards as well. (And yes, we know the article misspelled Triv’s last name.)

The show definitely appears to be a Cleveland Browns production, with the team hiring veteran NFL journalist Vic Carucci to host, using its radio team of Jim Donovan, Doug Dieken and Jamir Howerton, and the like…not to mention the fact that the show does not feature a single WKNR on-air staffer.

But is it a brokered show?

Ross says, no, not directly…once again, quoting the Crain’s Cleveland Business article:

Mr. Ross said he could not reveal particulars of the deal’s financials, though he did say that the Browns were not simply buying the air time and then controlling ad sales. “It’s a partnership; we both have some risk and opportunities,” he said.

But the team is definitely driving this team bus, if you will…and one wonders if WKNR is providing anything but the transmitter here.

And how will a prominent Cleveland Browns team presence on WKNR affect how the station’s on-air staff treats the team? It’s easy if the Browns are on a winning roll (assuming the NFL season starts up, of course).

But if the Browns go 0-12, can the station’s hosts rip the team? Can “The Really Big Show” go after Browns president Mike Holmgren? Can “Negative Ned” (Chris Fedor) go all negative on the Browns if the team falters?

We’ll see.

Meanwhile, SportsNewser, part of the MediaBistro network of blogs, catches up with Vic Carucci:

“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity,” Carucci said. “You’re talking about a franchise with such a rich history and some of the most passionate fans in all of sports. The radio show is an ideal platform to interact with them on a daily basis. The other very attractive part of this job is being able to work with one of the true legends of the game in Mike Holmgren and with the highly talented front-office team that he has put together. Everything about this organization is first class.”

Carucci is a respected NFL journalist, with two newspaper beat reporter stints under his belt before joining NFL.com…and we’re pretty sure NFL.com writers are under the same arrangement as those for MLB.com, operating independently of the league.

Carucci makes his own announcement, in his final column for NFL.com, here:

Although my primary focus will be on the Browns, I’ll regularly address league-wide issues. The Browns also plan to have me at all of the major events on the NFL calendar. From that standpoint, things aren’t going to necessarily feel all that different. The Browns are one of 32 spokes on the NFL wheel. As one league executive put it so eloquently upon learning of my new gig, “We’re all still in the same hotel, just in different rooms.”

That WKNR Announcement

As we expected and hinted about on Twitter on Tuesday, Good Karma sports WKNR/850 Cleveland “ESPN 850″‘s “major programming announcement” is not about changes to the station’s highest profile shows or their hours, or a new signal.

The station is launching a new daily official Cleveland Browns show, “Cleveland Browns Daily”, weekdays 6-7 PM year-round.

The show’s host, veteran NFL journalist Vic Carucci, will be a Cleveland Browns team employee. It appears from the announcement that the team will produce the show for airing on WKNR.

As we assumed, the announcement of the team-sponsored show does NOT include anything any change in the Browns play-by-rights, which are cemented at Oak Tree (Clear Channel rock/talk WMMS/100.7 and talk WTAM/1100) for some time to come.

Here’s the scoop, courtesy of a Cleveland Browns press release:

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BROWNS TO LAUNCH DAILY RADIO SHOW ON ESPN 850 WKNR; VIC CARUCCI JOINS BROWNS STAFF AND WILL SERVE AS HOST

Browns fans in Cleveland and around the world will get fresh and extended insights into their favorite team starting later this summer. The club announced today that it will launch a daily radio show, devoted entirely to the team and the NFL, called “Cleveland Browns Daily.” The show will air on ESPN 850 WKNR, Monday through Friday from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., 52 weeks a year. In addition, the show will be streamed live on ClevelandBrowns.com and ESPNCleveland.com.

Joining the Browns’ staff as the show’s host is long-time NFL journalist Vic Carucci, who will serve as the club’s Senior Editor. In this role he will appear regularly as a part of other team media platforms and contribute analysis on ClevelandBrowns.com. Carucci, one of the most respected media members covering the NFL, re-joins the Browns after serving with the team in 2005.

The show will offer fans comprehensive coverage and analysis of the Browns both on and off the field, in addition to the NFL. Regular contributors to “Cleveland Browns Daily” will include the voice of the Browns, Jim Donovan, radio analyst Doug Dieken and sideline reporter Jamir Howerton. Guests will consist of members of the Browns front office, alumni and various personalities from the football industry.

“Cleveland Browns fans are among the most passionate in the NFL, and we are very excited about the opportunity to provide them with a year-round radio forum on WKNR,” said Browns President Mike Holmgren. “Vic’s knowledge of the game and the league make him a perfect fit to host this show. With ‘Cleveland Browns Daily,’ Browns fans will be able to get insights on a regular basis from Vic, in addition to our radio team of Jim, Doug and Jamir, as well as other special guests.”

Good Karma Broadcasting President/CEO Craig Karmazin said, “Our fans have told us that nothing is more important to them than the Cleveland Browns. We are excited to be bringing them the best access and information on the team directly from the source.”

“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity,” Carucci said. “You’re talking about a franchise with such a rich history and some of the most passionate fans in all of sports. The radio show is an ideal platform to interact with them on a daily basis. The other very attractive part of this job is being able to work with one of the true legends of the game in Mike Holmgren and with the highly talented front-office team that he has put together. Everything about this organization is first class.”

Carucci began his journalism career covering the Philadelphia Eagles for the Courier-Post in Camden, N.J. From there, he moved on to the Buffalo News where he handled the Bills beat for the paper. Most recently he served as a columnist for NFL.com. He also hosts a Saturday show on SiriusXM Radio (11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., ET), which he will continue. A graduate of Utica College, Carucci has authored several books, including “Sunday Morning Quarterback: Going Deep on The Strategies, Myths and Mayhem of Football” (2004, with Phil Simms) and “Do You Love Football?! Winning with Heart, Passion & Not Much Sleep” (2003, with Jon Gruden). He is a past president of the Pro Football Writers of America and has served on the selection committee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Vic and his wife, Rhonda, have two daughters, Kristen and Lindsay, and a son-in-law, Larry.

The Friday Mix

UPDATE 6/26/11 1:30 AM: In sorting through the various awards recently handed out for Kent State University public radio outlet WKSU/89.7-and-its-simulcasters, we missed this individual award from the Ohio Professional Writers, Inc. (OPW), the state affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW).

And we feel bad about missing it, as it mentions “one of our own”, the woman who is the conduit of all information about WKSU, who happens to have a more important title than just the one we gave her – “OMW Handler”:

First Place, Marketing/Public Information Categories:

-Online Newsletters, Interim Director of Marketing and Public Relations Ann VerWiebe for “Folk Alley Chat”

Our apologies for missing this earlier, and congratulations, Ann! Being as modest as she is, Ann did not specifically point her own award…

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NOTE: We intended to post this on Thursday, but ran into major connectivity issues, so here it is on Friday…

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We couldn’t help it…after all, Clear Channel’s 106.5 left “Mix” on the side of the road when it dipped into the Lake…

HOUSTON, YOU HAVE MATT: The journey of local radio personality Matt Patrick’s second radio career doing conservative talk is bringing him to a top 10 market.

That’s Houston, where Matt will actually move soon, starting a weekday show on an as-of-yet named station.

Matt will exit his show in South Bend IN, where he’s been doing “Michiana’s Morning News” weekday mornings on WTRC-FM/95.3 “95.3 MNC”, staying both in South Bend and in his hometown of Hudson.

Though the Patrick Clan will indeed be actually be moving to Texas, Matt tells OMW that it won’t affect his weekend work on two Ohio Clear Channel stations – talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland, where he occupies the Saturday 1-4 PM slot, and the original “Big One”, WLW/700 Cincinnati, where he does occasional fill-in. Both, of course, will be via the electronic magic of ISDN lines after Patrick moves to Houston.

That WLW fill-in includes subbing for WLW’s biggest name, Bill Cunningham, on Friday, Monday and Tuesday. Friday, he’ll do both the Cunningham fill-in, and later, a second day of fill-in for Compass Media syndicated host Lars Larson…

LOCAL MORNING EDITION EXIT, AND A PASSING: OMW hears that Eric Wellman, local host for NPR’s “Morning Edition” on Ideastream public outlet WCPN/90.3 Cleveland, will be leaving his post at the Idea Center on Playhouse Square in mid-July.

We hear Wellman’s last day is July 15th.

And according to a station news release that floated out from Playhouse Square, into downtown Cleveland and out to the OMW World Headquarters, a long-time WCPN staffer will take over the role the following Monday:

Beginning Monday July 18, ideastream’s Rick Jackson will become local host of NPR News’ Morning Edition on 90.3 WCPN. Jackson will replace Eric Wellman who is leaving the organization to work full time on his MBA at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.

Jackson is no stranger to those who follow news in Cleveland, and not even to the Morning Edition host role…which he previously filled in 2003 and 2004.

Jackson has been doing news reporting work for WCPN and sister Ideastream PBS outlet WVIZ/25, and before joining the folks at the Idea Center, was a reporter for WOIO/19-WUAB/43, and WKYC/3.

As for Wellman, he notes that he hopes to “one day lead a non-profit organziation”.

While we’re electronically visiting the Idea Center, a passing of note from a station memo:

Many of you will remember Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick, who for a number of years hosted the Friday and Saturday night blues show on WCPN. Fitz passed away (June 14th) after a brief illness. He is survived by his longtime companion Kim, as well as a brother, sister and nephew.

Fitzpatrick came to Northeast Ohio after stints at two Columbus radio stations: WCOL (we believe the FM side at 92.3, before its country days) and former full-time commercial jazz outlet WBBY/103.9 (with no link to today’s 103.9 in the market, classic hits WTDA, which was a new license long after WBBY went dark).

He started in this part of the state on WKSU/89.7 before coming to WCPN, where he hosted the weekend blues shows until a few years ago…

SPEAKING OF WKSU: Time to note some awards for the Kent State University-owned public radio outlet, courtesy of OMW Handler Ann VerWiebe…

(Yes, she does a lot more at WKSU than taking care of the Mighty Blog[tm]…but we’re happy Ann pays attention to us!)

* WKSU nabbed 10 awards, including Best News Operation and Best Anchor, at the recent Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters awards ceremony.

“Morning Edition” anchor Amanda Rabinowitz won for Best Anchor, and added to her awards pile with a Best Feature award for reporting on the Amish newspaper “The Budget”.

* WKSU received 11 Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards from the Press Club of Cleveland.

* WKSU was recognized with 14 awards from Ohio Professional Writers, Inc. (OPW), the state affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW).

Thank you, Ann VerWiebe, for passing the information along!

SPIN-OFF: We knew it from the moment Educational Media Foundation, the K-Love folks, bought the three Pennsylvania stations from Warren-based Beacon Broadcasting after the death of Beacon president Harold Glunt.

The notice of the sale said that EMF only wanted to hang onto WEXC/107.1 Greenville PA, a Youngstown rimshot that’s now running EMF’s satellite CCM format “K-Love” with the appropriate WLVX calls. The announcement said that EMF intended to sell WLOA/1470 Farrell PA and WGRP/940 Greenville PA, to another party.

We now know that party, and it’s not at all a surprise.

After all, Meadville PA-based Vilkie Communications, owner of classic hits WMVL/101.7 Linesville PA “Cool 101.7”, has a history with one of the two stations.

Before Beacon owner Harold Glunt decided to take WGRP/940 into his own fold, Beacon was leasing WGRP to…Vilkie Communications, which was using it to simulcast WMVL.

Now, Joe Vilkie is buying both WGRP and WLOA, for a $50,000 price tag…according to Pittsburgh-based broker Ray Rosenblum, who sent us word of the deal. The price mirrors the price Chris Lash’s Whiplash Radio paid for the two Ohio AMs formerly in the Beacon chain, WYCL/1540 Niles and WANR/1570 Warren.

While both WLOA and WGRP have been running K-Love since the purchase by EMF, we’ll assume Vilkie has very different plans.

As of yet, we don’t know if WGRP will return to a southern simulcaster of WMVL, and we don’t know what Vilkie has in mind for WLOA.

Our bet – WGRP returns to the WMVL simulcast, and WLOA becomes “Cool 1470”, much like Vilkie’s WHYP/1370 Corry PA is “Cool 1370″…all running the classic hits format.

And though much of this item is about Western Pennsylvania, signals of WEXC, WLOA and WMVL are heard in portions of Eastern Ohio to one degree or another…

DIPPING INTO THE STREAM: Akron’s Rubber City Radio has had a stream attached to oldies/news WAKR/1590 for some time…“WAKRNewsNow”, a 24/7 news-only stream that has also carried local sports and other events.

Now, WAKR itself has a separate 24/7 stream simulcasting the over-air station, complete with all the “News, Sports, Oldies” programming the station features.

Well, almost all…because the folks on West Market Street won’t be able to stream Indians, Browns or Cavaliers broadcasts, or Ohio State football and basketball, for reasons beyond their control.

All the entities in question offer paid streaming services, and forbid local affiliates to stream the games for free.

The locally-originated sports broadcasts that are produced by WAKR will continue to be heard online.

For now, the new WAKR stream goes “dark” during those Indians games, and returns after the games are over.

OMW hears that the eventual plan is to substitute the all-news “WAKRNewsNow” stream (which continues separately) for the current silence on the WAKR stream during blacked out sports events…

FILL-IN?: Numerous alert OMW readers let us know that former Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 news reporter Greg Saber was heard anchoring afternoon newscasts on Media-Com Akron market talk WNIR/100.1 “The Talk of Akron” on Wednesday.

Later in the afternoon, we heard Saber as well.

Saber is no stranger to the Akron market, where he was once a reporter for WAKR and sister ABC affiliate WAKR-TV-WAKC-TV/23 (now ION O&O WVPX).

More recently, he was also heard frequently on Clear Channel talk WHLO/640 Akron as a part of his WTAM work.

Yes, we’re well aware that WNIR has a news anchor opening…with afternoon anchor Phil Ferguson filling in during mornings after the retirement of morning anchor Jim Midock.

But no, we don’t know if Saber is auditioning for the job, or if he’s just filling in.

One odd note – since his exit from Oak Tree, Saber has been the Northeast Ohio stringer for CBS Radio News, as we reported earlier, and the CBS newscasts are heard on WNIR’s daytime rimshot talk sister station, WJMP/1520…

ALICIA’S GOODBYE: OMW readers already know that Alicia Booth was exiting Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5’s “NewsChannel 5” after a 10 year run as a health reporter and anchor.

We now know why.

Booth posted a farewell on NewsNet5.com on Wednesday, calling her time at 3001 Euclid an “incredible experience”, and noting her next job – as a stay-at-home mom…

DIRK?: The name of the baby born to CBS Radio hot AC WQAL/104.1 “Q104” weekender and OMW reader Cherise Navidad on Wednesday apparently doesn’t have “Dirk” in it.

But Cherise garnered quite a bit of attention for promising, on her Twitter account, that she’d name the kid after a man who’s been very popular among Northeast Ohio sports fans recently.

We’re not sure if the New York Daily News was taking the whole thing seriously, but the tabloid did an interview with Cherise before the birth.

Cherise has called the original Dirk tweet “silly”, and clearly has her tongue in cheek with this quote from the Daily News artlcle:

She said the best part of it all will be explaining to her son why he’s named after a Dallas Mavericks star.

“[I’ll tell him] exactly that this is how silly your mom is,” she joked. “This is what we did, and Twitter is a binding contract.”

So, at some point, Cherise decided to let Q104 listeners name the child instead. (Or at least, that’s how it went on the air and on Twitter.)

According to a post-birth tweet, here’s the name:

cheriseonair Cherise Navidad
.@Q104Cleveland ethan? I like that! Actually much better than dirk! The paperwork is done then. Ethan Michael. I love him!

Ethan apparently won in a Q104 listener’s poll, the middle name was her own choice.

We asked Cherise for her thoughts on all this, but we got the E-mail in too late to catch her before the hospital visit…

That Long Delayed Update

As regular readers know, Life Often Intervenes when it comes to the ability to update this blog. We’re often able to put up brief updates on Twitter and Facebook, but not able to set aside the time for a full blog post.

We have the time, so here we are…

FREE BEER AND HOT WINGS: A Youngstown station is offering Free Beer and Hot Wings.

No, don’t start lining up at Cumulus classic rock WYFM/102.9 “Y103” hoping for no-cost booze and snacks.

“Free Beer and Hot Wings” is the name of a morning drive show, syndicated by Compass Media to about two dozen markets out of its home base, Townsquare rocker WGRD/97.9 in Grand Rapids MI.

Quoting the Wikipedia article on the new Y103 morning show:

The show is hosted by Gregg “Free Beer” Daniels and Chris “Hot Wings” Michaels with Eric “Zane” Zeitunian, “Producer” Joseph Gasmann, Jr, Assistant Producer Steve McKiernan, and Robot. The show is syndicated mostly throughout the Midwest and Eastern United States.

The article notes that listeners/viewers to DirecTV Sports’ “Dan Patrick Show” have heard (and seen) the show fill-in for Patrick.

WYTV/33 (and presumably WKBN/27 and WYFX/19) notes:

Mr. Sports is still on air at the station in the afternoon. The other morning radio personality, Wendy Swick, was laid off when Y-103 changed to the national program.

The move was prompted by a bombshell involving the station’s long-time morning host and former program director.

As we’ve already reported, Scott Kennedy admitted to having child pornography on his computer.

There’s really no quicker way to find the exit door at a radio station. Upon the news becoming known, Y103’s webmaster removed all traces of Kennedy at lightning speed.

And it appears that there’s no quicker way for a radio station to “move on” from such news than to install a syndicated morning show.

WYTV/WKBN/WYFX reports that Kennedy faces a prison sentence of up to 10 years, and fines of up to $250,000, at his August 25th sentencing…

IT’S ABOUT US…ER, YOU: We stumbled on Gannett NBC affiiliate WKYC/3’s newest local show the same way we occasionally find ourselves watching the station’s 12:30 PM weekday infomercial – by watching “Channel 3 News” beforehand.

And that’s rather appropriate, since “It’s About You” – airing Saturday mornings at 10:30 right after the Saturday version of Channel 3’s morning news – is very much Infomercial Powered.

A quick way to describe it: It’s “Good Company Lite”, without the non-sponsored segments and with less staff.

And yes, it’s “Good Company”‘s Andrea Vecchio and Joe Cronauer on board, but even they aren’t around for some of the segments…we endured a long piece with a dentist talking about cosmetic dentistry, followed by a window company representative talking about windows.

Both were solo, without either Vecchio or Cronauer to be found. If the goal is to keep people watching through what is essentially a half-hour series of brief infomercials, why were they off screen for half the show?

We see the point of the show. In the Economic Reality of 2011, TV stations are selling everything but the furniture. Having such a “hosted show” certainly beats sitting through a straight-ahead nationally produced infomercial about a new sweeper or something.

But, barely.

Our Secondary Editorial Voice(tm) notes that WKYC apparently has cancelled the Saturday edition of “Channel 3 News at Noon”. Listings now show children’s show “Willa’s Wild Life” in the noon time slot on Saturday..

WHILE WE’RE AT 13TH AND LAKESIDE: OMW readers are peppering our inbox, wondering why WKYC weather anchor AJ Colby is still on the air.

It’s not that they’re trying to get rid of him…in fact, the readers are fans, who know that it was announced that May 29th would be Colby’s last day at the station, and he’s on the air into June.

WKYC is indeed still looking for his replacement, as noted in this ad posted on the station’s website.

We’re told by sources at 13th and Lakeside that as we suspected, AJ is still leaving the station, but has agreed to stay on until his replacement is brought in. We hear that could take another month or so.

Readers have been asking, “why can’t the TV station just hang onto Colby?”

From a news story by the Plain Dealer’s Mark Dawidziak back in April, quoting the forecaster:

“(News director Rita Andolsen) said they were just going in a different direction. I don’t know what the different direction is, but I apparently didn’t fit into it.”

As legions of TV and radio staffers know, “a different direction” usually translates to “away from you”…

AKRON TV VETERAN RETIRES: A man who has been synonymous with behind the scenes operations at local TV stations in the Akron area is retiring at the end of this month, after a long career.

We have most recently known Bill O’Neil as station manager at Western Reserve PBS, the Kent-based public TV outlet (WNEO/45 Alliance-WEAO/49 Akron), but his 40-plus year broadcast history includes some 31 years at Akron’s original commercial TV station, WAKR(-WAKC)/23, the city’s long-time ABC affiliate which is today’s Cleveland market O&O for ION Networks as WVPX/23.

O’Neil joined what was then “PBS 45 & 49” in 2003. Quoting a station press release helpfully provided by communications coordinator and OMW Handler Diane Steinert:

At Western Reserve Public Media (WNEO/WEAO), O’Neil was hired to supervise the station’s administrative, accounting and personnel functions. In 2006, he was named manager of Engineering/IT Services and in 2008, he was appointed station manager.

And no, we’ll not do what we occasionally do by accident, give Bill a Promotion by Blog.

In between his lengthy time at WAKR/WAKC, where he was program director, operations manager and production manager over the years, and joining 45/49, O’Neil worked at Canton’s WOAC/67 (now TCT’s WRLM/47) as general manager.

And the release notes that he had an instant connection with 45/49’s station management when he was hired in 2003:

“The first time I met Bill, he informed me that he was a fellow graduate of Notre Dame,” said Trina Cutter, Western Reserve Public Media president and CEO. “I nearly hired him on the spot! Employing him has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

And though we frequently mention the help we get from Diane Steinert at Campus Center Drive, Bill O’Neil is a regular reader of the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) as well…and has also helped us out directly.

We wish him well after a stellar career in local TV, and urge that he keep reading and keep in touch. In fact, there’s a new E-mail from him just now…

COMING BACK HOME: A regular OMW reader is returning to Northern Ohio from Columbus.

He’s Steve Kelly, who left his job at Dover/New Philadelphia’s WJER/1450-once-101.7 for a successful run at Saga’s Columbus cluster, most recently as assistant program director/afternoon driver at AC powerhouse WSNY/94.7 “Sunny 95”.

Steve tells us he’s returning to the Tuscarawas Valley as program director/morning driver of WTUZ/99.9 “Z Country”. He starts there June 20th.

“I am looking forward to working at one of Ohio’s truly great country stations,” Steve tells us.

And he’s also looking forward to less driving. Though he has had a place in Columbus, he’s returned to the Dover/New Philadelphia area often, driving some 117 miles each way…he notes the figure like a man who has certainly kept track of the exact distance.

And though he signed off his afternoon drive gig at Columbus’ “Sunny” on Friday, Steve notes that he may still do some part-time on-air work for the station at some point down the road.

Best of luck to you, Steve!

SPEAKING OF SUNNY: This news is actually pretty cloudy, but we need to note it.

Before a brief stint programming Clear Channel hot AC WMVX/106.5 “Mix 106.5” (now variety hits WHLK “The Lake”) in Cleveland, Don Hallett was most noted for his long stretch as program director of the aforementioned WSNY/94.7 “Sunny 95” in Columbus into the mid-1990s.

All Access reports this month that Hallett passed away in May.

We stumbled onto this column by Inside Radio’s Mike Kinosian, which focuses on consultants who return to programming stations. It was written in early 2006, right after Halllett moved from his consultancy (“The Positioning Works”) into the “Mix” PD chair…

QUICK HITS: Just a few quick final notes:

* Rubber City Radio Group (Akron’s WAKR/1590-WONE/97.5-WQMX/94.9) has won its fourth consecutive national Edward R. Murrow Award for best local news radio website, for its AkronNewsNow.com
* Speaking of the folks on West Market Street, it’s a Battle Royale between Akron mayor Don Plusquellic and WAKR, with most of the firepower coming out of South High Street. Very interesting reading in this column by the Beacon Journal’s Bob Dyer…
* Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting AAA WNWV/107.3 “V107.3” has won the Scene Magazine 2011 Reader Poll as “Best Radio Station”…
* Talk (?) WYCL/1540 Niles operator Philip Cato has indeed added veteran brokered host Louie B. Free to his lineup, weekdays from noon to 3 PM. Free has been replaced 11 AM-1 PM on Bernard Radio talk WGFT/1330 by an extension of TRN’s Laura Ingraham and self-syndicated Dave Ramsey into full three hour time slots…
* Clear Channel rock/talk WMMS/100.7 Cleveland morning driver Shane “Rover” French (“Rover’s Morning Glory”) apparently nabbed an interview with one of the female players in the Rep. Anthony Weiner scandal, but that’s about all we care to mention…

Coming Soon, But Not Yet

The item we’d planned to put up this morning will appear either later tonight or Tuesday morning.

Stay tuned!

WGAR Reunion Today

UPDATE 6/12/11 7:55 PM: Here’s some video of the event, courtesy of Ray Glasser via his YouTube account.

Though your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) was not able to make it, OMW did turn out to have representation. From our Second:

Great to meet so many people there at the event today. Many of whom also expressed Very Kind Words about the blog and for the two of us.

Thanks to all of YOU for the kind words.

Our apologies for the short notice this time around. Jim Davison sent us a notice earlier, but it got lost in the OMW Filing System…

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Hopefully, we got this up in time for folks to head to downtown Cleveland if they’re interested today. Thanks to Jim Davison, local radio historian and new operations manager of WHTX/1570 Warren, for the heads up.

Expect a regular update by Monday!

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IT’S THE FIRST ANNUAL
“1220/WGAR MEANS
MUSIC AND MORE”
STAFF REUNION

WHEN: Saturday, June 11, 2011

WHERE: Baseball Heritage Museum & Radio Exhibit at the Colonial Marketplace Arcade, 530 Euclid Avenue, Between East 9th and East 4th and Euclid and Prospect. Parking is available on the Prospect Avenue side of the Arcade.

TIME: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

This event is FREE and open to the public.

PLUS, We will be celebrating what would have been the 80th anniversary of 1220/WGAR (December 15th, 1930 – December 15, 2010) with a two (2) compact disc set filled with the best of WGAR for only $15.00.

STOP BY AND MEET: Chick Watkins, Chuck Collier, Bob Reymont, “The Real” Bob James, Stony Richards, Kevin O’Neill, Bill Ward, Ed Richards, Bob Becker, Bill Conners, Ted Alexander, Jim Arcaro, Mark Kreiger and MANY MORE!

Opening June

Some changes, some “comings and goings” and a reminder or two…

COMINGS AND GOINGS: They’re both at Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5, with a long-time “NewsChannel 5” name heading out the door, and a new Internet hire coming in.

From a memo that floated out of 3001 Euclid, took the RTA HealthLine downtown and then made a few transfers to get to the OMW World Headquarters(tm):

Alicia Booth will be leaving Channel 5 after nine and a half years effective June 23rd.

Alicia wants to spend more time with her daughter, Lexi, who is two and a half.

Alicia tells me she was asked to cover the health beat her first week here and has been doing it ever since.

In addition to her stellar work on the anchor desk and in the field, Alicia has demonstrated an intense commitment to multi-platform journalism and was one of the first to be assigned her own set of gear.

We will all miss her talent, hard work and determination.

With nearly 10 years in the building, Booth has certainly been one of “NewsChannel 5″‘s mainstays…

AND INCOMING: She’s not coming in as a reporter, but Channel 5’s latest hire for its Internet side certainly has a reporting background.

We don’t normally cover Internet hires even attached to local TV and radio stations, but Tina Kaufmann has been on air as a reporter/anchor for Akron’s Rubber City Radio Group for 5 years…most recently heard as afternoon anchor for RCRG’s news/oldies WAKR/1590 Akron.

She’s done a lot more than just sit in the studio and open up the microphone twice an hour, though…garnering a nice cache of awards, including from the Ohio Associated Press and regional and national Edward R. Murrow awards, for her reporting such stories as the Bobby Cutts Jr. trial and an investigation into Akron police and security at private nightclubs.

She’s no stranger to working on Internet sites, as her job has also included editing and producing content for the company’s AkronNewsNow.com (such as the story linked above).

Tina’s new role with NewsNet5.com mostly involves producing content for the website. But like her former RCRG colleague Ryan Haidet, now at Gannett WKYC/3’s MetroMix.com, we expect at least some on-air work from her on Channel 5.

The folks at West Market Street picked up their usual haul of awards over the weekend at the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters’ convention, with awards for best news operation, best sports operation, and a double award for versatile sports/news voice Joe Jastrzemski, for best reporter and best anchor…

LIVE WELL: We earlier noted that WEWS was readying to add “Live Well”, a lifestyle subchannel now offered to other groups by Disney/ABC.

“Live Well HD” started on the subchannels of ABC’s O&O stations, including WTVG/13 Toledo, now owned by SJL Broadcasting.

We seem to recall that “Live Well” was not actually carried in HD on WTVG, which led us to ask if it would be in HD on WEWS.

No, we’re told, in news that surely will delight those worried about a second HD subchannel’s effect on WEWS 5.1’s HD picture quality. We hear that “Live Well” will be in SD when it comes to WEWS as the station’s first subchannel.

We also hear that there’s a one hour local news repeat hole in the “Live Well” schedule, which will see “NewsChannel 5 at Noon” repeat on the subchannel at 1 PM weekdays.

The new channel comes to WEWS via a deal between Disney/ABC and WEWS owner Scripps…

YOUNGSTOWN CHANGES IN PLACE: Changes at two Youngstown market radio stations are in place as of this week.

Chris Lash’s Whiplash Radio has entered LMA (lease) agreements with two operators for its stations in the market, WYCL/1540 Niles and WHTX/1570 Warren, with one complete format change.

That change is at daytimer WYCL, which has ended the classic country format known as “The Farm” (“Youngstown’s Country Legends”) for a locally produced talk format as “The Talk of the Town”.

New LMA operator Philip Cato has kept the WYCL calls.

Well, we think they have changed to talk.

Quick listens to a flaky audio stream the past couple of days have brought us more R&B/soul music (from notables like Aretha Franklin and James Brown) than talk, though we did hear a “community talk show” Monday.

We’re having problems with the new stream for WYCL, though that may be on our end.

Cato has repeatedly promised a talk format, and the station’s weather forecast has used “The Talk of the Town” name.

The WYCL Wikipedia article claims a talk format is in the offing, with the usual Giant Grain of Salt used when we cite the online encyclopedia “that anyone can edit”:

Some of the hosts on WYCL include Philip Cato in mid-mornings, and Louis B. Free in early afternoons.

Well, what do you know…has King of Youngstown Brokered Talk Radio Louie B. Free found yet another new outlet?

We don’t know, actually.

Free’s website, hosted in his deal with the Youngstown Vindicator’s Vindy.com, does not mention WYCL, and continues to promote his show on Bernard Radio talk WGFT/1330.

Maybe he’ll do both? After all, he’s bringing the check.

At this writing late Tuesday morning, Free’s show is being heard live on original outlet WGFT, and WYCL is playing music.

The other part of the Whiplash Radio group, standards/soft AC WHTX/1570 Warren “Fabulous 1570”, sees new operator Jim Davison, the noted Cleveland radio historian and OMW reader. Well, we’re not sure he still is, since we’re apparently no longer on his mailing list.

WHTX will seem at least some changes, says Davison (in an note someone still on his mailing list forwarded to us), and some things will stay the same:

We will feature different weekend brokered shows, as well as playing not only adult standards, but also songs from Helen Reddy, Stylistics, Jim Croce, Paul Davis, Little River Band, Willie Nelson, Fats, The Platters, Leslie Gore, etc.

We will also feature great shows like Sounds By The Sea, Dick Clarks-Rock, Roll and Remembered, Sounds Of Sinatra, Weekend Radio hosted by Bob Conrad, The Beatle Years, Elvis Remembered, just to name a few, On Sunday evenings, WHTX will feature 5 hours of great Country Classics with a show directly from Nashville for those country listeners who are losing their country favorites on WYCL this Monday morning.

Davison says WHTX will keep its role as the home of the New York-Penn League Mahoning Valley Scrappers, along with keeping local news, USA Radio Network news, and the station’s deal with AccuWeather.

Davison’s first move is to hire a program director, as Ray LaShure steps into that role with the relaunch of WHTX.

With the new operators, Chris Lash’s Whiplash Radio maintains ownership of both stations. As noted earlier, Lash’s health concerns prompted him to lease out the stations.

We had this news originally, but pulled it to clarify the final outcome…

QAM AGAIN: Those who use digital tuners and TV sets to directly pick up the local stations in HD in parts of the Time Warner Cable system may have to rescan their tuners, again.

OMW hears that a shift of underlying “RF” channels for the QAM-based system took place last week in TWC’s so called “southern” systems, i.e. those serving Akron, Canton and the like.

You’re not affected in TWC’s “northern” systems (i.e. Cleveland), and of course, you’re not affected at all if you use a cable box to watch digital and HD stations…