Entering July

And we start the month with a long list of topics, some that have been sitting here a while, and others brand new…

MATT’S LANDING: Like, for example, the word of the Houston landing place of Northeast Ohio-born-and-bred talker Matt Patrick.

The former Clear Channel Akron market hot AC WKDD/98.1 and talk WHLO/640 host, who holds the 1-4 PM Saturday slot at Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland, is making a big splash at a huge Clear Channel station in Houston.

Starting Tuesday, July 5th, “Houston’s Morning News with Matt Patrick” takes over morning drive at the company’s news/talk flagship there, KTRH/740. Matt will be joined by news anchor Lois Melkonian, inbound from her afternoon drive stint at yet another big Clear Channel talker, KOA/850 Denver.

Matt tells David Barron at the Houston Chronicle:

“I’m excited to be in Houston,” he said. “It’s not easy to replacing somebody who has been on the air for so long, but we have a lot of good things coming up and I’m excited to be part of that.

Matt has caught up with your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) from his new home base in Houston, and again acknowledges that it’s hard to replace a long-running show. But he’s clearly pumped up for his new gig:

I am excited to be part of what has become the newest and most exciting form of news/talk in morning drive. I have been doing this type of personality news/talk in the morning for a while now…and it works! It is the future!

When Clear Channel called and asked if I would like to do this format in a top 10 market on a heritage station..News/Talk 740 KTRH…I was THRILLED! The gang here in Houston is incredibly talented. INCREDIBLY talented!

I will be…I’m sure…the target of a few well thrown stones…I’m a big boy. I will work hard to make this show the winner I know it will be!

Patrick replaces the now-former morning news hosts at KTRH, J.P. Prichard and Lana Hughes, who Barron says have been working together at the station for some 27 years.

Pritchard tells the Houston paper that the pair wasn’t surprised by the change, which he says “reflects the changing nature of radio”:

“Lana and I both understood this was going to take place at some point,” he said. “It’s a trend. It’s not personal. It’s the way radio goes. Clear Channel has been very good to both of us. It’s the market forces, the way of the world.”

The changing nature of the KTRH show with Matt Patrick at the helm may jar some listeners. CC’s local general manager tells the paper:

Eddie Martiny, general manager for Clear Channel Communication’s Houston stations, acknowledged that the departure of Hughes and Pritchard marks the end of a traditional morning news show on KTRH, Houston’s longtime news-talk market leader, and the beginning of what he hopes will be a show more similar to the Fox and Friends show on Fox News.

Which means it’ll probably be more like the show Matt Patrick did for Federated Media’s South Bend IN news/talker, WTRC-FM/95.3 “95.3 MNC”, with a healthy dose of Patrick’s conservative talk opinions, mixed in with news and other talk from his co-host and others.

The Houston news does not affect Matt Patrick’s local radio presence.

As previously reported, Matt will continue to do his Saturday 1-4 PM show on WTAM/1100, and fill-in for sister “Big One” talker WLW/700 Cincinnati, via ISDN from Houston (and presumably from Cleveland if he’s visiting his now-former home area for the weekend)…

LYNN’S WIN: We haven’t gotten a Round Tuit(tm) on this one, but felt the need to add it to the record.

One man was synonymous with urban format radio in Cleveland for decades.

Lynn Tolliver eventually rose to become operations manager of urban AC WZAK/93.1, where he used his on-air talents to make himself a star in the market.

He lost it all locally when Radio One picked up WZAK about 10 years and change ago, and moved on without him. But now, he has a Big Win under his belt, and is heading back home.

The Plain Dealer’s Michael Heaton reports that Tolliver’s early rap music work has finally resulted in a court ruling in his favor, with some money headed his way:

Former local DJ and early rap artist Lynn Tolliver won a $1.2 million judgment by a New York jury in a lawsuit over the unauthorized sampling by the Black Eyed Peas of his 1983 song “I Need a Freak.” The sample was used in the band’s hit single “My Humps.” It sold over 2 million copies in the United States.

The suit apparently came out of a dispute between Tolliver and an early collaborator, who the local former air personality says agreed to pay him royalties, then licensed the song to the now-popular group without his permission.

After Tolliver’s star turn as the king of urban format radio in Cleveland in the 80s and 90s, he left to become program director of Tampa’s WTMP…a gig which also eventually ended.

Right before heading to Florida, he also had a brief involvement with then-WRTK/1540 Niles, until Beacon Broadcasting bought and changed the format of the station. (1540 is now Whiplash Radio’s WYCL/1540, being operated by Philip Cato’s Skylar Cato Broadcasting.)

The PD story quotes him:

“I’ve been unemployed the last few years and was near bankruptcy,” said Tolliver. “So this is a blessing. I plan on moving back to Cleveland in the next six months. I’ve written 300 songs in the last two years.

“I don’t get all that money, and I don’t have any of it yet, but this couldn’t have happened at a better time,” he said.

So, Lynn Tolliver is coming back to Cleveland…but it sounds like he’s concentrating on songwriting, not radio…

ME-TV SOON?: An eagle eyed OMW reader spotted this in the Programming Notices page that Time Warner Cable publishes in local papers, and on its website:

On or after July 25, 2011, Lifetime HD will be available to HD customers; WOIO is changing programming on WOIO Weather Now which will become MeTV Entertainment.

That would go along with the recent update on the Me-TV national website about the network showing up on a subchannel of Raycom CBS affiliate WOIO.

When you search for a local affiliate, the site says “WOIO 19-2 – Coming Soon!”, which would indicate that Me-TV is indeed replacing WeatherNow.

And since the TWC notice does not indicate a move of “WeatherNow”, it would appear that the service won’t move to 19.3 or some other configuration (a WUAB subchannel?).

Note, per usual, that the move doesn’t mean that Me-TV is showing up on exactly on July 25th…note the “on or after” wording which is part of every change that’s listed in the TWC legal notices. But it’d be a good date to start looking.

With WOIO replacing WeatherNow with Me-TV, TWC doesn’t have to do anything. It already carries 19.2.

Of course, Raycom has a deal with African-American-oriented entertainment channel Bounce TV, which will show up on one of the WOIO/WUAB subchannels at some point. If it’ll be on 19.3, that’d be a good reason “WeatherNow” goes away, at least on WOIO…

DWINW TRYING TO COME BACK: We earlier noted the saga of now-silent Canton black gospel outlet WINW/1520, which was felled by vandalism, and lost its license when the FCC inquired about its status (getting an anonymous tip about the station being silent), and then got no response from owner Pinebrook Corporation. The FCC finally found the station at its downtown Canton studios, but too late for the station to act.

The station, or at very least its LMA operator, is trying to come back.

The saga is told in an article in the Canton Repository, where the paper talks to station operator Curtis A. Perry III:

“It’s more than frustrating,” (Perry) said. “I miss the (listeners). It was my way of communicating. It was a voice in the community for the church. Like most black-owned radio and TV stations, it’s our vehicle to communicate with one another. Back in the day, we’d call it the ‘drumbeat.’

“I’ve had a lot of people call me. I didn’t realize they missed the water until the well ran dry.”

The station is trying to come back with a new transmitter and other repairs, but the biggest problem is that WINW’s license is now deleted in the eyes of the FCC.

The article tells the story of the FCC letter sent to “an outdated address”, which turns out to be a Cuyahoga Falls P.O. Box apparently once held by Pinebrook president Patrick Barb…who is curiously silent in all this.

Even the FCC filing to try to reinstate the station’s license was filed by Perry’s lawyer for his CAP III Productions, Inc. as the station’s time broker and manager “under the direction of Pinebrook”. Here’s the letter (PDF) Perry’s lawyer sent in March…Barb is only represented in a letter affirming that the facts in the filing are correct.

OK, we’re confused here.

The Repository calls Perry the “owner/manager” of WINW, and says he completed a $300,000 time brokerage-to-purchase deal in 2008, “but still is awaiting transfer of the license from its former owner.”

Mr. Barb has not filed any transfer papers with the FCC, and we’re curious why he is not represented in the FCC filings to resurrect the station (other than his Pinebrook being listed as current owner), and why he has waited from 2008 to 2011 and still not filed a transfer application.

Thus, Perry is not the owner of WINW at least in the eyes of the FCC, and we’re wondering (even with Barb’s letter affirming the facts of the filing) if he has legal standing in the FCC’s eyes.

Despite the warning you get when you pull up WINW’s records in the FCC database:

Deleted facilities cannot be reactivated. Interested parties must file an application for construction permit during the approprate AM application filing window.

…the FCC will take that not-so-shiny “D” off a deleted station’s call letters if there’s some sort of error in the process.

We’ll see if the saga of the misdirected letter is enough, but we’re pretty sure licensees are required to keep current, up to date addresses on file.

Anyway, WINW clearly serves a need for its listeners, and we hope the entanglement gets solved soon enough…

NEW LOCAL PERSONALITY: Whiplash Radio standards WHTX/1570 Warren “The Fabulous 1570” is getting a new local morning man.

He’s Gary Rhamy, a Youngstown radio vet who was heard most recently on Cumulus standards WSOM/600 Salem…as we recall, he was a victim of a Cumulus budget cut a couple of years back, long before the station flipped to a talk format.

WHTX operations manager Jim Davison tells OMW that Rhamy starts his new weekday 7-11 AM show on July 11th.

He will also be interviewing different artists in the mornings that we grew up listening to, like Herb Reed of the Platters, Lou Christie, Sonny Geraci, The Sweet Inspirations, Bobby Rydell, The Edsels, The Dubs, Tommy James, Gary Puckett and so on.

Plus, we are putting together some great prize packages from these artists like signed photos and CDs, books, and other neat items like they used to give away in the past.

And, Bill Ward from WJW TV 8, and formerly the great voice of the old WGAR 1220 AM, is doing liners for Gary, which began rotation on the station last week.

Davison also notes some weekend programming moves:

WHTX also added on Saturday mornings: “Weekend Radio” with Robert Conrad of WCLV, as well as “Footlight Parade” with WCLV’s Bill Rudman, as well as Dick Clark’s “Rock, Roll and Remembered”, Dick Robertson’s “American Standards By The Sea”, and on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 PM “Sounds of Sinatra” with Sid Mark.

The station runs Dial Global’s syndicated “The Lounge” format outside local programming, and is the home radio station for the New York-Penn League Mahoning Valley Scrappers…

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2 Responses to Entering July

  1. Paul says:

    This truly is a change from the last of the traditional news format in Houston AM radio. Judging from early comments throughout Houston media, Patrick has an uphill battle as the move is not popular. KTRH has always been the “go to” radio station for local news as there are few news radio alternatives. Houston is a sprawling city with few mass transit options, thus people spend on average 30 minutes in their car each morning. The former news format was catered to this audience. People wanted quick news and traffic to fit their commute window. To replace the news format with a talk format anchored by talent that is new to Houston is an interesting strategy by Clear Channel, particularly when the market has plenty of talk format stations that contain a smattering of news. Ratings and advertising dollars will tell the tale.

  2. Lawrence P. Ressler says:

    I see that someone posted a Twitter comment about an article in the “Youngstown Vindicator” regarding Gary Rhamy beginning work at WHTX. At the “Warren Tribune Chronicle”, Entertainment columnist Andy Gray had a write-up about Rhamy in his “Gray Areas” column in the Thursday “entertainment” section of the paper in the Thursday edition. It should be at http://www.tribtoday.com .

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