LeCharles Bentley Quits WKNR

On the eve of what was supposed to be a “major announcement” regarding a scheduling overhaul for Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850”, that station has lost one of its star players.

LeCharles Bentley abruptly resigned from WKNR Thursday night… just as “Xs and Os with the Pros,” the show he co-hosted alongside Je’Rod Cherry, was set to begin. (It was so sudden that liners featuring LeCharles’ name still played at the end of commercial breaks, but Je’Rod and show producer Emmett Golden had to conduct the show as if he never had existed on Planet Earth.)

While the normally outspoken LeCharles himself is keeping VERY quiet about this matter, we have learned the source of his dispute with the station.

Sources close to the situation are telling us that it was a dispute over pay for Golden – $8 per hour for a two-hour show – and Golden was set to be removed from “Xs and Os”, effective next week, due to pay issues.

(Note that there was no “Xs and Os” scheduled for Friday night, due to pre-existing high school football coverage.)

Objecting to how WKNR handled the situation, the former St. Ignatius and Ohio State star simply walked out – but, we hear, not before offering to cover Golden’s pay for the show.

And to prove this wasn’t a stunt, any and all mention of LeCharles has already been eliminated from WKNR’s website in yet another “Soviet-style purge.”

We will have much more on this developing story as details warrant…

Changes Afoot

There are lots of changes coming in local radio and TV, and it’s time to bring them to light.

We’ll start on the TV side, first…but sports radio is in the on-deck circle…

NEW ANCHOR: Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 has been taking its time and shuffling around its schedule after the departure of market icon Ted Henry.

But it appears it’s filled at least one of Ted’s roles – 11 PM co-anchor.

MediaBistro’s TVSpy, the entity once known as “ShopTalk”, has confirmed earlier rumors about “NewsChannel 5″‘s latest hire.

Chris Flanagan, who was most recently an anchor at WFAA in Dallas, is joining WEWS in Cleveland.

Flanagan comes to 3001 Euclid a few months removed from Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA/8’s morning show “Good Morning Texas” – his bio says he joined the station in 2009.

When he left WFAA, we don’t know, but based on the activity on his WFAA Twitter account, late June would be a good guess.

We also don’t know the extent of his duties at “NewsChannel 5” here.

We have heard from our sources in the building that the station has been auditioning a wide variety of potential 11 PM co-anchors to sit alongside Danita Harris… so many that it’s been hard to track the individual auditioners…

THE WKNR SHOE DROPS: Not that we didn’t expect this, because the competitive landscape has certainly changed in Cleveland sports radio recently, but footwear is hitting the ground at the Galleria.

Faced with direct, in-format competition for the first time ever – CBS Radio sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan” – Good Karma’s WKNR/850 “ESPN 850 WKNR” has hit the reset button on much of its schedule, again.

And the biggest change affects one of the most competitive time slots for male-targeted spoken word radio in Cleveland, afternoon drive.

OMW hears that starting Monday, veteran reporter Bruce Hooley, and existing WKNR staffers Greg Brinda and Chris Fedor team up for a new three person afternoon drive program.

Hooley has been a frequent WKNR voice talking about Ohio State Buckeyes sports, participating in various Buckeyes shows surrounding the team’s play-by-play on WKNR.

He covered the Buckeyes for the Plain Dealer, and worked at Buckeyes flagship WBNS-FM 97.1/AM 1460 “The Fan” in Columbus…where his aggressive take on now-former Buckeyes football coach Jim Tressel and his recent travails may not have won him some friends. (Yes, it is Columbus we’re talking about.)

We hear that Hooley, Brinda and Fedor will all be billed as co-hosts on the new WKNR afternoon drive show, with Fedor also handling “SportsCenter Updates”.

The new hosts will have to deal with the very competitive afternoon drive landscape for talk shows aimed at male audiences.

That list starts with long-time ratings champ Mike Trivisonno at Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100, and popular younger demo host Alan Cox down the hall at Oak Tree on rock/talk WMMS/100.7, and what quickly has become the strongest show on “92.3 The Fan”, “The Bull and The Fox” with Adam “The Bull” Gerstenhaber and ex-Buckeye Dustin Fox.

And that’s not even counting shows like Michael Baisden’s syndicated talk show on Radio One’s urban AC WZAK/93.1, which is a ratings powerhouse.

What happens to WKNR’s “Afternoon R&R”, the afternoon drive show which featured long-time sportscaster Michael Reghi paired with WKNR veteran Kenny Roda?

It’s moving, mostly intact.

From Roda’s own Twitter account:

4 those of U already asking,No I didn’t get fired(sorry haters),moving shifts with Reghi from 3p-6p to 9p-12a & covering Cavs,Indians & OSU.

That’s why we say “mostly intact”, as Roda won’t be co-hosting with Reghi when he is covering games for one of the teams.

That won’t happen much in the next few months in the 9-midnight shift, unless the NBA and its players actually get their collective acts together and end the NBA lockout.

The Indians have done their part…ending their season before “R&R” makes the move to late nights. And tOSU rarely plays on weeknights.

We haven’t actually heard it, but we understand that midday host Tony Rizzo has been doing double duty this week, as “The Really Big Show”s ringleader from 9 AM-1 PM, then in afternoon drive filling in for the moving-to-nights “R&R”.

When Hooley, Brinda and Fedor take over afternoon drive, back at 9 AM-1 PM, Rizzo will be without Fedor (aka “Negative Ned”) on “The Really Big Show”. But no, we haven’t confirmed (on this end) any role change for the remaining co-host on the midday show, Aaron Goldhammer.

Unaffected on the WKNR schedule: “Munch in the Morning” (local, Mark “Munch” Bishop, 5-6 AM), “Mike & Mike in the Morning” (ESPN, 6-9 AM), “Cleveland Browns Daily” (Cleveland Browns-produced, 6-7 PM) and “Xs and Os with the Pros” (local, LeCharles Bentley and Je’rod Cherry, 7-9 PM).

Though it could easily be said that the Galleria is directly responding to its new in-format competitor, “change” is very much the buzzword for the station’s afternoon drive show.

Just in the time since Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting bought WKNR (late 2006/early 2007), the station has gone through a parade of afternoon hosts…including Roda (as a solo host), Bishop (now early mornings on WKNR and mid-mornings on WWGK/1540 “KNR2”), Reghi (as a solo host) and the most recent configuration of Reghi and Roda as co-hosts.

As for Brinda, he’s been all over the WKNR schedule. About the only time slot he hasn’t hosted is Bishop’s current time slot.

A big thanks to our Secondary Editorial Voice(tm), Nathan Obral, who’s been tracking this minute by minute on his own Twitter account

BOUNCED LATER: We have been tracking the debut of “Bounce TV”, the African-American-themed subchannel set to launch on Monday.

“Bounce TV” launched, alright…just not with Cleveland aboard.

The channel will still come to a subchannel of one of the local Raycom Media stations, but not until January.

That’s according to the “Find Us” section of “Bounce TV”‘s website, which says the new network will launch in January 2012 on WUAB/43.3.

(You have to mouse over the dot representing Cleveland on the map to get that information.)

WUAB’s Raycom sister station in Cincinnati, Fox affiliate WXIX/19, also lists a January launch.

Why? We don’t know…but “Bounce TV” will apparently still be seen here…just not now…

DON’T KNOW, YET: But…we’re tracking it.

OMW hears that Melodynamic gospel WCER/900 Canton “Joy 900” hasn’t been pumping out the gospel music, or anything else, the past few days.

The station has been operated under an LMA by Curtis A. Perry III’s “CAP III Productions”, which formerly had a deal with WINW/1520 – and moved its programming to WCER after 1520 had been silent for some time.

Perry, on behalf of owner Pinebrook Corporation, had filed a petition for reconsideration for the deletion of WINW’s license at the FCC.

The FCC has finally responded to that petition – dropping it, but reinstating WINW’s license anyway (link corrected 9/29).

(The petition has disappeared from WINW’s application records on the FCC site.)

There is probably some story connecting all this, but we don’t know it yet.

We do know that an OMW reader recently drove by Perry’s studios on Tuscarawas Street in downtown Canton, and found no lights on….

TWO YOUNGSTOWN NOTES: A couple of notes from the Mahoning Valley, one TV-related, one radio-related.

* OMW hears that Vindicator NBC affiliate WFMJ/21 “WFMJ Today” morning co-anchor Scott Schneider has announced, on the air, that he’s leaving at the end of the year. We don’t know where he’s going…

* OMW hears that Clear Channel classic hits WBBG/106.1 is already promoting the fact that they’ll air Christmas music – yes, we said “Christmas music” – but thankfully, they’re not starting the Yule Tunes here in September. The start date will be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving…

Reflections On Chuck Collier

UPDATE 9/24/2011 10:21 AM: Viewing for Chuck Collier will be Sunday from 3-7 p.m. at Klolidy-Lazuta Funeral Home, 5677 State Road, Parma. Funeral services will be private.

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UPDATE 9/23/2011 10:15 AM: Scroll to the bottom for a new video link of Chuck Collier doing his WGAR show in 2004, with video of his Hall of Fame induction five years later…

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The news of Thursday’s death of Clear Channel country WGAR/99.5 afternoon drive host/music director Chuck Collier has hit the Northeast Ohio media community like a ton of bricks.

From co-workers and friends, in both radio and TV, among listeners…the reaction is simply – “stunned”.

At the Clear Channel Cleveland complex on Oak Tree Boulevard in Independence, where Chuck worked for both WGAR and as a midday voicetracker for oldies WMJI/105.7 “Magic 105.7”, that word could be amplified.

Bo Matthews, the WMMS/100.7-WAKS/96.5 “Kiss FM” programmer and cluster social media director, told us in a Thursday tweet:

I can tell you- we are all in total shock. calling each other without having anything to say. shock.

What DO you say when a friend and colleague, clearly well-liked throughout both the building and the area media community, is suddenly taken from you?

What DO you say as a listener?

That’s one big key to the success of Collier, who may as well have had the WGAR call letters attached to him physically as a 40 year personality on the station – first, as a host on adult contemporary WGAR/1220, then as a fixture on the country version of WGAR at 99.5 FM, eventually landing in that station’s afternoon drive time slot.

Chuck Collier was not just a Hall of Fame disk jockey – that honor earned in the country music world in 2007.

He was a radio friend.

He was such a gifted communicator that plenty of us – who didn’t normally listen to country music radio – tuned by 99.5 weekday afternoons just to hear Chuck.

In the world of local radio, the biggest names…the icons, the legends…get that way because they have a CONNECTION with the listeners.

They’re not just the voice on the radio telling you “that was Rascal Flatts, and we’ll see if it’s going to rain this weekend, next”. They’re the person you invite into your life, your car, or your living room every afternoon.

That made Chuck a popular radio personality and a success in the ratings, but by all accounts, he was a success off the air as well.

Since we learned of his untimely passing while busy doing Other Things on Thursday, we’ve seen many in the local media community tell us that Chuck was just as popular when the microphone was turned off…quick to offer his help.

From former WEWS/5 “NewsChannel 5” anchor Alicia Booth on Twitter, just one example:

Feel sick about the death of Cleveland radio icon Chuck Collier. Super nice guy in a cut-throat industry. Always a pleasure to work with.

All Cleveland TV stations featured at very least a mention of Chuck’s passing, some with video and remembrances.

Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) never had the pleasure of meeting Chuck, or even communicating with him via E-mail.

But a representative of this blog – Secondary Editorial Voice(tm) Nathan Obral – did get a chance to catch up with Chuck at the 2011 WGAR Staff Reunion earlier this year.

From Nathan’s Facebook account:

It was such a blessing to have attended Jim Davison’s “1220/WGAR Means Music and More” reunion event back in June. The photos and videos never have done justice – just being in the mere presence of radio giants like Chuck was something truly special. I will never forget it.

Here’s a video of that June event, shot by local radio/TV video historian Ray Glasser.

Chuck is all over Ray’s video, with live shots from that day, an 1220 aircheck of his heard as part of the soundtrack (followed by an aircheck of another recently passed WGAR legend, J.R. Nelson), and plenty of shots of old 1220/WGAR memorabilia featuring him.

After all, what’s an event remembering WGAR, without the man who was woven tightly into the fabric of that station’s history? Chuck said “WGAR” into a microphone for some 40 years.

UPDATE 9/23/2011 10:15 AM: Detroit’s Art Vuolo, “Radio’s Best Friend”, produced this video of a 2004 studio visit with Chuck while he was on WGAR, which is followed by his 2009 Hall of Fame induction. Hat tip to OMW reader John Gorman for bringing this to our attention:

THIS JUST IN: WGAR’s Chuck Collier Silenced By Heart Attack

There’s major shock in the Northeast Ohio media community tonight, as the voice of a beloved member of the community has been stilled.

Chuck Collier, whose name has been cemented to the call letters WGAR for 40 years – from its time as an adult contemporary station at AM 1220 through the current era as Cleveland’s dominant country station at 99.5, has died after a massive heart attack.

More from Clear Channel’s Tom Moore is found here.

We may have more in an update to this item later, but we just had to get this up here. Our sincere condolences to Chuck and his family and friends, and his friends and colleagues at Oak Tree and around the radio world…

Just Us Folks

What has become a major music festival in the Northeast Ohio region has long had the backing of an area public broadcaster.

The 45th Kent State Folk Festival turns the Akron suburb of Kent into Folk Music Headquarters…and given that Kent State NPR outlet WKSU/89.7 dedicates a programming stream to its “Folk Alley” service, it’s no surprise that the station is heavily involved.

We brought WKSU’s OMW Handler Ann VerWiebe – who honestly has a more impressive marketing-related title than that – up for some air a bit.

And in this edition of “Ann’s Corner”, she delves into the history of WKSU’s involvement with the Folk Festival:

WKSU has been involved with the Kent State Folk Festival since the beginning in 1968 (there were two festivals each year for the first two years).

After long offering support, doing live broadcasts and artist interviews, the station took over managing the festival in Dec. 2000 (soon after celebrating the station’s 50th anniversary) when the student-run All Campus Programming Board decided to no longer fund the event.

We added Folk Alley ‘Round Town a few years later.

We joke that we brought our friend Ann “up for air” because she is very, very involved in making the Kent State Folk Festival a successful event.

Anyway, here’s (nearly) the full release on the 45th Kent Folk Festival.

We are putting this up kinda late, so we’re sorry we missed the Grammy winning “Carolina Chocolate Drops” (tonight)…but they’re probably as tasty as their name would indicate.

The rest of the release Ann sent us some time ago:

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With anticipation mounting, this year’s line-up has been made even more exciting with the addition of three notable opening acts: David Wax Museum and Sleepy Sun on Saturday, Sept. 24 in support of rising stars the Low Anthem, and Seth Glier on Sunday, Sept. 25 before folk legend Peter Yarrow – both at the Kent Stage. Local favorites Mo’ Mojo get the crowd warmed up for the hot sounds of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the Kent Stage on Thursday, Sept. 22.

David Wax Museum caused an unexpected stir at the 2010 Newport Folk Festival. Taking the smallest stage as the result of a contest win, the band brought down the house and was invited to the mainstage for this year’s event in Newport. A mix of Americana, folk and rhythms from Mexico (where leader David Wax spent summers working), the band features an intriguing blend of harmonies and instrumentation – including Suz Slezak adding percussion with an authentic donkey jawbone.

In Ohio, California seems like a single destination – the freewheeling left-coast state, home to Hollywood and San Francisco. But Sleepy Sun, like the state itself, is also about the mountains and ocean and quiet moments between the glitz and glamour. Welcomed to South by Southwest (SxSW) and as openers for Arctic Monkeys and the Low Anthem, Bret Constantino; Matt Holliman, Even Reiss, Brian Tice and Jack Allen blend vocal harmonies and a folky psychedelic sound that could be the memory of Donovan – or the sound of the future.

Like the songs of Peter, Paul & Mary, Seth Glier uses his music to tell stories and inspire the audience to consider its relationship with the world we live in. His performances build a conscious connection between the artist and the listener. A Berklee-educated singer/songwriter/pianist, Glier has played the mainstage at the prestigious Falcon Ridge and Kerrville folk festivals and appeared with his idol, James Taylor.

Tickets are now on sale for all Kent State Folk Festival concerts and are available at the Kent Stage, by phone at 330-677-5005 or online at www.KentStateFolkFestival.org. The festival website has been updated with artist bios and video, along with the complete list of free Folk Alley ‘Round Town performances throughout Kent on Friday, Sept. 23 and community workshops at the Kent State Student Center on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kent State University students may buy discount tickets for all shows by presenting a valid KSU ID at time of purchase.

The line-up for the 45th Kent State Folk Festival (all concerts at The Kent Stage unless otherwise noted):
Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m.: The Carolina Chocolate Drops (KSU Auditorium in Cartwright Hall) – $25 reserved, $15 KSU Students.*

Thursday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band with Mo’ Mojo – $25 reserved, $15 KSU Students.*

Friday, Sept. 23 (various times): Folk Alley ‘Round Town (36 venues throughout Kent) – FREE.

Saturday, Sept. 24, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.: Workshops (KSU Student Center) – FREE.

Saturday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m.: The Low Anthem with Sleepy Sun and David Wax Museum – IN ADVANCE: $20 reserved, $15 Students*, $10 KSU Students. AT THE DOOR: $23 reserved, $18 Students*, $13 KSU Students.

Sunday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m.: Peter Yarrow with Seth Glier – $35 gold circle, $25 reserved, $15 KSU Students.*
*With valid ID

Festival support is provided by Kent State University, the City of Kent, Marc’s and Kashi, Cascade Auto Group, Dominion East Ohio, Audio-Technica, Seagram’s Smooth, Lehman’s, PARTA, Fifth Third Bank and Great Lakes Brewing Company.

Rolling Through The Month

Things are piling up again here at the Always In Flux OMW World Headquarters, but we also have a couple of separate items to put up later…

HEGAN RETIRES: A familiar voice along the Cleveland Indians Radio Network won’t be heard next year.

That’s because veteran broadcaster Mike Hegan, who has spent the past 23 years as a Tribe broadcaster, is stepping away from the booth after this season is over.

He’s spent most of those 23 years with Indians play-by-play voice Tom Hamilton on the team’s radio network, based at flagship Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100. He’s also spent time in the Indians’ TV booth.

But we didn’t realize, as the Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes reports, that his health affected his travel schedule this year:

This season, Hegan cut back his schedule because of health concerns. He did home games on WTAM AM/1100 with play-by-play man Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus, but limited his travel to Detroit and Chicago.

The 69 year-old Hegan gets honored by the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday, and by the team itself in a ceremony before Saturday night’s second game.

But after 50 years associated with professional baseball, as a player and a broadcaster, Hegan isn’t going into retirement entirely.

In a news release, the team says he’ll become “an alumni ambassador”:

He will continue to impact the Indians organization by joining the Indians Alumni Ambassador program, serving as a resource for Indians broadcasting, community and business initiatives.

There’s no word yet on any specific role Hegan will fill for the team, but they’re likely happy to have him around in any capacity…

EVERYTHING THAT, UH, MOVES AROUND: Under new program director Tim Daugherty, Rubber City Radio rock WONE/97.5 has made a few changes. Now, they’re making a few more at West Market Street.

After adopting the slogan “Everything That Rocks”, and becoming the full-time Akron market home of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns (oldies/news/sports WAKR/1590 still simulcasts the Browns after the Indians pack it up for the year), WONE has shuffled its schedule.

Don’t worry…if you have a favorite weekday WONE air personality, they’re all still there…they’ve just moved around the checkerboard.

* Morning drive, with Daugherty and co-host Christi Nichols as “Tim and Christi”, remains unchanged.

* Middays: Former evening personality Sandra Miller makes it “Miller Time” on WONE in the middle of the day.

* Afternoon Drive: Now-assistant program director T.K. O’Grady slides into afternoons.

* Nights: And that means Steve Hammond moves from afternoon drive to nights.

You might need to double-check the WONE website in case you’re lost and looking for your favorite air personality at the Akron rock station, and maybe adjust your lighting accordingly depending on what time of day it is, but they’re all still there.

One casualty of the changes on West Market Street is Tim Daugherty’s voicetracked afternoon drive oldies show on WAKR.

Newcomer Brad Shupe has been handling those duties, “for now”, said WAKR program director and Rubber City Radio operations director (and OMW Reader) Chuck Collins on his Monday WAKR show.

Shupe comes to Rubber City Radio from country WTUZ/99.9 Uhrichsville, where he was operations director and morning drive host at the Dover/New Philadelphia-area station.

Of course, long-time OMW reader Steve Kelly has the WTUZ job these days, returning home to the Tuscarawas Valley after a stint at Saga’s Columbus cluster…

WHERE’S WILLIE: We’ve noted that due to the connection between Tribune and WJW/8 “Fox 8” owner Local TV LLC, we expected Clear Channel talk WLW/700 Cincinnati star Bill Cunningham’s new syndicated talk TV show to appear on Cleveland’s “Fox 8” at some point.

Due to a management agreement between the two TV firms, Local TV is often considered “Tribune Jr.”. Tribune does a lot of things for the Local TV stations, including running the stations’ websites under the Tribune Interactive banner.

But the mainly in-house syndication of the drastically changed “Bill Cunningham Show” is not bringing it to Cleveland.

Cunningham’s TV affiiate list contains nearly all Tribune stations.

OMW reader Jeremy Moses, former editor of Tri-State Media Watch, pointed out one Local TV station on the list – KAUT/43 “The Spot” in Oklahoma City – and we found one other, WGNT/27 “CW 27” in the Norfolk/Portsmouth/Virginia Beach market in Virginia.

But the other Local TV stations are missing, including WJW, and sister stations with no Tribune LMA, including WGHP/8 “Fox 8” in the Greensboro NC market.

Local TV is based in the Northern Kentucky suburbs of Cincinnati. The show is getting clearance there, in Cunningham’s home market, via a deal with Raycom Media’s WXIX/19 “Fox 19”.

Tribune has said that this initial rollout could be a “test run” for wider national syndication in 2012.

Cincinnati Enquirer TV/radio guru John Kiesewetter, as expected, has been following developments in “Willie World” closely.

Sunday, he noted that Cunningham has undergone quite a transformation, in looks and in topics, for the TV show.

Viewers won’t see any trace of “Bill Cunningham, the Great American” or “Willie” ranting about “Barack Hussein Obama,” as he did at a John McCain’s 2008 rally in Cincinnati.

Instead of talking about the Tea Party or debt ceiling, the new TV Bill does shows about pot parties and dysfunctional families, among many other topics.

He said the show is aimed at a 35-year-old single mother of two, with a high school education, who is unemployed or working second shift – not his male-oriented radio audience.

“Guys who look like me aren’t watching TV at 1 p.m., so I’m doing topics I would never do on radio,” he said.

You get the idea that Bill is uncomfortable with the TV transformation, looks wise:

“They spent $30,000 on suits and shirts. Every Tuesday a guy spray tans me. I come out looking like a burnt French fry. I make John Boehner look pale,” he said.

But Tribune TV exec Sean Compton, who worked with Cunningham years ago at WLW, tells Kiese that the migration to the TV side may give viewers a look at the “real” Bill Cunningham:

“What you see on TV is the real Bill Cunningham. Radio for him is theater.”

If you want a preview of what you’re missing in Cleveland, Kiesewetter has his own review of the opening “Bill Cunningham Show” on TV here

WCER OFF?: We haven’t been near a car radio that can pick up Melodynamic Broadcasting gospel WCER/900 Canton “Joy 900”, but we hear it’s been off the air for a few days.

We also hear that LMA operator Curtis A. Perry III had been on the air previously, asking listeners to send donations, presumably to help “keep the station on the air”.

We don’t know if the two events are at all connected.

Small stations with small staffs often go off the air…at least until they can contact a contract engineer making a living providing “on call” services to a laundry list of stations, to check out what went wrong…

LANDING HARD: The 747 plane belonging to a well-known local television personality made a “hard landing” at Akron-Canton Airport on Tuesday.

But there’s still no word if televangelist Ernest Angley of Cuyahoga Falls’ Grace Cathedral was actually on board when the jumbo jet blew a whole bunch of tires on the CAK runway.

The always media and social media savvy airport actually notified its Twitter followers of the event, and even provided an attached picture of the jet on the runway.

AkronNewsNow’s Larry States has more…noting that the jet may have been undergoing a semi-annual qualification procedure.

And we’ll note that of course, Angley’s ministry also owns local CW affiliate WBNX/55 Akron…

Mid-September Grab Bag

There isn’t really a lot connecting all of the below items, but here we are with the grab bag anyway…

KIMBERLY GILL LANDS: After being unceremoniously dispatched from the Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 morning show “Good Morning Cleveland” in early July. co-anchor Kimberly Gill has a soft landing to the east.

CBS O&O KDKA/2 in Pittsburgh announced that Gill is joining their news staff. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Ms. Gill will co-anchor at noon and 4 p.m. with Stacy Smith and serve as a reporter. She most recently co-anchored the morning news program for the CBS affliliate in Cleveland.

No, Maria Sciullo, Kimberly was on the ABC affiliate…though, of course, WEWS actually started as a CBS affiliate decades ago. Many decades ago.

Gill joins KDKA along with Susan Koeppen, a former CBS consumer correspondent and former staffer at crosstown Hearst ABC affiliate WTAE/4, and she starts later this month.

On the other side of the “Good Morning Cleveland” purge, we continue to see Gill’s former co-host, Pete Kenworthy, doing that short-term reporting fill-in gig on “NewsChannel 5” itself.

And the anchor who temporarily replaced Kenworthy and Gill, Curtis Jackson, has left Northeast Ohio…starting his work at Newport CBS affiliate WKRC/12 Cincinnati…

CONDOLENCES TO MICHAEL: It is now public…the reason behind CBS Radio classic rock WNCX/98.5 afternoon driver Michael Stanley’s recent personal leave request.

And it’s a very sad reason.

All Access reports that Michael’s wife, Denise Skinner, has passed away.

All Access says that Denise worked in the past for both record companies and radio trade magazines:

DENISE was part of CAPITOL’s marketing department during two separate runs, and had worked for R&R in sales/marketing during mid-’80s. She moved to OHIO and was married to longtime love, MICHAEL STANLEY of the MICHAEL STANLEY BAND, who is heard daily on afternoons at CBS Classic Rocker WNCX/CLEVELAND.

We found out that Michael’s wife was seriously ill shortly after the personal leave announcement was made, but made the decision to not publicize that news here.

Our sincere condolences to Michael Stanley on his loss…

THE SPORTS RADIO WAR: We have two (and a half) samples from the battleground in Cleveland’s Sports Radio War, between incumbent sports talker WKNR/850 “ESPN 850”, owned by Good Karma Broadcasting, and newcomer WKRK/92.3 “The Fan”, owned by CBS Radio.

CBS is pulling 9,230 promotional items out of its arsenal – that exact number of free tickets for an upcoming Cleveland Indians game, honoring returned veteran slugger Jim Thome, on Friday, September 23rd at 7:05 at Progressive Field.

From a CBS press release:

92.3 The Fan, the only FM sports radio station in Cleveland, will be giving away free pairs of tickets to those fans who attend select Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan events throughout Northeast Ohio.

Join 92.3 The Fan personalities and staff for on-field activities and special contests throughout the game. Plus enjoy a postgame fireworks celebration including choreographed scoreboard video of Jim Thome’s biggest plays and Sugardale dollar dog night.

With the Indians knocked out of playoff contention, we’re wondering how many paid ticketholders will surround those 9,230 attending free thanks to “92.3 The Fan”…but even in his return, Thome is still a very popular figure among Indians fans.

Over at the Galleria, there appears to be no corresponding promotion at “ESPN 850 WKNR” (we think free Browns tickets might be a good counter), but the station appears to be concentrating on increasing its own existing efforts.

We can’t remember if they’ve been out on remote before, but evening show “Xs and Os with the Pros” brought LeCharles Bentley and Je’rod Cherry to a Parma Heights sports bar this week with two current Browns stars – cornerback Joe Haden and wide receiver Greg Little.

Browns players have been all over both WKNR and “92.3 The Fan” in recent weeks, as the booking war for guests reaches a fever pitch.

And there’s at least one sign that WKNR is bringing in more help in the marketing side of the Sports Radio War.

From an add in the Job Market section of All Access:

ESPN Cleveland (ESPN 850 WKNR and ESPN 1540 KNR2) is looking for an energetic and enthusiastic Promotions Director to coordinate all station promotional activity, including; creating, planning and carrying out the logistics of 300+ sales and programming oriented promotions per year, managing and maintaining the internship program, maintaining the web site, etc.
The ideal candidate must have a good marketing mind and people skills, and be able to build lasting relationships with promotional partners.

Next to that advertisement, the Good Karma Broadcasting-owned station is also advertising for a full-time salesper…er…Sports Marketing Consultant.

Since Good Karma bought WKNR, outside marketing has always been important to the station. And they apparently believe they need to amp up that effort with competition over on the FM dial…

BYE, BYE FSR: In a move that’s no surprise to long-time OMW readers, WKNR’s “little brother” station has indeed lost Fox Sports Radio.

Daytimer WWGK/1540, now known as “ESPN 1540 KNR2”, has replaced FSR in its afternoon and evening (until sign-off) lineup with ESPN Radio programming – such as the afternoon drive show hosted by Doug Gottlieb. Gottlieb’s show does not air on WKNR, due to the station’s local programming.

The move is due to new competitor WKRK/92.3 “The Fan” taking FSR for its late night programming. We reported first (long before that station’s debut) that “The Fan” was taking FSR, which would give WWGK a 30 day window to drop the network.

Of course, “KNR2” has already featured some ESPN Radio programming that WKNR can’t air on the 850 side of things.

It took the last hour of ESPN flagship “Mike & Mike” to allow the local “Really Big Show” to start at 9 AM. It also airs ESPN Radio shows by Colin Cowherd and Scott Van Pelt, of course, in addition to the first hour of Premiere’s “Jim Rome Show”, when Tony Rizzo and company expanded their WKNR show again until 1 PM…

BYE, BYE, BILLY: For some time, Clear Channel Akron market hot AC WKDD/98.1 has featured Hollywood news and gossip in evenings, as an affiliate of Westwood One’s “Billy Bush Show”.

Here’s something that is not gossip – that arrangement has ended.

From a WKDD social media update:

Hope you don’t mind, we are back to music at night. We moved all the Hollywood gossip to WKDD.com to make room for the music.

OMW hears that there will eventually be a voice on WKDD’s night show (we’ll assume a voicetracker at some point will fill the shift), but for now, the music rolls on…

FALLING RANKINGS: Arbitron has released its radio market rankings for 2011 (Arbitron PDF), and pretty much all Northeast Ohio markets dropped in those rankings.

The 2011 Arbitron list drops Cleveland to market 30. Akron is now market 78. Canton is 135, and Youngstown-Warren is now market 129.

Cleveland drops from 29 in the Spring 2011 rankings, and Akron drops from 76. Canton drops from market 129, and Youngstown-Warren was 125 last spring…