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…

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3 Responses to Mid-September Grab Bag

  1. Joe says:

    From what I understand, WKNR is not amping up ANYTHING! The Promotions Director position that is being posted, is just to REPLACE someone that left the station named Emily Thayer…that is it. Actually, kind of weak that they would have nobody there they could promote into that position? IMO – WKNR has actually gotten WORSE – hard to believe that was possible! They still cut off callers, repeat themselves at an amazing clip and are so far from what they supposedly were back in the day, “the sports voice of the fan”. They are NOW the sports voice of the veteran sports talk host / whiney, young out of towner from Denver, that likes to yell over his co-hosts whenever I even bother to check in anymore – RARELY!!!

  2. WKNR is missing a good bet by wasting three hours on “Mike & Mike”. They should bounce that show over to 1540, and give Munch & TJ at least 4 hours on 850, if not 5 hours.

    WKRK has some good sports talkers, but Kiley & Booms aren’t among them. Munch & TJ are much better.

    And if ESPN doesn’t like it, tough toenails. Where else can they go?

  3. Mike says:

    I love the new sports station 92.3 and don’t listen to KNR anymore at all. First of all…I can actually get a clear signal here in Lorain County when tuned into 92.3. Second…KNR really annoyed me pulling Rome off the first hour, four hours of Rizzo’s show is overkill. Lastly, got so sick of Mike/Mike in the morning. Love Booms in the morning and all the local sports talk instead.

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