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…

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One Response to Rolling Through The Month

  1. Clint says:

    Kinda ruins my day knowing I won’t be able to hear Heagan w/ Hammy next year. I listen to a lot of baseball on the radio and MLB.com and in my opinion they rank right up there w/ the best, although I may be a bit biased….Has anyone heard if Rosenhaus will be back next year, or are they hopefully gonna bring in someone else?

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