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…


8 Responses to Changes Afoot

  1. MrCleaveland says:

    Kudos to KNR for (finally) recognizing that they have a problem. But I don’t think this fixes anything. There isn’t enough Hooley in the universe to make up for the unlistenableness embodied by Brinda and Fedor. This move might not represent going from bad to worse, but at the least, it’s going from bad to just as bad.

  2. Jonah says:

    Hooley is not needed in the afternoon, Brinda and Fedor would be just fine. What’s the big “competition?” Triv doesn’t talk sports, and no one knows about 92.3. This is all much ado about nothing, although it’s nice to get Greg Brinda into drive-time. He is a very knowledgeable and likable host. Fedor and Goldhammer are also great when they host.

  3. BM says:

    KNR is merely shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    No one wants to hear Brinda. They can keep moving him around all they want, but he’s a whiner and offers little in the way of good sports conversation. He prefers to talk about food.

    Pairing him with Negative Ned and Bruce Hooley will compel me to listen how exactly? No thanks. I’d personally rather see Andre Knott get his own show. He has good opinions and is easy to listen to. At least from what I’ve seen on the STO shows he hosts.

    Rizzo wants to run a variety show, IMO. He spends as much time talking about things other than sports than he does sports. And he is the worst informed ‘sports talk’ guy that I’ve ever heard. He rarely knows what he’s talking about.

    Right now, I’m giving 92.3 Fan a shot. My early impressions:

    silent reflection beats listening to Kiley/Booms
    Baskin/Phelps trumps RBS by a mile
    Bull/Fox > Reghi/Roda (and I’m sure > Brinda/Hooley/Fedor) also by a mile
    Browns show w/Carucci – best show of all of these
    Xs & Os with the Pros – can’t listen to LeCharles. But Je’Rod is good.

    KNR should get some fresh (read “not sarcastic or bitter”) talent on the airwaves if they want me to come back.

  4. Pat says:

    OMW – Yesterday’s post refers to WINW’s license being restored, but the link points to WCER’s records. I thought you might want to know so you can correct it.


  5. miketd says:

    Brinda, Fedor and Hooley? Oh my, KNR is off the rails if they think anybody will listen to that show. Rizz is probably going to go back solo with the brass shutting up that reject Hammer; that would be a good thing, but it is probably too late for the RBS. R&R is horrible and so is Bently( I do like Jerod).

    I’m liking 92.3 and rarely change the station. Booms is ok, but could do without Kiley. Baskin and Phelps isn’t very good… no personality and it can be really boring. Love Adam the Bull and Dustin Fox and Ken Carmen is good too.

    All in all, I don’t see me going back to KNR…

  6. bill hall says:

    I think Rizz and Goldhammer do a great job. I’m not impressed with 92.3.

  7. Chris says:

    Scott will be missed. Lindvig is not a good match and would be my choice for leaving. She constantly talks over everyone with pointless comments.

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