Weekend Special

A few items hanging around for the weekend, hiding from all the rain and chilly temperatures…

WEST MARKET CHANGES: Two staffers are no longer at the Akron Radio Center, as the AkronNewsNow newsroom faces an economic-driven “retooling” of some of its operations. But one other staffer is returning.

The layoffs are of two key on-air names at the Rubber City Radio Group newsroom on West Market Street in Akron, which serves oldies/news/sports WAKR/1590, rock WONE/97.5 and country WQMX/94.9: WAKR morning news anchor/assignment editor Marcy Pappafava, and veteran sports anchor/morning news editor Joe Jastrzemski.

Yes, that’s right, Joe Jastrzemski is “on the beach” after a 17 year run covering sports at the Akron stations.

It’s probably much easier to list what he has NOT covered…he’s been a regular at high school, college and pro sports events, and other events like the annual Akron Marathon, which he just covered again last week.

From Joe’s WAKR bio, still in place at this hour on AkronNewsNow.com:

“Following four years in Cleveland, Joe moved onto WELW-AM in Willoughby for over a decade as News and Sports Director. Joe moved to WAKR in 1994 and has been in Akron ever since.

The Associated Press has honored Joe for having the best regularly scheduled sportscast (2005, 2006 and 2007) and also recognized Joe as Ohio’s Medium Market Radio Sportscaster of the Year, Reporter of the Year and News Anchor of the Year.

Joe’s sports experience goes beyond reporting; he has also served as the public address voice of Canal Park for the Akron Aeros for the last ten years, and also works the microphone for Cleveland State men’s and women’s basketball since the 1977-78 season.

Joe also has done play-by-play for the Akron Aeros as well as coverage of Summit County high school games.”

Jastrzemski has also been news editor during the “Ray Horner Morning Show”.

And since Pappafava has been the news anchor for the program, that leaves one on-air opening…and someone returning to the Akron Radio Center will take that role starting Monday.

Lindsay McCoy left the building to take a position as editor of the Cuyahoga Falls edition of Patch.com, the network of local news sites set up by America Online (and now run by AOL’s Huffington Post subsidiary).

She’ll be back on WAKR on Monday as Ray Horner’s news anchor.

It’s definitely a bittersweet set of changes for RCRG VP/Information Media and long-time OMW reader Ed Esposito.

On the “bitter” side, Ed tells us it’s “tough to say goodbye” to Pappafava and Jastrzemski.

“They’re both quality people and quality performers”, Esposito says, noting that he’s known Joe Jastrzemski for 20 years, as one of the first people he met when returning to Cleveland.

Oh, and Ed also hired Marcy – out of a previous career as a retail buyer and manager. The Pittsburgh-area native has been serving as the current president of the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters, quite a change from buying trips for big retailers in large cities in her pre-radio life.

But while saying goodbye to two colleagues and friends, Esposito says he’s happy to bring McCoy back to the newsroom, calling her “a great part of our more recent history” who will bring qualities such as “enthusiasm and energy” to Horner’s weekday broadcasts.

“The Ray Horner Morning Show”, with Jastrzemski’s exit from the building, will no longer have regularly scheduled sportscasts, though the show will present sports news as needed.

And the station will continue its carriage of numerous local sports events, including a complete schedule of high school sports play-by-play broadcasts.

In fact, Esposito tells OMW, the station’s high school basketball schedule will be even more extensive this season – thanks to the absence of the Cleveland Cavaliers on the WAKR airwaves, due to the NBA lockout…

RTDN-LOCAL: Esposito is coming off of his terms as chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association and its associated educational foundation – the news organizations recently changed the “News Directors” part to “Digital News”, so the pair is now known as RTDNA and RTDNF.

The news industry group has long had a bit of an Akron flavor to it, and not just because of Esposito…president-emeritus Barbara Cochran, as we’ve reported before, is also an Akron native.

And now, yet another person with local ties is in RTDNA’s hierarchy.

He’s Vincent Duffy, news director of public radio’s Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor MI – who many likely still remember from his time at Kent State University’s WKSU/89.7-and-its-many-simulcasters…not to mention his stint as the second host of Western Reserve PBS’ Friday night news/discussion show “NewsNight Akron”.

Duffy was WKSU’s program director until April 2007, when he left to become news director of the network of three Michigan NPR outlets.

At the organization’s recent convention in New Orleans, Duffy was named chairman-elect of RTDNA. Here’s video, from the RTDNA/F’s YouTube page, of him after he was chosen for the role.

Congratulations, Vince, in your new role!

NOT A NEW ROLE, AT LEAST YET: Just a day removed from his exit from Good Karma Broadcasting sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850″‘s “Xs and Os with the Pros”, former Ohio State and NFL star lineman LeCharles Bentley popped up on the station’s competition.

But Bentley’s 5 PM Friday visit to “The Bull and The Fox” on CBS Radio sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan” was not at all about his radio career.

LeCharles had a lively chat with Adam “The Bull” Gerstenhaber and Dustin Fox about, well, not radio…but football, first the Ohio State Buckeyes, and then the Browns.

There was no mention of his self-imposed departure from WKNR, which is detailed in the item just below this one. Indeed, there was no mention of WKNR or his recent stint there, at all.

He was last heard on that show Wednesday evening, spending much of Thursday evening tweeting about his departure, and retweeting supportive messages from listeners.

We have heard nothing about any future on-air role at “92.3 The Fan” for Bentley. As we noted, the Friday spot on “The Bull and The Fox” was not any audition…it was a football talk…

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3 Responses to Weekend Special

  1. Joe was a lot of fun to work with and had a great sense of humor along with talent. I hope to hear Joe on the air again soon! – Andrew Boggs, BA –

  2. Ann V. says:

    Vince Duffy – giant! Happy for him!

  3. Vincent Duffy says:

    Thanks for the congrats guys….I’m looking forward to the job.

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