The Elephant In The Radio Room
December 14, 2011 13 Comments
Long-time readers may have noticed that we’ve had almost nothing on one of the biggest changes about to hit Cleveland radio…changes at AAA/adult rock WNWV/107.3 “V107.3”, the Elyria-licensed station that is being sold by Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting to Akron’s Rubber City Radio Group, owners of oldies/news WAKR/1590, rock WONE/97.5 and country WQMX/94.9.
The application to sell the station was approved by the FCC on November 28th, and closing – and a temporary move of the station to RCRG’s Akron Radio Center – should happen soon. A part of the sales agreement is that Rubber City won’t be able to operate 107.3 from its current Elyria home, thus the need to move to Akron until permanent Cleveland area studios are put together.
We have our reasons for not saying much, but most of it is…well, we don’t trust a lot of the information we’ve heard.
In the time since the sale of WNWV was announced, we’ve heard speculation that the station would carry pretty much every format imaginable. We’ve heard just about every format except polka. We’ve heard smooth jazz, smooth AC, soft AC, alt-rock, syndicated talk (!) and even a retooling of the current “V107.3″‘s AAA rock format as possibilities.
The first public item causing stir in the local radio community was this item from Cleveland Scene writer Anastasia Pantsios, entitled “V 107.3 to return to snooze music format”:
In late 2009, Elyria-based WNVW 107.3 FM abandoned its rapidly fading “Wave” format — “smooth” jazz & soft R&B — in favor of something a little more contemporary and upbeat. It became V 107.3, which featured a “Triple A” format— a mix of contemporary and classic rock, with artists like Steely Dan and John Fogerty getting airtime alongside newer acts like the Black Keys, Snow Patrol, and Clevelander Kate Voegele.
But after two years in which the uneven, mismanaged and under-resourced V107.3 failed to catch fire, the station will return to the world of smooth contemporary sounds. Dave Koz, Yanni, and Lionel Richie fans can rejoice when they wake up from their naps. For most Northeast Ohioans, the station might as well be going off the air, as “smooth” anything has bled followers across the country. Only about two dozen stations nationally still feature this soporific format.
For out-of-towners, Scene is Cleveland’s “alternative weekly” tabloid newspaper, and the ratio of rock music fans vs. smooth jazz/AC fans in its readership is probably 50,000 to one.
Pantsios’ article spells out the end of “V107.3”, with employees “out of work effective December 16; they have been ordered not to discuss their severance or the station’s format change.”
We do hear Facebook chatter that V midday personality Ravenna Miceli has lined up a special music mix for what is expected to be her last week on the air – this week.
Meanwhile, the out of work V folk will be replaced by others. Rubber City Radio has placed this help wanted ad everywhere from the Plain Dealer to radio trade site All Access:
WNWV Cleveland is looking for full and part time on-air talent with strong communications skills and ability to connect with listeners on-air and online. For part-time, weekends a must as well as availability for occasional weekday fill-ins. Proficiency in content creation & social networking a must. NO PHONE CALLS. Resume and audio demo required to Nick Anthony, c/o Rubber City Radio Group 1795 West Market Street Akron, Oh 44313 or email to nanthony (at) rcrg.net The Rubber City Radio Group is an EOE.
Friend of OMW Lance Venta at Radio Insight snooped out a domain registration by Rubber City:
Rubber City has registered 1073TheWave.net for its new acquisition. The station had flipped from Smooth Jazz “The Wave” to AAA in December 2009. We’re assuming this will be a revised Smooth AC this time around much like the format has evolved in other markets should the move to the previous format take place.
RAMP has learned that once the station officially changes hands, Rubber City will flip it to Smooth AC under its former identity of “107.3 The Wave,” the name it was known as during most of its 22 years as a Smooth Jazz outlet before going Triple A in 2009. “It will feature Pop and Urban AC vocals along with Smooth Jazz vocals and instrumentals,” SVP Nick Anthony tells RAMP.
With RCRG’s Nick Anthony talking openly about the new station, at least in the radio trade press, we guess that the secret’s “out”.
There have certainly been a lot of pieces out there, but we haven’t comfortable enough to confirm details on what we’ve heard before now.
Readers may recall we tracked everything but the lunch schedule of incoming personnel at new CBS Radio sports talker WKRK/92.3 “The Fan” in Cleveland. But this is entirely different…and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if our friends at West Market Street floated a few trial balloons in the air, hoping they’d reach us.
Meanwhile, regarding “92.3 The Fan”, almost none of our information was coming directly from the Halle Building, due to the national CBS Radio effort to build the new station.
It’s certainly clear that major changes will be coming at the 107.3 spot on Northeast Ohio’s radio dial…soon…though we haven’t heard an exact date for the format change…