Bombshell At One Radio Lane – Alden Out

UPDATE 1/4/12 10:39 AM: The item has been corrected to reflect that Nancy Alden moved back to middays on WDOK in 2009. And a glitch caused by the WordPress mobile client, with much of the item becoming underlined, has been corrected.

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CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1 Cleveland has had one constant on its schedule over the past 20-plus years…veteran air personality Nancy Alden.

Well, until today.

OMW has confirmed that Alden’s contract with WDOK hasn’t been renewed, and she has exited One Radio Lane as of Tuesday afternoon.

That confirmation of our own is also confirmed by the fact that Alden’s page has been wiped off the WDOK web site.

A visit there reveals the typical radio “Soviet-style purge”, returning the simple message “Page not found – Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.” “Nancy who?”, anyone?

And Alden’s departure could be just the first change at One Radio Lane.

Until her exit today, you’d probably have to think long and hard to remember WDOK without Nancy Alden.

As near as we can piece together, she joined WDOK in 1987 or thereabouts, moving up the schedule from late nights to nights (“The Lady In Red”) to middays, where she spent the bulk of her on-air time at 102.1.

Alden moved to WDOK’s afternoon drive slot in November 2008. (UPDATE: For whatever reason, we missed her swap back to middays in August 2009. Maybe we were on hiatus?)

Alden came to Cleveland as part of the launch staff at WNCX/98.5 when it started as “The North Coast Express”, before a format change to the current classic rock format not long afterwards – when owner Metropolis Broadcasting basically came apart.

Before that, she had a lengthy stint at Akron’s WKDD/then-96.5, now Clear Channel hot AC WKDD/98.1.

And are more changes coming to 102.1?

Well, the space on WDOK’s website normally dedicated to a link to On Air personalities links now to “Feedback”, asking listeners to let the station know “what do you want from your station in 2012”.

From that page:

Our Resolution for 2012 is to be a better station and YOU can help us!

WDOK has been part of your family for a long time. But we want to hear how we get better… We play More Music with a Better Variety. All the music you love. We have never been more committed to you and Cleveland.. Tell us how we can better serve you, our loyal listeners…

The “On Air” link at the bottom of the WDOK webpage is still active, listing “Trapper Jack and The Morning Show” and Desiray McCray, with Alden now also gone from that page.

Notice the mention of “music” in that message, and not one mention of on-air personalities.

Thus, it appears quite likely to us that WDOK will adopt a “more music” presentation, perhaps tweaking that AC music mix and with air personalities, what few there are, largely voicetracked.

We hear Trapper Jack is still under contract for 2012, and we expect him to return (but have not confirmed that), but we’re not at all sure of the composition of the show around him when he comes back.

OMW heard earlier today that WDOK has also dropped the syndicated “Delilah” program in the evening. That show is indeed absent from the WDOK airwaves this Tuesday evening.

Note that tomorrow morning, 102.1 gets a competitor…Rubber City Radio’s WNWV/107.3 “The Wave” will launch its “new generation” format. (UPDATE: Rubber City Radio did a “soft launch” of the new format on Tuesday evening.)

After an automated “Smooth Jazz Christmas”, the station goes “smooth AC”…with more vocals and a more upbeat music selection, which may surprise those who expected the old smooth jazz format to return lock, stock and saxophone.

(The traditional smooth jazz format will remain on WNWV’s HD2 subchannel and online, called “Wave Classics” by the new ownership.)

“Smooth AC” is generally considered to be the evolution of the smooth jazz format, and there are still plenty of saxophones and Kenny G tunes around. Format pioneer KTWV in Los Angeles, which originally licensed “The Wave” to WNWV and other stations back in the day, has also gone in this direction in 2012.

More than one reader has noted that former WDOK programmer Sue Wilson is in the building at West Market Street, as program director and morning drive co-host of Rubber City Radio’s country powerhouse, WQMX/94.9.

And if you’re going any direction of AC in Cleveland, having Sue Wilson already across the hall from 107.3’s temporary home in Akron is not exactly a bad thing…though we have no idea if she has had a role in the new station’s development.

We also note that 107.3’s new contact page lists no program director…midday host Mark Ribbins, a Wave veteran, is assistant program director/music director.

“The Wave” will broadcast from the Akron Radio Center until new studios are completed in Independence later this year.

WNWV starts its new format life with some WDOK veterans on the air, including morning driver Dan Deely and afternoon driver Bobby Thomas. (Deely’s bio notes he lives in Independence, happy for a short commute to the coming 107.3 studios.)

WQMX middayer Lynn Kelly will also handle the 6-midnight shift of “Cleveland After Dark”, presumably helped by the magic of voicetracking. (Or, by doing without sleep.)

Also aboard the new “Wave” is Grace Roberts, who started her career at the station (under Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting ownership, of course), and eventually became a mainstay at Radio One urban AC WZAK/93.1 and gospel WJMO/1300.

Is WDOK gearing up for the competition by making these changes? Make your own guess.

But RadioInsight’s Lance Venta, Internet domain name snoop extraordinare, tells OMW that the domain name “new102.com” was registered last month by a registrar normally used by CBS and other radio companies.

Meanwhile, OMW hears that the other half of CBS’ female-audience division, hot AC WQAL/104.1 “Q104”, could see some changes as well…

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14 Responses to Bombshell At One Radio Lane – Alden Out

  1. contour07 says:

    Nancy Alden and Delilah? Gone from WDOK? I use to like this station when I first started listening to it back in 2007, but it seems like WDOK started going downhill since they dropped the “soft rock” branding back in 2009. This past October, I thought WDOK was nuts when they were playing “I Got a Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas. Now I’m hearing Lady Gaga, which I don’t care for at all.

    Listeners can try to tune in and listen to Delilah on 98.9 WMXY (Youngstown) & 106.1 WVNO (Mansfield).

    BTW, I just heard an announcement on WDOK: “The new102 is coming”.

  2. Sheron says:

    What a same. Nancy Alden and Delilah were the reasons I listened to WDOK.

  3. a cell says:

    What happened to the family owned W D O K Embrasa, Wilson, Pollock , Company.?? Why did they sell to C B S ? It was nice to listen to a family owned Station. For what price did they sell it for ? Upon listening to this station for many years it in nice words it kind of went to h***

  4. yekimi says:

    Let’s see…..Rick Allen & Nancy were at WKDD during their “Mellow Rock” format. Rick left the clutches of CBS last year and ended up at RCRG on WAKR. Now RCRG has WNWV that appears to be [mostly] staffed. Could they bring her aboard in some capacity in case one of the “new” people stumbles and they need to make a change and then she goes back on-air? (And as an aside, how long does it take for WAKR to get bios of their on-air personalities up on their website? Rick Allen & Brad Shupe have been there for months and all you see on the website is “More on Rick/Brad to come”)

  5. Mike says:

    These decisions by the suits make me laugh. I don’t really listen to that station, but I am sure there is a strong market for it. More music???? Who turns on the radio for music anymore.with so much technology available. Radio’s only saving grace is its personalities and management doesn’t want to pay for them.

  6. Diana Chalmers says:

    What a mess. WDOK had the best morning show on the air, and the rest kept me listening all day, both at home and work. Now I’ll have to find somewhere else to listen too. If I want all music I can play my IPOD. Really unhappy.

  7. DMW says:

    Soviet-style radio is annoying. Looked for Trapper Jack and Co. yesterday and today. WDOK is losing listeners by not communicating with us.

  8. Rosa says:

    Oh I gave them feedback on their website, all right. I told them what a HUGE mistake they were making. I’ve listened to WDOK since Trapper Jack started there. My husband and I made the swtich when he moved there from another local station. The suits really are clueless. At least admit that you’re trying to cut salary….don’t make excuses that you’re making the station better.

  9. Sandy says:

    Trapper Jack, Jim McIntire, & Terry Moier were the funniest morning show anywhere. They always had me laughing. Don’t radio owners know there are so many other options now, that on-air personalities are what make the listeners listen?

    They make major changes to personalities and formatting and then never tell you what has happened…you are left wondering.

    I, personally will be switching radio stations. I listened to the morning show and kept the radio tuned in to the station, at work, for the rest of the day. Now I have no reason to start my morning with WDok.

  10. Jay says:

    I usually listen to WDOK in the morning while in the car because I’ve always enjoyed the banter between Trapper, Jim and Terry.I noticed there don’t seem to be any on-air personalities in the morning (or during yesterday’s drive home). Seems like more than Nancy Alden is gone at this point. Big mistake, WDOK.

  11. contour07 says:

    While they are at it, they should change the call letters to WNOK. (W ‘NOT’ OK)

  12. Rick says:

    Nancy, Terry, Jim must all be gone per their webpage not being found

    Terry Moir’s page: http://wdok.radio.com/shows/terry-moir/
    Jim Mcintyre’s page: http://wdok.radio.com/shows/jim-mcintyre/
    Nancy Aldren’s page: http://wdok.radio.com/shows/nancy-alden/

    I thought something was up because I noticed the music selection started sucking after the Christmas season. Although I am glad Delilah is gone (that was the only time I didn’t listen to WDOK). Now it is time to start searching for a new station. WTAM is looking good for the afternoon drive home, but now for a new morning show is going to be hard to find, and then there is the rest of the time during the day, I need to find a station(s) to listen to good music. Anyone have recommendations?

    Maybe it is time to start listening to CD’s in the car and internet radio when I am home.

    Stupid Management! 😦

  13. Ann V. says:

    With the shake-up at 107.3, I think I’ll be sticking with WKSU and CDs from my collection. These giant mix formats play the same 10 songs – and if I don’t like all 10, I’m sorta SOL.

  14. steve says:

    CBS has been trying to sell out of Cleveland for a while. Perhaps they feel a purge of conract salaries and staff can make them more attractive to buyers. Perhaps they feel The Lake is the business model for the future. Perhaps they really don’t care and wish they were back selling cars.

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