Bombshell At One Radio Lane – Alden Out
January 4, 2012 14 Comments
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.
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.
“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…