The Other Stuff

As promised, a few hours late…let’s go through the other stuff not connected (mostly) with the rebranding of CBS Radio AC (we think it still is) WDOK/102.1, now known to the world as “New 102”. For now…

THAT OTHER CONTRACT: The renewal of the contract of WDOK..er…”New 102″‘s morning man Trapper Jack Elliot became a public item, when Elliot told the Plain Dealer’s Chuck Yarborough late last week that the 2 year deal was sitting there, unsigned.

When he came back to the 102.1 airwaves on Monday, Trapper Jack informed listeners that the contract in question was signed.

The contract negotiation process for Clear Channel rock/talk WMMS/100.7 morning man Shane “Rover” French wasn’t quite as public, though the host of “Rover’s Morning Glory” was stoking the fire with hints like this on his Twitter account:

Bad news. Just got call from Clear Channel. They won’t let us back on air until contract is resolved. Hopefully soon. #AnyPartiesNextWeek?

Despite a following tweet. in which Rover said he believed “it will get done”, that sent the Rover Army into overdrive, and launched them into our E-mail box and our own Twitter account, looking for answers.

And, looking for them now. And, not happy when we said we didn’t know. (We didn’t know, honest.)

We brought a lot of this on ourselves, as we’ve said before.

When Rover and his merry band of morning yakkers left CBS Radio (then-alt-rock WKRK/92.3) and eventually landed at Clear Channel’s WMMS, we had everything but their lunch menus.

The folks at Oak Tree have learned since then…this time, contract negotiations between the Rover camp and Clear Channel were locked tighter than, well, any drum that’s locked tight.

In the end, it’s a win for Mr. French and the sub-Rovers, if you believe the host himself on Tuesday’s show…where he was touting a new 5 year deal that will keep him in the Land of Oak Trees until 2017.

Whew. Maybe we won’t have to hear plaintive cries of “IS ROVER LEAVING??!!? WHERE IS HE?!” for 5 years. (And yes, that’s a near exact reproduction of one E-mail we received.)

And no, we have no idea who “Jeffrey” is, or where he went. We took a quick look at the Rover Radio website, and saw no reference to him anywhere, including in the show’s cast list menu.

We have nothing against Rover, Duji and the gang. We quite frankly admire the fact that they’ve been able to whip the show’s fanbase into a frenzy, worried that the show is about to end/move/change. “Rover’s Morning Glory” has a large, and devoted, following.

It is the kind of connection between show and fan base that every radio effort dreams of. (And WDOK’s Trapper Jack got a taste of that over the past week as well.)

But we wouldn’t mind if if that fanbase developed a little patience, particularly when the host himself said at the outset that he believed a deal would get done, and told listeners/Twitter followers not to panic…

EXIT TO MONTREAL: CBS Radio hot AC WQAL/104.1 “Q104” afternoon personality “Heather B” is headed back to Montreal.

Heather Backman came to Q104 from Montreal’s “Virgin Radio”, and her return will be to that city’s CHOM as morning co-host, according to an article in the city’s English language daily, the Montreal Gazette…

MORNING TV PARADE: Up first in the Parade of Revamped Morning TV News Shows in Cleveland…NewsChannel 5.

The “Good Morning Cleveland” float at Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 early Monday was handled by new co-anchors Mike Dunston – in from Orlando’s Fox affiliate WOFL/35 “Fox 35” – and Macie (McInnis) Jepson – former “Fox 8 News”ie from the 1990s.

The duo joined existing “GMC” players Christine Ferrera (weather) and Alicia Roberts (traffic) for their first show.

Outgoing at 3001 Euclid is reporter Dan Haggarty, and incoming is new MMJ Shay Harris, who’s anchoring the new Saturday “Good Morning Cleveland” and joining MMJ Josh Boose other mornings during the week (presumably with one day off to account for Saturdays).

Shay shares Orlando Fox affiliate WOFL/35 on her resume with new “GMC” anchor Mike Dunston, though we don’t know if they worked alongside each other.

The new TV News Morning Parade continues next Monday, when WKYC/3 anchor Chris Tye moves from 7 PM to mornings to replace outgoing anchor and Channel 3 News veteran Mark Nolan.

Who is going to…not anywhere we know of, yet, radio or TV. (Sorry again, Mark!)

PIECING A STATION BACK TOGETHER: When you move a radio station, sometimes the complexity of a move isn’t obvious to the public.

That’s what’s been happening at Rubber City Radio smooth AC WNWV/107.3 Elyria “The Wave”, with studios that left that city of license last week when Rubber City bought the station from previous owner Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting.

Rubber City plans new studios for “The Wave” in the heart of the Independence Media Gulch – we’ve heard on Rockside Road not far from I-77, making 107.3 neighbors with other Cleveland broadcasters including Clear Channel and Salem.

But until that’s all set up, WNWV has to live somewhere…since the sales agreement with ELB specified that it couldn’t stay in that company’s Elyria facility. (We don’t blame the ELB folks…they continue to run talk WEOL/930 there.)

Thus, the temporary home for “107.3 The Wave”‘s reincarnation is a studio at the Akron Radio Center on West Market Street, just across the hall from country powerhouse WQMX/94.9…and therein lies the rest of this item.

After all, in the modern age of radio, it wasn’t just a broadcast signal that had to be moved…and will be moved again, when 107.3 scoots north to Independence.

The move of analog 107.3 meant the temporary end of not only the station’s HD signal, but its streaming audio feed…but at this writing, both have returned.

Now, we’re not quite in the range of 107.3’s digital HD Radio signal, so we don’t know if its HD3 carrier is still sending out the all-classical HD channel from Kent State University’s WKSU/89.7 to the western reaches of the Cleveland market.

The deal was struck with previous owner Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting. WNWV’s HD2 feed is “Wave Classics”, a smooth jazz-only feed also found online

Until the move to Independence, “The Wave” continues to maintain Cleveland sales offices on Center Ridge Road in Rocky River…

RADIO CHANGES IN THE VALLEY: OMW already told you that Whiplash Radio standards WHTX/1570 Warren “Fabulous 1570” LMA operator Jim Davison was bringing aboard partner Laurel Taylor to run the station, and the pair has added daytime sister station WYCL/1540 Niles to their oversight.

After launching a simulcast with WHTX’s standards format, WYCL has moved back in a talk direction.

“Fabulous 1570” morning man Gary Rhamy will continue simulcasting his program on both stations, now 7-11 AM weekdays.

After 11 AM when standards continue on WHTX, WYCL will be all talk, dubbing itself “Valley Talk 1540”.

King of Youngstown Brokered Talk Radio Louie b. Free nudges his program an hour later, and will talk on “Valley Talk 1540” from 11 AM to 3 PM. He’ll be followed by a new, local afternoon talk show hosted by Ralph Bellamy.

Free is now also listed as Public Affairs Director of both Whiplash stations, hosting a one-hour “Valley Talk Public Affairs” show simulcast on both WYCL and WHTX Saturdays at 8 AM.

And what do you know…local political figure Don Hanni III makes his return to talk radio on WYCL. For the outset, he’ll be heard Saturdays from noon to 4 PM, but Hanni’s “The New Talk of the Town” will also air weekday evenings in the summer…when WYCL’s daytime broadcast hours allow.

And it’s really not all that “New”, Hanni’s show, that is. (Well, we’re sure he’ll have new topics.) It’s not even his first shot at talk radio in the above-1500 range on the Mahoning Valley AM dial, or even his first usage of that show name.

From sister station WHTX’s history page, in a passage also seen on Wikipedia:

In 2005, WANR picked up a liberal talk format, becoming the Youngstown/Warren area affiliate of the Air America Radio network. It also broadcast a local talk radio program called The New Talk of the Town, hosted by local political figure Don Hanni III. The liberal talk format was operated by Hanni and associates under a local marketing agreement, but would be cancelled weeks after its’ launch after a dispute between WANR owner Beacon Broadcasting and Hanni.

(Conflict of interest alert, sort of: OMW Secondary Editorial Voice[tm] Nathan Obral is the webmaster for the Whiplash stations, including WYCL, WHTX and Corry PA-based WHYP. He didn’t write or contribute to this item, tho.)

WYCL is adding “Smooth Central Jazz” with Dennis Vaughn weekend afternoons, and we assume those “To Be Announced” slots on the 1540 schedule will bounce back to a WHTX simulcast until filled.

And the Whiplash stations have signed another one year deal to carry broadcasts of both the Mahoning Valley Scrappers minor league baseball team based in Niles, and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

WHTX is the primary home for both teams, but game conflicts would result in the overflow game on WYCL when possible…

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5 Responses to The Other Stuff

  1. Ann V. says:

    WKSU dropped its classical HD feed on 107.3 last fall for budget reasons. Everyone, everywhere can still listen to WKSU’s all-classical feed online at wksu.org!

  2. Tim says:

    Would be nice if they showed artists and songs on HD radios…..

  3. Jim Davison says:

    Also to make mention on the WHTX/WYCL side-Bill Ward of Fox 8 WJW and the former voice of the Big 1220 WGAR is the station voiceover guy handling promos, and liners for the stations, and Alan Courtright has stepped up as News Director doing the AM newscast.

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