87.7 Clevelanders…Audition?

The off-air buzz in the Cleveland radio community is about the curious way new quasi-radio station WLFM-LP “87.7” is going about its upcoming launch.

We have heard that the station, operated by Cleveland radio veteran Tom Wilson with help from his old ownership partners, has been working behind the scenes to staff up.

In fact, OMW hears that at least one key staffer has already left the operation, before it even has hit the airwaves.

But simultaneously, the station now calling itself “87.7 Clevelanders Rock” is borrowing a page from the “American Idol” playbook, with open auditions for air talent set for Saturday, July 21st from 10 AM to 2 PM, at Beachland Ballroom and Tavern on Waterloo Road in Cleveland.

Here, we’ll show you a poster about the audition session, which has been at very least seen online, if not elsewhere:

And in case you need it in text form, you can also read it right here:

Sooo… do you ‘wanna be Cleveland’s next Radio Star? Bigger than Trivisonno? Edgier than Rover? More caustic than Lannigan?

Here’s your chance… cause we’re looking for kick ass talent, funky writers, and comedians who will make us pee our pants laughing…

Were kicking off a brand-spanking new radio station, 87.7 Clevelanders Rock!, and we’re looking for your beautiful self!

If you think this could be your thing… and you believe you are star material… here’s what you do:

Just show up LIVE… & Yes, you can bring some of your peeps… Bring your “A” game and show us your stuff in 3 minutes or less. WOW us and you could be a star on 87.7 Clevelanders Rock!

And yes, the last name of Clear Channel classic hits WMJI/105.7 “Majic 105.7” morning star John Lanigan is spelled with the extra “n” on the flyer itself. (You’d think a local radio vet like Tom Wilson would be able to spell Lanigan’s last name, or would be able to correct it.)

The station also has an early Facebook page.

We’re not the only ones scratching our head at what appears to be a radio stunt.

(Again, remember, we know the station is searching outside this process for radio pros.)

After going through the saga of the former “V107.3″”s return to “wallpaper” music as smooth AC “The Wave”, and the “generic alternative hits” of low-wattage alt-rock translator “99X”, Cleveland Scene alt-weekly music writer Anastasia Pantsios catches readers up with 87.7:

Now “87.7 Clevelanders Rock” is set to become the latest station promising to shake things up with a hyper-local format that will “work to sound like Cleveland,” driven by a team of local personalities tuned into what’s happening on the streets. It’s handicapped by a signal so far down the dial it’s staring at the asses of local college radio stations (don’t confuse it with WJCU 88.7 FM, John Carroll’s respected campus station) and the fact that the analog signal is scheduled by the FCC for obsolescence in three years.

Just after that, Pantsios herself makes the “88.7” error in her piece, but she’s not alone – the above linked Beachland Ballroom calendar initally made the same mistake (it’s since been corrected).

And Pantsios outdoes even us with the snark:

“Yes, you can bring some of your peeps,” they advertise, because every lame routine sounds great when a bunch of your friends are cheering madly.

“You could be the next Howard,” they promise.

Just don’t expect a paycheck like Howard’s.

The Scene writer is clued in at least a bit to some of this – she helpfully provides a link to one of our previous stories in the Scene item online.

She correctly notes the FCC is scheduled to extinguish the “87.7” “radio” signal in three years…which we told you numerous times will happen because the low-power analog Channel 6 TV station that provides the audio carrier will be forced to go digital, ending the “FM simulcast”.

We’ve done some more digging, and had a lot of help from readers, and some more names are being attached to the effort to create “87.7 Clevelanders Rock”.

The flyer apparently came out of “Black Tie Studio”, run by former CBS Radio Cleveland graphic designer Sandy Harsanyi Murphy. (Remember, ex-CBS Radio suit Chris Maduri is helping run the new station.)

Rachel Steele, another former CBS Radio Cleveland type – is also involved…she was an air personality on former alt-rock outlet WKRK/92.3 (now sports “92.3 The Fan”).

The invite is also posted to Facebook as an event.

Again, keep in mind with all this “audition” stuff floating around…that the station has actively been corralling actual radio types behind the scenes.

But if you’re holding an audition for the public on July 21st, can you make the “end of July” air date you promised earlier this month?

We doubt it. We have also heard no names bandied about as potential on-air personalities for the new station. (We don’t know if Steele will have an on-air role or not.)

Down I-77, I-480 and Ohio 14, Ohio 43 and Ohio 59, the audition process continues on air at Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 “The Talk of Akron” – hoping to find a new host in the wake of the untimely death of station and Akron radio icon Howie Chizek.

After former WMMS’er Jeff Kinzbach and regular caller John “Couch Burner” Denning, former WAKC/23 anchor/news director and former Akron city spokesman Mark Williamson tried his hand at the craft of talk radio on Monday.

(We don’t believe Mark has ever done talk before, even while working at then-WAKC/WAKR-TV sister station WAKR/1590…which only had a brief run at talk long after the two stations split ownership-wise.)

Maybe the Klaus brothers, owners of WNIR, should try an open audition at “The Funny Stop”, the Cuyahoga Falls comedy club that’s both a regular station advertiser and second home for morning driver Stan Piatt.


Back to 87.7, where there’s finally an E-mail address attached to this thing:


Even if you’re not going to show up Saturday, we presume that address would put you in touch with the folks behind “87.7 Clevelanders Rock”…


3 Responses to 87.7 Clevelanders…Audition?

  1. 74WIXYgrad says:

    Aw, rats! I can’t make it as I have this thing, called a job, to go to.

  2. melvingaines says:

    What’s with the wallpaper music comment about 107.3 The Wave? You can’t possibly be listening to the station. It’s not elevator music, for goodness sake. I know it’s all in taste but I detect a little snarkiness…

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