Late July Mixed Bag

In which we update some stuff, bring on new items and more…

87.7 BUILDING BLOCKS, BUT WHEN?: We’re hearing some details surrounding the launch of Venture Technologies/Murray Hill Broadcasting’s WLFM-LP 6/87.7, which will operate as a radio station under the name “87.7 Clevelanders Rock”.

First, an appearance by station operators Tom Wilson and Tom Embrescia on the soon-to-be-extinguished “Good Company Today” on NBC affiliate WKYC/3 shed at least some light on what shape the soon-to-launch radio station will take.

Embrescia told hosts Hollie Strano and Michael Cardamone that the music format for “87.7 Clevelanders Rock” will be Adult Album Alternative rock, otherwise known as “AAA” or “Triple-A”.

It’s a format last tried in the market by Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting’s WNWV/107.3, and the format was changed (semi-)back to smooth AC when Akron’s Rubber City Radio Group bought the now-former “V107.3” and brought it back to its former identity as “The Wave”.

OMW hears from multiple sources that “87.7 Clevelanders Rock” has found a morning drive host, and yes, our own reaction was, “who?”

He’s…drumroll, please!…Archie Berwick.

Again, who?

Berwick is a former CBS Radio Cleveland promotions staffer, who we’re told has been doing similar work with the New York Mets. As far as we know, though we could be wrong, Archie has no significant on-air experience.

The Used To Work For CBS Radio Cleveland vibe continues, as we hear former alt-rock WKRK/92.3 air personality Rachel Steele – already linked with the new station – is expected to handle afternoon drive for 87.7.

OMW hears that various other former Northeast Ohio personalities and radio staffers showed up at Saturday’s audition, but we don’t know if any of them has an inside track at the new station.

We also hear, as we’ve reported before, that “87.7 Clevelanders Rock”‘s search process continues outside of Saturday’s public audition.

Where will WLFM-LP hang its studio hat?

Though the audio on the video from “Good Company Today” deteriorates by that point, we heard Tom Embrescia mention the Cleveland Agora…and we now hear that the famed location at 5000 Euclid Avenue will indeed be the home of 87.7.

We don’t know, however, if the new station will use the space formerly occupied by WHK/1420 and WMMS/100.7. We’re told that a recording studio using the Agora building is no longer there.

We hear from more than one source that there’s no word if the station will make its debut before the end of this month, as previously promised…but we’d consider that unlikely at this point…

LIVE ON LAKESIDE: We hinted that WKYC’s “Good Company Today” was “soon-to-be-extinguished”, and well, it is, sort of.

After the schedule-gulping NBC coverage of the Olympics in London ends in mid-August, WKYC will basically combine elements of “Good Company Today” with the noon edition of Channel 3 News, and the result will be “Live on Lakeside”.

Quoting an item on blogging colleague Frank Macek’s “WKYC Director’s Cut” blog:

Hosted by Hollie Strano and Michael Cardamone, the new show will be a mix of news, weather, entertainment, lifestyle and advertiser friendly segments.

Airing from 11a.m. – 12:30p.m., the show will also feature News Anchor Amanda Barren, Meteorologists Bruce Kalinowski and Marcus Walter, Arts, Culture and Entertainment Reporter Karina Mitchell, Lifestyle and Features Reporters Joe Cronauer and Desiray McCray, “Ways To Save” Anchor Matt Granite and a host of other contributors.

Whew! It’s almost easier to list who WON’T be on the new show.

And yes, Karina Mitchell is the wife of new “Channel 3 News” anchor Russ Mitchell, a broadcaster in her own right. Karina was most recently doing entertainment reporting for CBS News – where her husband was weekend anchor of “The CBS Evening News” for years.

And the new show apparently adds CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1 “New 102” afternoon driver Desiray McCray on a permanent basis.

We’ve seen McCray join Caradmone on the set of “Good Company Today”, as that program comes to its end.

“GCT” has been a half-hour show this week in order to accomodate various E/I “NBC Kids” preemption reschedules…and on Friday, those shows will preempt what would have been the last “Good Company Today”, according to TV listings.

We’re assuming that weekend sports events forced the moves.

The show occupying the 11 AM to 12:30 PM time slot obviously moves it out of the way of direct competitor “New Day Cleveland” on Local TV LLC Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8”, and presumably moves the fourth hour of NBC’s “Today” show with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford to a 10 AM live clearance, next to the rest of “Today”.

“Live on Lakeside” premieres on August 13th…

LANIGAN TO THE RESCUE: Listeners to Clear Channel classic hits WMJI/105.7 “Majic 105.7” morning icon John Lanigan got some “inside” news related to the horrific mass murder at a Colorado movie theater early Friday.

Lanigan’s son is Lt. Jad Lanigan with the Aurora (CO) Police Department, and among other duties, he was tasked with dealing with the media late Thursday and early Friday.

But John Lanigan’s wife heard the younger Lanigan’s voice from the scene, and the WMJI morning host asked if his son was indeed involved in the arrest of the shooting suspect.

Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5’s and WJW/8’s have more.

Lt. Lanigan didn’t have much time to talk to his father, but briefly confirmed via text message that he was indeed a part of the arrest team.

There was at least one other radio connection to the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado…Denver sports radio intern and blogger Jessica Ghawi, known professionally as Jessica Redfield, was one of the earliest identified among the 12 dead…

MANSFIELD DOINGS: A new radio station has sprouted up in Mansfield, and it’s another FM translator.

Christian contemporary “99.3 The Light” has been on the air since earlier this month.

It’s yet another arm of the Gunther Meisse Broadcast Empire in mid-Ohio, with its analog home being W256BG/99.3 Butler. 99.3 is rebroadcasting the “home” feed for “The Light”, on WVNO/106.1’s HD2 sidechannel.

The Mid-State folks moved the station’s location north from near Bellville to the company’s complex in the Mansfield suburb of Ontario, and off the former frequency of 99.1.

In its previous incarnation, 99.1 Butler was a translator in the network rebroadcasting Mansfield Christian School CCM outlet WVMC/90.7, and now, it’s a commercial competitor to WVMC.

Sister WVNO “Mix 106.1” programmer and morning co-host Tony Mitchell tells the Mansfield News Journal that some local content will be added to the Salem Radio Network “Today’s Christian Music” feed:

Mitchell said positive local news and weather forecasts will be featured, along with area pastors.

“We’ll have local pastors giving half-hour sermons on Sunday mornings and every day we’ll have a ‘Pastor’s Minute’ where we’ll have local pastors taking a minute to give a quick word of encouragement,” he said.

Christian radio is a crowded field in the Mansfield area.

Not only is local stalwart WVMC in the format, but Educational Media Foundation’s “K-Love” airs on owned station WYKL/98.7 Crestline.

And back to the Gunther Meisse Mid-State Multimedia Empire, which includes not only WVNO and ESPN Radio affiliate WRGM/1440-W247BL/97.3, but TV operations WMFD/68 and WOHZ-CA/41.

OMW apparently missed WMFD’s conversion to local HD studio programming, which we believe started back in March.

The move means WMFD’s “NewsWatch” local newscasts are now in HD, and that means every newscast in the Cleveland TV market is in HD.

The main local newscasts in Cleveland converted long ago, but Mansfield is actually on the far southwest fringe of the Cleveland/Akron (Canton) TV market…


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