Chuck’s Head

Tuesday was an ordinary day, sort of, for Rubber City Radio Group operations director Chuck Collins.

He made his way to the station’s West Market Street studios in Akron’s Wallhaven area, and was heard on oldies/news WAKR/1590’s “Ray Horner Morning Show”.

Ordinary, except did we mention that Chuck had brain surgery just a couple of weeks ago?

Thus, it was hugs all around at the Akron Radio Center, where Chuck is also program director and midday host at WAKR. (Photo courtesy: Facebook, WAKR “Ray Horner Morning Show” producer Tony McGinty.)

We’ll let Chuck, a long-time Friend of OMW dating back to his days writing his mystery novels under the pen name of Elmer Polk, tell the story of how he realized he had to get medical attention:

In early March something happened that should have gotten my attention: I was standing in a small studio we have and an odd sensation came over me. The best way I can describe it is the left side of my body seemed to spring a leak and all the normal sensations vanished. There was no weakness, it was not numbness in the traditional sense. I knew what to check for symptoms of a stroke and there was none of that. All I knew was that something was not right.

After starting treatment for high blood pressure, Chuck and his doctors knew it was something more…and that led to an MRI, then to the removal of a brain tumor at an Akron hospital.

In addition to the time spent with his radio colleagues Tuesday, Chuck Collins also talked with Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 “NewsChannel 5” Akron journalist Joe McGee:

Collins had an MRI and it revealed a tumor the size of three stacked Eisenhower silver dollars in the right side of his brain.

A large scar on the side of his head, still stapled together, is a reminder of what he has been through.

Ever the radio showman, Collins brought along three Eisenhower silver dollars to the Ray Horner Show to demonstrate the size of the tumor.

You can follow along with Collins’ extended blog on his recent journey on his “Chuck Collins Mysteries” book site.

And as for the popular Akron and Cleveland radio veteran…he tells NewsChannel 5’s McGee that he plans to return to work in a limited capacity on August 19th.

On air on WAKR, rock WONE/97.5 program director Tim Daugherty has returned to the 1590 airwaves filling in for Collins on his midday show.

Collins had been scheduled to fill in for Horner last week, a role that was taken instead by Rubber City VP/information media and long-time OMW reader Ed Esposito.

And Chuck showed a sense of humor about the whole thing on Horner’s show, quipping at the end: “Don’t worry about me. It’s like it’s an extended vacation, with staples in the head.”


Rover And Kidd And Dave

A status update, first…Life is Intervening(tm) much less than it was, and we should be back to more regular blog updates soon.

We’re still mulling around a regular schedule, but for now…let’s delve in…

ROVER’S NEW GLORY: As posted below this, Clear Channel rock/talk WMMS/100.7 morning doggie Rover has been in the legal doghouse as of late.

But instead of his court schedule being on the TV news, the man known on his driver’s license as Shane French is getting attention for something much more positive.

The show’s annual “RoverFest”, which again drew thousands to Cleveland’s Voinovich Park, drew one visitor who got national attention…Amanda Berry.

Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight are known worldwide for surviving 10 years being held captive in a West Side home, then escaping to safety.

Two days after the womens’ now admitted captor accepted a plea agreement that basically gives him a “life-plus” sentence (1000 years), Amanda decided to enjoy herself at “RoverFest”.

Here’s the video, from the Rover Radio YouTube channel:

Beaming throughout, Berry’s appearance – apparently not scripted by the show or Rover in advance – got positive reviews.

And yes, if you believe Rover talking to the Plain Dealer’s John Caniglia on Monday, Amanda Berry’s RoverFest visit was unplanned:

Shane French, who uses the Rover tag for morning drive-time show, said he had mentioned on-air in the weeks leading up to RoverFest that the three women should go to the show to enjoy themselves. About 6 p.m. Saturday, three security guards told him that Berry was at the show.

“I was as surprised as anyone,” he said.

He said he asked a family member if Berry would want to go on stage. The cousin, however, said no. He asked Berry if it would be OK to tell the crowd that she was there.

“She asked me, ‘If I go out there, will you if you go with me?’ I said, ‘Sure. We can bring your family and friends, too,’ ” he said.

After her appearance, Berry returned after being called upon by rapper Nelly, dancing with her sister.

How is the RoverFest appearance going with her attorney? Caniglia has a quote:

“She looked happy,” said her attorney James Wooley. “She went to a concert. That’s it. People are asking me if she is breaking her reclusiveness. There’s nothing to it. She’s happy. She had a huge smile. And I loved seeing it.”

The day after RoverFest, Gina DeJesus and her mother talked to Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 reporter Stephanie Ramirez about a newly constructed privacy fence at their Cleveland home.

It appears that with the fate of their captor being sealed, at least two of the women he held captive have made moves to get their lives back….

KIDD PASSES: The big news nationally in the radio business is the unfortunate passing over the weekend of nationally syndicated morning host Kidd Kraddick, whose YEA Networks show airs on dozens of stations from its Dallas-area studio, near flagship station Clear Channel top 40 KHKS/106.1 “Kiss FM”.

The Dallas Morning News reports that it appears Kraddick died of cardiac disease, an enlarged heart according to a preliminary autopsy by an area coroner.

Kraddick, according to his Wikipedia page born in Northwest Ohio (Napoleon, outside Toledo), never had a huge presence on the radio in the Buckeye State.

A quick check of our archives places him in the past on the old top 40 WZOO/102.5 “102 Zoo” in Ashtabula, and on Cumulus top 40 WTWR/98.3 Luna Pier MI/Toledo. (102.5 is now Media One Group classic hits “Magic Oldies 102.5”, and WTWR is now AC WMIM “My 98.3”, aiming at Toledo’s Michigan suburbs.)

But make no mistake…David “Kidd” Kraddick, who died while attending a charity golf tournament in New Orleans on Saturday, made a huge impression on the radio industry as a whole.

Saturday on various Twitter feeds and Facebook pages, and in media stories covering reaction to his death, it was clear that Kidd Kraddick was a talented, hard working air personality who went the extra mile to make life better for children facing terminal illness (“Kidd’s Kids”)…

DAVE’S MOVE: We’ve probably received two dozen questions about this, and only put this here to end the questions.

Yes, we’re well aware of the involuntary departure of host/producer Dave Ramos from Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100.

We have heard numerous stories about “what happened”, but can verify very few of them.

About all we’re willing to say is that his departure comes amid rumblings that he may not have seen eye to eye with some of his colleagues at Oak Tree, particularly elsewhere in the cluster.

We reported earlier on Twitter that we hear Ramos has landed, as a part-time “20/20” sports update anchor at CBS Radio sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan”, but we haven’t heard him there yet…

Partial Quick Hits

Partial, we’re calling it, because this brief update has a lot of items and many we missed.

Look for more whenever, however we can get a Round Tuit(tm)…

LAW AND ORDER, MEDIA DIVISION: No, we’re not talking about the Dick Wolf series of TV procedurals (clung, clung!).

It’s Cleveland’s Own version, with a number of media personalities getting on the wrong side of the law. Let’s update what we know so far.

ROVER’S BACK OVER: Clear Channel talk/rock WMMS/100.7 morning chien Shane “Rover” French came back to his doghouse, just days after being in another such place…a Cleveland courtroom, where the ringmaster of “Rover’s Morning Glory” had his first appearance on a charge of felonious assault.

The charge comes from an allegation that Rover, and show contributor Michael “Chocolate Charlie” Toomey, got on the wrong side of an off-duty police officer at a yacht club at Cleveland’s Whiskey Island in the early morning hours of July 5th. The alleged confrontation reportedly involved late night fireworks and inebriation.

Rover returned to “RMG” on Monday morning, and made a brief, impromptu statement which you can view right here, courtesy of’s YouTube presence:

Rover said that “the allegations are absolutely absurd, ridiculous, and not based in fact whatsoever. And in fact, if these charges weren’t so serious, it would be comical. But, it is very serious and I’m taking the matter very seriously”.

The WMMS morning host urged listeners to “resist” the temptation to judge his case, and says he’s 100% sure he’ll prevail “when all the facts come out”…noting that his lawyers made interviews and there’s surveillance video out there.

After all that, the show returned to its usual rotation of items like “Hook-up Hotties” and comedians unclothed on the show couch, but we digress.

KENNY’S BACK: “Fox 8 News In The Morning” reporter Kenny Crumpton returned to “Kickin’ It With Kenny” on Local TV-to-be-Tribune Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8” on July 4th week.

Kenny’s been “Kickin’ It” with things like ice cream, not beer.

We can’t find the current status of Kenny’s OVI case…and see below for details on the initial arrest…

CHUCK’S NOT: OMW hears that you can pretty much call it “Chuck’s Last Call” for sportscaster Chuck Galeti’s SportsTime Ohio program.

Though we don’t believe Fox Sports/STO has made an official announcement, we hear that Galeti is getting his off-air life together…and we wish him much success…

CLASSIC CLEVELAND: SiriusXM’s “Classic Vinyl” channel has gained two Northeast Ohio radio veterans.

Former CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1 midday icon Nancy Alden and alt-rock radio mainstay Rachel Steele (most recently afternoon driver at Murray Hill alt-rock/AAA WLFM-LP 87.7 “Cleveland’s Sound”) are now staffing the satellite radio channel from its studios at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The connection presumably would be Kim Monroe, former programmer of former CBS Radio alt-rock WKRK/92.3 “Xtreme Radio (etc.)”, now the company’s FM sports outlet “92.3 The Fan”…and 92.3 was the former radio home of Ms. Steele (and WDOK is in the same building, the Halle Building).

OMW hears (but hasn’t officially confirmed) that Monroe has left her gig at WLFM, and that would presumably be proven by her removal of that station on social media profiles and her abrupt ceasing of 87.7 related updates after July 9th.

Monroe’s Twitter profile now lists her as programmer/host at “Classic Vinyl”.

RIK LEAVES: NextMedia hot AC WHBC-FM/94.1 morning co-host Rik Elliott is leaving for Utica NY, according to AllAccess.

He tells the trade site: “I have been hired to do afternoons and handle Production Director duties at GALAXY COMMUNICATIONS Classic Rock WOUR. My first day is JULY 29th.”

SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: We don’t really have time to get into this, so here’s a link to Beacon Journal columnist Bob Dyer’s follow up on what really was (initially) a contest mess up.

The aforementioned WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1″ gave away tickets and a luxury package to the Bon Jovi show at Cleveland Browns…er, FirstEnergy Stadium. You know, the one that was cancelled shortly after it was announced due to weak ticket sales.

Sarah Harkness won the deluxe package, including VIP treatment…but when the concert went away, WHBC-FM told her basically to go pound salt…”Mix” programmer John Stewart was quoted by Dyer as saying:

“How am I going to create a show?” he responded. “I can’t create something. It wasn’t any fault of my own.”

The “creation”, after Dyer shone the spotlight on Harkness and the concert giveaway, was to fly Harkness to Chicago for VIP treatment at a Bon Jovi concert there…smoothing over her frustration with the station.

Other winners of the Cleveland-was-not-to-be Bon Jovi concert tickets got Cleveland Browns tickets instead…

COUGAR UP: An OMW reader reports that South Shore Broadcasting’s WQGR/93.7 North Madison has ended stunting, put up regular programming (presumably the Top 40 mix promised earlier), and has launched its website.

Media One Group, which owns a cluster of Ashtabula stations, will operate “Cougar 93.7” from that strip mall in Mentor we showed you earlier…reportedly, moving in studios for sister station WREO/97.1 “Mix 97.1” or “Star” or whatever they’re calling it this week…

SANDUSKY SOLD: That was the headline in our E-mail this afternoon, but no, the home city of Cedar Point wasn’t on the auction block.

It’s Sandusky Radio, which operates stations in Phoenix and Seattle, which sold to Minnesota-based Hubbard Broadcasting.

We only mention it here because Sandusky Radio (with no Ohio broadcast holdings) has been part of the Sandusky Newspapers empire, which started way back in that small Northern Ohio city – and still operates the Sandusky Register and associated digital properties…

L’Affaire Rover

So, it’s been a season for local media personalities to get into trouble with the law.

Just below this item, we shared news of OVI charges against two of them – sportscaster Chuck Galeti, still off SportsTime Ohio, and reporter Kenny Crumpton, seen this past week back once again “Kickin’ It With Kenny” on Local TV LLC Fox affiliate WJW/8’s “Fox 8 News in the Morning”.

(Oh, and as a brief mention, WJW and the other Local TV LLC stations are being sold to Tribune. More on that, some other time.)

And then came Rover. Boy, then came Rover.

The radio host known off-air as Shane French, ringmaster of “Rover’s Morning Glory” on Clear Channel rock/talk WMMS/100.7 (and at least one other station in Rochester NY), comes along to make us say “Chuck did what? Kenny had a huh?”.

A late night session with homemade fireworks at Whiskey Island early Friday morning, and yes, fueled with alcohol, got Rover in major trouble with the law.

Here’s the basics from a Friday Plain Dealer/ article by Michael Sangiacomo:

(French and another man) are accused of shooting fireworks at an off-duty police officer, shoving him and running away when he tried to arrest them, according to the Cleveland Police report on the incident.

The article says the two men were “highly intoxicated”, according to the off-duty officer, Steven Kinas, making it an alcohol-fueled Trouble Trifecta for recent news about local media personalities.

(Well, possibly involving four media personalities, assuming the other man involved is a cast member of the “RMG” variety.)

As we update this, very early Saturday, the PD article says French is still in jail. Cleveland court records say he’s due for arraignment on a felonious assault charge in just a few hours from now.

Wow. We’re going to need some time to digest this one.

And we’re going to need even more time to even start to speculate on what this means for Rover and his career.

This would certainly be a test for Clear Channel, which sent Chad Zumock packing from WMMS’ afternoon drive powerhouse, “The Alan Cox Show”, after an OVI case.

Then again, there’s sidekick/co-host Chad Zumock and then there’s Shane “Rover” French, the station’s most prominent personality.

For now, we’ll watch the case make its way through the legal system…