Updates And More Updates

In which more is revealed, and new things come out…

WKNR CHANGES: The Semi-Extreme Makeover of Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850” has some more details attached to it.

For that, we thank two people…Good Karma boss Craig Karmazin, and Akron Beacon Journal sportswriter George M. Thomas for writing about Karmazin’s appearance Wednesday afternoon on his station.

And the lineup changes prompted by the dismissal of 21 year veteran Kenny Roda, along with Will Burge and T.J. Zuppe and the essential demotion of Roda’s former co-host, Michael Reghi, become clear.

Here’s your new “ESPN 850” schedule:

6 AM-3 PM: Unchanged, with ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning”, “The Really Big Show” with Tony Rizzo and the newly moved “Cleveland Browns Daily” in their current time slots.

3-6 PM: “The Hooligans” retains Bruce Hooley, but replaces Greg Brinda with former football star and former “3 Deep” co-host Je’Rod Cherry, along with that show’s Emmitt Golden.

Notice that we said the WKNR schedule was unchanged after 6 AM, as Mark “Munch” Bishop moves from his pre-“Mike and Mike” time slot at 5 AM, to a new show from 6-8 PM.

And after that, according to Thomas?

Game-related programming will fill the prime-time hours until Greg Brinda, once part of The Hooligans, returns to late evenings to host postgame coverage related to the Indians and Cavs.

So, it’s not quite a total retreat from local evening programming, though we’d honestly expect a lot of ESPN Radio between Bishop’s 8 PM signoff and whenever the game Brinda’s covering ends.

And we do still believe it’s budget related, and nothing in the changed lineup will dissuade that thought.

For one, three people are totally gone from the Galleria, and station management admits they won’t be immediately replaced.

“Munch” is already (presumably) under contract with the station, and is just moving into the evening hours from pre-dawn duty.

For that matter, Brinda and Reghi are still (presumably) under contract, even with their now-reduced roles.

But, the station has set Kenny Roda free, and also saves money by not paying Zuppe or Burge. And there’s no attempt to regularly fill the 9 PM-midnight “Cleveland Sports Night” time slot, except by whatever post-game shows Brinda airs. (For that matter, even Bishop is only slated for two of the three hours formerly filled by “3 Deep”.)

And again, how much DID Good Karma pay to nab the AM side of the Cleveland Browns contract? We honestly don’t know, but would love to make the comparison.

Both Burge and Zuppe indicate (via Twitter) that they’ll be back soon, which could well have them following former WKNR type Chris Fedor in some part-time/weekend role with CBS Radio sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan”.

But we haven’t heard about any impending hiring of any of the three former WKNR personalities at the Halle Building (or anywhere else). And there would appear to be no room in a full-time role for Roda, either at “The Fan” or elsewhere…though, as always, we could be wrong…

NO STAN GONE, YET: Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 “The Talk of Akron” morning mainstay Stan Piatt is still on the station, and still in Akron.

But really…don’t expect that to last for THAT much longer.

OMW hears from basically all over the Akron market that the question isn’t IF Stan Piatt is leaving, but WHEN.

We hear the Klaus Brothers – WNIR managers Bill and Bob Klaus – are pulling out all the stops to get Stan to stay…through 2013.

But no matter what those stops are, it appears that Piatt will eventually leave Northeast Ohio for a new life in Pittsburgh, likely away from the radio microphone…for personal happiness.

And since we’re talking personal life issues and not a contract/money dispute here, there doesn’t appear to be anything the folks at Broadcast Park can do about it…

NEW WZAK’ER: The departure of afternoon drive syndicated host Michael Baisden left a big hole in the lineup of Radio One urban AC WZAK/93.1.

We hadn’t seen detailed ratings, but we’ve always heard that Baisden did very well for WZAK…and presumably Skip Murphy, Reach Media’s replacement for Baisden, wasn’t the answer.

Maybe D.L. Hughley is that answer.

WZAK welcomes the comedian/actor to its lineup Monday…he’ll replace Murphy nationwide in the former Baisden time slot.

WZAK’s Sam Sylk interviewed Hughley, and you can hear that interview on the station’s website.

Hughley is no stranger to radio, having done mornings at WRKS in New York City (now ESPN Radio’s WEPN) for about a year…on a show that was intended for national syndication.

You might remember him from the sitcom “The Hughleys”, which aired on ABC from 1998 to 2000, then moved to UPN until it was cancelled in 2002…

NEW CLEVELAND SOUND: The hybrid FM/TV station programming a combination of alt-rock and adult alternative music known as “Cleveland’s Sound” has a new programmer directing that sound.

All Access reports that he’s Ryan Benes, late of CBS Radio and Clear Channel who joined Murray Hill Broadcasting’s WLFM-LP/87.7 (TV 6) as production director at its launch.

As OMW readers already know, Benes replaces Kim Monroe…and as All Access reports, he’s backed up by new music director “Bull”, the alt-rock veteran who has been heard middays on “Cleveland’s Sound”. “Lyd the Kid” took the WLFM afternoon drive slot once occupied by Rachel Steele…

WHLO CHANGES: Clear Channel Akron/Canton talk WHLO/640 morning news anchor John Amhrein has left the building.

CC regional operations manager and OMW reader Keith Kennedy confirmed the news as a comment on an earlier OMW item:

John Amhrein left to focus on his growing computer business. He had been burning the candle at both ends for some time.

We believe the business in question is Stark Laptops…and we may just buy one from John.

To put in the books what we weren’t around to talk about when it happened: WHLO, after having moved the WPGB/104.7-based syndicated “Quinn and Rose” show from morning drive to middays, and back again to mornings when Jim Albright’s local show moved to 9 AM shortly after the death of WNIR’s Howie Chizek, took “Q&R” off the air entirely last month.

The short explanation out of Freedom Avenue? “Quinn and Rose”, while great to work with, weren’t performing in the ratings and revenue department on WHLO.

The station points web readers to the WPGB website, and the iHeartRadio apps, for those who miss the show.

WHLO replaced “Q&R” with the syndicated “Wall Street Journal This Morning”….

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One Response to Updates And More Updates

  1. Jim Nuznoff says:

    I am waiting for the day that WHLO hires a morning news anchor who doesn’t sport a ‘nasal’ voice. The last two, including John A. fit that description. Was nice when he was off and Tom Moore, et. al. filled in for him. Come on folks, there are dozens of journalism graduates with $100k + student debt that would love to have a job with a CHANCE to pay off their Proenza (who continues to pocket a half a mil a year-what a job, eh?) debt with a news gig. Could even be a woman WITHOUT a nasal delivery.

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