From TV To FM Radio

And it’s mostly an FM thing this time…but let’s start with some TV…

DR. GONE: Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 made a big deal out of its choice to replace Oprah Winfrey at 4 PM, when the queen of TV talk left the over-air airwaves for her own “OWN” – “Oprah Winfrey Network”.

Dr. Mehmet Oz from the Oprah Universe, who had already been airing on WEWS at 10 AM weekdays, would air also at 4…with the later edition being his “newest” show, and the 10 AM airing a repeat from a week earlier.

“Dr. Oz” is no longer practicing TV medicine on Channel 5 at 4 PM, in an abrupt move made a while back.

We noticed it when we turned to WEWS a couple of weeks ago, and found two airings of the half-hour video clip show “RightThisMinute”. The show has aired at various times on Channel 5 in the past.

Why so abrupt a change?

Maybe the folks at 3001 Euclid were tired of “Dr. Oz”‘s sagging ratings, and for that matter, were worried about its effect on NewsChannel 5’s “Live on Five” at 5 PM…a show that we hear has definitely seen better ratings days. You could well say the same for the station’s “Good Morning Cleveland”.

As the folks at 3001 Euclid are fond of doing, “Live on Five” has undergone tweaking…that apparently isn’t helping the ratings.

We’re told that “RightThisMinute” isn’t really improving things so far in the former “Dr. Oz” slot, though it is early. (“RTM” is owned by a consortium including Scripps, and WOIO/19-WUAB/43 owner Raycom Media.)

“Dr. Oz” continues on WEWS in its original 10 AM time slot, and according to listings, also airs at 1:37 AM…

GRACE FINALLY MAKES IT: Shortly after Akron’s Rubber City Radio Group bought WNWV/107.3 and returned it to its historic “Wave” identity, back in early 2012, we noticed a new staff member:

Also aboard the new “Wave” is Grace Roberts, who started her career at the station (under Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting ownership, of course), and eventually became a mainstay at Radio One urban AC WZAK/93.1 and gospel WJMO/1300.

There was only one problem with our item.

Despite the fact that Rubber City even added Grace to its new website, she never actually took the job at WNWV…choosing, we heard later, to stay with Radio One instead.

It turns out the announcement of Grace joining the Wave was about a year and nine months premature, as Roberts does indeed now join the “107.3 The Wave” staff…really.

From AllAccess:

RUBBER CITY RADIO GROUP Smooth AC WNWV (107.3 THE WAVE) has named GRACE ROBERTS as its new Community Affairs Director. ROBERTS will also join the WAVE MORNING SHOW team, with longtime host DAN DEELY beginning OCTOBER 28th.

Roberts tells the AllAccess folks that she’s followed Deely’s career over the years, and says it’s an honor to be working with him.

As we noted in the first item, Grace Roberts is well known for her stint as WZAK’s long-time overnighter, and her work in middays at sister gospel WJMO…and started her career at the first incarnation of WNWV under Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting’s ownership…

NEW WKSU PD: Kent State University public outlet WKSU/89.7-and-its-many-simulcasters has named a new program director. She’s Ele Ellis, who comes to the Kent-based station from WUGA in Athens GA.

Quoting WKSU executive director Dan Skinner in a release sent to us by (say it with us!) long-time personal and professional Friend of OMW Ann VerWiebe, the station’s marketing/public relations guru:

“We feel very fortunate to have Ele on board to help lead the station into an undiscovered public radio future. Her knowledge of programming – including news, classical music and even folk music – and her obvious love of public radio makes her an ideal fit for WKSU.”

Yes, “even folk music”, as Ellis rose from show host to program director of AAA/Americana/variety WNCW in Spindale NC. She hosted the bluegrass program “Goin’ Across The Mountain”.

WNCW is well-known in public radio circles for its music, and covers a wide swath of the Asheville NC and western North Carolina area, with translators in Charlotte and other cities.

WUGA’s schedule appears much like WKSU’s, before it added news/talk programming in middays…

THIS IS NPR: If you spend even a little time listening to WKSU and other NPR stations, you probably can hear the voice in your head…”This is NPR”, which used to be followed by “National Public Radio”.

That voice was Frank Tavares, who intoned the above and read thousands of underwriting announcements from his Connecticut home for three decades.

The public radio giant announced this week that a female voice will replace Tavares on the air, Sabrina Farhi.

From NPR’s press release, quoted on Jim Romenesko’s site.

Listeners will begin to hear Farhi’s own articulation of “Support for NPR comes from…” in November, as she reminds audiences of the multitude of Member stations, corporations and institutions who contribute funding to NPR and public radio.

But the little reported news involves those NPR online sponsor credits, which, according to the public media trade publication “Current”, were voiced by someone within the OMW Coverage Area:

Joe Gunderman, a production coordinator at WKSU in Kent, Ohio, and an announcer of NPR’s digital sponsorship credits, will also be replaced. Gunderman and Tavares were invited to apply for the new position, according to NPR.

And to complete the WKSU part of this story, of course, NPR VP/programming Eric Nuzum is an alumnus of the local station as well, starting his career as a student employee, and later becoming one of Ellis’ predecessors as program director…

AND ONE MORE ON WKSU: And believe it or not, this one didn’t come from (see above).

We were stumbling across the FCC databases tonight when we found an application earlier this year for a WKSU translator in Mansfield.

The 22 watt signal at 95.1 would not be a powerhouse, but would restore NPR news/talk programming to much of Mansfield that lost it when Ohio State University’s WOSU-FM decided to mount the station’s all-classical service (based at newly acquired WOSA/101.1 “Classical 101” Grove City/Columbus) on WOSV in that Mid-Ohio city.

The proposed Mansfield translator lists WKSU’s nearest full-power repeater signal, WKRW/89.3 Wooster, as its intended primary.

WKSU also operates 80 watt W239AZ/95.7 in Ashland, another translator that doesn’t made it to the heart of Mansfield.

The WKSU translator in Boardman in Mahoning County is now off the air, and has disappeared from all databases…


UPDATE And The New WNIR Morning Host(s) Are…

UPDATE 10/23/13 9:57 AM: It has been officially announced on WNIR…Chris Fox and Angela Bellios will join the WNIR morning show on Monday.

We presume that Fox is the former WDOK/102.1 afternoon driver who left in 2007. We do know Bellios is the former WKDD/98.1 morning co-host who eventually landed at WHBC-FM/94.1.

In a news story running on WNIR right now, station manager Bill Klaus is quoted as saying Chris and Angela “bring a strong background in Northeast Ohio radio”, and will indeed join news director Phil Ferguson and sports director Steve French on the new show starting Monday…


…we don’t know, yet.

But we’re pretty sure we’re the only local media types who didn’t get an E-mail tonight from WNIR/100.1 station manager Bill Klaus, saying the recipient didn’t get the morning drive gig, or gigs, at the “Talk of Akron”…replacing Stan Piatt…and also, it seems, Maggie Fuller.

At least two auditioners have posted that Klaus said “some long time radio pros” have been hired for the opening(s) that saw a number of both radio pros and comedians heard on WNIR, after Piatt abruptly started retirement a bit early.

Who isn’t in?

So far, we’ve heard on social media from Mike Novak, Chad Zumock, Jeff Blanchard and Sally Ride that they’re on the “didn’t get it” list, and that’s just a start. Another check of our social media accounts will probably reveal more.

The official “sorry” notes from Bill Klaus probably stem from the station’s search for a replacement for iconic late midday host Howie Chizek, where veteran personality Jeff Kinzbach basically had to call out the Ohio State Highway Patrol to confirm that the station no longer needed him to audition, having hired John “Couch Burner” Denning after he spent 25 years on the other end of (330) 673-1234 from Howie.

(Kinzbach, of course, ended up at Rubber City Radio rock WONE/97.5 as its morning host, where no regular caller edged him out of the job.)

So, this item will be updated when we learn the actual names…and from the above, it does appear to be plural, suggesting a return to a four person morning show.

And yes, we’ve confirmed that Novak, who got 5 days worth of auditions alongside incumbent WNIR morning co-hosts Phil Ferguson and Steve French, and a couple of days also with former WKDD/98.1 co-host Angela Bellios, is indeed “Ike the Night Guy”, who left Rubber City Radio country WQMX/94.9 in 2009…

More Than Just A Twitter Recap

We’re catching up again.

But a sudden, unexpected amount of free time means this is much more than a recap of what we’ve posted on social media. It’s really an old style OMW blog post…

DARREN TOMS EXITS OAK TREE: Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland news director Darren Toms is heading out of the building for a non-radio job. He’ll be the first Director of Community Outreach for the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

Darren’s last day at Oak Tree will be October 28th. The opening caused by his departure is posted on Clear Channel’s career site.

CHANNEL 3 MOVES: We already told you about local TV news veteran Jack Marschall joining the folks at 13th and Lakeside as a freelance reporter. There are other changes at Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 as well.

Kristin Anderson rejoins Channel 3 News as a reporter – er, multimedia journalist. Her husband John was recently moved to the station’s “Channel 3 Today” morning show alongside meteorologist/co-host Hollie Strano.

Reporter Stephanie Coueignoux is leaving for Florida. She tells OMW:

I’ve met so many incredible people during my time here. I leave with everyone in my heart!

She exits October 23rd.

Danielle Wiggins, winner of the station’s “Traffic Tryouts” contest, becomes WKYC’s morning traffic reporter. But, she’s not entirely without broadcast experience, according to Frank Macek’s “Director’s Cut” blog:

Wiggins most recently produced the Regina Brett Show at WKSU-FM/89.7 FM.

And thank you again to long-time Friend of OMW Ann VerWiebe, WKSU’s marketing guru, who told us about Danielle’s new job in a comment we just found and approved. We do owe Ann at least one “Ann’s Corner”, and more.

Frank Macek also notes two off-air departures from WKYC: technician Bob Keyes, retiring after a nearly 30 year run, and 11 PM executive producer Jennifer Nickels, who takes a similar job at Raycom NBC affiliate WAVE-TV/3 in Louisville KY…

A SLIGHT GHOULARDIFEST MOVE: Yes, local and national TV legend Tim Conway is still coming to this year’s “Ghoulardifest”.

But the time on Saturday, November 2nd has changed due to changes in Tim’s travel plans…he’ll be there at 2 PM that day, as opposed to the earlier announced time of 10 AM.

The Northeast Ohio native, who was born in Willoughby and grew up in Chagrin Falls, worked alongside “Ghoulardi” himself, Ernie Anderson at then CBS affiliate WJW/8…coming over from then-KYW/3 (today’s WKYC).

Conway will be interviewed on-stage by another Northeast Ohio native, Dan O’Shannon, executive producer of ABC’s hit comedy “Modern Family”.

The 2013 edition of “Ghoulardifest”, as usual, includes Anderson’s successors at WJW – “Big Chuck” Schodowski, Bob “Hoolihan” Wells (an OMW reader) and “Lil’ John” Rinaldi – and many more.

“Ghoulardifest” has moved this year, to the LaVilla Banquet and Conference center at 11500 Brookpark Road. It’ll be held November 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Many more details are here.

And it may just be coincidence that as we write this, “McHale’s Navy” is airing on the 8.2 “Antenna TV” subchannel of Tim Conway’s old station, WJW….

CHAD’S BACK ON THE RADIO: Chad Zumock, who was bounced from his gig on Clear Channel rock/talk WMMS/100.7’s “Alan Cox Show” after, uh, off-air problems (search our archives for more), is back on the radio again…at least once a week.

Chad will be heard Sundays at 9 PM on “Sunday Nights with Chad Zumock”, on Murray Hill alt-rock/AAA WLFM-LP/87.7 “Cleveland’s Sound”. (Or, for you old school people rocking an analog tuner on your TV, Channel 6.)

The station’s announcement of Zumock’s new hour-long weekly show is here.

We believe the Sunday night show will feature selections from Zumock’s podcast, which can also be heard on his website.

The show premieres on “Cleveland’s Sound” at 9 PM on October 20th, which if you’re reading this on Sunday, is tonight. The first guest is Cleveland Cavaliers player C.J. Miles…

Early Tuesday Compilation

Here goes…

WNIR TRYOUTS: Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 “The Talk of Akron” brings in two radio pros Tuesday morning alongside Steve French and Phil Ferguson: Mike Novak (ex-WQMX) and Angela Bellios (ex-WKDD, WHBC-FM). Novak has been on for a few days now, as WNIR seeks to replace Stan Piatt. Maybe they won’t hire a comedian as expected? Bringing in Angela Bellios may be a sign that they keep the composition of the old show, and actually replace Maggie Fuller as well as Stan…

WE HARDLY KNEW HIM: Clear Channel top 40 WAKS/96.5 “Kiss FM” night voicetracker Jackson Blue is out at Boston’s “Kiss 108”. He’s presumably out at WAKS as well. Our title for this item comes from a brief Twitter conversation we had with Mr. Blue, when we mentioned his presence on the local “Kiss FM”…

WHERE’S DR. OZ?: The popular TV doctor is still on at 10 AM on Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5, but there’s a big Dr. Oz sized hole at 4 PM. “NewsChannel 5” had added Dr. Oz to its news lead-in slot with much fanfare, keeping him on at 10 AM as well – a repeat of a previous week’s 4 PM show. But listings this week and beyond show what we saw Monday, the video clip show “RightThisMinute” on at 4…

MARRIED AND TOGETHER ON AIR AGAIN: We also haven’t noted the re-hiring of Kristin Anderson as a reporter at Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3, (re)joining her husband John Anderson at 13th and Lakeside (John is now anchoring the station’s morning show with Hollie Strano). The always reliable Frank Macek, WKYC senior director, has more on his “Director’s Cut” blog

Friday Morning Data Dump

Or, late Thursday night, if you prefer, as we can’t sleep…for reasons having nothing to do with OMW…

THE WNIR DRAMA: A MUST READ for anyone interested in recent WNIR events, by former local newspaper columnist Stuart Warner in one of his old newspaper haunts, the Akron Beacon Journal via Retired WNIR morning man Stan Piatt opens up to Warner about how his exit from the station was handled. The details are (nearly) identical to unconfirmed rumblings we’ve heard for months now. It’s what we’d have wrote if we were able to confirm. By the way, since Stan Piatt opened up on his situation…no, the “love of his life” is not a now-former or current WNIR employee. She has no ties to Broadcast Park. The piece was posted Wednesday night on, but we just saw the link early this Friday morning. The Warner piece provides an E-mail address for Piatt, for those wishing to contact him directly…

FRIEND OF OMW APPLIES: Good luck to former Rubber City Radio country WQMX/94.9 staffer George McFly, as he applies for the opening at CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1 “New 102” left by the departure of “Kory” to Dallas…

NOT FAST ENOUGH: Twitter follower @StevenArmatas: “Any update on when FOX8 will move to UHF so we can get an HD antenna signal down here in Canton?” Our response: “Everything’s on hold as FCC is closed in government shutdown. Don’t hold your breath on Fox 8 moving to UHF, tho. WJW’s app to move to UHF 31 may have been too late, as FCC seeks to repack TV stations below 31 to make room for data services.”

An Experimental Blog Post

We’ve received a very mixed response to our “move” to social media.

While we’ve received a flood of new Twitter followers, others are openly hostile to that being the only outlet for Ohio Media Watch. And hostile may not be a strong enough a word.

So, we’ll try this: copying and editing our Twitter posts to a blog post, without all the responses, tags and whatnot.


CRONAUER BACK TO RADIO, STILL ON TV: Joe Cronauer is now PM drive at Salem CCMer 95.5 The Fish. Still on WKYC, too, burning both ends of the broadcast day…

MOVING TO DALLAS: WDOK/102.1 Cleveland “New 102″‘s Kory heads for Dallas, for afternoon drive at KVIL/103.7…

NEXTMEDIA SOLD: WHBC/1480 and WHBC-FM/94.1 Canton and 31 other NextMedia stations to be sold to Dean Goodman’s Digity: RadioInsight If Dean Goodman’s name sounds familiar, there’s a reason. He was once lined up to buy hundreds of Clear Channel small/med market stations…

TIM CONWAY TO CLEVELAND: Tim Conway will appear at Ghoulardifest at 10 AM Sat. Nov. 2nd. Doors open one hour early to get everyone in place. Ghoulardifest moves this year, to the La Villa Conference and Banquet Center at 11500 Brookpark Rd. Tim Conway will be interviewed on stage by Dan O’Shannon, executive producer of ABC’s “Modern Family”…

The Move

As explained below, for now, all Ohio Media Watch activity will take place on our social media presence (Twitter/Facebook).

The domain is forwarding to our Twitter page, which you can see here:

As a reminder and clarification, you do NOT HAVE TO JOIN TWITTER to read that page. There is a sign in link and a “Follow” area, but you can just ignore them if you aren’t on Twitter, or don’t want to be on Twitter. Just read the page that comes up.

When/if this blog returns in its original form, you’ll see the link to the announcement on that page, and will be set to no longer forward to the Twitter page.

Again, you don’t have to be a member of Twitter, you don’t have to sign up or follow us on Twitter, just read the page that comes up…

–The Management