A Compact Stack

Sometimes, media news items happen in clusters of three or four, and that makes this blog much easier to write…

NEW CLEVELAND SOUND: The on-air deck is being shuffled at Murray Hill Broadcasting alt-rock/AAA WLFM-LP/87.7 “Cleveland’s Sound”, and the sound you won’t hear anymore is from the station’s original morning host.

Yes, we were scratching our collective heads when the new station, dropped onto the FM dial as a result of the audio of analog TV channel 6, announced a novice as host in radio’s most important timeslot:

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.

Berwick, known only by his first name Archie on the air and also known as “The Black Mr. Rogers”, was a curious fit for a station hoping to gain music-focused listeners set adrift by two stations: WKRK/92.3, the former alt-rock “Radio 92.3” (now sports “92.3 The Fan”), and the former AAA WNWV/107.3 “V107.3” (now smooth AC under Rubber City Radio Group, using its former identity of “107.3 The Wave”).

Archie is out at the Agora, as the station brings in a high-profile Cleveland radio veteran.

He’s Dan Stansbury, best known by his last name as a sidekick to former Clear Channel rock WMMS/100.7 afternoon drive host Maxwell.

Maxwell’s band was broken up when Oak Tree didn’t renew his contract. The show resurfaced for basically a nanosecond in morning drive on CBS Radio classic rock WNCX/98.5.

Stansbury will host “The Stansbury Show” in afternoon drive on WLFM, which displaces “Lyd the Kidd”. But she moves to morning drive (as “Lydia”), and the “Cleveland’s Sound” game of musical chairs means Mr. Berwick is standing up without a chair.

The now-former 87.7 morning host took to Twitter to talk about his departure.

“new station not enough Money & They want to play all alternative archie don’t fit that category. I wasn’t the puzzle piece for the 877 puzzle. Kind of the stepchild that stuck out too much. I worked for you all. The people are my inspiration. So thank you all for being the best boss I ever had.”

And the new entrant in the Agora Radio Sweepstakes, Dan Stansbury, also had comments on social media.

On Facebook, he answered a question others certainly had…about how his new WLFM program would compare to “The Maxwell Show”:

“…it is a complete departure from the Maxwell show. I love and still talk to Max. he’s doing his thing and now it’s time I do mine.”

Maxwell’s current “thing” is as morning driver at still-Merlin Media rock WLUP/97.9 “The Loop” Chicago. The Chicago show is more music intensive, and doesn’t feature any of Maxwell’s Cleveland cast members.

And of course, WMMS itself moved on to air “The Alan Cox Show” in afternoon drive…a move that was more than successful for them.

And to tie this together, former “Alan Cox Show” co-host Chad Zumock will now be on the same station as Stansbury, with his Sunday night program on “87.7 Cleveland’s Sound”.

“The Stansbury Show” starts Friday afternoon at 3 PM. Be sure to fire up your old analog TV sets so you can hear it on Channel 6…

KENNY ON THE FAN: We weren’t taking a lot of bets that former Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN Cleveland” evening-previously-afternoon drive host Kenny Roda would land on WKNR’s competitor, “92.3 The Fan”.

While we still believe he won’t displace any of the station’s weekday hosts, Roda has indeed landed.

What 92.3 midday hosts Andy Baskin and Jeff Phelps called “The Roda Moment” debuted Wednesday on the CBS Radio sports talker. You can hear the first segment here (dubbed “Roda Report”).

Roda will appear on “Baskin and Phelps” each Wednesday at 12:40 PM to talk about a wide variety of sports topics. His first appearance Wednesday was via phone.

The veteran host has not exactly let moss grow under his feet after Good Karma dumped him, Will Burge and T.J. Zuppe in what many believe was a salary dump by the Galleria.

Roda appears (with Baskin) regularly on Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5’s Buckeye post-game coverage, and on the station’s “Dawgs on the Run” online video show…the show is seen on WEWS’ NewsNet5.com and on the WEWS mobile apps very early on Monday mornings.

And of course, we reported earlier that Zuppe landed as a reporter at “92.3 The Fan”, presumably taking the role of Indians beat reporter at least by Spring Training. The pair join former WKNR staffer Chris Fedor on the 92.3 airwaves…

AS SUSPECTED, SAME FORMAT: We considered it somewhat likely that standards WHTX/1570 Warren would return to a former format under the control of former LMA operator/would-be buyer/future owner Nelson Cintron, and it looks like we won the easy bet.

As it did when Cintron took over the station before, an OMW reader in the Mahoning Valley tells us that WHTX has returned to “its R&B format”.

We don’t have to drive to the Valley to guess that Cintron’s Sagittarius Communications is likely using the 24/7 satellite format “The Touch”.

In a legal settlement with now-former WHTX owner and OMW reader Chris Lash, Cintron also gained control of Whiplash Radio’s WYCL/1540 Niles, a daytimer that went off the air due to a host of technical problems.

If Cintron is able to return 1540 to the air, we assume that station will also once again mount the Spanish-language “La Nueva Mia” format it had before.

Our Valley reader tells us that after the WHTX format change, Jack Cory, long-time voice of standards WKTX/830 Cortland, thanked people for listening to “the number-one rated” nostalgia/easy listening station in “all of Northeast Ohio”.

Given market size, perhaps the adult volunteer hosts at Kenston Local School District-owned nostalgia WKHR/91.5 Bainbridge, in the Cleveland market would have something to say about that…

PARKS EXITS: We don’t really cover the Cincinnati market like we used to, but a veteran radio programmer based at Clear Channel talk WLW/700 there is out of a job.

Darryl Parks used to program WLW directly, before he was prompted to Vice President of news/talk programming for the entire Clear Channel chain nationwide.

Even in his new role, Parks was based at WLW’s studios, and even until last week, he hosted the station’s Saturday midday talk show. (You don’t find many corporate VPs doing a Saturday show.)

Parks helped mold original “The Big One” into an even “Bigger One” in his time programming the 50,000 watt flamethrower at 700 in Southwest Ohio.

What happened?

Well, Parks did write a very controversial blog on the WLW site about the FCC’s plans to rehabilitate AM radio.

There’s no confirmation connecting that with his dismissal by Clear Channel Media & Entertainment and Pork Rinds (the latter our own addition), and it could also just have been a budgetary move.

We go into this because when we were trying to cover media statewide from our Northeast Ohio perch, we talked about Parks and WLW a lot.

And at least back then, we understand that Parks was a reader of this very Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), though we expect he dialed back his readership here after we stopped covering his home base on a regular basis…

AND FINALLY…: The changes we’ve teased here are indeed coming, likely in the next week or two.

Again, we aren’t returning to our earlier move of basically limiting the OMW presence to social media.

In fact, this blog will likely grow, with some help we’ll tell you about soon…


8 Responses to A Compact Stack

  1. Jim says:

    Like this format still. Also, saw Al Pawlowski on TV3 doing sports. Wasn’t he formerly on 5?

    • Al’s been on WKYC as long as we can remember. He started sports anchoring on 3, I believe, since he was already in the building…of course, SportsTime Ohio is based in the basement of 13th and Lakeside. (And still is, even with Fox owning it now.)

    • patrick grijak says:

      does al
      still do 3 squares on neon?

  2. patrick grijak says:

    didnt know if neon went to another location on dial. also, when did knr move rome to espn2?

    • Nope, NEON went away entirely, except for “More Sports and Les Levine”…which relocated to Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (Ch. 311/1311 HD),

      Rome’s first hour has been on WWGK/1540 KNR2 (or as we call it, Puny 1540) for a long time now. The other two hours moved over recently to make room for Cleveland Browns Daily (moved to 1-3 PM from 6-7).

      We covered both changes in depth on this blog…search for Jim Rome or NEON in the handy search box…

  3. Russ says:

    Who in NE Ohio is going to be the first to leap to XMAS music?

    93.3 down in Cowlumbus has already taken the plunge.

  4. Juris Girlie says:

    The best morning host on local radio was Archie Berwick. I tried listening since his departure and it sucks. Dumb move, 87.7.

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