Posting To The Holidays

This will be the last regular news post of 2012, barring any major (and we mean major) Northeast Ohio media news. We’ll continue to put breaking media bulletins and other observations on the OMW Social Media Presence(tm) (uh, our Twitter and Facebook accounts).

May all of our readers have a very happy holiday season, and we’ll see you in January…but, until then…

AL BARTHOLET’S REPLACEMENT: Kent State University public radio outlet WKSU/89.7-and-its-many-simulcasters has found its replacement for retiring general manager Al Bartholet.

Dan Skinner

Daniel E. Skinner comes in from San Antonio-based Texas Public Radio, where he’s been president and general manager for the past six years.

Skinner has been in public radio for 32 years, with 20 years of general manager experience.

Quoting a release sent our way from (you knew it was coming!) long-time personal and professional Friend of OMW Ann VerWiebe:

Based in San Antonio, TPR operates KSTX FM, an award-winning news and information station; KPAC FM, a classical music station; and KTXI FM, a news and classical music station in the Texas Hill Country.

Previously, he was department head and general manager of Purdue University’s WBAA AM & FM (1992-2006); program manager and then manager of internal operations and programming for Ball State University’s WBST (1987-1992); and operations manager and then program director for Hutchinson Community College’s KHCC (1980-1987).

Skinner is a longtime advocate for public radio. He has been a member of Public Radio in Mid-America (PRIMA) since 1995 and is its current vice president. The organization serves as a forum on issues in public radio, advances the public radio industry and its services, and offers numerous professional-development opportunities.

He was also vice chair of the Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations, a statewide consortium of public television and radio stations, and served on its executive committee.

Skinner takes over the general manager’s chair at WKSU on January 2, 2013.

And for the incoming GM, here’s a list of WKSU-and-its-many-simulcasters, courtesy of “Ann’s Corner”:

WKSU broadcasts NPR & Classical Music at 89.7 FM. WKSU programming is also heard on WKRW 89.3 FM in Wooster, WKRJ 91.5 FM in Dover/New Philadelphia, WKSV 89.1 FM in Thompson, WNRK 90.7 in Norwalk and W239AZ 95.7 FM in Ashland. The station broadcasts four HD Radio channels – adding WKSU-2 Folk Alley, WKSU-3 The Classical Channel and WKSU-4 The News Channel to the analog broadcast schedule. The WKSU website is

THE LAKE NEEDS A CAPTAIN: Due to Tony Matteo’s departure for the operations manager job at Clear Channel’s Wichita KS cluster, there’s an opening at the company’s adult hits WHLK/106.5 “The Lake” in Cleveland.

Ah, but the Oak Tree folks are doing things differently.

With sister country WGAR/99.5 program director Charley Connolly adding PD stripes for WHLK, the station needs, uh, a “captain” for “The Lake”. (Get it?)

If you’re just the kind of, uh, mate who wants to help Connolly steer the ship, here’s the ad for 106.5’s new Executive Producer slot:

Clear Channel Media + Entertainment Cleveland is looking for an ‘out of box’ creative thinker to be the Executive Producer of 106.5 The Lake. Candidates need to know how to make a radio brand come to life through creative and engaging imaging.

Creativity is a must; but so are killer organizational skills, incredible attention to detail and excellent follow through.

We are looking for candidates with a strong knowledge of programming and past experience is a major plus!

Production skills and knowledge of NexGen helpful.

Please rush an email with materials (sample writing, production, programming philosophy or anything else that would sell you to us) to (charleyconnolly-at-clearchannel-dot-com).

Though Clear Channel didn’t place the ad here, we did, we remind you that “Clear Channel Media + Entertainment is an Equal Opportunity Employer”.

You know that’s real because we didn’t add the “Pork Rinds” part…

FILLING THE GAP: Well, as much as you can fill the gap after letting someone like now-former Clear Channel top 40 WAKS/96.5 “Kiss FM” assistant program director/music director/afternoon personality Kasper get away in a budget cut, at any rate.

Java Joel

Cleveland’s “Kiss FM” has moved night slammer* “Java Joel” Murphy into Kasper’s former afternoon drive time slot, and another voice familiar to many Cleveland listeners takes over nights.

But unlike his time at One Radio Lane (RIP 2012), Rob Kruz won’t be back here in Cleveland.


Kruz (without the first name) left CBS Radio hot AC WQAL/104.1 “Q104” here in February 2010 to take the night gig at Clear Channel top 40 WIHT/99.5 “Hot 99.5” in Washington DC.

Thus, he will be heard on the local top 40 outlet via the magic of voicetracking from somewhere in the suburbia of our Nation’s Capital, unless perhaps he happens to be visiting his old hometown.

“Java Joel” is, as far as we know, still broadcasting live and direct from the Oak Tree Clear Channel Media+Entertainment+Pork Rinds World Domination HQ in the Cleveland suburb of Independence.

* – And yes, we believe it’s some sort of radio trade publication law that we have to call the night personality at a hit radio station a “night slammer”…

HOWIE’S ESTATE: The late radio icon Howie Chizek was mainly a private man when he turned off the microphone at Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 “The Talk of Akron”, where he held forth in middays for nearly 40 years.

Those who know him are probably cringing about a front page story in the Akron Beacon Journal, where Phil Trexler laid out a lot of information on the disposition of Howie’s estate.

We’re not going to retread the ground well covered by Trexler’s piece in this Mighty Blog(tm). Anyone who’s interested can go to the story link…

AMANDA GONE: Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 reporter/anchor Amanda Barren has left the building (13th and Lakeside) to return to West Virginia.

Amanda Barren

Barren came to Channel 3 News from WSAZ/3, the Charleston/Huntington market’s NBC affiliate, where she was a weekend anchor and reporter. She returns to WSAZ to co-anchor the station’s 5 PM newscast.

In addition to morning reporting, Barren was also part of the WKYC “Live on Lakeside” midday news magazine team.

Video of that show saying goodbye to her is here, and video from “Channel 3 News Today” is here

K-LOVE OR AIR 1: Just the other day, a regular reader asked us what was taking so long in the sale of Bernard Radio urban AC WRBP/101.9 “Jamz” in the Youngstown market to religious broadcasting giant Educational Media Foundation.

Today, we have an answer.

The Youngstown Vindicator’s Guy D’Astolfo reports that the sale of WRBP to EMF will close in January, and the local urban format on 101.9 will go away on December 30th…to be replaced by Christian radio on January 1st.


Jamz DJs have begun to tell listeners about the coming change.

“We’re saying goodbye on the air now, letting folks know we are going away,” said (station manager Skip) Bednarczyk. “Most of our listeners knew about the sale but assumed nothing would change.”

Those listeners obviously haven’t followed the history of EMF, which invariably changes newly acquired stations to one of its two satellite formats: “K-Love” (Christian contemporary) or “Air 1” (Christian rock).

And EMF already has a “K-Love” outlet serving the Mahoning Valley…rimshot WLVX/107.1 Greenville PA.

At this point, we don’t know if EMF will install “Air 1” on 101.9 on January 1st, or if there’ll be some sort of shuffle with the “K-Love” feed on 107.1.

But we do know, thanks to the Vindicator article, that WRBP’s move into the EMF fold will silence another Bernard Radio station in Youngstown:

As a result of the sale, Jamz 101.9’s sister station, (urban talk) WASN-AM 1500, will go off the air.

Jamz was the radio group’s money-maker, and it kept WASN afloat, according to Bednarczyk.

Without Jamz, there was no choice but to shut down WASN.

Unlike before, where EMF bought 107.1’s two AM sister stations (WGRP/940 Greenville PA and WLOA/1470 Farrell PA) and even ran “K-Love” on them for a while before selling them off, EMF did not purchase WASN. As a rule, despite stragglers like WNWT/1520 in the Toledo market, EMF has a distaste for AM radio.

The financial loss of the income from “Jamz 101.9” was apparently too much to consider keeping its AM daytimer sister station going after the sale…even if it was a place, Bednarczyk told the newspaper, where “the black community expressed its concerns and issues and had a dialog.”

Presumably, Bernard sister classic hits WGFT/1330 “Oldies 1330” is staying on the air. Though really, Bernard Radio’s sole purpose as an operating company is to keep radio stations going until the highest bidder comes along…

CHANGES IN SPORTS: Readers in the Youngstown radio market tell us that local hosts on Cumulus sports WBBW/1240 are hinting at upcoming programming changes.

The changes are no secret to anyone who reads this blog.

Cumulus will flip something on the order of 50-plus sports stations from ESPN to CBS Sports Radio, when the latter’s 24/7 feed starts in January. Cumulus is heavily involved in CBS Sports Radio in a joint venture.

Thus, the lineup on/name of “ESPN 1240” (and same for its Cumulus sibling across the PA border, “ESPN 96.7”) is going the way of the do-do bird at the end of the year.

We don’t know what Cumulus will call WBBW and WLLF/96.7 Mercer PA… perhaps they’ll adopt a “Fan” style name in markets where CBS doesn’t already have such a station…

HOLIDAY CHEER: And time for some public radio holiday cheer, now that the commercial stations that are going to play holiday music have started doing so in one form or another.

First, a release from “Ann’s Corner” about holiday themed music and programming at the aforementioned WKSU.

Then, we’ll have a note about a new stream at Ideastream public outlet WCPN/90.3 in Cleveland.

But, Ann goes first, as always. She sent us the release over a week ago, so some of the events have already passed…


WKSU makes the season sparkle with a series of holiday-themed programs and classical and folk music streams for the month of December. Holiday music streams are currently available online or through WKSU’s iPhone and Android apps. Music moves to WKSU’s HD-2: Folk Alley and HD-3: Classical HD Radio channels on Dec. 10 with Christmas classical music being added with more frequency to general on-air broadcasts through Dec. 25. Access the music streams and find the complete holiday programming schedule online at .

Special, stand-alone programs start on Monday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m. with a new installment of NPR’s Hanukkah Lights featuring Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz. The next week, evenings at 8 p.m. offer a variety of Christmas music, from early music on Monday and classic works on Tuesday and Wednesday to carols on Thursday and Celtic selections on Friday (which also hosts other folk shows until midnight).

On Saturday, Dec. 22, at 6 p.m., Garrison Keillor presents a holiday-centered A Prairie Home Companion (re-aired on Dec. 23 at 10 a.m.), followed by folk host Jim Blum’s annual mix of holiday music – new and old. The schedule for Sunday, Dec. 23, includes more public radio music programs for the holidays and Baroque Era Christmas with host David Roden.

On Christmas Eve morning, WKSU airs the traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols live from King’s College in Cambridge. The Christmas Day celebration starts early with non-stop classical Christmas music beginning after NPR’s All Things Considered on Dec. 24 and airing until the return of Morning Edition at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

Holiday observations continue on Dec. 26, at 8 p.m. with the Kwanzaa program, A Season’s Griot, hosted by storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson. Seasonal programming comes to an end on WKSU with the traditional New Year’s Day performance by the Vienna Philharmonic, live from the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein. The concert of waltzes, polkas and other lively tunes begins at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, with the orchestra under the baton of Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst.


Now, it’s WCPN’s turn:

“Swingin’ Sounds of the Season” is a 24 hour a day holiday jazz music stream at
The stream will run through New Year’s Day.

For a uniquely swingin’ and jazzy approach to holiday music – where no one gets run over by a reindeer – tune in! ideastream’s own jazz authority Dan Polletta has spent hours carefully blending classic holiday recordings by greats including Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Dexter Gordon with new takes on seasonal songs from the likes of Carla Bley, Cyrus Chestnut and Wynton Marsalis that will help warm you up during the winter holiday season. With so many tunes randomly streamed, you’re assured a unique jazz combo every time you listen. Enjoy!


Tons of Assorted News

‘A veritable potpourri’ of interesting news items gathered throughout the weekend:

FSO AND DAN PATRICK: Dayton native Dan Patrick’s satellite TV simulcast of his late-morning sports radio show will soon be available to non-satellite subscribers.

Yesterday morning, DirectTV, which produces the show for radio and television, announced a syndication agreement with the regional sports network service Fox Sports Net that takes the show over to basic cable, expanding the show’s reach to more than 85 million homes. Fox Sports Ohio is one of the 26 regional sports networks (three of which – including nearby FS Pittsburgh – are owned by DirecTV) that have signed up to carry this “expanded” version of his radio show, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon starting on October 25.

(For FS Ohio, this simply displaces the network’s late-morning infomercial block, not listed on their schedule page.)

Patrick, whose show’s production firm The Content Factory merged with DirecTV back in 2009, has had his radio show simulcast on the satellite provider’s “The 101® Network” since early August 2009. (Of course, the radio show’s distribution is handled by Premiere Radio Networks, and is promoted by Fox Sports Radio as part of their lineup, despite not being an FSR show.)

Patrick also made great emphasis in saying about the simulcast that “…it’s not stagnant. It’s not us doing a radio show with two cameras showing us talking. We will show you the good and bad of what goes on during a show and during the breaks. If we screw up, we can’t hide it.”

Considering that ESPN Radio’s flagship program “Mike & Mike in the Morninghas been simulcast on television for over six years, and WGN America had aired a one-hour condensed video version of “The Bob & Tom Show” in the late night hours, that emphasis can’t hurt.

Patrick’s show airs locally on Clear Channel sports WARF/1350 Akron and (as of last check) on Cumulus’ ESPN Radio affiliate, WBBW/1240 Youngstown.

MY, OH MY: A one-time competitor to Clear Channel heritage CHR WVKS/92.5 Toledo has thrown in the towel.

This past Friday, Cumulus flipped WTWR/98.1 Luna Pier MI from it’s former CHR “Tower” format to adult contemporary as “My 98.3 WMIM” – and yes, the WTWR calls were formally retired for WMIM that same day. (I presume that WMIM stands for Michigan’s My 98.3… or M(I)y Mix?) It of course has no connection or relation to Clear Channel’s usage of the format and moniker, which was once used on nearby for-now-silent WPFX/107.7 North Baltimore-to-be-Luckey-or-maybe-not(?) from January until July of 2008.

As had been the case with WTWR over the past few years, WMIM will be focusing solely on the Monroe, Michigan market, where they will do battle with an interesting competitor – Monroe Schools’ WYDM/97.5 “Dream 97-5.” A 49 watts class D signal, WYDM is operated out of Monroe High School, and is programmed and run by Monroe County Community College students.

In addition to new morning host Craig Morgan and evening host Aaron “Adubb” Watkins, WMIM will be carrying the customizable voicetracked liners of John Tesh in afternoon drive, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m…

FROM ‘NIGHT’ TO ‘NITE’: The Western Reserve PBS (WNEO/45.1 Alliance-WEAO/49.1 Akron) will be reviving their weekly Akron/Canton-centered newsmagazine “NewsNight Akron,” as the newly-christened “NewsNite,” which debuts this Friday, October 8 at 9:00 p.m.

show’s overall change, however, is hardly cosmetic. When “NewsNight Akron” was put on hiatus back in late April, Western Reserve Public Media president/CEO Trina Cutter said in the announcement:

“Western Reserve Public Media will be reshaping its regional production strategy over the summer,” explained Trina Cutter, president and CEO. “We have exciting programs planned for next fiscal year, and we will use the summer months to explore how all of our regional programs can be infused with new energy, new technologies and new media for our fall season.”

NewsNight Akron has enjoyed a loyal following over the last 12 years, reaching its peak audience in the 2008-09 season. “So much has changed in the media landscape since NewsNight Akron was launched in 1998,” Cutter continued. “This is an opportunity to reshape the program to ensure that it fits stylistically with the rest of our regional productions.”

And as our Primary Editorial Voice(tm) accurately noted back then, “the above quotes from WRPBS boss Trina Cutter seem to indicate that if “NewsNight” does return, you basically won’t recognize the show.”

“NewsNight Akron” host – and WKYC/3 reporter/anchor – Eric Mansfield will return as host of “NewsNite.” Former show panelists Ed Esposito, Steve Hoffman, Jody Miller and M.L. Schultze will also be present for “NewsNite,” but will be appearing in topics sensitive to a stories’ origin. “NewsNite” also will be expanding their focus beyond Akron over to WRPBS’ entire viewing area, offering regional coverage that ‘can’t be provided by the Cleveland and Youngstown commercial news operations.’

Western Reserve Public Media will produce the new show in the state-of-the-art Franklin Hall video studio at Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, with assistance from the University’s TeleProductions unit, as well as from faculty and students of the school. (By the way, TeleProductions’ director is none other than former WEWS/5 general manager John Butte.) As the new season progresses, “NewsNite” will work with KSU’s faculty and students on extending the program’s reach, not only through web content and social media, but also other digital platforms.

“We’re delighted to have NewsNite in our Franklin Hall studio,” said School Director Jeff Fruit. “The NewsNite team has some forward-thinking ideas and we look forward to partnering with them and with our TeleProductions colleagues on a show that takes some new approaches in 21st century journalism.”

The program will re-air three times during the weekend; on 45.1/49.1 Saturday mornings at 5:30 a.m., and on “Fusion” 45.2/49.2 Saturdays at 10 p.m. and Mondays at 8:30 p.m.

WKSU AT 60: Venerable Kent State University’s NPR affiliate WKSU/89.7 commemorated it’s 60th birthday this past Saturday.

Back on October 2, 1950, WKSU signed on with a mere 10 watts from an antenna tacked to a 50-foot pole supported by a chimney atop Kent Hall – the culmination of a two-year long quest to attain an education license by the FCC. The station’s initial broadcast schedule was limited to just five hours a day, five days a week during the academic year with a student on-air staff. KSU football and basketball games were also offered, with the away games done via Western Union telegram-recreations.

During the 70s, WKSU transitioned from a student-run station over to being an NPR member station, and during the entire time WBOE/90.3 Cleveland was silent – from 1978 until its’ 1984 relaunch as WCPN – WKSU was the only NPR affiliate in Northern Ohio.

Today, it’s NPR and classic music lineup is broadcast not only on WKSU, but on simulcasters WKRW/89.3 Wooster, WKRJ/91.5 New Philadelphia, WKSV/89.1 Thompson and WNRK/90.7 Norwalk, along with translators in Ashland (95.7) and Boardman (107.5). Both internet broadcasting and HD Radio have also brought both 24-hour Folk Alley and 24-hour classical music streams to life (as WKSU HD-2 and HD-3, respectively).

Admittedly, this is a bit belated, but better late than never…

Not Just LeBron

We have plenty of items that have nothing to do with a talented young athlete choosing to throw a ball into a hoop in a different city.

But since LeBron James has dominated the media both here and outside of here, we’ll start off this item with the obvious…

LESOUTH BEACH: The now-former Cleveland Cavaliers star was Topic 1, 2 and 3 even before he scraped Northeast Ohio off of his shoe in an hour-long ESPN special on Thursday.

That special, by the way, was the highest rated TV show Thursday night…and had over a quarter of Northeast Ohio’s TV homes watching…by far, the largest rating. (Miami, “King” James’ new home, had half the ratings.)

Brian Dulik has more from this item in the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram:

The top three local markets were Cleveland/Akron (26.0), Columbus (14.2) and Miami/Fort Lauderdale (12.8). Chicago (10.7) was sixth, while New York City (10.4) had the seventh-highest mark.

As expected, local media went into overkill around the announcement.

Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850” in Cleveland did as announced – offered local talk and reaction, mostly venting by the station’s hosts and callers – through the night…right up until ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” started at 6 AM Friday.

The station also offered local talk much of the day on Friday, including a pre-emption of Premiere’s “The Jim Rome Show”. (Of course, the presence of substitute hosts made that call a lot easier.)

And the station’s personalities have been on the ESPN TV side almost hourly. We looked up and caught afternoon co-host Kenny Roda on the Worldwide Leader, TV side, three times over the past few days, and we hear Roda also made an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America Saturday”.

And in print, WKNR’s newly-installed evening team of LeCharles Bentley and Je’rod Cherry (“X’s and O’s with the Pros”) got mentioned in the New York Times.

As did “Really Big Show” host Tony Rizzo, WKNR’s biggest name…who said Friday that he would not participate in the national media circus, for one reason:

Tony Rizzo, host of “The Really Big Show” on WKNR 850AM, an ESPN station, opened Friday morning by warning the national news media not to call him for comment on the mood of the region. “I’m only talking to Clevelanders today!” he announced, and the implication was clear: only Clevelanders could understand. Later he offered Gilbert, a native of Ohio rival Michigan, the highest possible praise. “He’s one of us,” he said.

Rizzo did appear on “The Jim Rome Show” Friday, with a guest host from Houston, and we believe he and co-host Aaron Goldhammer are set for another turn sub-hosting in “The Jungle” soon. Goldhammer is another WKNR mainstay who has made appearances on the ESPN family of TV networks.

Over at Clear Channel, where the Cavaliers games are actually heard on talk WTAM/1100, that station was unable to join in early due to the Cleveland Indians’ contest with the Tampa Bay Rays.

But Oak Tree enlisted its FM stations, with at very least rock/talk WMMS/100.7 (which carries some Cavaliers’ overflow games), classic hits WMJI/105.7 “Majic 105.7” and top 40 WAKS/96.5 “Kiss FM” airing a special on the announcement with Cavaliers radio network voice Mike Snyder and WTAM sports reporter/host Andre Knott.

We hear that like the effort at the Galleria, Oak Tree (with WTAM presumably on board after the Indians game) went until 5 AM with its reaction on the local sports bombshell, with “Kiss FM” going live and local during morning drive Friday with afternoon driver/APD/MD/OMW reader Kasper, who has probably been sleeping since he got off late Friday morning.

(Of course, Kasper had to get up at some point to voicetrack his new Saturday afternoon shift on Clear Channel’s sister “Kiss FM” outlet in Dallas. We’re betting he didn’t spend the entire shift talking about LeBron James leaving Cleveland.)

Other Indians affiliates, including Rubber City Radio oldies/news WAKR/1590 Akron and NextMedia talk WHBC/1480 Canton, provided bulletins on “The Decision” during the game itself.

And local TV stations sent reporters and sports anchors far afield, including to LeBron’s new home of Miami…we spotted Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 reporter/OMW reader Mark Zinni and Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 sports anchor Terry Brooks reporting from Miami.

WEWS also used a reporter in Miami from Tampa FL’s WTSP/10, a station WEWS general manager Sam Rosenwasser used to oversee.

As for WKNR, its “ESPN Cleveland” website shows what’s important in Cleveland sports now…there’s a countdown that shows there are 19 days until Cleveland Browns training camp begins. LeBron who?…

DAVE’S RETURN: One of our readers spotted this (we believe it was long-time reader/Lorain County-based tipster Nathan Obral), and we’ve confirmed it.

Former Metro Networks-based/Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850” afternoon sports update anchor Dave DeNatale is back with WKNR.

He’s taken over the 3-7 PM sports anchor shift he originally inherited after Metro’s Daryl Ruiter moved in-house at the Galleria, only this time, though still working for Metro, DeNatale will be at the Galleria as well as an “embedded” staff member.

(Of course, Metro has no local broadcast facilities after abandoning its perch in the Independence Media Gulch last year. Metro’s Jeff Thomas continued at WKNR as an “embed” until he was taken off WKNR a while back.)

In addition to his update anchoring duties, Dave is producing the aforementioned “X’s and O’s with the Pros” program with LeCharles Bentley and Je’rod Cherry, and will contribute to “ESPN Cleveland GameNight” as well.

And OMW hears that DeNatale had a procedure called “a cardiac ablation” last week to help correct his irregular heartbeat.

Congratulations to Dave, for his successful return and improved health…

PASSING ON: You probably couldn’t count how many high school sports games Larry Miklas called in the Mahoning Valley, but it’s probably in the thousands. Miklas died last Sunday in Niles at the age of 60, after a brief illness.

The one-time steel worker jumped into radio at Sharon PA’s WPIC/790 after attending broadcast school there, according to his obituary, and continued to work in the steel mills before being laid off. He also worked a full-time job as a lineman for Time Warner Cable for 25 years.

But it’s his prolific work calling high school football and basketball games over 20 years – at stations like WBBW/1240, WANR/1570, WRTK/1390 and WASN/1330 – that has cemented his legacy in the Valley.

Miklas also spent a year as the radio play-by-play voice of Cleveland’s first Arena Football League team, the Thunderbolts, on WHK/1420.

The picture shown here from the Holeton-Yuhasz Funeral Home obituary has Miklas wearing a “Network 15” logo shirt with the call letters WANR and WNRB – AM 1570 in Warren, and AM 1540 in Niles.

That would put the picture from the early 1990s…the stations joined up in an urban contemporary format simulcast shortly after the fire at the former WOKG “Talk 1570” in 1990.

The stations are once again co-owned by Beacon Broadcasting – for sale after the death of company president Harold Glunt – and are once again simulcasting…running sports talk as “Fox Sports Radio 1570 and 1540″…

The Mason Has Landed

With much fanfare, WAKS/96.5 “Kiss FM” programmer Dan Mason left the Clear Channel Cleveland top 40 outlet for the warmth of South Florida.

He left Northeast Ohio to take the program director’s chair at sister top 40 station WHYI/100.7 “Y100” in Miami.

It seemed like the perfect match for one of America’s fastest rising top 40 PDs, and one of the country’s iconic stations in that format.

And it lasted, well, not very long.

Before you could say “Miami Vice”, Mason was out at “Y100”.

We’re not very well tapped into the South Florida radio gossip mill, but whatever floated back up to Ohio gave us the impression that Mason and the station’s upper management were not exactly on the same page. In fact, they didn’t even appear to be reading the same book.

As we’re proud of radio folks with Northeast Ohio ties, we’re pleased to announce that Dan Mason has landed.

AllAccess reports that Mason has officially been named program director at Entercom top 40 KDND/107.9 Sacramento “The End”.

Yes, THAT station…the one in some major hot, or maybe cold, water for a morning show water drinking contest which ended up in the death of listener Jennifer Strange, a story which gained worldwide attention.

Mason has been interim PD at “The End” since not long after former station manager Steven Weed was bounced, along with 9 other station employees with even the remotest connection to the “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest. Strange’s family has filed a lawsuit against the station and the company.

So, it’s an odd situation for the former “Kiss FM” programmer.

“The End” has been pretty successful. “The Morning Rave”, the show now excised from the KDND lineup, was in the top 5 in Sacramento’s morning drive race.

So Mason has to craft a way to hang onto success, at a station which has been a flashpoint of worldwide controversy – and all without a large chunk of the people who helped get that success.

The Prevaling Wisdom in radio-online-pundit land has been that KDND would scrub the top 40 format entirely, or move it to another Entercom frequency in that market under another name.

The hiring of Dan Mason signals one thing – Entercom wants to do top 40 in Sacramento in whatever form it takes. You don’t hire a Dan Mason to flip to country.

Best of luck to you, Mr. Mason, former Clevelander…and a man with one of the more challenging jobs in radio right now…

While Waiting For A Sports Radio Overhaul

Some other stuff not related to impending changes in Good Karma Land…well, mostly not related…

MILLER REPLACEMENT TIME: WEWS/5 sports director Chris Miller is now under a week away from his departure from the Cleveland ABC affiliate, bound for Washington DC’s Comcast SportsNet regional sports channel. His last day is February 28th.

We hear that Miller and CSN’s Tony Burke (an ex-WEWSer) go back a long time, and that the presence of the offer from DC didn’t result in a counter offer from the folks at NewsChannel 5, though the popular sports anchor and his Cleveland station had been talking contract.

And though we hear John Chandler is also talking contract with WEWS, it’s not a foregone conclusion that he’ll move up to replace Miller after his exit. In fact, it seems that at least some folks believe Channel 5 will look outside the building for Chris’ replacement…

XM/SIRIUS MERGER: By request from a very nice OMW reader…

OK, so we don’t really “play requests” here, and don’t have much to say about it, but you’d have to be under a rock to not know that satellite radio services XM and Sirius are hoping to merge.

We say “hoping”, as despite the announcement, it would appear the regulatory hurdles are rather high. Approval, unlike most FCC approvals (and FTC, etc.), would not seem to be anywhere near automatic for any number of reasons.

There is a tiny Northeast Ohio angle here.

Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin is the father of Good Karma’s Craig Karmazin (WKNR/WWGK), who is a bit busy these days with his own facilities in Cleveland. OK, so there’s a small WKNR-related item here…

Karmazin the Elder would retain his CEO title in a merged XM/Sirius, whatever it’s called. We believe that gives him the upper hand in this so-called “merger of equals”…

KASPER ACTION: We spent a lot of time on this the last time it happened, but don’t have much to say this time about two Cleveland radio names getting some attention.

The name of WAKS/96.5 “Kiss FM” afternoon drive host/APD Kasper has once again shown up in the “Action” section of the popular trade website AllAccess. Twice…once Friday, and once Monday.

Not to be outdone, “Kiss” programmer Bo Matthews, who also is still in his original role programming sister Clear Channel rock outlet WMMS/100.7, appeared in that same list on Tuesday.

“Action” is – presumably – a list of people who might be “up to something” in the near future, news which is usually related to some sort of move or job change.

No, we don’t know what, if anything, it means.

The last time, Kasper’s name was being attached by the rumor mill to every possible opening at every possible major market top 40 outlet in America. Or, at least it seemed that way to us.

As it turned out, the Friendly Afternoon Driver and OMW reader decided to stick around Northeast Ohio – not upsetting the Radio Talent Balance in this region.

We “haven’t heard anything”. We’re just reminding you that names can, and do, appear in that section of AllAccess even if nothing eventually happens…and if we DO hear anything, we’ll let you know…

FILE IT IN THE “DELAY” FILE: And speaking of “Action”, OMW is hearing that Cleveland’s “19 Action News” may not round out the Local HDTV News Lineup in Cleveland as soon as the end of this month.

Oh, the engineers at Raycom Media CBS affiliate WOIO/19 are still working on it – diligently, we’re told. We just have heard that the “end of February” target date may be too optimistic for the folks at Reserve Square to become Cleveland’s fourth HD newsroom, after WJW/8, WKYC/3 and WEWS/5.

One problem: They’ll have to perfect broadcasting in color, first.

Yes, we’re just kidding…honest!

Or maybe they’re waiting for CBS to return that 5.1 audio equipment, so they can put each “19 Action News” anchor on a different speaker.

Yes, we’re kidding…again…