The Jasen/Jasons Have It

And as it would happen, two of our newsmakers this Monday have the same first name, albeit with slightly different spellings…

JASEN RADIO: The local talk show tipped in an earlier item at Rubber City Radio talk WAKR/1590 Akron will be hosted by an existing station staffer.

JasenPicAs we post this, “The Jasen Sokol Show” is making its debut on WAKR, with a time slot of 10 AM to 2 PM weekdays.

The show bridges the news/talk/information gap on 1590 AM, airing between the morning drive news block with Ray Horner, and syndicated advice talker Dave Ramsey…and turns the former oldies station into a talk station weekdays from 5 AM until 7 PM, with more to come.

So, who is Jasen Sokol?

Regular WAKR listeners have heard a lot of him since he joined the station.

Sokol has been the Rubber City cluster’s morning drive traffic reporter, morning news editor, a play-by-play sportscaster, co-host of the WAKR high school football scoreboard show (with morning producer Aaron Coleman), and with Coleman, has subbed for his new lead-in Ray Horner.

Quoting a press release from our friends on West Market Street:

Jasen is a Baldwin Wallace University graduate where he co-hosted WBWC’s morning drive program, became news director and served as a play-by-play man for BW’s basketball.

After graduating from BW, he accepted a graduate assistant position at Kent State University where he also worked as a weatherman for the student television station.

He excelled at the university, winning many awards.

In 2012 he was appointed the Walton D. Clarke Graduate Fellow at public radio station WKSU where he worked on their “ Morning Edition” and was named the producer of the show’s local segments.


We don’t even have to ask regular OMW reader Ed Esposito, the Akron group’s VP/information media, for a quote…

“We are proud to present the next generation of talent from Northeast Ohio,” stated Ed Esposito, Vice President, Information Media for Rubber City Radio Group. “Jasen is a true pro, with experience during his college career. He’s smart, asks the questions that need to be asked but most importantly has the northeast Ohio sensibility and sensitivity WAKR listeners have come to expect.”

And, there’s also a quote from WAKR’s newest host in the release:

“I’m excited to take on this new role as midday host on 1590 WAKR. It’s an honor to be a part of a heritage radio station with such a long history of commitment to the community,” stated Jasen. “I look forward to telling the stories of the area every day.”

Station regular Bobbi Horvath, who previously hosted WAKR’s afternoon drive oldies show (“Bobbi with an I”) and hosts the station’s “At Your Service” Saturday morning talk block, will be Jasen’s producer.

The handoff from WAKR morning drive host Ray Horner to Jasen Sokol will be remote this week…as Horner is in Arizona for “Wahoo Week” as the Cleveland Indians spring training regimen begins.

The shuffle moving Sokol to midday talk duties has Cherise Richards taking his place doing morning traffic, and George McFly joins Matt Hartong on the afternoon traffic schedule.

The Jasen Sokol Show joins a crowded midday talk radio field in Akron…with John “Couch Burner” Denning in the WNIR/100.1 time slot long held by now-departed local talk radio icon Howie Chizek, and former WNIR host Jim Albright airing over on Clear Channel talk WHLO/640…

JASON TELEVISION: You’d be excused if you thought that Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 “NewsChannel 5” meteorologist Jason Nicholas took over the network all weekend.

JasonOnGMANicholas was tapped to fill in as the weather anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America” weekend editions, which gave him national face time on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The fill in came because former “GMA” weekend weather anchor Ginger Zee was promoted to weekdays, when “GMA” fixture Sam Champion left for The Weather Channel. “GMA”‘s weekend editions have rotated in a number of weather people from ABC affiliates around the country.

And just when we got used to the site of Jason Nicholas in the morning on ABC, we stumbled upon him on the network later in the day.

JasonOnWorldNewsNicholas joined “ABC World News” weekend anchor David Muir on set, for a segment about the upcoming return of the “Polar Vortex” weatherwise.

(These pictures come from Nicholas’ Twitter account.)

No, he’s not leaving 3001 Euclid as far as we know, at least now…

Y-TOWN SALE: There have been a number of rumors about the fate and disposition of two currently silent AM stations in the Mahoning Valley, and an FM translator owned by the wife of a local radio general manager.

Those rumors inched closer to reality last week, when it was announced that Bernard Ohio is selling WGFT/1330 Campbell and WASN/1500 Youngstown to a company called “Y-Town Radio Broadcasting, LLC” for $16,501.

And yes, looking at FCC records, the company buying WGFT and WASN is indeed owned by the Bednarczyk family…long-time Bernard general manager Skip and his wife Helen, who owns (individually) FM translator W232AI/93.7 Niles.

We reported earlier that the 200 watt construction permit for the 93.7 translator specifies – ta da! – WGFT/1330 as its primary.

We have heard many rumors about the eventual disposition of the 1330/93.7 combo, but all we know now is that they’ll be co-owned…and that Helen and Skip Bednarcyzk have to get the AMs back on the air first…

BIG SHOW RADIO: Our social media followers/friends know that thanks to a donation from a long-time OMW reader, there’s once again an HD radio receiver in the OMW World Headquarters(tm).

And that radio comes here just in time for a lot of shuffling among area HD Radio sidechannels.

We already reported that Radio One is about to give its local AM stations an HD Radio ride, putting the signals of gospel WJMO/1300 and talk/brokered WERE/1490 on the big signal of urban AC WZAK/93.1 (and possibly also on the HD sidechannels of hip hop WENZ/107.9).

We’ll be able to hear that here, as both 93.1 and 107.9’s signals provide an easy HD lock on our new receiver.

But we haven’t heard the oddity that one reader has told us about, as we can’t get an HD lock on Clear Channel AC WHOF/101.7 in the Canton market.

The reader told us that WHOF’s HD2 sidechannel was identifying as “Big Show Radio”, playing a music selection from “Streisand to mild rap”…another reader told us he heard “Steppenwolf into Judy Garland” on 101.7’s HD2.

It turns out this mystery can be solved by searching through Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio streams, where sure enough, there’s a “variety/mix” format called “Big Show Radio”.

We have no idea why the format, dubbed “All Drive, No Drama”, has landed on WHOF’s HD2 sidechannel. But if that mix appeals to you, you don’t have to be within 101.7’s signal range to hear it…


  1. No Names Please says:

    Why is WAKR going back to a talk station? It failed from 1991-94 and 1997-99. WAKR is a music station and will always be a music station. I like all local news and DJs, not top of the hour news from CBS.

  2. Looking forward to listening to the 10-2 time slot. I quit listening to WNIR at this time. The kid mint do as well as Howie someday .. Time will tell, and I will certainly listen.

  3. jimwarsinske says:

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