Some items about former Cleveland broadcasters, including one that’s being heard in Northeast Ohio again…but first, breaking media news not directly from Cleveland…
MICHAELS EXITS: After veteran newsman John Nagy left Clear Channel’s South Avenue complex in the Youngstown market due to budget cuts, there was still one experienced newsman in the building.
But 30-year talk WKBN/570 veteran Jim Michaels is outside that building now as well, according to WFMJ-TV 21:
Clear Channel, which owns NewsRadio 570 WKBN and other local stations, has made cuts including news director Jim Michaels’ position. He was the only news person left at the station.
The Vindicator NBC affiliate’s article says “for the first time in 88 years, there is no independent radio news in Youngstown”.
That would date back to the station’s founding back in 1926.
Even before today, Clear Channel’s Cleveland news operation has provided anchors to WKBN – we heard Oak Tree’s Tom Moore anchoring on the station this morning.
We assume that’ll expand to the hours Michaels formerly anchored.
Those anchors in Cleveland can use audio from WKBN radio’s former TV sister station, now-LIN TV-to-become-Media General CBS affiliate WKBN-TV/27, due to the stations’ long-standing news sharing agreement.
At this point, we have no word on who else might have exited South Avenue…
HEADING WEST: Northeast Ohioans know him as the long-time programming boss at Clear Channel’s cluster in Cleveland.
Kevin Metheny’s had quite a journey as a foil to Howard Stern (at then-WNBC/660 New York, now WFAN), John Lanigan and Mike Trivisonno here, and stints at Tribune talk WGN/720 Chicago and most recently at Cumulus talk flamethrower WJR/760 in Detroit.
He’s heading for California.
Metheny has just been named as operations manager at Cumulus’ two major talk stations in San Francisco, Cumulus’ KGO/810 and KSFO/560.
To say that KGO has definitely had its better days would not be an overstatement. The mass market talk station that routinely topped the San Francisco ratings for decades has trouble beating smaller conservative talk sister KSFO these days.
So, it’s a rebuilding project for the long-time radio executive, who twice hired someone we’ll talk about next…
SIMON RENDEZVOUS: That phrase will ring a bell with long-time OMW readers, who recall our writing about a heavily-accented talk radio newbie who was given a weekend slot on Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 in Cleveland in 2007.
French-born Cleveland-based advertising executive Simon Badinter moved, radio-wise, to Chicago, where the aforementioned Kevin Metheny hired him while program director of the aforementioned WGN in Chicago.
Neither “Simon Rendezvous” nor Metheny lasted long at WGN – they exited when Randy Michaels stopped running Tribune – but Simon’s made quite a radio comeback as well…and is being heard in Northeast Ohio once again.
“The Rendezvous with Simon and Kim” is a nationally syndicated FM evening show (by Premiere) which made its debut Monday evening at Clear Channel adult CHR WKDD/98.1 in the Akron market. It airs weeknights from 10 PM to midnight.
The show’s site explains what form Simon’s radio career is taking in 2014:
You’ve been ready and wanting…until now. Experience a playful ménage à trois during The Rendezvous with Simon and Kim, a nightly radio experience filled with insightful relationship advice and intelligent sex talk.
(We hope we didn’t trip any content filters with that one.)
Yes, this is something we could not have possibly predicted when Badinter, now going by the name Simon Marcel, first cracked open the microphone on a certain 50,000 watt Cleveland talk radio signal.
Simon’s female on-air partner is Kim Iversen, a radio veteran who once hosted Entercom’s syndicated evening show “Your Time With Kim Iversen”.
And there’s a twist…with this item, you know there’d be one.
We teased this item on Twitter on Monday night, and were informed by the Akron station that Simon actually lives in Bath.
No, not Bath, England, but the Akron suburb of Bath Township, Ohio where he “could egg (LeBron James) from his kitchen”, we’re told.
We’ve always had trouble pinning down Simon’s whereabouts, but we presume his “palatial estate” in the suburbs here is just one of his homes…and that he does his part of “Rendezvous” from here when he’s in the area.
We presume he still has advertising interests in Cleveland, and elsewhere, and presumably does the show from wherever that takes him.
And the show, in its 2014 form with Ms. Iversen, has taken him far in this business already…with clearances on FM stations in Miami, Tampa, Chicago, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and New Orleans.
And to think, one day, we questioned whether Simon could be paying to air a brokered show on WTAM. Quoting well, ourselves, from 2009, when Simon joined WGN:
When Badinter’s show began its run on WTAM in late 2007, we briefly mentioned it, but declined to spend a lot of time talking about it. It was our impression that the heavily-accented ad executive broke out the checkbook and paid for the two hour weekly show as a vanity project in Cleveland.
Jokes on us, we guess!