We have a pretty scattered list of items. But first, what we don’t actually have…
NO IDEA AT THIS TIME: If you’ve followed us on social media the past few days, well, we’ve been a bit annoyed.
Our apologies, but we’ve been shelled with questions (and many E-mails as well) about a certain Cleveland AM sports talk radio host and his absence from the airwaves – and apparently, the station’s own website.
What we know at this point is that the host, Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN Cleveland” midday “The Really Big Show” host Tony Rizzo appears to be on vacation…though there have been occasional on-air comments that seem to show that no one at the Galleria actually knows anything beyond that. (Or, they are just trying to milk the off-air drama.)
If there are High Level Contract Talks going on, only three people would know or be involved – the host himself, the station general manager and the station owner – and they aren’t talking to us – or apparently, anyone else there, judging from the above.
If he’s getting married, we also have no confirmation. That’s another rumor floating around town.
If anything actually happens, we’ll let you know on social media and at some point not long after, here. But for now, moving on…
MACIE’S GONE: But yes, we do know and have confirmed that Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 “NewsChannel 5” has parted ways with yet another morning co-anchor, Macie Jepson.
We don’t know the exact reason that Jepson is no longer a part of “Good Morning Cleveland”.
The station may have been ready to make (again) yet another change in a morning show that has seen roughly 827 combinations since this blog began nearly a decade ago. (That may not be an understatement. We will count one day when we’re really bored.)
There was, we hear, some question about a vacation return date, but Jepsen’s exit could just have been an opportunity for new news director Jeff Harris to reshape “GMC”…again, again. There is nothing as constant as change as far as the morning show at 3001 Euclid…
THE BIG WINNER: Rubber City Radio country WQMX/94.9 is certainly used to being up for awards, but the Akron market country powerhouse nabbed a big one this week.
WQMX has been named the Academy of Country Music’s Medium Market Station of the Year.
It’s heady company for the folks on West Market Street.
Chicago country radio giant WUSN/99.5 “US 99.5” takes the Major Market Honors, and Orlando’s WWKA is the Large Market winner. KCLR in Columbia MO rounds out the list in the small market category.
Chicago’s “US 99.5”, now owned by CBS Radio, has been in the format for decades, and has lined up numerous awards over the years.
Congratulations to our friends over at WQMX…
BIG MOVE: Miles Hlivko has been a key piece of the puzzle at iHeart rock/talk WMMS/100.7 for a few years now.
In addition to being the station’s assistant program director, he’s guided imaging for both WMMS and sister top 40 WAKS/96.5 “Kiss FM”. Now, he’ll be working for a much larger “Kiss”, the original.
All Access has more:
iHEARTMEDIA Top 40 KIIS/LOS ANGELES has appointed MILES HLIVKO Imaging Dir., effective MARCH 23rd. Previously, he was APD for WMMS/CLEVELAND.
HLIVKO’s imaging experience includes work at WMMS and WAKS, and as Alternative Rock Imaging Coordinator for the company’s National Programming Platforms team; as well as assisting in production for PREMIERE NETWORKS’ imaging libraries; and assisting with imaging and voiceovers for stations across the country.
From his new workplace, presumably from an iHeart statement:
“We had a ton of great applicants from some of the best imagers inside and outside of iHEARTMEDIA, but MILES stood out above the rest,” SVP/Programming and KIIS PD JOHN IVEY said. “He is one of the best producers and writers out there right now, so I had to have him at KIIS.”
That sound you hear is Hlivko joyfully breaking his shovel.
Oh, and talking about his move in the release:
“Imaging KIIS-FM is the kind of opportunity I’ve always dreamed about, but never really thought would materialize. To get my hands on the sound of this legendary radio station is a dream come true,” said HLIVKO. “I’m eternally grateful to JOHN IVEY for this opportunity, KELLY DOHERTY for everything she’s taught me, BO MATTHEWS for starting me on my radio journey and to everyone at iHEARTMEDIA/CLEVELAND for their wisdom and support.”
We try to control our own use of phrases like “legendary radio station”, but Miles is right in this case…
NO MORE DENNIS MILLER RADIO: Syndicator Westwood One (now a part of Cumulus) announced that iconic Chicago broadcaster Jonathon Brandmeier is launching a new syndicated show – based at Cumulus talk WLS/890 in his hometown – next month.
But word came out that “Johnny B”‘s new gig comes at the expense of an existing Westwood One show aired on at least two Northeast Ohio stations.
All Access notes that current 10 AM-1 PM (ET) Westwood One host Dennis Miller is stepping away from the radio microphone:
BRANDMEIER is replacing DENNIS MILLER, who is leaving broadcast radio and who recently launched a podcast, “PO’D CAST,” with ADAM CAROLLA.
Hey, that name sounds familiar…from our “#TheNextRadio” series!
A quote from soon-to-be-former syndicated radio host Miller:
“I’m stepping aside from radio at the moment,. It’s been a great run and I’ve had a phenomenal time interacting with my guests and audience. But with so many other commitments right now, it’s hard to maintain a daily talk show. It’s time to pass the torch as I move on to explore other opportunities. I wish JOHNNY B lots of luck.”
We have no idea if Dennis Miller jumped, or was pushed, off the SS Westwood One. Our content partners at RadioInsight note that Miller Radio Time ends on March 27th.
And at this early writing, we don’t know if his area affiliates, Digity talk WHBC/1480 Canton and Spirit Media talk WINT/1330 Willoughby, will stick around for “Johnny B” or find something else…
SALEM AND DISNEY: The newly-renamed Salem Media Group was in the rumor mill as a potential buyer of some of the Radio Disney stations. Of course, nearly all of the RD stations are being sold by the Mouse, as it moves to a digital world (aside from the group’s Los Angeles flagship, presumably for music licensing reasons).
We never seriously thought that Salem would add Cleveland’s WWMK/1260 to its existing local cluster, and we were right…1260 will become Catholic “AM 1260 The Rock” instead.
But just down the Ohio and Pennsylvania Turnpikes, Salem IS buying the Radio Disney outlet in Pittsburgh (and in Atlanta, as RadioInsight reports).
It’s a station with a much more interesting history than its current incarnation.
It was popular WTAE/1250 back in the day, and eventually became locally-programmed ESPN Radio O&O WEAE.
When ESPN decided to decamp from its full operation in Pittsburgh, a shuffle occurred. 1250 took the Radio Disney feed from Birach rimshot WWCS/540 Canonsburg PA. That station eventually became the market’s Fox Sports Radio affiliate, and as far as we know, runs Yahoo Sports Radio today.
As noted, Salem is also buying the Radio Disney station in Atlanta. It wouldn’t be surprised if the company launched talk “1250 The Answer” in Pittsburgh when the dust clears.
Back here in Cleveland, where OMW hears that “AM 1260 The Rock” could be on the air sooner than later…