Some changes in Northeast Ohio broadcasting to be chronicled…some permanent, some temporary…
BOOMS-LESS: As widely expected, CBS Radio sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan” has opted for evening host Ken Carman to sit alongside Kevin Kiley in morning drive…who co-hosted “Kiley and Booms” for nearly four years with now-former “Fan” co-host Chuck Booms.
Uh…not permanently, yet.
We hear Carman is scheduled to sit next to Kiley on what is still called “Fan’s Morning Show” for this week, and what happens after that, we don’t know.
Our legendary gut tells us that “92.3 The Fan” will put other people on the air before they make a final morning drive decision.
(As we type this, Kiley said “Kiley and Carman” during an interview…don’t read anything into that other than Kevin being used to saying “Kiley and Booms” for nearly four years in interview resets.)
We also don’t know why the polarizing Booms is no longer allowed into the Halle Building, despite almost hourly questions on social media. WE DON’T KNOW.
Asking us 20 times a day on Twitter won’t change that. If we have something we can post, we’ll post it.
In our last item, we pointed out extensive budget cuts at CBS Radio stations here and elsewhere…including those that claimed the job of long-time hot AC WQAL/104.1 “Q104” morning host Allan Fee, and a sports talk radio morning drive co-host in Sacramento. That’s apparently not enough “blood” for some.
As controversial a personality as Booms is, if something “happened”, we’d hear about it from half the station, and we still have not, even in “here’s a rumor” form.
We also don’t know his next move, yet, though we would be shocked if Chuck hasn’t already knocked on the door at the Galleria, home of Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN Cleveland”.
Before “The Fan” hired him, he did some weekend shows on WKNR, and relentlessly badgered former WKNR host Kenny Roda. That’ll do him no good now, with Roda at Digity talk WHBC/1480 in Canton these days.
So, for now, it’s Ken Carman in morning drive next to Kevin Kiley for one week, and it would appear “players to be named later” (and maybe even Carman again in the rotation) until a final decision is made…
ROCK SOLID: Monday marked the start of the new era at AM 1260 in Cleveland.
Despite being known for its past as top 40 giant WIXY/1260, the Radio Disney era (as WWMK) was actually the longest run of any format on the 1260 frequency.
That’s pointed out by the Plain Dealer’s Tom Feran, who did an extensive story just days before lay Catholic “AM 1260 The Rock” took the airwaves Monday afternoon at 3.
Religious art and a statue of St. Peter greet visitors to station offices in an industrial park in Broadview Heights, amid the smell of fresh paint and new carpet. A crucifix hangs in every room, including the studio still under construction last week.
The enthusiasm of board members is undiminished by the the drift — or exodus — of listeners from AM to FM and from radio to digital media.
“Ninety percent of people in cars still listen to radio — and the average drive to work is 24 minutes each way in Greater Cleveland,” said (Dick) Russ, who functions as spokesman for the group. He has been vice president since 2013 of North Coast Community Homes, a nonprofit that provides housing for people with disabilities, after almost 35 years as an anchor, managing editor and reporter at WKYC Channel 3 and WJW Channel 8.
And Russ (pictured here with his fellow board members from an EWTN release) is well aware that before AM 1260 became Cleveland’s Mouse House, it offered Catholic programming that wasn’t around for long:
His group is also undeterred by the fate of WMIH, the Catholic-themed station that operated on AM/1260 from 1995-97.
“The difference was the business model,” Russ said. “WMIH was a commercial venture. They had to do it all on their own, 24/7, paying off debt and a full staff. There was no EWTN.”
And you’ll hear a lot of the Alabama-based full-time satellite-fed network on the new WCCR (“Cleveland Catholic Radio”, not “Creedence Clearwater Revival”).
Russ tells the PD’s Tom Feran that the EWTN agreement limits local programming to 25 hours a week. We assume that programming is being developed.
But no matter what WCCR airs locally, Russ estimates that it will take about $500,000 a year to keep “AM 1260 The Rock” on the air.
That’ll require going to Cleveland area Catholic parishioners for their support, and non-commercial style underwriting from “business members”.
As Feran points out, WCCR can certainly sell commercial time because of its commercial broadcast license, but there’s limited time in the EWTN schedule for full “commercials”…