Wednesday Short Takes – Wooster and Canton

Just a couple of ’em this time around:

Short Take 1: Someone mentioned this to us some time ago, but we heard it for the first time this week. Dix country/sports WQKT/104.5 Wooster has been airing a local late afternoon drive show called “Best of the Best”, weeknights from 5-7 PM. The host is station vet Dave Dial (seen on this WQKT staff page), and the show mixes country music and local news and sports features. Dial was with the station part-time in the 1990’s, and returned a few years ago.

For one, it airs frequent local sportscasts, and is the new home for features which used to air on the station’s “News on Q” evening show – such as the local stock market report. From listening on Tuesday, it sounded like the station “stayed local” with music in the slot primarily to fit in the heavier commercial and feature load that used to air in the slot once taken not only by “News on Q”, but also the former “SportsTalk” program…which aired on WQKT for years, most of those years with local sports legend Roy Bates. There’s not a lot of room in the Westwood One satellite country feed to air what used to air then.

Dial’s music selection seems to be somewhat more energetic and upbeat than the stuff usually sent down from the satellite folks. As far as OMW knows, it’s the first non-news or non-sports local show out of “Wooster Radio” since former program director Dave Forest spun oldies in afternoons on WKVX/960, over 10 years ago…

Short Take 2: Whither WCER/900’s announced local talk show? Some weeks ago, the Canton talk/religious station’s operations manager announced that a new local talk program would air evenings at 6 PM. We were then told that the show – with Jason Burnette announced as host – would have a delayed debut. This afternoon, while within the station’s local signal area, we heard Premiere/Take On The Day advice host Dr. Laura in the 6-7 PM hour, with a promo noting that she was on the air 4-7 PM.

The station, by the way, now calls itself “News/Talk WCER 900”, which may or may not be a nod to Cleveland’s “NewsRadio WTAM 1100”. Though it’s mostly second-and-third-tier syndicated secular conservative talk, you can’t fully take the religion out of WCER… an attempt to check out TRN’s Jerry Doyle one weekday afternoon recently yielded a once-a-week half-hour religious program presented by Canton’s Malone College. And even in its promos, the station touts itself as “talk radio with a mission”.

Oh, and the WCER legal IDs continue to say “Canton/Akron”, which is kinda gutsy for a 500 watt station that is rather scratchy in half of the Akron market. It’s still not QUITE to the level of 1000 watt east suburban rimshot daytimer WJMP/1520 Kent (“Fox Sports 1520”) including both Akron AND Cleveland in their legal ID, but it’s close. If you’re in Cleveland proper, and listening to 1520 out of Kent with anything resembling a listenable signal, you’ve got a heck of a radio, a tuned antenna, and have nulled out local second-adjacent WABQ/1540…

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