Odds and Ends: Starting The Week (With Pictures!)

Checking in with updates to a few past OMW items:

* There’s been a lot of rumbling about why WXTM/92.3 morning doggie Rover (hey, we’re running out of dog references, here!) decided to head to Chicago’s WCKG/105.9…as the new home base for his expanding syndicated morning show. OMW even weighed in, noting that we’d heard it was Rover’s “dream” to be on the air in his original hometown…and figured, from what we’d heard from folks who heard him talk about it at the Cleveland “TalenTrak” conference, that the decision was his, and not Infinity’s.

Well, that’s apparently not the whole story, according to Mr. Shane “Rover” French himself, who posted an “Open Letter to Cleveland Fans” on his website.

Now, OMW isn’t sure how much of this is an attempt to appease upset Cleveland-area listeners, who have been E-Mailing Rover with complaints about him “selling out” or leaving Cleveland behind as the show’s home base. But unlike a lot of these letters, Rover’s seems to lay it out with a lot of detail, including stuff we’re assuming the Infinity brass wish he hadn’t have talked about.

The upshot: Rover tells his listeners that the idea to base out of Chicago was Infinity’s, and he agreed to make the move because it meant more resources for the show, more high-profile guests and because he felt major market stations wouldn’t take the show (Rover calls it “snobbery”) syndicated out of Cleveland.

Oh, he does mention that minor point about the fact that he and everyone else on the show will make more money, though he notes that it “won’t be much more” due to the cost of living in Chicago. He also noted his family ties to the Windy City.

So, read it, and make up your own mind.

* In response to our item about sportstalker WKNR/850 Cleveland picking up the minor league Lake County Captains next season, as a second station to Captains flagship WELW/1330 Willoughby, we heard from McKeesport (PA) Daily News media columnist Pat Cloonan. Pat reminds us that Clear Channel sports WBGG/970 Pittsburgh has run games of the minor league Washington (PA) Wild Things, carrying the feed from originating station WJPA in that southwest Pennsylvania city. He also notes that the minor league hockey Wheeling Nailers (second level farm club of the Pittsburgh Penguins) have been heard on Pittsburgh radio, on ABC-owned sports WEAE/1250.

* For some odd reason, we’re obsessed with visual changes on WOIO/19’s Browns pre-game and post-game shows. But there’s visual fodder for YOU to see, this time. On the morning pre-game show, for whatever reason, the station outfitted hosts Brian Duffy, Hanford Dixon and Chuck Galeti with full headsets, complete with microphone attached…for their broadcast from an empty Cleveland Browns Stadium. (WOIO’s David Pingalore and Sharon Reed were onsite at Reliant Stadium in Houston…the station was only using Browns Stadium as a backdrop.)

Does this picture strike everyone else as funny as it struck us? Maybe the station thought it would make them look more like football coaches or something, using the headsets instead of the more standard small earpieces that are used in TV production. Maybe they thought the headsets would look like earmuffs in chilly morning weather. Maybe they ran out of small earpieces or forgot to bring them. Heh. Whatever. But it looks all the more amusing looking at the microphone on the headset, which is pushed up away from the face to look like an antenna or something…

And on the “19 Action News” Cleveland Browns Post Game All-Brown Giant Couch of Doom, here’s a picture of show co-host and WNIR afternoon drive talk host Bob Golic. Or is that legendary country star Johnny Cash sitting next to fellow ex-Browns player Hanford Dixon, give or take a few pounds and a full beard?

We’re wondering if Golic wore this all-black outfit in response to a quip by Cleveland Plain Dealer media columnist Roger Brown…about his “casual” previous attire on the show. Oh, the only piece of news out of Brown’s Monday sports media column – he mentions WKNR/850’s plans to once again air a Cavaliers’ post-game show.

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