Elyria/Lorain Talker Picking Up Another Talk “Big Name”?

UPDATE (12/29/05 10:25 PM) – WEOL’s website now confirms Sean Hannity is indeed that pixelated and fuzzy host pictured below, and that he’s coming to the station’s lineup. They don’t yet confirm a live 3-5 PM or 3-6 PM placement.


One of our regular tipsters – Lorain County resident Nathan Obral – noticed this picture on the front of talk WEOL/930 Elyria’s webpage:

Underneath what appears to be a picture of ABC Radio/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity, appear the words “Guess who’s coming to WEOL?”

It doesn’t take Lt. Columbo or Adrian Monk to figure out that it appears likely Hannity’s show will end up displacing WJR/Detroit-based talker Mitch Albom on the WEOL schedule, probably after the first of the year.

It’d be the second such move by the Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting-owned station in the past year. The talker picked up Premiere’s Glenn Beck shortly after he lost his clearance on Clear Channel talk powerhouse WTAM/1100 in Cleveland. And the addition of Hannity means WEOL will once again be the second regional outlet for a major national talk radio host not heard in the main part of the Cleveland market. Clear Channel Akron talker WHLO/640 also picked up Beck, and has run Hannity in afternoon drive for some time. (WHLO did not debut its current talk format with Hannity’s show in afternoon drive, by the way. That slot was actually first filled by a delayed broadcast of Rush Limbaugh.)

Lorain County IS actually in the Cleveland metro Arbitron market, but is not a full market signal for Cleveland at 1000 directional watts. It’s mostly a West Side phenomenon.

The “Guess who’s coming” question was also employed by WEOL before Beck’s addition to the schedule, only the picture featured Glenn Beck’s logo.

We’re actually surprised WEOL didn’t make this move sooner. Albom’s syndication by ABC Radio ended some time ago, and he’s been selling the show himself out of WJR. And Albom’s home station is widely heard in Northern Ohio…and has a powerful 50,000 watt signal that booms across Lake Erie into Lorain/Elyria.

One unanswered question – does this mean the end of WEOL’s local 5 PM newsmagazine “5 O’clock World”? That’s where staffer Larry Wright ended up on the schedule after WEOL picked up Glenn Beck, once “The Other Side of Morning Drive” was wiped out by the move. It’s possible that the station will run two live hours of Hannity and keep the local 5 PM show….it’s certainly been done at other Hannity affiliates, including one which used to employ a certain OMW primary editorial voice…

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