Weekend Update – Still No Chevy Chase

Some items brand new, some a day or so old, but not yet on the MBoF(tm):

WVKO’S AM OFF AIR: Columbus urban/talk/religion WVKO(AM)/1580 is now silent, at least for a few months.

The Columbus Dispatch reports this morning that the station’s new management – “Bernard Radio”, a radio group operated by an investment fund which was owed millions by bankrupt owner Percy Squire’s Stop 26 Riverbend – temporarily shut down the station Friday because the WVKO(AM) tower lease is set to expire at the end of May, and the station’s towers are set to go down in June.

Brad Scher, who’s been appointed to run the stations for Bernard Radio, also tells the Dispatch that WVKO is “bleeding” money. The station does have a construction permit for a new tower site off Morse Road, but the new site won’t be up until the fall…and Scher says former management “did nothing” to construct the site.

In addition to disrupting programming aimed at the black community in Columbus, the move also bounces the AAA Columbus Clippers baseball team off of the Columbus radio dial…the team is scrambling to get a new home. For that matter, so is Capital University’s baseball team – the team even had a game scheduled to air on WVKO this afternoon.

For his part, Squire tells the Dispatch’s Mark Ferenchik he believes the new group wants “to stop paying employees while they upgrade the station”. Squire is continuing his legal fight to block the transfer of WVKO and the other Stop 26 Riverbend stations (including WVKO-FM/103.1 in the market, and Youngstown market stations WRBP/101.9, WGFT/1330 and WASN/1500), a fight which so far has had no success. As recently as Friday, a U.S. District judge blocked a Squire request for a temporary restraining order against the sale’s closing.

Scher and Bernard Radio apparently have no interest in disrupting the format of the Columbus station they run that’s still on the air – Spanish-language WVKO-FM.

LAUGHING MATTER: AllAccess reports that the weekly “National Lampoon’s Comedy Countdown” show has found an Akron market home – Clear Channel talk WHLO/640. No word on if the station is taking the one, two or three hour version of the show, or in what slot it’ll be heard. The station does not have an hour-by-hour schedule on its website, though we did note that 640 has picked up NASCAR racing from sister talk WARF/1350 (“Radio Free Ohio”). Are there liberal NASCAR fans, anyway?

PAIN-FREE: Another AllAccess report – Cleveland native Ally Pain, who’s been heard at stations like WCOL/Columbus, joins program director Scott Free for mornings at top 40 WNKI/Elmira NY. She tells the trade website that she grew up listening to Free when he was on Cleveland’s WZJM/92.3 (at the time, “Jammin’ 92.3”). We don’t recall her from radio here, though.

BECK DEBUT: Premiere syndicated midday host Glenn Beck, heard locally on WHLO/640 Akron and WEOL/930 Elyria, starts his CNN Headline News program on Monday at 7 PM. Here’s CNN’s description of TV’s Glenn Beck…

“Glenn Beck” is an unconventional look at the news of the day featuring Beck’s unique and often amusing perspective on top stories from world events and politics to pop culture and everyday hassles. Like Beck’s radio program, the show will be centered on current events and the opinions of Beck, all delivered in Beck’s humorous, self-deprecating style.

We’re wondering if the show will be amusing, or humorous. Or maybe amusingly humorous, in an unconventional way. (Don’tcha just love TV show descriptions?)

Beck has put up his own “behind the scenes” video of his preparation for the show at the popular video site And in that “self-deprecating style”, Beck’s website has a page where listeners can weigh in on when they think the TV show will be cancelled.

The show will repeat at 9 PM and midnight ET.

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