Two Tuesday Updates

Updating two of our earlier items:

KIM’S IN: CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1 program director – and OMW reader – Scott Miller checks in to make it official…former WTAM/1100 afternoon co-host Kim Mihalik is indeed aboard at “Soft Rock 102.1”, taking the Saturday 10 AM-2 PM shift.

Miller tells us that Kim has filled in for morning co-host Robin Benzle, alongside market veteran Trapper Jack. We don’t know much about him, but that had to have been a, umm, different experience than Kim’s previous co-hosting duties on the other station.

Miller laments to OMW that ‘DOK doesn’t get much attention – “nobody notices what we do here”, he says. In this case, we remind him it’s a Good Thing. WDOK’s mentions here in OMW usually are followed with words like “ratings and revenue powerhouse” and “dominant station”. When whispers of potential format changes are heard, one of the first responses is usually that WDOK is a solid station that management would be insane to mess with.

There’s very little turnover at 102.1, because there doesn’t need to be. And we welcome Scott or any local programmer’s word of changes, new shows or new hires…our E-Mail address is under the “View my complete profile” link over at the left. (We’ll have to fix that wording one day…it came with the template.)

CAROLLA UPDATE: We mentioned it in our below speculation about the future of “Rover’s Morning Glory” as a syndicated program – the rumors of CBS Radio giving Howard Stern west coast replacement Adam Carolla a short leash. (Hey, Rover’s the dog here!)

CBS fires back to Inside Radio today, telling the trade website it “strongly supports” the KLSX/97.1 Los Angeles-based syndicated host, and “strongly denies” the rumors Carolla is on the way out if things don’t shape up.

Well, OK. Didn’t CBS Radio say good things about David Lee Roth before his show careened into the nearest wall and exploded? And honestly, is a radio company spokesperson going to come out and go “yeah, you got us, Carolla’s ratings really suck, and he’s gotta get his act together or we’re firing him!”

We haven’t seen any CBS suit respond to bad news about Rover, though they may just not have been asked. Chicago Sun-Times media beat writer Robert Feder has been on the Rover case for months.

We still believe Rover has a chance of pulling it out in the Windy City, though we would not say those chances are very large. His problem on WCKG/105.9 there is not the same problem Carolla’s dealing with in Los Angeles. In Chicago, Stern was not the number one morning man. He did fairly well in the ratings, but he wasn’t dominant like he was in Los Angeles or New York.

Rover’s biggest problem in Chicago is that he’s an interloper. An outsider. Chicago is a very unique market, which takes to its own personalities even more so than we do here in Northeast Ohio. And despite Rover actually being born in a Chicago suburb, Shane French’s family didn’t stick around long enough to be considered natives in the eyes of local radio listeners.

You don’t really even have to be a native to get that Chicago cred, actually. Kevin Matthews came in from Grand Rapids MI and became a popular local personality, though it took him time. (Matthews eventually scooted back to his Michigan home town.)

But a high-profile FM morning show is not the place to gain your Chicago stripes, particularly if you’re under immediate pressure to build ratings by replacing a national radio icon.

If Rover came in and started doing nights somewhere, or built his way up within Chicago, it would have been a different story. Chicago is not immune to the charms of “shock jocks” (Hello, Erich “Mancow” Muller!) But they’re not born overnight, and it’s an open question whether CBS Radio is ready to hang in there with the formerly-Cleveland-based radio doggie…

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