Talking About Rumors and Such

And even a fact or two thrown in:

CANTON ACTION: Our small item a couple of days ago – talking about rumors of changes at NextMedia’s Canton duo of WHBC/1480 and WHBC-FM/94.1 – has prompted a large chunk of the Canton radio community to weigh in…both here on the blog and privately.

We’re reminded of rumors we’ve heard from outside Northeast Ohio…that NextMedia is in a selling mode, from cluster to cluster.

How does this all fit with what we’ve heard about the WHBC combo?

We noted that we’d heard NextMedia was actually looking to buy a second FM in the Canton market – one would assume either D.A. Peterson’s WZKL/92.5 (“Q92”) or Jim Natoli’s WNPQ/95.9. Both have long been the subject of sale rumors, usually not actually turning into fact.

If WZKL would be involved, we hear it’s possible AM 1480 could be flipped back to Mr. Peterson and company, and paired in combo with his existing AM, WDPN/1310 Alliance.

But…why would NextMedia be looking to buy, if it’s actually exiting the Canton market (and others)?

Sale bait. Simply put, they’d get more money from a buyer for a combo of 94.1 and 92.5 (or 94.1 and 95.9) than they would for 94.1 and 1480. For example, we hear a potential sale price of $27 million could be attached to 94.1 – and just $8 million for the venerable AM 1480. We’d assume 92.5’s price would be at least somewhat closer to the money NextMedia could get for 94.1…at very least, somewhat more than $8 million.

We caution – all of this is at “heard on the street” level. But judging from our response, that noise on the street is rather loud in the Hall of Fame City…

KASPER RUMORS: If we would hear anything definitive from WAKS/96.5 “Kiss FM” APD/MD/afternoon driver Kasper, we’d certainly let you know. But the long-time OMW reader is playing his cards close to the vest…if he has any cards to begin with.

We can’t help but note yet another high profile, major market Clear Channel CHR opening on today’s AllAccess scroll. “Tik Tak”, who’s been in and out and in again at Chicago’s version of “Kiss FM” (WKSC/103.5), is reportedly out again.

The “Kiss Chicago” afternoon driver has once again turned his shift into a revolving door, and has left the station just two months after he returned. “TIC TAK has left the building, and I have an immediate, rare afternoon opening for true talent,” AllAccess quotes WKSC programmer Rick Gillette, who adds that tomorrow, keyword ‘gillette’ at will provide details on how to apply.

We’re not at all trying to push our long-time reader out the door. But his name keeps coming up in connection with all these big market openings. This one, though, appears to have no programming duties in association with it…and we know that’s one reason Kasper came back to Cleveland.

But who knows…Chicago, being a midwestern city and not a huge distance from Cleveland, may appeal to him? We are just speculating…as we said, we have no inside information on this…

FACT: And the one fact we promised. It’s not new at all, but we believe we never actually got around to posting a link to the Youngstown Vindicator article on the return of WFMJ/21 weekend meteorologist Mark Koontz…after a stroke he suffered during one of his newscasts.

As the article points out, Mark returned to the Youngstown NBC affiliate in mid-May, and is doing fine. We just link it here because we believe we left readers “hanging” about it…

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