Week Ending Wrapup

Tying up our usual loose ends…

WHBC NEWSMAN OUT: OMW hears, and AllAccess confirms this afternoon, that WHBC/1480 Canton veteran news anchor/reporter Alan Zarek is out after a 6 year run at the station. OMW also hears that the change leaves WHBC without news coverage on weekend afternoons.

This is particularly interesting timing, since we spent some time here recently talking about rumors of a sale of NextMedia’s Canton cluster.

The company has been selling one cluster after another…one recent NextMedia exit was from nearby Erie PA, where the current version of Connoisseur Media picked up the company’s stations (two AM, four FM) there for over $17 million earlier this year. We’re also reminded that Connoisseur Media – first incarnation – is not new to Northeast Ohio…

We’ll repeat our rumor from earlier. It appears NextMedia intends to sell WHBC’s AM side, the venerable 1480, and may pick up an FM station to pair with 94.1, for eventual sale to a third party. We would not bet the whenever-we-get-it-on-the-market OMW World Headquarters on it, but it seems possible…

G98 FUN: We’ve caught some of the WNCX/98.5 tribute show to WGCL “G98”, which aired this morning in the still vacant morning drive slot. Former WGCL staffer Dave Sharpe (mid-80’s) held forth, with many airchecks of the station’s days as a top 40 outlet.

And we learned some things we didn’t know.

For one, we had no idea that Cleveland urban radio legend Lynn Tolliver (now at Tampa FL’s WTMP, and once at Youngstown’s WRTK/1390) had actually been heard first on Cleveland radio on the old G98. In specific, under the air name “Truckin’ Lenny”. The show was worth a listen for that aircheck alone…

And though we haven’t reached that point in our recording of the show this morning, we understand they did check in with the man most people remember when they think back to the G98 days…”Dancin'” Danny Wright.

Also in the house on WNCX this morning – Bumper Morgan, a former WGCL air personality who now has a thriving voiceover business…among his recent clients was Clear Channel oldies WMJI/105.7.

The show was scheduled to check in with program director Tom Jeffries, and Joe Bohannon, another WGCL jock who went to even greater fame and fortune in Chicago on WBBM-FM. Maybe WXRK/92.3 syndicated morning doggie Rover – now a co-worker at talk WCKG there – can go to him for advice about how to establish yourself as a “Chicago radio name”…

ED’S WORRIES: From our “If Having Your Show and Your Station’s Format Preempted for a Day to Establish a New Station Wasn’t Enough Department”: OMW hears that Jones Radio syndicated afternoon liberal talk host Ed Schultz is talking about Clear Channel Cincinnati’s move, putting his affiliate in the market onto the weaker signal of WSAI/1360.

Though Schultz and “The Revolution of Talk Radio” host Jerry Springer were not even heard in Springer’s hometown today, Schultz repeated concerns voiced to local Democratic Party leaders – reported last month in the Cincinnati Enquirer. We hear that in his 3 PM hour (carried locally on Akron’s WARF/1350 “Radio Free Ohio”), Schultz told listeners that he didn’t think his show would ever be heard in Cincinnati again.

We don’t know if that’s a specific worry on his part that WSAI will drop him from the lineup, or if he’s concerned about the format in general. If they were planning to kill the format, they sure went to a lot of trouble to change all the logos and websites this past week.

It would, however, probably not be a lot of trouble to move Air America host Randi Rhodes into the afternoon slot…if Ed’s fears were to come true.

About that house betting – we’re not betting the house on “The Revolution of Talk Radio” lasting very long on its new home. And if you don’t agree with us, consider Cincinnati Post columnist Rick Bird’s latest article on the flip in today’s paper:

Cincinnati Clear Channel programmers are being brutally honest about the reason for the switch. In a tongue-in-cheek on-air announcement detailing the change, an announcer is heard saying, “I know this can be confusing,” but sarcastically adds, “If all you diehard liberals who whined for Air America programming had bothered to listen to it, none of this would be necessary.”

The funny liner is not that surprising coming out of that building.

WLW has cut liners for its simulcast on XM Satellite Radio channel 173 – proclaiming when returning to programming preempted to cover a Cincinnati Reds game: “We now interrupt this crap, to bring you some even BETTER crap!” And you should hear the liner explaining why the station can’t air Reds games on its own XM channel, as they’re heard instead on XM’s Major League Baseball channels…

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