He Won’t Have Rover to Kick Around Anymore

With all the activity on the local sports media front, we missed Chicago Sun-Times media beat writer Robert Feder’s final missive on now-former WCKG/105.9 morning doggie Shane “Rover” French. “Rover’s Morning Glory” exited its Chicago flagship station earlier this week.

Feder says the replacement team – CBS Radio/XM’s Opie and Anthony – has “nowhere to go but up”, and says they’ll no doubt be better than “the mutt they’re replacing”. (And we thought WE overdid the dog references!)

Feder says French’s “kennel of sidekicks and sycophants” returns to Cleveland, and says Rover “blamed his failure on everyone but himself”:

Mostly, he pointed to management — the same people who brought him here, promoted him, defended him, built new state-of-the-art studios for him, and urged him to focus more on Chicago.

Well, we’re not so sure we’d “blame” French for his own failure. The problem would seem to be that CBS Radio installed a young-skewing radio personality and his show on a station that actually skews somewhat older. Not to mention the problems we’ve documented here, about Rover’s status as a Radio Import in a market which loves its locals.

The show seems pretty juvenile to us, what we know of it and what little we have heard of it. Like Feder, though, we are out of the show’s target demographic.

So, it appears, would be the overall target demographic of WCKG, the station which took a chance on Rover for the slot vacated by Howard Stern in January.

The station skews older than a typical FM talker.

The afternoon drive slot is hosted by Chicago radio icon Steve Dahl, who’s been in the market for decades and whose “Free FM” picture cites the legend “Been here. Done that.”

Rover’s strength, meanwhile, is in the 18-34 demographic… a demo he continues to do very well in here in Cleveland.

That, and it seems from day one, WCKG wanted a heavily Chicago-focused show, while Rover saw the gig as a syndicated empire based in Chicago.

Here at OMW, we like and respect Robert Feder. He is clearly the dean of newspaper media columnists in this country, and we’ve even been fortunate enough to meet him. But in his coverage of Rover, he has the same problem we do. We’re both too old to “get” the youth-oriented morning host…and like us, he’s had a little column-writing fun at a regular target…

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