Just A Brief Followup on “ESPN Radio 1540”

UPDATE 10/30/06 9:02 AM: Listening to “ESPN Radio 1540” from this far away is like trying to listen to a station from a foreign country. But we’ve heard enough this morning to pick out that as we expected, Aaron Goldhammer is doing local “ESPN SportsCenter” updates for the new Cleveland ESPN Radio affiliate.

Goldhammer and Bernard Bokanyi, who will do the afternoon updates, were already on the station’s website doing interviews…


We’d written a whole “handicapping its chances and predicting its future” post about newly-debuted Good Karma sports outlet (to-be)WWGK/1540 Cleveland “ESPN Radio 1540”, when we decided to hold off a while.

We’ve giving the place a little too much press, some feel…including some folks whose professional opinion we respect.

Well, OK, we do tend to go overboard when a new station debuts, and this one is in one of our regular formats (news/talk/sports).

We’ll hold back on the previously written follow-up, and simply note that we agree: The station isn’t going to even cause minor tremors at a certain sports radio facility on Broadview Road, at least as long as it’s a 1000 watt daytimer a large portion of the market can’t hear clearly, or even at all.

So, if you’re sick of reading about it, we’ll just do this brief item, and note that we’ve been sent what looks like a press release for “ESPN Radio 1540” anchor/reporter Bernard Bokanyi.

It looks “real” to us, but we can’t verify it, since it was posted anonymously as a comment to our previous item.

If it’s correct, Bokanyi will take the afternoon local update anchor slot on the new station – the opposing number, if you will, to WKNR/850 (via Metro Networks) afternoon update anchor Daryl Ruiter.

Bokanyi is also listed as “covering the Buckeyes and Browns beats”, and whoever wrote it seems to think he’s basically an acting co-Program/Sports Director due to his other operational duties at the new station.

He was, as we noted earlier, a producer/update anchor at Sporting News Radio, and it appears he started in sports radio (out of the Ohio Center for Broadcasting) as a board operator at WKNR.

The release notes that Bokanyi “might host” some weekend local programming at some point, though no other details are given.

We do expect Good Karma boss Craig Karmazin to slot local programming on the station at some point, probably in afternoon drive (at least eventually).

We also repeat…with a 1000 watt daytime only signal, it may not matter much right now…and remind readers that the sports radio format as a rule is a niche format. WKNR’s certainly has done better, but much of that was during its run as the Indians flagship station in the 1990s.

And in many markets, including all three of Good Karma’s existing sports radio markets (Milwaukee and Madison in Wisconsin, and West Palm Beach FL), all the sports radio operators appear to be fighting valiantly over what amounts to one share 12-plus.

In Milwaukee, Mr. Karmazin has the same problem he has now in Cleveland. The major competition for his WAUK/1510-WMCS/1290 there is not Entercom “full-time” sports outlet WSSP/1250, but two news/talk/sports outlets – Journal’s WTMJ/620 and Clear Channel’s WISN/1130.

So, we’ll see.

In the current configuration, it’s hard to imagine any success…but we’ve always said we don’t believe this is the final position for Mr. Karmazin in Cleveland.

And if you think we went on long here, you should have seen the post we did not put up…

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