Some More Stuff to Pick Up

Still picking up little pieces of news and follow-up…and we really should recharge this portable sweeper…

MORE STARS: OMW reported a while back that Northeast Ohio’s representative in the national Clear Channel/Jones/Center for American Progress-sponsored “Progressive Talk Star” contest, Mike Lampers, made the final round of eight contestants for a chance at a syndicated talk show.

He’s now in the final four, according to a station press release.

Lampers will once again hit the national airwaves in a show airing Sunday at 12 PM on local liberal talker WARF/1350 “Radio Free Ohio”. If he moves out of that final four contest, there’ll be a final round on November 16th in front of a live audience (presumably between the two top would-be hosts)…and the final prize is a syndicated weekend talk show courtesy of Jones Radio and Clear Channel.

Oh, and about that comment about Bob Golic and WNIR’s “Akron Idol” contest in our last entry:

We didn’t mean to imply that Golic “beat out” Lampers, who we didn’t even hear in the rotation of amateur hosts trying out for the WNIR afternoon drive slot. We don’t have any idea if he was even possibly a “winner” based on his on-air time there.

We were just using a throwaway line about the nature of what WNIR called “Akron Idol”.

Even if there WAS a possible “winning host”, the entire contest had a ringer – a former Cleveland Browns player with radio background, whose “entry” was a brief fill-in during Tom Erickson’s show.

In the end, it ended up about as good for WNIR as it could have.

It’s not Bob Golic’s fault that he wasn’t a real “contestant” in an amateur contest to fill a veteran’s shoes in afternoon drive. It was just our little jab at the entire idea of filling a crucial time slot in a market the size of Akron with such a contest. And we also can’t blame the Kent-based talk station for jumping at the chance when a local celebrity’s mother tipped him off that there’d be a job available back home.

And yes, the “Progressive Talk Star” thing is a bit silly, too. If it were up to us, we’d encourage local stations like WARF to home-grow local talent to grow into the format. (For one, giving Lampers or some other newcomer a regular local weekend show isn’t a bad idea.) But it’s not like the winner will be on nationwide weekdays, replacing Al Franken or Randi Rhodes…

WWGK/1540: Regular OMW tipster Nathan Obral out in Lorain County tells us that Good Karma Broadcasting sports outlet “Cleveland’s ESPN Radio 1540” is now legally known to the FCC as WWGK/Cleveland.

The call sign change took effect Tuesday, according to the FCC’s website.

WWGK was briefly WBKC, taking the call letters swapped from former owner D&E Communications’ outlet in Painesville, the station now known by 1540’s former calls, WABQ.

And another note about Cleveland’s new ESPN Radio outlet: For whatever reason, the station’s on-air signal seems stronger over the past two to three days.

Obviously, it’s still operating at 1000 watts (daytime only). Aside from some processing changes that WWGK owner Craig Karmazin confirmed to OMW shortly after the station’s launch, we know that the station also needed some serious ground work done…

Maybe that’s happened courtesy of Mr. Karmazin’s ownership…

HELLO BRAD, BYE HEATHER?: Our earlier note about the presence of former WEWS/5 weatherman Brad Sussman on FOX O&O WJW/8 could have another component to it.

We’ve heard people guessing, but it does appear that FOX 8 weather forecaster Heather Weber has been given the typical TV “Stalin-style purge” removal from WJW’s website, She’s nowhere to be found on the station’s four-page list of local personalities.

Sussman hasn’t been added, either…we’ll guess that any permanent role he’ll have, if any, has not been decided. He may just be filling in, in the absence of Weber.

But it would sure be an interesting pickup for them, and definitely improves the FOX 8 “bench”, weather-wise…

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