Saturday Stuff

Three items, including two semi-related, maybe. Or maybe not:

MORE LES STILL: At this rate, we’re going to have to start charging local sports media personality Les Levine for ad space.

But we can’t help it if the fast moving developments in local sports radio and TV lately all seem to involve him, for whatever reason.

This time, it’s Mr. Levine’s second straight appearance on the “Saturday Morning Sports Show” on Good Karma sports talker WKNR/850 this morning. But unlike last week, where Les did the show solo, his partner was former WKNR host Kendall Lewis.

It, presumably, was something of an audio preview of the upcoming season of FSN Ohio’s “Cleveland Rants”, where Lewis will join Levine as his new co-host, along with “roving reporter” Kim Mihalik (WNCX/98.5). We didn’t get to hear the show, though.

We’re starting to agree with other observers…the Saturday show appears to officially be Good Karma boss Craig Karmazin’s “audition show” for personalities he might want to add in the future.

One big reason for our agreement: Lewis had already been scheduled for a March 3rd WKNR fill-in.

We didn’t realize until looking at the calendar that March 3rd is a Saturday, which would put him in the “Saturday Morning Sports Show” slot as a solo host. Today’s appearance was apparently added very recently, at least after Lewis told the Akron Beacon Journal’s George M. Thomas about the March 3rd show.

One thought we can’t shake, though it’s just a guess on our part: Somewhere in there, we have to believe that Mr. Karmazin wants at least one two-person show on his daily lineup.

The two-person sports talk show is iconic in the format. Though several popular hosts basically run solo (Jim Rome, etc.), nearly every sports talk station features a popular show with two hosts bantering back and forth about sports.

You can come up with examples without even trying. America’s most popular local sports talk show is WFAN/660 New York City’s “Mike and the Mad Dog”, which owns sports talk radio in that market.

And though they do have solo hosts, the format at Philadelphia sports station WIP/610 is also littered with dually-hosted shows. Even market icon Angelo Cataldi has a credited co-host/sidekick in morning drive now (Al Morganti).

That last station is important, for it’s the sports talk station which helped form the views of a certain new WKNR owner.

Mr. Karmazin began his own radio career as an intern at WIP, along with fellow intern Steve Politziner – now co-host along with him of Good Karma syndicated show “Steve and Craig”. Good Karma’s WWGK/1540 “Cleveland’s ESPN Radio 1540” will begin airing that show in early March after the Daylight Saving Time change, when the station’s broadcast hours extend past 7 PM due to a later sunset.

And Karmazin himself uses the format at some of his other stations.

Though his highest profile show at WAUK/1510 Milwaukee is a solo show hosted by market veteran Steve “The Homer” True in afternoon drive, “ESPN Milwaukee”‘s mid-morning show “The D-List” features sportswriter Drew Olson and “a group of co-hosts featuring WISN 12’s Dan Needles and The Game’s former co-host Bill Johnson in a light-hearted look at the sports world from Milwaukee’s premiere sports enthusiasts.”

With the “auditions”, and the longer the station waits to make an on-air overhaul of its overall sound (for the love of Pete, please get rid of the Michael Luczak liners!!!), we have to wonder if Something Big is coming in the next few weeks. We just don’t know when, though some would suggest by the end of the month…

TIME WARNER ONE: Yet another in our series of continuing updates on this certain group of stories.

This time, an OMW reader who subscribes to Time Warner Cable’s Akron/Canton system notes the recent addition of a channel identified as “Time Warner One” to that system, on, well, cable channel 1.

For now, there is no programming on “Time Warner One”, which features ongoing instructional video about hooking up your cable equipment. The onscreen programming guide only has the words “Coming Soon!” on the channel.

But…we wonder. Is more headed for “One”?

Again, just a wonder here. We have no information that the channel will become anything but a place your cable box points to, when you are “welcomed” to the system (or when the cable box resets, etc.).

We’d also have to note that you need a cable box to tune to any channel 1, so if it were destined for something more, “Time Warner One” would have to be remapped to another channel for analog customers.

It’s just another data point, and may mean nothing. But wouldn’t “Time Warner One” make a great name for a local programming channel? And why would the system put “Coming Soon!” on the programming guide if there’s nothing more destined for “One” than setup videos?

On the former Adelphia system serving greater Cleveland and parts of western Summit County, cable channel 1 is the relatively new home for “Time Warner On Demand”…

ROB OUT: OMW hears that WKDD/98.1 overnight/swing/weekend jock Rob Mckenzie has parted ways with the Clear Channel Akron/Canton hot AC outlet.

In addition to being heard overnight and weekends, Rob also held down traffic/co-host duties with WKDD program director Keith Kennedy in afternoon drive.

Rob, as the saying goes, is “looking for his next opportunity”. Drop him a line at robmichaels81 – at – yahoo – dot – com, without all the dashes and substitutions…

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