The U.S. 62 Update

So named because most of our items today involve either Canton or Youngstown…

THE STANSBURY CANTON SHOW: Veteran Northeast Ohio personality Dan Stansbury has found a new place for his radio show, and we’re pretty sure the station will still be broadcasting in English next month.

Stansbury has taken a ride down I-77, where “The Stansbury Show” will air weekday mornings on Clear Channel rock WRQK/106.9 Canton starting next week.

He’ll be joined by Matt Fantone, who was unceremoniously dumped by now-Digity AC WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1” in Canton after his position with former owner NextMedia’s “360” arm was eliminated. Digity did not acquire the “360” business.

It appears there was some effort to bring aboard Tiffany “Chunk” Peck, who worked alongside Stansbury at his first two Cleveland stops – as a fellow co-host on Clear Channel sister(/brother?) rock WMMS/100.7 Cleveland’s “Maxwell Show”, and at that show’s brief morning drive reincarnation at CBS Radio classic rocker WNCX/98.5.

But in an introduction announcement on WRQK this week, Stansbury basically said any talks about adding “Chunk” didn’t pan out, though he did say more than once that “the door was open” if she wanted to rejoin him on the air.

The joke above, about WRQK not turning to Spanish-language broadcasting in a month, of course refers to Stansbury’s brief turn at Channel 6.

Er, um, Murray Hill Broadcasting then-alt-rocker WLFM-LP, then known as “87.7 Cleveland’s Sound” due to the TV side effect of airing the audio for Channel 6 on 87.7(5) mHz FM.

Stansbury was hired by WLFM to do “The Stansbury Show” on “Cleveland’s Sound”…at right about the time WLFM management was talking to Cincinnati’s TSJ Media about changing the station’s format and language. Of course, no one told Stansbury that he’d have to brush up on his Spanish to even have a chance of staying on board more than a month or so, and the rest is “La Mega” history.

“The Stansbury Show”‘s arrival at 106.9 in morning drive next week means that Friday’s “Bob and Tom Show” was the syndicated Indianapolis duo’s last on WRQK.

The station announced that during this morning’s show, and posted a thank you message to “Bob and Tom” on WRQK’s site:

“We would like to thank Bob, Tom, Chick, Kristi, Drew and their entire team for an unbelievable partnership. They are the best and absolutely loved being on WRQK for all these years.”

“Bob and Tom” have been a staple on 106.9 for some time, and have also aired in the region, in the past, on Rubber City Radio rock WONE/97.5 Akron and briefly on WMMS itself – remember, as that station’s first ever syndicated morning drive show in the wilderness between “Jeff and Flash” and “Rover’s Morning Glory”.

(Brief connection here: former “Bob and Tom” affiliate WONE now features former WMMSer Jeff Kinzbach in morning drive.)

The move by WRQK basically ends, for now, “Bob and Tom”s run in the immediate Cleveland/Akron/Canton area. The show still airs in Ashtabula, Mansfield/Ashland and Youngstown.

Of the three stations, some Stark County listeners may have a shot at two remaining Clear Channel B&T affiliates: WXXF/107.7 Loudonville (the northern half of the Ashland/Mansfield “Fox” simulcast) or WNCD/93.3 Youngstown. And of course, like all Clear Channel offerings, you can find B&T all over iHeartRadio’s digital platforms.

And that mention of Clear Channel is deliberate. “Bob and Tom” still originate from the company’s WFBQ in Indianapolis, and still air on a number of Clear Channel stations.

But the duo’s syndication package moved recently from Clear Channel’s Premiere to Cumulus.

While that’s not an automatic as far as “losing Clear Channel affiliates”, and the show has kept a number of them (including the aforementioned Northern Ohio outposts), B&T stations looking for Other Options in morning drive may start looking elsewhere as their contracts expire…

ROBBIE SHUFFLE: D.A. Peterson top 40 WDJQ/92.5 “Q92” Alliance afternoon driver/assistant program director Robbie Mack has been a fixture at the Canton market station for years now.

But he’s heading west, young man, and not just to visit long-time Friends of OMW Blaine Thompson and Scott Fybush in Northeast Indiana’s largest city.

Robbie picks up the program director’s stripes at Adams Media top 40 WJFX/107.9 “Hot 107.9” Fort Wayne.

Adams sure moves quick – the company is just now closing on its acquisition of WJFX and a cluster of other stations in Fort Wayne.

As for Robbie, he’s also a long-time Friend of OMW, and tells us he’s going to miss Northeast Ohio and Q92…but he’s super excited for the new opportunity in Indiana:

“It’s been amazing to work my way up, learn and grow at Q92. I’ve loved doing afternoons in my hometown.

The opportunity to take the lead at one of the premiere CHR stations in the country at HOT 1079 is way too good to pass up. I’m stoked to get to work. It’s gonna be a blast!

I know we got some other NE Ohio radio alums who will welcome me to town, even if they ARE competitors 😉 Plus it looks like I’ll have the chance to do a few last shows at Q92, and few get to have that.

As for us, Robbie’s presence in Fort Wayne will certainly lead to us trying to drop in on a town we haven’t seen in a while, and get together with him and everyone else we know with ties to Northeast Indiana…

DON’S BATTLE: A veteran Northeast Ohio TV weatherman has been off TV screens in Youngstown for some time, but with reason.

That’s because LIN TV CBS affiliate WKBN/27 chief meteorologist and market fixture Don Guthrie has had more important things to do than track storms heading into the Mahoning Valley.

From the station’s website:

Longtime WKBN 27 First News meteorologist Don Guthrie, who has been broadcasting in Youngstown for more than 40 years, has pancreatic cancer.

The piece on the “First News” website features the report by Stan Boney, for many years Guthrie’s opposite number at ABC affiliate WYTV/33, but who’s now a co-worker of Guthrie’s…as that station’s primary news anchor since it merged operations with WKBN on Sunset Boulevard.

It’s a detailed story of Guthrie’s treatment (in Columbus, to be near his family members there), and features video of him and his family.

Pancreatic cancer is an insidious disease. Long-time OMW readers know it’s what took Cleveland sportscaster Casey Coleman from us.

But Guthrie clearly has the right attitude, according to one of his doctors with Mahoning Valley ties:

Doctor Tom Pedrick is Don’s radiation oncology doctor. He too is from Youngstown, a 1968 graduate of East High and then Youngstown State University.

“There’s no way to sugar coat anything when you’re dealing with pancreas cancer. They have a bad reputation for a reason. But he’s got a very positive attitude. We’re doing everything we can to make him more comfortable,” Dr. Pedrick said.

To that end, Guthrie says he’ll be back on WKBN telling Valley viewers about the weather, soon:

Stan Boney spent two-and-a-half hours with Don and he said Don never once complained, never asked ‘why me?’, even knowing that after radiation comes chemotherapy. As they held hands and headed home, he wanted everyone to know that his last radiation treatment is June 2 and, even at age 71, he plans to be back at work on June 3.

“And I think it’s going to be the best thing for him, give him a little more energy, something to look forward to every day. For as long as he can, I think it’s the best thing for him,” (Don’s wife) Debbie said.

“And I love doing my job. I love trying to outfox Mother Nature every day, so I am looking forward to it,” Don said.

WKBN is taking cards, letters and notes for Don care of the station’s address, 3930 Sunset Drive, Boardman, OH 44512…

EX-CLEVELANDER UPDATE #1: Former now-Tribune Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8 News” sportscaster Allie LaForce continues to expand her workload, and not just doing car commercials for dealers in her old hometown.

LaForce will be a sideline reporter for SEC football telecasts for her current employer CBS Sports, according to a network press release:

LaForce joins as lead college football reporter working with Lundquist and Danielson calling the “SEC Game of the Week” as well as the Army-Navy game. LaForce joined CBS Sports in 2012. She currently hosts the late night show LEAD OFF on CBS Sports Network and serves as a college basketball sideline reporter, including working the NCAA Tournament the last two years. LaForce also was part of CBS Sports Network’s NFL pre-game studio show, THAT OTHER PREGAME SHOW, last year.

We aren’t college football experts, but we know the SEC is the sport’s pre-eminent conference…which would certainly mean a higher profile for the former Clevelander…

EX-CLEVELANDER UPDATE #2: Former Good Karma sportscaster Bernard Bokenyi is looking for a new gig, after exiting as program director of Alpha Broadcasting sports KXTG/750 Portland OR “The Game”.

Bokenyi was first heard in Cleveland on Good Karma’s first acquistion, “ESPN 1540”, the Cleveland daytime signal now known as the company’s second station – WWGK/1540 “KNR2”.

He and current WKNR/850 midday “The Really Big Show” co-host Aaron Goldhammer were Craig Karmazin’s first two hires in Cleveland…before he bought WKNR from then-owner Salem…

Speak Your Mind