Gone And Staying

Some random items while waiting for proverbial footwear to drop…and we’re talking large shoes here…

RADIO DISNEY IS STILL ALL EARS: You were supposed to be hearing the Sounds of Silence on Radio Disney stations like WWMK/1260 Cleveland by now, and no, not the Simon & Garfunkel hit.

RadioDisneyLogoBut instead of silencing 23 signals nationwide (all AM except for one FM in the Indianapolis market), the Mouse House decided at the last minute to keep them operating at Friday’s previously announced deadline.

What in the name of the late Walt Disney is going on?

No, WWMK and its (little) sister stations are still being sold, as Radio Disney concentrates on the online world, still broadcasting via its apps and websites (and nominal over-air flagship KDIS/1110 in Los Angeles, presumably to save money on music licensing).

Enter long-time personal and professional Friend of OMW Scott Fybush, who has The Answers in a “NorthEast Radio Watch Extra” column posted late last week.

As it turns out, Scott writes, those high powered Disney lawyers weren’t thrilled with the idea of defending 23 silent radio signals at the Portals of the FCC:

Can a company as big as Disney make an economic argument to the FCC about the need to take signals silent in some of the nation’s biggest markets, especially when the Radio Disney national programming feed isn’t going away? With much more valuable licenses at stake (think Disney-owned ABC owned-and-operated stations such as WABC-TV and WPVI), Disney quietly made the decision not to test the Commission’s patience with silent STAs.

Thus, as of midnight Friday, WWMK and the other Radio Disney O&O’s went to a direct satellite feed of the network programming, with two FCC-mandated local studio staffers.

And yes, there’s very much a “for sale” sign on AM 1260 and the other Radio Disney over-air stations. Refer to our earlier item for speculation on who may end up owning WWMK.

If there were a Radio Station Sales Betting Window at the Horseshoe or the Hard Rock, we’d put our meager OMW budget down on Starboard, the religious broadcaster behind “Relevant Radio”.

Starboard just picked up an AM in the New York City market, WNSW/1430 Newark NJ…and RD’s WQEW/1560 in that market (heard here easily at night) is on the sale list…

A DIFFERENT MIX: Yes, Youngstown market veteran Mark French has been displaced from the morning drive show at iHeart(/former Clear Channel) hot AC WMXY/98.9 Youngstown “Mix 98.9”.

But no, he hasn’t left the station.

Earlier this month, “Mix” debuted the syndicated show “Murphy, Sam and Jodi” in its morning drive slot.

The show is based at KRVE/96.1 “The River” in the Baton Rouge LA market and airs on about 20 stations, including WMXY’s iHeart(/former Clear Channel) sister AC station WKWK/97.3 “Mix 97.3” in Wheeling WV.

As noted, Mix Youngstown’s Mark French is still with the station, now airing in afternoon drive. WKWK did the same in Wheeling with local morning driver Jim Conner.

We hear that it was a local decision at South Avenue to add “MSJ” and move French to afternoons…to give the station a strong live and local presence in that time slot…

ANGIE’S MOVE: Former “107.3 The Wave” program director Angie Handa has been in California for some time now, and she is now taking a major market gig there.

All Access reports that Handa is joining a San Francisco Bay Area station:

CUMULUS Country KSJO (NASH FM 92.3)/SAN FRANCISCO taps sister Hot AC KBBY/VENTURA PD/air talent ANGIE HANDA as APD/Midday personality. HANDA’s show will debut on NASH FM 92.3 on MONDAY, OCTOBER 20th, and will air weekdays from 10a-3p MONDAY through SATURDAY.

Of course, in 2008 when Handa came to Cleveland to program then-smooth jazz WNWV/107.3, it was still owned by Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting.

ELB eventually killed the smooth jazz for a spectacularly unsuccessful run as AAA/alt-rock “V107.3”, then sold the Elyria-licensed station to Akron’s Rubber City Radio Group.

RCRG runs it today out of the Independence Media Gulch as a smooth AC station, once again named “The Wave”…

LAST DAY AND FIRST DAY: Tuesday is the last on-air day for Rubber City Radio talk WAKR/1590 Akron news anchor/reporter Larry States.

As we told you earlier, Larry’s retiring after over 30 years at WAKR and its sister stations (including former Akron ABC affiliate WAKR-TV) and over 40 years in local radio news.

WAKR has aired various tributes to Larry, and will talk with him in depth for a final time as an employee, in the last hour of the station’s Ray Horner show from 9-10 AM Tuesday.

Wednesday is the first day in Hartford CT for former Tribune Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8 News” anchor/reporter Mark Zinni.

As we noted, Zinni will anchor Meredith CBS affiliate WFSB/3’s 5:30 PM newscasts with a long-ago WJW employee, WFSB evening co-anchor Denise D’Ascenzo…

AND RIP: Former Mahoning Valley congressman Jim Traficant died over the weekend, after being critically injured in a tractor accident.

As we also said earlier, Traficant tried his hand at radio after leaving prison (on corruption charges) in 2009.

He briefly did a Saturday afternoon talk show at iHeart(/former Clear Channel) talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland, and filled in for PD/then-midday host Dan Rivers on the company’s Youngstown talker, WKBN/570…


  1. I would think that a station that is currently on the air has slightly more value and may garner a better sale price compared to one that has been taken dark.

  2. This whole WMMK business is of NO interest here in the Akron area. 1260 is a non-entity here in Akron, as is 1300 kHz, both non-signals in Summit County. I am a Michigan transplant circa 1978….have heard stories that WIXY ruled the airwaves here in the 60’s…have no idea how when their signal was marginal at best IN THE DAYTIME, LET ALONE THE NIGHT TIME. In Detroit, the legendary WKNR (1310) was the equivalent of WIXY and had signal problems as well but didn’t have to worry about serving its equivalent of “Akron” unless you would classify Toledo as the match of Akron….

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