New Starts

Some changes, and some observations…

RODA TO WHBC: Veteran Cleveland sports talk radio host Kenny Roda has found a landing spot…a good ways down I-77 from his long-time radio home in Cleveland.

KennyRodaStarting October 27th, the former afternoon drive host at Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850” takes over afternoon drive at Digity talk WHBC/1480 Canton, taking over the 3-7 PM slot from WHBC sports director Sam Bourquin.

Bourquin remains sports director, and moves his daily on-air presence to the WHBC morning drive show “Canton’s Morning News”, where he’ll handle sports news and updates alongside incumbent hosts Pam Cook and Gary Rivers.

And it does appear Kenny will do on WHBC what he’s done for 25 years – talk sports.

Quoting Roda from a WHBC release he posted on his own website:

“I’m excited and looking forward to being back on the air, to do what I love to do, and that’s talk sports. Plus I get to be part of a great team and work at a legendary station like 1480 WHBC.” added Kenny Roda. “It’s a great time to cover and talk sports in the area from LeBron and the Cavs, to what the Browns are doing, as well as the Buckeyes, Indians and of course high school sports. I can’t wait to get started!”

Cook is also quoted on both moves:

“I have always thought adding Sam in morning drive would be a great move and when you get to put a proven winner like Kenny Roda in afternoon it’s a very exciting time for radio in our market.” stated Pam Cook who also serves as WHBC Program and News Director.

The Lake County News-Herald’s Bob Finnan caught up with Roda on his new Canton adventure:

“It’s a great fit for me,” he said. “The shift is great. It’s afternoon drive. They carry the Cavs, Indians, Browns and Ohio State Buckeyes. They have an affiliation with everyone relevant. Their high-school coverage is legendary down there. Their coverage is second to none.”

And Finnan’s story answers one question we had: yes, Roda will continue his duties reporting rinkside for the AHL Lake Erie Monsters’ TV coverage on Fox Sports Ohio and Raycom MyNetwork TV affiliate WUAB/43.

Due to the early evening start times for most Monsters games and the distance between Canton and Quicken Loans Arena, we presume he’ll need a sub on WHBC those days….perhaps Bourquin will pull a split schedule, and fill-in on his old show.

We presume Roda’s other TV work, as a contributor to Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5’s Ohio State Buckeyes coverage, will also continue.

We don’t know if Roda will continue to do his weekly “Roda Report” segment on CBS Radio sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan”‘s midday “Baskin and Phelps”. (Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 “The Talk of Akron” afternoon driver/former Browns defensive star Bob Golic appears regularly on “The Fan”, so we doubt it would be a problem for Roda to continue on 92.3 as well.)

Roda is by far not the first veteran Cleveland radio personality to decamp to one of Northeast Ohio’s smaller markets.

Along I-77 between the Galleria and Market South, former WMMS/100.7 iconic morning host Jeff Kinzbach has established a beachhead on West Market Street in Akron, where he fronts morning drive on Rubber City Radio Group rock WONE/97.5.

His news voice, OMW reader and Rubber City Radio VP/Information Media Ed Esposito, formerly worked in Cleveland at the old WLTF/106.5 “Lite Rock 106 1/2” (now iHeart’s variety hits WHLK “The Lake”) and the former WWWE/1100 “3WE” (now the company’s talk WTAM).

Down the hall at Rubber City Radio country WQMX/94.9, former AC WDOK/102.1 programmer Sue Wilson heads up Akron’s dominant country station…and that’s just three people of many in one building.

Will Roda be as successful in Canton as the above-mentioned trio has been in Akron? We’ll see…

SPIDER-MAN TO RADIO?: No, the latest addition to Radio One hip-hop WENZ/107.9 “Z107.9″‘s schedule does not swing from buildings wearing a costume and using webbing, but you get jokes like that when your name is Peter Parker.

PeterParkerTHIS Peter Parker doesn’t work for the “Daily Bugle”. He comes to the Z afternoon drive slot from Washington DC, according to a release sent out by Radio One’s Cleveland cluster and operations manager Bill Black:

Peter Parker’s career in radio spans over 10 years. The Boston native has worked in several markets in the Midwest and East Coast, most recently at WPGC 95.5 FM in Washington, DC. He’s the creator and host of #ParkerVision, a web based radio program that boast over 300 interviews with hip-hop’s biggest stars. Peter Parker is also a premier mixer with affiliations with Shadyville and Core DJ crews.

We’ll take their word on that “premier mixer” part. We can’t even identify “premier mixers” that you’d find in the Housewares department.

Parker replaces Shorty Da Prince (Jordan Johnson), who left Z for a gig at Radio One Washington DC’s WKYS/93.9. And no, we don’t know if the two crossed paths in DC in the past three months…

ROVER OPENINGS: No, we’re not tracking the inner workings of “Rover’s Morning Glory” nearly as much as when Shane French and crew came to iHeartMedia[/former Clear Channel] rock/talk WMMS/100.7’s morning drive slot.

Back then, we joked that we were all but publishing their lunch menus at Oak Tree.

But the Cleveland-based syndicated show is looking for new staffers, including a new producer. iHeart Cleveland VP/programming Keith Abrams (we’re not on his Christmas card list) tells All Access:

“…candidates must book quality guests, identify hot button issues and generate ideas for compelling listener-relatable conversations, possess strong social media knowledge, organizational/multi-tasking skills, leadership qualities, and willingness to participate in on-air discussions. Major or medium market radio experience preferred.”

An OMW reader also spotted an ad for a phone screener/show participant for WMMS’ morning dogfest.

“Rover” fans can tell us who these two new hires will replace…and what Duji had for lunch on Friday…


  1. I’d see no reason why Roda couldn’t simply do his show from the Q (via ISDN) on nights where he’d be doing Monsters games.

    This isn’t WNIR…I’m fairly sure Digity would hook the “Roadman” up for just such a circumstance (and not make him use a pay phone).

    • And the Q does have radio facilities, as the Cavaliers Radio Network originates there (and not from flagship WTAM/1100).

      The questions then become: are there “extra” facilities that the Monsters don’t need before the game? And can Roda do a three hour radio show right before a game? One presumes there is pre-game prep time involved…

  2. The Prototype says

    One wonders how long Roda will want to do this at a spot like WHBC…and why ‘HBC just cuts out the nonsense and bills itself as what it really is…an all sports station that really is afraid from some reason to actually embrace the format…

  3. Looks like WHBC has shafted the best announcer with this hire. Sam has yet to be heard on the morning show and was not on the HS Football broadcasts this weekend. Something is afoot and HBC is getting blasted on social media for it.

    That being said, I can’t see Roda not hopping on the first train back to a large market when the offer comes.

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