Moves, Both Good And Tragic

UPDATE: A sad update to our second story…from Rover’s GoFundMe site:

UPDATE 11-12-2014: Unfortunately little Serena has succumbed to her injuries. She passed away this morning.  Sarah and Ben remain hospitalized in serious condition.  Please keep Rob and his family in your thoughts.

Our original item is below…

When life situations call for a move, changes that result can be both good…and end up in tragedy…

BOURQUIN MOVES NORTH: When Digity talk WHBC/1480 Canton brought aboard Cleveland sports talk veteran Kenny Roda for afternoon drive, something had to give.

As it turns out, that won’t be sports director and previous afternoon drive host Sam Bourquin moving to join WHBC’s “Canton’s Morning News”. (From what we hear, he never actually took that role.)

SamBWAKRInstead, the 21 year station veteran hits I-77 North, where he’ll front “The Sam Bourquin Show” from 2 to 5 PM weekdays on Rubber City Radio Group talk WAKR/1590.

The Akron station wasted no time in posting Bourquin’s move, both on social media and on its own website:

“We’re very fortunate to have a proven professional, a real talent committed to the Akron-Canton area and northeast Ohio with the credibility earned since he first began broadcasting in Massillon as a teenager,” said Thom Mandel, President and General Manager of Rubber City Radio Group (RCRG).

“WAKR is the heritage station for Akron celebrating our 75th year of service to greater Akron,” Mandel noted. “Sam has been an integral part of our region, growing up in the shadow of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and realizing home truly is where the heart is. We’re fortunate to have his talent and passion continue the tradition of WAKR.”

“This is a great opportunity for me and my family,” Bourquin added. “I’m a northeast Ohio lifer.”

As noted, Bourquin started his career in 1990 at Massillon’s WTIG/990, then went to WHBC in 1993…where he’s been ever since.

Bourquin took over as sports director when Jim Johnson retired in 2009, and has called a lot of high school and other games for the station.

It’s not yet known if he’ll do the same in Akron…the Canton Repository’s Todd Porter writes:

There are no plans for Bourquin to do play-by-play, which became his signature at WHBC. “We’re working toward that,” Bourquin said.

OMW readers might recall that Bourquin became a talk show host when he replaced WHBC’s Jim Albright in afternoon drive.

Before Albright, the station launched into local talk with former WHBC-FM/94.1 host Brady Russell who is, as far as we know, no relation to Bourquin’s new colleague at WAKR, “Average Sports Show” host Brad Russell.

Bourquin’s show displaces self-syndicated advice guru Dave Ramsey, and fits between the existing shows of midday host Jasen Sokol and Russell’s evening show, making WAKR’s weekday lineup entirely local starting with morning drive staple Ray Horner.

Bourquin takes the WAKR microphone next Monday, November 17th.

It’s an interesting situation…WAKR’s signal covers much of Bourquin’s Stark County base, and may actually be better in parts of that county than Canton-based WHBC.

Bourquin has a large social media following, and many of those listeners have proclaimed that they’ll make the move from 1480 to 1590 weekday afternoons.

But the veteran Canton area sports voice will have to very much introduce himself and gain new listeners, say, north of U.S. 224…

NEEDS YOUR HELP: We mentioned it briefly when former producer of iHeart rock/talk WMMS/100.7 syndicated morning show “Rover’s Morning Glory” left for Tampa, to take a similar role with a similar show at an FM talker there.

A tragedy has now befallen former “RMG” producer Rob Garguilo’s family in Florida. We’ll let the show explain:

ben_serenaRob moved to Florida with his girlfriend Sarah and their two children, Ben, 4, and Serena, just five weeks old.

Tragically Sarah, Ben and Serena were struck by a car as they crossed a street in Largo, Florida on Monday, November 10. Ben and Serena were airlifted to a local hospital. All three are listed in critical condition.

Shane “Rover” French and his cast mates at Oak Tree have not only not forgotten Rob, they’re trying to help him and his family.

Rover has a launched a page on GoFundMe to collect money to help mounting medical costs for their former producer and his family, and to cover expenses.

“Our fans have experienced every intimate moment of Rob’s life with Sarah and their children on the air for the past five years,” said Rover. “Even though he’s no longer part of the show, he’s considered family and they have stepped up to support him in this time of need.”

And at this writing, the GoFundMe page has raised nearly $17,000 in 22 hours…


  1. Jim Nuznoff says

    I heard the traffic report of the pedestrian accident Monday morning on Had no idea there was a local connection. My best to all.
    Marry the mother of your children. They deserve it.

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