So Many Changes

So many changes, so little time…just one day for most of this…

NEW ND: Raycom CBS/MyNet combo WOIO/19-WUAB/43 has found its replacement for now-former news director Dan Salamone, and it appears quite obvious he won’t be leading the “19 Action News” newsroom. Well, OK, not the newsroom under that long-time moniker.

Here, let’s share the first few lines of the official press release from Raycom HQ in Montgomery AL:

Fred D’Ambrosi has been named News Director at WOIO/WUAB, the Raycom Media owned CBS affiliate in Cleveland, Ohio. D’Ambrosi is an awarding-winning news director over the last 24 years in markets across the country.

“WOIO/WUAB and Raycom Media are dedicated to local journalism that serves the community,” said D’Ambrosi. “I’m joining a strong team of journalists in the WOIO/WUAB newsroom who are already doing great work. My hope is together we can make it even better.”

WOIO/WUAB Vice President and General Manager Dominic Mancuso stated, “We’re excited to have Fred join us with his track record of moving newsrooms forward. With him at the helm we are excited about the future for WOIO and WUAB’s newscasts.”

Notice three things missing from the release so far? The words “19 Action News”. (The station’s current on-air newscast name appears exactly zero times in the rest of the release as well.)

D’Ambrosi continued, “Credibility is job #1. Trust is everything. People are deluged with information, but they turn to us to find out what’s true, what’s important. We need to earn their trust every day, by being accurate, fair and putting events in perspective.”

D’Ambrosi comes to Reserve Square from a stint at Gannett CBS affiliate WUSA/9 in Washington DC.

TVSpy reports that D’Ambrosi resigned from WUSA in October after a 5 year stint as news director…he joined WUSA after 12 years at San Diego CBS affiliate KFMB/8.

And yes, he has some Cleveland ties, working as a producer at WKYC/3 (then an NBC O&O, now owned by his former company in DC, Gannett) from 1982 to 1986.

D’Ambrosi’s LinkedIn bio has a lot more information, including listing his 11 year run as news director at Milwaukee’s WISN/12.

And his hiring completes the Entire Market Run of new news directors, as all four Cleveland TV newsrooms have new bosses as of the past just-over two years.

WKYC tapped Brennan Donnellan, who started in January 2013. Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 brought in Cleveland native Jeff Harris from sister KMGH in Denver, and Tribune Fox affiliate WJW/8 elevated long-time assistant news director Andy Fishman to the top of its news management ranks.

For what it’s worth, aside from being obvious in the Raycom press release, we hear D’Ambrosi will indeed lead a newsroom that won’t be called “19 Action News”, as we reported some time ago.

We are hearing that the Reserve Square news operation is likely to take the “CBS 19 News” mantle, and will (like other newsrooms in the market) emphasize its personalities’ Cleveland ties…

NOT GOOD INFO, MAN: Cleveland radio newsman Jim “Infoman” McIntyre is best known for his time alongside CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1 morning then-fixture “Trapper Jack”. (Trapper is now known by his real name, Philip Keller, and produces the “Blind Faith Live” podcast.)

The pair put in nearly 20 years a piece at the station still known today as “New 102”, until “New” meant “Without You” in late 2012 for both men.

The following April, Jim landed as news anchor and host at Salem talk WHK/1420 “The Answer”, a job he held…until last week.

We’ll let him tell the story, reluctantly, from his Facebook page:

Friends, I am hesitant to share this news because it seems self-serving, but a trusted colleague convinced me to do so. I am no longer employed. I was told on Thursday I am part of Salem Media Group’s new corporate-wide layoffs. It has been a challenging and rewarding 23 months at WHK and The Fish, and I pray to do God’s will going forward. Thanks for listening.

Ah, the “L Word”, and we’re not talking about a cable TV series.

It’s a word that’s painfully familiar to someone McIntyre worked alongside for a short time, WHK midday host Bob Frantz…who experienced it himself when the bean counters at Clear Channel/now-iHeart found his salary removal at talk WTAM/1100 would help meet the latest budget cut goals…

SPEAKING OF RADIO: We’ll note something in this space to kick the can down the road a few months.

As it turned out, Good Karma sports WKNR/850 “ESPN 850” “The Really Big Show” host Tony Rizzo was indeed apparently wrangling with his contract in an “unforced vacation”. (Darn. Maybe pro wrestling is real, too.)

We didn’t hear it, but OMW readers tell us that he came back a week ago Monday rather annoyed, and told listeners he agreed to a six month contract extension with Good Karma Brands (brands?).

That gives us until about early September to wonder if Rizzo has any other radio options if he doesn’t stay at WKNR for good…and we can’t really see either CBS Radio sports WKRK/92.3 “The Fan” or the aforementioned WTAM picking him up as a free agent.

Or it gives us until about early September to watch paint dry…and then get ready for yet another group of “WHERE IS TONY RIZZO???” messages when he leaves the air again…

CHICAGO MEDIA WATCH: There are already many people who cover the Chicago radio scene, but this one has enough Ohio ties that…here we are.

Local media watchers including veteran blogger Robert Feder and Chicagoland Radio and Media report that Cumulus rock WLUP/97.9 “The Loop” has hired Erich “Mancow” Muller for its morning drive opening after a “Morning Drive Show Search”.

Yes, THAT “Mancow”, who went from blocking the San Francisco Bay Bridge in a stint poking fun at then-President Clinton, to a shock jock reign at Chicago alt-rocker “Q101”, to a role as political commentator on cable’s “Fox News Channel”.


Now, let us try to count up all the Cleveland radio ties.

1) The WLUP morning drive show was most recently handled by former Clear Channel/now-iHeart rock/talk WMMS/100.7 afternoon drive talker Maxwell, without his Cleveland talk co-horts…who joined him for a cup of coffee at CBS Radio classic rock WNCX/98.5.

2) Maxwell was replaced at WMMS by Alan Cox, who has become an afternoon drive force at 100.7.

3) Cox himself was one of the people who replaced “Mancow” at then-Q101 in Chicago. (Stop us if your head is spinning.)

4) Among “Mancow’s” competitors for the WLUP opening was Liz Wilde, who also once worked at WMMS (very much pre-Clear Channel/iHeart).

Liz wrote on Facebook:

Dearest Fans and show members..I am forever grateful to each and every one of you guys who stuck by my side through this “thing”…See you soon. Thank you so much. Erich has all that he wanted now. Godspeed.

And Mancow’s political-ish talk incarnation from Talk Radio Networks aired on one-lung talk daytimer WJMP/1520 Kent-Sort of Akron-Not Really Cleveland, the closet-based sister station of MediaCom talk WNIR/100.1 “The Talk of Akron”.

Chicagoland Radio and Media writes:

For his tryout on WLUP-FM last month, Mancow avoided the angry political tone and crazed/paranoid survivalist character he had been adopting and instead tried to recreate what made his show popular in the early days of Q101.
What Cumulus Media is looking for from its new morning show host is a more entertainment-based funfest, avoiding the many political and controversial issues that plagued Mancow’s former shows. They also want a show that is more advertiser-friendly and one that is integrated into the station, not an “island” apart from it.

Will Mancow be able to slightly reinvent himself once again and deliver a show that can appeal to sponsors and listeners for Cumulus Media? Time will tell…

Chicago media beat writer guru Robert Feder brings along a Sack of Skepticism on this, quite frankly a poorly conceived “choose our morning host!” stunt:

Whether the four-week popularity poll billed as The Loop’s Morning Show Search was legitimate or the fix was in from the start (as many suspected), Muller was declared the winner. A disclaimer added to the bottom of the website read: “The Loop Morning Show Search is not a contest and is for research purposes only.” The talent field also included lesser known candidates Abe Kanan, Shadoe Stevens and Liz Wilde.

Rather than announce a start date for Muller, however, The Loop will pretend to “offer” him the job on the air Tuesday and continue to hype the stunt while awaiting his response.

Oh, the excitement! Oh, the thrills! Oh, yawn…


  1. What happened to the blonde traffic girl on CBS 19? Seems like Denise Dufala rules the roost there!

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