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PD Shuffle Leading To More Canton Changes?

Mix 94.1 WHBC-FM B94 B94.1 Q92 92.5 WDJQ Canton Alliance Akron Pat Deluca Charlotte DiFranco John StewartA Program Director crossing town could be the opening salvo in a coming CHR war in Canton, OH.

NextMedia Hot AC “Mix 94.1” WHBC-FM dismissed Shawn Powers as PD/Afternoon Host earlier this week and has replaced him with John Stewart, who spent the last ten years programming at crosstown “Q92” 92.5 WDJQ Alliance. Stewart will hold the Operations Manager/Program Director title at WHBC-FM and sister News/Talk 1480 WHBC as well as host afternoons on 94.1.

But there is more to the story. Former WDJQ morning host Pat Deluca registered B941.com on November 26. Deluca and co-host Charlotte DiFranco left Q92 in a contract dispute last Februrary that ended with a legal settlement after the duo launched a webcaster that station owner Don Peterson deemed was in violation of their non-compete clause.

With that non-compete winding down and their supportive Program Director crossing the street, could a reunion on a revamped “B94.1” be far behind?

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

15 Comments


  1. ok just wondering were do y’all get your info? because ummm that is assuming and you know what they say when you assume… DeLuca and Charlotte have their own streaming station that is very successful they are not going to up and leave their baby just because a non-compete is over.


  2. Where was anything assumed? A question was asked.

    Methinks someone doth protest too much.


  3. It doesn’t take a genius to be able to find the pieces (i.e., the domain registration) and look at the overall circumstances to form an educated guess, Staci. You clearly know very little about Internet-only stations, based on your comment. Just because a station appears to be “very successful” to an outsider, that does not necessarily make it so, in reality. The costs of streaming, plus royalties that must be paid to ASCAP and BMI, and other associated costs of a streaming-only station make it very rare that any real money can be made. Pat and Charlotte would be foolish not to return to terrestrial radio, based on income potential alone.


  4. i’ve heard maybe they’ll go to 94.1 but i think it would probably be in more of a Syndication type deal. Can’t see them stopping what has been developing over the last year and scuttling the biggest aspect of it. Radio is forever changing and this is just the latest


  5. I do not seeing it a Syndication type deal as the above posters have said,despite the DSN internet being popular it is not a money maker.
    They would rather be ota than on just internet and the fact they can collect a paycheck from Next media and go after Q-92 at the same time the internet deal is just a PT thing.

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    It would be interesting to see WHBC-FM go full-on CHR, pitting themselves against Q92. (WKDD/98.1 runs the CC Premium Choice CHR feed outside of morning drive, and they redirected their attention back to Akron several years ago.)

    As for Pat and Charlotte reuniting on 94.1, why not? Internet radio still has the potential to become a game-changer for the medium, but it is far from a reliably profitable source.


  7. I love the speculation.. both about potential WHBC changes AND the lack of profitability of Internet radio.

    You people don’t know the inner workings of our business. No one but Charlotte and I do. The past year has brought many changes to me personally and the industry as a whole.

    We’ve been selling advertising – in stream – since September 1. We’ve managed to find and keep steady and satisfied clients. We’ve signed a rev share agreement with TuneIn and have profited from that agreement.

    Anyone who starts a business can expect a loss. Matter of fact, it’s good to show a loss (for IRS purposes) for at least 2 years.

    While being unemployed and without any income, Charlotte and I have managed to keep this thing running for nearly a year (DSN Hits will celebrate 1 year of continuous operation March 1). We’ve grown steadily in revenue and listenership each month..

    Internet radio is the fastest growing segment of the digital entertainment world – surpassing YouTube a few months ago. You don’t have to be a genius to see this is the way the listening public is going.

    We’re not some low-budget operation running out of my basement. We have studio and office facilities, a sales department, a promotions department, an engineering department, a programming department, interns, a front office, and 18 hours of unique programming per day.

    I resent the insinuation our venture will “go nowhere” and that Internet radio isn’t profitable. What do you know about out operation?


    • That is true that internet radio is growing but when everybody and there mother can get one it really comes down content which i have to say you do have as you are talented and enjoy to listen to but don’t you want to take on old Donnie and Q-92?

      The internet can be for more shall we save not ready for OTA radio as having both only build your brand even though it might be hard to push the internet station.

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      Pat, if you got that impression from my previous comments, my apologies.

      There’s no doubt that internet radio stream has proliferated with the iPhone/iPad and wireless internet connections. It’s a different story from even five years ago, let alone five. In fact, I’ve long felt that once wireless broadband internet radio receivers finally come out, the playing field between internet and terrestrial will be leveled for the first time – it is that much a game-changer for the medium.

      My kudos to you for your success online. Success like that is not typical – YET. But if the content that people want to listen to exists, they will find a way to tune in.


  8. If the Radio Insight rumor is going to happen… I don’t think a 2nd CHR in Canton is the best idea. It’s already saturated with not only local Q92, but WKDD/Akron and Kiss/Cleveland appear to put good signals into Canton. It would basically make it a 4 CHR market (similar to Cedar Rapids, IA; KZIA + KQRN plus Waterloo and Quad Cities booming in)


  9. I have to admit that John Stewart is a great programmer though.

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      His hiring does generate a lot of buzz for both 1480 and 94.1… regardless if the FM flips or not.

      My guess here is that 94.1 gets streamlined into even more of an adult CHR-leaning sound while loosely retaining the hot AC format they’ve held for decades. (Q104 in Cleveland, just literally on the precipice of being a full-blown CHR, successfully made that adjustment from a Hot AC sound over the past two years.) And yet, a rebrand to “B94.1” would still make sense.

      Besides, Q92 has been an unconventional CHR to begin with. It has a unique sound and presentation, as opposed to the national Premium Choice CHR format run off of WKDD.


  10. If the Radio Insight rumor is going to happen… I don’t think a 2nd CHR in Canton is the best idea. It’s already saturated with not only local Q92, but WKDD/Akron and Kiss/Cleveland appear to put good signals into Canton. It would basically make it a 4 CHR market (similar to Cedar Rapids, IA; KZIA + KQRN plus Waterloo and Quad Cities booming in)


  11. Yeah but if JStew is qutting who will be hosting the Daily Show now?


  12. B94.1 becomes a reality, Donnie will react and flip to something safe. The last time Q92 did research was in 2003 and that was with McVay who said go CHR. Well, now it’s 2013 and the market could stand to use a well programmed Classic Hits station. Remember when it was WZKL “Kool 92” I’m not saying bring back oldies, but a great (WCBS) type Classic Hits and Donnie will be set.

    Put DeLuca and Charlotte in mornings on B94.1 and Kathy/Rik jump ship and go to 92.5, Canton’s Greatest Hits!

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