Shakeup at ESPN Cleveland

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This topic contains 44 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of skiwest skiwest 2 days, 13 hours ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 45 total)
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  • #173802
    Profile photo of Nathan Obral
    Nathan Obral
    Participant

    The stations slated to simulcast Munch’s WARF show in afternoon drive as of right now include WNCO 1340 in Ashland (Keith Kennedy is the OM for the collective “mid-Ohio” iHeart stations) and WNIO 1390 in Youngstown.

    And that’s not including Bruce Hooley’s public intentions to simulcast HIS morning show from Columbus on iHeart sports stations in Ohio…

    Recorded in Ultra Stereo, the ultimately superior cousin to Normal Stereo!

    #173804
    Profile photo of MediaFan85
    MediaFan85
    Participant

    A station as dependant on sales as WKNR is… should not lose their top sales representative like this. Munch was at WKNR for a little over a decade and did pretty much anything and everything. Couple that with the surprising absence of local non-postgame programming of any sort, and I’m not sure what Craig K’s long game is here. Is he just waiting for Entercom’s purchase of CBS Radio to be completed in a few months?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Entercom buys WKNR and WWGK after the merge with CBS.  Or at least LMA the stations if GK wants to hold on to the two.
    How would staffing appear if KNR becomes a sister to The Fan?
    #173811
    Profile photo of Nathan Obral
    Nathan Obral
    Participant

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Entercom buys WKNR and WWGK after the merge with CBS. Or at least LMA the stations if GK wants to hold on to the two.

    How would staffing appear if KNR becomes a sister to The Fan?

    Again, this is all supposition on my part. Take it all with a grain of salt.

    …except for Goldhammer. The nanosecond Craig K sells, he’s a goner. If he’s fortunate, he’ll make a big production about leaving and Rizzo would play along.

    The rest is idle speculation:

    • Grossi is a love-him-or-hate-him guy, which is fine, but pro’s pro Daryl Ruiter is already doing the vast majority of his work at The Fan.
    • Je’Rod has been bounced from show to show even more so than Munch has (and Munch worked in almost every single time slot possible). I’m still not convinced he can carry a show on his own after all these years.
    • Emmett Golden could stake his own on the weekends and as a swing/fill-in. But as a weekday host? Unsure.
    • Rizzo is the most likely to take his act onto The Fan. Best if he’s wedged into a midday show in between Baskin and Phelps and Bull and Fox.
    • Wouldn’t be out of the realm to see Brinda simply retire. He’s been on Cleveland radio since the early 80s and on WKNR since 1991.

    And again, its speculation. But Entercom knows how to run sports stations (look at WEEI and Andy Roth’s former haunt of WGR) and far more apt to invest in their properties than CBS Radio would.

    It’s counterintuitive to buy an AM station, but them taking WKNR off of Craig K’s hands unites the Browns radio contract, keeps the unlistenable Browns infomercial on ol’ 850 and gives tOSU an FM outlet (while using 850 as spillover for tOSU’s ancillary talk programming and to fulfill the basketball PBP commitments).

    And… I just can’t see how Craig K stays in business the way it’s set up – as a sales-driven operation – after he let Munch walk away.

    Recorded in Ultra Stereo, the ultimately superior cousin to Normal Stereo!

    #173891
    Profile photo of jawbreaker
    jawbreaker
    Participant

    Mr. Orbal .. I enjoy reading your analysis a great deal. I wish you would start a site of your own like .. that Northeast Ohio Media Watch guy. Who was that guy, anyways? Did anybody ever figure that out? He had the connections whoever he was.

    I’ve been on the air in Northeast Ohio commercial broadcast radio for 27 years and I am absolutely stunned at the product WKNR puts on the air. Shocked. Baffled how they could allow this. I’ve often thought, “Well, do something about it. Call Keith Williams and do something about it.” And I just can’t get behind it for some reason. It’s Goldhammer, mostly. Friggin’ kid. He’s .. he’s as bad a radio announcer as I have ever heard in Northeast Ohio. Like, ever. Worse than Chuck Galeti. Worse than Bruce Drennan. Worse than Michael Reghi. Goldhammer has the crown.

    I can’t figure out what has happened with Rizzo. It’s gotta be .. GOTTA be .. he knows everything I am saying and just skates now. He must think “What the hell difference could possibly make if I even try. This is the station that employ Emmit Golden in afternoon drive.”

    He was once a great announcer .. especially on WHK.

    #173927
    Profile photo of vjm1
    vjm1
    Participant

    Mr. Orbal .. I enjoy reading your analysis a great deal. I wish you would start a site of your own like .. that Northeast Ohio Media Watch guy. Who was that guy, anyways? Did anybody ever figure that out? He had the connections whoever he was. I’ve been on the air in Northeast Ohio commercial broadcast radio for 27 years and I am absolutely stunned at the product WKNR puts on the air. Shocked. Baffled how they could allow this. I’ve often thought, “Well, do something about it. Call Keith Williams and do something about it.” And I just can’t get behind it for some reason. It’s Goldhammer, mostly. Friggin’ kid. He’s .. he’s as bad a radio announcer as I have ever heard in Northeast Ohio. Like, ever. Worse than Chuck Galeti. Worse than Bruce Drennan. Worse than Michael Reghi. Goldhammer has the crown. I can’t figure out what has happened with Rizzo. It’s gotta be .. GOTTA be .. he knows everything I am saying and just skates now. He must think “What the hell difference could possibly make if I even try. This is the station that employ Emmit Golden in afternoon drive.” He was once a great announcer .. especially on WHK.

    Quote All “Uncle Rizzy” cares about at this point is cashing checks and getting free swag from all his sponsors.  Regarding Hammer…all that can be said is “Thanks, dad!”
    #173929
    Profile photo of tim131
    tim131
    Participant

    I fully realize the radio industry, sadly, is in decline….and the interest in radio is nowhere what it was even 5 to 10 years ago.

    However, I am stunned at the lack of public comment about WKNR. No live/local weekend shows, more ESPN net programming on KNR than I can ever remember.

    You’d think sooner or later something would leak out from staff members or competitors, if not on air, on social media

    For a station that’s been sportstalk in Cleveland for decades this is very surprising. Is their audience so small nobody cares?

    #173935
    Profile photo of tim131
    tim131
    Participant

    Brinda did a postgame show after today’s Cavs playoff game….but he’s the first local Show I’ve heard on WKNR today.

    #173938
    Profile photo of vjm1
    vjm1
    Participant

    KNR works on the cheap.

    Outside of Rizzo (the franchise player who is the only one keeping the place together), and Goldhammer (the proverbial teacher’s pet), EVERYBODY on the station goes to greener pastures when they actually want to get paid.

    Guys like Darryl Ruiter, Chris Fedor, TJ Zuppe, Jeff Thomas, and Dave Denatale all did anything and everything for KNR, but once they actually started wanting REAL money, Karmazin & Goldhammer sent them packing, always looking for cheaper talent.

    Guys like Reghi and Roda weren’t “cost effective” enough for GKB

    Hooley and Munch bailed because they got a statewide syndication deal from iHeart (which gave Hooley a chance to go back home to C-Bus, and work with OSU icon/real life BFF Chris Spielman in AMD.)

    Guys like Emmitt Golden and Matt Fontana will learn the same lesson after awhile (Jerod Cherry is safe because his 3 Super Bowl rings gives him cred within the Galleria)

    Tony Grossi came to KNR on the rebound from getting bounced from the PD after his Randy Lerner “irrelevant millionaire” comments, so he works on their terms out of loyalty for giving him a gig after a rough patch.

    Brinda will work there until he dies, as he’s a true lifer, and Rizzo has his back.

    Bottom line, you need to work cheap, do a little bit of everything (on and off air) and do it for long hours to work for GKB (unless you are in rarefied air) – and once you want to get something for your efforts…see ya.

    #173941
    Profile photo of jawbreaker
    jawbreaker
    Participant

    That’s a really good breakdown, vjm. It’s exactly accurate.

    But, even this is not new to radio and contributed to the death of the industry. I ran a station as a Program Director back in the early 90’s .. in Wooster .. it was an old and venerable place, run by Dix (“we work for a bunch of Dix”). And I had this guy .. he would come in on Sundays from 6 AM until Noon. That’s it, that’s all he worked. He always showed up and he wasn’t good on the air but .. he always showed up. So, he had been there for a year and at a meeting I said I was going to give him a quarter per hour raise.

    Oh My God. All hell broke loose! They called me everything but a white boy. They had this MALFUNCTION of a human as General Manager (he screamed at this little homosexual man every day until he cried .. literally .. CRIED .. just masochistic. It was beyond lunacy.)

    I said .. “Ken, you’re outta your motherfucking mind. This is LITERALLY one dollar and fifty cents per week. $1.50”. He forbid me to raise this guy’s pay. I told him “Take it to the Dix board then. I’ll argue my case and you argue yours.”

    Regular full-timers would make 15-30 cents above minimum wage. They were in dire poverty. And our ad rate in circa 1988-1994 was $30 a spot AM Drive and PM drive .. $18 tap. I mean, damn, man .. that’s $180 for every spot set .. four spot sets an hour. That’s over $700 an hour. And they are paying people 30 cents above minimum wage.

    Radio has always, always, always banked on “Well, you’re FAMOUS. You’re on the RADIO” and then paid people nothing .. just dirt. And nobody is famous, really, in radio. They think they are but they aren’t. Radio people are all ego, more than ANY other business, and it strokes their ego to hear themselves talk. So they pay them nothing.

    I would imagine that’s how Karmazin handles his business. There’s a religious stereotype for Goldhammer’s management style and Craig’s dad Mel but .. I won’t invoke it here. I think they are just hardcore whores that sell anything that moves. Anything .. that moves.

    And radio quality be damned.

    #173943
    Profile photo of Yekimi
    Yekimi
    Participant

    That’s a really good breakdown, vjm. It’s exactly accurate. But, even this is not new to radio and contributed to the death of the industry. I ran a station as a Program Director back in the early 90’s .. in Wooster .. it was an old and venerable place, run by Dix (“we work for a bunch of Dix”). And I had this guy .. he would come in on Sundays from 6 AM until Noon. That’s it, that’s all he worked. He always showed up and he wasn’t good on the air but .. he always showed up. So, he had been there for a year and at a meeting I said I was going to give him a quarter per hour raise. Oh My God. All hell broke loose! They called me everything but a white boy. They had this MALFUNCTION of a human as General Manager (he screamed at this little homosexual man every day until he cried .. literally .. CRIED .. just masochistic. It was beyond lunacy.) I said .. “Ken, you’re outta your motherfucking mind. This is LITERALLY one dollar and fifty cents per week. $1.50”. He forbid me to raise this guy’s pay. I told him “Take it to the Dix board then. I’ll argue my case and you argue yours.” Regular full-timers would make 15-30 cents above minimum wage. They were in dire poverty. And our ad rate in circa 1988-1994 was $30 a spot AM Drive and PM drive .. $18 tap. I mean, damn, man .. that’s $180 for every spot set .. four spot sets an hour. That’s over $700 an hour. And they are paying people 30 cents above minimum wage. Radio has always, always, always banked on “Well, you’re FAMOUS. You’re on the RADIO” and then paid people nothing .. just dirt. And nobody is famous, really, in radio. They think they are but they aren’t. Radio people are all ego, more than ANY other business, and it strokes their ego to hear themselves talk. So they pay them nothing. I would imagine that’s how Karmazin handles his business. There’s a religious stereotype for Goldhammer’s management style and Craig’s dad Mel but .. I won’t invoke it here. I think they are just hardcore whores that sell anything that moves. Anything .. that moves. And radio quality be damned.

    35+ years ago about the same thing happened to me. Worked at a low rated station in Florida for a crap wage and they said that if I was able to bring the ratings up against the competing top morning show at the time I would receive a “substantial raise”. 3 months later ratings were in and I had increased them by a full percentage point. Went in to talk about my raise and they said first “What are you talking about, I don’t remember anything like that” and then it was”no, we think you can do better”, I said “Not the deal we had”, they said “Tough”. Walked out the door and said “Good luck with your next morning guy, I am outta here” and left them with a few choice words and some newly invented ones.
    #173947
    Profile photo of jawbreaker
    jawbreaker
    Participant
    3 months later ratings were in and I had increased them by a full percentage point. Went in to talk about my raise and they said ..
    See, you are a true *SUPERSTAR* radio anomaly. The concept the entire broadcast industry was built upon .. —  you –.
    You are a winner.
    A real star.
    You’re the reason we draw breath … the reason we can feed our children .. the reason we can live on in to the future. We base all future hope on what you do .. what you think .. even your bowel movements are profitable to us.
    But .. there’s Facebook now. And Twitter.
    And your poop is less important than what it once was. Don’t get me wrong .. it’s still important .. when and how much and the viscosity of your poop.
    But .. it’s not like it once was.
    We once worshipped you, The Great I Am of Ratings.
    Your bowel movements, or even lesser, once gave us hope .. and life.
    Now, we cower because you no longer work in radio. You’ve found another industry.
    We have died.
    So your poop might live.
    #173972
    Profile photo of tim131
    tim131
    Participant

    I was an air personality for 11 years in one large medium & 2 major markets. Two of the stations had national reputations. I did daytime shifts most of those years.

    Was #1 in my time period all 3 stations…and topped out at $24,000/year in early 1980.

    At that point in my life, I quit for a sales job that literally doubled my income the 1st year…and I’d never sold anything before. Never loved sales…but you’ve gotta live.

    All my on air buddies in ’80 were shocked when I quit my jock/MD years for “sales” until I told them what I earned right away in sales.

    I had an expression I used to use…”…fun doesn’t pay the bills…”.

    Ironically, many on air folks in 2017 earn little more than I did nearly 4 decades ago. Whenever I’ve told regular folks what most people on the radio earn they’re shocked how bad it is.

    So, a previous poster was so right: radio for most people has never paid very well for most on air folks. I don’t miss the no money, no security.

    I am shocked what weekenders in Cleveland are now paid in 2017…$10.00/hour is typical.

    Sad…unfortunate. Sounds like a dying industry to me, which is a shame, but is deserved.

    #174225
    Profile photo of mightyvoice
    mightyvoice
    Participant

    Did anyone else find it slightly bizarre that not even one week after departing WKNR, Munch was already on the air over at WTAM? Maybe Munch wasn’t a big enough “star” to justify a full 6 month non-compete clause in his contract, but still, he was a guy who was consistently on the air in one form or another for the better part of 10 years on KNR.  Love him or hate him you have to admit Munch was a big part of KNR’s identity….and then to all of a sudden hear him over on one of KNR’s biggest rivals, not a good look for KNR

    #174242
    Profile photo of vjm1
    vjm1
    Participant

    Did anyone else find it slightly bizarre that not even one week after departing WKNR, Munch was already on the air over at WTAM? Maybe Munch wasn’t a big enough “star” to justify a full 6 month non-compete clause in his contract, but still, he was a guy who was consistently on the air in one form or another for the better part of 10 years on KNR. Love him or hate him you have to admit Munch was a big part of KNR’s identity….and then to all of a sudden hear him over on one of KNR’s biggest rivals, not a good look for KNR

    Quote Munch was basically a sales guy who did an air shift on the side, not a full time on-air talent.
    #174252
    Profile photo of jawbreaker
    jawbreaker
    Participant

    ..

    The biggest splinter I cannot remove is ..  it doesn’t have to be this way .. with the pay of the on-air talent. In little bitty tiny Wooster .. we would bill about $1.7 million per year. A good year, we would reach $2 million .. bad years we would drop to $1.5 million.

    I understand about taxes and traffic directors and insurance and the girl answering the phone. But .. I mean .. add it up. It’s chump change to allow these people to eat decent food and not live in a cardboard box. It’s flat out, incessant greed.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Another thing that people don’t address but is also extremely real .. I do volunteer work at various homeless shelters in Northeast Ohio. There was a big story about that .. uh .. Ted Williams, I think .. guy where he was an announcer in Cleveland and now he was homeless. And they did something for him and I guess he voiced some Campbell’s spot or something. But, we don’t hear much about it now.

    What wasn’t said was .. that was one guy you people rescued. You’d be SHOCKED at how many people are flat out destitute .. homeless .. living in homeless shelters .. that you know from on-air in Northeast Ohio’s past. Shocked. The reason? They really are not qualified to do anything but have a really nice voice. And that doesn’t get you anywhere. They have no actually “job skills” for today’s market. They get older .. they are unwanted by any business. Anywhere.

    Throw in to the mix that a good amount of on-air personalities have some small mental illness. I do not say that for comedic effect. It is straight out, honest to God truth. THAT is what makes them interesting on the air. They are not boring. They are unusual and interesting. That’s a slight touch of mental illness. Manic depression, mostly. They can go higher .. but they also go lower. Throw in to the mix most on-air personalities have problems with alcohol. If not alcohol then other substances. They get in to a slight twist with the law .. couple it with no money at all from previous employment .. a touch of minor mental illness .. and ..

    Homeless

    You heard about one guy in Ted Williams. This is a major problem that goes unspoken about.

    And it is fundamentally sad.

    Fundamentally sad.

    ..

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