Longtime Cleveland based programmer and consultant John Gorman is launching AAA “OWow Cleveland“.
Gorman, best known as the PD of Rock 100.7 WMMS during its 70s and 80s heyday and later Oldies 105.7 WMJI, will operate the webcaster much like a traditional station complete with a full local airstaff, sales department, and a performance space. FreshwaterCleveland.com reports OWow will operate from the 78th Street Studios art complex.
The station will include a lineup of locally known personalities including former “Q92” WDJQ Canton morning co-host Charlotte DiFranco, Ravenna Miceli of defunct AAA “V107.3” WNWV and WMJI, Steve Pappas, and Susie Fraser. Jim Marchyshyn, who was Director of Marketing at WMMS under Gorman will serve as Director of Sales and Marketing for OWow.
Freshwater reports that the station will feature a “Friday Night Live” programming block from 5pm to 12am featuring live concert audio and the launch weekend will be exclusively sponsored by House of LaRose and Budweiser.
Cleveland based WOW Media, L.L.C today announced the launch of oWOW, Northeast Ohio’s first locally owned/programmed and independent internet rock station.
oWOW is a regionally based, hyperlocal, online radio station, presenting “timeless” rock music, featuring the best of new, current, recent, and classics. oWOW will serve Cleveland/Akron/Canton and Youngstown, the seventeen county region creating the United States 18th largest advertising market.
Cleveland radio industry veterans John Gorman and Jim Marchyshyn are principal partners in oWOW. Gorman will serve as Chief Content Officer and Marchyshyn as Director of Sales and Marketing.
oWOW’s temporary and permanent studios will be located in the W. 78th Studio Gallery, in the Gordon Square Arts District, in Cleveland.
“oWOW is a brand new radio station. Our current music mix includes Triple A (Adult Album Alternative) staple artists and artists not getting exposure on terrestrial radio due to radio chain policies,” stated Gorman. ” Today, at most stations new and current – and even versions of older -music you hear are nationally selected – and even chosen through various pay-to-play schemes, ” states Gorman. “The history of Cleveland rock and roll is more than the same 220 songs played over and over by terrestrial radio classic rock and classic hits formats. Our direction is playing the unique musical soundtrack of Greater Cleveland.”
“Radio listeners could tell what city you were driving through by turning on the radio. Today, it all sounds the same by choice. The Same music, same air talent, mostly pre-recorded from another city, and the same staleness.” Gorman added, “With oWOW we can play a Bonnie Raitt track from 25 years ago and follow it seamlessly with a brand new Grace Potter & the Nocturnals song. Both fit seamlessly. Good music stands the test of time.”
To show the ability/ease of operation of the smart phone as a “radio”, Gorman demonstrated the ease of tuning oWOW by holding it up, pushing a button and stating, “oWOW is available now.” oWOW can be heard via Bluetooth laptops, tablets and we will soon have our own app for easy operation and access to the connected dash. Social media will be a key ingredient of “connecting the dots” from the listener business and arts communities.
“Just as FM replaced AM, online radio will replace, FM,” said Marchyshyn. “Technology doesn’t stop. People are connected, socialize and do business online; want to belong to an active part of a vital community. Cleveland and Northeast Ohio has always been a leader in breaking new music. oWOW will super serve Northeast Ohio’s seventeen counties, creating the 18th largest media market in the United States. We will specialize in providing results-oriented, personal customer service and the client need analysis local and national advertisers are looking for. It’s back to basics with the latest in technology working for us.”
Featured oWOW personalities include Ravenna Miceli, popular Cleveland radio personality on WMJI, V-107.3 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “Moonlight Groove”, hosting middays in her fun, inclusive style. Cleveland native Steve Pappas will be the afternoon personality and Charlotte DeFranco, formerly a top-rated morning host at Canton’s WDJQ will do weekends. Susie Frazier, known for her earthy, yet sophisticated aesthetic as tastemaker in Northeast Ohio’s art and music scene, will host Sunday morning’s Naked Brunch, stripped, down acoustic rock and roll to ease into the day.
“Our personalities are knowledgeable and serve as passionate musical gatekeepers,” states Gorman. “They will provide the musical soundtrack for Northeast Ohio.
Gorman programmed and served as Operations Manager at WMMS from 1973 to 1986, the station’s glory years, while independently consulting radio stations in New York, Boston and Cleveland as Gorman Media He returned to Cleveland radio as Program Director of WNCX until being tapped as Director of Operations at WMJI and Director of Programming at Legacy Broadcasting, rebranding WMMS as “The Next Generation” for a second success. John relaunched Gorman Media in 1999 where he continued to consult radio stations, political campaigns and added advertising and on line consulting to his company.
Marchyshyn is a seasoned leader in broadcasting, live music and motorsports entertainment, working with meeting organizational objectives with companies as diverse as Feld Motor Sports, Belkin Productions, Bethesda Softworks and the Detroit Lions Radio Network. In radio, he and Gorman successfully teamed up at Cleveland’s legendary WMMS as Director of Marketing. He later worked with programming and sales teams to help produce sales and ratings turnarounds at heritage rock stations, KSHE, St. Louis and WRIF, Detroit.
INSTANT INSIGHT: Gorman and associates are going all-in with this endeavor. New webcasters come and go daily, but very few have launched as basically a full radio station just without a transmitter. It may still be a couple years too early before webcasters have full access to a connected car to be on almost equal footing with AM/FM, the name recognition the people have in the market along with being entrenched into the local art community could help the station grow a niche local audience in a market missing such programming.