April 24, 2014

Jim Rome vs. WKNR Continues

Last week, we ran down the changes that have taken place at WKNR and how it affected the immensely popular Jim Rome show.  You will remember that Rome’s show is now split with the first hour playing on a weak-signaled KNR2 instead of ESPN 850 WKNR.  The final two hours of the show are still on the main station.

Many of you didn’t seem to care that a nationally syndicated show was being supplanted for additional local content.  That’s fine.  I can’t blame anyone for what their tastes are. (Well, mostly.)  Additionally, Jim Rome seemed to indicate that while he wasn’t cool with the move, he still had respect for the station and its owner Craig Karmazin.  I guess that doesn’t preclude continuing to fight the decision though.

Jim Rome tweeted the following last night.  “Cleveland, Colt McCoy is in The Jungle in hour one. Just saying.” So Jim Rome might respect owner Craig Karmazin, and he might be somewhat understanding that a business move isn’t personal.  Then again, Rome seems to be countering with “business moves” of his own.  By featuring Cleveland content in hour one, especially Cleveland Browns starting quarterback content, he is attempting to pit his show directly against the last hour of Rizzo on WKNR.

Rome has acknowledged on his show that the signal of KNR2 is significantly weaker and his intentional drawing of listeners to KNR2 today will do nothing but highlight how poor the signal of that station is.  It could cause the natives to become more restless.  Even if Jim Rome isn’t calling on the Cleveland audience to rebel completely and totally against WKNR management, he is finding subtle ways to show Cleveland listeners the downside of having the show moved, if they didn’t know already.

Of course it could always backfire on Rome too.  Maybe this will drive listeners to KNR2 on the web which plays right into Karmazin’s hands and almost vindicates his business move.  In the modern world maybe a weak signal strength doesn’t matter nearly as much when streaming is so widely available on the web and on smartphones.

Time will tell.  I am not rooting one way or another in this, but I am fascinated by the way this gentlemanly media war is playing out.

  • Prospect + Donkey

    Wonder if Rome knows that Rizz had McCoy on the Big Show this morning. I assume that the local interview was more Cleveland focused than the one Rome will have. Good strategy by KNR.

  • The Conductor

    Howard Stern.

  • Reggie Ruckus

    Rizzo is making more money for ‘KNR with the extra hour because they get to keep all the ad revenue from it. One of the big problems with radio, and I say this as someone who worked in the industry (trust me, not bragging…working in the circus carriers more street cred), is the lack of local programming on the airwaves. Ever since Clear Channel raised it’s evil head it has become impossible to distinguish one city from another.

    A little bit of Rome goes a long way for me but he’s a good personality. However, when it comes to local topics, I want a local guy. I wish ‘KNR would go even further and dump Mike & Mike for a local morning drive show.

  • Tim

    Been tuning into 1350AM out of Akron. Suits me just fine…and they’ve ramped up their “we give you all 3 hours of Rome” ad spots.

  • Harv 21

    @Reggie: my problem with much local personalities is the lack of talent. Can’t tell whether they are ordered to do a mindless, pandering shtick with a swaggering “Cleveland attitude” geared toward a certain demographic or whether they are actually stupid. Either way, difficult to listen to without risking a drop in your own IQ. Rome invented his shtick but he thinks a little. Make me listen to Rizzo or Reghi for 3 hours straight and I’d confess to about anything.

  • Ben

    Harv is 1000% right. I have no problem with local talent if they are actually talented. Listening to Reghi for more than 15 minutes will make you want to drive your car off the road.

  • MrCleaveland

    I have not listened to KNR since the switch. I now listen to 1350 exclusively. Rome did a lot for KNR, and they turned around and stabbed him in the back, and I just can’t stand that.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    I agree with Harv.

    Local talent is great, but local talent for local talent’s sake is bad if the personalities are terrible. As a person that works in the radio industry, it amazes me that stations can’t find better on-air talent. The competition for these jobs is INSANE, and they can’t do better than this?

    I firmly believe part of the problem is that creative talent types are drifting away from traditional media and moving towards online media (ahem…WFNY). Some of the old personalities stick around so long, and the talent of young talent to replace them doesn’t get a good opportunity to prove themselves.

    I started out on-air (hosting shows, news reporting, etc.) in small-market radio, and through a series of events that included a layoff, now I sell advertising. The work is good, but it means I’m out of the on-air track, probably for good.

    Why should I still concern myself with getting back on the air when other areas of business could make me MUCH more money, and I could always start a podcast for next to nothing.

    Sorry…just a bit of a rant there. When the subject of radio comes up, needless to say, I take it a bit seriously. But just think for a moment…can you name a radio personality under the age of 35, or even 45 for that matter, that 1) Does a good job and 2) Plays a significant role on ANY of the stations you listen to?

  • ben

    Like everyone else, I agree with harv.

    I am in strong favor or anything that reduces the amount of air time for “local talent.”*

    *the word talent used with great hesitation

  • Reggie Ruckus

    Harv & Ben, you guys nailed it. One of my problems with ‘KNR is there is no diversity among the personalities on the station. They are all the same age and have been around forever. That’s a good thing if they are entertaining but is there anyone who enjoys listening to Greg Brinda? I’ve hated Dan Gilbert since he fired Reghi from Cavs TV broadcasts which resulted in that train wreck of a show of his.

  • tsm

    @8. Andre Knott satifies the 1st criteria, but I can’t say he plays a significant role. Would love to see him get his own show. I value diversity of opinion.

  • MattC

    WKNR is awful, period. Horrible content from top to bottom. Rome is ok here and there, but I could care less about this “war.”

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    Did Jim Rome ask him about Goobers

  • Gren

    I like Greg Brinda personally. Unfortunately he and Rizzo are the only 2 I do like anymore.

    Oh and X’s and O’s with the Pro’s should just completely take over the R & R spot. Lecharles and Jerod are just too entertaining to be pigeonholed in a 1 hour time slot. Even people who don’t like listening to talk radio are cracking up in my car when they are on. That on the field experience goes a long way as well, their very informed and not completely Cleveland biased.

  • MattC

    Why don’t you ask LeCharles what tattoo he’s got on his back? Guy’s a total racist. I’ll never listen to him.

  • CLE

    rizzo is fine. goldhammer is a JOKE.

    Rome is the best sports talk on radio…1350 and their online stream is where i turn now

  • Bridgecrosser

    The move gives us less Rome and more Goldhammer. Lose Lose.

  • Cleveland78

    Saying it’s a weak signal is an understatement. I’m downtown and it still sounds like it’s being delivered through a 20 yard tin can.

    This was a dumb move. Rizzo has a good show, but three hours is the max before they hit diminishing returns. The kids on his show can only come up with so many contrived takes meant to inspire a reaction before it loses its luster. I swear, when Rizz is out and Hammer and Fedor do a tandem, it’s the worst radio in all of radio history. Anywhere. Anytime.

    For the rest of the lineup, Cherry and Bentley are worthy of more airtime and Roda is hit-or-miss. The rest are just are mediocre to utterly terrible.

  • Joe

    I love it when these discussions come up and NOBODY says anything positive about “GOLDIE”…formerly the Hammer (the name does not fit). It is so obvious that he just takes the opposite view of Rizzo or the Cleveland norm every time. I can’t hear anymore of his blathering about: Denver, Wisconsin, NYC, his hot girlfriend (yeah right Goldie). The OSU smack, rudeness to callers, cheating on contests, being a total hypocrite, that nasally voice(!)…it goes on and on. He actually said he was “pantsed” regularly in school the other day! This is who we want to listen to??? Not to mention when he “speaks for Cleveland” on national sports stories out of Cleveland!! Step it up Rizzo!!!

    Bacon Brinda is another story – the mop up guy has to go already!

    A good move might be to rip Goldie off the Rizzo show and let him spread his wings a little. Then combine to make a show with Aaron & Brinda: “GOLDIE & DA GUT”. I think it could work…Goldie could fill in Brinda’s pregnant pauses and also laugh hysterically at whatever Brinda says…just like Brinda does already. The lowest common denominator for a radio host: Someone that is bitter and getting worse that laughs at his own material non-stop! That is the “hall of famer” Brinda that likes to rip on his interns because they are non-paid interns unlike when he interned back in the day. Unbelievable…

    Reghi and Steeler Roda talk to each other by name for 90% of the show…you know: “Reg”… “Kenny”… It get’s sickening… Just when you think it has hit rock bottom, Kenny starts drooling over some poor 18 year old girl.

    Curious about LeCharles racist tatoo on his back somebody mentioned a few back? Careful, it is black history month…

  • guyritz

    @11 — it would be awesome if andre moved to 850 for his own show, i’d listen to 3 hours of him. probably has better connections than the 850 guys too.

    can’t stand anything on that station at the moment – particularly hammer and R&R

  • Valpo2010

    I’m actually one of the people who enjoys Brinda, especially doing the postgame shows for the Indians and Cavs. The guy I’d like to hear more of is Munch…5-6 AM and then 2 hours on KNR2 is far below him.

    Goldhammer and Fedor are equally worthless, IMO Rizzo would be better off on his own, from 9-12. Moving Rome’s first hour is infinitely stupid. He has been nothing but good to the city of Cleveland and WKNR. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

    The other person I’d like to see back on the radio is Bruce Drennan. I would love for KNR or WTAM to pick him up (it’s tough to watch him on STO during the work day).

  • Black 27

    Holy crap – I have not lived in Cleveland since 2006 and am frankly open-mouthed at the concept of the “Hammer” still being on the air.

    How in God’s name do they continue to trot out a miserable, irritating twerp like that (about whom I have NEVER, EVER heard anyone say anything positive.)

    Even at this remove of time and distance I can confidently state that KNR has been completely whack since the crazy days of Bruce Drennan singing show tunes. (For me that somehow worked.)

  • Joe

    @Valpo2010: I agree with a lot of what you said. I am curious…exactly WHY do you like Bacon Brinda??? Is it because you are familiar with him and know exactly what you are going to get? Maybe you have gotten comfortable with him…like an old t-shirt you just keep wearing, even though it’s time to make a garage rag out of it. My best anology of the day…if I do say so myself.

    I myself will NEVER forget Bacon Brinda telling the listeners a few years back to not bother calling WKNR and stating the Cav’s had a shot at Detroit after falling down to 0-2 in that series. He actually HUNG UP on a ton of callers that had the audacity to support their team and say we had a shot! We actually TOOK the LEAD in the series and I do believe he was GLAD when we lost the last game by not being able to secure a rebound with several chances – unbelievable! And, he has the all time “face for radio”…the only reason he belongs in a hall of fame. He disgaraces that designation daily. What a freakin’ joke. If anyone follows WKNR’s website and saw a picture of his college ID from Kent State back in the day, you understand why he has always been so bitter – ouch, face for radio, out of shape and balding even back then. I am sure there were many nights alone in the dorm room until he finally got on the college radio station and realized he could start hanging up on people and probably coined his only retort that he still uses for callers he hangs up on: some derivitive of “have fun in your Mother’s basement”…pot calling the kettle black from back in the day…classic!

    That is not to say all local radio veterans are not fresh and do a great job: You mentioned Munch and Drennan…agreed. Same for Les Levin. He is on the Digital Sports Network through the Plain Dealer’s cleveland.com web site from noon-2PM during the week.

    Bottom line is that we are all going to have our favorites and ones we just don’t like. Funny how “Goldie” pretty much ALWAYS gets slammed because he has earned it. Kind of like back with the old Peter Brown show…different era Goldie!!! Lose the ‘tude or better yet the job and shuffle back to your beloved Denver…no, really!

  • jonnE

    Can’t really stand Rome.
    Anything he thinks is funny, he will repeat about 10 times.
    As far as his callers go, I can’t think of a single time when I actually heard a semblance of a coherent call. Perhaps that’s the new form of entertainment….
    Granted, rome has a much different delivery (sporty hipster?) than most and that might be appealing at times, but over the years it seems he always has to jab cleveland in the balls about not being able to re sign “x” player, or not be able to win a crucial game.
    As for our local crew
    brinda, he and goldhammer do belong on a show together. The negativity show. they could follow mike snyders mr optomistic show.

    Rizzo was ok when he started, but now is a friggin whiner.
    Ditto to Reghi..liked him as an announcer, but his act is getting a little old.
    Not sure how rhoda is still here, being from PA and all….guy knows jack about sports.

    I just wish for once we could have on air personalities (i.e. Kosar) that know the intricacies about sports and could participate in pseudo-intelligent conversations about different plays/formations that were used during the game in discussion, instead of chastising someone because they missed a shot at the buzzer or hooked a field goal left.

  • Joe

    P.S. – On Bacon Brinda…let’s not forget how he even got his current job at WKNR. Brinda had already been FIRED due to poor performance and only got his job back because Drennan had some legal issues to deal with at the time. All true…look it up. I would imagine they got him on the cheap as nobody else wanted him. Now we have to deal with a false blown up ego as well as a blowfish physique. Hilarious…

  • Furrski

    If interested, sometimes 1130 AM Detroit comes in very clear during Rome’s show. ijs

  • JM

    Rizzo and his rug don’t have to step up because he really has no competition. It’s sad but true. I’m convinced Hammer is 14 years old cause it sounds like he hasn’t hit puberty based on his voice. R and R is a joke, the highlight of that show is Bump and Run when people prank them. I would love to see Rizzo just go solo and occasionally have guests. I too would like to hear more of Jerrod and LeCharles.

  • Joe

    Hard to argue with most of that JM. Rizzo’s rug is toast now…sad to say Goldie is still here. I love it on bump and run when Roda says “we gotcha” when the word already went right out over the airwaves…classic Steller fan. At least he supports OSU – hear that Goldie?

  • da -Z-

    Hello everybody, how are you all doing in the big league city? You all living large huh? Don’t you insult my intelligence!
    Listening to Reghi might be worse than having your teeth pulled. I don’t question the guy’s sports knowledge but OH MY GOD is that guy awful on the radio. The best moments are when he is starting one train of thought, then right in the middle he starts another one and while being in the middle of his second thought he starts a third one. And he never finishes his first two thoughts. Just awful. The way he tries to laugh at jokes or try to fill up the air with his made up “big” words awful awful awful. WKNR is successful because Clevelanders love their sport, but compared to Rome, our commentators are awful. I would love for the presenter of WKNR got a one hour segment per day so they can give their opinions. Then have Cherry and Bentley take over the rest of the afternoon.

  • Barry Mahoganue

    One guy hit on this earlier, but I think it bears repeating. Why not just get rid of Mike and Mike? If you surveyed 100 people on whether or not they like Mike and Mike, 85% would say no, 10% would never have heard them, and 5% would be lying.

    Seriously. Do you know anyone who likes Mike and Mike? Anyone?

    If you can that travesty, you can have 4 hours of Rizzo’s plugs (commercials AND hair) and 3 hours of Rome. Win Win.

  • brownsfan019

    DSN on cleveland.com is pretty good till about 6pm if looking for an alternative. It’s online only so will need an internet connection.

  • Rock

    @30 Mike and Mike stay because of 4 letters. ESPN. GKB is tied to this branding, and for that to happen they need to have clearance for Mike and Mike. They could dump that show, but would have to find a new name for the station and website.

  • saggy

    what is this “radio” thing you all speak of?

  • Painesville


  • JM

    Lmao Joe that is the best when they act like they stopped the guy even though he said it on the air.

  • Fletcher

    It’s sad what has happened to KNR. The on-air talent has gotten consistently worse.

    And they are choosing now to cut back on the national sports talk? I am a Cleveland sports fan but there is less to talk about now in Cleveland sports than I can ever remeber.

    Also, Rome has always been a huge supporter of Cleveland. We don’t have many of those. So we cut back his hours so we can spend more time hearing the local guys complain about how nobody respects Cleveland?

    1350 out of Akron comes in fine on my radio and I can listen to them on-line. I can still get Rome so it is not a problem, it is just disappointing to see what KNR has become.

  • Sean

    Doesn’t really matter, both suck IMO. KNR is the worst sports station in any 3 team sports market in the country. It is sad that Cleveland fans have this garbage station. Maybe one day Craig will sell it and they will actually bring in somebody from outside who knows sports talk, but I doubt it. The other alternative is competition, I can’t see that either (DSN isn’t real competition and they have their own problems) So in closing like our crappy sports teams we are doomed with a crappy sports station. It really is a shame because most Cleveland fans deserve a lot better on both fronts.

  • DNAlevelC

    1) Rome is old, and booring as hell…sorry but the jungle is dead,the pimp in the box is no longer a pimp, and uurrrrrrgghhhhhhh…sorry 40 year old men with bad surfer slang are LAME!

    2) Rhoda is ok, but seriously I can’t take his pissburgh love over the last few weeks. And Regi was a good play by play man but he sucks harder then a hoover. Seriously talk about a man who has a stick up his @$$. I get it you hate that you got fired form the cavs, mr. negative.

    3)They need to AXE LeCharles his pro-player attitude 100% of the tiem no matter what makes me what to break his leg in a practice so he can’t play football.. OH wait that’s right he made millions doing nothing, then sued the team sayign they caused his infection.

    4) Jarad is solid enjoy him they need to put him on the afternoon drive instead of x’s and o’s.

    5) Munch is fine. Nothing negative to say there.

    6) Brenda is getting sour with age..seriously every time I hear him on anymore he’s complaining.

    7)Hammer and Negative Ned can be annoying to listen to at time’s but I actually enjoy their banter. Always fun to listen to callers put hammer on blast.

    8) Rizzo is BY FAR the best thing going on the station.

    so in short…Perfectly happy Rome is only 2 hrs…now if i could just get cut from the air completely. I know he’s been pro-cleveland, but 99% of the time I don’t care what he’s talking about, he has way to much dead air time..urrggghhh…pausing, and his callers are Annoying beyond belief.

  • Fern

    just seein if my “avatar” works, clones

  • James Lewan

    This is why I listen to the Fan, but hey, at least its being ousted for Rizz and knot WTAM and Andre NOT

  • ohioan

    3 hours of the really big show ? is plenty. miss the first hour of rome. iHeart helps….