April 24, 2014

ESPN Cleveland leaves communication vacuum in wake of major changes

ESPN ClevelandYesterday afternoon ESPN Cleveland WKNR made waves across Cleveland by mysteriously axing talent. Will Burge, T.J. Zuppe, Kenny Roda and (maybe) Michael Reghi1 were all told something about a “different direction” and mostly left wondering where that destination was and why it didn’t include them. Meanwhile, it has been all quiet from the station as nobody else seems to know that destination either. Therein lies the problem as I see it today.

Going in a new direction and changing your lineup and making tough choices about programming are part of the job of running a media property. Burge, Zuppe and Roda seem to get that as they certainly didn’t come out with blowtorches trying to publicly burn down their former bosses. I’m sure they weren’t enthused of course, but this is the game and they’ve seen it play out before. I don’t begrudge any company for making choices; even unpopular ones. The problem occurs when those decisions are made and there is a massive communication vacuum between the media company and the audience as people talk and talk and talk. I’ve said it many times before and I get a chance to say it yet again. You’re better off talking to the world rather than allowing the world to just talk about you. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. Rizzo was talking about the moves this morning and he didn’t mention Reghi at all. We at least have to assume the show he co-hosted with Roda is over. []

WKNR Changing Lineup With New Afternoon Show? (Updated)

Update: According to the people at Ohio Media Watch, the new afternoon show will most likely be Bruce Hooley, Greg Brinda and Chris Fedor doing the news updates.  That would also mean that Fedor will no longer be a part of The Really Big Show from what the Twitter chatter is saying.

As many of you probably noticed today, Tony Rizzo was on the air in the afternoon shift on WKNR today.  According to Rizzo, this is just a temporary assignment as he does “two-a-days.”  According to what Rizzo is saying, WKNR will have a new show on the air in afternoon drive next week.  He also said that Michael Reghi and Kenny Roda will move their “R&R” show to nights from 9 PM until 12 AM.  Presumably all the other shifts will stay the same, although I’m sure Jim Rome would still like his first hour back on the flagship WKNR as opposed to KNR2.

So, who exactly, will be the new afternoon show?  Start the speculation, I guess.  Rizzo did say “they” won’t be here until next week.  If that pronoun usage is any indication, we won’t be subject to a solo talker type of show next Monday.  It also means that we could be looking at a show imported from elsewhere. [Read more...]

Rick Barry’s Rebuttal via WKNR/850AM

By now, you may have heard that NBA great Rick Barry had some critical words for LeBron James on a Bay Area television interview.  Of course, any words spoken about LeBron James in any context instantly becomes news.  Thankfully, WKNR’s Kenny Roda had the chance to nab Barry on his show late this week.

Whether LeBron hits the game-winner against the Warriors or not, it is hard to argue with Barry’s thoughts.  Fans hate it when James settles for the jumper when he is as dominant as he is inside.  Have a listen to Rick Barry at the link below and feel free to judge for yourself.

Rick Barry on WKNR

“First of all I love LeBron James. I think he is the greatest talent to ever come out of high school. But it’s just astonishing to me that he’s five years in the league and he has some major flaws in his game that he shouldn’t have that are not his fault…”

(h/t Sports Radio Interviews)