Friday, April 03, 2009

Friday catch-all

Just a round-up of the latest happenings, including a few things I didn't get around to posting. Enjoy.

Montel producer named

Here's the whole press release, so I don't leave anything out:

Air America Media has named radio veteran Mike Opelka executive producer of "Montel Across America," debuting next Monday, April 6. In this role, Mike will oversee the overall structure and content of the show, and will assist in booking guests.

"Mike’s the perfect guy to join with Montel in creating this exciting new radio program", said Bill Hess, senior vice president of programming for Air America Media. "We’re thrilled he’s joined us."

"I’m looking forward to working with Montel and the entire Air America team to launch this one-of-a-kind radio show," said Opelka. "As preparations are well underway, I’m excited to be a part of bringing Montel’s passion and talent to Air America’s listeners."

Opelka is a media veteran with more than 20 years of experience in radio, network and cable television, internet production, management and publishing. Most recently he was executive producer of CBS Radio’s syndicated "Opie & Anthony" show. Prior, he was producer and director for the launch of Premiere Radio Network’s "Wake Up with Whoopi," starring Whoopi Goldberg. Additionally, he’s served as executive producer of WKTU’s "Baltazar & Goumba Johnny Morning Show," and assistant program director of the station. From 1988-1998, Opelka was a producer for Z-100’s "Morning Zoo" with Scott Shannon, Ross Brittain, Gary Bryan and Adam Curry.

In addition to his radio credits, Opelka produced shows and projects for Fox Television, including "Fox After Breakfast" and original programming for the launch of the FX Network.

"Montel Across America," hosted by Montel Williams, will air weekdays from 9A-12P ET on radio stations across the country, and streamed live online at

WINZ flips tonight

Progressive talk fans in Miami should enjoy the last few hours if they can. The worst kept radio secret of the year, the long-rumored format switch at WINZ (940AM) to sports talk will finally happen tonight (Friday) at 6P.

The new station will feature all nationally syndicated hosts from FOX Sports Radio, which is owned by Premiere Radio Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel, owner of WINZ. The only local presence on the station will be Miami Heat basketball. Also Florida Gators football and basketball, if you consider that local.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel sez:

"We also intend to pick up as much play-by-play (of various sports) as we can," program director Ken Charles said.

WINZ will become the sixth all-sports radio station in South Florida, an area that has shown it can support only one, if that.

No word on whether another area station will pick up the deposed progressive talk format, which garnered pretty decent ratings in its almost five year run. Perhaps one of the other five sports talk stations will consider.

Ironically, progressive talk replaced... (drum roll)... FOX SPORTS(!!!) back in July 2004. And we all know what the definition of insanity is, right?

The last terrestrial domino falls

Remember a few weeks back when I mentioned the fading of CBS' old "Hot Talk" push? The company flipped their New York and L.A. stations to top 40 and completely torpedoed guy talk. Coinciding with that, the syndicated shows of testosterone-fueled talkers Adam Carolla and Tom Leykis effectively ended. And now, Opie and Anthony have officially gasped their last terrestrial breath, as their final affiliate has thrown in the towel.

A couple days ago, their sole remaining affiliate, WROX in Norfolk dropped the delayed weekday airing of their show (in addition to the just plain awful Mancow show). The duo, however, can still be heard (and uncut, at that) via Sirius XM.

'Guiding Light' gets turned off

Never thought I'd be writing about a soap opera, but this one is pretty historic. After all, how many shows are still around that go back 72 years?

After this unlikely long run, CBS is pulling the plug on "Guiding Light", which will broadcast its final episode on Friday, September 18, 2009 after a whopping total 15,700 (now try buying the complete set on DVD!).

The show is older than commercial TV itself, as NBC Radio launched the 15-minute serial "The Guiding Light" on January 25, 1937. The show moved to television, on CBS, on June 30, 1952 (though the radio version continued until 1956). In 1967, the show switched to color and expanded from 15 minutes to a half-hour. The expansion to an hour happened in 1977.

In recent years, to cut costs in an era where seemingly nobody but retirees watch soap operas, they started taping the show outdoors with camcorders, in order to cut costs and give it that hip "YouTube" look. That didn't fly, and the ratings still tanked.

The show will likely be replaced by yet another talk show or perhaps yet another courtroom offering moderated by a sassy judge (I made up that last part).

For the die-hards, there is talk of some other entity continuing the "Guiding Light" saga, so, stay tuned.

From anal cysts to anal poisoning

Okay, sorry for being so nasty. But considering this last item was broadcast live on Rush Limbaugh's show to millions of people across the country, well, it is indeed worth mentioning. Some people just don't know when to shut up before they say something really, really dumb. Take, for instance, the GOP's current great white hope, certainly no stranger to saying utterly stupid stuff.

HuffPo sez:

...Limbaugh went waaaaaay over the top in insulting Gordon Brown with a mental image that one must work at to un-think about, warning that if the British Prime Minister keeps "slobbering" over President Barack Obama, he'll "come down with anal poisoning and may die from it."

Naturally, how Limbaugh gained such innovative insight into the epidemiological vectors of saliva-borne ass toxins remains an open question.

Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

After all, who better an expert on assholes than America's biggest asshole? Perhaps Rush should have issued this warning to his fave brown-noser, Brian Maloney...

HuffPo and blatherWatch have the audio of this rather sordid soundbyte.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go hurl.


Lu Cifer, said...

May Crap Channel burn in the deepest pit of Hellfire. I mean that with every bit of my black heart. Scumbags.
And please you stupid KKKons, don't give me your same old boring stale tired dumbass talking points that liberal talk doesn't sell, blah blah fucking blah. WINZ was doing just fine in the ratings thank you very much. But that soon is going to change. Some liberal goddamn media...speaking of, can y'all Repukes take that dead talking point and cram it already?!

raccoonradio said...

A page on the new "Sports Animal" page at
(a site plugged constantly tonight by Fox Sports
Radio's JT The Brick) says, when you click it that prog. radio on WINZ is over:
"WINZ has not made money since it was progressive". They go on to say that while the audience is loyal it's
not as big as other stations (even if ratings were halfway decent, billing may be a part of it...) It also blames
the economy, "Randi Rhodes losing her syndication" etc

Lu Cifer, said...

Oh give me a freakin BREAK! WINZ didn't make money being progressive?! Why did they keep the format for FOUR YEARS?! Cum Channel are LIARS. I can't wait to take ALL CC stations OFF my presets. BURN IN HELL CRAP CHANNEL.

ltr said...

Raccoon -

Account executives at big radio clusters (particularly Clear Channel) have long had a problem figuring out how to sell progressive talk. If it isn't something they can take to their buddies at the car dealerships, sports bars and strip clubs, then they just don't know what to do with it.

Look at Madison. The sales reps couldn't figure out what to do with it. Meanwhile, a listener of the station, with a physical handicap and no sales experience whatsoever, went out and came to Clear Channel management with a whole list of potential sponsors. As I've said repeatedly, if she can do it, why can't the narrow-minded sales rep?

Raccoon, I know how much you love to spin this stuff, and we all know which way your wind blows philosophically, but it's never quite so simple. And as Lu said, if it hasn't made any money since its inception, then why on earth did they keep it around for five years?

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