Toledo Talk

Toledo is the No. 1 city paying to hear radio elsewhere.

Toledo Free Press
Media Watch
Baumhower: Toledo leads nation in Sirius XM listeners
Written by Jeremy Baumhower
Quote from article:
Toledo has such a rich history of great radio stations and personalities that this statistic should shock most of you, but it won’t. Paul W. Smith, Steve Mason, Denny Schaffer] and Scott Sloan honed their craft right here before moving on to bigger things. WIOT in the 1980s was one of the very best rock stations in the country. Just visit the fourth floor of its Fort Industry Square studios and you will find a sad reminder of what great radio it once was.

Can anyone remember the last great bigger-than-life radio stunt or promotion that happened here in Toledo? How about when the last “Steve Mason being buried alive” or “living on a billboard for charity” event happened? Remember how big Toys for Tots was at the Franklin Park Mall? Or even Denny’s Disco parties and the Kiss-Off contest 92.5 did on Valentine’s Day? When was the last time Toledo radio made a great impression on you?

created by wolfman on Oct 07, 2011 at 12:38:14 am     Media     Comments: 31

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I really like XM/Sirius FM but ultimately I can't digest the cost. On the flip side, tuning my radio back home yielded few hits.

Upon moving here, my god the channels. There is a channel for everything, heck if you're into Sports you can even get ESPN radio here in Toledo.

So one day while at Walley World, I saw a portable XM radio for $50 (still that price) and I darn near broke down. But ultimately didn't.
Around that time Best Buy started spaming ads for their new portable HD Radio for under $50. In fact I think after a year or two their Insignia portable is still the only one on the market. Yet I digress. I ended up buying it and have loved it ever since.

It was $50, and even had a nice armband for biking/walking. With the myriad of stations in the area, I was semi-surpised at how many offered multiple HD channels.

I won't go into a debate over the HD labeling because the quality isn't better. But the content is what matters to me and in Toledo it's there.

92.5 has a great HD station. In fact I think made a post about this a couple years ago, along with all of the other stations I've been able to pick up on this modest set.

Know this sounds like a BestBuy, HD radio ad, but it's not just happy consumer. It was also the only thing I've ever bought there and bought the extended warranty. Which was good because after a year or so of heavy use and charging/recharging the battery isn't the greatest. But for $10 I took it in, and with no hiccups they gave me a gift card with the total value I paid for my original purchase. I could either buy what I had or the newer model which is around $79, but I opted for a 1-1 trade and picked the same model I had.

To this day I still used it a lot, especially now that I'm biking and I love it :)

posted by INeedCoffee on Oct 07, 2011 at 12:53:44 am     #  

Re-reading the OP's post, in terms of what stunts do for the community. That was one reason why I liked Andrew Z in the morning. There was a woman who's house burnt down. With all the stuff going on he made it a side project to use his air time to coordinate volunteers for leg work, and companys (guessing via ads or mention) to offer supplies. In the end, even after a theft at the site, he was able to get that woman a new home for her and her child.

He also during my listening time, helped coordinate the Xmas exhibits at the Erie street market. I may stand corrected on this one, but the point is that was just one show on one station. Radio is still relevant and especially local shows, seem to do a lot and are well connected to the community.

Just my $0.02 :) take it with a grain of salt.

posted by INeedCoffee on Oct 07, 2011 at 12:59:20 am     #  

Forgot to mention that after the Tornado, Lake High school was in the top 20 for the the Kohls prize. But the final day of the facebook voting, he pushed his morning show very hard. Even got companies to open up their web restrictions to allow people to log into facebook just to vote for Lake HS.

In the end, Lake won, and if you drive by there now you can see after just over a year how much is being built.

Know there is a lot bad blood here concerning him. But despite bad decisions and crap, I tend to think of these things and I know I'm missing many more that in my eye speak of his real character in the community.

posted by INeedCoffee on Oct 07, 2011 at 01:03:50 am     #  

I have to give you a lot of credit, wolfman. When I saw the title of this thread and the fact that you posted it, I almost didn't open it because I was expecting another typical psychotic anti-WSPD rant. Very interesting topic. The Black Friday Toys for Tots drive at Southwyck mall coordinated by Denny Schaffer (sp?) was always exciting for me as a kid. I loved listening to the radio that day every year and was sad when it came to an end.

posted by dell_diva on Oct 07, 2011 at 12:44:24 pm     #  

To be honest I cant remember the last time I've actually listened to the radio. The radio people drive me nuts. I don't know who the guy was Mookie? or something but his annoying nasally voice was enough for me to stop tuning in...oh that and Andrew Z. So annoying. I jam out to the iheartradio app on my iphone. You can get all the top twenty countdowns minus all the commercials and BS PLUS you can also listen to stations in Florida....sigh..just hate when they do weather reports! LOL :)

posted by stooks on Oct 07, 2011 at 12:54:40 pm     #  

Radio is a wasteland.

posted by hank on Oct 07, 2011 at 01:15:09 pm     #  

^^Not all of it. But if that is your opinion, there are lots of options nowadays.

It's a business, and that business has been affected by changes in laws and changes in the marketplace. Radio stations are run by computer automation with many fewer people in the building than 10-15 years ago. This is possible because of (1) improving technology and (2) the legality of multiple station ownership (1996 Telecommunications Act). As a business, radio has made the choice to save a number of salaries or hourly workers by automating several functions and spreading the costs of the remaining workers over multiple properties--i.e. cost efficiencies.

The people that remain are pulling double-and-triple duties. There simply isn't the man-or-woman-power to pull off a lot of the promotions you remember so fondly. In that sense, radio has shot itself in the foot, because doing a lot community events keeps you visible in the community. In my last years in radio, a number of our promotions (including "toys-for-tots-type" promotions) were possible only if we had a partner to share "on the ground" responsibilities for set-up, clean-up, prizes, crowd-control, etc. Sure, you can still do 'em, but you need help.

The last time I attempted to do an "up on a billboard" charity campaign, you wouldn't believe the size of the insurance rider that was demanded by the billboard owner before my guy would be allowed up there. Killed that promotion right out of the gate. Thanks lawyers!

It's an industry that has changed much in my 2 decades, but still draws a sizable audience despite its detractors.

I do find it pretty funny to hear this "waxing poetic" about great Toledo personalities like Steve Mason and Denny Schaeffer....and if you would have asked people randomly in 1991 about either of them, you would have received a pretty good amount of "he sucks!" comments from various Toledoans. Time eases the jagged edge of memories...although Mason has been out in Southern California ever since he left Toledo and has had phenomenal success (morning shows, The Late Late Show radio show--when Tom Snyder was on the TV side, Olympics announcer & commentator for NBC, etc.). Great guy.

Goddamn..."Mason & Diane" went off the air 20 years ago next month (November, 1991, was when WRQN--"Most Music Most Fun 93Q"--switched to "Oldies 93.5"). Time is flying by....

posted by oldhometown on Oct 07, 2011 at 01:39:22 pm     #  

I've been wondering why Tim and Jeff have moved from Cincinnati to Toledo.

From what I've heard, they were pretty popular in Cincy. So why come to a smaller market like Toledo?

The press release talks about how they are both originally from Detroit...yada, yada, yada...and that they were given a much better deal on the Cumulus Toledo station than their Clear Channel Cincy station.

I'm not a radio person, but moving from Cincy to Toledo still seems a little odd on the surface?

posted by mom2 on Oct 07, 2011 at 02:16:54 pm     #  

Wasn't Jeremy Baumhower (the author of the article wolfman copied & pasted) the morning show co-host on 92.5 for awhile?

I think he was with the guy who got canned for allegedly being offensive to women...drawing a blank on his name???? Andrew Z replaced him, so they had a competing morning show on 98.3 for awhile.

(Why can't I remember his name, dammit?)

posted by mom2 on Oct 07, 2011 at 02:19:57 pm     #  

Johnny D!

(I knew I'd remember eventually...)

posted by mom2 on Oct 07, 2011 at 02:21:26 pm     #  

I've been wondering why Tim and Jeff have moved from Cincinnati to Toledo.

Unless they have commented in public, it's hard to know all the factors.

However, this isn't as counter-intuative as you might think. Yes, a lot of radio people want their shot at "the big time", moving to major markets (NY, LA, Philly, Detroit, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, etc.). But with the move to major market comes major pains in the ass like 10 corporate VPs of kissing ass and innumerable "consultants" trying to constantly "tweak" your show to the way they want to hear it...and eventually making it sound like a gigantic clusterf@&k if you follow all their advice.

In the alternative, if you don't follow their "sage wisdom" you are berated, threatened, tattled on (its so friggin kindergarten, really), etc...all the way up to being fired anyway after a whole lot of heartache and stress. There is so much money riding in these major market stations for big radio companies (remember, CC & Cumulus have tremendous leveraged-debt pressures) that they are always under constant pressure to perform and out-perform all the time. Some personalities just aren't up to the (impossible) challenge, even though they may have the talent to be there in the major market. Essentially, it's not worth it to be in a large or major market if you're completely miserable.

Toledo is much less pressure, though in 99% of respects, just as professional as the large and major markets (detractors--take that last sentence however you wish). If those guys wanted to escape a pressure cooker, come to somewhere they felt appreciated, get a chance to be creative on their own show without having to suck up to corporate consultant twits, then sure...absolutely come to Toledo. You might have a better chance of being "big fish in a small pond" rather than "guppy in a huge lake" by making that move...

posted by oldhometown on Oct 07, 2011 at 02:29:39 pm     #  

I miss Tom Watkins. There was I guy I trusted with the news.

posted by SensorG on Oct 07, 2011 at 02:31:28 pm     #  

Unless they have commented in public, it's hard to know all the factors.

The link I posted above from the Cincy newspaper included an interview with them.

I think people down there were surprised they came here...even the title of the article was "Holy Toledo, They Went Where?" LOL

Was especially amused {sarcasm} by one of the commenters on the article who questionned how a morning drive show would survive in Toledo where "95% of residents don't have a morning drive to work."

posted by mom2 on Oct 07, 2011 at 02:34:51 pm     #  

I kinda liked the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show, when it was on 98.3 for awhile.

I know it was a syndicated show, but Kidd Kraddick is actually originally from NW Ohio. (Maybe Napoleon? Can't recall exactly which community.)

posted by mom2 on Oct 07, 2011 at 02:36:49 pm     #  

2004 Toledo Blade on Kidd Kraddick: Popular Syndicated Radio Host Has Local Roots

As for Tim & Jeff, it looks like exactly what I said in the first post--they want more control of their show and to get out of a shitty situation.

From your link:

“Although it is a smaller market, the opportunities that are part of our new deal are FAR GREATER then anything at KISS107. We did offer them a chance to match and they chose not to,” Tim explained. “There is A LOT planned for the future of our show, and it’s great to work for a team that wants us to succeed.”

"It's great to work for a team that wants us to succeed"??? Yep, that's a shot across the bow to their former employers. They must have hated, hated, hated either the PD or regional VP of programming at Clear Channel...

posted by oldhometown on Oct 07, 2011 at 02:41:51 pm     #  

Dammit...2007 article from the Blade on Kraddick. Sorry 'bout the date screw-up.

posted by oldhometown on Oct 07, 2011 at 02:42:53 pm     #  

OHT - you must have gotten into the radio business young, if you were in it approaching 2 decades.

(I swear I remember seeing in a different topic somewhere that you're about the same age as me. And I refuse to consider the possibility that I might be aging.) ;)

posted by mom2 on Oct 07, 2011 at 02:56:35 pm     #  

toledo radio always meant WJR to me -

jp mccarthy, ernie and paul and the whole crew were always the best top to bottom, day and night. i knew the traffic on the lodge freeway better than i did on US 23. it is das but WJR is a paltry shadow of its former self.

for music, CKLW was much better than any thing local. their play list evolved and introduced new artists... WIOT was stagnant and had such a narrow play list - they play nearly identical playlist now as they did in 1976. for classic rock i much prefered WRIF and ken calvert.

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Oct 07, 2011 at 03:26:59 pm     #  

oh, best stations available on radio now are 91.7 wuom ann arbor for news and radio 2 out of canada for music - it's a preset for me... i think it is 89.9

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Oct 07, 2011 at 03:28:54 pm     #  

I freakin' LOVED CKLW! Their newscasts were the best -- we actually studied them in journalism class.

Talk about screaming headlines! The newscaster had this rapid-fire delivery, and a typical story went something like:

"Little Jimmy Smith always dreamed of being a baseball player. Those dreams died Saturday night when he allegedly picked up his Louisville Slugger and beat his parents to a bloody pulp. Instead of the Tiger dugout, he's now in the Wayne County lockup for murder!"

posted by Anniecski on Oct 07, 2011 at 04:33:52 pm     #  

Reference Sensor G's comment. Tom Watkins news operation with Rob Weircinski was the last REAL news operation at WSPD. I spotted Tom last week on the golf course at Fallen Timbers.

posted by max on Oct 07, 2011 at 04:48:00 pm     #  

mom2, I LOVED the morning show on 92.5 when it was Johny D (now on a country station i think), Baumhower (producing) and Micki (now on wiot). Say what you will, but they had a great thing together (think they were all real life friends) and I laughed my ass off most days.

posted by Ryan on Oct 07, 2011 at 08:17:57 pm     #  

Ryan - I never really understood why they were fired. (Other than there being vague references to Johny D allegedly being offensive to women...though I personally never found him offensive.)

I moved over to 98.3 to listen to them until they got bumped from there too.

posted by mom2 on Oct 07, 2011 at 08:24:11 pm     #  

Ive been flipping through the sound waves as of late and our local radio really disappoints me. Anymore I resort to mp3s to avoid lame personalities and music on our local radio.

posted by OhioKimono on Oct 07, 2011 at 09:18:04 pm     #   1 person liked this

Back in like 94 there was some guy on 104.7 that I heard one night calling himself Bubba the Love Sponge. Was kind of a shocker because he was very rude and loud. Needless to say I didn't hear him on the next night.

posted by Linecrosser on Oct 07, 2011 at 10:42:27 pm     #  

"Bubba the Love Sponge" is a morning show redneck out of Tampa. Works for Cox Radio--used to work for Clear Channel until they fired his ass a few years back. He was (or maybe still is) on Sirius Satellite Radio.

He's done a bunch of stupid shit like castrating and slaughtering a pig in the station parking lot and other funny and not so funny crap that's landed him in problems over the years.

Probably not Toledo's taste...hell, Stern didn't even go over well here when he was on 106.5 (when it was an Active Rock station).

posted by oldhometown on Oct 08, 2011 at 01:16:55 am     #  

Enjoyeverysandwich, I agree about Radio 2 from Canada. Listening to Rich Terfry with his intelligent commentary on the music scene and his gentle humor kind of ruined me for listening to lesser DJs.

posted by viola on Oct 08, 2011 at 03:43:14 pm     #  

I'll bet wolfman is still upset that Harold Salverda doesn't still have his "Rap" show. Now, there was a whiner!

posted by Wulf on Oct 08, 2011 at 05:16:46 pm     #  

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 killed terrestrial radio. Thanks, President Clinton, for selling out the citizens who actually OWN the airwaves. Local radio is supposed to perform a community service, but that is impossible with the current business model as outlined above.

For me, it is Sirius/XM about 95% of the time. Mojo Nixon on Outlaw Country is alone worth the price of the subscription.

posted by JohnnyMac on Oct 08, 2011 at 09:56:50 pm     #  

Another reason NOT to listen to WSPD again Monday when there was NO LOCAL NEWS aired. Apparently when their only newsguy, the entire staff, is gone, so is the news. A poor excuse for public service.

posted by max on Oct 10, 2011 at 01:43:11 pm     #  

Yep when the Saturday June 5th 2010 tornado ripped through Wood county the WSPD news staff were off the clock lounging around enjoying the weekend. NO COVERAGE! Blizzard Bill gave an all night coverage on Country K100 saving many lives. Hell if I recall WSPD didn't even get around to reporting it till Monday. So to call WSPD a News station is a lie and again as you said Max, "a poor excuse for public service!"

posted by wolfman on Oct 10, 2011 at 11:08:10 pm     #