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From the Field

Radio in Toledo, Ohio
By Steve Baxley

Ah Toledo, home to M*A*S*H's "Klinger" (Jamie Farr) and Tony Packo Hungarian
Hot Dogs. Actually, the Toledo airwaves are a lot like a Hungarian hot dog, a
taste you must embrace with all senses.

Lets begin with the literal war between 2 station groups taking place in this
town that makes the REAL "Toledo War" look like a tea party at granny's house.

Clear-Channel Broadcasting and Cumulus literally own about 98% of the Toledo
radiowaves, while a lone Independent urban station owner continues to fight
off any and all advances towards his station. Clear-Channel (or as we say
with affection - "THE EVIL UBERUNDERLORDS OF ALL MEDIA") owns the ultra suede of Toledo Radio: WSPD AM is their big feather in the Toledo Cluster. Known by
listeners as "WGOP" for its airing of Rush Limbaugh, the station has only 20%
local programming, Mornings with Standriff is the second best morning show in
the market, of course our producer Matt Cullbreath is his producer too.
Afternoons are done by Scott Sloane -- beyond that the whole programming is
CyberJocked from Clear Channel's uberkid The Premiere Radio Network -- from
Rush to Glen Beck.

Other Stations in Clear-Channel's fiddle-faddle are: WRVR FM 101.5 -- which
can be considered Lite rock, again mainly cy-jocked from other cities. WVKS
92.5 "KISS FM" -- nope not Rick Dees in the morning, but its patterned after
KIIS FM. Denny Schafer is the morning guy on there -- not a bad egg.
Nostalgia 1230 WCWA is named after Seaway Center. Legendary rocker WIOT w/
Indianapolis fed Bob and Tom from Q95 -- nuff said.

Classic Hit 97FM which is LMA'ed by C-C thru their enemy Cumulus..the ONLY
thing they agree on.

Then comes Clear-Channel's deathstarish enemy CUMULUS! which owns the "Scraps
that c-c don't own! There are FMs like WKKO K100 Country, WRQN moldy oldies,
"WARM"FM Hot Adult Contemp., the Rock tandem "ROCK 106 WRWK and "CLASSIC ROCK 98 WJZE (as a fave to Clear-Channel they have an lma on it) 'XKR Classic Rock 95FM and all sports 1470 WLQR. All not bad stations tho again not much
localness to them. Most are mainly cybered from other cities..a dangerous
trend indeed.

Now this is interesting, who is the 1% left??? Well, while Cumulus and
Clear-Channel buy up Toledo only one man, Charles "Chuck" Welsh has said in
an interview with the Toledo Blade that "Id rather burn the building that my
station operates out of before I sell to corporate suits." He is the "Juice"
of WJUC FM THE JUICE an urban music station and the last independently owned
radio station in Toledo. Theres also some religious stations but, they are
mainly just repeaters for a religious network like Family Life Radio..etc.

Of course you have WXUT FM, the station we were on, which is run by the
University of Toledo. Its a student run station that operates during the
spring, fall and winter on a half/half schedule with a high school radio
station. WXUT signs on during those times at 8pm-8am, in the summer XUT is
24/7, playing an eclectic brand of music..we do a comedy/talk/music show on
XUT -- not bad ratings -- we even beat Albom when we preemed on friday
during the summer.

Now, the reason for some of my verbals against "Cyber Jocks." I'm from the
old school when it comes to Radio. To me, it's heart is its local voice of
the community and what is that local voice -- RADIO! But, what listeners are
hearing nowadays is a dangerous trend, sure it may be cheap, but its robbing
the listeners and the city of its heart, soul, and voice. Radio should and
forever be local, live and for the community. You dont want to hear "Hey this
is WXMI greater Sandusky and your listening to Chuck Mathers, its a great day
here in (insert city here)" when he just did the same spiel in Pittsburgh
but, is based in Los Angeles. To me thats not local, thats stupid! the heart
and soul of the community are its local voices To silence them for someone
satellite fed out of Boston, Chicago, NYC or LA is wrong!

Radio should and can still perform a valued service, that is IF that service,
that contest for tickets to a concert, sporting event is done LOCALLY, with
local talent, not some computer or satellite fed person and taped. Its like
wanting steak and ending up with tofu burgers.

STEVE BAXLEY is a 37 year old true Texas gentleman, living in Jackson, Michigan and works alongside his buddy and "equal host" Doug Pribe on PRIBAX RADIO -- Toledo's Comedy/Talk/Music show heard on WXUT FM Toledo, Ohio , Right now the show is on hiatus and Steve is sending out tapes/resume/presentation packages to any radio station that would like to take a chance on their show.