(I used to write a bi-weekly
column, RadioRadio, for Players magazine in the Tampa Bay area.
The following story appeared in 1991.)
Nick Van Cleve Returns
Didn't take long for new 95 YNF Program Director Charlie Logan
to announce his first hire.
Nick Van Cleve is returning to the station after an absence
of many years to take Logan's afternoon drive slot. The move
becomes effective Monday, July 22.
"He's one of the best jocks in America," touts Logan.
"He's known in the market. He's someone who can sit in the
chair and know the market and not take six months to a year to
learn what and where Dale Mabry is, or ask, 'Whybor City? Where's
that?' And ... he was available."
Van Cleve was the station's first choice, according to Logan.
This is Van Cleve's third tour of duty at YNF (He also did
nights at 98Rock from '78-'81). He's probably best remembered
as half of the morning team of "Nick and Jeff," which
followed the old "Breakfast Flakes" (Ron Diaz and Jack
Strapp) in '86-'87 and preceded "Ron & Ron" by
less than a year. Nick and Jeff - Jeff Jensen, that is - were
funny in a different way than the Rons are. Where Bennington
and Diaz are brash, Nick and Jeff were more cerebral. Had they
stayed in town, the duo would soon have been top dogs. But they
left for big bucks and greener pastures in Atlanta.
"They left too soon. They'll be the first to admit that,"
Re-hiring Van Cleve should be no surprise to anyone hip to
WYNF's "incest is best" hiring philosophy when it comes
to air personalities. This is radio? They never fire anybody.
When Ron Diaz went to Los Angeles a few years ago, he was soon
welcomed back. Ditto former P.D. Carey Curelop. And Robert Reed.
And Jeff Jensen. And now Nick Van Cleve - for the third time.
This is a station of remarkable loyalty and friendships in an
industry renown for hiring and firing at will.
Van Cleve's story is especially weird. When Curelop first
went to KLOS in Los Angeles almost two years ago, he brought
Van Cleve along to do weekends, fill-ins, whatever. But when
Curelop crossed the street to program KLOS's competitor, "Pirate
Radio," Curelop left Van Cleve behind and lured Jeff Jensen
away from YNF in Tampa Bay, where Jensen was doing weekends,
With us so far?
Jensen left YNF four months ago because there were no openings
to become afternoon drive jock in the second-best radio city
in America. Van Cleve came back to YNF because there were no
openings in L.A. to become the afternoon jock at 95.
Maybe Van Cleve will stick around long enough for our heads
to stop spinning.
Mr. & Mrs. Pig! Did you catch WFLZ 93 FM's Tim
& Tom in the St. Petersburg Times two weeks ago? The
afternoon duo - following on the heels of a similar gag carried
out in Miami and Columbus, Ohio - submitted pictures of themselves
as newlyweds to the Times and Tampa Tribune.
"Tommie Ann Sowers and Timothy Franklin Swinehart were
married June 15, 1991 at Hillsboro Church of Christ, Nashville,
Tn.," reported the Times.
The Times published the couple's marriage announcement
hook, line and pork chop. Guess they get a lot of young marrieds
whose last names are piggish and so are the brides. The Trib
was a little more suspicious.
"The Trib smelled a rat," says Tim, who probably
meant to say the paper smelled a pig. "The Tribune called
and said they checked with the clerk's office in Hillsborough
County and Nashville. They even called the church in Nashville
and were told no such wedding took place. The Trib caught it;
the Times didn't."
As if it wasn't embarrassed enough, the Times followed
up the scam, by writing a short story about Tim & Tom the
Program Notes! 95's "Live at Morrisound"
will feature St. Warren (7/28) and Bleeding Hearts (8/11) in
the coming weeks. ... Great White will perform in concert at
Electric Ladyland Studios in New York City on July 19 at 11 p.m.
95 will carry it live. ... "In the Studio," the live
music and conversation program carried Thursday nights on WYNF,
will showcase Santana (7/25) and AC/DC (8/1). ... Doug Stephan
has replaced Joel Vincent (a.k.a. Howard Hewes) on WEND 760 AM's
Noon-3 p.m. shift. ... Joey Steele is the host of the new "Club
Q" on Q105 every Saturday night from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. ... Don't
miss Petra Kelly (7/20) and Dianne Davidson (7/27) when they
appear as guests on WMNF 88.5 FM's "The Women's Show,"
which airs Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. The show will focus on
"Women in New Music" on Aug. 3.
In the Mood for Jazz! Guests on upcoming edition's
of "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz" - heard Thursdays
at 11 p.m. on WUSF 90 FM - include: Ramsey Lewis (7/18); Sir
Roland Hanna (7/25); Jaki Byard (8/1); and Randy Weston (8/8).
"American Jazz Festival" - every Saturday at midnight
on WUSF - include the music of Bud Powell (7/20); Jackie McLean,
a Powell protege (7/27); and Bobby Short (8/3). Finally, check
out "Four Queens Jazz Night from Las Vegas," which
airs every Thursday at midnight on Concert 90. Upcoming guests
include: Mal Waldron & Charlie Rouse (7/18); the Poncho Sanchez
Latin Band (7/25); Richard "Groove" Holmes (8/1); and
Scott Hamilton (8/8).
Race Fans! SportsRadio WFNS 910 AM has a full plate
of NASCAR/Winston Cup auto racing planned through the end of
the year. Here's a look at upcoming highlights: Miller 500/Pocono
(7/21); Die Hard 500/Talladega (7/28); and Budweiser at the Glen/Watkins
P.S.! Congrats to old Tampa Bay radio hand Norm Hale,
late of The Wave. He's just been named program director at SportRadio
Better Late Than Never! WMNF is finally jumping on
the Support Your Local Musician Bandwagon. August 5 is "Tampa
Bay Music Day" on the station - all local music and musicians
all day long.
He's Right! WFLA 970 AM Station Manager Gabe Hobbs
says Florida Marlins fans shouldn't expect to hear the new National
League baseball team on his station when they debut in 1993.
"I tend to doubt we'll carry them," he says. "I
think there will be a public backlash against Miami. I don't
think it would be a wise move to carry the Marlins."
Besides, says Hobbs, WFLA has every intention of landing broadcast
rights to the Tampa Bay Mariners.
Not the End! WEND 760 AM is juicing up its signal.
The seldom-heard station - which carries the Sun Network - is
boosting its daytime power from 5,000 to 10,00 watts, effective
sometime in September. Nighttime power will be increased later.
"It'll solidify our signal in those areas where it tends
to be a tad weak," says PD Karl Moore."
It's a ... ! 98Rock overnight jockess Kelli Casey began
a 6-week maternity leave last week. We'll miss her voice; let
you know as soon as we hear whether it's a boy or a girl.
Ron Michaels will fill in for Casey, opening up a little more
air time for Brian Medlin.
Q News! Rich Anhorn is Q105's new music director. He
comes to the station from KWSS ("Quiss?" "K-Wuss?"
What kind of call letters are those? No wonder he left) in San
Jose, Ca. ... Sarah Marx is now spinning CDs for the Q between
2 and 5:30 a.m. She comes by way of Q102 in Des Moines, Ia. and
replaces teen sensation "Mojo."
Marconi Awards Nominees! Tampa Bay radio station were
shut out of the NAB's prestigious Marconi Awards - KBHR in Cicely,
Alaska did not make the list either - but here's a few categories
in which you may recognize the nominees:
Major Market Personalities of the Year: Jess Cain (WHDH, Boston);
Hudson & Harrigan (KILT, Houston); Mark & Brian (KLOS,
Los Angeles); J.P. McCarthy (WJR, Detroit); Cousin Brucie Morrow
(WCBS, New York)
Syndicated/Network Personalities of the Year: Paul Harvey;
Bob Kingsley; Rush Limbaugh; Charles Osgood; Bruce Williams
A Different Kind of Winner! Shawn Portmann, VP/GM of
WYNF, was named "Outstanding Broadcaster of the Year"
by the Florida Association of Broadcasters.
Funny, He Looks a Lot Like Shawn! Joe Corbett has been
promoted to National Sales Manager at WYNF. He was formerly the
station's local sales manager.
If Elected, They Will Serve! Billboard has nominated
WYNF (look, they're having a good week; we don't make this stuff
up, y'know) and staff in four categories for the Billboard Radio
Awards '91: "Best Radio Station of the Year"; "Best
Music Director of the Year - Charlie Logan"; "Best
Air Personality of the Year - Charlie Logan"; "Best
Air Personalities of the Year - Ron & Ron."
Winners will be announced Sept. 5 in San Francisco.
Oh, Please! "The tyke beats the dyke!" WYNF
newscaster Becky "Flash" Gordon reporting Jennifer
Capriati's Wimbledon victory over Martina Navratilova on July
The Gods of Arbitron Return! Spring ratings are due
out this week. Betting around town is on a strong showing by
Mix 96, thanks to curiosity about Mason Dixon's return. And give
credit to Mix: they've given the rest of the day's air personalities
a shot in the arm by finally making the music live up to the
"Mix" monicker. We have no idea what they'll play from
song to song, whether it'll be a golden oldie or R.E.M., Whitney
Houston or the B-52s.
Is the jinx lifted? Stay tuned a quarter or three.
I'm Losing My Religion! The address: RadioRadio, c/o
Players, PO Box 1867, Pinellas Park, Fl. 34664. The fax: (813)
All rights reserved. No portion may be reproduced without the
express written permission of the author.