Every time someone comes along promising to provide Clevelanders with a fresh new radio voice geared to this area, things seem to go awry. 107.3 had an uneven two-year run before new owners pulled the adult alternative format off the air and reverted to “smooth” (e.g. wallpaper) music late last year. In May, Clear Channel debuted “99 X,” touted “Cleveland’s New Rock Alternative.” It’s stuck on an in-between frequency that’s hard to pull in and plays generic “alternative” hits.
Now “87.7 Clevelanders Rock” is set to become the latest station promising to shake things up with a hyper-local format that will “work to sound like Cleveland,” driven by a team of local personalities tuned into what’s happening on the streets. It's handicapped by a signal so far down the dial it’s staring at the asses of local college radio stations (don’t confuse it with WJCU 88.7 FM, John Carroll’s respected campus station) and the fact that the analog signal is scheduled by the FCC for obsolescence in three years. But 88.7 Clevelanders Rock is forging ahead to launch later this summer.
There’s lots more to scratch your head over at Ohio Media Watch.
The station is taking an irregular approach to finding its air talent team. Perhaps influenced by shows like American Idol and other reality TV shows, it’s holding a casting call for talent. “We’re looking for kick-ass, funky writers and comedians who will make us pee our pants laughing,” their promotional flyer says.
Anyone who thinks they’re something special is invited to show up at the Beachland Ballroom this Saturday, July 21, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and, in less than three minutes, convince them you’re “bigger than Trivisonno, edgier than Rover, more caustic than Lannigan [sic].” You don’t need to sign up or register — just show up.
“Yes, you can bring some of your peeps,” they advertise, because every lame routine sounds great when a bunch of your friends are cheering madly.
“You could be the next Howard,” they promise.
Just don't expect a paycheck like Howard's.