Clear Channel Management Changes in Cincinnati

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Clear Channel Management Changes in Cincinnati

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From John Kiewetter's blog at on 11/6/13 ... r-channel/

Darryl Parks, the Big One at 700 WLW-AM for more than a decade, was fired today in a Clear Channel corporate restructuring.
“He’s no longer with the company,” says Angel Aristone, a New York-based Clear Channel spokesperson.

Parks was rewarded for keeping WLW-AM No. 1 in the ratings for nine years by being promoted to Clear Channel vice president for news talk operations in 2010. He remained based at WLW-AM, and continued to host a 9-11 a.m. Saturday talk show, while coaching talk hosts and advising talk stations from coast to coast.

From 1999 through 2010, Parks was arguably the most most influential person in Cincinnati radio.

Parks had a hand in almost every aspect of the station – talk show topics; the self-effacing promotions; network feeds for Bill Cunningham, Gary Sullivan, the Reds and Bengals; driving the audience to podcasts, blogs and videos at; promoting listening to the station on iPhones; and planning the dozens of studios when WLW-AM/WCKY-AM/WSAI-AM/WKRC-AM/WEBN-FM moved from Mount Adams to Kenwood.

He also set the tone by coaching and critiquing Gary Burbank; Jim Scott; Mike McConnell; Eddie Fingers; Tracy Jones; Andy Furman; the late Dale “Trucking Bozo” Sommers; his son Steve Sommers; Tom Gamble; Richard Skinner; Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty and many others heard on the “Big One” for the past decade.

Parks could not be reached for comment.

In 2009 he told me:

“There is no secret to talk radio. You just discuss what people are talking about, and reflect it back to them,” he said. Parks called WLW-AM “a parody of a talk station.” While Sean Hannity seriously discusses the news, WLW-AM airs “entertainment-based talk radio,” Parks says. “It’s more about the personality. You want people to tune in to hear what the personality is going to say.”

I also wrote:

Sometimes those personalities say outrageous things and get into trouble. In 2007, Cunningham told listeners that Reds outfielder Adam Dunn was “drunk” playing against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cunningham later apologized. A month later, “SportsTalk” host Andy Furman was suspended – and later fired – after calling Bengals wide receiver T. J. Houshmandzadeh a “racist” on the air. Furman says his termination was made by Clear Channel headquarters in San Antonio. He remains friends with Parks…

Parks, in a two-hour interview, declined to discuss some topics:

“I have made mistakes, but there’s never an agenda. It’s always about ratings and revenues. … Some people look at this as an art form. But at the end of the day, it’s an art form that’s supposed to make money. If we’re not making money, we’re not doing it.”
Kieswetter blog entry from 11/11/13: ... m-webn-fm/
So who’s running WLW-AM and WEBN-FM? That’s the question at Clear Channel in Kenwood today, with the promotion late Friday of market operations manager Chris Williams to Clear Channel senior vice president for iHeart Radio programming.

Since September last year, Williams was operations manager over all the Cincinnati stations: WLW-AM; WEBN-FM; WKFS-FM/KISS 107; WKRC-AM; WCKY-AM; WSAI-AM and Project 100.7/106.3). He also was program director for WEBN-FM and Project 100.7/106.3; a Clear Channel Communications vice president for programming; and Clear Channel Communications’ active rock brand coordinator.

Williams was the second Clear Channel vice president to leave Kenwood in three days. Darryl Parks was let go Wednesday, when Clear Channel eliminated his position of vice president for news/talk operations. Parks had left the Cincinnati day-to-day operations three years ago, but remained based here and hosted a Saturday morning talk show. Here’s my Wednesday blog on Darryl Parks.

Williams will be based in New York, says Justin Tabas, Clear Channel Cincinnati integrated marketing director. Williams came here in September 2012 from Atlanta, where he had been program director of Project 9-6-1.

So who’s overseeing programming here?

“It is not all defined (yet),” Tabas said.
"It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much." - Yogi Berra
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