Cunningham's Debut Cut Short By WLW-AM
Now here's one of the stories you probably WON'T be talking about on The Big One: WLW-AM dumped out of Bill Cunningham's national talk debut at midnight, cutting off the last hour in his hometown on his flagship station. WLW-AM instead went at midnight, as usual, to "America's Trucking Network" with Steve Sommers, the Truckin' Bozo's boy.
WLW-AM broadcast the first two national hours, 10 p.m.-midnight. To hear his third national hour, I had to tune in WABC-AM (770) from New York City, Sean Hannity's flagship station. Ironically, Hannity was Cunningham's first guest Sunday, and Hannity had promised Cunningham in August that he would use his influence to have WABC-AM carry Cunningham's show when he replaced Internet journalist Matt Drudge on Sunday nights. Clear Channel says Cunningham debuted on 325 stations. Wonder how many others didn't carry the full show, if it wasn't worth the time in Cunningham's hometown?
Now I understand why Darryl Parks never responded to my calls or emails last week when I was asking about how WLW-AM would carry Cunningham's show.
For the record: WLW-AM did carry three hours of Cunningham Sunday night. But the 9-10 p.m. hour was a repeat from his weekday shows last week.
What a slap at Cunningham.... He goes national on 325 stations, and his flagship station won't carry his whole show??? I'm guessing the answer to this is Darryl Parks' favorite phrase: ratings and revenues. They probably didn't want to blow off guaranteed advertising revenues from Sommers, so they pulled the plug on Willie.
For a "full report" on Cunningham's debut -- well, at least the first two hours -- read my next blog from late Sunday night. He opened with a 45-minute interview with Sean Hannity, and took one caller in the first hour. He got on five callers in the second hour, and did a "Stooge Report"-style sports update with Bill "Seg" Dennison.
Only two hours for Cunningham's national debut? That should make a great sales point nationally for Clear Channel's Premeire Networks -- he's not good enough for his flagship station to carry the whole show.... Maybe Cunningham will sue -- if he knows a good attorney....