Tuesday, September 15, 2009

15 SEP 09: Legend Left Behind?

Two streets in Columbus are deserving of the title "Broadcast Row." Right now, several radio stations are in the process of moving from one of those streets to the other -- and the move has ramifications many people might overlook. For instance, those stations may air a long series of commercials for U-Haul....

BLOG EXCLUSIVE: A manager with PMB Broadcasting confirmed Monday the chain is moving its four stations out of their longtime home on 13th Avenue. If all goes well, they'll be in a new building on Wynnton Road by the end of October -- out of the shadow of Clear Channel's stations up the hill.

Joseph Brannan with PMB Broadcasting told me the sales and administration departments already have moved to Wynnton Road. Moving the studios of radio stations such as WRCG will take a few weeks -- because if you interrupt Neal Boortz in the middle of his show, some listeners might consider it a left-wing plot.

The large signs for PMB Broadcasting's stations also have been moved to Wynnton Road. When we stopped by the 13th Avenue building Monday, the only sign we saw outside was a "For Sale" sign. Joseph Brannan suggested another radio station might want it. Now if we can find a radio chain left to buy it....

A paper on the 13th Avenue door indicates "on-air interviews" still are being conducted there. That apparently means the sports stars interviewed by Coach B.R. Johnson on WRCG every afternoon -- the ones allowed to skip classes at local high schools.

But something else at that door was what intrigued me about this move. The PMB Broadcasting studios on 13th Avenue are in the "Charles McClure Radio Broadcasting Building." It was named in honor of the late radio station owner a couple of years ago - and now it's being abandoned?! Well, at least McClure would appreciate a good capitalist sale for it....

On top of that, Chuck McClure will be inducted in the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame next month. Couldn't they wait to clean out his building for a few weeks? Or is this how PMB Broadcasting is finding appropriate items to place by his plaque?

We asked Joseph Brannan what will become of the Chuck McClure Building - and he admitted he didn't know. Brannan assumes PMB Broadcasting's owners will talk with McClure's family about the future of that plaque. If it moves the way WRCG's broadcast tower was moved a few years ago, we may never see it again.

There are some interesting synergies in PMB Broadcasting's move. Stations such as WRCG, WCGQ and WKCN are heading into a Wynnton Road building which used to house Clear Channel stations. We'll have no jokes about the "ghost of Jim Foster" - because his gospel music show is still on the air, only from another state.

By moving to Wynnton Road, PMB Broadcasting is about a mile away from the Davis Broadcasting stations. WTVM sits in between them, providing news updates to both groups -- and ready to intervene, in case sports talk hosts Mike Vee and B.R. Johnson decide to fight each other.

So in a few weeks we'll have the WTVM group on Wynnton Road, while the Clear Channel stations which get their news from WRBL will be by themselves on 13th Avenue. I think this makes Loco's and Miriam's Café the unofficial demilitarized zone.

There's one remaining mystery in the PMB Broadcasting move. The stations will NOT have to share a building with The Courier, as WBOJ "103.7 The Truth" did. The newspaper has moved out - but we're not sure where. Did Wane Hailes settle his feud with Piggly Wiggly, to get office space inside a supermarket?

Joseph Brannan with PMB Broadcasting admitted he didn't know where The Courier had moved. But he noted publisher Wane Hailes is trying out a new publication called "The Joint," which lists police arrests and shows mug shots of suspects. It sounds like perfect reading for our new police officers, taking breaks at Golden Donuts.

We called The Courier to ask about its whereabouts Monday, but our message went unreturned. The paper's web site didn't help in our search -- and sadly, it doesn't seem to have a Spanish-language "Eco Latino" section anymore. If the menu changes at El Vaquero, you may have to stop there to find out.

It's our custom NOT to talk politics here on election days. So we'll avoid the big issue local leaders are pushing, and focus on other Monday news:

+ Our sympathies to the friends and family of Jody Powell. He served as Press Secretary for both Governor and President Jimmy Carter -- and according to Wikipedia, Powell spread the "killer rabbit" story about a Presidential fishing outing in Plains. It's a good thing alligators overran south Georgia, to prevent that from happening again.

+ A Russell County judge ordered Hurtsboro Mayor Rayford Tapley to stand trial in October, for tampering with city records. Tapley's attorney seems to argue the mayor is accused of NOT turning over records, when he never had them in the first place. That seemed to work for President Obama's attorneys, when it came to his birthplace.

+ Columbus Water Works officials announced their insurance companies will pay three million dollars, to settle flooding claims from last spring's water tank collapse. They promised to finally release the cause of that collapse next week - before a Fort Benning soldier refuses to serve in Iraq without knowing the answer.

+ Officers in Fort Benning's Third Brigade began a week of "leader engagement" training - learning how to settle disagreements in Iraq through dialogue. Uh-oh, don't tell my pastor about this. He suggested during last weekend's service the U.S. should level Afghanistan with bombs to "win the war" - and no, his sermon did NOT mention the "blessed are the peacemakers" verse.

+ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution announced it will increase the price of weekday editions to one dollar. This makes the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer your low-price leader - with Monday editions still costing only three cents per page.

+ Instant Message to Kanye West and Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina: I think I've found the perfect job opportunity for you. Go to ESPN, and become the next co-hosts of "Pardon the Interruption."

SCHEDULED WEDNESDAY: The "yes or no" question (you probably know which one we mean)....

The number of unique visitors to our blog in the first half of 2009 was up 11.1 percent! To advertise to them, offer a story tip, make a PayPal donation or comment on this blog, write me - but be warned, I may post your e-mail comment and offer a reply.

BURKARD BULK MAIL INDEX: 372 (+ 12, 3.3%)

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author -- not necessarily those of anyone else in Columbus living or dead, and perhaps not even you.

© 2003-09 Richard Burkard, all rights reserved.

site stats