oWow Launches In Cleveland
February 19, 2015 at 4:11 AM (PT)
Longtime CLEVELAND programmer JOHN GORMAN has assembled a group that will launch a live-and-local online station oWOW, FRESHWATERCLEVELAND.COM reports. GORMAN, Chief Content Officer of oWOW, and Dir./Sales and Marketing JIM MARCHYSHYN are being supported by a host of private investors, a local bank and a loan and grant from the City of CLEVELAND. The station will serve the markets of YOUNGSTOWN, CANTON and AKRON as well as CLEVELAND.
"oWOW is a brand new radio station," GORMAN said. "Our current music mix includes Triple A staple artists and artists not getting exposure on terrestrial radio due to radio chain policies. Today, at most stations new and current -- and even versions of older -- music you hear are nationally selected -- and even chosen through various pay-to-play schemes. The history of CLEVELAND rock and roll is more than the same 220 songs played over and over by terrestrial radio Classic Rock and Classic Hits formats. Our direction is playing the unique musical soundtrack of GREATER CLEVELAND.
"Radio listeners could tell what city you were driving through by turning on the radio. Today, it all sounds the same by choice. The same music, same air talent, mostly pre-recorded from another city, and the same staleness." he continued. "With oWOW we can play a BONNIE RAITT track from 25 years ago and follow it seamlessly with a brand new GRACE POTTER & THE NOCTURNALS song. Both fit seamlessly. Good music stands the test of time."
An on-air staff has already been assembled, featuring RAVENNA MICELI, STEVE PAPPAS, SUSIE FRAZIER and CHARLOTTE DIFRANCO working out of a temporary studio while a permanent 1,600-square-foot building undergoes construction. Scheduled for completion in mid to late spring, the space will include a studio and a production area with large interior windows to attract 78th Street passersby.
"What used to get people interested in radio was that it was exciting,” MARCHYSHYN said. "You looked in. You saw the DJ and you thought: this is cool. We are in show business. That's been forgotten."
"Studios are all empty," added GORMAN, referring to voicetracked or syndicated-heavy stations. "They don't have an air staff. Most of them are disembodied voices coming from another city. We're real live people. We're based in CLEVELAND. We can do all the things that radio can no longer do. We are determined to play this city's unique musical soundtrack."
Programming-wise, FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE will run FRIDAYS from 5p-midnight and exclusively feature live concert audio. Daily programming offer a live mix-tape feel, and the playlist will feature local talent such as KRISTINE JACKSON, BOB GATEWOOD and THE SPEEDBUMPS.
"Just as FM replaced AM, online radio will replace, FM," said MARCHYSHYN. "Technology doesn't stop. People are connected, socialize and do business online; want to belong to an active part of a vital community. oWOW will super-serve NORTHEAST OHIO's 17 counties, creating the 18th largest media market in the U.S. We will specialize in providing results-oriented, personal customer service and the client need analysis local and national advertisers are looking for. It's back to basics with the latest in technology working for us."