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Published: Monday, 4/18/2005

City needs progressive radio voice, host says

Dennis Shreefer thinks he would be a good fit for Toledo.

Toledo is in desperate need of a progressive voice, he said.

But the talk-show host, who is looking for work, realizes he may have to go to Plan B in order to continue his 20-year radio career.

The job market is virtually nonexistent for progressive talkers, he said. It s been shut down.

Indeed, talk radio is dominated nationally by those espousing politically conservative views. Even Toledo long a Democratic stronghold is a haven for right-wing talkers. WSPD-AM (1370) and WTOD-AM (1560) have all-conservative lineups weekdays.

Dennis Shreefer: Radio talk-show host has worked in Detroit, Cleveland, and Philadelphia. Dennis Shreefer: Radio talk-show host has worked in Detroit, Cleveland, and Philadelphia.
HIRES / BLADE Enlarge

Shreefer was fired by Lima s WIMA-AM (1150) on March 31, ending a 10-year run. Some would say he was fired for being too liberal. Shreefer said Republicans put enormous pressure on local companies to stop advertising on his show.

Now, he says, WIMA is all-right wing, all the time.

Shreefer has hosted talk shows in major markets, including Detroit, Cleveland, and Philadelphia. Before his second stint at WIMA, he hosted the morning show on WSPD.

If Shreefer returns to Toledo, WTOD would seem like the logical candidate. The Cumulus-owned station, which switched to a talk format last fall, is expected to begin offering local programming later this year. It currently airs only nationally syndicated talk shows.

Cumulus operations manager Tim Roberts said WTOD is at least 60 days away from airing a local talk show. And when it does, it s more likely to be on the weekend than weekdays.

Before committing to a local talk show weekdays, Roberts said this question must be answered: Is it economically viable?

Roberts said he would not be opposed to hiring a liberal talk show host. And Shreefer said he would love to go head-to-head with either of WSPD s local talk shows, hosted by Bob Frantz (mornings) and Denny Schaffer (afternoons).

Meanwhile, Shreefer is considering other options a Plan B, if you will. He may pitch to stations a husband-and-wife show. He said it would be nonpolitical, a mix between TV s Regis & Kelly and the Today Show. His wife, Laurie, appeared regularly on his Lima talk show.

As much as some people hate me, he said, they love her.

MORNING SHUFFLE: Jeremy Baumhower, executive producer of WSPD talk shows formerly hosted by Mark Standriff and Scott Sloan, has joined the WVKS-FM (92.5) morning show, replacing Dafoe. Baumhower previously was producer of the morning show on WMMR-FM in Philadelphia.

REPEAT WINNER: Brad Hundt, a Perrysburg High School graduate, recently placed first in a statewide newspaper competition in Pennsylvania. For the second year in a row, he won a Keystone Press Award for feature beat reporting. Hundt, 39, works for the Observer-Reporter in suburban Pittsburgh.

NEW HIRE: Tami Tremblay is to start next week as a news reporter for WUPW-TV, Channel 36. She previously worked at KVEW-TV in Kennewick, Wash.



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