oWOW Radio

Fundraising campaign by John Gorman
  • US$3,015.00
    raised of $30,000.00 goal
10% Funded
52 Donors
Time left
42 7 54
You only have the opportunity to donate to this campaign before Tuesday Jul 5, 11:59 pm UTC
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ANNOUNCING: oWOW Radio, the radio station that puts Live & Local back in Cleveland radio, has reorganized to better serve the community by being the only listener-supported nonprofit radio station streaming Timeless Rock music and providing relevant information for the 45-65+ demographic in Northeast Ohio.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! The first step towards returning oWOW to the air is this crowdfunding, designed to raise the initial 10% of the funding needed. We need your help to get the ball rolling. If you've enjoyed listening to oWOW since 2015, please consider expressing your enjoyment by donating generously. Also, please share this with your friends, co-workers, family and other music lovers so that we can put Live & Local back in Cleveland radio!

A word on tax deductibility: oWOW has applied to the Internal Revenue Service for 501(c)(3) status which provides for tax deductible charitable contributions. The application is currently pending and we hope to hear back in the next several months. Once approved, your donations should be deductible, but we caution you that we are rock & rollers, not tax experts. Always check with your tax professional if you have any questions.

Introduction

In the 1970s and 1980s, Cleveland radio was internationally known and revered. While many people were instrumental in creating this powerhouse presence, one name stood above all the rest: John Gorman. Gorman was the Program Director and architect of WMMS beginning in 1973 and Operations Manager of both WMMS and WHK in 1983. In 1986, he created WNCX, which became known as “Cleveland’s Classic Rock.” In 1989, he became the Vice President and Director of Programming for WMJI, where he created the first FM oldies format with John Lanigan in morning drive, augmented with a team of well-known established Cleveland radio personalities. In 2015, he created oWOW, a full-time online radio station with a “Timeless Rock” format aimed at a seasoned rock and roll audience with music and information delivered by well-known Cleveland personalities. oWOW was located in the 78th Street Studios on Cleveland’s West Side and sent its internet broadcast across the globe.

However, by late 2020, due the COVID-19 pandemic, oWOW, like many businesses, faced a significant loss of operating revenue, as several oWOW clients were facing their own pandemic crises and were unable to continue advertising. oWOW made the unfortunate business decision to cease broadcast operations in December, 2020.

After careful research and analysis, oWOW Radio is restructuring as a full-time listener-supported nonprofit streaming radio station. Its format remains Timeless Rock, a diverse blend of new and familiar rock music, described as “the sweet spot between Classic Rock and Indie Rock” and serves the targeted 45-65+ demographic.

oWOW Puts Live & Local back in Cleveland Radio

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 introduced major deregulation of FCC rules governing radio stations, which operated on federally-owned AM and FM frequencies including broadcast content and ownership caps. The laws ended the requirement of radio stations to provide news, information, public affairs programming and public service announcements. Additionally, radio stations are no longer required to maintain studios and offices in the city of license in the market they serve, resulting in over a 90 percent increase of nationally-networked content and the elimination of most, if not all, local and regional programming.

In other words, there is no full-time live and local programming on any Greater Cleveland commercial radio station. As of today, here is a list of Cleveland’s main radio stations and their owners:

Station

Owner

  • WCPN (90.3) – Public/Jazz Public
  • Public
  • WKRK (92.3) -- Sports
  • Audacy (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • WZAK (93.1) –Urban Adult Contemporary
  • Urban One (Silver Spring, Maryland)
  • WAKS (96.5) – Contemporary Hits
  • iHeartMedia (San Antonio, Texas)
  • WNCX (98.5) – Classic Rock
  • Audacy (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • WGAR (99.5) -- Country
  • iHeartMedia (San Antonio, Texas)
  • WMMS (100.7) – Active Rock / Talk
  • iHeartMedia (San Antonio, Texas)
  • WDOK (102.1) -- Adult Contemporary
  • Audacy (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • WQAL (104.1) -- Contemporary Hits
  • Audacy (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • WCLV (104.9) – Classical
  • Public
  • WMJI (105.7) – Classic Hits
  • iHeartMedia (San Antonio, Texas)
  • WHLK (106.5) – Adult Hits
  • iHeartMedia (San Antonio, Texas)
  • WNWV (107.3) – Alternative Rock
  • Rubber City Radio Group (Akron, Ohio)
  • WENZ (107.9) – Hip Hop/Urban
  • Urban One (Silver Spring, Maryland)

oWOW fills that void in the Northeast Ohio community, targeting a demographic that grew up with locally-managed content and responsibility. oWOW is the opposite of the superficial blandness which represents Cleveland radio today.

All of oWOW’s programming and personalities are Greater Cleveland-based. oWOW recognizes that its audience also includes Northeast Ohio expatriates who grew up listening to Cleveland’s radio juggernaut and are attracted to the familiarity of music heard exclusively on oWOW. oWOW’s programming serves as a representation of the “soundtrack” of Northeast Ohio and the reason why the music industry – as well as the popular consumer vote – chose Cleveland as the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Audience Demographics: 45-65+

Statistics show that the largest segment of Northeast Ohio’s current population, 45-65+ adults, is also the most neglected by electronic media which focuses on a much younger demographic. Because 45-65+ still has the lion’s share of disposable income, and has diverse interest and needs, this is a marketing opportunity. What Northeast Ohio needs is a truly alternative internet/radio voice for inclusive and interactive presentation: not only good music but also discussion of issues of interest to a culturally-conscious community. An agora: a coffee shop, concert hall, and virtual town hall.

oWOW serves this important demographic with music, news, cultural programming and relevant information.

Streaming Radio: Tomorrow is Here Today

Just as FM replaced AM, online radio is replacing FM. Technology does not stop. People connect, socialize and do business online. With the rise in popularity of streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora, today’s consumers prefer their audio entertainment online rather than over AM and FM. Even SiriusXM, which pioneered satellite radio at great expense, (1) purchased and now owns streaming service Pandora, (2) purchased and now owns podcast company Stitcher and (3) and recently undertook an active marketing program promoting its streaming services. As the company said in its press release, “Listening on home devices is showcased prominently in every spot, and the availability of SiriusXM outside the car is particularly in focus in the "Gizmos" spot, as Kevin Hart discovers he can listen to his favorite channel in a variety of ways.”

Key Personnel: Experienced & Savvy

John Gorman is oWOW’s original co-founder, President and Chief Content Officer. While serving in management roles at WMMS in Cleveland for 13 years (1973 – 1986) the station promoted local and upcoming talent at a national level. Gorman adjusted the format of WMMS based upon a broad interpretation of the category of rock and roll music. He led a cohesive staff that developed a rock-centered radio station that came to dominate the Cleveland radio market and gain a national reputation as a forum for new rock `n' roll and contemporary acts.

Led by Gorman, WMMS would play a key role during this period in breaking several major acts in the U.S., including:

  • Rush
  • Roxy Music
  • Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Meat Loaf
  • The Pretenders
  • New York Dolls
  • Lou Reed
  • Ian Hunter
  • Boston
  • David Bowie
  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
  • The Cars
  • John Cougar Mellencamp

Of special note was the early support of Bruce Springsteen, prior to the release of the Born to Run album. For the station's tenth anniversary in 1978, WMMS hosted and broadcast a live Springsteen concert at the Agora Ballroom independent of his concert tour. Heavily bootlegged, the concert further cemented the relationship between the two in fans' minds, and well into the 2000s Cleveland remains one of Springsteen's strongest bases. Gorman also was instrumental in actively promoting local rock & roll music as well such as Michael Stanley, helping the Cleveland native and his band to a record-setting four sold-out nights in a row at Blossom Music Center.

In the 1980s Gorman’s WMMS was dominant in this market and was one of the highest-rated radio stations in the country. For eight consecutive years (1979-1986), readers of Rolling Stone magazine voted WMMS the "Radio Station of the Year" award. Under Gorman’s leadership WMMS was also instrumental in bringing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Cleveland, helping to organizing the original campaigns that quickly gained traction across the country.

In addition to his Cleveland radio programming duties, Gorman also consulted radio stations throughout the U.S. including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Buffalo, the Hudson Valley, and the Jersey Shore. Gorman, along with former Malrite president Carl Hirsch, was instrumental in developing WHTZ (Z-100) in New York during the mid-1980s. Gorman was also Vice President and Director of Programming for OmniAmerica Broadcasting from 1994 through 1996. Gorman also authored the book, The Buzzard: Inside the Glory Days of Cleveland Rock Radio and WMMS, which was published in 2007 and became a regional #1 best-seller in Ohio.

Gorman is the recipient of various industry awards and acknowledgments, including "Radio Consultant of The Year" (1985) at the Annual Pop Music Convention. He was also named "Operations Director of The Year" by Billboard (magazine) in 1995. In 2006, he received the Perseverance award from the Cleveland Entertainment Coalition. In 2000, Gorman was inducted into the Broadcaster's Hall of Fame and was also inducted into the Cleveland Association of Broadcaster' Hall of Fame in April 2008. Gorman was inducted into the Rock Radio Hall of Fame in the "Legends of Rock Radio–Programming" category for his work at WMMS in 2014.

Steve Pappas serves as oWOW’s Vice-President and Operations Manager. He is also an on-air personality for the station, hosting his own afternoon show. He’s been in the Cleveland market since 1993, starting at WQAL (Q104), where he served in various programming and sales roles. He also worked for Westwood One in news, sports and traffic reporting and anchoring positions and has taught several classes in speech writing, public speaking and commercial copywriting and production.Steve began his business career in operations, human resources and administrative management before transitioning to broadcasting.Originally from Elyria, Steve and his family reside in Lakewood.

THANK YOU! We sincerely appreciate your financial support as we embark upon this journey to bring oWOW back to you.

Rewards

Skinny Little Boy -- A hearty thank you from the folks at oWOW Radio!

12 Backers

No Surf in Cleveland -- You'll receive a unique, one of a kind oWOW lapel pin, signifiying your role in helping us get back online.

14 Backers

Funky Poodle -- You know you love oWOW's music, so you'll get a copy of oWOW's "NEO The Soundtrack" CD (while supplies last)

My Town -- Use oWOW to keep warm on those winter nights with an exclusive oWOW knit cap!

Cleveland Rocks -- WIth oWOW you rock down to your socks, so enjoy our exclusive oWOW socks!

The Heart of Rock 'n' Roll -- And since you're a rocker, you need caffeine. Enjoy our Yeti-style 20 ounce steel tumbler.

Born and Raised on Rock 'n' Roll -- What better way to listen to oWOW than thru a custom oWOW Bluetooth speaker?

Go All The Way -- By going all the way, you'll get the top reward: a custom made baseball-style jacket, hoodie or fleece (your choice) with a big oWOW logo, showing your loyalty to Timeless Rock!

Organizer

Donors

  • Nick Moore
  • Donated on May 13, 2022
$10.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Mar 03, 2022
Amount Hidden
  • Paul Doone
  • Donated on Dec 13, 2021
  • I never deleted my app hoping for your return. Your station is exactly what we need. John Gorman is a hero in this town and we should support this as much as we can Reaching out to the local artists that you play may help in this drive so that they can let their audiences know

$100.00

No updates for this campaign just yet

Donors & Comments

52 donors
  • Nick Moore
  • Donated on May 13, 2022
$10.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Mar 03, 2022
Amount Hidden
  • Paul Doone
  • Donated on Dec 13, 2021
  • I never deleted my app hoping for your return. Your station is exactly what we need. John Gorman is a hero in this town and we should support this as much as we can Reaching out to the local artists that you play may help in this drive so that they can let their audiences know

$100.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Nov 04, 2021
Amount Hidden
  • Scott Hanson
  • Donated on Nov 04, 2021
$25.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Nov 02, 2021
Amount Hidden
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Oct 28, 2021
Amount Hidden
$25.00
  • Sandy Clark
  • Donated on Oct 27, 2021
  • I can’t wait to hear real music again!!!!

Amount Hidden
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Oct 25, 2021
  • Excited to have oWOW back on the airwaves!

$50.00
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Followers

26 followers
JD Eicher
Paul Doone
Esther Gay
Mary Erhardt
gregg williams
Richard Malloy
Michael Moore
Craig Severson
Sheila O\\\'Donnell
Nancy Yovan
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US$3,015.00
raised of $30,000.00 goal
10% Funded
52 Donors
Time left
42 7 54

You only have the opportunity to donate to this campaign before Tuesday Jul 5, 11:59 pm UTC

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