Saturday, May 7, 2011

Spotlight On Sports

Anybody who has spent time in northeast Ohio knows how seriously folks in the region take their sports, be it professional or high school level action. With that in mind, NEO Airchecks this week spotlights a pair of Youngstown-Warren area play-by-play veterans, Larry Miklas and Tim Continenza.

At the start of this composite aircheck of Warren's WRBP/1440, Continenza, the host of "Valley Sportsline", addresses the impending departure of then-Cleveland Browns head coach Chris Palmer. Next up is a a pre-game segment from a 2001 high school boys basketball broadcast, followed by the opening minutes of the same game featuring Warren Harding and Youngstown-Ursuline.

Larry Miklas started his radio career in the 1970's as an on-air personality at Sharon, Pennsylvania's WPIC/790. He moved on to WGRP/940 in nearby Greenville before eventually returning to the Ohio airwaves at WTCL/1570 in Warren. During the 1980's the former steelworker was on-air at WRRO/1440 in Warren, using the name "Larry Summers". Miklas went on to call thousands of high school football and basketball games, primarily for WBBW/1240, WRTK/1390 and WASN/1330. (At the time of this week's featured aircheck, WRBP/1440 was the sister station of WASN, which was owned by Otter Communications.) Along the way, he would also call a season of games on WHK/1420 for the Cleveland Thunderbolts, the city's first arena football team. Following a brief illness, Larry Miklas passed away in July 2010.

Tim Continenza is no stranger to sports fans in the Mahoning Valley, having spent time as a play-by-play man and host at WRRO/1440 during its sport talk format of the mid/late 1990's. Continenza reappeared at 1440 during its ownership by Otter Comunications. After the station was sold to current owner Salem Communications in 2001, he was occasionally heard calling high school games for the station, then sporting the call letters WHKW. Continenza now fills the same role for the Meadville, Pennsylvania-based Allegheny news/talk sports network, which is heard on WMGW/1490, WTIV/1230 and WFRA/1450.