Edward L. Esposito

Edward L. Esposito

Edward "Ed" Esposito is vice-president, information media for the Rubber City Radio Group. He oversees news and public affairs programs for www.AkronNewsNow.com, 1590 WAKR, 97.5 WONE and 94.9 WQMX. He is Secretary-Treasurer of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation; a former chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation and a former president of the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Association. He's also served as a member of the Akron Press Club , Kent State University Student Media Advisory Board, Ohio Open Government Coalition, Northeast Ohio AMBER Task Force. He's lectured on broadcasting and journalism for the University of Missouri in China, as well as across the country for RTDNA and RTDNF. You can reach Ed through the newsroom at 330-864-6397 or by email eesposito@rcrg.net

Friday, 19 September 2014 10:56

Copley-Fairlawn Teachers Reject Contract Offer

Copley teachers voted no on a proposed contract renewal with the Copley-Fairlawn Board of Education, noting educators continue to work without a contract even after agreeing to a three year wage freeze.

(Ohio Education Association) By an overwhelming margin, Copley teachers voted Thursday to reject the Tentative Agreement reached between the Copley Teachers Association  (CTA) and the Copley-Fairlawn Board of Education.  Copley teachers saw their previous  agreement expire on June 30 and have been operating under an expired contract since the  school year began.

CTA Spokesperson, Jay Wise said, “we were very disappointed that the contract we were offered did not respect the sacrifice we made with a 3-year wage freeze while continuing to keep the district among the highest in excellence and achievement.”

CTA President Windy Lewis echoed that sentiment, “We have very committed and passionate teachers in this district and it was clear from the vote result that their true value to the community is not reflected in the Board’s offer.” Lewis, also a member of CTA’s Negotiation Team, remains hopeful, “We are looking forward to returning to the bargaining table to continue working for a fair contract.”

It has been over 30 years since Copley teachers last rejected a contract offer.

Friday, 19 September 2014 09:39

Akron Half-Marathon Sold Out

Earlier this week we told you the Akron Marathon team relay was sold out. Now add the half-marathon, leaving only 300 slots available for the full marathon. The 12th annual running of the Marathon is set for a week from Saturday.

- - -

(Akron Marathon) The Akron Marathon announced today that the half marathon, presented by Acme Fresh Market, has officially sold out after hitting capacity at 4,800 participants, which marks the largest field of half marathon participants in Akron Marathon history. Race organizers previously announced that the team relay sold out on Monday, Sept. 15. Currently, fewer than 300 spots remain in the full marathon.

Registration for that even closes Sunday, Sept. 21 at 11:59 p.m.

“The Akron Marathon is Akron’s largest single-day sporting event,” said Akron Marathon Executive Director Anne Bitong. “What began as a local race has grown into one of the premier running events in our region, attracting participants from all over the world."

The marathon is also looking for additional volunteers for both the Health & Fitness Expo Friday, Sept. 26 at the John S. Knight Center, as well as for the following day’s race. Opportunities include assisting with registration at the Expo, finish line runner support, helping with the kids fun run and serving as a recycling steward, among others. The Akron Marathon, which consists of four events including the full and half marathon, the five-person team relay and the kids fun run, has grown by more than 10,000 participants since the inaugural event in 2003. The Marathon offers the community a health-focused, fun-filled occasion that draws thousands of participants and spectators each year.

The 12th annual event will be held Sept. 27, 2014. 

Sunday, 07 September 2014 20:00

Changes? Did You Say Changes?

Yes, cat's out of the bag -- there's a new look, new approach and new brand on our website.

AkronNewsNow.com still exists but now directs to the new and greatly improved WAKR.net effective today.

We launched AkronNewsNow with the vision of providing a strong digital platform alternative to other news sites in the market, and were rewarded with national and regional awards for our prescient approach to digital news gathering presentation. Recognition with FOUR Edward R. Murrow national awards for excellence helped set a standard the rest of the industry now follows. We've helped raise the bar. It's important to note AkronNewsNow.com grew to the Rubber City Radio Group's most-visited website, by every count.

Greater Akron is proud of our identity, and our out-of-town colleagues who treat Akron as just a suburban part of "Plus" underserve our region. But our focus to create a new brand built in part on the heritage of 1590 WAKR never quite led to growth we'd hoped for in rebuilding WAKR as a resource new generations would experience, much as their parents and grandparents had. The fact is digital has yet to catch up to broadcast in providing the resources needed to continue on a sustainable digital-exclusive path. We succeed in partnership using all of our platforms, including web, social media and online listening led by our broadcast outlets.

So we're taking another approach, focusing now on the strengths of 1590 WAKR while continuing to feature the content creation power of our newsroom and programming. The renewed WAKR.net website will still have the local news our audience expects but will also provide a better platform for the Ray Horner Show, the Jasen Sokol Show, the Average Sports Show, Dave Ramsey, Money Talks, Ready Set Grow, My Beautiful Home, Today's Homeowner and Jill on Money as well as an improved presence of the worldwide resources of CBS News.

All of these elements together pose challenges to business models that have served us for years, but the relentless push of change is a good thing to keep us fresh and unafraid to try new things -- even if the "new" is to breath new life into an institution such as 1590 WAKR.

Hope you like it. Let me know what you think. My email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, 02 September 2014 15:22

Larry States Announces Retirement

Our best wishes to Akron's Anchor -- and more like Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, not the Ferrell variety.

Larry States announced today his retirement, effective the end of September. In his decades of service to Akron, he's never wavered in his professionalism, sensitivity and dedication to setting the standard the rest of us could only work harder to meet.

From Larry's inaugural years working in Canton to his move north to Akron's WHLO and eventually WAKR among others, the States level of service to the community has been a hallmark of his readiness to inform, educate and most of all help his neighbors and fellow citizens understand the world close at hand. Larry is a man of faith who has been a steadfast colleague and friend to all of us he's worked with.

Whether it was sports and following his beloved University of Akron Zips basketball teams or the news of the day, Larry States earned his reputation as Akron's most trusted news anchor.

Larry's final broadcasts will come before October 1st, but his legacy lives on in the commitment of the Rubber City Radio Group to honor it's responsibilities to our audiences in both Cleveland and Akron. As we noted in his retirement announcement, we've been the ones blessed to have Larry working beside us and having him by our side in life's journey. 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014 08:41

No More Yappin': It's Hoyer

It's one of the worst cases ever of "what will they do," the Browns naming Brian Hoyer their starter for the first regular season game at the Steelers. Coach Mike Pettine says the staff was a "clear leader" and while Manziel isn't ready yet they do think he's come a "long way."

(CLEVELAND BROWNS) Brian Hoyer has been named the Cleveland Browns’ starting quarterback, coach Mike Pettine announced this morning.Hoyer, who started in both of the Browns’ preseason games, won the competition against rookie Johnny Manziel.Ultimately, Hoyer’s biggest advantages are that he has played in the NFL for five years and the leadership qualities he has displayed.

“He was the clear leader from the beginning,” Pettine said. “We’ve maintained all along that if it was close, I would prefer to go with the more experienced player. Brian has done a great job in the meeting rooms and with his teammates on the practice field and in the locker room.”Despite Hoyer completing only two of six passes for 16 yards in Monday night’s loss against the Washington Redskins, Pettine said that he took much more into account than one performance or what was done in either preseason game. He said he considered Hoyer’s “body of work,” which includes leading the Browns to victories in the two full games he played as a starter last season and the way he has prepared himself throughout the spring and in training camp.

“I think Brian’s been very poised,” Pettine said. “I think he’s handled the situation well. He’s had a lot of things going on.”The most significant is the way Hoyer has battled back from the torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered in his right knee during the Browns’ Oct. 3 victory against the Buffalo Bills.“I think a lot of people discount that,” the coach said. “Here’s a guy coming off of a season-ending knee injury. Really, these are his first, essentially, 20-25 plays of live work back from it, and he’s only going to get better.”

The coach said it was important to name the starter this week, leading up to Saturday’s preseason game against St. Louis at FirstEnergy Stadium, to maximize the amount of time Hoyer and the rest of the offense have to prepare for the Sept. 7 regular-season opener at Pittsburgh.

“I think it’s especially good, as an offensive unit, to go out and play and gain cohesion and chemistry,” Pettine said. “That was one of the reasons I wanted to go ahead and make the decision before this third preseason game so that (Hoyer and the rest of the starting offense) could play as a unit for a good chunk of it.

”After reaching a decision with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains last night, Coach Pettine informed the players this morning.The decision to start Hoyer does not, in the coach’s view, reflect poorly on Manziel.

“He’s certainly made great strides,” Pettine said. “We are pleased with where he is, and he has shown that he has come a long way in his ability to pick up the playbook, be coachable and lead an offense. We are confident that Johnny is going to have a great future, but we just felt that Brian still had a decided edge on him.”

Saturday, 16 August 2014 11:51

Scarborough Celebrates First Grads

There are many "firsts" on a new job but one Dr. Scott Scarborough is likely to remember for a long time will be his "first" commencement as a University President. The new chief at the University of Akron delivering addresses to graduates following the summer term today/Saturday. The speech -- one of two Scarborough delivered for morning and afternoon graduates -- centered on the graduates and their families on their accomplishment and the next steps students will make in their post-graduate lives.

Scarborough's inaugural address Saturday morning highlighted sacrifice not just by graduates but also those who supported the men and women receiving degrees today in what he called a celebration of academic achievement. Graduates included those from the Arts and Sciences, Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering and Community Service and Technology fields. 

"Mothers and fathers, grandfathers and grandmothers...aunts, uncles, spouses and significant others worked, saved and prayed to help make this day possible," Scarborough said, also noting the contributions by faculty members who could have "taken more financially rewarding jobs" in the private sector but instead choose to follow the "noble path" of educating others.

Scarborough shared his own family experience with graduates and their families; his grandfather, he noted, dreamed of being a doctor but his grades weren't high enough. Instead, a pharmacy degree put him on the path to recognizing the power of education and his legacy of supporting education for his children and grandchildren proved a direct benefit to Scarborough himself. 

"I am sure you have heard it said that we all stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us," Scarborough shared. "You need only look back into your own families to see some of them."

The University of Akron has two classes of graduates receiving diplomas Saturday. Kent State is also honoring graduates today in ceremonies at the MAC Center, a first for another "first" as new Kent State President Beverly Warren celebrates her first commencement as head of Kent State as a University President.

Saturday, 16 August 2014 06:59

OVI Checkpoints Come To Green

Summer heading out with a bang with a handful of arrests at a pair of drunk driving checkpoints Friday night, a pair in the City of Green. A Massillon Road checkpoint popped two for driving under the influence and four others for driving on suspended licenses. Police at a second barricade at South Arlington and Liberty led to one arrest for OVI and three others for driving under suspension.

- - -

(Summit County OVI Task Force) On Friday August 15th, 2014 the Summit County OVI Task Force conducted two sobriety checkpoints; one at 3390 Massillon Road and one on South Arlington Road at Liberty Green- both in the City of Green.

The results of the Massillon Road checkpoint resulted in:

606- Vehicles passed through the checkpoint in total
21- Vehicles were directed into the diversion area for further investigation or violations
02- People were arrest for Operating a vehicle under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
04- People were arrested for Driving under Suspension
01- Person was cited for Operating a Vehicle without a License.
06- Vehicles were impounded

Of the two arrested for OVI; one party refused to provide a breath sample while the second individual had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .168

The results of the South Arlington Road at Liberty Green checkpoint resulted in:

96- Vehicles passed through the checkpoint in total
07- Vehicles were directed into the diversion area for further investigation or violations
01- Person was arrested for Operating a vehicle under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
03- People were arrested for Driving under Suspension
01- Person was cited for Operating a Vehicle without a License.
02- People were cited for Failure to Use Child Safety Restraints to secure their children
02- Vehicles were impounded

The individual at the South Arlington Road checkpoint also declined to provide a breath sample

Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:15

Tecca, Luburgh Head Overseas

Two of the standouts of the University of Akron's MAC Championship women's basketball team willb e heading overseas to turn pro. Rachel Tecca set records with the Lady Zips but will play for U.M.F. Grindavik in Iceland to begin the season.Hanna Luburgh will play for AZS UMCS in Poland. Both signed one year contracts.

- - -

(University of Akron) Former University of Akron women's basketball student-athletes Hanna Luburgh and Rachel Tecca have signed professional contracts to continue their playing careers overseas.Luburgh will play for AZS UMCS in Lublin, Poland, for the 2014-15 season, while Tecca will travel to Iceland and compete for U.M.F. Grindavik out of the Dominos League. Both contracts are one-year deals that run through the duration of basketball season and can be re-negotiated if their teams advance to postseason play.

"To play professional basketball is a dream come true for me, and I can't wait to get started," said Luburgh. "This is what I worked so hard for during my time at Akron, and to have the opportunity to continue my career at the next level is truly the chance of a lifetime." Luburgh is scheduled to leave for Poland near the beginning of September, and Tecca will depart the U.S. for Iceland sometime next week. "I am looking forward to getting back out on the court and competing professionally," Tecca said. "I am grateful for the chance to travel and experience a different culture, while representing my hometown overseas."

Tecca will be the only American on her squad, while Luburgh has several teammates from the United States, including former players from Penn State and Iowa State.Together, Tecca and Luburgh were the highest scoring duo in the country during their senior season at UA, averaging a combined 44.3 points per game. Luburgh led the Mid-American Conference and set Akron's single-season scoring record with 734 points, ranking fourth all-time in league history. Tecca graduated as Akron's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, becoming just the second MAC player ever to surpass 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career.

The pair of all-conference selections helped the Zips to their first conference title and NCAA Tournament appearance in the 40-year history of the program."I am very excited and proud of Hanna and Rachel," said Akron head coach Jodi Kest. "They have worked extremely hard to take their game to the next level. They are both very driven and self-motivated young women who will have amazing professional careers."

Thursday, 14 August 2014 11:50

RubberDucks Prep For Playoffs

The RubberDucks are looking ahead to the playoffs in September and putting tickets on sale starting today with post-season games possible in Akron beginning September 3rd.

The team is promoting not only the playoffs but also 2015's season ticket packages with an event during the lunch hour tomorrow at Canal Park. Akron's now in second place in the Eastern League Western Division; the two tops teams in each division will face off in a best of five series to begin the championship rounds.

(Akron RubberDucks) The Akron RubberDucks announced today the procedure for purchasing tickets for potential 2014 Eastern League playoff games at Canal Park. Starting, Aug. 14, the RubberDucks will be selling tickets to the general public for all possible playoff games to be played in Akron.

The RubberDucks also announced a special “Rip It for Your Ticket” promotion where fans can not only win 2014 playoff tickets, but they can also win 2015 season tickets. The event is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 15 at Canal Park from noon to 2 p.m. This is a free, open-to-the-public event. Fans will get a chance to step in the real batter’s box at home plate with a wood bat and face two pitches from a pitching machine to try to hit a home run. Successful participants will receive both 2014 playoff tickets and a season ticket for 2015. Those who reach the warning track will receive 2014 playoff tickets.“This will be a fun promotion and will give fans a chance to swing for the fences and cheer on our RubberDucks as they make a deep run into the playoffs,” said RubberDucks’ General Manager Jim Pfander.

The RubberDucks currently sit in second place in the EL Western Division, 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Richmond Flying Squirrels and eight games ahead of the third-place Bowie Baysox. The top two teams in each division qualify for the EL playoffs and will play a best-of-five divisional series.The Eastern League Divisional Playoffs begin on Wednesday, Sept. 3, with the first two games played at the home stadium of the second-place team. The remaining Divisional Playoff games on Sept. 5, 6 (if necessary) and 7 (if necessary) will take place at the first-place team's stadium.

Should the RubberDucks advance to the Eastern League Championship, Games 1 and 2 would be at Canal Park on Sept. 9 and 10, respectively.Individual game prices will remain the same as during the regular season, beginning at $5 for general admission and $9 reserved seats.Tickets can be purchased through the Akron RubberDucks Box Office in person, or by calling (330) 253-5153, and online at www.akronrubberducks.com. The RubberDucks Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Thursday, 14 August 2014 09:32

Springfield Cops Nab Sleeping Intruder

The first rule in the criminal handbook should read: "leave before police arrive." Springfield Township police report they nabbed a 21-year old man who was trying to leave a Massillon Road home after they received a call tipping them off.

The 61-year old homeowner told police she found the man sleeping on her sofa, apparently intoxicated. Cops found the front door had been forced and Justin Meyers was unable to tell police why he was in the house. He's now in the Summit County Jail on burglary and related charges.

- - -

(Springfield PD) At Approximately 7:00 A.M. officers were called to a Massillon Rd. for a report of an intruder. Upon arrival, officers found 21 year old Justin Meyers of Springfield Twp., attempting to leave the home. The 61 year old home owner reported that when she woke up in the morning she found the intoxicated suspect sleeping on her couch.

Forced entry was noticed to the front door, and the home owner does not know Mr. Meyers in any capacity. Mr. Meyers could not tell officers why he was in the victim’s home. Mr. Meyers was charged with Burglary and Criminal Damaging and was booked into the Summit County Jail.