On behalf of the entire vast editorial staff of Ohio Media Watch... Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Happy Holidays, or however you prefer to celebrate this season.
Random thoughts on our minds:
* Maybe we're becoming a bit too sensitive to excessive advertising. But while listening to a recent Cleveland Browns game on the radio, one thing came out and jarred us into paying closer attention. In the middle of his play-by-play, with no apparent connection to anything else, Browns radio voice Jim Donovan occasionally blurts out: "Don't forget to log on to Delta.com and find our lowest fares." You know..."Browns complete a pass for a first down! Nice pass by Charlie Frye. Log on to Delta.com and find our lowest fares!"
Now, we've reluctantly gotten used to such conventions as the sponsored 20-yard-line drive ("the Heinz Red Zone") and in baseball, a call to the bullpen sponsored by Alltel, which by the way, also sponsors the Browns' sideline reports with Casey Coleman and Andre Knott. But the Delta "mini-spot" is unnerving. It was as if they said, "hmm, I guess we can't compare every soaring pass to an airplane, so we'll just have Jim toss it in when he can!"
In a world where Everything Is Sponsored, we guess there's nothing we can do but complain. We certainly don't fault the capable Donovan for this...it's just the card he's been handed. And the spots must work...we remember them.
* An addendum to our recent item from Glunt World, aka the Mahoning Valley's Beacon Broadcasting and its 3 AM and one FM stations in and near that market. A regular OMW tipster has an interesting theory as to why Warren steel supply magnate and Beacon owner Harold Glunt hasn't flipped urban formatted WRTK/1540 Niles to another format.
The tipster tells us a regular local gospel program producer is touting a move to WRTK soon, if it hasn't happened already. The guess from that corner is that WRTK will nudge into gospel and other such programming. Don't look for it to be the next chain in the "Family Friendly Oldies" AM simulcast with WANR/WLOA/WGRP, at any rate. It'd seem to make sense that WRTK would continue to target an African-American audience, but without some of the secular hip hop music that airs now on the station.
* We're still waiting for the announcement of second half of the Indians TV deal, with Time Warner Cable. If that breaks during the next week or so, we'll update this blog as soon as possible. As we've reported before, it's widely believed that the Indians *will* offer the cable games to non-TWC systems and to both major satellite providers. We also hope they don't forget Adelphia and Comcast customers, or OMW itself will take up the cause ourselves...as we're reading that the TWC acquisition of Adelphia and Comcast systems locally may not be wrapped up by April. The last educated guess we saw was talking about "the end of 1Q2006 (2006 1st quarter)", which could be as late as the end of June!
Since OMW doesn't keep to a regular schedule, and updates as needed, we aren't announcing our holiday break. But the updates will be less frequent until around the first of the year.