Some random items for your weekend:
WEIGHING ANCHORS: Plain Dealer radio/TV columnist Julie Washington has a nice piece spotlighting a piece of recent news - the naming of WJW FOX 8 weekend anchor Lou Maglio to a permanent seat alongside long-time anchor Wilma Smith at 6 PM.
FOX 8 president/GM Mike Renda tells Washington that the station wanted to keep a different anchor team at 6 PM, with Bill Martin and Stacey Bell in place as the 5 and 10 PM weekday anchors. The station hasn't yet announced who will take Maglio's place aside Suzanne Stratford on weekends.
OMW feels the move was a good one, and that Maglio and Smith work very well together as an anchor team. Both are former WEWS/5 staffers, and have known and worked with each other for some 20 years. You can try your best to fake chemistry between two co-anchors, but it's apparent that Maglio and Smith really do like each other. Smith was clearly happy when she announced Maglio's addition on a newscast earlier this week.
The addition of the Cleveland TV news vet continues WJW's "Cleveland's Own" theme, with Maglio joining not only Smith, but the venerable Dick Goddard and popular sports anchor Tony Rizzo.
BROKEN WEBSITES: As we've already mentioned, a new "Listen Live" link on website of Salem Cleveland sportstalker WKNR/850 isn't working as you'd expect. It links to an "MP3" file that many browsers have trouble with. On our systems, QuickTime tries to play what is actually not a single MP3 file, but a stream, and it stops after 10 seconds. That's in Firefox 1.5 for Windows XP. On Internet Explorer 6, it doesn't even get that far.
Since we've been asked by OMW readers how we got it to work, we'll share...the workaround for users is relatively simple:
* On Internet Explorer, right-click on the WKNR "Listen Live" logo. Select "Copy shortcut". Load up either WinAmp or Windows Media Player, and use the File menu to "Open URL" in Windows Media Player or "Play URL" in WinAmp. Paste the URL into that box (CTRL-V or right-click Copy > Paste).
* On Firefox 1.5, right-click on the WKNR "Listen Live" logo. Select "Copy Link Location", then follow the rest of the IE instructions.
You can also copy/paste this URL directly from our link:
You'll still have to paste it directly into WinAmp or Windows Media Player, at least on Windows XP. We'll assume the usually smart Macintosh crowd can figure out how to do it on their own.
If WKNR would fix this, OMW wouldn't have to give people instructions on how to actually listen to their live stream. The fix would be to create a "playlist" file (listenlive.pls or something of the sort) that will launch the media player, THEN launch the MP3 streaming audio. This is Internet Webcasting 101, folks...
DIGITAL TV: We understand that Kent-based public TV outlet WNEO/45-WEAO/49 ("PBS 45 & 49") is still working to get prime-time high-definition PBS programming back on their digital broadcast feed. For now, the station has finally come into compliance with FCC rules regarding digital station identification ("PSIP"), and here in Akron, WEAO-DT now correctly identifies as 49-x (1-4). Until now, it'd been coming in as "50-x".
Until 45/49 get the HD stuff working again, here's your lineup for WEAO-DT. WNEO-DT is the same, except "45" will substitute for "49":
49-1 - "Create", a subchannel devoted to arts and crafts, gardening and the like
49-2 - Simulcast of the analog WEAO/49 signal
49-3 - "The Annenburg Channel", national public affairs and telecourse programming
49-4 - "The Ohio Channel", statewide government and public affairs programming
When WNEO/WEAO's HDTV feed comes back up, the three extra subchannels will go away in prime-time hours only, and the feed will have HD on 49-1 (and 45-1), and analog simulcast on 49-2 (and 45-2).
(EDITED: 3/11/06 9:02 PM - see item immediately above for clarification!)