STO AND DIRECTV MEET: We've been hearing a rumor that the folks at SportsTime Ohio and DirecTV sat down on Tuesday to try to hammer out the "outer market" situation with the satellite service and viewers outside the immediate Cleveland/Akron/Canton and Columbus markets, who haven't gotten Cleveland Indians games since DirecTV agreed to carry STO.
STO's Jim Liberatore confirmed the meeting to us this morning, and tells OMW that DirecTV is "supposed to decide this week" about opening up the games to the outer "zones" - places like Toledo and Erie, to name just two, which are currently blocked for the Indians' new cable/satellite network. We'll let you know when we know...
NEW HIRE CONTROVERSY: What happens when a Northeast Ohio radio station hires a new promotions director, and that new hire is still under a legal cloud in his former home market?
When OMW told you of the hiring of Todd Kelly Smith as promotions director at Canton market CHR WZKL/92.5 Alliance ("Q92"), we didn't recognize the common-sounding name immediately. But then, it hit us...we'd read something about him earlier on AllAccess. Mr. Kelly Smith is in legal hot water in Louisville, as this story from TV station WHAS/11 points out.
We'll let the words of WHAS/11 reporter Kirby Adams in this March story speak for themselves:
"The Louisville radio personality who raised thousands of dollars for a fatal disease he claims to suffer from appeared before a grand jury today.
For years Todd Kelly who’s real name is Todd Smith used his celebrity status to promote fundraisers for ALS, a fatal disease he claims to have.
The Todd Kelly Foundation raised over 100 thousand dollars through walks and gala fundraisers in Louisville. But when I asked Todd what he did with all that donated money, he couldn’t give us the name of a single ALS patient helped by the thousands of dollars worth of donations. The Kentucky State Police began to investigate the Todd Kelly Foundation and today after a number of delays. Todd Kelly complied and appeared before the grand jury."
OMW understands that the investigation is still ongoing, and Mr. Kelly Smith has yet to be charged with any wrongdoing...thus, he is able to leave Louisville and accept a new job in Ohio.
But we're still not sure if the folks at WZKL were aware of this situation, which was widely reported in the media in Louisville. It could well be that Q92 was informed of this by Todd Kelly Smith himself, and they're standing by him as the case is resolved. After all, the move was openly reported in the radio trade press...and we know staffers at WZKL read AllAccess, which first carried news of Mr. Kelly Smith's situation in January in this item:
"Ex-WDJX DJ Todd Kelly Under Investigation For Possible Fraud
ABC affiliate WHAS-TV/LOUISVILLE's KIRBY ADAMS reports that former RADIO ONE Top 40 WDJX/LOUISVILLE Promotions Dir. TODD KELLY, who resigned his job last week, is being investigated for possible fraud for his role in collecting over $100K in money for ALS (better known as LOU GHERIG'S DISEASE) research through his charitable organization, the TODD KELLY FOUNDATION. The IRS has no evidence or record of the foundation or any of the thousands of dollars in donations it collected. "
Either way, we'll see. We understand the grand jury should weigh in, one way or another, early next month...