A couple or three items floating around:
RANDY'S TALK: Gee, like we didn't see it coming.
On Friday, Cleveland Plain Dealer sports/media columnist Roger Brown quoted "TV insiders" as predicting a settlement between Raycom Media CBS affiliate WOIO/19 and the Cleveland Browns - in what could be called "The 911 Call Flap".
Later Friday, when we were dissecting Roger's column, your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) noted that such a prediction was like predicting the sun would rise in the morning, and reiterated our own earlier prediction (TV "insiders" that we are, eh?) that the team would buyout WOIO's contract, likely after the pre-season games air next month.
Today, in a wide-ranging interview with team beat reporters, Browns owner Randy Lerner talks about the controversy with "19 Action News", with his quotes reprinted here in a story by Associated Press Cleveland-based sports reporter Tom Withers. Withers says Lerner is "confident the sides will work something out":
"I think Channel 19 and our organization have started very productive conversations about how to make sense of this and have both parties come out feeling good about themselves," he said.
Akron Beacon Journal Browns beat reporter Patrick McManamon echos the quote, and says Lerner "sees no problems finding a new broadcast outlet for the team's preseason games."
Wow. What a surprise! We imagine these quotes would almost ensure that WOIO gets a contract buyout after the 2006 pre-season games, and that the Browns get the opportunity to bolt from the Raycom Media Tabloid Superstation nearly a year early...after holding their noses through four pre-season games this year.
Again, remember the key here: WOIO AIRS THE MAJORITY OF THE BROWNS REGULAR SEASON GAMES NO MATTER WHAT, due to the station's affiiliation with AFC-carrying network CBS.
OMW thinks it's at least a small possibility that the team would buy out the station BEFORE the pre-season games this year, but we figure it's somewhat unlikely due to the time frame involved. Pre-season game number one is a week from this coming Thursday.
Just a guess or two, of course...
KISS CANTON: OMW actually stumbled upon this on Friday, and so have others, apparently... it's now peppered on some of our other items with anonymous comments.
Clear Channel has registered the domain name "KissCanton.com", and for the moment, it redirects web surfers to the website for the company's Akron/Canton hot AC station, WKDD/98.1. A quick check of the official registration info shows it has indeed been registered out of Clear Channel's offices in San Antonio.
What to make of it?
There is, of course, the speculation that comes with a presumed new format for the company's incoming FM signal at 101.7, which is likely a couple of months or so from making its debut north of the Stark/Tuscarawas County line. We haven't been able to nail down anything on this, as we've heard speculation about formats ranging from top 40 to oldies to goodness knows what.
So, it wasn't a surprise to us when we started plugging in "possible" domain names and discovered the newly-registered "KissCanton.com". (For the record, we also tried variations of domain names such as "oldies1017.com", "big1017.com" and the like, and the domains are either owned far away by non-Clear Channel stations, or not registered at all.)
There is also a possibility it means not much beyond Clear Channel Akron/Canton feeling the need to register such a domain for other reasons.
We'll keep checking.