Saturday, July 29, 2006

Weekend Grab Bag

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 "", 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 "". (For the record, we also tried variations of domain names such as "", "" 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.


Anonymous said...

When it comes to the browns/ch 19 story. It sounds like it could be they are making pease? It sounds like after the smoke has begun to clear maybe some of those hard feelings are gone? As for kiss canton, what about 98.1 wkdd going to 101.7 and kiss going to 98.1?

Anonymous said...

On the WHBC issue, it seems like this has become "we know what's happening and you don't." So is this a service to the employees there? NO! When the changes come, they will be reported by an official media source, not this gossip site.

Ohio Media Watch said...

In answer to the last anon:

The readers of OMW can choose to believe, not believe, regard or disregard anything we report.

If you work at Market Street South and you don't consider this reporting a "service" to you, DON'T READ IT.

This is actually rather personal for us. As we've mentioned, we've been in similar uncertain situations. Having this information in advance would have been helpful to us, in at very least ensuring that we were not blindsided by the events which were about to occur.

If you don't agree, feel free! Write us off. Call us "gossip site". No one is forcing you to A) read OMW or B) to take our information as fact.

We would like to submit, however, that we have a pretty long track record of accuracy. Feel free to go into the archives and do a search on "breaking news", "exclusive" and other such words, and you'll find about a half-dozen major local media stories we broke before any other source.

If you want to wait for the Repository to get to this, be our guest.'re here, or you wouldn't be commenting.


Anonymous said...

I feel bad for those who are about to lose their jobs at all should have seen this one coming. They have been spared the budget axe that has befallen many other fine radio stations since consolidation began. The end for WHBC came the day that Ted Boyd signed the papers and took the money and ran. If its employees are upset, they should direct their anger at Ted Boyd. But, this is used to be!

Anonymous said...

If you're waiting for an ''offical media source'' to write about WHBC, what you'll get is whatever press release NextMedia hands out, as they did when the station sold in 2000.

Has the Rep or the Beacon reported on the fact that local news coverage now ends at noon on Saturday and Sunday? Nope..OMW had that one..

If you want to check the accuracy of the reporting on the website, note that the WHBC story broke on July 4..three days later, two full time staffers, one in news, the other in technical support, were axed..

Coincidence? I think not.

If you're on South Market right now, why don't you confront your PD, your GM, your GSM and demand to know what's going on..see what kind of answer you get..choose to believe it if you wish, if it makes you feel better..

If you've been in radio for any length of time, you know there are two jobs you have..the one you currently hold, and the next one you always be looking for..

Anonymous said...

Let's play WILD speculation here...
Clear Channel has registered
NextMedia is about to chop heads on Market South...
BUT, it's also been rumored to be for sale.

Could this big news Monday involve a sale? And maybe a CHR station on 94.1? (Clear Channel, 94.1 Kiss-FM)
(I know I know, 94.1 has big numbers...I doubt it myself, but I'm just throwing it into the Mix. Oh, no pun intended.)

OR...maybe DPIII is FINALLY dumping 92.5? Q92 suddenly becomes 92.5 Kiss-FM?

OR...maybe it's for 101.7 to be launched soon? could just be to throw all of us off :-P


Anonymous said...

So WHBC dropped local news at noon on the weekends. What radio station even has local news on the weekend? This is a moot point. WHBC wanted to do this many years ago and it had nothing to do with the budget. There is very little local news on the weekend. This move should have been made a long time ago. I am so glad I am not in radio anymore and all this speculation on here only solidifies my feelings. Radio is for the young and I guess old radio people who are sent out to pasture start web sites like this one.

Anonymous said...

No news on the weekend? Are you telling me that nothing ever happens on the weekends?
The cop shops and courthouses are closed, but last i checked accidents, robberies, murders, rapes and more happen on the weekend.

Anonymous said...

If your idea of news are accidents, rapes, murders,etc. then that shows me you are old school. Today's radio news is about lifestyle news. Yes, we have to cover the crime, etc. but that is not the emphasis of a radio news operation today. It is 2006!

Anonymous said...

WHBC's newsroom considered itself somthing akin to the ''station of record''...if you're going to make ''news and weather together every 15 minutes'' one of your flagship slogans, and then decide just to dump it, then your core starts to wonder just what your committment to the product is.

WHBC is also the ''offical school closing'' station, at least for now..if there's no one to take the first cancellations on a Sunday night, then what happens with that idea?

The same goes for power outages, severe weather and the like..

No one does news on weekends? Ever watch any of the major Cleveland T-V outlets? or listen to WTAM?