Sunday, July 09, 2006

Yet Another Cincinnati Update (And Even Columbus)

No, we haven't moved to the Queen City...but since we've been watching things in the Cincinnati market lately, here's the latest update on that big move among two of Clear Channel's AM stations in the market, and other notes south of our usual region:

BIG SPORTS: The sports section of the Cincinnati Enquirer weighs in on the move of sports talker "Homer, The Sports Animal" to its larger cage at 1530 AM. There isn't a lot new in this article by Enquirer sports writer Jacob Dirr, though they have sorted out where all the games are going to air. (Photo by the Enquirer's Jeff Swinger.)

In case you're keeping track, the new "1530 Homer" sports station (now WCKY) not only brings its status as AM flagship of the Cincinnati Bengals to its new home, it also takes along rights to ESPN Radio play-by-play to 1530.

It inherits the University of Kentucky's football and basketball coverage, which aired on 1530 even in the liberal talk format - much to the chagrin of diehard listeners of "The Revolution of Talk Radio".

1360 is not entirely out of play-by-play sports as the home of Jerry Springer and company - Air America evening talker Randi Rhodes and weekend talk programming will get preempted occasionally by Miami University football and basketball, and some high school contests.

And a note to Mr. Dirr and everyone covering this story in the Cincinnati print media: The 50,000 watt signal of WCKY/1530 is NOT heard "along the East Coast and Florida" in the daytime hours. During the day, it struggles to reach Dayton and Columbus, and doesn't get a LOT farther than 1360 AM. It's only the magic of the ionosphere at night that bounces 1530 to far away places.

And Clear Channel cluster VP/GM Karrie Sudbrack notes that the stronger "Homer" signal will make it through concrete and steel in downtown Cincinnati office buildings.

We can't vouch for that, as we haven't tried tuning in AM radio stations in a building in downtown Cincinnati, but as a rule, even powerful AM stations like WCKY have trouble blasting through the "concrete and steel jungle". It's one reason many AM radio stations (including all the Clear Channel stations in the Queen City) took to Internet streaming, and it's been cited as a factor in new FM simulcasts of 50,000 watt stations like WWL/870 New Orleans and KSL/1160 Salt Lake City...

NEW NON-COMM: And nearly on the opposite end of powerful AM stations like WCKY and sister talker WLW/700 "The Big One" is a new small non-commercial FM in the market.

Bill Spry drops us a note to tell us that his Spryex Communications is about to sign on WMWX/88.9 Miamitown OH, a class A non-comm signal that he says could be in reach of "nearly 1.5 million potential listeners" in the Cincinnati market.

Take a look at the station's FCC service area map here - it appears the transmitter location will be just north of I-74, just into Indiana, northwest of Cincinnati. It may at least have a shot at gaining listeners north and west of downtown Cincinnati. The construction permit for the station was approved in late April.

Spry calls the new station's format "top secret" at this point, though he believes people might be "pleasantly surprised" when WMWX signs on at some point in the next month or so. They're aiming for "late July/early August", after an antenna delivery...

COLUMBUS MOVE: While we're electronically looking south of the usual OMW coverage area, Radio & Records Online reports that "Stash", APD/MD of CBS Radio Columbus rock WAZU/107.1, is upped to program director of the station. He'll replace Joe Pasternak, who continues in afternoons on CBS sister rocker WLVQ "QFM96".

"Stash" slid from afternoon drive into middays when syndicated hot talkers Opie & Anthony returned to that slot on "The Big Wazoo"...

1 comment:

Pat Cloonan said...

Let me confirm that about WCKY's daytime signal. One tunes to 1530 east of McKeesport and gets static during the day. As to why I feel like confirming it so late, I just did a story today (for a new every-other-week notebook in The Daily News) about the flip to sports that noted AM 1530 once was shared by Jeannette daytimer WBCW, now known as WKFB-AM 770 and broadcasting these days from another town near McKeesport, North Versailles Township. Owner Robert Stevens moved the frequency in a bid to strengthen its signal in metropolitan Pittsburgh.