Thursday, August 31, 2006

Some Canton Thoughts

A LOW-POWER FULL-POWER FM: Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) toured around in the OMW Mobile(tm) on a drive from Portage County, into Tallmadge and then Cuyahoga Falls, with the sole purpose of checking out the currently low-power signal of Cumulus rock WRQK/106.9 Canton, otherwise known as "Rock 107".

Low-power's the word for it, alright.

Let's put it this way - WRQK includes not only Canton and Massillon in their legal ID, but also Akron and Alliance. No one in either city is listening to this reduced signal.

In parts of the drive above, "Rock 107" was fighting it out signal-wise with Jones Radio's syndicated evening show hosted by Lia Knight...which we'd assume was coming from Clear Channel's "Buckeye Country" in Marion, WMRN/106.9. Neither signal was listenable for any period of time.

We don't know much about what happened, but OMW does hear the station has been operating only on its exciter for at least part of the past few days. We previously reported folks working on the WRQK transmitter, which is located at 22nd Street near Whipple Avenue in Canton - co-located with the studio and transmitter facility for religious/talk WCER/900.

All of this comes just days before Clear Channel is scheduled to take over WRQK's operations, in an LMA that - at last report - was set to begin on Friday.

MORE OLDIES: While we're electronically in Canton, just one note about a topic which consumed a lot of energy here - rumored changes at NextMedia oldies WHBC/1480 in the Hall of Fame City.

About the only thing we're hearing lately is that the Canton outlet may actually be expanding its oldies library, at the behest of local staff wanting to open up the playlist.

We hear that NextMedia corporate programming types are still trying to figure out what might be demographically desirable for the Canton station's long-term future.

And for that matter, we're not getting any word that any of this is imminent, or even definite...so, enjoy it now!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Regarding Garrett Hart, the CC people (or at least the person responsible for overseeing programming in this part of the country, you can figure that out for yourself) must not like him for some reason. They bounced him out of DVE, and the handwriting must have been on the wall at RQK when CC announced its takeover.

Anonymous said...

so..it looks like the xmttr is failing right before the station transfers to CC...LOL....
maintenance must not be a priority with cumulus...that's gonna cost them.....either put a new one in or pay cc the cash for a new xmttr...ya can't make it up....

Anonymous said...

"maintenance must not be a priority with cumulus" When it comes to the stations that cumulus operates out of Youngstown,Canton, and Sharon that is not the case. 1.)WYFM is now in hd, (http://www.y-103.com/)
2.)WPIC is getting a new tower and transmitter (http://www.790wpic.com/towerupdate.html)
So how can you say that cumulus does not maintain there stations. I know for a fact that the engineering staff that operates the cumulus stations (the same who maintain Y-town also handles Sharon and Canton http://www.theradiocenter.com/) in Youngstown/Sharon/Canton do one hell of a job to up keep those stations and they do the best they can with what they have. This has nothing to do with cumulus and the engennering staff doing a half ass or poor job but rather clear channel moving a signal so they can have one stop shopping.

Anonymous said...

If nothing else, CCU will likely buy Rock 107 a new transmitter if that's what it takes..they've been known to do that in other markets when necessary.

Johnny Morgan said...

I'm not as cynical, I guess. I figured this was transmitter maintenance or a transmitter problem, unrelated to any "nefarious" actions or omissions of Cumulus or Clear Channel.

But that's just me.

Ohio Media Watch said...

No, Johnny, it's "just me", too.

OMW has no indication that WRQK's transmitter problems have anything to do with its ownership, either current or incoming.

Sometimes...equipment just stops working, and a transmitter doesn't know which large radio company owns it.

-OMW

Anonymous said...

This whole suitation must suck for anybody inside the little red house.

1st you are being sold.

2nd Your company never tells you about the sale and you find the details in print on the mighty blog of fun

3rd just days before the takeover the transmitter goes down and nobody in engineering seems to notice.

4th You still have to go in and work and prepare for the fall book just days away.

Anonymous said...

The only thing worse than this was when the STL went down and they were using what sounded like a really bad phone line to get the studio audio to the transmitter. It went on for weeks...but at least you could hear the station.

Anonymous said...

I remember that happened to WKDD a few years ago. They were on 96.5 at the time, they used their internet stream. Hooked a PC up at the transmitter and went on the air.
It would re-buffer and the audio would drop for several seconds :-P

VODood said...

More Oldies for WHBC-A is a good idea. WMJI is #1 in Akron and Cleveland, and used to show (still does) in the Canton books. If it's signal were stronger it would do better.

Now, is it all "oldies"...no. It's Lanigan.

Anonymous said...

WRQK has not been a good station since the days of Spaceman Scott programming the station in the early 90s.