Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Sorts of Upheaval

Ever notice that some days in news about media are just volatile? This is one of those days.

CINCINNATI CHANGES: It's been more than one of those days in Ohio's Queen City, with even MORE changes than expected on - and off - the local radio dial.

Cincinnati Enquirer radio/TV guru John Kiesewetter sums it up best in his latest blog entry.

Here's your lineup of Apple Cart Tipping in the Cincinnati radio market:

* Entercom and Cumulus swap two FM stations. Country WYGY/94.9 "Star" moves over to Entercom, which sends oldies WGRR/103.5 to Cumulus.

The move reunites country stations WYGY and WUBE/105.1 "B105", only this time with the name "Entercom" on the front door.

Note, of course, that until recently this would have been a CBS/Susquehanna swap. But Cumulus took over the old Susquehanna stations, and Entercom is in the process of doing so with CBS Radio's Cincinnati properties.

* Entercom doesn't technically have the keys to the CBS Radio stations in Cincy, but they're calling some personnel shots already.

Five staffers at alt-rocker WAQZ/97.3 have been let go, apparently under the direction of the incoming management. The station's music director, afternoon drive personality, midday personality, promotions director and morning show producer are out.

Unlike the Rumors from Every Corner that Wilks Broadcasting plans major budget-related cuts at its acquisitions in Columbus, this would appear to foreshadow a format change for WAQZ.

The Entercom/CBS deal in Cincinnati and other markets has cleared the Federal Trade Commission, but still needs to go through FCC approval.

* Kiesewetter also reports that "The Twilight Zone" is airing on the former home of country WYGY, 96.5, in preparation for the previously reported talk format.

We're pretty sure that's it for Cincinnati's radio changes today, though we could have missed something...

CANTON'S NEWS: This one isn't related to radio/TV, but since we've touched on changes at the Akron Beacon Journal...here's your bombshell just south on 77.

Copley Ohio Newspapers, the local arm of the Copley newspaper chain, is being put up for sale.

The papers being sold include the venerable Canton Repository, its sister papers the Massillon Independent and Dover/New Philadelphia's Times-Reporter, plus the weekly Suburbanite based in Summit County's Green.

From that story in the Repository, it looks like Copley could eventually sell everything but its big city jewel, the San Diego Union-Tribune.

And we're guessing that the Copley Ohio folks (not to be confused with the Akron suburb) are hoping that a certain new owner of the Akron Beacon Journal isn't interested in taking over, given the newsroom bloodbath that took place on East Exchange Street a while back...

NOD TO OMW: Speaking of a Copley newspaper, OMW hears that we were invoked in the aforementioned Times-Reporter today.

May we quote a reference to ourselves? Certainly:

Work continues on the site at Canton that eventually will be the antenna tower for the move of WJER-FM 101.7 from Dover.

According to a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, the new 6KW station will be based off 22nd St. NW and Whipple Ave. at Canton. The new WRQK/106.9 tower also will include the antenna for 101.7.

It appears that the tree clearing work prior to winter is complete, according to information on the Ohio Media Watch blog.

That reminds us. We're due for another trip down to Whipple Avenue and 22nd Street soon.

And our nod back to Times-Reporter business editor Lee Morrison, who we know has been reading our work in one form or another for some time, and who we assume is the uncredited writer behind this article in the T-R's business section.

Anything we can do to help...


BizDecision said...

Yes, indeed, Lee Morrison authored the article. I covered many meetings side by side with Lee when I was in the Dover-New Philly area. Lee's a good guy. He'll stay on top of this one.

Anonymous said...

Copley has owned the Rep for what, three years or so? Given the circulation numbers released this week--the link is on Drudge--which show the P-D flat on weekday circulation, and dropping for Sunday, anybody know what the numbers are for Akron and Canton?

Anonymous said...

They were purchased in 2000 from Thompson. The Rep. numbers I have compare 9/05 to 9/06 and the weekly numbers are flat, Sat. circulation is down 2% and Sunday is down 3%. The Sunday number is the key there because that is where the paper makes the money. Judging from those figures, it looks like print advertisers should expect the usual 7% "just because" rate increase in '07. Mark my words, "the Letter" is coming. "Dear Advertiser, Due to increases in blah, blah, blah... 7%."

Anonymous said...

This may sound overly simple, but I can tell you why I'm a part of the weekend drop. They packaged Sat. and Sun. together to drive up the price. Then they failed to address the issue of the stoned paperboy who, quite literally, only delivered about 40% of the time. I was forever on the phone having to get my account credited. I finally just gave up hope and cancelled. There's a lot to be said for a little customer service.

newsnomore said...

One has to wonder if the Plain Dealer, which was so interested in the Beacon Journal, will also be interested in buying the Rep, Indy and Dover papers?

I would imagine the economies of scale would be similar to buying the Beacon.

JohnAmrhein said...

I'd save the gas in the official OMW vehicle for now....nothing big has been done at the WRQK site on 22nd st for a week or two now, although there have been a few surveyors and engineers around.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Gannett might be interested in those newspapers. The Gannett-owned Central Ohio papers, which stretch from Port Clinton on the north to Chillicothe on the south and Zanesville on the east (as well as Coshocton) were once also Thomson newspapers with the Rep. Or ... perhaps Gannett works some deal to gain all or some of the Copley papers and casts off some of its Central Ohio papers to someone else.

Anonymous said...

Given the drops--some quite serious--in circulation among major market papers--how much revenue can you expect to earn in this economy--especially one as fraglie as NE OH..the Beacon's former owners made it pretty clear why they were getting out..

I just hope we don't have to endure another performance like the Beacon gave us earlier this Spring. The downtown rally,the constant whining within its pages...you get sold once in a while guys..deal with it..and move on..

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote above...
"The downtown rally,the constant whining within its pages...you get sold once in a while guys..deal with it..and move on.." I agree. Sincerely, Gary Petricola

Tim Lones said...

I only hope that even if there are some cutbacks, any new Repository owner would continue the jouranlistic integrity and really fine reporting/feature stories thet the Repository did under Copley..You never seemed to have multipart investgative stories under Thompson..