Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Return

OK, so we snuck in here Friday, but we're officially back. And...we think we have a solution for our "comments problem".

For now, we'll leave the comments "turned on". But a more permanent solution is on the horizon, which we hope to announce in the next week or two. Until then...we'll dive into some leftovers:

FRANTZ CONTROVERSY: Yes, we're aware of the hot water WTAM/1100 mid-morning host Bob Frantz got into last week.

We don't have much to say about it now, as it's basically over, but we understand Frantz's show was pulled from the air briefly one day last week after the host related an off-air comment by a listener.

The listener's "comment" was directed at a local congresswoman, who was on Frantz's show as a guest before she walked out - apparently not at all happy with the host's questions.

We believe it happened in the context of Frantz relating the listener's comment second-hand in the manner of "this is not the kind of thing we want to air", and the original comment did not air, or come from Bob himself.

Similar comments in other markets have gotten hosts suspended for long periods of time, or even fired.

In Rochester NY, sister Clear Channel talk WHAM/1180 host Bob Lonsberry was "on the beach" for months after such wording, though in that case, it was his own. He was eventually returned to WHAM, but not after some major controversy blew over.

Anyway, Bob was back on the air as normal on Friday, with no mention of all of the earlier problems. We suspect he'll be a little more careful in relating incendiary listener comments in the future...

WOAC-TV CHANGES: As it turns out, WOAC/67 Canton's digital signal popped into our TV recently...and we noticed changes.

MultiCultural Television, the new TV arm of New York City-based MultiCultural Radio, has officially taken over the station formerly owned by Scripps and formerly the home of "Shop at Home" and "Jewelry Television". The latter network took over programming of WOAC and the other SaH stations after Scripps abandoned their shopping network.

Under another corporate arm, Scripps owns Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5, but the company never had any intent to operate WOAC/67 in a duopoly with WEWS.

Anyway, mark "infomercials" as the format for WOAC in the MultiCultural era. And the station is running frequent on-air announcements directing interested people to call a 212 area code number to buy on-air time...

WHILE WE'RE ON THE TV DIAL: Another Cleveland market station with small viewership is apparently changing languages.

OMW hears that WRAP-CA/32, an LPTVer broadcasting from a downtown Cleveland office tower, will move from home shopping to Spanish language programming as an affiliate of the Azteca America network.

The move gives Cleveland (nominally) its second Spanish-language TV outlet, after Univision O&O WQHS/61. Considering that the Hispanic population in Northeast Ohio is not exactly huge, we're wondering just how many people watch either station.

Univision got WQHS in a package deal when the network bought out the old Home Shopping Network outlets. And in most large markets, Univision mounts a local newscast - but they have no local programming in Cleveland as far as we know.

And it would appear the WRAP-CA transmitter site could serve what Hispanic viewers there are in Northeast Ohio if it moved, say, about 30 miles west...round about where the only Spanish-language FM in the market is licensed (WNZN/89.1 Lorain)...

WHK ANNIVERSARY: OMW hears that Salem talk WHK/1420 Cleveland is going to air a special celebrating the station's 85th anniversary in March.

Producer John Palmer's Verity Media has been hired by the station to put the show together. And Palmer tells us he would like some help:

I'm looking to find as many personalities - both local and national - and as much media and memorabilia as I can, in order to pay proper tribute to the station's history.

Maybe a friend of a friend used to record (insert former WHK programming here) and he's got it saved on his computer. Or people that might know where former staffers are located. We need them to make this project complete.

Drop a note to John if you'd like to help out...


Anonymous said...

You know, I love the comments section here. I know we're always being told to go to the message board links -- but I've been there and the level of conversation is sporadic and often moronic. I understand we have our share of moronic here, too -- but overall the comments here are far superior. However, I understand that OMW never signed on to be a comment babysitter when he/she started this blog. I also understand what a time-eater that can be. So, as much as I love the comments here, I'm tired of the griping and I say turn the sucker off.

Anonymous said...

Does this site allow a blog editor to review comments before they are posted? This would be the ideal arrangement, as it would permit posts to be selected on the basis of relevance, such standards of taste as apply, etc., before they are shared with the world.

It's also my understanding that website proprietors and administrators can be held legally responsible for statements by anonymous posters that are disseminated. Another reason the blog administrator should be able to exercise editorial judgment in advance. (How many people see an anonymous poster's remark that "So-and-so is a drug addict/child molester/you name it" before it's caught and deleted?)

The wretched excess that has been turning up in the comments lately is the kind of stuff that drove me away from such sites as Radio-Info, and could detract from the credibility of this site as a whole if it goes unchecked.

I'm not nearly sophisticated enough in website-related matters to offer any suggestions beyond these, and for that I apologize.

Anonymous said...

I am excited to have OMW back. This is honestly one of the best sites on the internet. He is very informative with yet his own radio twist that makes you want to check the site 5 to 10 times a day just to see if there is another update.

Thank you OMW for such a quality site and I look forward to coming back often!

Anonymous said...

As someone who has been General Manager of a Sports Network, Editor-in-Cief of a print magazine and broadcasts every weekday of my life .. the "comments" section is truly the only thing I read here.

I think the "comments" here are far and away the most mature open forum I have ever seen.

I have heard so much about it that I'm truly sick of it.

Just shut it off or shut up.

Sorry .. but jhees .. enough already.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that looks great. "Chief" ..

I type too fast.

Anonymous said...

I've been out of radio for a few years now but still check in to see what's happening in and off the air. This is probably the best site I've seen as far as letting people know what's going on with "their" airwaves and most of the comments seem to be from intelligent people. I don't mind the childish, stupid just makes everyone else seem so much smarter. If the comments have to go, they have to go, but I for one will miss them.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back and thanks for keeping my interest elevated in Cleveland & Ohio radio/tv. Far more interesting than some of the "stuff" we hear everyday ~

Anonymous said...

to the WHK tim taylor who was a news anchor on whk for awhile and he may be able to track some folks down....

Anonymous said...

Thank you and God bless, OMW, my friend. You provide a great service, and the community definitely does appreciate it.

Keep the comments, please!

Anonymous said...

Obviously, the telling of WHK's history cannot ignore it's former FM sister for 48 years, WMMS/100.7. (And yes, Tim Taylor was one of the first imaging voices for the former WHK-FM, according to Mike O.'s book.) See if Milton Maltz, former Malrite chairman, is available. As would be Norman Wain (who was a sales exec at WHK in the late 50's before buying WIXY)

And it cannot ignore the story of WCLE, the former Cleveland-licensed daytime station that became WHKK in Akron and is now WHLO. Or of how WTVN came about in the process...

I'd also add that the WHK tx site, which has been in use since 1937, was rehabed under WCLV/WRMR/Radio Seaway ownership. In the process, some historical artifacts had to be disposed of due to neglect and decay after the years, but much should (hopefully) remain.

- Nathan Obral