Friday, February 02, 2007

Closing Out The Weekend

And a short item wrapping up the week, before we endure a Northeast Ohio weekend with weather that could compare to Minnesota's...

MOVING DAY: Clear Channel-operated rock WRQK/106.9 Canton's sales offices had already moved to the company's World Domination HQ/Southern Command on Freedom Avenue in greater North the on-air side has done so as well.

A mole at Freedom Avenue tells us that "Rock 107" made the studio move at just after 2 PM on Friday afternoon.

And because of that move, or perhaps the other way around, WRQK is now pumping out full power from its new tower and transmitter - just across the way from its old facility at 22nd and Whipple NW in Canton, sharing the tower with new clustermate AC WHOF/101.7 North Canton.

We haven't "driven the signal" yet, but WRQK seemed somewhat more powerful in limited use late this afternoon. The station was operating on under half of its licensed power after a recent transmitter outage...which took 106.9 off the air for all but the immediate Canton area for a few days.

OMW hears that the new transmitter facility for "Rock 107" may be sending out an HD Radio signal sometime this weekend. Sister WHOF went live on day one with HD Radio...

5.1 SOUND: A gaggle of home theater enthusiasts who are also OMW readers are letting us in on some news: that a "sound barrier" has been broken at local CBS affiliate WOIO/19.

The station is now sending out its digital sound in the "Dolby Digital 5.1" format. Until now, digital viewers of WOIO were only getting a stereo signal on network programming that has been sent by CBS in the broader sound format.

The timing is probably no coincidence. After all, we hear a couple of "teams" will throw around a football on Sunday afternoon on a little game that might have more than a few home theater owners watching...

WWOW FORMAT CHANGE: And as expected, Conneaut station WWOW/1360 has changed its format upon the takeover by local businessman John Marra Jr.'s Cause Plus Marketing.

But there's a twist in the announcement we received directly at this hour from radio broker Ray Rosenblum.

He tells us that WWOW will continue airing "local talk" in the morning, presumably its existing local morning drive shows. The Catholic-oriented programming by Eternal Word Television Network expected to join the station's lineup will air in afternoons on AM 1360, says Rosenblum.

Cause Plus took over the station on Thursday...


Anonymous said...

Wonder if Ron Terry is still the Chief Engineer at WWOW?

Anonymous said...

The processing on WRQK sounds AMAZING! MILES better than what it previously was!

Anonymous said...

WRQk is now able to voice track. How long before more people are fired? Hope the rest of the jocks there have their T&R's ready.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back to the board JK and GH, we missed you.

Anonymous said...

FMQB says Freddy The Frog was one of the CC/Rock 107 casualties. Freddy had a Sunday morning show that was on for about 20 years - maybe longer. Freddy is a local icon, both on the DJ circuit and on Rock 107. Freddy talked about bringing thousands of his own CDs each week for his eclectic radio show.

Another brilliant move by CC. How much do they save by voicetracking his weekly three hour show???

Anonymous said...

Well Freddy The Frog and his show are on as we speak.

Sorry, but thanks for playing anyway.

Anonymous said...

5th Paragraph

Anonymous said...

Well Garrett and Kleon were gone weeks ago.
Why would they keep Freddie on a few extra weeks? Train him on new equipment?
It doesn't add up.

Perhaps someone else from the weekend staff and it was a typo? Overnights were all Otto-Mation last night. Not sure who used to do them.

ML said...

We would like to thank KK and KH. They go to every thread and messageboard and defend the #1 scum of radio (CC) with a passion never before seen. Who knew someone who used to have morals, (KH) would swallow the CC corporate pill with such enthusiasm?

"The processing on WRQK sounds amazing!" Nice try Keith. The processing still sucks. If the processing and new transmitter is so great, how come in Medina the signal is still filled with static?

Will one of the Keiths please put a spin on this?

People working 3rd shift deserve something better than automation. One of the great things about Rock 107 was that someone was there live 24/7. $6 an hour is too much to pay a live overnight DJ?

It is nice to see even more boring classic rock thrown in. WRQK now sounds like WONE, except TK is a better DJ than Heith Hamilton.

WRQK has jumped the shark. CC has killed another great local station.

Anonymous said...

To the poster ml... You really need to relax and start taking the meds that you misplaced. Your ASSumptions about the identity of certain comment creators are really quite amusing. "People working 3rd shift deserve better"? LOL, that's a good one, and spoken like a truly clueless and bitter person. I am happy for WRQK and it's remaining staff members. Cumulus left them out to dry for years and years, CC will make them even better than before. Unless of course you feel that automated overnights will hinder their success and keep clients from buying advertising. LOL... BTW, I'm quite sure that Mr. KH likes being gainfully employed, instead of fighting some nonsensical battle to save old school radio in an attempt to appease the OMW trolls!

Anonymous said...

If you call working for Clear Channel being "gainfully employed," you are the one that should be searching for your meds.

CC will make WRQK than before? HA HA HA HA! Have they made WMMS better than before they owned them? HA HA HA HA!

Rock 107 had a local identity. Someone was there to answer the phone when a listener called. That is already fading away. It will only get worse. That doesn't matter to you CC sheep. The listener doesn't matter at all to CC.

All you CC lapdogs think talent and entertainment also do not matter. You gulp down the CC party line, ignoring how they have been the biggest player in the destruction of the industry. "Other companies have done the same thing," you shout, like that makes it ok. Keep your heads buried in the sand. Keep thinking the CC way of business is a good one.

Anyone that thinks CC has done anything good for the industry, for talent, or listeners, is just plain crazy.

"Clear Channel has pioneered a business plan that relies on a technology known as “voice-tracking” — the remote pre-recording of entire airshifts from remote locations. Essentially, Clear Channel pays its announcers to pre-record liners and announcements in a few hours in remote locations, rather than having them broadcast live from a local studio.

Afterward, Clear Channel splices in music and airs the program several days or even weeks later in a town far from where the broadcast was recorded.

By pre-recording these radio shows in a short period of time, Clear Channel saves lots of money. Voice-tracking announcers are paid a fraction of what a live announcer makes. And, of course, fewer announcers are needed.

To save money, Clear Channel sacrifices the distinct and valuable local nature of radio. Radio has always been uniquely able to serve the needs of local communities. Music can be programmed to suit the tastes of local audiences and on-air talent can incorporate community interests and issues into daily programs.

Clear Channel’s use of voice-tracking relies on deception to pay lip service to localism. By doctoring their voice-tracked air shifts, Clear Channel attempts to deceive local audiences into thinking they’re listening to live and local radio.

As the Wall Street Journal reported last year, voice-tracking announcers use “cheat sheets” to clue them in to local places, events and pronunciations.

Clear Channel also records request and dedication calls. If a listener calls a Washington, D.C., oldies station to request a Stevie Wonder song for his wife, that telephone call may later be aired in Detroit, San Antonio or some other market, without disclosure that the call is not local. "

Yes, CC is good for radio. It does not matter if the listener is given a second rate & fake product. All that matters is that CC can sell ad time. Screw the talant and screw the consumer.

Anonymous said...

Blah, blah, blah....

Ya know some McDonalds use call centers to operate drive thru's now. I don't see 16 year old kids on message boards bitching.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please get some tissues for these crybabies... MY GOD, why don't you use the same energy in finding a new board op gig as you have degrading WRQK, it's employees and CC! Give it a rest already... most of us could care less.

Uncle Charlie's nephew said...

The comments on this post are a good reason for OMW to discontinue comments.

Anonymous said...

Good call uncle charlie... Although I truly enjoy what OMW is doing, the comment section has become a garbage heap for the bitter, jealous and unemployed. Keep the news stories, but take out the trash!

Anonymous said...

To reply to the verbose Clear Channel hater's rant... here's the reality:

The writer complains about voice tracking. Clear Channel isn't the only company that uses this technology. It's used by big and small operators and yes, it saves money.

Forty years ago, operators saved money by simulcasting their FM stations with their AM's. Thirty years ago, there was the automation system with back-announced tapes and pre-carted bumpers and jingles. Twenty years ago it was programming "off the bird" and little local inserts were dropped into the local windows. The concept has remained the same... the technology is just better.

I doubt that most listeners care where the jock is coming from and can't tell the difference. Do TV viewers care that David Letterman is in New York and not in the local studio in Great Bend, Kansas? What they care about is the end product.

And is playing a request from a far away city a "deception"? I've got news for you, Sherlock, radio stations have been faking taking requests for years. When I was on the air (live, local, etc.), I read a liner twice an hour over a record intro: "Off my 24 hour request line for (insert town name from list here), here's (insert group) by (insert song name) on (insert station name here).

Radio operators are always looking ways to save money. How many small market stations will go live abd and local when Clear Channel spins them off? Some will, but most will have to deal with the economic reality that talent costs money, and if you can put a product on the air that will gain listeners and advertisers using voice tracking, why not?

Even with consolidation there is competition and in the end, the market will decide.