Consider this something of a light breakfast. Not too filling, but at least it puts some media food into you...
SKYFOX HD FLYING: We earlier mentioned some visuals from the Cleveland market's first HDTV-equipped news helicopter, the newly-minted "SkyFOX HD".
Well, we haven't seen it ourselves yet, but the station has begun promoting the new HD helicopter capabilities with the same booming station voice which first trumpeted the station's entry into HDTV news some time ago.
It's not only the first HD-equipped news helicopter in the market, it's also the very first use of mobile outside-the-studio HD camera shots.
FOX 8's own camera mounted to the roof of the station's South Marginal Road building aimed at the East Shoreway, and WKYC/3's use of a turned-around Jacobs Field HD camera don't count for this discussion.
We're talking non-fixed cameras not already in place either because they're at the studios, or in WKYC's case, a part of the existing fiber optic HD feed from Jacobs Field to 12th and Lakeside - for WKYC and SportsTime Ohio's Cleveland Indians coverage.
Other than those cases, all non-studio video for all three local HD-equipped news operations is either in 4x3 SD, 16x9 SD or in some cases, stretched from 4x3 to 16x9, still in SD, both live and taped.
We've been watching HD launches in some other markets, and at least some of them are vowing to go full HD outside of the studio. Pioneer HDTV news operation WRAL-TV in Raleigh NC has been doing it for years.
Wouldn't it be interesting if THAT was the holdup for Raycom Media's WOIO/19-WUAB/43's HD conversion for "19 Action News"? Oh, wait, we have been watching comedy on TV, so we don't need to laugh any more...
WHILE WE'RE AT FOX 8, ELECTRONICALLY: It's yet another job for FOX 8 sports director Tony Rizzo.
No, he's not picking up another radio gig to add to his 10 AM-noon weekday show for Good Karma's WKNR/850 "ESPN 850". This one's in-house.
We spotted a promo on FOX 8 News for "Nothin' But Net", a station-produced webcast which gives "The Rizz" yet another chance to rant about local sports in yet another format. It's said to be interactive, which in this case means E-Mails, online chat and blogging. (No, we're not involved.)
TV, radio and now Internet...is Rizzo aiming to be Cleveland's "King of All Media", with apologies to Sirius Satellite Radio's Howard Stern?
Hmm, come to think of it, WKNR did mention quite a few times that Mr. Rizzo's call of the MAC Tournament Championship Game was also being heard on Sirius, in what we presume was a nod to a certain station owner's father - who happens to run said satellite radio service...
STATEWIDE LOCAL NEWS: We've been aware, of course, of Dispatch Broadcast Group's Ohio News Network, the cable arm of the company's WBNS/10 Columbus.
(And no, Roger Brown, ONN is still not the "state's cable network", though it is still carried on cable systems around Ohio.)
We've also been aware that ONN runs repeats of WEWS/5's "NewsChannel 5" for viewers in Northeast Ohio...i.e. the 6 PM news runs again at 7 PM on ONN, and so forth.
We didn't know the network is apparently making its local news repeats available statewide.
Not until we stumbled onto ONN's listings for not only "NewsChannel 5 at Noon" (aired at 1 PM), but also the company's own Columbus-local "10TV Eyewitness News", and Clear Channel Cincinnati CBS affiliate WKRC/12's "Local 12 News".
Sure enough, you can watch the Columbus and Cincinnati local newscasts even here in Northeast Ohio.
It's not as big a deal as it once was, of course. Just about every local TV news operation in the state offers on-demand video via the Internet. But it's kind of a different feel for those who like to watch the whole thing, including keeping track of newscasts' "look and feel", not to mention anchors and other on-air personnel.
While we're talking about "10TV Eyewitness News", OMW hears that when WBNS-TV debuts its HDTV local newscasts on April 2nd, they'll drop the "Eyewitness" and become "10 News HD".
How many folks here remember "TV 5 Eyewitness News" in Cleveland, and how many remember the booming tones of one Ernie Anderson (formerly "Ghoulardi") delivering that name once used by WEWS/5's local newscasts in Cleveland?
You heard Ernie delivering that open...you SAT UP AND TOOK NOTICE. Or, at least we did...
MORE STREAMERS: Without fanfare, we stumbled onto working streaming audio for Clear Channel's latest two Canton radio additions.
The "Listen Live" links work at the websites for AC WHOF/101.7 "my 101.7", and rock WRQK/106.9 "Rock 106.9".
This leaves, we believe, talk WHLO/640 Akron as the only non-streamer out of Freedom Avenue.
While we're looking at the Clear Channel cluster just down the road from Belden Village Mall, we noticed that liberal talk WARF/1350 Akron "Radio Free Ohio" has been running the Westwood One feed of the NCAA "March Madness" tournament.
Sports events are not an unusual part of the WARF lineup - as 1350 is the home base for the University of Akron Zips' football and basketball teams, and the station will once again be the home of the Akron Aeros AA baseball team this season.
But we're trying to remember the last time 1350 picked up a network sports broadcast...