OK, so we will sneak in a final update for the work week...
IT'S BAAAAAAACK!: After what would appear to have been a one-day test earlier this month, Cleveland market CW affiliate WBNX/55 Akron has returned to the digital airwaves.
WBNX-DT is back up as of this writing. (If you haven't set your digital tuner up for it yet, have it scan new channels, or specifically, RF channel 30.)
And things are a little different for the station's return to digital broadcasting.
This time, WBNX-DT is putting out three subchannels. 55-1 is labeled WBNX-HD, 55-2 is labeled WBNX-DT, and there a 55-3 that's being called "WBNX-3". But right now, 55-1 is the only one putting out any signal - and we're told CW programming was indeed shown in HD on 55-1 Thursday night.
Aside from the logical thought that the station will use 55-2 to feed its SD signal to cable systems, 55-3 may have other purposes.
OMW readers have told us that WBNX owner Rev. Ernest Angley has actually outlined plans for a new WBNX subchannel on the air on his "Ninety and Nine Club".
We seem to remember that the subchannel was described, among other things, as a place the station could run that very program more than once...in particular, in prime time, since the station moved "Ninety and Nine Club" out of its 10 PM time slot to run repeats of the popular sitcom "Friends".
But we don't seem to recall that "WBNX-3" - or whatever they'll call it - would be a running repeat of the show, or even that it would be specifically devoted to religious programming. But, we guess we'll find out with everyone whenever they start programming it.
And we have no guarantee that WBNX-DT will stay on the air from now on, as we would assume they are still in "testing" phase. For one, the other subchannels aren't "lit up" yet...
WHILE WE'RE TALKING TUBE: You probably already know how important the morning news has become for local TV stations here and across the country.
More and more, stations are putting resources into their morning shows. Many have expanded them even into the early morning hours, as viewership goes up rapidly (while it's been declining for the flagship evening newscasts).
So, it's no surprise to us that we get a lot - and we mean a lot - of questions about on-air personnel changes in local TV in the Cleveland market...and the vast majority of them concern the morning shows.
First, an update.
We've asked around, and indeed, WKYC/3 morning anchor Kim Wheeler moved off the station's wakeup show (weekdays) to take a job as the station's education reporter.
But Wheeler has also been paired with station (and market) veteran Jeff Maynor on Saturday and Sunday mornings, doing her education reporting the other three days of her work week.
We don't know how permanent that is, and note that WKYC will now be bringing in a new news director with the departure of Mike McCormick back to Florida.
As for who's anchoring ABC affiliate WEWS/5's "Good Morning Cleveland", it's anyone's guess.
Former station regular Lorna Barrett had been filling in for Tracy Carloss, who was on maternity leave. Lorna's been seen on GMC, while Carloss has returned from leave to co-anchor weekend evenings with Curtis Jackson.
Who...has also been seen on GMC.
Which...has also seen reporter Paul Kiska co-anchoring with Barrett.
Wait, there's more!
Don't forget the move of Susanne Horgan from the weather desk on GMC to the co-anchor spot with Danita Harris. Then, back to weather.
Local news mainstay Jack Marschall went from the station's morning helicopter reporting slot to the news anchor desk, and back up to the helicopter.
Alicia Booth is in there, somewhere, though we have no idea how permanent her "GMC" role is.
And don't forget anchor Adam Shapiro, who left GMC and WEWS for New York City, and who seems to have been the last regular, steady, non-moving-to-other-shows-or-roles presence on the "NewsChannel 5" morning show. His time on the show seems like it was 5 years ago, after all this.
We're not sure we've detailed all the changes - all of them within the past year, by the way. We probably got one or two wrong.
But if you think it's confusing to us - we keep track of this stuff! - think of how confusing it is to viewers.
In fact, we should run a contest: Which number is higher, the number of anchor changes on "Good Morning Cleveland" in the past year, or the number of format/owner/frequency changes in the Cincinnati radio market in the past year? It'd be a close call...