Monday, April 30, 2007

A Newsy Monday

Our first item for the new week is rather newsy. We actually have some interesting stuff this time! (No, not our usual flotsam-and-jetsam for a Monday morning.)

But a request, first.

Please dial back on the jokes in our comments at the expense of a certain board op who was once on-air at a local radio station. There are many who know the "back story", and we do, as well...and we don't think he deserves the joking potshots. It's really out of the spirit of what we do here, anyway, and we'll consider deleting such comments in the future.

Thank you, and now...the news...

A DEELY MOVE?: OMW documented - albeit with little hard information - the departure of WFHM/95.5 afternooner Dan Deely from the Salem Cleveland CCM outlet known as "The Fish".

We didn't have to cast a long fishing line to find what he's been up to.

Thanks to regular OMW tipster Nathan Obral in Lorain County for landing this one (OK, enough fishing jokes) - Nathan tells us Deely was heard doing a shift on Saturday afternoon at CBS Radio AC powerhouse WDOK/102.1.

Nathan helpfully reminds us that WDOK recently parted ways with afternoon driver Chris Fox, in what passes for "staff turnover" at the otherwise quite stable 'DOK.

And though we didn't hear Mr. Deely on WDOK on Saturday, we'd have to think he's a front-runner to take that afternoon drive opening. Though, we have no idea if WDOK program director Scott Miller has other ideas...

BASKIN WITHOUT ICE CREAM: We didn't catch his evening debut on Friday, but Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) did see new WEWS/5 sports anchor fill-in Andy Baskin on the late edition of "NewsChannel 5" (At 11 - aka "NewsChannel 5 NIGHTBEAT!!! "Did We Mention NIGHTBEAT???") on Friday.

Our first impression - he was comfortable, smooth and professional. From our memory, he seemed to be have more presence on screen than his last regular stint, as weekend sports anchor over at WKYC/3.

And we're apparently not alone, as OMW hears that Baskin's debut was well-received within the confines of 3001 Euclid. And it was probably well-received at the home of one Ms. Sue Ann Robak, who FINALLY got a day off as the only current permanent full-time on-air employee in the "NewsChannel 5" sports department.

Could Baskin become a regular at WEWS, despite his own personal commitment to "Over The Falls Productions", the production company that does shows for SportsTime Ohio? And how would that square with the competitive nature of the local TV sports business?

STO, of course, is directly associated with - and indeed, technically run out of - WKYC, Baskin's last regular local TV home. Will the work he does for STO via his production company conflict with a long-term gig at 5? Could, perhaps, he still squeeze in a part-time role at WEWS and do both, if allowed?

We hear that at least now, Baskin is quite happy to be at 3001 Euclid.

We don't know if this fill-in work, which is what it is right now, is an audition as well...and we don't know the answer to all those STO-production company-related questions...we'll keep watching.

We do know that this is a very busy time of year coming up for TV stations - the May sweeps - and we're told that it is very, very difficult to find "new talent" in the middle of a book.

By the way, we also hear from 30th and Euclid that former Browns star Reggie Rucker is in the mix, at least to some degree. Rucker has been on the air at "NewsChannel 5" frequently in the past week due to the NFL Draft...he's dubbed their "Browns Specialist".

But though we understand he may have auditioned for a sports anchor slot, we don't know how serious WEWS is about using him beyond Browns-related coverage. After early this week, we may find out the answer to that - on the air...

ONN MOVES: The hiding of the Ohio News Network cable channel has begun at Time Warner Cable.

OK, well, maybe hiding is a relative term, but sometime in the past few days, the dominant local cable provider in Northeast Ohio has scooted the Columbus-based cable news channel off into Digital Cable land.

On the Cleveland-based system once owned by Adelphia, ONN has been moved analog channel 70 to digital channel 163, with a billboard left behind on 70 directing ONN viewers to the channel's new home.

On the ex-Adelphia system in the Dover/New Philadelphia area, an OMW reader tells us TWC moved ONN from analog channel 72 to digital channel 122.

As we said, "hiding is a relative term". Analog 70 or 72 is not exactly prime cable TV real estate. We guess if the folks at Dispatch Broadcast Group had their way, the WBNS/10-sister network would be either among local broadcast outlets, or in the same area as CNN, MSNBC and the like.

And as mentioned before, TWC has long placed ONN on digital cable tiers.

Does TWC just not like ONN? Well, maybe not - or maybe.

We suspect one of the main "drivers" for this move is to free up analog channel space.

Eventually, systems like TWC and others will move the vast majority of analog channels off to digital land entirely, because doing so frees up tons (and we mean tons, cable-wise) of bandwidth to use for more profitable services like high-speed Internet, HDTV and the like.

The bad news? The digital channels don't all look as good as you would expect.

In particular, we point out the move on the Cleveland-based TWC system from 70 to 163. We expected it to make ONN clearer, since analog channel 70 is interference-prone. (We explained why in an earlier item.)

On digital 163, though, ONN looks almost unwatchable, with very deep darks and little focus.

Oh, our "maybe" about TWC not liking ONN?

We can't help but wonder if TWC, with a super-dominant position in nearly every major Ohio market, would eventually launch its own local news channel in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, much like the company's existing "News 14 Carolina" in North Carolina.

The only thing stopping us from predicting this? TWC has pulled back on these channels, even consolidating the North Carolina operation.

But TWC also plays a part in the WKYC/3-produced "Akron/Canton News".

And maybe they'd do local news channels in Ohio if they felt they could get a critical mass of viewers with a cost-efficient structure.

This last part? Just speculation on our part. We haven't heard it's even in the works...

CLEVELAND'S INFOMERCIAL 1540: While dialing around to catch NFL Draft/Day 2 coverage on Sunday, we checked in with Good Karma's "little brother" sports station, WWGK/1540 "KNR2".

And just before the 11 AM start of FOX Sports Radio's live pre-draft coverage, we heard talk about home improvement, and a reference to something called "The Home Solutions Show" that was just ending.


Not only have we never heard of such a syndicated show - and it was rather clearly not part of the FSR lineup - it sounded to us, frankly, like an infomercial...though we didn't catch what products were being sold, as we only heard the last minute or two of the show.

We'll add this to the list with shows like the horse racing program that would appear to be directly sponsored by a local horse racing track - heard Thursday evenings 6-7 PM on "KNR2".

We're not going to knock Good Karma's Craig Karmazin for selling block time on his 1,000 watt daytime secondary station. In WKNR's former regime, these shows would have aired at 7 PM on 850!

Infomercials are, as a former co-worker put it, the "crack cocaine of radio". It's about as close as you get to "free money" in radio sales, so we can't blame Karmazin - as long as he limits the time sales to 1540.

Now, if "The Home Solutions Show" ends up on 850, that'll be another matter.

While we're ripping infomercials on the radio, we note that NFL Draft coverage also knocked another paid show off local radio. Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 bounced "The Mutual Fund Show with Adam Bold" into the hours long after the draft, and after Saturday night's Cleveland Cavaliers' victory over the Washington Wizards was over...


74WIXYgrad said...

I wonder how many folks Reggie has "had lunch" with recently? Sam Wyche says he tips well.

Anonymous said...

WOW! "AC Powerhouse"? Can I trademark that? Thanks for the props.

Dan Deely was gracious enough to step in and help me with a scheduling problem on Saturday.

As you know, WDOK actually believes that having a live jock on the air is a good thing. Even on the weekends.

Is Dan the front runner for the gig? No comment. I've had number of very talented people in my office over the past 3 weeks. Dan is one of them. Details on a new member of the family before the end of the week.

In the meantime, Nancy Alden celbrated 20 years at WDOK and we gave her love on air all day this past Thursday.

BTW: Andy Baskin is a quality guy and a friend. Hope he can work it out to land the WEWS gig and keep the Tribe thing going.

Thanks for this blog that is oh so mighty and fun.


Scott Miller
Program Director WDOK 102.1 FM

Neil said...

That home improvement show on 1540 is indeed an infomercial. I sent you an email about it awhile back when Jack Dever announced that he would be on WWGK.

He buys an hour on Saturday on WELW, and was buying the 8 AM Sunday hour on WHK for awhile. But then he changed the Sunday morning show to 10 AM on WWGK.

Anonymous said...

Josh Booth whose been with "The Fish" for awhile is doing afternoon drive. I wish they'd give him a little more time during breaks to develop a personality, I think he's fine. At WDOK they have an oustanding (imho) overnight guy, John Elmo, who has filled in a few times in the afternoons.

Anonymous said...

John Elmo is a quality jock over at WDOK, sounds good during the overnights and when he fills in during the day....I think he'd be successful if moved to full-time day duties. Hard to argue with Dan Deely though. Either way kudos to WDOK for having a live jock on overnight.

As far as Karmazin selling time over 1540 right before the draft...hell, more power to him. With all the live and local coverage on WKNR and WTAM why would anyone following the draft be tuned into that 1000 watt powerhouse?

Anonymous said...

Loved Rucker as a Browns receiver, but am sooooooo unimpressed with anything and everything he has done on-air since. And he's lookin' real old (though, thankfully, not as ancient as The Gibber, who embarrassed himself with an inane commentary about the Browns giving up "too much" to get Quinn last night).

Rucker and Gibber need to head over to 1540, where they'll neither be seen nor heard.

Anonymous said...

I do look for TWC within this year and the start of next year to take off more analog stations and move it to digital..

Anonymous said...

Shanley never got over Art Modell's move. Gib is still apologizing for Art and insisting that Art did nothing wrong. Problem is, Gib can't offer a clue as to who do anything wrong there.

Rucker has been utterly inept as a broadcaster. Remember him doing Tribe games? Admitted he couldn't pronounce some of the players' names (hey Reggie, ever consider leaving the booth before the broadcasting and asking someone?). He has no business being anywhere near a mic.

Anonymous said...

About channel 70, on TWC in Akron channel 70 is C-SPAN2 and the picture is not too good.

Greatly offended said...

I am greatly offended at all the potshots at Reggie Rucker on this board. This comment section is supposed to be bland with no opinion. We are all supposed to have no sense of humor and not joke here so I would appreciate if the comment about Reggie's tip habits are deleted.

Anonymous said...

I think that we should not criticize anyone or joke on here. This is brain surgery here we need to be totally serious about all things.

Ohio Media Watch said...

OK, you're stepping on our last nerve here.

We did NOT ask people to stop making jokes in the comments. (Heck, the very first comment in this item is one!)

We did ask folks to refrain from the jokes and potshots at one particular board op, who used to go on the air at a certain AM radio station.

That is entirely a different story. This guy doesn't deserve it, and he's not a public personality like the others (i.e. Mr. Rucker and others, like Roger Brown, Mike Trivisonno, Ronnie Duncan and others who get skewered here by the comments). He's a board op who got put on the air by a former program director to read weather and the like.

We're trying to protect someone who we believe doesn't deserve a week long string of jokes about him. (Now, the now-former program director...that might be another matter.)

Try to have some compassion, here, in this particular situation.

--The Management

Anonymous said...

If Reggie Rucker stays in his current role as Browns analyst at TV 5 (which he was all last season), then that's fine as that's the perfect role for him.

Anything else would be a disaster.

Bob Golic on the other hand has done some fill in anchoring at 19's sports desk, and while a little rough around the edges, he was competent enough.

If TV 5 went ahead and made Baskin their main sports guy with Robak doing weekends, Gibber in the Andy Rooney role, and Rucker talking pigskin (Browns and OSU), that would actually be a not too bad sports team over on Euclid Ave.

JD said...

"The Mutual Funds Show with Adam Bold" is the most awful radio show I've ever heard.

I hate having nothing to listen to when I'm out and about Saturday around noon.

Anonymous said...

Mutual Fund isn't meant to be entertaining, it's only meant to fatten up the Clear Channel piggy bank.

Gib Shanley's opinion on Brady Quinn wasn't inane, it has some merit, especially after being burned by high draft choice QBs in the past (Mike Phipps, Tim Couch)

In the Salem days, The Home Solutions Show would pre-empt the World Series.

BROWNS player Reggie Rucker was a joke as an INDIANS announcer, but as a Ch. 5 football guru, he's fine.

Andy Baskin has played good soldier for a long time in this town (FSN, STO, Ch. 3). He deserves a shot as the main sports anchor and Ch. 5 would be nuts to let him go.

Dan Deely on 102.1 would be a good fit. He has the perfect Soft Rock DJ voice and demeanor.

Johnny Morgan said...

I have a treasure-trove of Mickey jokes.

Where do I begin.

And has he found someone to call him yet?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the former Program Director at WKNR, OMW has he found another job yet?

Anonymous said...

Just a thought...

When WKYC shows Indians games, the regular NBC programs should be shown somewhere else or later. Last summer, we missed half of Action Sports and some primetime programs. One option would be to show the NBC shows on Sportstime Ohio. Another option would be to preempt WeatherPlus on 3.2 and show it there,

Also, Are there any plans for WBNX-DT on Time Warner Cable? I remember hearing there were plans for a cable feed last fall but that never happened.

david5258 said...

gib shanley is still around? i thot he retired when nev became sports director at channel 5?
nonetheless, gibber did know his football, baseball and basketball--if he is available on a p/t basis from retirement, channel 5 should have him back on staff.... to make it a perfect retro newscast bring back wilma and dandy don to team with tall ted(canton's own)--david5258

Anonymous said...

Yeah, bring back "Glib" Shanley, maybe he can burn an Iraqi flag this time. Heck, why not have a contest and have him burn a different nations flag every week? Viewers can choose!

Anonymous said...

Who is Canton's own Tall Ted? Never heard of him.

Anonymous said...

This is for Scott Miller at WDOK.
How about Ravenna Micelli for the afternoon drive shift?

I hear her occasionally doing traffic on WDOK and it makes me realize how much I miss hearing her on the air since she left Magic. She was/is one of the best female DJs in Cleveland and it would be great to have her back.

Unless WDOK has some rule against two women back to back because of Nancy Alden in middays my vote goes to Ravenna.

Anonymous said...

With Nancy on from 10-3 and Delilah from 7-12, DOK would like a guy in between to break things up.

Anonymous said...

Canton's "Tall Ted" is the 6'4" Ted Henry.

Gib went to San Diego in his "semi-retirement" in '84 when Nev took over, and came back in '88 when TV 43's "10 O'Clock News" was hatched.

Gib is perfect in his Andy Rooney role on "Sports Sunday", and at this point in his life, he wouldn't want an anchor gig.

Anonymous said...

WDOK's music appeals to women and I think whatever radio rule about never having two women in a row on the air is long gone.

I never really liked the guy that was on in the afternoon at that station. I listen to NPR instead.

Ravenna would be a nice addition and I would be a regular listener. When Ravenna left WMJI I started listening to Nancy Alden. I liked them both but I have missed hearing Ravenna.

Having both of them on the same station would be a treat.

Anonymous said...

Who is that board op on WKNR (Not Eddie) that always feels the need to give his opinion all the time during Roda's show? Can someone please tell him we don't need to hear his two cents all the time. This is a legit complaint. I am tired of hearing the board ops give their opinions on talk shows.

Anonymous said...

I didn't think of Ravenna Miceli and now that you mention it she would be a good choice.

I don't believe there is a problem having two women back to back. I think it would sound pretty good actually.

I hear its too late though. I heard from someone that knows him well that Deely was contacted by Scott Miller and had the job lined up while he was still at The Fish. They had to go abide by the EOE and post the opening which is why they went through the motions of interviewing other people.

It is supposed to be announced tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I have nothing against Dan Deely. I just don't think he can contribute to a radio station other than an old fashioned radio announcer voice. I don't find him to be that interesting.

I would rather have another woman on in afternoons at WDOK. Middays used to be the time when most radio stations put their female announcers.

When Q104 put Jen Toohey on in afternoon drive was a brilliant move although she is a little young for my taste. If I were still in my twenties I would listen to her. I'm in my thirties and need a female personality to relate to me.

Someone like Ravenna who is a little older can be funny and informative is just what a gal needs to hear on the drive home.

It would be entertaining to hear a daily cross-over between Nancy Alden and Ravenna.

TV stations figured out that there is no problem with having two or three women anchoring newscasts and weather. Why can't radio programmers understand that too. Women do enjoy hearing women on the air.