After enough snow delays to stop a baseball game four times, time to clear out the odds and ends before we hit the weekend...
ANOTHER WHBC CHANGE: OMW hears that NextMedia talk WHBC/1480 Canton, now finishing its second week as "NewsTalk 1480", is making another adjustment to its new format.
And judging from the feedback we get here, it's one that will please many of our readers.
We hear that WHBC weekend mainstay Jim Albright will premiere a Saturday morning talk/information program starting tomorrow from 6-10 AM.
The show's described to us as a "full service" show - with a combination of local and national news, sports and weather, along with talk, trivia and calls from listeners.
We'd assume that it'd be basically a Saturday, solo-hosted version of the station's "Fred and Pam" weekday morning drive show - a bit more laid-back for the weekend audience, and pretty much a staple on many news/talk outlets across America.
Albright moves up the schedule from his former Saturday afternoon oldies show.
WHBC continues to air FOX Sports Radio the rest of the weekend...
WEWS CHANGES, CURRENT AND COMING: We've had a tip or two reminding us that Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5 has given its 11 PM newscast a name.
No, not "NewsChannel 5", which is the name for the station's entire news operation - and also extends to non-news branding.
The name applied to the 11 PM newscast is "NewsChannel 5 Nightbeat".
As with most such "different" names, it's even being used by live reporters in the field in their so-called "lockouts".
OMW hears that WEWS crime beat reporter Joe Pagonakis will change gears sometime in the next few weeks. He'll go from covering shooters to being a "troubleshooter". (Nice turn of phrase, if we do say so ourselves.) We're told to expect the change before the end of April.
The change will not affect current consumer reporter Angie Lau, who will continue in her current role...
WBNX REDUX: We warned you, and sure enough, the new digital signal of Cleveland market CW affiliate WBNX/55 Akron has left the airwaves.
A brief check for WBNX-DT on and off today revealed no signal each time we checked in, including as we write this item on Friday night.
Again, no surprise. It's quite typical for stations to have periods of testing, adjustment and whatnot before finally going fully live. It's the same process Youngstown CBS affiliate WKBN/27 went through when it launched WKBN-DT.
When WBNX-DT was up, they were having some problems with screen dropouts, or so many have told us. The station wasn't putting up CW programming in HDTV, but we don't know if that's just something they haven't "turned on" yet.
If you do have a digital tuner and want to keep looking - WBNX's digital signal is on RF channel 30...
SPORTS CONFUSION: The "It Really Didn't Count" Cleveland Indians home opener caused a lot of scrambling on both radio and TV.
For one, it nudged the game on Indians flagship Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 right into the Cleveland Cavaliers/Washington Wizards game...the latter scheduled for 8 PM, the former originally scheduled for 4:05 PM, but delayed by snow for hours until they finally gave up and called it off.
It also nudged non-rightsholder Good Karma sports WKNR/850 "ESPN 850"'s post-game show with Greg Brinda into the late evening hours, which made it the direct lead-in for the "Wine and Gold Cavaliers Post-Game Show" with new station addition Michael Reghi.
One other WKNR note from earlier: In the radio equivalent of trying to program against the Super Bowl, Good Karma boss Craig Karmazin took the station's afternoon drive shift himself on Friday.
The co-host of his company's "The Steve and Craig Show" - which doesn't sound like it's going to be airing on sister station WWGK/1540 "KNR2" after all - took over the post-4 PM slot after station hosts Tony Rizzo, Mark "Munch" Bishop and Kenny Roda did their shows during a live block from a downtown nightclub from 10 AM to 4 PM.
We're not knocking Mr. Karmazin, at all - but we figure about the only way he'd program himself in afternoon drive time on WKNR would be with the assumption that most listeners will be elsewhere with the Indians home opener underway.
For one, Karmazin is a smart, young radio guy. He knows he's not regular afternoon drive talk material in a market the size of Cleveland, even on a station he owns. If he thought so, or if his on-air career was the driver for him, he'd have slotted "Steve and Craig" at 7 PM on WKNR.
At this point, as indicated above, we're not even sure the show he co-hosts will be heard on 1,000 watt "KNR2". The ESPNCleveland.com website has removed "Steve and Craig" from the program lineup, even on the WWGK side of things.
While we're on the subject of the Good Karma stations' website, we're reminded that AM 1540 has debuted "Thistledown Track Talk", another specialty show on the WWGK lineup. The horse racing show airs Thursday from 6-7 PM on "The KNR Deuce", as it were.
A quick check listening to the show this week has us believing that it's not just a title sponsorship, but that Thistledown actually pays for the show. That's just a guess, though.
Sports fans...remember when such shows were actually staples of the main WKNR lineup at 7 PM?