We'll finish off the week, and note that we're probably not going to be 'round these parts until Monday or Tuesday.
So...let's have at it...leading from the outer reaches of the OMW Empire for once...
NO MORE "SOURCE"?: A tip of the OMW hat to Radio-Insight.com's Lance Venta and his Internet domain name snooping on this one.
Lance tells us that Clear Channel scooped up the domain name 1360espn.com on Monday, and followed with two more - bengalstream.com and bearcatstream.com.
Lance also notes that while 1360espn.com currently redirects to the website for Clear Channel Cincinnati's big sports talker, WCKY/1530 "1530 Homer", some sub-pages reveal a new logo and site for "Cincinnati's ESPN 1360".
It doesn't take the proverbial, well, you know, to figure out that CC Cincinnati is apparently readying a format flip for WSAI/1360, positioning it as a second sports flanker to WCKY. The "Lineup" pulldown page, at this writing, shows the entire ESPN network lineup.
It'd be sort of the Cincinnati version of "Cleveland's AM 1540, KNR2", only without the stray FOX Sports Radio programming (and with Clear Channel ownership).
The station - not that long ago - changed from liberal talk to "1360thesource.com", an advice talk format with a web URL name that's calls itself, yes, in lower case, "my source for answers".
We guess doing advice talk on 1360 wasn't the answer Clear Channel was looking for.
This is hardly new for Clear Channel.
The company operates two sports talkers in Minneapolis - the locally-programmed KFAN/1130, and its sister, KFXN/690 "The Score", which primarily airs network programming. It also once had two sports talkers in Washington DC, before WWRC/1260 flipped from a flanker to WTEM/980 to liberal talk as "Progressive Talk 1260".
And it shows, again, the difficulty of finding programming for these second and third tier AM stations. Or in Cincinnati, fourth-tier, as CC already has WLW/700, WKRC/550 and WCKY ahead of 1360 in its Queen City AM lineup...
MORE ON WYTV/WKBN/ETC.: Just a brief followup to our earlier item about a "stall" in the sale of Chelsey Broadcasting ABC affiliate WYTV/33 Youngstown.
We now have a copy of the article, thanks to publisher Andrea Wood and the fine folks at the Youngstown Business Journal - which regularly features the best coverage of Mahoning Valley broadcast media.
(No, Ms. Wood didn't ask us to say that.)
Anyway, the article has details on numerous protestations by would-be WYTV owner Todd Parkin about how he's not going to basically dismantle the station's staff and news operation, and dismantle such things as staff seniority as New Vision Television did at CBS affiliate WKBN/27.
That sentiment, in a "calm down" letter sent to WYTV staffers, comes as a big surprise to veteran WKBN reporter Joe Bell, speaking for a station union bargaining unit. He tells the Business Journal:
What Parkin is representing in that letter is diametrically opposed to what New Vision’s attorney told us at the bargaining table. The New Vision attorney said that he envisioned that all those folks at WYTV would become New Vision employees, that they wouldn’t be working out of their [WYTV’s] building, and so forth. We don’t know who’s confused at the corporate level or if someone is misrepresenting themselves. We certainly would like an explanation.
Who do you believe here?
An unknown guy from California who had to tell the FCC about a "shared services agreement" in his application - not to mention an option for new WKBN owner New Vision to buy WYTV outright should FCC rules allow such a duopoly in the future?
Or a veteran, straight-ahead reporter with decades of good will in the Youngstown/Warren TV market?
You make the call.
Our guess, and this is only a guess: Mr. Parkin makes an effort on paper to carry on the WYTV newsroom and separate operations for a while. Maybe a few months to a year.
He then comes out and says, "look, we tried, but the numbers just aren't there"...and carries out the merger of the WYTV and WKBN/WYFX newsrooms and the end of WYTV's separate news operations.
That's just what our gut is tellling us, and isn't based on any fact. It's the "and musings" part of OMW, as advertised up at the top of our homepage...
OMW, NEWSPAPER COLUMN: We're told we've been quoted again in a Northeast Ohio newspaper.
It's the Ashtabula Star-Beacon, which apparently repeated some of our earlier stuff about the upcoming changes at Clear Channel's Ashtabula cluster - its upcoming sale to Tom Embrescia's Sweet Home Ashtabula, and specifically our item a while back about the briefly-proposed swap of WREO/97.1 and CC's WBBG/106.1 Niles.
We hope they followed to the end, where we found out shortly after we posted the item that the proposed swap was dismissed at the request of Clear Channel.
So, there may be more insight as to why, for example, the swap was pulled...but we haven't been able to find the Star Beacon's Thursday article on this on its website. We hear they're a bit slow to put items from the Dead Trees edition online.
We have no problem with newspapers quoting us. Feel free to do so, as long as you get our name right ("the blog Ohio Media Watch" is fine with us)...