Today's usual collection has four odd items with no relation to each other...
WBNX-HD'ING IT: It's official - Winston Broadcasting Cleveland market CW affiliate WBNX/55 Akron is no longer making a secret of its new digital signal, which it started testing two months ago.
After literally months of saying "we expect to be on cable in October", the local home of "Gilmore Veronica Girls WWE Smallville Smackdown on Mars" (we think that's actually a show) is now promoting its new digital signal on its "Trends" web page:
We are pleased to announce that WBNX can now be seen in high definition! With its incomparable blend of sight, sound, color, motion and emotion, television delivers hours of enjoyment to people year round. Now with HDTV you can experience television like never before.
But for the moment, only viewers with an antenna attached to a TV with a digital tuner can "experience television like never before", at least when it comes to WBNX.
Despite hinting last year that a cable/satellite HDTV signal would appear before the broadcast signal (the aforementioned October date), it appears that WBNX is now asking viewers to bug the local cable providers and the satellite providers to add the station's HD signal.
On the page in a highlighted Q&A box:
Q: Why can’t I see WBNX in HD on my cable or satellite provider?
A: Call your cable or satellite provider and tell them you want WBNX in HD! If you have an antenna you can turn to channel 55-1 on your high definition tuner.
We don't know all the details behind it, but we'd have to assume that WBNX wouldn't have a difficult time getting on, say, the dominant local cable provider, Time Warner Cable.
The station's network, The CW (do they still call it "The" CW?), offers a large portion of its programming in HD, and the programming is attractive, particularly to younger, tech-savvy viewers.
Getting on DirecTV or Dish Network may be more challenging. The satellite providers have been fairly slow adding non-"Big Four" network affiliates in HD...Dish even more so than DirecTV, which even added local HD sports feeds a few months ago...
WINNING AWARDS AWAY FROM HOME: Clear Channel Cleveland top 40 WAKS/96.5 "96-5 Kiss FM"'s nighttime human cup of coffee, "Java Joel" Murphy, has picked up a couple of reader popularity poll awards.
But these kudos aren't coming from the local weekly alt-papers, Scene and the Cleveland Free Times. In fact, they aren't even coming from this country.
AllAccess reports that "Java Joel" picks up two reader nods for "Best Radio Show" and "Best Radio Personality" from readers of the weekly Montreal Mirror.
No, there aren't thousands of Canadians camped out on the Internet, listening to the "Kiss FM" web stream.
Regular readers know that Joel, in between his departure from WAKS sister station WKSC/103.5 "Kiss FM" in Chicago and his hiring at Oak Tree, kept the pipes warm by voicetracking afternoon drive on Martz top 40 WYUL/94.7 "Hits FM" Chateaugay NY. That's a cross-border rimshot into Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The station's signal JUST reaches into Montreal from its position just south of the international border, but fortunately for an English-speaking American-style top 40 outlet, it does very well in the "West Island" area and other parts of Montreal that have a lot of English speakers.
Anyway, after moving to Cleveland to do a live nighttime show on the local station he voicetracked into before, from Chicago, Mr. Murphy continues to do his "Hits FM" afternoon drive show digitally from Northeast Ohio.
And a popular show it is...even with Java Joel's physical presence not anywhere near the Canadian border...
CAVS WATCH, DAY 2: Monday continued the enormous hype about the Cleveland Cavaliers' appearance in the NBA Finals, which starts Thursday with a game in San Antonio.
A quick listen to Good Karma sports WKNR/850 "ESPN 850 WKNR"'s Kenny Roda show tonight let us know that at least three 'KNR staffers are making the trek to Alamo City...along with Roda himself, "Wine and Gold Post Game Show" host and former Cavaliers TV voice Michael Reghi is headed to the home of the Spurs.
And as mentioned here earlier, WJW FOX 8 sports anchor Tony Rizzo - who just so happens to host a little two hour radio show on WKNR - will be in San Antonio as well.
UPDATE: We apparently heard wrong that Rizzo wouldn't be on his radio show today, because he was. He's headed for Texas this afternoon.
Over at "Cavaliers Mothership" Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100, aside from sports director/Cavs radio host Mike Snyder's likely presence in San Antonio - and our guess with morning co-host Bill Wills along for the ride - we found out one big station name who may not be there...afternoon drive host Mike Trivisonno.
In what's almost a regular occurrence for him around big local sports weeks, Triv is off all this week.
WOIO/19 "19 Action News" sports director and ex-'TAMer Chuck Galeti filled in for him Monday, and will do so again Friday. The "Triv Show without Triv" with the remaining afternoon cast members will be heard Tuesday, and we're not sure about the rest of the week. Our guess that there will be some sort of "special game-related programming" on Thursday.
But unless Triv has redirected his vacation time to San Antonio, he won't be on...though he's called in via phone in the past in situations like this.
We're reminded of the furor surrounding the Cleveland Browns' near-firing of general manager Phil Savage around the Christmas holidays in 2005.
Triv was off, but hauled himself into the studio from home to join in the station's coverage of a firing that appeared to be imminent at the time, but never happened.
Now, we don't blame Triv for taking vacation time. It's in his contract, and he's got the leverage (ratings performance, etc.) to ask for it.
And we're guessing that he chose this week long before ANYONE thought the Cavaliers would still be playing in early June.
Meanwhile, over in TV Land, WEWS/5 "NewsChannel 5" reporter Carolina Leid is still in San Antonio, interviewing Every Last Cavaliers Fan, and exploring Every Last Nook And Cranny of "enemy territory"...
WHAT A MICROPHONE SALE!: If you've had your eyes on a classic microphone with a Cleveland history, you just missed one on eBay.
Voiceover guy and Cumulus talk WTOD/1560 Toledo program director Chuck Matthews passed along word of this auction on a microphone historians would drool over, an RCA 44-BX microphone with a "WJW" logo on it.
Of course, that's not WJW as in the current FOX-owned TV station...that's WJW at 850 AM, a frequency now occupied by today's WKNR.
We don't know who the seller is, but he offered thanks to that current station's staff in the listing...and he made a decent amount of money off of it.
The winning bidder put in a final bid of $1526. Whew!
Chuck told us about it in a note Sunday afternoon, but unfortunately, we couldn't get around to putting it up here until after the auction. We assume not many had that much money or credit card space to buy the microphone at its eventual asking price.
And but for another $14, the winner could have matched the frequency of 850's current sister station, WWGK/1540...