Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Apology And Policy Change

Before we hit the policy change...

It's almost as much a part of the blog as the news items, it seems...our regular complaints about how the comments section here at OMW gets out of hand, and occasional threats that we'll remove said comments area because of it.

This time, it was your very own Primary Editorial Voice(tm) who got out of hand, with a caustic reply to an anonymous reader who apparently wasn't very excited by news of the official approval of the sale of a Youngstown TV station.

Whoever that was, we apologize. Your brief post and use of the letter "Z" in multiple got on our last nerve this afternoon, and we should have held back instead of laying into you. (We've deleted all the comments on the below item that aren't related to the actual item, including our own diatribe.)

Our passion, though, is what led us to go off the handle.

OMW exists solely for our own personal enjoyment. Period.

We're very happy that about 1200 regular visits a day come from people who find our "news and musings" important enough to read daily. We're very appreciative of you.

But OMW is basically a very time consuming hobby for us, and the day we get no enjoyment or too much frustration out of it, our occasionally used "hiatus" will become for good. This isn't a threat or even an extension of the recently announced "hiatus", just a matter of fact based on why we even do this.

Though we've said earlier that we have basically replaced media columnists like Bob Dyer locally, we have no obligation to cater to "reader demand".

If we don't want to write something, we don't write it. If we miss something for some reason, we missed it. If we write about topics that some of our readers don't find all that interesting, we write about them.

In turn, you have no obligation to read this blog. If you're not getting what you want from what we do here, go elsewhere for your media news and musings. If enough people feel that way, our hit counts will go from four digits a day to two digits a day, and we'll "get the message".

But a reminder...unlike Mr. Dyer and his past colleagues and competitors, we don't get any money out of this. We get no paycheck. We don't sell ads, which would bring in some change and not much more.

We do it because we enjoy it, and we're happy to have whoever wants to be along for the ride.

If we don't enjoy it...well, there's a reason we picked up a reader's joke long ago and started calling this the "Mighty Blog of Fun(tm)". It's fun for us, and if it stops being so, we stop doing it.

So, in the future, we'll try our best to limit the complaining and excessive navel gazing (after this post).

But we're doing something constructive about it.

Starting immediately, OMW has been set up to not take non-logged-in anonymous comments.

From now on, if we have the comments section open on an item, it will require you to use a Google account to add a comment. This means you can use an existing Gmail account, or create a new account (or Gmail address, or both) at the Google website.

Yes, we know that won't end "anonymous" comments. We know it's trivially easy to sign up for a Google account of some sort, and it's free.

But our goal, as stated before, is to slow down some of the "drive-by" potshots that often come from these comments.

For those who ask about this, we'll say it again - the comments came with the blog. We never intended on running a quasi-message board, and for those who do like to shoot from the hip, there are other message boards dedicated to some portion of what we cover here.

OK, as said, that's enough complaining on our part...and now, action!

(Oh, we've disabled comments on this item because we don't really have time to become part of yet another "back and forth" on this. The item speaks for itself.)

--The Management


This just in: The Federal Communications Commission has given its approval of the sale of Youngstown ABC affiliate WYTV/33 from Chelsey Broadcasting to a new Los Angeles-based company called Parkin Broadcasting.

Andrea Wood of the Youngstown-based Business Journal reports that the FCC approved the sale Monday, with little word about why a petition by the NABET union to block the sale was turned away.

But Wood says that in a letter, an FCC official outlined the rejection of the union's objection, which was flanked by letters from two local U.S. representatives.

The FCC's video bureau chief, Barbara Kreisman, wrote that NABET didn't prove that the sale would be contrary to the public interest, and said the agency was satisfied that Parkin's shared services agreement with New Vision Television, new owner of CBS affiliate WKBN/27 and FOX affiliate WYFX/62-WFXI/17, would give Parkin "full control" over WYTV's functions.

Parkin Broadcasting owner Todd Parkin has promised a continued unique identity for WYTV, including its own news department, after his company takes over.

Does someone in the Mahoning Valley have a truckload of salt?

The H Word

Yep, it's that time...due to various Real Life Issues(tm), OMW is going on hiatus (AIIIIII!!!) for now.

We have no idea when this report will resume updating on a regular basis, but we'll try to be here for any major, breaking media news - i.e. station format changes, sales, or major personality or anchor shakeups.

So, keep checking in...just don't expect the usual update cycle.

And no, don't worry 'bout us...we're fine. It's just time to go off into the Outside World for a while...

Friday, July 27, 2007


There's not really much "out there" right now...but we felt the need to clear up the week's agenda...

WEATHER SET: In our continuing, 50-part, in-depth series on WJW/8 "FOX 8 News"' new news set...

OMW hears that Dick Goddard, Andre Bernier and the gang will soon get a new "weather center", if it hasn't happened already. For now, the FOX 8 weather folks have been camping out outside, or in front of a green screen.

But we hear that the set won't be all that different from the alcove that the weather forecasters used on the previous set. It'll be revamped with all the current signage and logos, and probably will be tweaked for color.

We do expect, though haven't heard details about, more detailed graphics to match the newer output...

NEW HD2S: Mark Geyman at OhioBiz, who produces the Ohio streaming audio directory you see linked at the left, gives us word on new HD2 subchannels at Ohio radio stations.

Geyman notes three formats, and names, even, for HD2 subchannels of three Clear Channel stations in Toledo:

104.7 WIOT – “Nitro” – Active Rock
92.5 WVKS – “Club Phusion” – Dance – Top 40 Dance
101.5 WRVF – “Amy” – Soft Rock

Closer to home, we know Clear Channel hot AC WKDD/98.1 in the Akron/Canton area will launch a subchannel at some point, but have only heard rumors about a format. The station is simulcasting its regular feed on 98.1-HD2 right now, but has put a different "Hello" scroll up there.

Oh, and thanks to the OMW reader who pointed us towards a reason why stations aren't airing simulcasts of their weaker-signal news/talk format AM stations on their FM stations' HD subchannels.

DCRTV reported a while back that Clear Channel in the Washington DC market yanked the simulcasts of conservative talk WTNT/570, and liberal talk WWRC/1260, from FM HD3 simulcasts.

The popular DC/Baltimore radio/TV news site says it's because CC got some grief from other members of the "HD Alliance", the broadcasters group which has been coordinating formats on the HD subchannel side.

Apparently, the other broadcasters didn't like the presence of commercials on the talk stations' formats - presumably because they're otherwise promoting the HD subchannels as "commercial free"... which no talk format is, unless some sort of separate feed is put up with music blanking out the breaks...

NO, HE'S NOT GOING: Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 afternoon driver Mike Trivisonno seemingly lights a fire with his words just about every month or so.

But this one would be, we understand, a misunderstanding.

The Mighty Blog of Fun(tm) was recently peppered with comments - and even assumptions! - that Triv would bolt WTAM for morning drive at CBS Radio classic rock WNCX/98.5, a spot currently filled by three on-air personalities...one of which was first heard on the radio with Triv himself (Kim Mihalik).

We didn't hear the segment, so it took a bit of digging.

As it turns out, the comment from Triv was apparently due to some sort of Disgruntlement-of-the-Moment with management at Oak Tree, and he fired that he COULD move to mornings at WNCX "for twice what I'm making now".

It's not even the first time he's said this, of course.

When rumors were floating about him moving to morning drive at sister rocker WMMS/100.7 - right before the station brought on syndicated hosts "Bob and Tom" - Triv commented/joked/threw out there that if he were "going anywhere" to do mornings, it'd be WNCX.

We don't read anything into any of this.

As a well-read local source of not only news, but local radio rumblings, we've heard absolutely nothing that would lead us to believe that Triv is going anywhere, or for that matter, that the "WNCX Morning Show", with Ms. Mihalik, Wynn "Mudd" Richards and Mike O is going anywhere, either.

We're not ruling anything out, but we're not hearing it. Period. From credible or even not-so-credible sources. Our best guess is that Triv stirs up that pot from time to time, and specifically does so with WNCX to tweak his former co-host.

See, we can do our best to extinguish things, if needed...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

No Officials Day

A lot of things you see on local TV news are somehow driven by a consultant's recommendation, or some sort of concerted effort by management to tweak the station's image, or correct perceived problems with the station.

You should keep that in mind when watching WEWS/5's newscasts today.

OMW hears that today, Thursday, has been proclaimed "No Officials Day" in the newsroom at "NewsChannel 5".

What does that mean?

Our sources tell us that news staffers at 3001 Euclid have been told not to use any on-camera soundbites today from officials - i.e. police and fire spokespeople, political officials and the like.

The goal is to force the news folks to "be creative", we're told, and use "real people" for news soundbites...instead of a police official or spokesman using "cop talk" ("the altercation occurred on the 2300 block of Main Street", etc.).

We assume the "no officials" policy would be broken if there was no choice. But what about the long-running series out of reporter Tracy Carloss' "exclusive" one-on-one with Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson? Does that take the day off today?

The goal, presumably, would fit with NewsChannel 5's ongoing "on your side" slogan... making the newscast more "human"... giving sort of a "real people" feel to it.

But sometimes, you have to talk to officials. Sometimes, they are needed to flesh out the story. And sometimes, frankly, "real people" are not the best, most articulate people to put on camera.

We're reminded of an event we read about in another market. A local forum there grilled news directors of the various TV stations, and one of those news directors was talking about the station's political coverage.

He said their long-respected political reporter was wasting his time if he didn't go out of the two blocks around their major government area and "put a face" to stories based on legislative or council action.

We can understand that. Political minutiae glazes over the eyes of the audience, and you can only say "ordinance 1234" or "House Bill 50" so often, and finding how the bill will affect people is a laudable effort.

But even WEWS realizes that you can't embargo "officials" for a long period of time, we suppose.

For example, during the station's week-plus-long "Campin' With The Browns" segment at the local NFL team's training camp in Berea - are team general manager Phil Savage and head coach Romeo Crennel off-limits on "No Officials Day"?

Things that make you go "hmmm"...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Just Falling Together

Sometimes, before we expect to publish one of these items, we wonder if enough news will be available to us to put up a post.

And then, it just happens...

ANOTHER HIRE ON EUCLID AVENUE: Though it appears to be no closer to solving its sports problem, Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 "NewsChannel 5" in Cleveland has tapped a permanent co-anchor for "Good Morning Cleveland".

OMW hears that the station is bringing aboard Kimberly Gill, who's been morning anchor at Media General CBS affiliate WBTW/13 in Myrtle Beach/Florence SC for five years. (We believe the market was once just known as Florence, until major population growth in the popular beach resort city of Myrtle Beach and nearby.)

Gill will join recently named permanent co-anchor Paul Kiska, weather anchor Susanne Horgan, traffic reporter Trisha Skidmore, airborne reporter Jack "Air" Marschall and news reporter Joy Benedict on the show...which we assume means that WEWS has finally landed on a permanent configuration for the morning show.

Umm, maybe. We'll see...it is "NewsChannel 5" we're talking about, here.

OMW hears Gill starts at 3001 Euclid on August 6th.

Wither Lorna Barrett, the former Channel 5 reporter who's been filling in on "GMC" and elsewhere? OMW hears that though she did not get the permanent morning co-anchor gig, she'll continue to do both anchoring and reporting fill-in...

VETERAN CLEVELAND TV NEWS NAME PASSES ON: John Herrington, a long-time local news reporter at Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC/3, has passed away.

The tip comes from WKYC's own blogger, senior director Frank Macek, on his Director's Cut blog.

Frank's item reminds us that Mr. Herrington was with Channel 3 for some 25 years (!). But we didn't remember that he actually started in the Cleveland market as anchor of what would have to have been the area's first effort at a 10 PM newscast.

No, not the "10 O'Clock News" started by WUAB/43, which quickly established a beachhead and featured, among others, current WKYC anchor Romona Robinson.

We didn't know or remember that Kaiser Broadcasting independent outlet WKBF/61 produced a show by the same name years earlier, with Herrington as its anchor.

RIP, Mr. Herrington...you were a fixture in this market for anyone who watched local news...

NO, NOT YET: Some comments to an earlier item indicate that it's believed Rubber City Radio country WQMX/94.9 in the Akron market started broadcasting in HD Radio.

As the owners of one of approximately 10 HD Radio units in Northeast Ohio, we pulled ours out of the closet and at least as of now, the country powerhouse isn't yet regularly broadcasting a digital carrier.

If they do have such plans - and we know a lot of people in the Radio Center read here - they'd have a ready-made HD2 subchannel...the well-designed "Classic WQMX" classic country format already running as a streaming audio feed on WQMX.com.

That'd be the second such HD2 subchannel in Northeast Ohio, with Clear Channel's WGAR/99.5 in Cleveland operating such a channel already.

And while we're at it - we wonder when someone's going to put aside a low-bandwidth HD3 channel for a simulcast of a co-owned AM news/talker...

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Nice Monday Mix

...and our apologies for being a bit late, since we were "on the road".

We're back, with at least one item we believe to be an exclusive...

YET ANOTHER NEW SPORTS REPORTER: If we told you a Cleveland station was hiring a new sports reporter, you'd probably guess it would be ABC affiliate WEWS/5, right?

We mean, after all, "NewsChannel 5" has but two sports anchors/reporters on staff, and station veteran Sue Ann Robak is the only one who's working full-time...with Andy Baskin still doing fill-in.

Nope. It isn't them.

It's the Cleveland Headquarters For Sportscasters, otherwise known as Gannett's WKYC/3, hiring yet another sports reporter.

He's Dave Chudowsky, who worked at Dispatch's Ohio News Network until his last day last week.

UPDATE 3:15 PM 7/23/07: Chudowsky's hiring has now been officially announced by WKYC. Read more at senior director Frank Macek's "Director's Cut" blog.

The item says Chudowsky is actually replacing sports reporter Brian Colleran, and also notes that new addition Joe Brown is anchoring weekend sports now. We don't know where Colleran is going, at this time.

Chudowsky is also a Northeast Ohio native, a graduate of Bay Village High School, who will be seen on the station where he interned in the late 1990's. He's also been spotted locally on SportsTime Ohio and on Bruce Drennan's "All Bets Are Off" show there.

Still in the mix - whoever replaces David Pingalore as reporter/weekend sports anchor at Raycom Media CBS affiliate WOIO/19 and sister MyNet outlet WUAB/43. We haven't kept track of the race to replace the former "19 Action News" sportscaster, who left to join an Orlando station.

Last we heard, station reporter Tony Zarella - who has a pretty decent sports background - was filling in...

CUMULUS MOVES: There's not much to say about it, but we felt the need to note the big news out of Cumulus Media.

The company is launching a $1-point-3 billion deal to go private, with the help of Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey and a Merrill Lynch private equity fund.

For the moment, it appears it may not have much effect on the stations. Mr. Dickey is fronting the effort, and there would appear - for now - to be no station sales triggered by the move, unlike Clear Channel's still-in-progress sale to two private equity firms.

Cumulus has clusters in Ohio in Youngstown, Toledo and Cincinnati. It swapped out Canton's WRQK/106.9 to Clear Channel, in order to take over that company's clusters in a number of Michigan cities...

WHAT ABOUT TK?: We haven't mentioned him much in OMW for some reason, but the host of three major syndicated radio shows based right here in Northeast Ohio is still figuring out his next move.

Tom Kent announced earlier this month in the trade press that he was quitting his three shows syndicated by TKO Radio Networks. We heard him doing one of the shows Sunday night on Clear Channel oldies WMJI/105.7, "Into the 70's", which reminded us of this situation.

AllAccess reported at the time that Kent "couldn't reach agreement" with other TKO Radio principals, and still retained an ownership stake in the syndication company.

The popular trade website then hinted a couple of weeks ago that Kent was "up to a lot", but couldn't say what, yet. We also have no idea if the show we heard Sunday night was new, or a repeat.

"TK" has been hosting that program, along with "Classic Top 40" and "Hall of Fame Coast to Coast" from a home studio in his basement, we believe somewhere in the Brecksville area. That's roughly a 10 minute drive down I-77 from Oak Tree...

FOX LIMA #1?: There's no doubt that WOHL-CA 25 "FOX Lima" owner Gregg Phipps has an uphill battle with the station, and his other local LPTV network affiliates in Lima, against established NBC full-power outlet WLIO/35 "NBC Lima".

He may have won a battle.

Station officials say WOHL has been awarded a "FOX #1 Club" honor from its network, due to, and we quote, "being the # 1 station in the Lima Market for the February and May television ratings sweeps during Primetime."

Ratings are a funny thing, so we're just taking them at their word for now.

"FOX Lima" does air many nationally-popular FOX shows, like "American Idol", "24", "House" and the like, and despite being an LPTV outlet, WOHL has had cable carriage for longer than any of Mr. Phipps' sister LPTV stations (WLQP/18 ABC, WLMO/38 and the like).

And considering Lima's small size as a market, even WOHL-CA's broadcast signal likely covers Lima and Allen County without much difficulty.

Though the station boasts that the FOX lead-in has increased viewership of "FOX 25 News at 10" some 200 percent, we'd have to figure that WLIO's news operation swamps the news airing on the LPTVers overall...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tying Up Loose Ends

And enjoy the weekend, for it's expected to be very nice weather-wise...

CONFIRMATION: Cleveland Plain Dealer media columnist Julie Washington gives the official Mainstream Media Confirmation on two items reported here earlier this week.

On the PD's Entertainment Blog on Cleveland.com, Washington confirms our item about the departure of Akron Beacon Journal politics and government reporter Kymberli Hagelberg to Ideastream NPR outlet WCPN/90.3 Cleveland. She'll cover a similar beat there.

Since WCPN is under that corporate umbrella with PBS outlet WVIZ/25, it would appear she could also do television work...though the item was first presented to us as a move to WCPN. WVIZ does air occasional news/public affairs specials, but the workload for news reporting would be greater on the radio side.

Hagelberg tells Ms. Washington that "it seemed like a challenge I would regret not taking". She starts with the Ideastream folks on August 1st, and as we were told earlier this week, today is her last day on Exchange Street.

Julie also confirms another item we posted here, the pending departure of WOIO/19 "19 Action News" morning anchor Allison Alexander, and arrival of her replacement, WSVN/7 Miami reporter/anchor Tiffani Tucker. We were first tipped by the TV news/gossip site NewsBlues, and learned of the non-renewal of Alexander's contract through our local sources.

Ms. Washington reports that the switch will take place sometime this fall, as Allison will stick around on the "Action News" morning beat until Tucker arrives.

AND ONE WE DIDN'T HAVE: The Julie Washington item has one WOIO-related item we didn't know.

She reports that "Action News" reporter Jonathan Carter is leaving the station for a morning co-anchor job at the FOX affiliate in New Orleans. The move is apparently due to the continued presence of Carter's family in his home city until moving here, Mobile, Alabama...

AND GOOD WISHES WE NEVER GOT AROUND TO GIVING: Our best wishes and good thoughts for Good Karma sports WKNR/850 "ESPN 850" Cleveland producer and mid-morning co-host Aaron Goldhammer and his family.

"Hammer", the sidekick to WJW/8 "FOX 8" sports anchor Tony Rizzo on his "Rizzo on the Radio" show, has been absent this week due to what's been described as a medical procedure/operation involving his father in his native Denver.

As far as we've heard on the Rizzo show, all has gone well for Aaron's father, and he's expected back on the show on Monday.

Maybe Hammer is taking around a microphone and collecting soundbites from obscure Colorado sports figures for the next "Who Said That?".

The last one was finally guessed this week, as being from YouTube video from a 1982 NBC football special with former New York Jets president Jim Kensil.


Anyway, all kidding aside, our best thoughts and prayers for the Goldhammer family, and welcome back, Aaron...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Quick Thursday Hits

We're back, after a brief pause, with some new items...

ANCHOR "ACTION": No, it doesn't involve WOIO/19 "19 Action News"' most controversial anchor, who was reported to be looking at a gig in Houston earlier. There's no word on that subject yet.

But we once again tip the hat to the folks at a popular TV news/gossip site for this item involving the Cleveland CBS affiliate.

NewsBlues reports that Tiffani Tucker, a "reporter and fill-in anchor" for FOX affiliate WSVN/7 Miami, is heading to Reserve Square to anchor the morning news.

NB doesn't address the other half, but OMW hears that means the contract of current "19 Action News" morning anchor Allison Alexander may not have been renewed...

FOX 8 SET: OK, so we'll admit that we had a big headache the night we first saw the new set of FOX O&O WJW/8 "FOX 8 News". (Maybe we should put that in vertically now, in honor of the station's new logo.)

But yes, it appears that they don't actually have a "weather center", yet...with forecasters standing either just outside the station's South Marginal Road studios, or if they're inside, only in front of the green screen.

And the weather segments continue to use the old graphics, with only a slight overlay on the newly updated graphics system that indicates what segment it is.

OMW hears that there will be a new "weather center", though we don't know when it will go in.

We're also wondering if WJW will debut it with an updated graphics package, to compete with the "HD" radar as part of the "Power of 5" (Five! Yes, FIVE National Weather Service radars scanning on one screen! Look! There's Fort Wayne!) on WEWS/5's "NewsChannel 5".

And while we're on the subject of South Marginal, a brief note since we haven't talked about it yet.

FOX owner News Corporation (Rupert Murdoch et al.) has a tentative agreement to purchase Dow Jones, owner of the Wall Street Journal. That happened earlier this week.

It's far from certain, though, as certain members of the family that controls Dow Jones and the WSJ are fighting to get the rest of the family to block the sale. With majority voting control of the company, that could spike the deal.

If the sale does go through, OMW has this "gut feeling" that FOX may hang onto WJW and at least one other larger market O&O, both put on the sales block presumably to help nudge along the WSJ/Dow Jones purchase.

That, though, is just a guess...

WOXY BACK ON THE AIR, IN A WAY: Iconic Cincinnati market alt-rocker WOXY, which once occupied the 97.7/Oxford frequency, is now heading back to the airwaves. Well, sort of.

WOXY, which decamped to the Internet only after its broadcast frequency was sold to First Broadcasting, will show up as an HD2 channel when NPR outlet WVXU/91.7 Cincinnati fires up its digital transmitter in a month or so.

It's an interesting pairing.

WVXU itself was once also an "eclectic" station when it was owned by Xavier University, before classical WGUC/90.9 bought the one-time home of the "X Star Network" and turned it into a pretty standard issue NPR news/talker.

This isn't the first time this sort of pairing has happened, though the one we're thinking about involves a station which never left the airwaves.

In the Baltimore MD area, Towson University AAA outlet WTMD/89.7 is relayed into the nearby Washington DC market on an HD subchannel of WAMU/88.5...

THE NEW WKNR STUDIOS ARE COMING: We still don't have a date on when Good Karma sports talk WKNR/850 "ESPN 850" and sister WWGK/1540 "KNR2" are headed for their new studios in downtown Cleveland.

But prompted by a recent on-air comment by mid-morning host Tony Rizzo - who was battling with the phones during his "Rizzo on the Radio" show at the time - we went up to the Galleria at Erieview and saw if we could scope out any progress.

Since our last visit, the space inside is now no longer visible, thanks to this new fronting, with large station logos and the message "Coming soon" painted on the fronting.

Before this was put up, the station put up computer-printed pages with the WKNR and WWGK logos and put them up in the window of the previous fronting.

We still expect the move from Broadview Road to happen by the end of the year. The antiquated equipment at WKNR's current location may not last that long...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

That Newspaper To Radio News Migration

OMW hears from a reliable source that yet another local newspaper type is trading in print for a radio microphone.

Word out of a certain building on Exchange Street is that Akron Beacon Journal reporter Kymberli Hagelberg is exiting the newspaper, bound for a reporting gig at ideastream NPR outlet WCPN/90.3 Cleveland.

The job change for Hagelberg would be the second such move in recent weeks.

Long-time Canton Repository managing editor M.L. Schultze left the Canton newspaper to take the news director post at WCPN's primary Northeast Ohio competitor, Kent State University-owned NPR outlet WKSU/89.7 Kent.

Now, we realize that radio news itself isn't the most stable profession, and stations have cut back on it in recent years.

But the public radio news battle in Northeast Ohio has been heated, and a number of moves have been made at both WCPN and WKSU - sometimes between the two stations, as staffers move back and forth.

And apparently both operations feel a little journalistic injection from the print side of things is a needed boost to their newsrooms.

And of course, there's that Major Instability Factor regarding new ownership at both the Beacon Journal and the Repository.

The Beacon cut a large number of staffers, and consolidated other positions, when new owner Black Press took the reins. And the Repository was recently purchased by a company called GateHouse...

Tuesday Stuff

Just some unrelated stuff this time around...but you should be used to it, right?

NEW SET AT SOUTH MARGINAL: WJW/8 "FOX 8" in Cleveland has spent the past few weeks building a brand new set for "FOX 8 News". It's a set we hinted at here a LONG time ago, back when FOX started tooling with the "look and feel" of its owned and operated stations...of which WJW is one, at least for now.

The set made its debut on the air on Monday.

Those who aren't within the FOX 8 viewing area, or who just want to call it up on demand, you can get a look at the new set and a video "behind the scenes" tour by the station's Todd Meany on the station's website, which itself was the first hint that changes were on the way.

Our thoughts?

The set is flashy, bright and busy. VERY busy.

It's got enough lights to light up downtown Cleveland, enough monitors to fill Cleveland Browns Stadium, and all sorts of "effects".

The new graphics are even "busier", with lots of moving objects and words. We can only imagine that some people are getting headaches from all that flash.

And yes, the new "searchlight" style FOX 8 logo, reminiscent of FOX News Channel, is fully in place.

One thing we did notice - the weather graphics remain unchanged, and we didn't see any replacement, yet, for the old weather center. We could have just missed it, but at 10 PM Monday night, while Andre Bernier was outside the building, Dick Goddard was just doing the green screen map-pointing.

But there is a giant HDTV monitor in the middle of the set. The station says that particular monitor is a 131-inch model...

NO MORE "GOODRADIO"?: No, that's not an editorial comment on whatever programming will be presented by the over 452 small market Clear Channel stations - including many here in Ohio - when their new ownership company takes over.

And the company will still be taking over...it just appears it won't be called "GoodRadio", and former PAX TV/Ion executive Dean Goodman is apparently out of the picture.

That's the report by Radio Business Report on Monday, and parts of it were confirmed by other trade websites later in the day.

Appearing to be moving in as Goodman's replacement in the company funded by private equity fund American Securities Capital Partners - is one Jeff Warshaw, CEO of Connoisseur Radio. Warshaw's first incarnation of Connoisseur once owned a number of Youngstown market stations now in the Cumulus fold.

So, the sale apparently goes on, in a different direction and with a different leader.

OMW also hears that Goodman isn't dropping out of the radio acquisition game. He'll hang onto the stations his company acquired separately in Iowa and Missouri, and could add to them...

SPORTSTIME OHIO BITS: SportsTime Ohio has dropped us a line letting us know about three local Emmy nominations.


SportsTime Ohio is nominated for its Cleveland Indians Baseball Games, directed by Pat Murray and produced by Steve Warren, as a Regular Scheduled Sports Program. Pat Murray is also nominated for the Indians Baseball Games as the Director of a non-news program. Murray has previously received ten (10) local Emmy awards.

SportsTime Ohio producer Joe Ranyak also received a nomination for “Showdown at the Shoe” in the Sports Programs – Specials category. “Showdown at the Shoe” was a one hour preview of the 2006 Michigan-Ohio State game, arguably the biggest college football game of the year. The show was hosted by Andy Baskin and featured former OSU quarterback Jim Karsatos and WKNR’s Mark “Munch” Bishop.

Of course, Andy Baskin is now independently producing shows for STO, and in between, filling in at WEWS/5 "NewsChannel 5". And we're pretty sure "Munch" wasn't with WKNR at the time of that program.

The regional Emmy awards are September 8th.

AND ANOTHER STO NOTE: OMW hears that some Dish Network subscribers are having trouble getting the new HD feed of SportsTime Ohio's Cleveland Indians games, which should be available on channel 381 - even if they have the proper HD equipment.

The problem?

STO and most of the regional sports networks recently added to Dish Network's lineup in HD are on a satellite that many don't even have a dish pointed at - at 129 degrees in the sky. That location could also preclude some folks from even getting it, due to obstructions.

We're told a call to Dish Network could help, in regards to getting a dish pointed in that direction (if you can get it from your location), but we're not a customer...

AND A COLUMBUS QUICKIE: Not many details on this, but OMW hears that Bernard Radio's WVKO/1580 Columbus is on the air from its new tower on Morse Road near a local apartment complex.

When it was on before, under the ownership of now-bankrupt Stop 26 Riverbend, WVKO had been airing a format aimed at the local African-American community - along with such other programming as the play-by-play of the AAA Columbus Clippers baseball team. That team has landed once again on North American Broadcasting standards WMNI/920 on weekends.

This time, it's apparently testing the signal by playing salsa music, which would be a companion to Bernard Radio sister station WVKO-FM/103.1's Regional Mexican format if it holds up as a permanent format.

The local radio rumor mill has tabbed the group LMAing the FM side as being behind the new AM format, but we haven't been able to confirm that...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Second Anniversary

We made a comment on an earlier item that our "second anniversary" has passed already.

On June 26, 2005, what started as a series of message board posts turned into this little blog. We call it, jokingly, the "Mighty Blog of Fun(tm)", which played off of a quip from a regular reader.

We had absolutely no idea what would happen in the following two years.

Since those humble beginnings, where the link to OMW got passed around between message board types and their friends, we can now honestly say that we believe this report is read in every major or minor broadcast/radio/TV/media location in Northeast Ohio and beyond, and often, by a large number of people at each location...including upper management, even.

And it continues to be surprising to us. Every single week, we get feedback from "big names" in local and national media. We honestly had no idea these people were reading.

When we put up items on local radio/TV people, we often hear from them for the first time.

And we've heard our own words read on local radio shows (usually prefaced with the words "a blog", as WNIR/100.1 evening host Tom Erickson did on Friday night). We've gotta tell you, that's an odd feeling to hear your own wording coming out of the radio.

We've broken some big local media stories here, including, for example, the end of WJW/8 "FOX 8"'s long-running "Big Chuck and Lil' John Show".

And that may be the oddest thing.

We watched the station's salute to the long career of show co-host "Big Chuck" Schodowski when it aired a few weeks ago.

Officially on the record here, we've never spoken, E-Mailed or otherwise communicated with Mr. Schodowski. Or for that matter, his long-time co-host, "Lil' John" Rinaldi. We aren't in a habit of revealing our sources, but we CAN say neither man has even contacted us to say hello.

So, it was with interest that we heard this line from Mr. Schodowski on the tribute show, after showing a clip of station executive Kevin Salyer playing a character in one of the show's skits:

"One of the extras in that production was Kevin Salyer, who has been several other skits with us over the years. Kevin started here over 25 years ago, as a tour guide, and he is now Vice President of Programming and Promotions. And Kevin Salyer, and recently promoted general manager Mike Renda, have been largely responsible for the continued existence of this show in recent years."

Hmm, sounds familiar. Still think we were making all that up?

Even if it wasn't your intent, thank you, "Big Chuck", for the nod.

Anyway, the media landscape has changed over the past few decades.

Back about 20 years ago, every newspaper had a regular TV/radio columnist who regularly covered the comings and goings of local media types,

From Dick Shippy to Bob Dyer to even Roger Brown, at least one person kept track of local TV and radio on a regular basis as their only beat.

But...it's all but gone now, in the local newspaper.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer has Julie Washington, who covers local media usually on Saturdays in the paper - and Fridays on Cleveland.com - but Ms. Washington has a lot of other items on her plate...including covering movie-industry-related news in Northeast Ohio. Sometimes, those news items even mix into her Saturday column on local media.

The Akron Beacon Journal hasn't had a regular media columnist with a clue since Bob Dyer - now a news columnist with a weekly transportation column - stopped writing about TV and radio many years ago.

The only remaining media-related feature in the Beacon Journal is by former movie critic and OMW reader George M. Thomas, who covers sports media once a week as a part of more general sportswriting duties.

Every once in a while, the Beacon throws a "radio/media beat" at a new intern or someone fresh out of college, a la University of Akron student Dan Kadar and Denise "WWVA In Stow" Grollmus. (She's probably getting sick of that joke by now.)

But Mr. Dyer was the last who did a general (non-sports-only) media column with any regularity, or certainly with any clue.

It's not just in Cleveland and Akron.

The San Jose Mercury News in California - oddly enough, once co-owned with the ABJ - recently dumped long-time media and music columnist Brad Kava. Kava has started his own blog, called "Kava's Radio Soup", where he brings forth the latest radio and media news in the Bay Area without getting a paycheck from the new owner of his former paper, MediaNews Group. (Or as he calls them, "Mediocre News Conglomerate".)

And really, honestly, why should the PD or the Beacon do a regular, more than once-a-week or so, media column anymore?

After all, we're here. Seriously. Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) has picked up the torch from Mr. Dyer et al.

The Internet has become home of a lot of different types of information, and that certainly includes coverage local TV and radio. The PD or the Beacon can write spot news items on "big" media news, and summarize stuff once a week.

So, we're happy to be here. We're thrilled to provide whatever service we do here.

It's difficult, because OMW is basically a very time-consuming, non-paying hobby for your Primary Editorial Voice(tm), and Real Life has a way of getting in the way much more often in recent months.

We're not here daily anymore, though we try to get an update in every couple or three days if possible, and try to get regular "breaking" news items up as soon as possible - despite that "real life" we mentioned taking most of our time. Those time constraints are also behind the fact that we don't use many graphics or pictures anymore...that just adds to the time it takes to craft our items.

And there's always the looming possibility that we might not be able to continue with this report down the road, for various reasons mostly beyond our control that we can't get into right now.

For now, we're here. So, please, be patient...and remember our slogan. "We give full refunds to unsatisfied customers." Except for one thing...

Why would we spend 41 cents to mail back an empty envelope? Heh.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Not A Dare Anymore

The co-host and "stunt guy" on a local radio morning show was sent to the hospital after one of his stunts unraveled.

Dominic Dieter, known simply by his last name on WKRI/92.3 "K-Rock"'s "Rover's Morning Glory", won't be doing his "Dare Dieter" stunts anymore. At least for a while.

WEWS/5 "NewsChannel 5" reports
that Dieter's stunt this morning - rolling down a hill while in a barrel - ended up hurting Mr. Dieter.

Host Shane "Rover" French told listeners and reporters that the lid came off the barrel while it was rolling down the 80-foot plus hill with his co-host inside. At that point, French said Dieter's head and shoulders came out of the open barrel, and Dieter "flopped around" (French's word).

Dieter was taken to a Cleveland hospital, where at last check, he was being checked in the emergency room. He'd complained of not being able to feel his feet after the barrel stopped rolling.

French told WEWS and other stations that the "Dare Dieter" segment is history.

Ummm...we're not sure we'd bet on that. And this is not Mr. Dieter's first turn at getting hurt doing his stunts...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Sharon Reed Shuffle?

Some of our readers have already noticed an anchor change at Raycom Cleveland CBS affiliate WOIO/19's "19 Action News".

The station has replaced long-time anchor David Wittman at 11 PM weekdays with Paul Joncich.

Joncich, of course, is the former anchor at Sacramento CBS affiliate KOVR/13 who first came to "Action News" to co-anchor weekends with former Chicago anchor Danielle Serino. He then moved to the 10 PM edition of "19 Action News" on sister MyNetworkTV outlet WUAB/43.

The TV industry gossip site NewsBlues quotes WOIO/WUAB general manager Bill Applegate as calling the move "a trial", and he insists the change is "not now permanent, and may never be". (Around here, we call that "NewsChannel 5 Style Anchor Shuffling".)

But the popular TV industry gossip site quotes "insiders" as saying the move may have been made in an effort to hang onto Sharon Reed.

NewsBlues placed the controversial anchor in Houston on a recent trip, where she's reportedly up for the morning anchor job at the FOX O&O there, KRIV/26. The site speculates that the station is moving around its male anchors - to pave the way for the station to more prominently feature Ms. Reed...

Thursday's Here

And in keeping with our schedule, this may be the last update until early next week. Please keep checking, though, in case of breaking items.

Or we could say something like - "At OMW, When News Breaks, We FedEx It Back And Wait For A Replacement"...

THE GLORIOUS NEW SET WORLD: We scratch our heads over this one.

In the two years we've been doing this - we missed our anniversary late last month! - we've seen very few topics that touch a hunger for information like the upcoming new set for FOX O&O WJW/8 "FOX 8" in Cleveland.

We've gotten E-Mail from all over. People want to see it. People want to know what it looks like.

We now know when it'll debut.

We haven't seen it here, but a number of readers say the station is teasing a July 16th unveiling, with promos hinting at the new "FOX 8" logo change...and since it is WJW, they're assuring viewers that the "same great people" are going to be there.

Considering the station's own 'up in the air" status re: the announced sale of the FOX O&Os in Cleveland and smaller markets, maybe that's needed more than ever.

But we will say that with a News Corporation deal to buy the Wall Street Journal apparently imminent, and even reported being complete in some apparently premature reports, we haven't heard Peep One locally or nationally about any potential buyer.

Even if the WSJ deal gets done, our gut feeling tells us that WJW may end up staying in the FOX family. (Not to be confused with the old FOX Family Channel, now owned by ABC.) It's just a feeling, folks.

Anyway, back to the set. The new "FOX 8 News" set, that is.

"FOX 8 News In The Morning" roving reporter Kenny Crumpton weighs in with a blog item posted earlier this week:

I think you guys will like the set. It looks just like the set we have in New York. We will do our first show from the set next week . Todd Meany will give you guys a tour of the set on the show. I can tell you it has lots of lights and cool camera shots.

It really looks something you would see in a bigger city. Everyone here is pretty happy about it.

Mr. "Kickin' It With Kenny" Crumpton tells readers that they're practicing on the new set this week in preparation for its launch.

Local TV news set design has always been rather muted compared to some of the larger markets, even nearby (like, say, Detroit). But in New York City, ABC O&O WABC/7 has long had a bare bones approach. It's the personalities that are larger than life, there.

On that "why is half of Northeast Ohio apparently interested in this topic" question: We guess it's because WJW has been something of a local TV touchstone for long-time local viewers, going back to the pre-FOX days as the market's long-time CBS affiliate, where it dominated with "NewsCenter 8" and the like for many, many years.

And a fear, perhaps, that FOX will dump the "Cleveland's Own" slogan and even philosophy entirely.

Fear not. Look how long it took a certain long-time late night movie/sketch show to be nudged off the station's stage by FOX corporate brass in NYC...

WELCOME TO STO HD, DISH NETWORK FOLKS: Now, both major satellite providers are offering HD games from local regional sports network SportsTime Ohio.

STO's HD Indians games are available starting now, says a release from the folks at Dish Network, on that service's channel 381.

DirecTV has been carrying STO games in HD for some time, but we believe DirecTV subscribers need to have the MPEG-4 receiver/dish required to pick up the local HD over-air channels (WKYC/3, WEWS/5, WJW/8 and WOIO/19).

We have also never been able to nail down what channel the HD STO/Indians games air on DirecTV, so if anyone could clarify this as a comment to this post, it'd be helpful. One of our readers has been asking about it, and we don't have a "test case" for him.

One difference here: As far as we know, Dish Network is concentrating on national channels, and has not added a large number of markets' local channels in HD - including here in the Cleveland market.

Since we are tied to the good folks at Time Warner Cable, we'll let others answer some of these questions for us...

"AKRON IDOL 2"?: We haven't heard much of the activity surrounding Akron market talk WNIR/100.1 "The Talk of Akron" and its effort to replace former morning drive co-host Maggie Fuller.

But we did hear someone using the name Sally Ride on the show otherwise co-hosted by Stan Piatt, Steve French and Jim Midock the other day.

Someone help us with this - wasn't there a Cleveland-based traffic reporter using that rather obvious "traffic name" a few years ago? We don't know if that's her, or not, and we can't remember which station(s) the Cleveland "Sally" was on. (At least she didn't use the name "Holly Copter", which was stuck on female traffic reporters for years at sports talk WKNR....)

At least she'd be a professional radio person, if it was that "Sally Ride". At times, we're not sure if the folks at "Broadcast Park" have any idea how to hire outside radio pros who have no existing connection with the station.

As for Ms. Fuller, we're reminded that she has expressed an interest in returning to the airwaves, somewhere, on her own website. We'll have to assume that'd have to be somewhere outside of Akron, for presumed non-compete reasons...

DOVER/NEW PHILLY TV: OMW hears from readers in the Dover/New Philadelphia area that the local cable TV programming operation is back on Time Warner Cable channel 2.

The channel is now being run by a Tuscarawas County outlet called Prestige Creative Marketing and is called "PCM TV". We're told it runs news and weather crawls, some video, and news updates from WJER/1450. (We're not sure what runs on the video portion, though.)

Then-Adelphia channel 2 went "dark" for local programming when the previous operator ended its run producing the channel's local output.

The new "PCM TV" replaces a simulcast of WKYC/3's "NBC Weather Plus" feed, which continues on digital cable channel 183.

And for whatever reason, we're told that the WKYC-produced "Akron/Canton News" has disappeared from the TWC Tuscarawas County system - at least according to our reader, who says infomercials have taken over the channel once used for the Akron-based newscast, channel 72. Perhaps it'll show up somewhere else on another channel...if it has not already...

NEW SITE: And finally, a short one...OMW hears that NextMedia Canton talk WHBC/1480 "NewsTalk 1480" has a new website.

It bears the station's new logo and other features, including news, and a promise of both live Internet streaming and podcasting.

OMW hears that a live 1480 stream is due very soon, along with the other new features...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

DVR ALERT: PBS 45/49 Special On Akron TV News

We actually got a tip to this earlier, but hadn't gotten around to posting until now...just two hours before the show airs.

WNEO/45-WEAO/49 "PBS 45 & 49" will air a special tonight, Tuesday, at 9 PM titled "Akron, Ohio: The City Where Commercial Television News Went Black".

We'll presume it delves, in-depth, into the saga most of our readers probably know well...the end of local news on then-ABC affiliate WAKC/23 (nee' WAKR-TV), which eventually got sold to the PAX TV folks and was stripped of its news and ABC affiliation.

The saga continued, as with help from the city of Akron, local over-air TV news was reborn as "PAX 23 News", produced by WKYC/3 from a new bureau in the heart of downtown Akron.

That newscast went off the over-air signal last year, when PAX TV's agreement with WKYC parent Gannett Broadcasting (and many other companies running PAX affiliates) ended.

And to complete the story, of course, the newscast still airs on cable on Time Warner Cable channel 23 - or channel 15 in some of the western Akron suburbs on systems formerly owned by Adelphia.

And to close all the loose ends, WKYC/3 Akron-Canton Bureau chief Eric Mansfield, who helms the "Akron/Canton News" operation on TWC as anchor, is also the newly minted host of... 45/49's own "NewsNight Akron" weekly news roundtable discussion program.

Whew. We trust it's all covered in the PBS 45 & 49 special, and in case you miss it, it'll re-air at 3 AM Saturday, July 14th. Now, THAT time calls for a "DVR Alert"...

Enough To Publish

Aside from our own time issues, we sometimes aren't here because there's nothing to publish. That certainly isn't the case this early Tuesday morning...

ANNOUNCEMENT FEVER: Why do at least two local radio stations find Tuesday morning a good time to announce things?

That's what Good Karma sports WKNR/850 "ESPN 850"'s "Rizzo on the Radio", and Akron market talker WNIR/100.1 "The Talk of Akron" have done...picked the late Tuesday morning time slot to make on-air announcements.

WNIR's, which we believe we heard was at 10 AM...could it be a new female co-host to replace former host Maggie Fuller? Folks who've tuned into WNIR more than we have this week tell us they've auditioned women on the air...at least two, by our count.

That would certainly answer the question about WNIR replacing Ms. Fuller, or sticking with the three men (Stan Piatt, sports director Steve French and news director Jim Midock) as the only hosts.

Our thought: if it's a money issue at Broadcast Park on Route 59 in Portage County, that whoever replaces Maggie Fuller will be someone with no broadcast experience and not being paid much.

It sure has worked before...

AND OVER AT WKNR: We don't even have a guess as to what "ESPN 850 WKNR" mid-morning host Tony Rizzo has planned for HIS announcement, which we believe is at 11 AM today.

We'd pick the ever popular "third hour" guess, but we don't see either a reduction in hours for ESPN's "Mike & Mike" or Premiere's Jim Rome.

And no, Rizzo's WJW/8 "FOX 8" pals Big Chuck & Lil' John aren't going to be regular co-hosts, even if their long-running TV show is now history.

Hmm. The person who guesses "Who Said That?" gets a car? John Shaver is found, and becomes a regular on the show? A video simulcast of "Rizzo on the Radio" via WJW's myfoxcleveland.com, much like Rizzo's current Internet-only webcast on the station's site?

Got us...we're just guessing.

Of course, Rizzo is returning after a long-vacation on Tuesday's show. The King of All Sports Media has said that his vacation time will basically be nil on both TV and radio after he gets back, with the busy sports season ahead the rest of the year.

Subbing for him most of the past few days on WKNR has been the previous occupant of the mid-morning time slot, Greg Brinda.

We were wondering - why isn't another former WHK/1420 sports format talker doing any more fill-in for Rizzo?

We're talking about, of course, FSN Ohio and Time Warner Cable host Les Levine ("Cleveland Rants", "More Sports and Les Levine"). To us, he'd seem the natural fill-in, particularly with his shared run with Mr. Rizzo at "The Large One, The Giant" in the 1990's.

But we don't know Les' schedule outside of the two TV shows...

SPEAKING OF TIME WARNER CABLE: Since we posted an item about the "Big Ten Network", that new cable/satellite channel has kept us in their mailing list loop, though we're not entirely sure they don't think we're some sort of Ohio State fan club.

Anyway, not long ago, "BTN" crowed about its wide amount of cable carriage among various Ohio systems...a list that conspicuously left out Time Warner Cable.

Aside from the fact that TWC was actually involved with SportsTime Ohio in its startup over a year ago, the list reminded us of the STO press releases last year, which conveniently didn't note any carriage by the major satellite providers. (BTN has already done a DirecTV deal, no word on Dish Network.)

So, wither the Big Ten Network, if you care enough to have it on local cable?

It appears the BTN folks are going through the same thing the NFL Network went through with TWC and other large providers.

BTN thinks their product is crucial to the Ohio State universe, and TWC believes it's a niche channel.

We put a bug in the ear of local Time Warner Cable official Bill Jasso, who many of us still remember as a newsman at the old WHLO/640 in Akron. (News/talk format, 1970's version.)

Mr. Jasso nails it for us, from the TWC end:

The big issue is they want $1.10 per customer AND carriage on the expanded basic tier. That would make them the second most expensive channel behind ESPN...for a niche channel with no track record.

This is no news, really - we've already reported the $1.10 figure and BTN's desire to be on expanded basic, and TWC's stance on such things (a digital "sports tier" placement, in particular) is well known.

But Jasso, like many, expects more serious negotiations as we approach 30 days before the network's launch in late August. Whether that leads to anything remains to be seen.

We've said this before...it's hard to argue with TWC's point. Particularly in the most rabid Ohio Big Ten market of all, Columbus, where Time Warner has the largest number of cable subscribers...give or take a few Insight customers.

There, many of the kinds of OSU sports programming you'll see on BTN are already carried on that new Columbus regional sports network, (W)CSN, a low-power TV station/sports network professionally run, and already carried on TWC's system in Central Ohio. Maybe not game-for-game, but certainly the ancillary "Buckeyes Shows".

In fact, we're kind of wondering if the CSN folks are leverage in TWC's corner because of this... CSN is presumably not asking a buck-ten per subscriber, or anything, from Time Warner Cable...

THAT'S STUDIO LIFE: OMW does not yet have a date for the debut of FOX O&O WJW/8 "FOX 8"'s new news set on South Marginal Road.

But we think we have a sign it's coming soon.

We heard a promo for FOX 8 mid-morning local host Robin Swoboda's "That's Life" - "on the road" this week from various locations.

OMW readers already know that "FOX 8 News" has squeezed much of its existing set into the studio used by Swoboda's show while the new set is being built.

And by "squeezed", we mean that literally...in the past couple of weeks, we've seen a plethora of arms and elbows on either side of the station's anchors on our HDTV set. (SD viewers won't see this.) Presumably, there's not enough room for all four to sit next to each other without getting arms into the widescreen shot.

So, and this is only a guess, it would appear the next week or so will give the folks on South Marginal time to move out the old news set, replace the set for "That's Life" in its original home studio, and debut the sparkling new news set.

Just a guess....again...but maybe Sunday night? We could be wrong...as always...

Friday, July 06, 2007

RUMBLINGS: Sharon Reed To Houston?

We mark this item very clearly as "gossip", but it's from a good source for such things.

An alert OMW reader tipped us off that the popular industry gossip site NewsBlues is reporting Sharon Reed sightings in Houston.

The anchor/reporter for Raycom Media's WOIO/19 "19 Action News" was apparently seen, according to the NB folks, being "squired around" the studios of FOX Houston O&O KRIV/29, which has a vacant morning anchor slot. The item says Reed would appear to be "in line" for that position.

NB or OMW have no word on if the FOX outlet in market #10 called her on her World Famous Personal Cell Phone to bring her out to Texas...

OK, we couldn't resist. Please try to show as much restraint in your comments as we have in this item...


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Post-Holiday Fill

Some other stuff that's popped up, and we're getting around to adding on this Thursday:

REPOSITORY MANAGING EDITOR TO WKSU: We actually saw the headline on one of the local news websites, about Canton Repository managing editor M.L. Schultze leaving the paper - recently purchased by GateHouse.

What we didn't know is her destination.

The Repository itself reports that Schultze is leaving the newspaper later this month to become news director of Kent-based NPR outlet WKSU/89.7.

The article on her departure reveals that she has three years of radio experience in her past, in Canton, before she was hired as education reporter for the Rep back in 1982. We don't know what station, though...we'd presume WHBC/1480, but we'll assume there were actually other newsrooms in the Canton market back then.

Former editor David C. Kaminski, who just left the paper, will return temporarily while GateHouse looks for a replacement for Schultze.

Schultze will be working with new WKSU program director Mark Urycki, a former news reporter who recently rejoined the station to run the programming department. He got a nice profile in a recent edition of the campus newspaper The Daily Kent Stater.

Oh, and yes, we'll be watching the comments section. Keep your comments professional, please...

FIREWORKS: Like most folks in Northeast Ohio's populated areas, we got our fill of local fireworks Wednesday...many coming from those "doing their own".

But we did also check in with WEWS/5's two-hour long "Rockin' The River" two-hour long prime-time fireworks special, hosted on-site by the station's now-main anchor team, Ted Henry and Danita Harris.

Like many of these "special events", it's as much a chance for the station to showcase its talent as it is a televised fireworks show.

To that end, "NewsChannel 5" prominently noted Ted and Danita's presence in promotions for the show. It got to the point that even Ms. Harris herself laughed when someone jokingly called it "The Ted and Danita Show" earlier in the day.

It was also a cross-promotion for CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1, which provided the "radio soundtrack" for the music.

But since we didn't catch it on our HDTV set, we'll assume it was mostly not in HD. Ted and Danita were down in the Flats doing the show, and WEWS doesn't have remote HD broadcast capability. Only one station in the market can do HD out of the studio - WJW/8's "SkyFOX HD"...

WHILE WE'RE IN HD LAND: Viewers of Kent-based public TV outlets WNEO/45-WEAO/49 "PBS 45 & 49" have been enjoying the 24/7 PBS HD feed if they're tuning in via WNEO-DT or WEAO-DT for the past few days.

But for the moment, they aren't able to get the regular, upconverted 45/49 analog feed via the station's digital transmitters.

OMW hears that the station is working to fix a malfunctioning piece of equipment. Since the PBS HD feed is live, off the satellite, it can be put on the air without much intervention from the station...and thus, for the moment, it's the only thing on WNEO-DT or WEAO-DT.

We hear that the station hopes to fix it soon...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Quick Hits

We hinted at this earlier, but we're still in "sporadic/as we can" mode when it comes to updating this report. We'll continue to be on that schedule until further notice, but we apologize for being away since late last week.

Some quick hits to hold you over...

OVERNIGHT CHANGES: If you're up in the middle of the night, you'll have one less spot on the radio dial to hear George Noory, host of Premiere Radio's ubitquous overnight show "Coast to Coast AM".

Clear Channel talk WHLO/640 Akron has removed itself from that rather lengthy list of affiliates, and is now running Talk Radio Networks' new late-night show hosted by Phil Hendrie.

Yes, the same one. But in this incarnation, Hendrie is not doing the "fake call setup" routine - where he'd bring on a "guest" that was a comedic character done entirely by him in a character voice.

The new Hendrie show sounds like (from the description) that it'll be more of a standard issue show for conservative talk stations, give or take a voice or two still coming out of the fertile vocal cords of Mr. Hendrie.

WHLO airs Hendrie from 2-6 AM, on a slight delay from his live feed (we believe that's 1-4 AM ET). His previous program only ever aired in Northeast Ohio on Clear Channel sister talker WKBN/570 Youngstown.

In case you miss Noory's show on WHLO, just flip the dial over to 50,000 watt Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 Cleveland, or one of approximately a dozen other spots on the nighttime AM band that carry the show, and reach Northeast Ohio at night...

OH, AND WHILE WE'RE IN UFO LAND: We saw word that the inventor of "Coast to Coast AM", Art Bell, is...umm...retiring. Again.

Bell has been doing weekend editions of the show, and has already once retired from THAT gig, and twice from the main weekday show. So, we think this makes it Art Bell's Fourth Retirement from "Coast to Coast" in some form.

Bell notes that he wants to spend more time with his wife and family...

THIS...IS CNN IN CANTON: CNN's TV news operation has spent a lot of time in the Canton area recently, due to the highly-publicized Jessie Davis disappearance-turned-murder case.

CNN Radio now has a home in the Hall of Fame City, as Melodynamic talk/religious WCER/900 Canton has now picked up the network. It replaces USA Radio on the station.

CNN Radio is also heard on various other local radio outposts, including Dix country WQKT/104.5-oldies WKVX/960 Wooster, due to it being carried by the former Westwood One (now Dial-Global) 24/7 satellite music channels. And ABC 24/7 formats carry that network's news as well...

AND SPEAKING OF ABC FORMATS: An effortless segue into a confirmation of a rumor we'd heard a while back.

BAS Broadcasting classic rock WOHF/92.1 Bellevue OH (near Sandusky) has flipped formats to oldies, keeping the name "92-1 The Wolf".

The station is now running ABC's "Pure Gold" 24/7 oldies format (known on-air as "Oldies Radio"), though it's positioning as "Classic Rock and Roll".

From an article in the Norwalk Reflector newspaper:

The new 92.1 The Wolf is a mass-appeal station directed right at the 35- to 64-year-old Baby Boomers and is the only format of its kind in the "quint counties" (Sandusky, Ottawa, Erie, Huron and Seneca) served by the station.

BAS runs ABC's "Hits and Favorites" AC format on two other stations, in Fremont and Mount Vernon, both bearing the "Eagle" banner.

ABC Radio Networks' 24/7 formats, along with all ABC Radio operations except ESPN Radio and Radio Disney, are now under the Citadel umbrella. ABC News Radio is produced for Citadel by ABC's news division...

DINGED: We're not sure where we spotted this a while back, but we did.

Gannett's WKYC/3 Cleveland has been dinged by the FCC for a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) of $10,000, for "failing to publicize the existence and location of its Children’s Television Programming Reports". Apparently, the local NBC affiliate didn't run those little brief announcements you see in children's programming, telling people to come on down to the station and read the reports.

It's not the first time a local station has been under the FCC's scrutiny for children's programming-related incidents.

We seem to recall that Winston Broadcasting CW affiliate WBNX/55 Akron has pointed out repeatedly its efforts to overcome problems in this area, including accidental airing of commercial product programming in so-called "E/I" shows it is provided by syndicators...