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.'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 - 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.