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...