Tuesday, July 10, 2007

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...

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

July 16 is debut of new Fox 8 set

Anonymous said...

Les had a nasty fall and tore his acl/mcl. His show on Time Warner has had a co-host over the past two weeks.

Anonymous said...

I know who the who said that is and I am not allowed to tell.

Anonymous said...

ATTENTION OMW STOP THE RUMORS!!!!

WNIR/MAGGIE FULLER NOT A MONEY ISSUE,SHE DECIDED TO RESIGN. STATION DOING ANOTHER "AKRON IDOL" TO FIND FEMALE

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

OMW never said that Maggie leaving was a money.

OMW did say that a replacement for her may be a money issue. Which it is for every small broadcaster, and certainly is for WNIR, almost to a point of self-parody.

Anonymous said...

KNR's big deal seems to be a special broadcast on July 30 to support the USO.

Anonymous said...

Could Rizzo's announcement have to do with Dan Patrick's leaving ESPN? Maybe Rizzo gets an expanded show? Or Munch?

Anonymous said...

Rizz will do a 3 hour "Rizzo Show for the USO" July 30th from 9a-12N - details TBD but Rizz and Hammer will be collecting goods to send to the troops over seas

Anonymous said...

SNORE....ZZZZZZzzzzzz

Anonymous said...

Who cares about Dave Pignelli...what a bore and a snore!

Anonymous said...

CBS Radio seems to be on the move. Making changes quickly in the larger markets... wonder when the changes will occur in Cleveland??

Anonymous said...

July 16 you say but which newscast will it debut on?

HushBimbo said...

WNIR ran that phony "Akron idol" to replace joe finan.. yet word is they had bob golic picked out all along..

shame as bob golic is about as boring as lars larson is

The King said...

This morning I heard just a bit of Sally Ride, one of the women auditioning for the Maggie job. WNIR should look no further. Sally is bright, funny, articulate - and has radio experience (traffic - hence the name). Plus she's hot! They won't do any better.

Anonymous said...

Leave Golic alone......or you will have to answer to Screech.

Anonymous said...

(Contrary to the story posted here indicating 2 women have tried out) A 4th wheel working under the name "Sally Ride" has been on the air both Monday and Tuesday on WNIR's Morning Show.

According to the on-air mentions, this will be a 6 week process but it is not clear if that means 6 different one week long female "tryouts".

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, I hope we get to see the new set soon. And I hope more changes will be made to the weather center, all they did is put some new TVs on the wall and left the old map wallpaper. The people are squeezed in on the old 5pm news set(which actually used to be the morning show set)http://junior.apk.net/~rgaier/Assets/Fox8.jpg

It's great that FOX8 is finally getting a new set, they had the old one since the 90s.

Anonymous said...

FOX8 set update: http://community.myfoxcleveland.com/blogs/kickkencrum/2007/07/10/New_set

According to Kenny, they are practicing how the show will be done on the new set and we will see it next week with a tour by Todd Meany

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see the new set/new graphics & presentation for Fox 8. Who knows, there should be many people running their VCRs and DVRs next week and uploading the tapes on YouTube!

Ironically, with the 45/49 special on the death of WAKC just this night, the converse situation thankfully exists with WJW. They have solid ownership (hopefully, for the foreseeable future) in FTSC with deep resources to give an upgrade that's comparable to the major markets like NY, Philly and LA (a sentiment shared by Kenny Crumpton in his blog).

It will be sad to see the "Cleveland's Own" image go (hopefully, not completely), and WJW now will look like the other Fox O&O's. My hope is that WJW will still try to retain much of the identity that has made them one of the top Fox affils in the country.

- Nathan Obral

Anonymous said...

It does not matter who is the new cohost on WNIR. Whoever it is will not be a member of the "Boys Club" and will have all their comments ignored or scoffed at.

Anonymous said...

On the subject of FOX8, after the All Star game before the news, I saw a commercial that showed the old FOX8 logo and the new logo, I was out of the room and didnt get to hear if there was a voice over.

Anonymous said...

There was an ad saying that the new set and look will begin on Monday, there was no voice over, just the old "Fox 8" logo wripping in half and the new one appearing.

Anonymous said...

what do you mean "who cares about Dave Pignanelli?" The guy is a talented newsman, He did great work for both NPR and WCPN. he covered a lot of NASA shuttle launch activity and did a great job. He had the WCPN newsroom up and running with WTAM for a few years, before management pulled the rug out from under him.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully someone got a tape of that commerical and can post it on YouTube...I missed it and would like to see it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon. 11:32 pm.When I occasionally dropped into that show, I noticed that often Maggie would make some very clever, funny comments and the three bean heads would continue with their sophomoric prattle and act like she wasn't there.(and I'm a guy)

Anonymous said...

SALLY RIDE THE CURRENT CONTESTANT IN THE MAGGIE FULLER MORINING SHOW FEMALE REPLACEMENT SWEEPSTAKES LAUGHS TOO MUCH..VERY EAR-RITATING

Anonymous said...

Maggie was a great host. Probably on of the best Akron will see for sometime. WNIR really should have tried to keep her. It is too bad that the WNIR wealth is not spread around at the station to everyone. We have to suffer as a result without Maggie.

Nobody could take her spot - Foolish Owners.

Anonymous said...

From what I've heard from people at WNIR there are all sorts of issues there. Low Salarys, No Retirement, The boss their makes them work 6 days a week, rotating holidays off. And that's not even considering the fact that Stan doesn't ever let anyone else talk. He let's his ego get in the way, talks to much about sex and things that happened 40 years ago. They needed to boot him and keep Maggie, with Steve and Jim. And the boss should quit making them work Saturdays. Who else in radio works 6 days a week. That's why my (female) friend who was going to apply for the job is staying away from there.

Anonymous said...

I saw the commercial at 5pm, it said same great team, new look coming July 16. It was done similar to the SKYFOX HD commercials a few months back.
It looks like they are using the same letter 8 in the new logo, not the new one on the web

Anonymous said...

Maggie was the shell that held the nuts together in the squirrel cage....or was that Stan?

Anonymous said...

Sally Ride has a face for radio (Maggie is hotand single) and she is not going to get the job.

The WNIR morning position is not a job, it is a sentence. Maybe Maggie was "released" for good behavior!

Anonymous said...

>>Who else in radio works 6 days a week.<<

Music FM airstaff.

For example, Action Jackson on WMJI.

Anonymous said...

I thin Maggie needs to stop postng about herself here.

Best in Akron? Come on please. The WNIR morning show has been getting solid ratings for years. Plus the sales guys SELL Stan. Live ads, remotes, appearances. Love 'em or hate 'em, here's good.

And for the person that said WNIR doesn't pay well if that is true why does no one ever leave? Stan, Steve, Jim, Howie, Phil Ferguson have been there for years. Finan left to try to retire, Jim Albight couldn't talk to idiots anymore. Had nothing to do with money.

Anonymous said...

I got the WJW promo's about the set on my DVR... I will upload them to YouTube tonight... They are from the HD feed of WJW so there will be gray bars at top and bottom..

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZB1X6p86sM

Anonymous said...

Maggie and Jim are the reason for listening. Stan is anitquated, and without Steve's ranting, you'd hardley know he's there.

Ohio Media Watch said...

A message consisting almost entirely of personal attacks and rumors has been deleted, and this item has been closed for comment.

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--The Management