...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...