We start off this week with an update or two, a musing or two, and other stuff...
SANDY'S OUT: Here's an item that showed up on AllAccess late last week, but we didn't get to it yet...
SAGA COMMUNICATIONS AC WSNY (SUNNY 95)/COLUMBUS, OH midday jock SANDY BENNETT exits. She is replaced by sister station Smooth Jazz WJZA midday talent TRISHA MOORE.
Of course, Sandy also has history in the Cleveland market, at stations like WMJI/105.7 and the old "Jammin' 92" (then-WZJM/92.3, now CBS Radio alt-rocker WKRI "K-Rock").
OMW has no word why Sandy is no longer at "Sunny", or if she has landed or will land somewhere else, but we'll pass it along if we find out...
A REMINDER: Today is the scheduled day for the takeover of the former Clear Channel Ashtabula market stations (WFUN/WREO/WYBL/WZOO/WFXJ) by Tom Embrescia's "Sweet Home Ashtabula".
We'll have our ears pointed to the northeast, and hope listeners in the market tell us about any immediate changes to any of the five stations - though we don't expect any major overhaul on Day One.
And going back through our own older items, we reminded ourselves (nice trick) that Mr. Embrescia's son Matt is indeed listed as president for the company.
One point we didn't make earlier.
We don't know what plans either Embrescia has to expand the company beyond the new Ashtabula cluster. (The MediaOne cluster up in Jamestown NY and environs is owned by another family member.)
But don't let the Ashtabula-only operating company name fool you. It's a 100% owned subsidiary of Tom Embrescia's Cleveland-based Second Generation, Ltd., according to FCC records...
FUND RAISING: The folks at Clear Channel Cleveland hot AC outlet WMVX/106.5 pass along the final total for the station's "Brian and Joe Rainbow Radiothon", an effort to raise money for Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.
"Mix 106.5" morning drivers Brian and Joe, and the rest of the WMVX crew, raised $537,000 for the Cleveland pediatric hospital.
The station morning duo hit the airwaves from Rainbow for 12 hours a day for three days late last week to bring in the cash...
FOOTBALL FLINGING: Sunday's jaw-dropping 51-45 win by the Cleveland Browns over the Cincinnati Bengals was the first Browns game of the season not to be broadcast in HDTV format by CBS, the NFL's carrier of games broadcast from AFC teams' home stadiums.
CBS is not yet to the point where they'll broadcast all weekly games in HD. But in 2007, they'll do all but one or two games in the format on most weeks. (Considering the Browns' performance last week, could anyone blame them for putting today's game on the "no HD" list?)
In 2008, from what we've heard, all NFL games will be in HD. And even later this year, as games start being seen on other networks, more games will be in HD on CBS.
After the Browns wrapped up their improbable win Sunday, CBS' second doubleheader game (New York Jets vs. Baltimore Ravens) was also in not in HD.
But you can blame local CBS affiliate WOIO/19 for that, as the game was broadcast nationally in the HD format. Someone at Reserve Square A) apparently wasn't aware of that, B) just didn't care, or C) had some sort of technical glitch preventing them from making the switch after the Browns game ended.
Which would YOU bet on, if you were us? This is the station, after all, that was rumored to be the last local station to broadcast news in HD...a plan/decision/thought that never took hold.
From what we saw of the Browns game today, it was even blurrier than can be expected in standard definition.
And once we saw a dual legal ID super (the upconverted analog ID with the digital "Cleveland's CBS 19-1" ID next to it), it became clear that WOIO was actually upconverting its own SD signal directly, not sending down the network digital, but non-HD, signal...which is probably a good reason it looked even worse than normal. It probably saved them on staff somehow, though.
One other problem has reared its ugly head for HDTV sports watchers on that station.
Last week's Browns/Steelers game was in HD on CBS. But the game was plagued not just with poor play by the local NFL team...the CBS broadcast on WOIO-DT was indeed in HD, but full of more macroblocking and motion sickness than any 1080i game we've ever seen. It was almost unwatchable when anything was moving.
We hear from an OMW reader that it looks like WOIO did not reduce the bandwidth to its "WeatherNow" subchannel (WOIO-DT 19.2) during the game last Sunday, like it has apparently done in the past.
Meanwhile, over at NBC affiliate WKYC/3, they DID throttle back the bandwidth on their "NBC WeatherPlus" subchannel (WKYC-DT 3.2). That made the network's Sunday Night Football MUCH easier to watch than Browns/Steelers earlier that day.
Sometimes, we wonder how programming even shows up in color on Channel 19...by far, the worst-looking TV station in the Cleveland market as far as picture quality goes...in HDTV, SDTV or any other definition...