Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thursday Collection

Some updates, some speculation, and some mea culpa from your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm)...

SHE'S IN: As reported here late Tuesday night, former local TV anchor Stefani Schaefer is back in Northeast Ohio, taking an apparently new position on WJW/8's FOX 8 News In The

UPDATE: The station has posted information about her return, and video from the announcement, here.

It's a return to the area, and a return to the very show she was on in the mid-1990's.

Stefani was the "big announcement at 8 AM" - which, in true TV style, was made in the last 10 minutes of the hour on Wednesday morning (gotta keep those viewers watching!). She told viewers she hadn't even sold her house in Cleveland - where her family has moved in again - while doing "iVillage Live" for NBC's owned-and-operated stations.

Schaefer will be on the air for only two hours of "FOX 8 News In The Morning", in the 7-9 AM segment...the one where WJW's popular local program competes with the three big network morning shows on NBC, ABC and CBS. (OK, maybe two and a half.)

And our "mea culpa".

Our item posted Tuesday night on her return to FOX 8 had a number of errors, which were corrected Wednesday morning.

* No, Stefani wasn't on "Good Morning Cleveland" - as our original item on her departure from WEWS accurately reported, she was on "Live on Five". But we'd tabbed her to "GMC" in at least one other item, which we've also now corrected.

* As far as we know, her first name is NOT spelled "Stephanie", though we have seen Google references to items on her with that spelling as well.

By some of the private brickbats we received from overheated anonymous readers, our "poor reporting" was responsible for mass illness and panic across newsrooms in Northeast Ohio, or something of the sort.

Though we do extend our apologies to the NewsBlues folks, who picked up our item with the above errors just minutes before we made the proper corrections, we do have to make a point here.

This blog is not the Cleveland Plain Dealer. We're not connected to the Akron Beacon Journal, or any other professional publication.

OMW is basically a hobby, as we've said more than once, without benefit of proofreaders or a large editorial staff. We are also free, like good things in life are supposed to be.

We also strive to be as accurate as possible. Please note: "as possible".

If we mess something up, tell us, and we'll fix it at our earliest convenience.

We're not responsible for making you "look bad" by posting our items, or items based on our items, in your newsroom. If you're not happy, please contact OMW's financial office for a full refund of every penny you've paid us.

And we wonder why we even do this...

SHE'S ALSO IN: Like a comfortable blanket on a chilly day (no, not a wet one), WNIR/100.1 morning co-host Maggie Fuller has indeed returned to the show she left in June, the station's morning drive show with Stan Piatt, Steve French and Jim Midock.

And though we don't check in with the WNIR morning crew a lot, we did catch a little of her return on Monday - and it's like she never left. That appeared to be a "good thing" for regular listeners and callers, who were welcoming her back.

Piatt himself welcomed back his once-and-again co-host on his website:

WNIR Morning Show gang reunited

September 10, 2007

Pick your song:

Reunited - Peaches and Herb
Welcome Back - John Sebastian
Return to Sender - Elvis Presley

After 8 weeks away and multiple "replacement" trials, Maggie Fuller has returned to the WNIR Morning Show.

Maggie, it's great to have you right back where you belong!

OMW hears that at least one of the women who took part in those tryout shows, former Cleveland radio personality Sally Ride (WDOK/Metro Traffic/etc.), is still out there looking for on-air work...

AND IT'S FIXED: OMW reported a while back on a tip from Akron Beacon Journal sportswriter George M. Thomas, a long-time reader of This Space who told us that the new AT&T U-verse system did indeed carry the first week of the Big Ten Network - but not the Ohio State-Youngstown State opening contest.

AT&T's new cable TV competitor had apparently not made arrangements to carry BTN's "overflow" channel. While attempting to record OSU-YSU back home while he covered the game from Ohio Stadium, Mr. Thomas returned home to a DVR with the Michigan-Appalachian State upset instead of Buckeyes-Penguins.

The item George started here ended up finished in his own "Airing It Out" column, which has continued since he started as the Buckeyes beat reporter for the Beacon.

Mr. Thomas confirms something we heard in comments here: The "glitch" was fixed for AT&T U-verse subscribers (George is on a 30 day trial) last weekend, with the OSU-Akron Zips game and other non-primary BTN contests carried on "overflow" channels.

(And another "glitch" has been fixed by the folks at the ABJ's - the link to find George's writing now works! Until recently, it's been bringing up an empty page.)

AND WHILE WE'RE ON THE BTN: The new cable/satellite network's pitch to Big Ten fans hasn't diminished.

We continue to see the custom TV spot for Ohio, with Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel being a "company man", urging viewers to call the BTN toll-free number - where, if it's like the NFL Network, they likely get pitches to sign up for DirecTV and Dish Network. The latter satellite provider also just signed a pact with the Big Ten Network folks.

But, of course, Time Warner Cable hasn't - and that by far covers the largest chunk of Ohio cable subscribers.

Don't expect much change.

For one, the next Ohio State Game, the Big Ten opener with Northwestern on Saturday, will be on ESPN. Even if there are a lot of OSU fans clamoring to see that opener, it'll be on the nation's most widely available sports network - which has been carried on Time Warner Cable and its predecessors since nearly its inception.

Though it would seem possible that one or maybe two Ohio State games may end up being snatched by BTN - if the other networks pass them up - most of them will air on ABC or ESPN.

This, again, reminds of us of the NFL Network urging fans to call a toll-free number to "get" the network...when there weren't any games on the network's schedule at the time of the commercial's airing...

AND ONE FINAL NOTE: This is one that flew up the AllAccess Net News scroll the other day - so fast, that we missed it.

The popular trade website reported that Clear Channel rock WRQK/106.9 Canton, now officially in the company's hands, was one of the latest stations the company applied to put in the "Aloha Station Trust."

That's the resting place for stations Clear Channel is moving off its books, to pave the way for the eventual sale of the company (we THINK that's still in the works) to private equity funds.

"Rock 106.9", known for most of its life as "Rock 107", joins all of the Oak Tree-based Clear Channel Cleveland FMs in the list of stations "flipped" to the secretive trust.

The prevailing opinion in this corner, and among most folks we trust, opinion-wise, is that the move doesn't necessarily mean the stations are tabbed for exit from either Oak Tree or Freedom Avenue, the Jackson Township building now housing WRQK.

We'd still guess that this was a wide shot meant to reduce the overall bulk of Clear Channel, to speed along the deal for federal regulators. Then, we'd assume that the new CC ownership would "keep" as many stations as they could fit, ownership-limit-wise...give or take a new set of "eyes" deciding to cast aside assorted stations for other reasons.

From this vantage point, speculation that stations like WGAR, WMJI, WMMS, WMVX or WRQK are headed out of Clear Channel's domain at ANY point is premature. We'd take the bet that they don't even move one Prophet computer out of their current homes...


74WIXYgrad said...

Why do you keep doing this? It's because you have a passion for what you do, and the "brickbats" are from a very vocal minority who know they can't do as good of a job as you.

Keep up the good work.


chuck said...

Who is Stefani married to? I heard it was Fratello. No?

Man is she HOTT!

trivisashill said...

Maybe you can't have it both ways?

I mean, if you're not patting yourself on the back for breaking news, or letting us know how many newsrooms in town read the blog, then you're reminding everyone how you're just a humble hobbyist who passively enjoys watching the industry.

I don't care if indulge in a little self-congratulating (though I may start calling you Triv Jr. :)), but don't act like a top industry news source and then complain when someone else takes what you say as coming from a top industry news source.

Ohio Media Watch said...

"trivisashill" (funny name :D) -

You make a valid point or three.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that most of our references about the breadth of readership, our ability to break media news stories, etc., are firmly tongue in cheek from this corner.

Yes, we have a lot of readership here. We've said more than once that we're still dumbfounded, and amazed, at who reads this thing.

And yes, we break a lot of local media-related stories. Dozens and dozens over the 2-plus years we've been here.

But we've also tried to make it clear that many of those, well, just kinda happen. We'll get tips, we'll check hunches, etc. Again, with tongue in cheek, with the whole thought that we can't believe we're "breaking" media news in the first place.

The part that gets us upset is when people go off the handle about what we "don't cover" or if we make mistakes.

We've always said that this blog and its editor are not perfect. We encourage helpful corrections, and act on them on a regular basis.

But one of our readers apparently decided "we made him look bad" by him posting an item based on our item on Ms. Schaefer. And he (?) fired at us, saying he was embarrassed by posting our "poor reporting".

Folks, if you post what we put up as 100% accurate, you're responsible for your actions...we're just here to run the blog, not to make sure your work life is perfect.

Again, we encourage corrections, not accusations.

But, perhaps you're right...maybe we need to tone down on the "hype", even if it's intended to be mostly humorous.

--The Management

superjock said...

OMW I for one enjoy your reports and you do keep it in the context it's meant to be.
Unlike other blogs that really vent for all the wrong reasons and ruin it for us broadcast pro's that enjoy the comings/goings and kaos in the media.
That said check out the fox8 website under new blogs in regards to Sissy and the response about her and Robin too being thrown in the mix is not a warm fuzzy that Fox8 was hoping for seems to me this was another mistake on Greg Easterly and Kevin Sayler's part.

david5258 said...

oa--just an editorial note--it appears that blogger has pulled the new neorr off line as of yesterday. he copied your reporting on 100.7 last week and did not update. curious how that happened--btw, keep up the good work, with objective reporting and well behaved comments--david5258