Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Midweek Update

A heads up - this will be one of our slower update weeks, due to off-blog concerns. But sometimes stuff just begs to be put up...

COLUMBUS MOVES: Within a half-hour of each other, two OMW readers gave us the heads up... the long-awaited move of Clear Channel's WMRN/106.9 Marion into the Columbus market is about to take place.

In fact, the station itself has announced the change to listeners on a web page, which gives word of WMRN's upcoming COL move from Marion to the Columbus suburb of Dublin, and details the changes which will result back in Marion:

As a result, beginning November 12th, the country music format that is currently being broadcast on 106.9, will be broadcast on both 106.9 and 94.3…Then, around November 15th, the 106.9 frequency will go off the air. The current adult contemporary format on 94.3 will not be replaced.

This was what many speculated would happen, going way back to the days of the initial proposal to move WMRN-FM into Columbus.

AC WYNT/95.9 out of Upper Sandusky moved to a new COL of Caledonia OH, putting a much better signal into Marion. Though WYNT is apparently an AC outlet, it uses Clear Channel's "Majic" branding, most famously used a hundred-and-change miles northeast of Marion at CC oldies outlet WMJI/105.7 in Cleveland.

Its presence as a Marion station operated out of the CC cluster there negates the need to keep the "Mix" AC format on 94.3 FM.

And of course, talk WMRN/1490 is not going anywhere. Though, all three remaining stations are still in the Clear Channel sale hopper, whenever Frequency License LLC or anyone else figures out who's buying the various CC small market Ohio stations...

The other end of the equation? We're not hearing even rumblings about what might end up on the station when it hits C-bus. Feel free to share those with us.

And of course, the new CC Columbus market entry will slide one channel down the FM dial when it moves, as it'll land in Greater Dublin at 106.7 FM. Click here for the usual Radio-Locator "for entertainment only" visual of the new station's upcoming signal...

WHERE THE CLEVELAND TEAMS WIN: With little said about the W***d S****s between a certain baseball team from New England and an upstart team from Colorado...

It actually is trivially easy to find both the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Cavaliers playing - and winning - games, on local TV.

You just have to turn your wall calendar with its face to the wall, and pretend it's a few months ago.

Both Cleveland-based regional sports TV networks are filling much of their schedule in the next week or two with replays of "instant classic" games involving the Indians and Cavaliers.

Last night, it was the Indians besting their division rivals, the Detroit Tigers, in a game from September on SportsTime Ohio. FSN Ohio, meanwhile, was airing a March game between the Cavaliers and the Detroit Pistons. (Maybe there's a theme there.)

We didn't watch to the end, but we presume all of these replays will involve a Cleveland team winning at the end. FSN Ohio starts airing games for real soon, as the Cavaliers open up their season on October 31st, aka Halloween night.

Too bad the STO folks can't create a computer simulation of an Indians win over the Colorado Rockies...or four...

SINCE WE MENTIONED STO: SportsTime Ohio has let us know that they're opening up their high school football playoff season with an hour-long preview show Sunday night at 6 PM. Quoting an STO release:

The “High School Football Playoff Preview” will look at the various match-ups throughout the state. Mike Cairns will host along with analysis from Jim Isabella and Greg Frey. Cairns combines his vast High School sports knowledge with Isabella, “the Principal of High School Sports,” and former OSU quarterback and current High School analyst Greg Frey.

STO's Friday and Saturday nights during the month of November will be chock full of the playoff coverage the Cleveland-based network won the rights to carry in a contract with the Ohio High School Athletics Association.

As part of the deal, STO will turn to cable partner Time Warner to carry the games in southwest Ohio, where the Indians-associated network has no cable carriage.

The high school football playoff coverage wraps up on with championship games on November 30th and December 1st, with basketball playoffs upcoming when that season ends...

AND ONE HD UPDATE: As it turns out, Scripps Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5 did not fully launch its high-definition field news video system over the weekend.

OMW reported it had been planned to start last Saturday, making "NewsChannel 5" the first local station to do its field, recorded news video in full HD. But we hear from sources at 3001 Euclid that the equipment and editing software showed a few bugs, and is being pulled back until the digital exterminator assures all will be well.

And as Raycom Media's WOIO/19 gets the bugs out of its own presentation of news in high-definition, we noticed that they've had to do switching in and out of HD/SD for commercial breaks, though we're wondering if that's because the company's two stations have different HDTV resolutions.

WOIO/19, being a CBS affiliate, broadcasts in HD in the 1080i standard. WUAB/43 used to do so with UPN, but had to convert to 720p after picking up the FOX-owned MyNetworkTV.

While we're at the HD races, we hear rumblings that "Cleveland's CBS 19" may finally have pleased local home theatre owners, with the addition of 5.1 audio.

Readers may recall that WOIO actually flirted with using the new audio format back around the time of the last Super Bowl, but the station was actually borrowing a 5.1 encoder from the CBS network folks...who promptly took it back after the game...

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