Yep, we're still around.
We haven't had much to say since our last update, but we've cobbled together enough items - including some news, some revisits and some other stuff...
COLLINS NAMED OPERATIONS MANAGER: A local radio veteran has increased his role at his employer's cluster.
Rubber City Radio has named Chuck Collins as operations manager for the company's three Akron stations - standards WAKR/1590, country WQMX/94.9 and rock WONE/97.5.
Chuck has been program director of WAKR, leading its move off of a Westwood One/Dial Global satellite feed into a locally-programmed music format. He'll keep that job with his promotion to OM.
But Mr. Collins joined up with the Akron Radio Center first to help company news director Ed Esposito launch the now-extensive AkronNewsNow website. Chuck is now associate editor of the site.
The longest run in local radio for Chuck Collins was, by far, his tenure at hot AC WKDD/then-96.5 in Akron. He joined the station in 1988, and programmed it from 1992 to 2001.
And it's there where he first worked for Nick Anthony, the RCRG senior vice-president who hired him to take over the operations manager post.
Quoting Mr. Anthony, the long-time local radio executive we still remember from his days hosting a mid-morning show on talk WHLO/640 in the mid-1970's, in a Rubber City press release:
"We knew we had a major talent when we hired Chuck last year. He has proven to be passionate about our people and our radio stations. There are few people who understand the Akron market better."
In the same release, Rubber City president/GM Thom Mandel calls Collins "a teacher for our rising talent", and cites his "energy, creativity and innovation".
But we call Chuck one of local radio's "good guys", and congratulate him on the promotion...
92.3 NOW WKRK: We told you earlier that CBS Radio FM talker WKRK/97.1 "Free FM" in Detroit had dropped the format, in favor of a sports radio simulcast with WXYT/1270.
What we didn't tell you comes in a tip from RadioInsight's Lance Venta. WKRK is now in the Cleveland market.
That's right. The appropriate WKRK call letters have supplanted the WKRI calls, at CBS Radio's alt-rock/talk at 92.3/Cleveland Heights, the station still known as "92-3 K-Rock".
92.3 may hang onto these calls because of it, at least as long as alternative rock and the "K-Rock" name stay on the frequency.
After dropping the WXTM calls, the local station grabbed WXRK from the much more famous station on the same frequency in New York City.
92.3 in the Big Apple grabbed WFNY for its new "Free FM" talk format, then swiped back WXRK from Cleveland when returning to "K-Rock".
And the local outlet, we hear, now lets WKRI back into the wild.
There are rumblings that CBS is eyeing two format changes in Pittsburgh - the rumored return of top 40 "B94" at once-talk WTZN/93.7, and a companion change at hot AC WZPT/100.7 "Star 100.7" to some flavor of classic rock or urban.
But RadioInsight's Mr. Venta tells us that he doesn't expect the WKRI calls to migrate to the Steel City, even if 100.7 there went to a rock format.
All this movement, for something that will only air once an hour near the top of the hour. Somewhere in the Midwest, a man named Brian is smiling...
OOPS, THE BIG TEN NETWORK AGAIN: With the Ohio State Buckeyes plunging into the meat of their conference football schedule, most folks thought the mess involving the lack of cable carriage for the Big Ten Network would be over.
Ah, but as the Akron Beacon Journal's George M. Thomas points out, there is at least one more Buckeyes football game on the Big Ten Network schedule - the October 13th contest with the Kent State University Golden Flashes.
The fans? They're yet again the losers in that epic battle between large athletics and big cable.
OSU/Purdue, this weekend, gets the full ABC treatment. And we've checked the OSU schedule, and it looks like most, if not all, of the team's remaining games will at least be on ESPN or ESPN2...
TBS REDUX: Mr. Thomas also writes about the addition of the HD feed of cable network TBS, just in time for playoff baseball, on Time Warner Cable.
But Thomas writes that the TBS HD feed will be on channel 600 - which we thought may be referring to the TWC Akron/Canton "legacy" system. TBS HD was added this week, as we reported, on the TWC/former Adelphia Cleveland system on channel 778.
Oops! We're both right.
For whatever reason, TWC has added TBS HD on BOTH channels on the Cleveland-based systems - 600 AND 778.
Does this show a possible channel realignment at some point, or is it just for convenience? And just what IS the mystery "TW609" channel on the company's Cleveland system?
Oh, and credit one to Time Warner, for having a local spokesman like area media veteran Bill Jasso. Quoting him from the George M. Thomas column, talking about the reasons for adding the TBS HD feed:
"Since they will be carrying the playoff games, we figured our customers would want to really see the Yankees sweat."
A home run of a quote, if we've ever seen one, at least if you're a Cleveland Indians fan.
OK, enough sports metaphors...
AND FINALLY IN TWC LAND: We haven't yet contacted Mr. Jasso about some of our questions above.
But we did ask him about "NEON". No, not the substance which lights up tubular signs, but the new name being attached to Time Warner Cable's local programming in Northeast Ohio.
It's, as the legend indicates, the "Time Warner Cable's Northeast Ohio Network"...in labeling and announcements for such things as high school sports broadcasts.
But don't expect much more cohesion than that. Jasso tells OMW that it's basically an umbrella name, to call the local programming SOMETHING.
It's sure shorter than "That Stuff We Throw Onto Cable Channel 23 Or 15"...