Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Midweek Skip

Looks like we're doing the "Tuesday/Thursday" thing this week, as far as updates go...

RONNIE DUNCAN OUT?: Regular OMW reader and alert tipster Nathan Obral in Lake County gets the hat tip for this.

He doesn't know when it happened - and for that matter, neither do we - but it appears morning drive host Ronnie Duncan is out at Radio One Cleveland urban talker WERE/1490.

Sure enough, Duncan has been excised from the "Newstalk 1490" website. The schedule now lists the "WERE Morning Show" from 6-9 AM.

So, who's doing that show?

Nathan tells us it's Basheer Jones handling the morning show now, along with WERE program director Kim Hill.

Basheer who?

Mr. Obral dug up a WKYC/3 "Romona's Kids" profile of the "BRICK" program from December of last year for us. "BRICK" is a mentoring program meant to improve the fortunes of young black men, particularly in Cleveland's Hough neighborhood.

And here's Basheer Jones:

BRICK member Basheer Jones has gone on to do great things. He graduated with honors from Morehouse College and produced a CD of his poetry. Basheer hopes one day to lend his voice and vision to Cleveland. "I'm thinking of becoming a part of the school board, maybe CEO of the school system, and one day I also (plan) to become the mayor of Cleveland as well", Basheer says.

But Nathan has also provided a link to Mr. Jones' MySpace profile (WARNING: Musical soundtrack ahead, like most MySpace pages!). Let's let the man tell us himself, and forgive the all caps:


We get the impression the change happened a while ago, from what Nathan tells us. Maybe we lost track because Roger Brown's not in the PD anymore.

Or maybe Roger is doing unpaid PR for Mr. Duncan these days whenever his column shows up in suburban newspapers. (Did Shaker Heights native Chris Rose from FOX Sports take up too much of the column? Or maybe he ran a series of solely consisting of house sale prices...)

Anyway, among his friends, Basheer Jones counts someone who's certainly made a name for himself: Cleveland native Troy Smith, who went from local high school football stardom into the pantheon of great Ohio State Buckeyes quarterbacks, and who was drafted by the NFL's Baltimore Ravens.

Nathan wonders aloud how much longer WERE will stick with the Radio One-driven urban talk format, given the recent dissection and changes at the company's "Syndication One" division.

But the Radio One national urban talk effort still includes its biggest name, Al Sharpton, so what the company does with its existing "newer" talk outlets is probably anyone's guess...

SPEAKING OF PEOPLE WHO ARE OUT: We already covered the departure of long-time morning co-host Robin Benzle from CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1. (By the way, she's probably not answering E-Mail because she left the country after her goodbye show.)

But some day, that co-host slot next to veteran host Trapper Jack is going to be filled, and we're likely about to hear a rotation of (most likely) women sitting in the chair next to Trapper - if that hasn't already started yet.

To that end, OMW hears that former Cleveland traffic reporter/sidekick Sally Ride will sit in the chair alongside Trapper Jack later this morning. Or, we're not sure, it might be Friday.

And of course, Sally was in the mix the last time a morning radio job opened up in Ohio. She was one of the auditioners for the co-host job at Akron market talk WNIR/100.1 "The Talk of Akron", after Maggie Fuller left the program alongside Stan Piatt, Steve French and Jim Midock.

Well, she left for a while, at any rate...

The appearance on WDOK pairs Sally with not only Trapper Jack, but newsman Jim McIntyre - a former WERE co-hort of hers...

RANDY TV?: We have nothing to verify this other than a report in Tom Taylor's column on the website, but, this might be interesting.

Could former Clear Channel radio head Randy Michaels, he of suburban Cincinnati, be ready to ride into Cleveland...well, at least as a TV operator?

Taylor quotes a Reuters report we can't find, which cites that private equity firm Oak Hill Capital was the "only bidder left standing" for FOX O&O TV stations in "markets like Cleveland and Denver". That would, of course, lead us to Cleveland's Own WJW "FOX 8".

Randy's involved because he heads up Local TV LLC, the company Oak Hill created to run the former New York Times TV stations.

And Oak Hill is being touted because private equity bids to make large buys like this have pretty much died in the water, due to the ongoing credit crunch. (For that matter, it's still an open question who'll pick up the Clear Channel small market stations once tabbed to be sold to GoodRadio.TV LLC, then Frequency License LLC, then...well, your guess is as good as anyone.)

What influence would one-time radio badboy Randy Michaels have on the on-air look/feel of "FOX 8", if all those dots got connected? Probably not much, we guess.

There hasn't been much written about the Local TV LLC stations aside from the usual staff changes and the like, though you can read a bunch about the company's WTKR/Norfolk VA on Bob Corbin's excellent VARTV.

But we love to throw Randy's name around if it's out there...

CHANNEL 5'S MOVIE LOOK: We couldn't help but notice that video on WEWS/5 "NewsChannel 5's" newscasts occasionally looks like it is filmed, and not least in the world of standard definition.

One of our regular contacts at 3001 Euclid tells us that there's actually a technical reason for this, and that the station's 16x9 field video is being run through a process that affects its frame rate...related to the downconversion of it to air in the SD format.

It's a long, complex explanation, but the upshot is that it's a side-effect of the station's effort to get field video into true HD format. They tried it a while ago, but it hasn't "stuck" yet.

We're told that after a software upgrade, whenever it's made available by the station's vendor, the "true HD" video will work, and all the stuttering will go away...

AND CABLE TECHNICAL GLITCHES: We're still trying to figure out why, and where.

So, our call goes out to Time Warner Cable subscribers in the former Adelphia areas, in both Cleveland and suburban Akron.

After you read this, tune to cable channel 15 - the local origination channel - and tell us what you see. If you see anything but what would be normal programming (or the system's rotating computer slides), please let us know.

And if you see frozen video of a woman walking down the hallway of what might be a NASA office, we'd especially like to hear from you.

We understand Time Warner is "on the case", and may clear this up by the time you read this...

AND HO-HO-HO: Clear Channel Youngstown market oldies outlet WBBG/106.1 Niles is about to become the next station to throw the yule log on the radio fire.

The station's website says the holiday tunes start rolling on "Big 106.1" (if it still uses that name on-air) this morning, at 9 AM.

The move makes it the second Christmas music station in Northeast Ohio, after sister AC WHOF/101.7 North Canton "My 101.7"'s move earlier this week.

If you're itching to keep track of who's putting on the Ho Ho Ho Tunes yourself, nationwide, check out what's basically the official list of radio Christmas music stations here.

The list is maintained with loving care, and very few drinks of eggnog, by our long-time friend and colleague Scott Fybush at


Chris Metcalf said...

Speaking of frozen video - FOX 8 has been frozen since I first turned to it at about 10:30 a.m.

It is currently a little after 11:30, so it's been at least an hour.

I've taken a screenshot of the frozen image: click here to see it.
As you can tell from the time stamp, it looks like they've been frozen since 8:34 a.m.

I went to the FOX 8 website to see if they had any messages about what the problem might be on their site, but I couldn't find any explanation. I did, however, see the link to watch the live stream of "That's Life," so I clicked on it and half-expected Robyn to mention something about errors on their station - but everything was perfectly normal.

The TV that I usually watch is a secondary TV in my home, and it is connected to analog cable - our main TV, which is connected to digital cable currently has the audio from the Tyra Banks show playing seemingly fine - but there is no video to go along with it.

I'm thinking that maybe this is just a problem with our cable feed here in Mansfield? I'm subscribed through Time Warner Cable.

Is anyone else having this problem?

mwd_11 said...

Julie Washington's column in the PD this weekend had a story about Duncan leaving. He left in early October and moved to Baltimore, looking for a job there. Duncan complained plenty about Radio One in the story and left on his own terms.

Radio One is rotating hosts in the morning for now. No permanent host has been named.

Chris Metcalf said...

Update on my earlier comment: Around 2:00 p.m., FOX 8's normal programming finally came back on. Problem seems to be solved.

Al said...

Time Warner in New Philadelphia has been having frozen screens on 90% of all analog channels.

This is mainly happy during 5am and later in the day.

Where is Quality Service now a days??

Roger Brown said...

Hi, this is Roger Brown. I must confess that I occasionally read OMW.
The best part of OMW? It's whenever OMW goofs on an item - or breathlessly offers some boring only-five-people-care "exclusive" - and the OMW authors respond in defensive, thin-skinned fashion on the "Comments" page when readers rightly criticize and/or mock them for it. Come on, guys, if you're gonna dish it out, you gotta take it. Going into the Comments section so you can always have the last word? Not cool.
But, I digress! I just wanted to let you know how truly flattered I am by your continiung obsession with me - even though it's literally been a year now since I left the PD.
Um, uh, guys, I've gone on with my life - and quite happily so. You might try it, too!
Still, here's genuine good wishes to OMW in the future!
Roger Brown

yekimi said...

All I can say is that OMW is way more entertaining to read then anything you've ever written and more informative too!

Ohio Media Watch said...

If that is indeed Mr. Brown, please refresh the page for our response.

And please let us know if you ARE in the Lorain Morning Journal/Lake County News-Herald these days. We can't find you online.

--The Management

Ohio Media Watch said...

Oh, other responses we didn't provide:

1) We rarely post in the comments. We'd actually like them to go away.

2) We don't see this section as "having the last word". We generally only close off the comments these days if there are out-of-hand comments against subjects we address. We've even had to do it once or twice with very unkind/serious comments people made against you!

3) You confuse the people in here with this blog's author. All of our comments have the convenient "Ohio Media Watch" Blogger login link above them, like this one.

4) If you are indeed still writing a media-related column for a Northeast Ohio newspaper(s), your writing is fair for us to read, digest and comment upon. If you're "out of the media business", tell us, and the name Roger Brown will no longer come off of our keyboard.

5) And most important - our update at the top of this item, just posted tonight, shows that we don't run from our goofs. We point them out, we highlight them, we shine a spotlight on them, we apologize.

(Though this one is not ENTIRELY our fault, since we couldn't actually READ the column without the "on paper" version - and the online version not being available. If we're missing that, we'll apologize again.)

--The Management

WERC alum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WERC alum said...

Hey Roger:

The "five people who care" all read this blog. That's why the blog is here. That means, the blog is serving its purpose. The PD is involved in "mass communication" and the blog is involved in "narrowcasting". It wouldn't serve the PD to report on items that interest so few people. The blog, however, can serve the smaller number who do care.

These are concepts that broadcasters understand. You used to cover the broadcast media, but based on the quality of your work, I'm not surprised if you fail to grasp these relevant concepts.

Those of us who read this blog and do care about the items it reports should not be made to feel diminished simply because you feel the need to spew your arrogance.

With respect to making errors, the only time I read your PD column was when others told me about apparent errors that you had made. That happened enough to keep me reading on a near-regular basis.

As for moving on, I'm afraid you're always going to be the butt of jokes. You caused that. You'll have to live with it.

Mark Dallas said...

lol, News-Herald. as close to "out of the media business" as one can get.

#1fan said...

Basheer is the new host of NewsTalk 1490 Were from 6am-9am. He's alot different from Ronnie Duncan and I'll explain how. 1. He actually grew up in Cleveland. 2. He's alot younger than Ronnie. 3. Basheer's focus is alot different from Ronnie's. Ronnie focused alot on Black and White issues, whereas Basheer focuses on issues that everyone can relate to. I enjoyed Ronnie's perspective but Basheer has been stating since he got on the air that he's trying to unify Clevelanders with topics that everyone can relate to; black white, christian, moslems, jews, young and old, poor and rich. I don't know how successful he will be but I can truly say that he's trying. I really enjoy his show and I see it going very far