Friday, November 16, 2007

Out The Weekend Door

Here are some items that were piled up as we prepare to shut down for the weekend...

RUBBER CITY RADIO STAFFER'S NEW JOB: You could say that Rubber City Radio afternoon traffic voice Toni Cicone has a new "stack" of work.

Well, OK, that was a pun you never saw coming, as the folks on West Market Street tell us that Cicone, who has been afternoon editor for the company's extensive AkronNewsNow website, has left Akron's WAKR/1590-WQMX/94.9-WONE/97.5 for a new non-radio job.

It's for a magazine called STACK, which is not about old-fashioned 45 RPM records. It's, we're told, a magazine that highlights "workouts and physical training and targets high school athletes, coaches and trainers".

Rubber City Radio VP/Information Media Ed Esposito tells OMW that Toni's replacement in the company's "converged digital newsroom" won't necessarily be tied to her afternoon shift. Look for the official job posting here soon.

He also reminds us that Toni had done quite a bit of field reporting as of late, spending a lot of her time as the cluster's lead reporter on the Jessie Davis case...

JUST A BRIEF NOTE: Since we didn't mention the absence of Good Karma sports WKNR/850 "ESPN 850" mid-morning host Tony Rizzo, we'll do it now.

Rizzo was off "The Really Big Show" Monday through Thursday for health reasons.

We thought we'd heard producer/co-host/newly-minted WKNR assistant program director Aaron Goldhammer mention during the week that the surgery Rizz underwent Tuesday was on his throat (!!!).

Presumably, bee pollen does nothing for what he had, though Tony mentioned Friday that the stuff he hawks on the show did help his overall feeling. (No, we won't give 'em a plug until they start sponsoring OMW.)

Rizzo, presumably also absent from his "day/night job" as WJW/8 "FOX 8"'s primary sports anchor, finally turned on the echoing radio microphones at WKNR's Galleria studios on Friday...with his usual battle cry of "It's good to be alive!" (clap...echo clap...clap...echo clap...repeat)

(We're still not sure, by the way, if the echo chamber next to WKNR's new main studio was built on purpose.)

Whatever the doctor did to his throat, it didn't come out over the air, so we'll presume Tony's in good health and able to talk full time again on radio and TV.

WKNR's post-game hosts did the honors filling in for "Rizzo on the Radio" - Cavaliers post-game host Michael Reghi, and Indians post-game host (and former time slot occupant) Greg Brinda doing the last few days.

And we may have been hallucinating, but we think Les Levine was on there one day as well.

Oh, to correct a long ago WKNR item with help from a birdie at the Galleria: 30-year sports radio veteran Brinda has done morning drive "at least a half-dozen times" in his career.

We'd questioned that back when WKNR's lineup was in flux, in the wake of the station's purchase from Salem by the Good Karma folks...

HERE'S A WEIRD SIMULCAST: OMW checked tonight, and at least in our part of the Time Warner Cable Northeast Ohio Network, local programming channel 15 is up and running again.

As we hinted earlier, in parts of the region - we'll take a wild guess here and say it was in the former Adelphia areas that are also linked into the company's Akron/Canton hub for such things as WKYC's "Akron/Canton News" - a frozen picture of a woman walking down a hallway at NASA took over programming for the better part of a day or two.

A reader pointed out, and we verified tonight, that WKYC seems to have backed off of the "full Channel 3 treatment" of "Akron/Canton News", which was first introduced Monday.

The newscast is still billboarded as "WKYC's Akron/Canton News, brought to you by Time Warner Cable", and those billboards still have the WKYC logo.

But the in-newscast graphics are no longer sporting the "HD 3" logo, or the parent station's color's back to blue and white, even in those aforementioned billboards. We did see the Channel 3 colors during the sports segment.

We've had the channel on for a while...moving from the 10 PM newscast, through the last half hour of the 10 PM Friday repeat of "More Sports and Les Levine", to high school football at 11 PM.

But not just any game.

In the Akron-area parts of former Adelphia system, Time Warner Cable seems to be able to feature games that aren't being sent to Cleveland. And tonight's playoff "game of the week" features Canal Fulton's Northwest vs. Newark's Licking Valley.

But in this case, Time Warner is a simulcaster.

The game is the "Stark County Game of the Week" for NextMedia talk WHBC/1480 Canton, and is produced and televised (on delay) by Image Video's low-power combo WIVM-LP/52 Canton - WIVN-LP/29 Newcomerstown/(New Philadelphia/Cambridge).

Time Warner Cable does sponsor some elements, but the TV version carries WIVM/WIVN's IDs, and WHBC's branding.

It wouldn't be the only programming to hit both the Image Video-owned LPTVers and Akron/Canton's Time Warner systems - the local music performance/interview show Random Acts of Music is also seen on TWC throughout Northeast Ohio, as well as WIVM/WIVN.

While we're talking TWC, the "Northeast Ohio Network" (NEON) channel seems to be filling out its schedule. We caught the local show "Made Here" - we're not sure what it's about, but tonight's show showed a woman doing welding - followed by "3 Squares", what we assume is a new restaurant show hosted by Al Pawlowski.

Yes, it's the same Al Pawlowski known for his Indians studio work on SportsTime Ohio, and as the radio voice of Cleveland State University Viking Basketball...

AND HO HO HO AGAIN: We're not maintaining an official list, but this just a note to put in the archive here.

Following crosstown AC competitor WHOF/101.7 "My 101.7", NextMedia Canton AC WHBC-FM/94.1 "Mix 94.1" turned on their own sleigh bells and holiday music cheer Thursday morning.

With two Christmas music outlets, it appears Canton blinked first compared to stations in Northeast Ohio's largest market of Cleveland, which have yet to call up St. Nick and ask for ho-ho-ho-tunes.

The smart money would be on CBS Radio AC WDOK/102.1, which is usually the first to flip to holiday music in the market, to do so sometime next week...

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