Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday Catch Up

Our apologies for "radio silence" so far this week.

As noted earlier, our away-from-the-Mighty-Blog(tm) schedule has been in flux recently, so we'll basically get here when we get here.

But...we got here, so here we are...

"AKRON/CANTON NEWS" REBRANDS, A LITTLE: When a large news operation agrees to produce a news program for another outlet, either co-owned or not, it's often a tough decision how to brand the new newscast.

In Pittsburgh, for example, Cox NBC affiliate WPXI/11 produces the 10 PM show for non-co-owned Sinclair FOX affiliate WPGH/53, which until the deal had produced its own newscast. The newscast is promoted as a 10 PM newscast for WPXI "on FOX 53".

In other cities, the newsroom in question does a "stealth newscast" for the other operation under its own name, though usually the news partner is at least mentioned.

Thus, it's no surprise to us that Gannett's Cleveland NBC affiliate, WKYC/3, has rebranded the Akron/Canton-based newscast it airs on Time Warner Cable's local origination channels.

Known as "PAX 23 News" back in the early days, the newscast changed Monday night to add the Channel 3 name to its "Akron/Canton News" title. (Officially, it's "Channel 3's Akron/Canton Newscast Presented By Time Warner Cable", a nod to WKYC's partner in the operation.)

The new branding means the Akron-based newscast also adopts the Channel 3 color scheme and graphics scheme, including the use of the "HD 3" logo at the bottom right of the newscast.

(No, as far as we know, it's not available in HD - at least yet. For one, we're pretty sure the Akron/Canton Bureau on Main and Market doesn't have either HD cameras, or the ability to backhaul them live to Lakeside.)

The rebranding is made all the more important by the fact that WKYC has no 10 PM full-market newscast.

Since it ran the Akron/Canton News on what was then "PAX 23" at its start, even when WKYC ran WVPX/23's operations out of Lakeside, there was no place to put a 10 PM full-market cast.

ABC affiliate WEWS/5 has the same problem, since Scripps didn't decide to hang onto WOAC/67 Canton after its "Shop at Home" division got sold off. Channel 67 had never been run in tandem with WEWS, anyway, and the station would have to have launched a new independent outlet if Scripps had any thoughts of keeping WOAC.

The strength of WJW/8 "FOX 8 News" at 10 PM, along with whatever shares Raycom Media MyNetworkTV affiliate WUAB/43 "My 43" still manages to pick up with the 10 PM edition of "19 Action News", would seem destined to leave Scripps and Gannett on the 10 PM news sidelines...even if the companies had some place to put the shows.

(Though we suspect a stiff wind could knock over the "My 43" broadcast of "Action News".)

So, why not pick up at least some extra "Channel 3" eyeballs with your Akron/Canton newscast at both 6:30 and 10?

It at least extends the brand, with WKYC personalities like Eric Mansfield, Jim Donovan and Betsy Kling appearing on the Akron-based newscast already - and it's certainly no secret where they work.

Thanks to WKYC/3's Frank Macek and his "Director's Cut" blog for first word of this on Friday...

THIS JUST IN...: Not confirmed 100% as of yet, but we're getting strongly sourced information that a national radio chain executive, who has ties to Northeast Ohio, is now out at that particular broadcast group.

The group does have outlets in this area.

We're working on confirming it, and will have it up as soon as we get that word...or explain this item if one of the trade websites posts the word first...

UPDATE 11/13/07 1:48 PM: AllAccess has a short confirmation of this above item. It's NextMedia programming VP Harve Alan who has left the company.

Of course, Harve has Akron on his resume, as a staffer for the stations currently owned by Rubber City Radio.

NextMedia owns Canton talker WHBC/1480 and AC outlet WHBC-FM/94.1 "Mix 94.1"...

JOHN DAYL DIES: AllAccess reports that veteran Phoenix radio talker John Dayl has passed away at the age of 76.

Dayl had bounced around many of the talk radio outlets in the Valley of The Sun, including Clear Channel talk KFYI/910-550, as well as second tier stations KFNX/1100 (yes, 1100) and KXAM/1310.

But as a regular OMW reader commented to us - you "may not" remember his time on the air in Cleveland. Dayl was a host at then-WWWE "3WE"/1100 in Cleveland in the 1980's.

Our reader is correct at least as far as it goes with your Primary Editorial Voice(tm): we don't remember Dayl's apparently brief stint at 3WE.

His name mixes in our head with all sorts of forgettable attempts by the station to launch successful talk shows with out-of-town imports, like Rich Michaels and Jaz McKay, or even attempting to launch shows with strong local FM personalities converted to talk hosts - Jeff and Flash, Danny Wright, etc.

Not all of that is the fault of the personality or personalities, especially in the latter cases.

But the 3WE talk radio experiment basically floundered, and talk didn't flourish until the WTAM conversion and new owners (Secret/Jacor/Clear Channel). Oh, and until the local baseball team started actually winning with regularity.

Anyway, back to John Dayl for a bit.

He apparently didn't make a lot of friends in his brief time in Cleveland. Our reader called Dayl "a no talent loudmouthed Gary Dee wannabe", though we seem to recall his act toned down somewhat as he aged and landed in Phoenix.

Funny thing is...even today, there are still "no talent loudmouthed Gary Dee wannabes" in the world of talk radio, and Gary Dee has been dead for years.

Some things never change...


chuck said...

AllAccess is reporting that NextMedia VP Harve Alan, who worked years ago in Akron, has exited.

WERC alum said...

I can't imagine corporations like Clear Channel or Salem allowing a "no talent loudmouthed Gary Dee wannabe" to last one hour on the air. It dovetails with Howard Stern's move to satellite radio.

I don't believe for a moment that anyone like that would be allowed to get started on local radio in the current broadcast environment.