Monday, June 30, 2008

WNWV Names New PD

Various trade websites report that Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting has picked its replacement for long-time smooth jazz WNWV/107.3 program director Bernie Kimble.

She's Angie Handa, who comes to "The Wave" from a stint as assistant program director/music director of Clear Channel's Phoenix smooth jazz outlet, KYOT. Her resume includes a gig at a another smooth jazz station in Phoenix, and other earlier experience at AC and Hot AC outlets.

Phoenix is a good market for smooth jazz (or "smooth AC", or whatever it's officially being called now), and it sounds like "The Wave" got a very good hire in that format.

And though Handa told the folks at Radio & Records that she thanks the WNWV folks for "rescuing (her) from Phoenix in the summertime", let's see what tune she's singing in about 5 or 6 months...

Chuck's Moves

OMW hears that long-time reader Chuck Matthews is keeping busy these days.

The former Cumulus talk WTOD/1560 Toledo programmer has picked up more work for his voiceover business - from a WTOD competitor.

We hear Chuck has been signed up to do voiceover and imaging work for crosstown newly-minted talk WDMN/1520, and sister LPTV MyNetworkTV outlet WMNT-CA/48 "My 48/58".

We also hear he's been doing work for a new small local ad agency based in suburban Perrysburg, and continues to search for his next full-time radio stop.

Could signing up Mr. Matthews for voiceover/imaging mean that WDMN is making a serious run at the Toledo talk market?

The station has basically had limited imaging in the past - well, if you count an occasional "Dominion 1520 JAMZ!" liner. And the frequent airing of "My 48/58" promos on 1520 include what sounds basically like a non-on-air type voicing the tags.

Just by sending an ID or liner or two, Chuck could instantly make the station sound like a player...

Columbus TV Outlet Sold

Guardian Television independent/religious/former ION affiliate WSFJ/51 Newark/Columbus is being sold.

The trade site TV Newsday (or is it tvnewsday, or TVNEWSDAY?) reported last week that Guardian is flipping WSFJ to Trinity Broadcasting, giving the Santa Ana CA-based religious TV giant its third full-power O&O station serving a major Ohio market.

(The others are WDLI/17 Canton in the Cleveland market, and WKOI/43 Richmond IN, a rimshot into the Cincinnati and Dayton markets.)

The move beans the end of the mostly secular "family friendly" format at what's been known as "GTN51", as TBN will presumably install its own 24/7 satellite-fed religious format.

But the spirit of "GTN51" lives on, in Guardian's soon-to-be-launched ".2 Network", a family-friendly entertainment satellite feed being offered nationwide to stations looking to add value to their digital subchannels.

In the TV Newsday article, Harry A. Jessell writes:

Reached by phone, Guardian CEO Richard Schilg declined to comment on the price tag, but said the proceeds will capitalize the .2 Network.

"It allows us to be debt free at the launch and gives us a war chest for future needs," he said. "It is positive all the way around. The fact that the buyer is TBN preserves the religious legacy of the station for the Columbus community."

And as such, we assume that explains an earlier comment by Guardian at ".2"'s launch...that the digi-network wouldn't necessarily land on WSFJ-DT 51.2.

At the time, station/network officials hinted at the prospect of a future group deal putting ".2" on another group's Columbus outlet.

But TBN already feeds four of its own religious 480i subchannels on its DT stations - including WDLI-DT here - in addition to the 480i simulcast/main signal...and we'll assume they won't change that MO in Columbus.

The Newark-licensed station already has something in common with its soon-to-be sister full-power stations serving Ohio. (TBN, of course, has low-power translators basically at every wide spot on the road in Ohio and beyond.)

The station nudged itself closer to Columbus a couple of years back, and improved its coverage. Though the linked article refers to a new analog antenna installed in 2006, the new site between Newark and Columbus also carries WSFJ-DT.

Up here in Northeast Ohio, WDLI-DT did much the same, putting its full-power DT facility in Akron, where it sits just up the road from whatever remains of Rolling Acres Mall - basically across the street from facilities for WVPX/23 and WONE/97.5. Channel 17 analog has long-been based off Route 62 in Stark County's Louisville, east of Canton.

And though Richmond IN-licensed WKOI hasn't actually moved its transmitter recently - at least that we can see - its maximized DT facility will apparently give it much wider coverage of both Cincinnati and Dayton from its perch just east of Oxford...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Stopping By For A Visit

Our infrequent update schedule had one formerly regular reader assuming that we're gone for good!

No, we're not.

Your Primary Editorial Voice(tm) has been out of town and busy, for one, and we're about to leave Northeast Ohio for a while again.

In the past, that's triggered something in the space-time-media continuum, but we're not sure our exit from the region still results in major changes. One of our vacations a couple of years ago ended up with even Cleveland Browns GM Phil Savage scrambling for his job!

Heh. (Tongue in cheek, folks, we don't really BELIEVE we have that kind of's kind of a running joke.)

One of the biggest reasons we haven't been here is simple...there's just not that much going on during the lazy days of early summer. If we've missed anything, particularly in our core focus area of Northeast Ohio, let us know.

Until then, some random items that ARE going on...

WESTERN RESERVE BOUND: As first hinted in an article by Akron Beacon Journal pop culture writer Rich Heldenfels, Kent-based public TV outlet WNEO/45-WEAO/49 will launch a new brand.

The stations will indeed adopt the overall name Western Reserve Public Media, with the TV stations taking the on-air name Western Reserve PBS.

A release sent to OMW by what's now known as "PBS 45 & 49" says the new names kick in this fall, after the local pubcaster joins public radio outlet WKSU/89.7 in divying up new space in the United Building in downtown Akron - which happens July 1st.

The space, of course, is that no longer needed by current primary tenant WKYC/3 after the end of its "Akron/Canton News" broadcast on Time Warner Cable. WKYC will continue to maintain its Akron/Canton bureau there, but with space only needed for two - bureau chief and long-time "ACN" anchor Eric Mansfield, and what's sounding like just one photographer.

And with the new name Western Reserve Public Media, WNEO/WEAO will call their new United Building space the "Western Reserve Broadcast Hub".

The name change is actually rather interesting on other levels.

It's one broadcast outlet's answer to a question just about all TV stations face in the new age. Back in the day, a TV station's channel number was be-all-and-end-all in branding.

Even stations with strong call letter or other identification have long prominently featured their channel number, both overall and in newscast identification. "Channel 3 News". "NewsChannel 5". "FOX 8 News". "19 Action News".

Starting on February 17, 2009, nearly all of these channel numbers become "virtual", with only a few stations actually broadcasting on their former analog channels (WJW/8 among them) after the digital transition.

Though the PSIP program information stream still assures that WKYC will be "Channel 3" even if it broadcasts on digital channel 17 "under the hood", this - and perhaps more importantly, the growing move of media organizations to the Internet - will likely nudge broadcast operations to reconsider some branding.

Back to PBS 45 & Reserve Reserve Public Media.

Quoting the station press release:

Trina Cutter, president and CEO of PBS 45 & 49, said the new identity prepares the organization for advancements in broadcast technology. "The advent of digital television opens a new realm of possibilities for multiple broadcast channels," Cutter said. "Western Reserve Public Media better reflects the breadth of public television services that we have already begun to provide to northeast Ohioans."

Simply put, the numbers "45" and "49" mean less and less with digital TV, multiple subchannels therein, and the rapid growth of the Internet and other less traditional services.

And let's not forget that Channels 45 and 49 have never, as far as we know, actually ever been on cable anywhere under those cable positions. To get to "PBS 45 & 49" on Time Warner Cable's Cleveland system, a viewer has to find cable channel 9.

It's similar to the "ideaStream" corporate name/branding for Cleveland's WVIZ/25 and WCPN/90.3, though there's no indication - for now - that WNEO/WEAO and WKSU will do anything more than share space and occasional programming collaboration ("Folk Alley") at the United Building...

NO MORE ANALOG: While we're talking about the digital TV transition, OMW hears that one Northern Ohio TV station has already turned off its analog signal.


Yep, it's the station most our readers can't get anyway, Mid-State Television independent WMFD/68 Mansfield, on the edge of the Cleveland television market.

The station's website notes that the analog channel 68 signal was turned off earlier this month, on June 16th. Only WMFD-DT/12, still dutifully PSIP-responding as "68.1", remains.

The reason for the early termination? Mid-State successfully convinced the FCC that it needed the summer months to remove the analog 68 antenna, and replace it with the new DT 12 antenna. The digital side is currently served by an antenna that's currently side-mounted on the tower.

Quoting from the station's application for extension of time to complete its upgraded digital signal:




Speaking of the aforementioned WNEO/45 Alliance, OMW already reported that the station expects to shut off analog 45 later this year, for similar reasons...with the final WNEO-DT also landing on 45 by the transition.

And like other local TV stations, WMFD cites Northern Ohio's often fierce winter weather as a concern in construction timelines. (When the FCC came up with the digital transition date, did they not consult the National Weather Service?)

WMFD-now-only-DT is a part of the Gunther Meisse Mid-Ohio Broadcast Empire, along with ESPN Radio outlet WRGM/1440 Ontario, AC mainstay WVNO/106.1 "Mix 106.1" Mansfield, and sister LPTVer WOHZ-CA/50, which at last check ran weather information and assorted other programming...

ZAP!: OMW hears that the Clear Channel Columbus studio complex on West 5th Street got quite a jolt this week...a lighting jolt that took the stations off the air at shortly after midnight Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

The resulting damage? A laundry list of some of the nuts and bolts needed to run a modern radio operation, from audio board outlets, satellite receivers and cards, to STL equipment.

OMW hears that the company's entire Columbus engineering staff spent all night Wednesday into early Thursday morning making fixes and swapping in spare or emergency equipment, bringing all the cluster's stations back to the air by 2 AM, then fixing up the rest of the problems the rest of the late night/early morning hours.

It reminds us of the lightning jolt the company's sister Akron/Canton cluster got some time ago, which forced one of those stations to run off of a small Mackie mixer board until the main board could be put back into service...

DENNIS' MOVE: OMW hears directly from WCLV/104.9's Robert Conrad on a new weekend program starting next month.

Well, it's not "new", per se.

"The Dennis Lewin Radio Program" has been heard most recently on Salem talk WHK/1420, and before that, on Radio One talk/brokered outlet WERE/then-1300.

It's moving to classical WCLV starting on July 6th, though we don't know if Mr. Lewin will (apparently) continue to pay for his airtime.

Mr. Conrad tells OMW about his new Sunday programming addition, and explains how it fits well with the station:

Dennis has had a colorful career as a contemporary and classical musician and teacher, but foremost among his passions is his successful radio program, “The Dennis Lewin Radio Program”.

During the show Dennis gives an in-depth view of the lives and times of the greatest composers, conductors and musicians of all time; including Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Copland, Stravinsky, Gershwin and more.

A hallmark of the program is Dennis' interaction with the listeners. Be prepared for trivia quizzes, musicial and non-musical, and, perhaps, even being "on-the-air," a new wrinkle for WCLV.

Listener calls on WCLV? Wow.

Lewin will be heard Sundays from 1 to 3 PM on WCLV. And his website notes that his radio show also airs on another station outside Northeast Ohio, New Hampshire low-power "World Music" outlet WXGR-LP/101.5 Dover NH...

SHE'S BACK, IN CLEVELAND AT LEAST: And speaking of Lewin's former outlet, it's about to get one of its key weekday hosts back.

Talk Radio Network mid-morning host Laura Ingraham is apparently set to return to the network on Monday. Ingraham airs in Cleveland on WHK/1420.

We say "apparently" because word of her return came from her own website:

It's official! Laura will return to the radio airwaves on Monday, June 30. Buckle your seatbelts!

The June 30th return date has been given by TRN in recent weeks, but this is the first indication from Ms. Ingraham's side that she'd return on that date - after a nearly month-long apparent contract dispute.

We're assuming the website is under her control. She's used it in the past few weeks to notify her listeners that she wasn't off the air by her own choice, and has even used it to implore listeners to contact TRN executives directly.

Though we'll assume WHK will be along for the ride for her return Monday, the lengthy absence has cost Laura one of her other large market Ohio affiliates.

Clear Channel talk WKRC/550 Cincinnati has dumped Ingraham just three days before her return, and will replace her with the former occupant of that time slot, Premiere's Glenn Beck.

Cincinnati Enquirer TV/radio guru John Kiesewetter on the move:

(WKRC-AM PD Tony) Bender says he got tired of getting the run-around from her people, while fill-in Monica Crowley was on the air, so he's putting on Beck. Ironically, Ingraham's website says she'll return to her radio show on Monday. Too late.

Beck was bounced from the 9-noon slot on WKRC so the station could pick up area native Tony Snow's FOX Radio program. Ingraham ended up in the mid-morning slot on WKRC after Snow left FOX for the White House press secretary job.

While WKRC went elsewhere in the time slot, Beck landed in Cincinnati on Cumulus then-talk WFTK/96.5 "SuperTalk FM", which has since gone rocking as "96 Rock".

Both hosts have TV presences. Since his first go-round on WKRC, Beck launched a successful evening show on CNN Headline News. And Ingraham's "Just In" started last week on FOX News Channel, though for now, it's apparently an audition.

Our apologies if that URL doesn't work for Kiesewetter's blog post. The Cincinnati Enquirer's recent revamp produces URLs that look like extreme messes for its blog posts, under the header "PluckPersona" (whatever the heck that is), with lots of random characters. If you can't find it, go to and click manually on "Blogs".

We just love it when changes are made for the good of the new service provider, and not for the ease of the public. Add to that the fact that the Blogger editor sometimes chokes on URLs with ampersands in them (like the FCC application linked for WMFD above), and...well, it's frustrating for us...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Random Weekend Cleanup

Come to think of it, we have some early summer cleaning to do at the Palatial OMW World Headquarters as well...

JUNE 20TH: We did not note it here beforehand, but Friday was a busy day at the Clear Channel World Domination HQ compound on Oak Tree.

Cleveland talker WTAM/1100 morning host Bill Wills celebrated his 10th anniversary at the Northern Ohio version of "The Big One". He joined 'TAM on June 20, 1998 - from the original "Big One", co-owned WLW/700 Cincinnati.

"Wills and Snyder" is a pretty typical large-market morning news/information/traffic/sports/weather/feature program. Wills is not controversial, for the most part (that's left to hosts later in the schedule), but has stuck around. His stint at WLW lasted 13 years, so he's no stranger to radio longevity.

The "Snyder" in the show's current title is station mainstay Mike Snyder, WTAM's long-time sports director who slid comfortably into the role after the unfortunate passing of one Casey Coleman...lost to listeners and the world way too early with his death from pancreatic cancer...

AND THAT SAME DAY: Clear Channel pulled out all the stops for one of its newest arrivals, as rock WMMS/100.7 Cleveland morning driver Shane "Rover" French hosted the live "Roverfest" event.

We're not - as explained numerous times - in "Rover's Morning Glory's" target demo. And since he's been back on the radio in Cleveland since April, that flood of RoverFans which followed links to us from blog postings on his own website has probably long left.

So, we didn't stop by West 6th Street on Friday afternoon. But we're sure the target audience enjoyed their day of "All Things Rover"...

CLEVELAND GETS PLUGGED IN: Plain Dealer media columnist Julie Washington weighs in Saturday on the addition of "People Meters" by TV ratings service Nielsen in the Cleveland/Akron (Canton) TV market later this year.

Some 600 lucky households will get these boxes starting in August, with the goal of accurately tracking daily viewership - which will get broken out into monthly reports, basically.

Quoting Ms. Washington's article:

Often, stronger stations are hurt and weaker stations are helped when meters come to town, says local ratings guru Gary Stark, director of programming and research for Scripps-Howard Television Station Group and WEWS Channel 5.

If you were to open up the TV dictionary for Cleveland, the "weaker stations" entry would have two large logos...those of Raycom Media's WOIO/19 "CBS 19" and WUAB/43 "My43".

To that effect, local Raycom boss "The Controversial" Bill Applegate tells Washington that he expects his stations to be helped by what he calls "more accurate" data.

The move to continuously measure TV ratings is expected to eventually lessen the dependence of "sweeps periods", the four times a year local stations pull out all the gimmicks and stops to help goose more ratings.

But Applegate notes that the networks will still offer "sweeps months" resources and promotions, presumably because there are still a lot of markets not on the People Meters... and he believes local stations will still attach their promotional efforts to those months as a result.

For now, Ms. Washington reports that stations will start getting monthly reports in addition to the "sweeps" reports they already get.

There appears to be no interest or talk about "live" or even daily ratings data being offered...which is probably a good thing, not to walk into that Max Headroom world of instant ratings feedback.

And thanks to our colleague and friend Blaine Thompson over at Indiana RadioWatch, for the easy-to-paste link from We didn't feel like digging around to see wherever they stuck Ms. Washington's article this time, or if they even posted it...

MS. INGRAHAM "BACK"?: Fellow media blogger Brian Maloney at his "Radio Equalizer" has been keeping tabs on missing Talk Radio Network midday host Laura Ingraham.

Actually, Ingraham has been missing only from her syndicated radio show, which is on the schedule of Salem Cleveland talker WHK/1420.

She's doing a TV tryout on the FOX News Channel, and has told just about anyone within earshot that no, she isn't sick, no, she isn't leaving radio, and that her absence from the TRN show is, well, their idea.

While TRN continues to insist that Ms. Ingraham will be back behind the microphone "on or before" June 30th, Mr. Maloney uncovered a pretty telling and interesting E-Mail memo sent by the Oregon-based syndicator to her affiliates.

While the reported memo continues to state that Laura Ingraham will be back soon, it trumpets the sudden popularity of her current fill-in, TRN weekend host Monica Crowley.

(Locally, affiliate WHK dumped the Laura Ingraham Show Without Laura Ingraham for about a week for Salem's own Mike Gallagher, but we are told they've returned to the Ingraham show with Crowley aboard.)

The purported TRN memo gushes excitedly about the "unsolicited" feedback from listeners and program directors about Ms. Crowley. Reading it, you think she was about to explode as the Next Big Radio Star, and the company is asking around about what weekday time slot would be best for Crowley to expand beyond weekends. Crowley's own show is only carried in the region by Cumulus talk WPIC/790 out of Sharon PA, which is heard in much of the Youngstown market.

In reality, it's probably a very public negotiating ploy to tell Laura Ingraham "see, you can be replaced if you don't agree to our terms" - and to hasten her return to the program.

The memo seems to indicate that Crowley will continue to occupy the slot while Ingraham is gone, sending fill-ins like fellow TRN weekender Tammy Bruce to the sidelines...

AND OTHER STUFF: Since we aren't making a daily commitment to this thing, we've missed a lot of smaller various on-air moves in markets outside our usual focus, like Columbus and Cincinnati.

And a reader noted that we missed a lot about the on-air turmoil that's apparently been going on at Toledo NBC affiliate WNWO/24, with various exits and contracts not being renewed.

We're just reminding readers that...well, we'll get to what we get to.

As a free service of your Primary Editorial Voice(tm), who has A Life and then some, it's difficult to keep up with everything.

The easiest way for us to follow the markets outside Northeast Ohio is to have detailed, already written information (from various newspapers, trade sites, etc.), but even then, we may not have time to get to stuff and repost it here. Since we're not really "breaking" a lot of items from outside our home area, we're in no hurry if the news is already up elsewhere.

So, we appreciate the "heads up". And please, keep sending us tips.

But we have no obligation to put up any specific item - and sometimes, may not even have the time if we have the inclination.

Thank you for your cooperation, as always...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: TV Staff Bloodbath In Cincinnati

Cincinnati CBS affiliate WKRC/12 is now firmly in the hands of Newport Television, the operating arm of Providence Equity Partners - the company which bought the former Clear Channel Television outlet a while back.

It looks like a large number of staffers are no longer in Newport's hands.

Cincinnati Enquirer radio/TV guru John Kiesewetter reports on his blog today that a number of WKRC staffers are out of work, the result of massive cost-cutting across the Newport chain.

Kiese's latest report says as many as 18 WKRC employees - 11 on the news side, 7 in engineering - could be on the cut list.

Newport just took over the 56 TV stations formerly in the Clear Channel fold, and a Newport spokesperson tells the Enquirer that the 158 cuts comprised about 7.5% of the company's national workforce.

Of course, Clear Channel itself has seen job cuts and budget tightening, as it heads for the completion of its own sale to a pair of private equity firms...give or take a few bumps along the way...

Akron Gospel Radio Voice Silenced

A mainstay of Northeast Ohio gospel format radio has passed away.

Clear Channel passes along word that Anne Robinson, who has been involved with the long-running Sunday "Gospel Brunch" program and its predecessors on Akron's WARF/1350 for over 40 years, passed away on Tuesday.

Robinson is called "one of the originating voices" of the "Gospel Brunch" show, which has aired on either AM 1350 or now-sister talk WHLO/640 in some form each Sunday, since the run started with the debut of her "Gospel Time" program in 1964 on the old WADC.

The show has survived even recent format changes on the sports outlet now known as "SportsRadio 1350".

The folks on Freedom Avenue tell us that a tribute to Robinson will be aired Sunday from 7:30 AM to 10 AM on WARF/1350....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Brady Update

The previously reported exit by Cumulus Toledo oldies WRQN/93.5 air personality Jim Brady has now become retirement for the veteran broadcaster.

That's according to an article in today's Toledo Blade, which says the nearly 45-year radio vet is concentrating on his existing real estate sales work, and will take part in a "startup Internet radio station" focusing on the now-neglected oldies hits from the 1950's and 60's.

And like most now-former DJs, Brady bemoans the current state of music radio. From the Blade article:

“It’s become a soulless corporate entity. It really is. It’s all bottom-line driven and it has to be with the way corporations are now: Wall Street calls the shots.”

Though he started his career at the Toledo station now known as WCWA/1230, and had a long stint in afternoons on WRQN - before a recent move to evenings - Brady is perhaps best known for his work outside the market.

In addition to our earlier note that he was a part of the contemporary music format on Toronto's CFTR/680, he was also on the big 50,000 watt stick of CKLW/800 in Windsor, just across the Detroit River from Detroit, and just up the way from Toledo...

Monday, June 16, 2008


AllAccess reports that long-time WNWV/107.3 program director Bernie Kimble is out after a 16 year run at the Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting-owned station, most of that in the PD chair at the Cleveland market smooth jazz outlet known as "The Wave".

There's no word on any successor, or Kimble's next move...

Love Him Or Hate Him

Raycom Media CBS/MyNet combo WOIO/19-WUAB/43 general manager Bill Applegate gets a profile treatment in Broadcasting & Cable magazine this week, and also lets forth a bit of news.

The Cleveland market's most controversial TV executive makes no apologies for his style in the article titled "Bold and Brash Is Good News for Applegate":

Love it or loathe it, a Bill Applegate newscast is like no other. It's fast, hard-hitting, brash and—to the profound chagrin of news purists—loaded with opinion. When Applegate, the VP/General Manager of WOIO and WUAB Cleveland, thought about shaking Raycom's duopoly out of its doldrums seven years ago, he imagined the stations' newscasts as TV versions of the New York Post—noisy, glitzy and in your face.

“To duplicate what was already being done wouldn't have gotten me anywhere,” Applegate says. “I think a lot of executives in local television are reluctant to take risks, and as a result you end up with newscasts that unfortunately all look alike.”

Applegate tells B&C's Michael Malone that WOIO has moved into third place in revenue in the Cleveland market, behind WJW/8 and WKYC/3...with this interesting twist:

It'll be some time before WOIO challenges heavyweights WJW and WKYC, but Applegate is pleased to report it's taken over third place in revenue.

“Third may not sound that good, but when you come from sixth, it is pretty good,” he says. “We've had to build a news department from scratch.”

Umm, OK.

The newsy part of the article confirms something kicked around the local rumor mill the past month or so.

Malone says Applegate is "pondering an hour-long program on WUAB, a MyNetworkTV affiliate, that would be modeled after the personality-driven talk shows on cable news, such as Countdown With Keith Olbermann". The goal, says Applegate, would be to bring in younger viewers so news can be relevant to the "next generation" of TV watchers.

The article doesn't say, but this possible "My 43" hour long show would presumably replace or supplement the current edition of "19 Action News at 10" on least that's the rumors we'd heard before this article came out. The rumor mill has tabbed 19's Sharon Reed in some role with the new show, if it gets put on the air.

We'll have to see if it becomes a reality...

Random Stuff, In No Particular Order

And mostly just clearing out the "inbox" here at your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm)...

TOLEDO OLDIES: Cumulus Toledo market oldies outlet WRQN/93.5 has made a change in evenings.

Veteran Toledo - and elsewhere - radio personality Jim Brady has exited the oldies station's 6 PM-11 PM slot, and is being replaced by another Toledo and station vet, Buddy Carr.

Carr has been holding down a 10 AM-3 PM Saturday shift, which the station says he'll keep after taking over nights full-time starting tonight.

No word about the future of Mr. Brady, though, who's only tersely described as being "no longer an employee of Cumulus Toledo" as of Friday afternoon.

While looking for more information about this story, we stumbled upon some audio of Jim Brady at one of his more famous stops, Toronto's CFTR/680 - which at the time was mounting a contemporary music format, but is now Rogers Communications' all-news outlet in Canada's largest city as "680 News".

Dip in with us by visiting this CFTR tribute site. Jim opens up the station aircheck taken back in 1980...

"CSN" STOPS PRODUCTION: It's a bit late, but an OMW reader Columbus-way passes along a recent article about the "Columbus Sports Network", the Central Ohio regional sports outlet housed at LPTVer WCSN-LP/32 and seen on various cable channels in the Columbus area.

Columbus Dispatch media writer Tim Feran reports that "CSN" ceased all in-house local production on June 7th, bumping a taped Columbus Destroyers arena football game for a live MLS Columbus Crew soccer contest for its final originally produced new event.

Quoting the article and a CSN press release:

A news release yesterday said the network "is suspending production operations while it explores potential changes in its business model. WCSN will continue to air pre-recorded programming while these business decisions are being considered."

In March, early into its 10-year plan, Nungester said the network was "in good shape," although he would not comment on whether CSN was profitable.

"Any time you enter a capital-intensive business, there's going to be a ramp-up," Nungester said.

Well, you can add the flagging economy, a concern for everyone in media these days. And when you're working in what is very much a niche part of the TV market - Columbus-based minor league, second tier and leftover OSU sports - it's tough to keep a new venture, which seems to have spent a lot of money, afloat...

LOW WATTAGE SPORTS DAYTIMERS: What is it about low-wattage, mostly unattended AM daytime sports sister stations in Northeast Ohio, anyway?

We've chuckled here from time to time about the occasional disappearance of Media-Com's WJMP/1520 in Kent, the 1,000 watt highly directional daytime FOX Sports Radio affiliate that has trouble reaching an intended audience in Akron. 'JMP, of course, is the lightbulb-power sister/brother station of much-more-successful talk WNIR/100.1.

This time, same network, same power, similar frequency, different station.

A heat wave and air conditioning failure at the Galleria brought down the mighty WWGK "Cleveland's AM 1540, KNR2", the little brother station to Good Karma's WKNR/850 "ESPN 850", for a few hours last week.

Like most things at the Galleria Radio Empire, we learned about this on the air.

We learned about it because it was on the mind of WKNR assistant program director Aaron Goldhammer while he was basically unable to do anything about it. "Hammer" was at a golf course on a remote in his role as producer/sidekick to 'KNR's midday "The Really Big Show" with Tony Rizzo.

The heat which led Good Karma to bring in a portable air conditioner for the main WKNR studios apparently didn't lead them to do the same for the unattended WWGK studios in the same building.

Unlike WJMP's usual technical difficulties, the WWGK signal and programming did return later that day...we heard the station back up shortly before its evening sign off.

Since we mentioned America's worst daytime rimshot AM signal out of the Broadcast Trailer Park between Kent and Ravenna, we'll note that we flipped over to 1520 that same early pre-sunset evening...and WJMP is no longer stretching in its legal ID to claim listenership in Cleveland.

It's just "Kent/Akron" for now, though with 1520's anemic signal into much of Summit County, that's a stretch as well. If they're staying with "Kent/Akron", we'll resist the temptation to add "Mars/Jupiter" like we usually do...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cleaning Up After Ourselves

A few things just fell out, so we have to clean up after ourselves...

FOX 8 FOLO: Well, at least we know that someone at the Cleveland Plain Dealer still reads OMW.

After our item on the FCC's approval of the sale of WJW/8 "FOX 8" and other FOX O&Os to Local TV, LLC, PD media columnist Julie Washington wrote an article for the following day's paper - based on the same source we found, the "tvnewsday" trade news website.

Shortly after Ms. Washington's story hit Tuesday morning, the Business Courier of Cincinnati picked it up, citing both the PD story and the tvnewsday site.

Look at what we started! (Well, technically, what "tvnewsday" started with our slight help moving it along.)

There is one other independent confirmation of the original story: Broadcasting & Cable magazine ran a story on its website Monday afternoon, noting the sale was expected to close in the 3rd quarter of this year.

We have one note about Ms. Washington's article, though, particularly this part:

It is not clear whether Channel 8 will change network affiliations. The stations owned by Local TV have a variety of affiliations, according to the Local TV web site.

OMW reported in one of our earlier items that we've been told that the Local TV buy includes a multi-year affiliation contract, keeping WJW as a FOX affiliate. We hear the deal lasts 10 years.

Even if we'd not uncovered that small detail, we'd be surprised if there was an affiliation change.

We realize not everyone has this information, though, so we're just noting it for our own readership...

HOST MOVES - OR NOT: Two syndicated radio hosts have been the topic of much "behind the scenes" discussion as of late.

One is ABC Radio's Sean Hannity, who reportedly has a clause in his contract triggered by the sale of ABC Radio's operations to Citadel a ways back, with a "trigger date" reported by a number of sources to be - June 12th.

A lot of the backchatter has been covered by "Radio Equalizer" blogger Brian Maloney, who reports that there's a new "three way deal"...where Citadel, Clear Channel and Hannity will share in a partnership for his show.

The deal presumably would keep Hannity on Citadel's big market talkers including flagship WABC/770 in New York City, and about 70 Clear Channel talk stations (including Akron's WHLO/640, where Hannity's show now airs 3-5 PM weekdays).

Similar reporting has crossed the transom from's Tom Taylor.

Meanwhile, another syndicated talker has been missing from the airwaves for a while now - and interesting explanations have come out as to why she hasn't been on the air.

Talk Radio Networks' midday host Laura Ingraham's show has been without, well, Ms. Ingraham. At some point, she felt the need to let listeners know why via her website, which most recently has borne this message:

Reports are circulating in the press that I "took a leave of absence" or walked out on my radio show. As I wrote in this space earlier this week, that is false. The decision to remove the Laura Ingraham Show from the airwaves was made unilaterally by Talk Radio Network as a tactic in contract negotiations, against my will and over my protest. Additionally, any notion that I am leaving radio is also completely false. After all my years on the air, you know that I would never voluntarily abandon you during such a critical time for our country. Power to the People.

Ingraham is busy, even if she's not behind a radio microphone right now.

She starts a FOX News Channel 5 PM weekday show next Monday...which the New York Times' Brian Stelter suggests is a tryout for a regular gig she's likely to get. The move would certainly not prohibit her radio career from flourishing, as the dual radio/TV thing is done by a large number of FNC's personalities - including Sean Hannity.

Ingraham has been heard weekdays on many Salem talk stations, including Cleveland's WHK/1420. We haven't heard the Ingraham show lately, but we do hear that WHK ran Salem's own Mike Gallagher on Wednesday from 9 AM until noon, instead of whoever's filling in for Laura...

NATIONAL RADIO: Shortly after it started, XM Satellite Radio once featured the, uh, tones of Cleveland's favorite on-air eating talk show host, Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 afternoon sound machine and food maven Mike Trivisonno.

Two hours of Triv's show aired on a same-day delay on one of XM's talk channels, which was being programmed by Clear Channel. Other Clear Channel local hosts ended up on the channel, including WLW/700 Cincinnati mainstay Bill Cunningham, now syndicated traditionally on Sunday nights in the old Matt Drudge time slot.

Oak Tree is giving back a bit of Cleveland back to the satellite radio world - again.

A slew of Clear Channel air personalities are doing (presumably voicetracked) shows for XM channel 21 ("Kiss 21"), the top 40/hit music channel Clear Channel still provides on the XM lineup.

And two of those personalities are from Cleveland top 40 outlet WAKS/96.5 "Kiss FM" - afternoon driver/assistant program director/occasional OMW reader Kasper, and night slammer "Java Joel" Murphy.

Kasper's XM shift will be from 10 AM-noon, and Java Joel hits the channel from 10 PM-
midnight. We'll assume this is not all that difficult for them, as they both voicetrack other stations and presumably have "Kiss"-labeled bits stored up daily.

Java Joel still, as far as we know, voicetracks Montreal-market rimshot WYUL/94.7 "Hits FM" in rural upstate New York. But he won't be heard by XM Canada subscribers, since that division of the satellite company doesn't carry the Clear Channel-programmed offerings. U.S. XM subscribers - including those in the Malone NY area near the Canadian border - will still hear his "Kiss 21" XM offerings in either country.

XM and Clear Channel's relationship is strained at this point. XM has even launched non-commercial clones of the Clear Channel offerings, after a legal struggle which ended up keeping Clear Channel's XM offerings alive...

Monday, June 09, 2008


This just in:

The website TVNewsday reports that the Federal Communications Commission has approved the sale of 8 FOX TV owned and operated stations to Local TV, LLC.

The $1.1 billion dollar deal includes a number of FOX's non-top-10 market owned stations, including WJW/8 "FOX 8" in Cleveland. FOX will hang onto its largest market stations, and those with duopoly situations.

Local TV, LLC is headed by former Jacor radio executive Bobby Lawrence. And former Local TV and Jacor/Clear Channel Radio head Randy Michaels, now Tribune's top broadcasting executive, heads another company that is (or will be) providing broadcast management services to both Tribune and Local TV's stations.

More later...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Mostly Hiatus

Due to circumstances beyond our control, OMW will continue to be on hiatus until further notice.

We'll try to update if anything major happens - station sales, format or major personality changes. Keep sending us stuff, but we're probably not going to be able to get a Round Tuit(tm) for a while, at least.

Thank you for your cooperation!

-The Management