Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Update

Starting a new week with these items...

DRAGGED INTO THE 21ST CENTURY: It's the Nagging Rumor That Won't Go Away, Northeast Ohio radio-wise.

Is Media-Com talk WNIR/100.1 "The Talk of Akron" about ready to become "The Talk of the (Internet) World", as it were?

An OMW reader tipped us a month or two back to an on-air comment by WNIR midday host Howie Chizek...that the station was apparently readying a streaming audio feed, offering the local talk station's programming to Internet listeners.

And then, there's this reader comment to one of our recent items:

The real big news is that WNIR is finally going to stream their signal starting next week. A new, updated website is also on the way.

Will the world be ready for the great Howie Chizek, Schwebel Bread, Community Club Awards and Bennie Da Bookie?

We have not been yet able to get confirmation from our sources about that timing, though we do believe the station is in the process of such an upgrade.

But we'd be very, very surprised if the new website and Internet stream for WNIR started in the next week or so.

Why?

WNIR, more than just about any major station in Northeast Ohio, has been incredibly slow to embrace technology.

We're told, for example, that after the station caved into the age of computerized spot delivery by buying "Scott Systems" equipment, that equipment sat boxed and unused for a LONG time. (A possible exception: it was probably put into place fairly quickly for automated FOX Sports Radio sister station WJMP/1520.)

WNIR has, somewhere in that building, an ISDN studio unit which enables it to air Kent State University sports.

Yet the station has not, to this day, bought another ISDN or other digital telephone feed system to air its long-running Saturday remotes from the various Klaben dealerships. (As we mentioned back when the ISDN studio box went in, we believe it's actually owned by Kent State.) Or, a relatively modest RPU/Marti unit that would enable them to radio the broadcasts without any additional charge, in broadcast quality.

Or...you get the idea.

The land of WNIR Internet Streaming seems like a far-away place, though we do believe it's in the works from all the rumbling we've heard.

For now, though, the WNIR website continues to exist primarily for one purpose - to attract whatever banner ads the station can throw up there for its sponsors.

Those banner ads continue to overwhelm the original part of the site, which has shrunk in size dramatically since it began.

And for now, the only audio on the WNIR site is the embedded "The Talk of Akron" jingle that comes up each time you visit...

UP FOR AN AWARD: We're reminded that Akron "Triple-A" outlet WAPS/91.3 "The Summit" is up for a national award.

"Summit" on-air personality Bill Hall tells OMW that the nomination came late last month for the Akron Public Schools-owned station:

Radio & Records nominated us in the category "Triple A Station of the Year" in markets 50+ (Non-commercial). We're competing against stations in Albany, NY, Durango, CO, Louisville, KY, Anchorage, AK and Ocean City/Monmouth, NJ.

For the TV types who visit here, and don't know much about radio formats, "Triple-A" (AAA) is radiospeak for "Adult Album Alternative" rock...

FILL-IN: Clear Channel talk WTVN/610 Columbus weekend host Dirk Thompson checks in to let us know he's being heard in Toledo for a while.

Thompson is filling the 6-7 PM "Eye on Toledo" slot on sister talk WSPD/1370 in the Glass City through the end of the week, as regular host Maggie Thurber moves into program director Brian Wilson's afternoon drive slot during his vacation.

We believe Wilson returns to his perch at WSPD a week from today (Monday).

Thompson hosts WTVN's Sunday afternoon "Radio Deli" show...

7 comments:

firebird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
firebird said...

I was in the Cleveland-Akron area last week and Howie alluded to the streaming audio at least once an hour during the time I was listening to WNIR. He said the new website and audio stream were only days away from commencing operations. Maggie also made a few comments about an audio stream.

And....if Howie Chizek say so, then it must be true!

albie061976 said...

I cannot get WNIR, because of where I live. 101.1 is overpowered by 99.9 WTUZ

FCC goofed on this license

yekimi said...

How exactly did the FCC goof? You apparently live in the New Philadelphia area which is out of WNIR's coverage area or, at the very least, on the fringe. WTUZ barely reaches the Akron area. That's like me complaining that I can't pick up WFLZ out of Tampa because WDJQ in Alliance is on an adjacent frequency. If you want to listen to WNIR so badly, I would suggest moving northward. Otherwise wait till they go online. Of course, by the time that happens you may have died of old age.

yekimi said...

And don't get me started on IBOC hash!

Tim Lones said...

albie lives in New Philadelphia..Here in Canton, I can get both WTUZ and WNIR on a good radio..Now 1520 AM Daytimers in both Canton and Kent..THAT was an FCC goof..

wd8kct said...

Once heard that 1520 KHz Kent/Canton was originally supposed to be one station but a dispute broke it up...

I also run into WTUZ interference about mid-Canton...

Ed / N.Canton