Thursday, July 10, 2008

On The Fringes

A trio of recent items that are on the fringes of our coverage area, have some links to Ohio or are otherwise used to fill this next update:

ABC FOR THE OHIO VALLEY: The Wheeling/Steubenville market is about to get what it has never, ever had - a full-time, in-market ABC affiliate station.

The folks at TVNewsday report that West Virginia Media CBS affiliate WTRF/7 Wheeling will launch a new ABC affiliate for the Ohio Valley on August 1, with a digital subchannel on WTRF-DT. That'd have to be, as the story indicates, WTRF-DT 7.3, as 7.2 is already taken by "FOX Ohio Valley".

The trade site quotes West Virginia Media president Bray Cary:

"Our new affiliations with the ABC Television Network in Clarksburg-Weston and Wheeling-Steubenville will expand the programming choice for our viewers, enabling them to enjoy the entire ABC Network schedule along with local news broadcasts produced specifically for these markets. This expansion of service with the Aug. 1 launch of WBOY-TV/D2 and WTRF-TV/D3 also creates important new advertising opportunities for our local station clients."

WBOY-TV is the company's NBC affiliate in the Clarksburg-Weston WV market, which is also adding a new ABC subchannel.

Until now, those living in the Ohio Valley have relied upon out of market ABC affiliates, like WTAE/4 Pittsburgh and WSYX/6 Columbus.

It won't be the first relatively new ABC affiliate serving Ohio viewers, as Metro Video's WLQP-LP/18 Lima switched from UPN to ABC, when the former network faded into the TV history books a couple of years ago.

But WTRF's effort will be on its main digital signal, which will put "ABC Ohio Valley" (or whatever they end up calling it) right next to the mothership CBS and existing FOX affiliate for digital viewers - a good spot to be over-the-air after the analog-to-digital transition kicks in next February...

DP TO NBC: The Content Factory syndicated sports talk radio host Dan Patrick is "getting the band back together", as it were, as NBC hires him for highlight duties alongside his former ESPN SportsCenter partner Keith Olbermann on the network's "Football Night in America" pre-game show starting this season.

Akron Beacon Journal sports media columnist and OMW reader George M. Thomas has more from Tuesday's Beacon, though he doesn't mention Patrick's various Ohio ties.

Dan Patrick is a native of the Cincinnati suburb of Mason, and a graduate of the University of Dayton. His newly-re-syndicated radio show now airs live from 9 AM to noon on Clear Channel Akron sports talk outlet WARF/1350 "SportsRadio 1350".

OK, so they're relatively minor ties...

FROM CLEVELAND TO DAYTON: While we're in Mr. Patrick's hometown area, electronically, we have word of a sports-related item...thanks to Indiana RadioWatch's Blaine Thompson.

Cox CBS affiliate WHIO-TV/7 Dayton has announced that the station will air two August pre-season Cleveland Browns games in 2008 - the August 7th contest against the New York Jets and the August 28th game against the Chicago Bears.

Both games come to WHIO-TV courtesy of the Browns' pre-season TV network, as far as we know based again this year at Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC-TV 3 in Cleveland.

WHIO's announcement says it may add a third pre-season contest to the schedule.

The Browns are no stranger to the Dayton media scene, with Clear Channel sports WONE/980 and simulcaster WIZE/1340 Springfield airing the team's radio network for some time now...

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