Friday, August 29, 2008

Akron/Canton News Returns - Sort Of - And People Meters

We're actually surprised this didn't happen earlier this year, when the WKYC/3-produced "Akron/Canton News" ended its run on Time Warner Cable's "NEON" local programming channel....after a previous run over-air on ION-owned WVPX/23.

WKYC Akron bureau chief Eric Mansfield has started what we guess could be called "Akron/Canton News 2.0" via a new video player on his WKYC "Have I Got News For You!" blog. The video player aggregates all of Mansfield's (and WKYC's) recent Akron/Canton-based stories in one online place.

But we actually first found out about this on our own, early this morning, when we stumbled onto something that Mansfield had talked about in vague terms in his most recent item:

...and my hope is to add a few copy stories that I'll read from our Akron newsroom to kind of round-it-all out.

Sure enough, Eric got a Round Tuit and did just that on Thursday night, in a short video that's labeled the "Akron/Canton Webcast", complete with use of the green screen at WKYC's Akron bureau to resurrect the old "ACN" virtual set.

Eric credits one of the more capable digital hands at 13th and Lakeside, WKYC senior director and "Director's Cut" blogger Frank Macek, for helping him launch the online version of "Akron/Canton News".

It's not quite a full over-air (or even cable) newscast, but it makes a lot of sense for WKYC to use its extensive existing online presence and video to at least try to reach those who really don't pay much attention to news north of the Ohio Turnpike.

Speaking of Frank Macek and his blog, he alerts readers that the Cleveland/Akron (Canton) TV market has indeed entered the Nielsen "Local People Meter" era, with the controversial ratings measuring devices deployed in this region starting Thursday. Quoting:

What does this mean for Cleveland TV stations?

First, it will mean a 12 - one month survey periods. Every month becomes a new sweeps time...putting TV stations in continuous, competitive situation. Will this mean you will seen the hype stories all the time. Not likely. But it will mean stations have to become smarter and wiser as to the news content they offer all year round.

Macek notes that Cuyahoga County viewers make up 35 percent of the 17 county Cleveland market viewing area, and as such, the Nielsen folks will also subdivide Cuyahoga County into five census-based zones, including the area's traditional west side/east side divide...

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