UPDATE 8/25/08 6:28 PM: Toledo NBC affiliate WNWO/24 reports that it has granted another extension to Buckeye Cablevision, which will keep the station on cable through September 10th as negotiations continue...
If you look closely, you'll notice a very slight change in our appearance.
We've been putting it off here at the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), but we finally decided to drag our old template into the new Blogger layout system. We're still tweaking some things, but this will allow us to more quickly, and easily, change things in the future.
There isn't much to talk about this Monday morning, but we're here...
RUMBLINGS: We're hearing rumblings that there could be on-air changes at a Northeast Ohio FM station "as soon as today", but don't know much more than that right now. We'll update this item when we receive more information...
BOB AND TOM AND JACOR: This doesn't directly affect Northeast Ohio radio, but it involves a show that still airs at least on at least a couple of area stations.
Tribune's WGN America, the cable/satellite home of Chicago sports and "Retro" TV nights, forges yet another link with radio, when Premiere syndicated morning drive team "Bob and Tom" debut a televised version of their radio show - distilled down into an hour - from midnight to 1 AM weeknights.
The TV side of the show starts November 3rd. The show crows about it in a WGN press release here (PDF format).
"Bob and Tom" exited Clear Channel rock WMMS/100.7's morning drive slot when Cleveland-based Shane "Rover" French and his "Morning Glory" showed up - and eventually exited WMMS entirely.
The show still airs on the company's Canton rocker WRQK/106.9 and its Youngstown sister (brother?) station WNCD/93.3 "The Wolf", and on former Clear Channel-now-Media One classic rocker WFXJ/107.5 "The Fox" in the Ashtabula market, along with other Ohio stations.
A key figure in this move is Tribune's Sean Compton, the former Premiere Radio head who cut his big market radio teeth at Cincinnati's own WLW/700.
And since Tribune is being run top to bottom by a whole host of former Jacor radio executives, including suburban Cincinnati's Randy Michaels (speaking of WLW) and new Tribune owner Sam Zell, we're wondering when they'll change the company's name to "Jacor".
Tribune recently put out a press release crowing about the Tribune-to-Jacor connection, and the former SuperStation WGN still uses their version of the old Jacor slogan, "TV You Can't Ignore".
Well, as long as they don't mess too much with CTV's "Corner Gas" for the rest of its run, we'll give 'em a break...just put it somewhere where we can run the TiVo, is all we ask...
HERE'S AN ODD MOVE: OMW hears that Cumulus talk WTOD/1560 Toledo "SuperTalk 1560" is displacing an hour of Dial Global's syndicated Neal Boortz Show weekdays from 12-1 PM.
Supposedly headed for that time slot? The brokered Catholic weekend show "Annunciation Radio", which airs on WTOD now from 12-2 PM on Sundays. As far as we know, the WSB/Atlanta-based Boortz will continue on the station from 1-3 PM.
We hear one reason behind the move is to clear the Sunday afternoon space on 1560 for radio coverage of the National...Football...League...(fanfare, imagine your best John Facenda voice).
WTOD will pick up Westwood One NFL games that can't be aired for whatever reason on sister sports WLQR/1470 "The Ticket", and also will air "Sports USA" coverage of NFL games. That network recently inked former San Diego Chargers quarterback star Dan Fouts as a game analyst...
SPEAKING OF THE NFL IN T-TOWN: OMW hears that this past weekend's Cleveland Browns/Detroit Lions game did air in Toledo not only on talk WNWT/1520, but on Cornerstone Church/Matrix Media sister station WMNT/48 "My 58".
We don't know if the TV side of the Matrix house will carry the Browns' final pre-season tilt on Thursday...or if anyone will be brave enough to actually watch it...
AND ONE MORE TOLEDO ITEM: And it's a doozy, though we won't know the disposition until we hear out of the Glass City later today.
Buckeye Cablevision viewers could find Toledo NBC affiliate WNWO/24 "NBC 24" off of their cable lineup as soon as today, as the Barrington Broadcasting-owned TV station has not reached a new carriage agreement with Buckeye, owned by Toledo-based media empire Block Communications.
The agreement was originally supposed to expire August 1st, but was extended until the end of the Summer Olympics. With the games now over, all bets are off.
An item posted to WNWO's website alerts viewers to the prospect of the station's signal going off Buckeye Cablevision "within days", and urges concerned viewers to use a "cost free" antenna, or move to a satellite dish.
The station's official response - sent via E-Mail to Buckeye subscribers - is reprinted on the station's website as well.
And the back and forth reminds us of a political campaign. The WNWO response cites a quote from the general manager of Louisville KY's WDRB/WMYO on the trade site TV Newsday back in June:
“If we were gone, I don’t think cable could hold their interest very long. We’ve put millions and millions of dollars into programming and we should be compensated if you’re making money from us.”
WNWO wastes no time reminding the reader that the Louisville FOX/MyNetwork TV combo is owned by...you guessed it, Block Communications, which owns Buckeye Cablesystem. (And of course, Block also operates Toledo's cable-only CW affiliate, "WT05".)
For its part, Buckeye's statement is quoted on the WNWO site (if they've put it on their own site, we can't find it):
This demand WNWO is asking for is very unreasonable and exceeds the value for agreements with other Toledo area broadcasters. WNWO is seeking compensation as though it were the top-performing station in Toledo, but in fact it performs at the bottom. That is not fair.
Well, they do have a point there...WNWO is, as far as we know, Toledo's lowest-rated over-air full-power station. We're not sure they aren't heading for a dangerous spot in forcing the issue..."NBC 24" really needs as many viewers as it can get in the day-to-day battle for viewers...though WNWO also notes that the now-completed Olympics were highly rated, and "on NBC 24".
But the station compares itself not to other broadcasters like WTOL, WTVG and WUPW...it compares itself in the response to ESPN and other cable networks which get high compensation from Buckeye and other cable operators.
The dispute also affects cable subscribers in Sandusky, served by the Buckeye arm that used to be known as Erie County Cablevision.
Meanwhile, viewers don't want to go through changing providers or putting up an antenna to get a major network affiliate...they just want to tune to the channel and find NBC programming.
Will it be the last straw for some who were already thinking about switching to satellite, though? Who knows, but no one short of the dish installers would seem to be a winner here...